Thirty Five Hundred Years

Category: Drama/General

Summary: Life and science without the terror of imminent war.

Rating: PG

Season/spoiler: Future

Status: complete

Archive: Heliopolis, Fanfiction, Gateworld, Carterfic, SJD yes, and whoever who wants it.

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.

Author's Notes: This scene has been rattling around in my muse for around a month. Finally I got the motivation to try and see if I could write something that could do justice to the idea and scenes in my head. This is just a first shot at it. I may add to this… or rewrite some of it… or all of it… haven't decided yet. Muse is undecided… it was hard enough to force Muse to put this much into type… because once things are in type, it forces the story in directions that Muse did not anticipate. Muse does not like losing control!

This story spends some time up-front time with Daniel… and since he has usually been a fairly minor character in my other stories, I thought that it was fitting that he gets some space in this one. Although not an archeologist myself, I have tried to get the dates and such correct for Ancient Egypt. If I got them wrong, please let me know… We geologists rarely look at rocks that are less than a million years old!

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Dry. Dusty.

Old. Abandoned. Derelict.

Ruins of stone.

Shades of light grays and tans.

Covered with a millennia of dirt and dust.

No one had walked here for more than 3500 years.
But the presence of people long since gone still permeated the air.

He pulled in a long, slow breath.
The air was a bit stale and he could taste the ever-present dirt and sand.

His experienced eyes traveled over the room's features.
Dusty grey-brown walls. Covered with hieroglyphics, etchings and murals.
A stone and dirt floor strewn with broken artifacts.
A few small recessed alcoves.
And bones. More… bones.
They'd found the same remnants in each room and passageway.

The refuse of a final battle played out on this ground 3500 years ago.

He allowed his imagination to play a scene for him of what he knew had happened here.

Soldiers defending their god.
Against heretics.

Dying for their god…as the attackers invaded the pyramid temple of their deity.
And the attackers forced their way in.
Losing people for each yard gained.
Soldiers and attackers died and left behind as the battle progressed inwards.
Bodies strewn behind as the battle moved forward.
Bodies that were now bones. Lying in the dust.
Markers and reminders of what happened here.

For this had been -the- battle.

His breath hitched and he closed his eyes and tried to center himself.
Brought himself back from his imagination of the historical scenes.

Here and now.
He was here. He was here, now.
This was now.
The year was 2008. Not 1500 B.C.
Two Thousand and Eight.

And his eyes took in the desolate room and dry stone walls again.

He concentrated on his hearing and he nodded reassurance to himself as he picked up the muffled conversations from his two research assistants in the larger room adjoining the one he was in.

The Here and Now.
He shook his head slowly to himself.

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Now, he lived each day…in the present… and the hours slipped easily into days and weeks.

He carefully whisked the loosened grains aside.
He ran his fingers lightly over the emerging inscriptions.

So painstaking and careful, he worked to uncover the ruins.

There were more than a dozen workers made of graduate students and research assistants. Work was progressing in several different rooms within the temple. Most worked in twos or threes. But today he was working alone. Lost in the simple, careful excavation. The hours and hours of painstaking work to reveal and preserve a small portion of the inscriptions.

Simple work… yet exacting… and unforgiving. A single moment where patience lapsed and he could damage the very artifacts that he was diligently and lovingly trying to reveal and preserve. Pushing a little too hard… rubbing a little too long in one spot… and he could damage or erase what he was attempting to uncover.

He expertly flicked the delicate whisk brush back and forth to remove a bit more of the newly loosened grains of his efforts.

Gently rubbing, occasionally digging… just a little with a fingernail or one of his fine-work tools… many of them looked a lot like dental tools… and, in fact, a few of them were… as he'd discovered over the years what worked best for certain circumstances.

He had this small room to himself today and he'd been working quietly since early morning. He stopped for a moment and assessed his progress and the inscriptions so far uncovered on the low altar.

Running his fingers gently over the gritty surface he let his mind wander as his eyes roamed over the small stone room. He could almost feel the presence of the people who'd once walked and lived here. As if they'd left a portion of essence behind. Where they'd lived hours, days and years of their lives. That time spent and lived left an imprint on the very fabric of what would ever exist here.

Almost tangible. And yet not.
A feeling of ghosts.

He was not superstitious…but he had seen so many amazingly fantastic things and beings in the past decade that… that he could not dismiss his current feelings as simply his imagination. Even though he knew that's undoubtedly all it was. His imagination. Even before the Stargate Program, he'd had these feelings whenever he was on a dig… whenever he took the time to think… to let his mind roam over the history that had happened wherever he was currently standing…

It still felt so real.
That feeling of almost being able to reach out and touch the history and events that had happened here. To almost be able to hold…

It was almost as if the air… as if the air actually held more than just simple gas molecules…

He sighed slowly and shook his head, breaking his ruminations.

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The excavation moved carefully forward.
Each inch slowly and painstakingly uncovered and revealed.
Everything and every stage was photographed.
Items were catalogued and scrutinized.
Hours of discussion occurred at the end of each day.
Journals were filled and new ones started.
Notes were pecked onto laptop keyboards.

Carefully. Scientifically. Everything was uncovered, revealed, preserved.
Revealing the stories, the lives, the events of the people who'd built this structure.
How they'd lived. The structure of their society.
Their beliefs, religions. Their gods.
Much of it corroborated findings from other temples and similar structures.
Much of it corroborated what he'd learned and experienced over the past decade.

None of it caused him much anxiety now.
Those days were passed.
The danger had been met, and they had triumphed.
Most of society still did not know. Was not aware.
And he did not mind. He did not care.

He simply wanted to return to the simplicity of his science.
With challenging intellectual puzzles. Challenging and therefore rewarding.
The comfort of a quiet life. With family and friends and colleagues.

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And again, he reigned his thoughts back to the task at hand.

Gently removing the accumulation of millennia from the inscriptions before him.
Hands occasionally reaching for the small whisk broom.
And grain by grain more was patiently revealed.

The hours passed easily.

And the hours slid into days which easily slipped into weeks and then months.

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"DanielJackson?" the deep tones had been respectfully tamped down and he turned to see his large, stoic comrade standing quietly in the room's entryway.

"Teal'c?" he gave his friend a small smile to let him know that he was not intruding.

"It is past the usual time of the mid-day meal. Would you care to join me?" Teal'c inquired.

"Lunch?" he sighed. "Yeah, I guess a break is a good idea."

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