Well, I worked on this chapter a long time, and I hope it lives up to your expectations. Please let me know. I can't wait to hear from you. :) Enjoy!
After several days on PX-something-or-other, SG-1 was ready to go home. Making nice with the natives was all well and good, but it got tiring when Daniel was the only one who could really talk to them, Cameron thought. Or maybe it was just him.
Whatever way one looked at it, the last thing they needed was an ambush on the way home, before they even got to the 'gate. But here they were, being shot at with dart guns and bows and arrows by unfamiliar tribesman while Sam dialed the stargate as quickly as she could. Apparently, these guys were previously unknown neighbors of the people they had been building PR with for the last half of the past week.
And they obviously didn't like the earthlings in the weird green clothes for some reason.
"Sam!" Cam shouted from where he stood, covering her while she dialed.
"Got it!" she answered immediately. He heard the wormhole open behind him, and squeezed off a few more zat shots at the attacking natives before spinning around.
"Go! Go!" he yelled urgently.
Daniel and Vala were behind cover right beside the 'gate, and both sprinted out from behind the bushes and went through without hesitation. Sam and Teal'c followed them, and Cameron wasn't far behind.
The ride was considerably more bumpy than usual, and when he stumbled out the first thing he noticed on the other side was that he definitely hadn't come out on the metal grated ramp at the SGC. Instead, it was concrete under his feet, and he could hear the others beginning to cry out in surprise. Cam glanced up to see them looking around at an empty, high-ceilinged, metal-walled room, with windows all across the far wall. On the other side of the thick, tinted windows, he thought he saw people, but he didn't have time to focus on them.
Behind them, the wormhole shut down, and there was sizzling, sparking, and a deafening pop. All of them jumped back out of the way, spinning to look at the 'gate…but it wasn't a stargate. It was some kind of smaller makeshift contraption that looked similar, but it definitely wasn't naquidah. That much was made obvious as it shorted out and sat in front of them smoking.
Okay…they weren't home, that wasn't a stargate, and…
"Uhm…that's not a stargate," Vala voiced aloud.
Sam swallowed as they all gathered closer, staring at the whatever-it-was. "Yeah…kinda noticed."
"That's bad," Cam added.
"Ya think?" Daniel snorted. "How are we supposed to get home?"
Teal'c, with his new streak of gray hair, only frowned at the jumble of flawed technology.
"What the…?" Surely the thing wasn't supposed to transport/make/etc people, was it? Carter looked at Allison and Stark, and sure enough, they looked just as clueless as he. That was a first.
Carter jumped back a step again when the device sparked and shorted out. "Holy crap! Well…that was bust; except for the uh….people. Stark, what the heck is going on here?"
The other man didn't seem to enjoy admitting it, but he shook his head. "I don't know. We thought it might be some sort of transport device across time or space, but…"
"We didn't think it would bring other people here." Allison finished for him.
"Oh…" The five people in the chamber were gathered closely, staring back at the contraption and talking amongst themselves. They hadn't noticed the people over here watching them yet, or if they had they didn't care. The conversation seemed urgent, but…"Hey, uh, are we just going to leave them in there?"
Allison sighed and pulled off her goggles. "No, I guess we'd better not." Carter took the cue from her and pulled his off as well, as did Stark. Ally led the way to the door, and he was right behind her, but he was never far behind her, and Stark hovered in the rear. Just before she opened the door he thought of something.
"Uhm, they aren't aliens are they?"
"We don't know at this point. Considering what I think that device did, they could have come from anywhere and be anything."
"Oh, that's comforting."
Allison rolled her eyes. "Quiet. Let's see what we've gotten ourselves into this time."
Daniel was the first to notice the door opening, and prodded the others to look over by the windows. They all turned to see three inhabitants of the planet come through the door, looking at them curiously. The one in front was a woman, dressed as if she were in charge of something, and two men. One, the taller one, had dark hair and was in a lab coat--confirming his suspicions that this was some type of scientific research facility--and the other had lighter hair and was in tan slacks and shirt that looked unbelievably similar to the uniforms of some police on Earth…
He glanced back at Mitchell, who shrugged for him to go ahead, since he was the diplomatic brains of the team anyway. Apparently he was on his own on this one; Vala or teal'c would have said something by now if they recognized anything about this planet. Not that there was much to recognize in the sterile environment.
Daniel slipped his pack off of his back and stepped forward a couple of feet. "Uhm…okay, do you understand English? Do you know what I'm saying?"
The woman looked at him strangely, the taller man raised an eyebrow, and the shorter one smirked uneasily, as if surprised. "Uh, gosh, I hope so," he joked. The woman looked at him with a warning glance and then turned back to Daniel.
"Yes, we understand you. My name is Allison Blake. Do you know how you got here?"
Well, the name wasn't too alien. That was always a plus. He smiled. "I'm Daniel Jackson. Unfortunately, no, we don't know. We're just as confused as I can see you are. We were trying to get home through the stargate system, but the wormhole came out on this planet somehow; not that I know any of that science. That would be her field," he said, nodding to Sam.
The shorter man's eyes were a whole lot wider now. "Yeah, Allison…please don't tell me I heard what I just thought I heard."
"What do you think you just heard?" the dark-haired one asked. The condescending tone he held was unmistakable.
"That we're standing in a room with five aliens--that look just like humans."
