|Rebuilding A Life: Foundations|
By: Lady Shelley
This is a sequel to Discoveries and First
Steps. You should read those first to understand what is happening now.
BX -- Air Force lingo for Base Exchange. Think of it like a Wal-Mart or Target. It's got a little of everything but not much selection of anything. And yes, there is a BX inside Cheyenne Mountain.
All of the books mentioned in this story actually exist.
Memories and/or internal thought in italics
Many, many thanks to Lyn for beta reading. Thanks Lyn!
As he stepped through the wormhole and onto a metal ramp, Daniel looked over his shoulder at the blue surface. His memory had been right; his entire body seemed to be tingling after the trip. He turned back around to see the rest of Jack's team at the bottom of the ramp standing near a bald man wearing a blue uniform. He also noticed with some apprehension, several men at the back of the room holding weapons at the ready.
As he reached the base of the ramp with Jack at his side, the bald man spoke. "Welcome back, Dr. Jackson," he said with a small smile.
Daniel hadn't noticed how Jack was reacting, pointing at him and grinning, instead he surveyed the room he was now in. The fact he was in a room and not outside was his first surprise, the room itself was another. It's so sterile. There's nothing in here but the chappa'ai. Not the happiest first impression of Earth. Realizing he had been spoken to, Daniel glanced at the bald man and said softly, "Thank you. Thank you very much."
The bald man gave him a puzzled look, but Daniel was gazing around the room again and didn't really see it.
"You have no memory of who I am?" the bald man questioned gently.
"Umm, none whatsoever." Daniel was starting to feel uncomfortable under the man's scrutiny. I suppose it's something I should get used to. Everyone is going to know more about me than me. Maybe this wasn't such a good idea after all.
"Neither do I, sir," Jack said trying to lighten the tension. He looked at Samantha Carter as if asking permission to do something, and when she shrugged, Jack continued, "Daniel, this is General George Hammond. He's in charge around here."
"Oh. Umm, hello, General George Hammond," Daniel said and was rewarded with another smile from the general.
The general looked at Jack, then nodded in Daniel's direction. Whatever the message was, Jack seemed to understand it. He turned to Daniel and taking his arm in a light grip, said, "Come on, that way. We need to get you cleaned up and checked out." He started walking toward one of the large doors in the room, leading Daniel by the arm with the rest of his team following behind.
"Did I mention you still owe me fifty bucks?" Jack asked as they reached the door.
Daniel's response was a loud sneeze. "Sorry," he said wondering why Jack was grinning again. "That sort of snuck up on me."
Jack passed him a package of tissues and said, "Allergies. It always happens when you travel."
The corridors Jack led him through were just as drab as the room they left. The fact that everything was blurry didn't help, but he was able to see enough to notice that except for a few numbers or letters on the walls, they all looked the same. "Umm, Jack? How does anyone find anything in this place? Are you sure I worked here? Nothing is looking familiar at all," Daniel said in a bewildered voice.
"Oh, it's not all that hard once you get used to it. Trust me, in a few days you'll be bouncing around like you were born to it," Jack said steering Daniel into one of the rooms. Two of the walls were covered with small doors; the third was tiled and had hooks. The fourth side wasn't a wall at all but a wide opening leading to a room with individual tiled stalls. There was a long bench running down the middle of the room and it was humid and warmer than either the hallways or the room with the chappa'ai.
"I'll just go ahead, sir, and let Janet know you're bringing Daniel," Samantha Carter said stopping at the entrance to the room. Jack nodded his assent as she turned to walk back in the direction they had come. "Teal'c, you and Jonas go on, too. I don't think Daniel needs all of us crowding around, we'll be along in a few."
As the other two men left, Daniel stood in the entrance to the room, not sure what to do next. Jack was busy opening one of the small doors and removing material similar to the clothes he was wearing. Daniel took the green coveralls, black tee shirt and underwear Jack handed him and followed Jack through the opening and into the room with the tiled stalls.
"Trust me on this one, Daniel, Dr. Frasier will be happy to see you, but she'll be even more happy if you clean up first," Jack said pointing to one of the stalls. "Shower and change into those clothes and I'll meet you outside."
After Jack left, Daniel stood for a moment looking around the room. With a sigh, he dropped the fresh clothes on a nearby shelf and began to disrobe.
Twenty minutes later, Daniel emerged from the shower room dressed in the new clothes and fingering his still damp hair. Figuring out how to make the shower work had taken a few minutes but his reward was wonderful. Personal hygiene in Shamda's village was simple at best; a basin near the door for washing feet and another inside for the washing of hands and face. Anything else required a trip through the forest to a shallow pool of cool water. The shower Jack insisted he take was decadent in its warmth and abundance of water.
Daniel saw Jack was also clean and wearing a similar coverall as he walked back into the room with the small doors in the walls and the long bench.
"Ahh, much better," Jack proclaimed walking up to Daniel. "We need to get moving. Dr. Frasier is going to have a search party out looking for us if we don't show up soon."
Jack led Daniel back out into the maze of corridors. After another five minutes of walking, and an elevator ride up three floors, Jack pointed to a room at the end of the hallway they were following. "That's the infirmary right ahead there." Daniel looked up to see a wide door opening onto a large room with beds and equipment. Standing in the doorway were Samantha Carter and a smaller woman with red hair.
The red-haired woman stared at Daniel as he stopped behind Jack. "Amazing," she muttered to no one in particular.
Jack eased Daniel up beside him and again made introductions. "Daniel, this is Dr. Janet Frasier. She's going to check you out and make sure everything is working right. I'll be back later to take you back to my place."
"Not so fast, Colonel," the red-haired woman said. "I have a lot of tests to run and some of them will take time to get the results back. Until then I'm afraid Dr. Jackson is confined to the base."
"You want to keep him in the infirmary? That's not exactly the warm welcome home I promised him, ya know," Jack said. Dr. Frasier eyed Jack with a steely glare. Daniel may not have known who she was, but he could see she was a woman who would not back down easily when she thought she was right.
"What about a VIP room? He's still on base and maybe we can make it feel a little more homey," Jack offered.
Dr. Frasier looked first at Jack and then at Daniel. Daniel didn't say anything during the exchange since he really didn't have an opinion. From what little Jack had told him, he was considered dead on this world, so he really had no place to go. She turned back to Jack and softened her stance as she said, "That should be fine. Dr. Warner is all ready for you, Colonel. After I'm done with Daniel, you can take him to one of the VIP rooms on level 25."
She stepped forward and laid a hand on Daniel's arm. "Daniel? Could you come with me please? There are some things we need to do before Colonel O'Neill gets you settled."
As Dr. Frasier led him into the room and up to one of the beds, Daniel heard Jack say to Samantha Carter, "Carter, get Teal'c and go over to my place. Get the boxes out of the basement and meet me back here."
"Is that the best idea, sir? Remember we want him to try and remember on his own. His personal journals and papers are in some of those boxes."
Jack raised a hand to his forehand. "Look, Major, right now, besides you and me, he really doesn't know anyone or anything about this place. When he's done here, I don't want to dump him in a cookie-cutter room, tell him good night and leave him alone with nothing from his past. Maybe something will trigger more memories for him. Leave the journals at my place if you want, but bring back the boxes of artifacts and pictures."
