Author: Black Hawk
Archive: Please ask first.
Rating: PG, one swear word. If I write more the rating may raise.
Spoilers: The beginning of Stargate up to Season 6's"Prometheus." Other than that nothing really.
Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the author(s).
Here's a seasonal tale for all who are so inclined. It's set in the future where (at least in my version) SG-1 consists of the original members (Daniel, too!) and Jonas. Have fun!
Based on the song by Loreena McKennitt, lyrics by Archibald Lampman.
There. He thought he could just make out another scratch etched in the rock that would make the letter a- no wait- that was just a stain from the smoke of fires. Dr. Daniel Jackson sighed, thoroughly frustrated. They'd been on this planet for more than five hours now without a sign of life other than this large cave and it's bizarre structures. There was something about these tablets attached to the wall, however. Written in a language that apparently only resembles cuneiform in appearance, the Ph.D. stood back to take another photograph with his digital camera. He'd have to analyze it more when he got back to Earth.
The scuff of boots behind him caught his attention and the young archaeologist turned to see Major Samantha Carter. "Oh, hey Sam."
The young woman smiled and simultaneously pointed her head towards the inscription on the walls behind him. "How's it coming?"
Daniel reached behind his glasses to rub his tired eyes. "Not as well as I'd hoped. It appears to be some form of language from ancient Mesopotamia, but I can't be sure. I'll have to study it more when we get back. You?"
She held out a vile full of rock samples. Dr. Jackson nodded. If only his quest had been as fruitful.
"Well, campers, whadda we got?" Col. Jack O'Neill strolled into the cave from the weak sunshine outside, removing his large sunglasses.
"Not as much as I'd hoped," Daniel wearily turned back to the inscriptions. "I can't figure it out."
"Ah. Well. All good things come in time. Teal'C and I are going to scan the perimeter again, then we're off."
Sam nodded curtly. "Yes, Sir."
As the colonel met up with the waiting Jaffa a few feet outside of the cave entrance, Jackson turned back to scrutinize the writings once more. Leaning in closer, he could feel the excited tug of discovery flit across his mind for a moment. These symbols… they looked a bit like… "Ah!" Daniel jumped in the air and put his hands on his head in excitement.
Sam looked up from her packing, startled. "Something wrong?"
"No. No, it's just I- Sam I think this is a variation of the writing we found on Earnest's planet."
Sam stepped closer. "Really?"
Daniel brushed some more dirt off of the wall, not making it any cleaner but helping him to think. "A very crude adaptation… but I think so."
Sam raised her eyebrows briefly in interest.
"Sam… this could be a significant discovery. These people could be the descendants of the Ancients."
"But… there's no one here…"
"Well maybe these writings will tell us. I mean we're in a cave. The survivors of whatever happened here would have fled to somewhere like this…"
"Can you read it?"
"I dunno… it's a variation, unlike any known language on earth and belongs to a culture that left our galaxy and maybe even plane of existence millennia ago…"
"So you can't." Sam smiled affectionately, enjoying every second of time spent with her newly "descended" teammate.
"Or maybe I can…" he leaned forward once again, his eyes racing over the writings in front of him. "Ig haluphth… halumpth ex daeus…"
"Daniel! Carter! Let's go!" Jack called from the cave entrance.
"Wait- Jack this is something important-"
"Daniel. It's a cave. Now let's go."
"Sir, this may be evidence that the people of this world had contact with the Ancients," Major Carter spoke up, immediately catching her CO's attention.
Jack adjusted the brim of his hat, his voice more respective now. "All right. Whaddaya got?" Both he and Teal'C stepped forward into the cavern to view the writings on the cave wall in the light of a strategically placed lantern.
"From what I can tell it's some sort of crude variation of the writings of the Ancients that we found on Earnest's planet. It says something like Ig haluphth ex daeus."
"Meaning…?" Jack raised his eyebrows.
"… I have no idea."
Jack sighed. "Okay. Take pictures. Pack up. You can play with it some more when we get back."
Colonel O'Neill, Sam and Teal'C all began to buckle their packs and stow away any remaining items that they'd used while Daniel continued to scrutinize the wall, unable to tear himself away. He gently traced the writings with his fingertips, speaking quietly under his breath. "Ig haluphth ex daeus… Ig haluphth ex daeus…"
"Ig haleth ek dios."
Upon hearing the disembodied voice, the startled archaeologist spun around to face his newest team member, Jonas Quinn. The older man squinted slightly behind his glasses. "What did you just say?"
"Ig haleth ek dios, ig haleth yen numios."
Daniel stared wide-eyed, mouth slightly agape at the man who had sneaked up on him. "…You can… read this?"
