Chapter 1: Something Strange on P3G-823

Daniel Jackson looked up from his notes when he heard the sound of someone loudly clearing his throat. "Hmm? What do you want Jack? I'm kinda in the middle of something here."

Colonel Jack O'Neill was leaning casually against the door frame with his hands in the pockets of his BDU. "I'm here to remind you that you have a briefing scheduled with the General."

"Oh, right, yeah. I'll be there."

"It started five minutes ago," said Jack.

"What?" Daniel quickly looked at his watch. "Oh, sorry, I kinda got wrapped up in the translations from P3G-823. I lost track of the time." He quickly gathered up half a dozen scattered folders from his desk. "I'm coming." He got up from his chair, and came around to the door.

Jack waved Daniel ahead of him as he left his office. "After you. The General threatened to bust me down to airman if he saw me again first."

"I'm really sorry about this, Jack," said Daniel as he moved quickly toward the main conference room of the SGC.

"I know, that's what you always say," said Jack. "Don't worry about it. You got me out of listening to Carter explain her latest theory. If I've timed this right, she'll just be finishing up when we get there."

Daniel pushed open the conference room door. "…which should increase the efficiency of our naquadah reactors by better than ten percent," said Major Carter as he entered the room.

Daniel took a quick look around. In addition to Sam and the General, Teal'c, Dr. Fraiser, and the other SG team leaders were all present. "I'm sorry I'm late, everyone." He took his seat beside Sam. "I got caught up in my translation of the P3G-823 carvings."

"Now that you are here, Dr. Jackson, perhaps you can give us your report on how that is progressing," said General Hammond.

"Yes, sir," said Daniel. "The script is a derivative of the Asgard, but the language itself doesn't seem to be closely related. More like someone took the Asgard alphabet, and adapted it to a different language. Kind of like Cyrillic is derived from the Greek alphabet."

"So, have you translated any of it?" asked Jack.

"I've gotten a good start, but I also found something else," said Daniel. "I'm not the first person to try to translate this language. A curator at the British Museum did a translation in 1995."

"What?" asked Jack. "How did some Brit translate something nine years before we found it on another planet?"

"Because there was a similar temple, here on Earth," said Daniel. "It was uncovered somewhere in the Shetland Islands, off the northern coast of Scotland."

"'Somewhere'?" asked Jack.

"Yeah, there was some sort of accident," said Daniel. "The team doing the excavation were all killed in 1992. Their boat sank in a storm when they were coming back to the mainland, they never had the chance to tell anyone the exact location, and no one has been able to find it since. All anyone had to work with were some photographs that were in their notes that washed up on the shore a couple of weeks later. They went to a curator at the British Museum. He published a paper about them, with his translation in '95."

"So, somewhere out there, off the coast of Scotland is a temple, that may be full of deadly alien technology?" asked Jack. They had barely gotten out of P3G-823 alive.

"That's right," said Daniel. "I'd like to contact this guy, and see if he's got anything that wasn't published. Maybe show him some of the photos we have of inscriptions, see what he thinks of them."

"You can't tell him where you found them," said General Hammond.

"Of course not," said Daniel. "According to his theory, the temple belonged to some sort of lost Norse sub-sect—the runes are similar to Norse runes, which are also derived from the Asgard. The Norse traveled all over northern and eastern Europe. I'll tell him that a similar find was discovered in Latvia, or some such."

"And if he wants to know exactly where, or why you can't tell him?" asked Jack.

"The countries that used to be part of the former Soviet Union have a thriving criminal underground," said Daniel. "Their criminals embraced capitalism a lot more quickly than their governments. Most archaeological discoveries there are looted by treasure and relic hunters before the legitimate researchers can do a proper excavation. This has made the legitimate researchers very secretive when they find something really interesting. Dr. Giles will understand if I can't tell him just where this is."

"Dr. Giles?" asked Jack.

"Yes," said Daniel. "Dr. Rupert Giles."