Jack's body language was tense and his voice verged on the first real anger Daniel had heard from the man. Samantha Carter must have heard it as well. She turned to Daniel and gave him a wave and a smile. Then she nodded to Jack and walked out of the infirmary in a different direction from the elevators Jack and Daniel had come from.
The next two hours were a study in designed torture as far as Daniel was concerned, mostly because Jack's exam was relatively short in comparison. Dr. Frasier was still taking blood samples when Jack came around the corner of the curtained off area and announced he was done and would be back for Daniel later. Dr. Frasier had shooed Jack out and then escorted Daniel into a different room. A large cube with a tube running through it dominated the middle of the space.
"This is an MRI scanner, Daniel. It doesn't hurt, but if you have a problem with confined spaces I need to know now as the test will take about twenty minutes to run."
"Did I have trouble with it before?" Daniel asked walking up to the machine.
"No, but that doesn't mean you won't now. Amnesia isn't very well understood, but we do know that in some cases, victims have presented phobias they didn't have before the accident that caused their memory loss."
Daniel looked up from the bed at the edge of the tube to look at the doctor. "But Jack says this wasn't an accident. He thinks this was done to me on purpose. Samantha Carter said it was an Oma Desala that caused this."
Dr. Frasier nodded. "And that makes everything even more difficult. If this were a typical case of amnesia, we could try stimulating your memories with pictures of people or things from your past in the hope they would help you remember. We're just not sure what we're dealing with this time to know how to best help you recover."
"Right," Daniel muttered and climbed onto the bed.
After the MRI, there were still more tests. Finally, Dr. Frasier seemed to run out of things to do to him. They were back in the main area of the infirmary, though Daniel was the only patient at the moment. As Dr. Frasier made notes and mumbled to herself, Daniel worked up the courage to ask a question he needed to have answered.
"Dr. Frasier," he said hesitantly. When she looked up from her paperwork, he lowered his head and continued. "Jack told me I … died a year ago and then ascended -- or something. I wanted, umm, need to know … how?"
Immediately, he saw her tense. "Daniel … "
"Please, Dr. Frasier," Daniel interrupted. "I need to know and I can't ask Jack."
She sighed and put the chart she was marking on the bed beside Daniel. "All right, I'll tell you the reader's digest version." She paused, and looked down at her hands. "There was an accident on a planet you were visiting; a bomb the citizens were trying to make malfunctioned. The scientists involved were either dead or didn't know what to do. You stopped the reaction but in the process … you were exposed to a lethal dose of radiation."
Daniel was shocked. Nothing he had imagined had prepared him for the truth.
"The rest of SG-1 got you back here," she continued, "but all we could do was try to make you comfortable. There was nothing we could do to reverse the damage," she finished in a near whisper.
Daniel could see this wasn't any easier for her than it was for Jack. He had assumed the reason he couldn't remember anything was because of some terrible thing he had done. After he'd been found, he'd thought that whatever had caused his death had been the reason for his punishment. From what Dr. Frasier said, he had saved many lives with his actions. If it wasn't what caused my death, it had to be something I did on that higher plane Jack mentioned. That means I may never find out what happened.
A nurse walked up to the doctor and handed her a small, smooth case. Before Daniel could ask what it was, Jack reappeared in the doorway of the infirmary.
"So, what's the verdict?" he asked in an upbeat voice.
Daniel noticed Dr. Frasier had picked up the chart again and was writing something down. Her face showed no sign of the conversation they'd had about his death and Daniel hoped none of the information he had learned showed in his expression either.
"Well, I'm happy to say, sir, that he's in perfect health, with one small exception ... " she said handing Daniel a pair of glasses.
Daniel took the glasses from her and with a slight hesitation, he put them on. The improvement was drastic, his vision was perfectly clear. Looking around the room he could see that the equipment he noted before had dials or buttons, and places for information to be read, either on a screen or from bits of paper he could now see trailing out of one of the machines. "Wow, that's different," he muttered.
He felt a tap on his arm and turned to see Jack looking at him quizzically. "You recognize me now?" he asked with a grin.
Jack had been teasing him all the way back to the chappa'ai and even after they got back to Earth. Daniel decided if he was going to survive in the friendship Jack said they had, then he would have to dish some of it back. He looked Jack up and down and asked, "Has your hair always been that way?"
He tried very hard to maintain an innocent expression as Jack frowned and retorted, "What way?"
"Oh, never mind," he replied and hopped off the bed.
Jack glared at him again, then turned to the waiting doctor. "So, it's safe to feed him, then? Carter, Teal'c and Jonas are all waiting in the mess hall."
"Yes, sir, like I said, everything seems to be in order." To Daniel she said, "There doesn't appear to be any problems. I'll have the rest of your test results in the morning, if everything looks good, I will recommend to General Hammond that you be allowed off base." As Jack started edging toward the door she added, "But don't overdo it with the coffee, okay?"
As Daniel opened his mouth to ask what coffee was, Jack pulled him toward to exit. "Don't worry, Doc, we'll make sure he's a good boy," Jack called back and pushed Daniel out of the infirmary.
This time the trip through the SGC was shorter, but still included an elevator ride down one floor. Then there were more of the same grey corridors. I'm never going to remember any of this, Daniel thought glumly.
Jack, however, sauntered down the hallways like he owned them. "Well, here we are -- the glorious SGC mess hall."
Daniel stood in the doorway and watched as various men and women stopped what they were doing to stare at him or point him out to their tablemates. Jack had continued into the room, but stopped when Daniel didn't follow.
Jack glanced around the room, then tapped Daniel on the arm again. "Come on. Carter and the others are over there," Jack said nodding at a table near the back of the room. Daniel didn't relish the idea of walking through the entire room to get to the only people he recognized, but as Jack had started moving again, he didn't have much choice.
The table was rectangular; Samantha Carter and Jonas Quinn sat on one side, with two empty seats against the wall facing them. Teal'c sat at the far end of the table facing the rest of the room. Daniel sat opposite Jonas Quinn with Jack on his right and Teal'c at his left. He noted with interest that the seating arrangement placed Jack's team between himself and the rest of the room.
Someone must have seen them walk in as plates of food were already on the table when Daniel and Jack arrived. The plate in front of Daniel held some kind of charred meat, a root vegetable split open, and an assortment of greens in a bowl next to the plate. Daniel noticed the others had similar fare on their plates.
"That's USDA choice beef there, Daniel," Jack told him when he didn't start eating with the rest of them. "Carter and Teal'c had some errands to run off base. While they were out, they grabbed some steaks and by some miracle convinced the kitchen staff to fix it up special. Otherwise you would be eating the Chef Surprise."
Daniel glanced at Jack, then back at his plate. Picking up the knife and fork, he began to eat. Slowly the noise level in the rest of the room increased as the men and women turned back to their own meals and conversations. Seeing the meal as a chance to get to know the rest of Jack's team, Daniel asked, "I heard you mention a lost city before on the planet. What are you looking for? I wandered around that area a lot, maybe I can help."