And they called themselves humans as well. That wasn't completely unusual, but why was this starting to feel wrong somehow?
Blake gave this man another warning glance, but this time also said, "Carter…"
Sam's eyebrows went up, and Daniel had to bite back a snicker. Okay, that was interesting.
"Sorry," the man--Carter--shrugged. He scratched the back of his head. "This is kind of a lot to take in…if they really are aliens, I mean…well, actually, even if they aren't it's still--"
"Can it, Carter," the other man cut him off.
Blake sighed in exasperation and turned her attention back to SG-1, coming closer. "I'm sorry. But he's right…this is a little different than even what usually goes on here."
"Where are we, anyway?" Cameron asked, glancing around again.
"A top-secret, extremely advanced research facility," the as-yet-unnamed man answered, crossing his arms. "It's advanced and top-secret to us anyway, though I suppose if you can travel between planets…" He trailed off, seeming genuinely interested now, instead of his attitude of a moment before toward, uhm, Carter.
"You did say that, didn't you?" Blake asked hesitantly.
Daniel nodded. "Yes, I did. Wasn't that what you were trying to do…?" he motioned vaguely toward the contraption behind them.
Blake winced. "Actually, we weren't really sure what we were trying to do."
"What do you mean?" Sam asked.
"Uhm...an anonymous source gave us the information on how to build this device, but they didn't tell us what it did…It's hard to explain. But I guess its not important."
"You say there are more of these out there?" the dark-haired man asked.
Sam smiled. "It's a whole network of what we call 'stargates'. They're large rings about three times that size, actually. They're made out of an element called naquidah, and they create stable wormholes between different rings on different planets, which provides for almost instantaneous travel between planets."
Carter finally managed to speak again. "Sweet."
Now who did that remind him of?
Daniel smiled to himself. "It is pretty amazing. On our planet we've been doing this for about eleven years, and we've learned more about the universe in that time than in the thousands of years of science before that."
"Uhm, excuse me, but if you're aliens, why do you speak our language?" Carter asked. The poor man seemed completely out of it, curious and excited only out of shock, but not truly understanding the scope of what was happening--maybe not even believing. That wasn't uncommon, when they made first contact with new worlds. Daniel just hoped he would be all right later, when he realized this was all real.
Cameron's eyebrows went up. "How are we supposed to explain that one?"
It was Teal'c who provided the solution. "We will tell them of the Goa'uld. Though they are no longer a threat, they are still the explanation for many ambiguities in this galaxy."
"He has a point there," Vala nodded.
All three of the inhabitants were looking confused. "I'm sorry; the Goa-what?"
Daniel sighed. "It's a long story. We have a lot to talk about, and obviously we have to figure out how to get home…" he felt his face bunch in worry at that, but he straightened it out again. "But before we get to anything else, I assume that the leaders of your planet or your region or whatever it is that you have will want to know that you have…well…" He motioned to the five of them, and Blake nodded.
"Of course. Of course. Ah, please, follow me," she said, starting back for the door. Then she stopped again. "Actually, I guess we should introduce ourselves first," she said, turning back.
Daniel nodded. "That's fine." He and the rest of them would go along with whatever order they wanted to do things in. They had been through this before; there was no reason to make the people of the new planet more uncomfortable by insisting they do things the Earth way. Just go with it. "You already know my name." Then he pointed to each of his team members in turn. "This is Cameron Mitchell, Vala MalDoran, Teal'c, and…Samantha Carter."
The other Carter blinked in surprise at this. "Okay that's definitely weird. Cool, I guess, but weird. Uh…I'm Jack, by the way. Jack Carter."
That was funny. Daniel couldn't resist an extremely undiplomatic small snort of laughter, and he saw Cam and Teal'c smile, and Sam giggle. Vala just didn't quite get it. She'd met Jack O'Neill, and she'd known Sam for a while, but she hadn't been around both of them at the same time enough to understand why that was laughable.
"What?" Carter asked, face falling
Daniel swallowed his laughter. "Sorry--it's not you. It's just that we know someone else named Jack; beyond that it would be hard to explain."
Blake cut in to salvage the conversation. "You already know my name too, and this is Nathan Stark." The other man held up a hand for a split second, smiled, and dropped it again.
Daniel nodded. "Great." This was obviously a very Earth-like culture, not uncommon, that was very much like earth had been before the discovery of the stargate, and as the rest of it that didn't know still was. They were a little overwhelmed by the prospect of people from other planets. Teal'c and the zats probably didn't help either, as strange as they probably looked to such a culture. Teal'c had the whole thing on his forehead, and they didn't even have most of their usual guns, having been on the planet they'd been on several days. They'd only had zats when they'd been attacked, and they were lucky that they'd gotten away unscathed…even if it had led to this.
Blake smiled, starting become more comfortable, finally. "Just follow me." She went past carter and Stark and out the door. The two men seemed to be waiting, so Daniel and Cameron led SG-1 out and after her before the two native men came out behind them. Blake led them out into the main part of what must have been a lab of some sort, and then into a wide, deserted corridor.
Daniel found Carter falling into step beside him, and looking at him curiously. "So…uh….what's your planet called? This is Earth, by the way, in case you were, like, wondering or something."
Daniel started to answer the question before he realized what had been said. That was when he stopped in his tracks, bringing the whole little train to a halt, and stared at the man.
"This is what?"