Jonas shook his head and frowned slightly. "No."
Jackson cocked his head. "Then…how…?"
The younger man behaved as if realization had suddenly dawned on him. "Oh! Oh, it's from a song."
The archaeologist raised his eyebrows in surprise. "A song?"
"Yes. My mother used to sing it to me." The alien looked at his earthling counterpart wearily. "…Is something wrong?"
"Jonas, this is a dead language, I mean as far as we know. It's written in a variation of the language of the Ancients… your mother used to sing this to you?" his pace of speech surged and slowed with excitement.
"Daniel?" Jack tried to get his friend's attention from a few yards away.
In response, Daniel held up his hand in a "wait" gesture, his attention still fixed on the more than slightly uncomfortable Jonas Quinn. Jack tried not to let the response peeve him. Daniel was back, and he'd promised himself to try not to let a little squabble get in the way of their friendship again. Instead of issuing a wise-ass remark to the archaeologist's gesture, he decided to investigate, causing Sam and Teal'C to follow him first with their eyes, and their feet a few moments later.
Jack stood beside Daniel, who was still staring at a rather uncomfortable alien. "What's up?"
Daniel continued to scrutinize the youngest team member. "He can speak their language."
"No I can't!" Jonas responded almost defensively.
"Yes… yes you can. You just did."
Jonas raised his eyebrows. "Noooo I did not. I recited the lyrics to a song, there's a big difference."
"No, there isn't."
Jonas looked to Jack who was just as confused as he was.
"You pronounced those words perfectly. If they're from a song that your mother used to sing then somewhere along the line Kelowna must have had somewhat recent contact with the Ancients."
Sam darted her inquisitive stare from the archaeologist to Jonas who let his shoulders relax slightly in understanding.
"So…. Jonas can read Ancient?" Jack tried to sound like he followed where the conversation was going.
"No, but I think he can help us crack the language."
Jonas, for his part, was a bit curious as to why everyone insisted on speaking of him as if he wasn't there. "How?"
"Do it again," Daniel's blue gaze would not relinquish its hold on the alien.
Jonas shook his head and spoke in an amused tone. "Do what?"
"Speak it…or… sing, it. Whatever it is you did before."
Jonas would have taken a step back to shift his weight if Teal'C and Sam weren't directly behind him. More than a little embarrassed by being asked to sing in front of his new teammates, the young man swallowed hard. "Ig haleth ek dios, ig haleth yen numios. Fyè yekth humien faltiriros shièn mylaketh ek sienier yon faronth nough…"
Daniel's eyes were on fire with excitement and wonder. "Do you know the words in English? A translation of any kind?"
The younger man closed his eyes, remembering. When he opened his mouth Daniel had to restrain himself from hugging him and dancing around in the excitement of discovery and revelation.
"White are the far-off plains, and white
The fading forests grow;
The wind dies out along the height
And denser still the snow,
A gathering weight on roof and tree
Falls down scarce audibly."
Sam released the breath that she didn't even know she was holding. "That's beautiful."
Jonas smiled weakly. "It was my mother's favorite song. She used to sing it to us when she tucked us in at night," his gaze was distant now, memories of a long forgotten tune bringing back haunting images of his past.
Daniel turned to O'Neill, his eyes still on fire. "Jack, this is the key to cracking their language." He laughed almost insanely, "It's what we've been looking for. We might even be able to find out where they went, who they were…"
"Meaning of life stuff," Jack profoundly added, his reflective demeanor drawing more than just a casual glance from Samantha.
Daniel smiled, knowing that Jack fully understood and appreciated the discovery. That in and of itself was rare.
Somewhat relieved to have the attention of his teammates focused on something other than him, Jonas tugged at the collar of his jacket but stopped in mid-tug when he noticed Teal'C still gazing at him, eyebrow raised. He offered him a small smile then turned back to Daniel and Jack.
"Okay. I think we're done here. Daniel, you and Jonas can finish talking and… singing when we get home. Let's move out," Jack began for the Stargate, his team following, a hurried Dr. Jackson hastily slinging his pack over his shoulder then reaching for his lantern.
He should have known. It's a hard task for a culture to disappear completely. Even harder for one as powerful as the Ancients to disappear with little more than tantalizing evidence to their existence. Maybe they weren't as far-gone as he'd thought. Whatever the answer, Daniel couldn't help but feel that he was on the brink of something big, and his newest team member and friend seemed to be the missing link.
Author's note: So…whadda you guys think?! Should I continue? I've a whole path I can follow with this if you will. I am just waiting for your consent and affirmation that you will follow me on that path before continuing. Please e-mail me or write a review to tell me what you think and I'll love you forever! This is my first SG-1 fic.