He saw immediately this was not a topic the others wanted to discuss. Jack froze and looked pointedly at Samantha Carter; she in turn met his gaze and shook her head. Teal'c watched their interaction, then resumed eating.
Jonas Quinn looked up from his plate and darted a look at Jack before saying, "City of the lost, actually." Glancing at Jack who cleared his throat noisily, Jonas Quinn mumbled, "Ahh well, it's just a, umm, project I'm working on."
Daniel gamely tried to get more information. "Well, what do you know about it? Like I said, I've been all over that area and the only signs of people are in Shamda's village … " Daniel's voice trailed off. "You think the village is this city you're looking for, don't you? Shamda told a story about when his ancestors first came there and found the ruins. That's it, isn't it? You guys think Shamda's people are living in the ruins of the city you're looking for."
The others at the table looked back and forth at each other. Finally, it was Teal'c who spoke. "You are correct, Daniel Jackson. We are surveying the ruins to learn about the people who built them before the villagers arrived."
"Why? From what I've seen so far, this doesn't strike me as a research facility and Jack told me you were all military."
Samantha Carter started to speak, but Teal'c overrode her voice, "Colonel O'Neill mentioned Anubis to you, did he not?" When Daniel nodded, he continued, "We are searching for a weapon that would destroy Anubis. Jonas Quinn believes the people who first settled the planet we found you on had knowledge of such a weapon."
"So what have you learned so far?"
"Not much," Jonas Quinn said. "We had only been on the planet a few hours when SG-3 brought you into the village. The survey crews are still getting set up. We hope to have a better idea of the ruins and any artifacts they find in the next few weeks."
"What about Shamda's people? Won't this Anubis of yours follow you there? What's to stop him from taking whatever weapon is there for himself?"
"That won't happen," Jack said forcefully.
"How do you know?" Daniel challenged. "You found that planet, why can't he?"
"He won't find out because we have something he doesn't. Something you gave us, Daniel."
"Sir!" Samantha Carter cut in to Daniel's annoyance.
Everyone at the table fell silent. Daniel could see Jack and the others wanted to tell him more about what they were looking for and why, but suddenly he didn't feel like fighting to get the information.
"Look, I'm sorry. It's just so frustrating to not remember any of this," Daniel said pushing away his plate. "It's even worse when you guys hint around the edges." He saw Jack give Samantha Carter a glare. "No, Jack, don’t blame Samantha Carter. It's mostly my fault for pushing when I know you shouldn't say anything." He sighed. "Umm, maybe we should call it a night," he said quietly, standing up.
Teal'c and Jonas rose as well, gathered the plates and other dishes, and returned them to the kitchen. Daniel didn't pay much attention to what Jack's team was doing and was startled by a hand on his arm.
"Daniel," Samantha Carter said. "I can only imagine how hard this is for you."
Daniel looked at her face and saw compassion and surprisingly, a similar frustration to his own. This is just as hard for them. They really want me to remember who I was and the friendship we all evidently shared. I've got to remember they are hurting too.
"Samantha Carter, everything is going to be fine," he tried to reassure her. "I've already started to remember things; I just want to have it all back at once."
She nodded. "Yeah, I can understand that. And we will help any way we can. As a matter of fact," she said, smiling now, "I think Colonel O'Neill has already taken a few steps in that direction."
Daniel just shrugged and started to follow Jack out of the mess hall.
"Oh, and Daniel?" she called.
Daniel stopped and turned to face her; Jack paused in the doorway. "It's just Sam, not Samantha Carter, okay? It's easier than tripping over all those syllables, trust me." She smiled again.
Daniel nodded and said, "I'll keep that in mind. Good night … Sam." He nodded to Teal'c and Jonas Quinn behind her and left the mess hall with Jack.
Following Jack out of the elevator, Daniel realized he was back on the same floor as the shower room. Maybe, Jack's right; I will get the hang of this place after all. Jack had moved a little ahead of him, and Daniel hurried his steps to catch up again. No matter how much the corridor looked familiar, he didn't want to lose his guide and get lost. Just as he reached Jack's back, the other man stopped in front of one of the doors. Nothing was especially remarkable about this door as compared to others along the hallway, except for the man in uniform standing at attention beside it.
"Daniel, until we can get your status situated, this is going to have to do. Hopefully you won't have to stay here very long." Jack turned to slide a card through a reader next to the uniformed man. As the card slid through, Daniel heard a click, and Jack opened the door.
Daniel walked around Jack to enter, but stopped a few steps into the room. A large bed with a blue bedspread dominated the space with matching bed stands at either side. Each of the stands held a few objects, some pictures in frames, and several books. A long table to the right of the bed held more statues and a pair of swords. Curious, Daniel walked over to the long table and picked up one of the artifacts. It was a human figure, flat on one side. The figure was lying on its back with its arms crossed over its chest.
Jack had stayed near the door as Daniel explored the room. "Not exactly home," he said. "But ... we unpacked some of your stuff." Daniel noted Jack spoke almost shyly, as though he didn't want to admit something.
"You kept all this even though you thought I was dead?" Daniel asked turning to face Jack. The conversation he had overheard earlier between Jack and Sam came back to him.
"Carter, get Teal'c and go over to my place. Get the boxes out of the basement and meet me back here."
For the first time, he realized what sort of relationship he had had with this man at one time and he wanted that friendship back again. Daniel started to say how much this meant to him when Jack spoke.
"To be honest, we tossed out a ton of junk," he said wryly. "A lot of which seemed to be very valuable," he finished quickly as Daniel frowned.
Daniel put the statue he'd been holding back on the long table and moved around the bed to the far bed stand. There was a picture of a woman with dark, curly hair in a plain frame. She entered the alcove and stood before him. Before he could do much more than make a few protesting noises, she began to remove the gauzy, reddish dress she was wearing.
"I ... kept a few of your ... personal things alive there," Jack said in that shy tone.
Startled, the memory vanished. Daniel held out the picture to Jack and said, "I know her."
Hearing the astonishment and hope in Jack's voice, Daniel said, "I mean, I must, right?"
"Yeah … " Jack coaxed.
"Who is she? What's her name?" Daniel asked looking again at the picture.
"You tell me."
Daniel sighed and put the picture back on the bed stand. He walked to the end of the bed and sat down. As Jack turned to leave, Daniel asked softly, "Am I not allowed to leave this room?"
Jack started at the question and stepped back into the room. "What makes you think that?"
Daniel didn't answer; instead he just nodded at the uniformed man standing outside the room and raised an eyebrow.
"Oh, him. You have to remember, Daniel, this is a top secret kinda place here. Airman Thompson is just a precaution. You can leave and walk around as much as you want. If you try to go somewhere you shouldn't, Thompson here will ask nicely that you don't."
"Ahh," Daniel said quietly and dropped his head to look at his hands. "Am I allowed to see you or the rest of your team?"
"Of course. Look, Teal'c and Jonas have rooms right around the corner. Carter's gone home, but I'll probably stick around here tonight, got a lot of paperwork to do."
When Daniel didn't respond, Jack asked, "Hey, you all right?"
Daniel looked up to see concern on Jack's face. Shaking off his depression, he said, "Yeah, I'll be fine. Today was just a lot to take in."
