:: opening ::

The wormhole closed behind SG-1 as the team stood in front of the stargate, taking in their new surroundings. The stargate was located in a clearing and the surrounding forest vegetation appeared to be similar to that which was found in the temperate rainforests of Earth. The skies above were clear and although it was barely becoming lit with the first rays of morning, the forest was already wide-awake with the noises of the local wildlife.

"What a racket," the team's leader, Colonel Jack O'Neill, remarked. "It must be impossible for the locals to get any sleep."

"Not necessarily, sir. If you grew up with this noise all your life, you'd learn to block it out after a while. It's no different than growing up by an airport or right next to a busy street," Major Samantha Carter said.

"But it still is really noisy," O'Neill said and Carter had a small smile on her face as she agreed with him.

"The MALP didn't show any air pollutants, right?" Doctor Daniel Jackson, the team's archeologist, asked.

"That is correct, Daniel Jackson," Teal'c replied as he scanned the area surrounding the stargate for any potential threats.

"So no advanced civilization, but someone said something about suspecting there were natives?"

"Well, Daniel, there's a path right there," O'Neill said, pointing toward a well-trodden path that lead into the forest, "and generally, paths mean people."

"Footprints also usually indicate the presence of humans," Teal'c added, pointing with his staff weapon towards the ground in front of the dial-home device where footprints were apparent.

"Good observation, T," O'Neill said. "Now how about we go find the locals?" In agreement, the team walked through the clearing and onto the path as they entered the forest; O'Neill in the lead with Daniel behind him, then Carter and Teal'c bringing up the rear.

A voice from behind them made them all jump however and turn in surprise. "Who are you?" They turned around to find a little boy, no older than eight, standing behind the DHD, staring at them. His blond hair was cropped short and his eyes were a light shade of blue, opened wide in what appeared to be surprise.

Daniel was the first to speak. "We're travelers. I'm Daniel Jackson and-"

"You're men." The boy's tone was accusatory.

Daniel was taken aback by this. "Well, three of us are."

"Men can't use the Water. Only the Mothers know how."

Daniel thought for a moment, choosing his words carefully before answering. "We don't know the Mothers and we come from a different place, where many different people know how to use theā€¦ Water."

The boy looked at them, his brow furrow in obvious confusion. Daniel took this opportunity to ask a question of his own. "What's your name?"

"I am Natan, born of Corine to Marak." He did not pause to answer and the words sounded strangely automatic, as if he was asked this question all the time.

"Do you live near here?" Carter asked.

He nodded, pointing towards them and the path. "A short walk that way. Do you wish to accompany me home? The Fathers will want to meet you."

Carter turned to speak to O'Neill, who had been strangely silent this whole time, "Sir, what do you-" She stopped mid-sentence however when she saw that she was speaking to thin air.

O'Neill was gone.