"You're sure?" When Daniel nodded, Jack continued, "Okay then. I'll see you in the morning." Jack left the room and quietly closed the door behind him. For the first time in hours, Daniel was alone.
He stood and walked back to the long table and picked up the statue he'd held earlier. "It's Egyptian," he said. "New Kingdom. No, that's wrong. It's wouldn't be flat on one side, maybe Old Kingdom. I wonder if it's from one of the planets Jack says we've traveled to." Suddenly he realized what he was saying. Putting the statue down, he backed away from it and stumbled back onto the bed. How did I know that? Just looking at it was enough to identify what it was.
He glanced at the titles of the books on the bed stand next to him:
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt
"Well, that explains it, I guess," he said to the room. Picking up one of the books, he began thumbing through the well-marked pages.
"Daniel. I'm … Daniel."
She watched him for a moment then pointed to her chest.
He could see her mouth move, but he couldn't hear her.
He drew a shape in the sand; a triangle. "We came from the pyramid," he started to explain, but she refused to look at his drawing and scuffed it out with her toe.
They were in a small alcove, the little light available provided by a torch, stuttering behind them. The walls were covered with crude art. He started muttering under his breath, trying to understand the meaning.
"Seekma?" she asked.
His head whipped around to her. He pointed to the drawing and said louder, "Sikma? Sikema?"
She shook her head and pointed to the same picture. "Seekma."
"Seekma," he repeated. "Children."
The room flashed and glittered in the light from the torch. The woman was right behind him as he moved further into the space. As he lit a fire in the center of the room, he couldn't believe his eyes. The walls were made of gold and covered with symbols.
"It's here, just like the legend said. Look, the symbols are broken into patterns of seven. It all fits," he said in an awed voice.
"Dan-yel, these symbols do not form words." She hesitated a moment looking closely at one of the pictures. "This looks like the Great Cat."
"It is a picture in the night sky," she explained. "She is the daughter of Ra. She is honored in a festival each year when the Great Cat dominates the night sky."
"Of course! The symbols on the 'gate on earth represented constellations in the night sky. It would make sense that the symbols on other 'gates would follow the same pattern."
They sat atop one of the dunes watching the moons rise. She leaned against him and grasped his hand in hers.
"I'm going to ask your father about unburying the stargate," he said softly. "The symbols on the walls in the room we found are addresses to other planets, other people that need to know Ra is dead."
He was running as fast as he could. Serpent men in the pyramid! He had to get back; he had to make sure ….
He ran into the pyramid with the others close behind.
"Sha're!" he yelled. The stargate room was in chaos; some of the boys were dead, others were bleeding.
"Sha're!" he yelled again.
"Sha're!" Daniel woke with a start. He looked around the room and realized he was in the VIP room, not a desert. His eyes fell on the picture of the dark-haired woman where it lay on the bed beside him. "Sha're. Your name is Sha're."
He got up from the bed and moved to the door. He'd remembered her, now he had to find out where she was. To do that he needed to find Jack.
He had been walking the corridors for ten minutes, Airman Thompson following him at a discreet distance. He had only walked to the end of the hall his room was on before realizing he had no idea where to find Jack, but he didn't want to either return to his room or ask his shadow where to find the colonel. Instead, he aimlessly meandered along; hoping someone he recognized would appear.
This isn't working, he thought to himself. Jack said he was staying on base but that could mean anything. What else had he said before leaving? Daniel reached another T-junction in the hall and randomly turning left, continued, He said Teal'c and Jonas Quinn were also on base, and more importantly they were even on this floor. Daniel looked up to see where he was. "Hold on," he said aloud.
He was looking down a short hallway with only two doors, one on each side of the corridor. He couldn't believe it. Not only had his random walking not been random, but he knew where he was and who he would find on the other side of the door he chose. With more confidence than he had felt for most of the day, Daniel walked up to the door on the left side, knocked and then opened the door a crack.
Sitting on the floor was Teal'c surrounded by lit candles. The man seemed even larger than usual seated in the shadows of the candlelight. Teal'c's eyes were closed and his breathing was regular, but as Daniel watched, his eyes snapped open and tracked to the door. The two men stared at each other a moment. Daniel suddenly felt self-conscience about barging in without waiting for an invitation, and glanced behind him to see Airman Thompson take up a position next to the door.
Realizing he needed to say something and seeing he was disturbing the Jaffa, Daniel said, "Oh, sorry. Am I interrupting?" Well, that was dumb, of course I'm interrupting. Why couldn't Jack tell me how to find his office?
Daniel started to close the door again to let Teal'c get back to whatever it was he was doing on the floor when he heard the Jaffa speak, "You are not. I am unable to kelno'reem as I once did since I began using Tretonin."
Daniel hesitated. Okay, Teal'c doesn't sound mad, that's a plus. Kelnor'eem means 'bring to stillness' but I wonder what tretonin is. Looking down, he was surprised to see the picture of Sha're in his hand. Jack said Teal'c was a good friend of mine; maybe he can tell me about Sha're. Swinging the door open a little more, Daniel replied, "Well, that sounds complicated."
"Indeed. Enter," Teal'c said rising and sitting on the bed. Daniel moved into the room and with one last glance at Thompson, he closed the door.
Daniel sat in the only chair available and showed the picture in his hand to Teal'c. "Her name is Sha're," he stated.
Teal'c glanced at the photo and said, "Yes."
Daniel saw the Jaffa tense, but misunderstood the reason. "No one told me that," he reassured. "I remembered by myself. I dreamt about her and when I woke up, I knew her name." Daniel looked up from the picture to smile. He had remembered something on his own. His past was coming back to him, albeit slowly, but it was coming back. He thought Teal'c would share his enthusiasm, but instead the other man was stiff and Daniel could see he was hesitant to speak.
"That is good news, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c said in his measured tone, not looking at Daniel or the photo, but instead focused on the far wall.
Still eager to involve Teal'c in his happiness, Daniel continued, "Yeah, it's the first time I've believed I might have a chance, you know? If I can remember a name then ... there's a chance it's all in there somewhere, right?"
"Indeed," Teal'c said again still not looking at Daniel.
"So ... so where is she?" Daniel asked looking around Teal'c's room as though she was hiding from him there. He looked back at Teal'c and his heart dropped. The Jaffa peered back at him with such pain in his eyes Daniel gasped. Oh god, she's gone. This beautiful woman is gone. Why did I have to remember?
"She's dead," he confirmed in a soft, flat voice.
Teal'c could only nod in return.
Daniel wasn't sure what to feel. He had only really known about her for less than an hour. Should he mourn her? Be relieved he didn't remember more about her to really grieve? He stared at the woman captured on paper and in a frame. He'd loved her, spent part of his life with her, and he missed her.
"I loved her very much," he whispered. He was still looking at the photo and didn't see the anguish on Teal'c's face as he spoke.
Finally, Daniel sighed and placed the picture face down on a nearby table. He needed answers and Teal'c was the one to give them to him. "This being, this Oma Desala, is supposedly very powerful, right?"
"That is correct," Teal'c stated.
"Why would she do this? I mean, if she wanted me to forget ... " Daniel asked, his frustration evident in his voice.
Teal'c focused on Daniel for the first time since Daniel had mentioned Sha're. Daniel felt like the Jaffa was testing his resolve; weighing Daniel's desire to know things with his ability to accept the answers. After several seconds of this, Teal'c said, "You often spoke of the rules to which you were subjugated as one of the Ascended." When Daniel only stared at him, Teal'c continued, "Perhaps, she was required to erase your memories by laws of the Others, but as your friend and mentor, she wished you one day to regain it."
Daniel considered what Teal'c was telling him. Okay, so Teal'c is telling me this was a good thing? Someone who claims friendship sucks my memory dry and I'm supposed to be happy about it. I think I would have rather had my memories and taken my chances.
Eyeing Teal'c carefully, Daniel voiced his thoughts, "You think she cheated? You think she found a way around the rules?"
"You do not agree?"
Daniel wasn't sure what to believe, but he didn't want to get into a philosophical argument about the motives of Oma Desala. Instead, Daniel asked, "Tell me about this Anubis. Why did I break the rules to fight him?"
"Do you not believe it wise to remember on your own accord?" Teal'c asked carefully.
"No. I need to know why this is happening to me," Daniel replied.
Teal'c studied Daniel again, then nodded. "Very well."
Daniel's head was spinning as he walked back to his room. Goa'uld parasites taking humans as hosts. The Jaffa enslaved by those same Goa'uld by carrying symbiotes. At least he now had a better idea of who Oma Desala was. And Anubis was a problem even Daniel could see would be difficult to deal with.
He was surprised to see how late it was when he returned to his room. Sleeping however was out of the question with his mind hopping from one topic to another. "Paper. I need some paper and a pen. Maybe writing it all out will help, then I can get some sleep before Jack comes in the morning."
The only paper in the room was a small note pad he found in one of the drawers. "Better than nothing," he mumbled.
Sitting at the small desk, he started filling the pages with thoughts, memories and anything else he could think of. He was still at it, when, four hours later, there was a knock followed by the door opening and Jack's voice, "Oh for cryin' out loud! I should have known."
Daniel jumped slightly, but put the pen down and turned to face Jack. "Umm, what?"
"You. Sitting up all night doing god only knows what instead of sleeping."
"I was writing stuff down. I thought maybe if I got it all out on paper I would be able to sleep."
Jack walked up beside Daniel and looked at the notepad filled with Daniel's tight, neat handwriting. Jack pointed out a name on the paper and asked, "So you remembered her, 'eh?"
"Yes, I had a dream about her and woke up knowing her name. I found Teal'c last night and asked him about her." Daniel didn't understand why Jack froze at the mention of Teal'c's name, but continued softly. "He said she was made a host to a Goa'uld named Amaunet and that she died."
"Uh huh. Did he tell you anything else?"
"Well, he explained about the Goa'uld, and who Oma Desala is. He also told me some more about this Anubis of yours."
Jack seemed to relax a little as Daniel spoke. "Well, before you get too much down on that scratch pad, what do you say we make a stop at the BX after breakfast and see if we can find you a journal of some kind. I think they still sell the ones you like. Maybe see about getting you some other essentials, too."
Daniel's eyes lit up and he felt a jolt in his stomach. "The ones I like? Where are they? I want to read them."
Jack grimaced as he realized what he'd let slip. "Uh, yeah. You would write in them all the time. I'm not sure you should be reading them yet, though."
Daniel could feel his temper flaring at this pronouncement. He wanted, no, needed, to read those journals. Best intentions aside, Jack's refusal grated on his nerves.
Possibly sensing the impending explosion, Jack added quickly, "Look, if everything checks out with Frasier and General Hammond, you can come home with me and we'll take it from there."
Daniel stared at Jack, trying to decide how this was helping. "Come home with you? Like that other time?"
"Exactly." Jack hesitated then explained, "I kept your personal journals, well, after. I didn't want anyone reading about your private stuff. General Hammond agreed with me. So while your mission reports and field journals were turned over to Jonas, we didn't mention your personal journals."
Daniel stood and stuffed the notepad in a pocket. "Then the sooner I get cleared, the sooner I get answers," he said curtly.
Jack looked like he wanted to say something else, but instead held the door to allow Daniel to lead the way.
A woman had relieved Airman Thompson at some point, but Jack waved her off as she began to follow them. "No need, Airman. We're heading for the mess hall and then the infirmary. I can take it from here."
The woman gave a curt nod and said, "Yes, sir."
After a breakfast of waffles swimming in syrup, orange juice and coffee, Jack led Daniel back to the infirmary.
"Good morning, Daniel," Dr. Frasier greeted.
"Good morning, Dr. Frasier," Daniel answered, sitting in the chair she offered.
"Well, I have good news. All of your tests are back and everything looks fine."
Daniel just nodded. "So that means I can leave with Jack, right?"
"What! Why not?" Jack demanded.
"Please, Colonel, let me explain," Dr. Frasier replied raising her left hand. "Daniel, have you been sneezing?"
"Umm, yes, some. But what does that have to do with anything? Jack says it's just allergies, it's nothing serious."
"You're right; it's nothing to worry about. But I do have your old allergy medication here, and it will help with the sneezing and any other symptoms you're experiencing."
"Okay." Daniel nodded again. "I don't see why I have to stay on base, though."
"It's not for too long," she reassured. "You can probably leave tomorrow. I want to make sure you aren't having any side effects from the drug. If you do have problems, you'll be right here, and not twenty minutes or more away."
Daniel knew she was only trying to help make his medical transition as easy as possible. Daniel sighed and took the small bottle of pills from her. "Tomorrow, you promise?" he asked, looking her in the eye.
Daniel had to give the doctor credit for not flinching. "As long as you don’t have any problems in the next twenty-four hours, I don't see any reason to keep you here any longer," she said making a note in his file.
"Come on, Daniel," Jack said, moving toward the door. "We'll go do a little shopping."
Needless to say, the shopping trip wasn't as easy as Jack suggested. The BX on level two required a military ID in order to enter. As Daniel hadn't been exactly present for the last year, he didn't have an ID or the proper clearance to get one.
"General, I don't see what the issue is here," Jack said. "It's not like the 'gate is a big secret to Daniel, he's knows about it. Even if we disregard that he opened the damn thing and doesn't remember it right now, he traveled through it yesterday!"
"I understand your argument, Colonel," General Hammond said, patiently. "The problem is we haven't even started the paperwork to declare Dr. Jackson as no longer MIA, much less anything for proper clearance. The best I can do right now is talk to the Joint Chiefs about granting a temporary clearance while the paperwork is pushed through."
Daniel sat off to the right of General Hammond's desk, listening while Jack and the general argued about his status. Jack had started the meeting sitting to Daniel's left, but as the meeting continued, he could no longer sit still and had been pacing the office for the last ten minutes. Thinking he had to say something in his own defense, Daniel said, "Jack, it's all right, really. I understand you can't just snap your fingers and have everything the way it was." Daniel's lips twitched when he realized what he had said applied to more than just the paperwork. "I guess I'll just have to get used to the VIP room as home for the next several months."
Jack whirred to face Daniel and replied, "No, it's not all right, Daniel. If you ever want to go through the 'gate again we need to get this straightened out now. The bureaucracy will only get slower the longer we wait. I'll get this taken care of in less than several months." Turning back to General Hammond, Jack continued, "General, can we at least get something so he can leave the base? He can stay with me and return here every morning if necessary."
"I think that can be arranged, Colonel. My understanding is Dr. Frasier wants you to remain on base at least until tomorrow, it that right?" General Hammond asked, turning to Daniel.
"Umm, yes, ahh, General Hammond. Something about side-effects from the allergy medication she gave me."
"All right, then, that should work out fine. I can make some calls today and we should have something in place for you to leave with Colonel O'Neill by tomorrow afternoon."
"Thank you, General Hammond," Daniel said, standing.
"Colonel, if you have a moment, there are a few others things we need to discuss while I have you handy."
"Uh, sure, sir," Jack said.
Taking Daniel by the arm, Jack led him into the next room. The main furnishings in the room consisted of a large conference table and chairs. There was also a table next to a large window with a coffee pot similar to the ones in the mess hall, a pitcher of water and a stack of cups. The wall to Daniel's left wasn't solid, but instead a glass partition with a map of some sort etched in it separating the conference room from General Hammond's office. "This shouldn't take too long, Daniel. Once we're done here we'll see about some lunch and make a list of what you need from the BX. Without any ID, you'll have to stay here, though."
Daniel nodded and walked over to the table by the window. "Really, Jack it's not that big a deal. It will all work out, right?"
"Absolutely, it will work out. You'll see," Jack said, though Daniel thought his enthusiasm sounded a bit forced.
The conference room was standing room only as military personnel and scientists all tried to crowd into the limited space. He stood on one side of the long conference table and stared back at the many faces watching him.
"Whenever you're ready," the man at the head of the table said. His uniform was encrusted with medals and ribbons and everyone else in the room deferred to his rank.
"Oh, right. Umm, I brought some things. But, umm, I didn't know there were going to be so many people here, so you'll have to share." He passed around the few rolled charts he had, uncurled the one he had kept, then continued, "Obviously, we are looking at a picture of the cover stone." He pointed to the outer ring in the drawing. "The writing that you assumed were words to be translated were actually," he paused to unfurl another chart. "Were actually star constellations."'
"Device? What device?" he asked.
Everyone in the conference room looked at the medal encrusted, uniformed man. "Show him," the officer said.
He watched as the white board he had been writing on, moved to reveal a large, glass window behind it. In the room below stood a huge stone ring with a metal ramp leading up to its opening. A few men in white coats scurried around the ring while armed soldiers guarded the doors into the room.
"What is that," he asked the room at large.
An elderly woman walked up beside him and she looked down into the room as well. "That's your stargate, Jackson."
"Hey, Daniel, you ready to go?" Jack said.
Daniel was still staring down at the stargate and didn't answer him.
"It shook a lot that first time," Daniel said softly. "I remember books and pens falling on the floor from the vibration." He turned away from the window to face Jack.
"Yeah, yeah it did." Jack walked up beside Daniel to peer down at the 'gate. Today the room was silent and empty.
After a few moments, Jack asked, "So, are you ready to get something to eat?"
"Hmm? Yeah, I guess."
After lunch, Jack led Daniel to Sam's lab then left to go to the BX to fill Daniel's list. Daniel wandered around the lab looking at the various technical gadgets and computers Carter had set up running assorted experiments. He was very careful not to touch anything.
"So, you – we – travel through the stargate because … "
"Well, our mandate is to find new allies, and procure technologies to aid in the defense against the Goa'uld." Seeing Daniel's strange look Sam continued, "And there's the fact most of the human races we meet originated on Earth. They were forced through the stargate to other planets to better serve the Goa'uld. You were the one who suggested the SG teams going through the 'gate take the time to study those cultures and see how they relate to their Earth counterparts."
"So, have you found any?"
Daniel made a circular gesture with one hand. "Technologies, defenses?"
"Oh, yeah, some," Sam answered vaguely.
Daniel walked over to one of the models on Sam's worktable. Pointing to the one he wanted, he glanced at Sam and silently asked permission to pick it up. She nodded and Daniel picked up a model of a fixed wing, triangular shaped aircraft. "So, is this one of the things you've found on the other side?"
"Actually, that's completely our design," Sam said proudly.
She nodded and said, "It's based on Goa'uld designs, but it's been completely back engineered by us. We're calling it the X-302."
"So what are you doing now," he asked looking at the computer in front of Sam and the sheaf of paper surrounding it.
"Well, we have the ships, but we need to train pilots to fly them. Colonel O'Neill and I will start training the first batch of recruits in a couple of months, so we have to get all the specs and manuals put together now."
"Can I, umm, help with anything?" he asked putting down the model.
"Daniel … " she began avoiding his eyes.
"I take it that's a no," Daniel said with a small smile.
"I'm sorry, Daniel, it's just, most of the research for the X-302 was done last year, and, well …"
"Sam, it's okay, really. I'm just feeling a bit frustrated not being able to do anything or help out." Daniel began to pace. "I'm beginning to remember who and what I was before and I want to be able to contribute something here. Earlier, down in the briefing room, I remembered the first time the stargate was opened."
"Daniel, that's wonderful!" Sam exclaimed.
"Yeah, it is," he agreed. "But that just proves to me that I have something to contribute, and, well … I just want to do something," he finished. Daniel stopped pacing and sank onto a stool, his shoulders were slumped and there was an air of defeat surrounding him.
Sam was silent for a few seconds, then snapped her fingers and asked, "Daniel, have you remembered any of the languages you knew?"
"I'm not really sure, how many did I know exactly?"
"Oh, well, the last count I heard was twenty-three Earth based and fifteen off world dialects."
Daniel said a silent "Wow." at her number. Aloud he replied, "I've been reading some of the books Jack left in the VIP room, and it seems a lot of the Egyptian hieroglyphs have come back."
Sam was staring happily at him. "Daniel, I have the perfect job for you," she said getting up and gesturing for him to follow her. She turned left when she left her lab and headed straight for the elevator. When the car arrived she pulled him in and punched the button for level 18.
"Sam?" Daniel asked. "What is this perfect job of yours?"
Stepping out of the elevator as the doors opened, Sam once again tugged at Daniel's arm. She seemed to ignore his question and instead led him down one hallway, made a left and led him down another. Then she stopped in front of a slightly open door and said, "The best job here for you, Daniel, your old job." With that, she knocked on the door and entered.
"Hey, Jonas," she said.
The man seated behind the desk glanced up as Sam and Daniel entered, then jumped to his feet. Daniel didn't pay attention; instead, he was gawking at the myriad of artifacts, texts, and books cluttering the shelves. He wasn't sure how so much fit into the room. Along with shelves along three walls there was also a desk near the door and a large worktable beside it.
"Major Carter, Dr. Jackson, what can I do for you," Jonas Quinn asked.
Daniel was still staring at various objects and Sam answered. "We were wondering if you might like some help with the backlog of translation work you've got," she asked, nodding at Daniel. "Strictly Earth-based language texts, though. Technically, Daniel doesn't have clearance for any of this, so we have to be a little circumspect. Colonel O'Neill and General Hammond are working on it, so it should be cleared up soon."
Jonas Quinn glanced at Daniel and said, "Uh, sure. Absolutely, Major. I can use all the help I can get to catch up."
"Great, then I'll leave and let you two get started. Daniel, when Colonel O'Neill gets back, I'll let him know where you are," Sam said backing out of the office.
"Hmm? Oh, thanks, Sam. I appreciate that," Daniel replied still distracted by the objects scattered around the office.
After Sam left, Daniel turned to Jonas Quinn. "Umm, so … "
"So … " Jonas repeated. He picked up a pencil put it down, and grabbed a stack of papers and shifted it to the other side of the desk.
"What would you like me to do, Jonas Quinn?"
"If you like … you were an Egyptologist before … "
Daniel could see Jonas Quinn was very nervous. Daniel wondered why the man felt this way now, as he didn't seem to have a problem last night.
Jonas Quinn walked over to one of the shelves and removed a small, clay tablet. Handing the tablet to Daniel he moved back to his desk and shuffled papers until he came up with the one he was looking for. He handed Daniel the paper as well, then hesitated again. "Could you take a look at this one, Dr. Jackson, and tell me what you can make of it?"
"Sure." Daniel took the tablet and the paper describing where and how it was found over to the worktable.
Jonas waited until Daniel was settled at the worktable then sat back behind the desk again. As Daniel picked up a magnifying glass, Jonas said almost shyly, "And Dr. Jackson? You can call me Jonas."
Daniel looked up from the tablet and studied Jonas for a moment. "Okay, Jonas, you can call me Daniel."
Daniel didn't understand the startled, pained look Jonas gave him.
Four hours later, Daniel was making progress on the Egyptian tablet when a hand holding a mug of coffee passed in front of his face.
"What?" Daniel asked vaguely, glancing up. Jonas was watching him from the desk, and following the hand with the coffee, Daniel realized it was Jack standing in front of him. "Oh, Jack, you're back already?"
"Already? Daniel, I left you with Carter almost five hours ago," Jack said, sounding exasperated.
"Oh? You were shopping for five hours?" Daniel asked taking the offered mug.
"No, not even close. I got your stuff in record time and headed back to Carter's lab. When she told me you were down here, I figured you were settled for awhile and got some of my own work done."
Daniel wasn't sure what to say and remained silent.
"So," Jack started, "What does this thing say?" he asked picking up the tablet.
Daniel put the mug down and carefully took the tablet from Jack. Pointing to the first few lines of text, Daniel explained, "From what I can make out so far, it seems to describe a wedding between two people from neighboring villages." Daniel set the tablet on the worktable. "I haven't been able to get too far yet. I keep having to stop and look up symbols and phrases, or ask Jonas what something means."
"It will all come back, you'll see. Before long you'll be so wrapped up in this stuff, it will take pouring the coffee over your head to get your attention."
Daniel glanced at the clock behind him. Seeing it was almost six o'clock, he said goodnight to Jonas and followed Jack to the door. "Jonas?" he said, turning around.
"Would you mind if I came back tomorrow to work on that tablet some more? I think there's something there, but … "
"Oh, sure, Daniel, come back whenever you want."
Daniel was surprised at the look Jack gave Jonas as he nodded his thanks and left.
"It's a mineral substance found to have highly unstable radioactive properties. This experiment seems to indicate the potential for great bursts of energy," a man explained.
"So this is some kind of power generating device?" Sam asked.
The men inside the room were either unconscious or dead; he had to do something before the radiation spread further. Taking his gun, he fired at the window.
"Dr. Jackson, no!"
He ignored the words and tumbled into the room. He tried to grab the core with his right hand, but jerked it back as heat seared his skin. He had to do something! Covering his left hand with his jacket, he yanked out the core.
The pain was excruciating but at least the explosion had been prevented, no one else would suffer. He looked up and saw Jonas Quinn staring at him in horror.
Daniel woke up gasping for air. Immediately he whipped off the blanket and stared at his hands. "No burns," he said softly. "No wonder Jack and Dr. Frasier didn't want to talk about what happened."
He reached over and turned on the light on one of the bed stands. Getting up, he walked into the small bathroom. He stood in front of the mirror over the sink and studied his reflection. "No lesions, no bandages. What that must have done to them to watch that happen to me." He turned on the faucets and splashed water on his face.
He realized sleep would be hard, if not impossible now and sat back on the bed with the journal Jack bought on his lap. He picked up a pen from the bed stand and began to write.
Daniel left his room the next morning on a mission. Now he knew why Jonas was so nervous the day before and he resolved to talk to the other man about what had happened a year ago. He noticed as he walked down the hall to the elevator that his shadow, Airman Thompson, was back again.
Entering Jonas' office, Daniel saw the other man was sitting behind his desk again and he wondered if Jonas had ever left. He closed the door softly and dragged the chair from the worktable to the end of Jonas' desk.
Jonas looked up as he sat. Daniel took a deep breath and said in a solemn voice, "Jonas, I think we need to talk."
Jonas put down the vase he was studying and said, "Okay, what do you want to talk about?"
Daniel sighed and looked down at his hands. "I had a dream last night … the bomb, the radiation, umm, all of it." He looked up to see Jonas was pale and staring at him.
"You hate me, don't you? I wouldn't blame you at all. I mean you -- died -- because of my people and … "
Daniel's suspicions were confirmed. This explained everything; Jonas' nervousness and Jack's look the night before. "No, I don't hate you. You did try to stop me from going into that room. It was my decision." Jonas relaxed slightly as Daniel spoke. "So tell me how you ended up with Jack's team."
Jonas started fidgeting again with items on his desk. He picked up a small figurine and looked at it as he spoke. "My government tried to blame you for the accident. They didn't want to take responsibility, and well … You had told me once that my people would have to find a way to settle their differences if we were going to survive going through the stargate. My government didn't want to listen to that advice, but I did. I wanted to see what was out there, and more importantly, I wanted to honor your sacrifice. I wanted to continue the work you were unable to finish because of the stupidity and egotistical mindset of my people."
Daniel was speechless. He stared at Jonas for a few moments then asked, "But you said your government blamed me. That doesn't sound like a positive step toward sharing knowledge."
Jonas coughed and nodded. "You have no idea how right you are. I had access to the stargate on my planet and I came here behind my government's back; bringing as much naquadria as I could carry. They are not happy with me and will take a lot of pleasure in detailing my death if I ever go back there."
Daniel stared at the man seated in front of him for several seconds. "Was it worth it?" Daniel asked softly.
"Yes," Jonas answered decisively. "I won't kid you and say everything was easy, but over the last year I've learned a lot and helped solve some mysteries along the way."
Daniel nodded at his answer. He wasn't sure yet where he stood with Jonas. They had a tenuous working relationship, and Daniel wondered if it could ever move beyond that.
Daniel and Jonas had been working for a few hours when Jonas' phone rang. "Jonas."
Daniel glanced up, but went back to the small tablet he was working on when Jonas answered the phone.
"Yes, sir, he's here."
Assuming he was the 'he' the conversation was about; Daniel set down the tablet and watched Jonas.
"Yes, sir, I can bring him up." Jonas hung up the phone. Seeing Daniel watching him, Jonas explained, "That was Colonel O'Neill. He wants me to take you down to General Hammond's office."
"Oh, umm, okay." Daniel got up from the worktable and followed Jonas to the door. "We're heading down to General Hammond's office," Jonas told Airman Thompson.
Thompson nodded and said, "Yes, sir." He followed Daniel and Jonas down the hall to the elevator.
"Jonas, what can you tell me about the planet that tablet was found on?"
"That was P2X-656, right?"
"Yeah, I guess so. Why hasn't anyone thought to give them better names?"
Jonas punched the button for the elevator and said, "Major Carter told me it had to do with the program the computer uses to find good stargate addresses."
"Oh, well, that's certainly makes sense," Daniel said sarcastically.
Jonas smiled and stepped into the elevator. "I've heard Colonel O'Neill agrees with you. What did you want to know about the planet?"
"Is it still inhabited?"
"No. From the short survey SG-6 did, the planet's been deserted for a long time, hundreds of years at least. Why?"
"Oh, well, I guess it's not important then. The first part of that tablet talks about a wedding and it was officiated by a priestess of Renenutet."
Jonas looked confused as they stepped out of the elevator. "Who?"
"Renenutet. She was a goddess depicted as a cobra. Ancient Egyptians saw her as the protector of the harvest, good fortune and a happy future. Teal'c didn't mention her the other night when he was telling me about the Goa'uld. I just thought if the planet was still inhabited, we might find something. If it's been deserted for centuries … "
"If what's been deserted for centuries?" Jack asked, coming out of General Hammond's office.
"Oh, hi, Jack," Daniel said slowly. "I was just telling Jonas the text I'm translating mentioned Renenutet. I thought it might be a good idea to go back to the planet the tablet was found on to see what else we -- ahh, you -- could learn."
"Right. Just what I want to do, Daniel, go find more Goa'uld to destroy Earth."
"See that's just it, Jack, Renenutet was seen as a protective goddess. Maybe we -- you -- can find something on that planet to protect Earth from the other Goa'uld."
"Whatever. Right now we have a meeting with Hammond to discuss your clearance." Turning to Jonas, Jack said, "We still have a mission briefing tomorrow for a recon on P2X-422, don't forget."
"I've already done most of the research, Colonel. It won't be a problem," Jonas replied. Daniel noticed Jonas straightened and stiffened his posture under Jack's scrutiny.
"I know." Jack smiled and led Daniel into General Hammond's office. Daniel and Jack both took seats in front of General Hammond's desk. The general was on the phone. "Yes, sir, I will pass that along. Thank you." General Hammond hung up the phone and looked at the two men seated across his desk.
"Dr. Jackson, I'll make this as short as possible," General Hammond said with a smile. "After talking with the Joint Chiefs it was agreed to issue you a temporary grade one or 'confidential' clearance. What this means is, you don't have to worry about being escorted while on base and you have access to past mission reports." Jack was grinning like the cat that got the cream. "Yes, Colonel, it also means Dr. Jackson is allowed to leave the base."
"Great! Daniel, it's too bad hockey season doesn't start for another month, but I'm sure we can find something to occupy your time," Jack said happily.
"Thank you, General Hammond," Daniel said with a small smile.
"You're welcome, son. This is just a short-term fix while we wait for the paperwork on a higher clearance for you. Even if I pull every string I know, getting your old clearance level back is going to take time."
An hour later, Daniel was at Jack's house unpacking the clothing and other essentials Jack had bought for him the day before. He was sitting on the bed looking out the window thinking of ways to start wheedling his old journals away from Jack when there was a knock on the bedroom door and Jack walked in with a small book in his hand. "As promised, I have one of your journals here. This was the first one you wrote. It's, umm, mostly about your time on Abydos."
Daniel took the leather-bound book, opened the cover, glanced at the first page and looked back at Jack. "You read them?"
Jack walked around the bed and gazed out the window. "Yeah, I did," he said softly. "Well, parts of some of them anyway."
Daniel stared at Jack's back. He started to say something when Jack turned from the window and said, "I also made a promise to Carter not to drown you in your own writings. Everything in there," Jack pointed at the book, "you've already remembered something about or guessed. The journal is just to fill in some blanks."
"Thank you," Daniel said simply and opened the cover again.
"Well, I'll just leave you to it, then." Jack left the room, closing the door softly behind him.
Daniel spent the next week either at the SGC translating the clay tablet or at Jack's house reading his old journals or information he found about Renenutet. He filled Jonas in on everything he learned about the cobra goddess and reiterated his belief that the SGC needed to take a closer look at the planet the tablet was found on.
"Daniel, I hate to say it, but with the whole Anubis situation, I doubt Colonel O'Neill or General Hammond will listen to anything I tell them about going back to P2X-656," Jonas said.
"But see, that's the point," Daniel argued. "You're basing your entire strategy to defeat Anubis on finding a planet you know nothing about." Daniel picked up a photo from the desk and held it out. As Jonas took the picture, Daniel continued, "One of the myths surrounding Renenutet was her ability to kill enemies just by looking at them. The text on that wall also says something about the priestess of Renenutet defending the villagers from an attack by 'staring at each man in turn.'" Daniel sat back in his chair and looked at Jonas. "I know this is a long shot, but there might be something -- tangible -- on that planet."
Jonas looked up from the photograph and said patiently, "Like I said before, I'm not sure how well Colonel O'Neill will listen, but I'll talk to him in the mission briefing tomorrow and try to get a team to go back."
Daniel was coming out of his room when Jack came home. "Well, Daniel, you'll be happy to know that you succeeded in corrupting Jonas to your theory about Ren-Tut."
"I'm not sure I'd call it corrupting, Jack. He gave me the tablet to translate. He, and you, by the way, both told me that any theories I had should be included in the translation report," Daniel said, sitting down on the sofa. "And it's Renenutet."
"I know that," Jack groused. "The point is, Daniel, SG-1 doesn't have time to re-survey every planet. We have to keep … "
Daniel raised one hand.
"What?" Jack asked, sounding impatient.
"Jack, I never suggested your team be the one to go back there. Just that I felt a closer look would be beneficial both culturally and in finding a way to defeat Anubis."
"Well, that doesn't really matter, Daniel, because SG-1 was assigned to go back to 656 and check out your theory."
"Oh, well, umm, good." Daniel looked down at his hands. "How long will you be gone? Maybe I can find out some more about Renenutet if I go up to the museum in Denver while you're away."
Jack sat down on the sofa next to Daniel. "Oh, I don't think you'll be going anywhere near Denver, Daniel. You see we have three days to find anything of interest on that planet of yours. And General Hammond has decided Jonas is going to need some help translating all those walls."
Daniel's head jerked up and he stared at Jack.
"That's right, Danny-boy, you're coming along."
~~ End ~~
Comments of all shapes and sizes welcome
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 20 November 2005 )|