The Gift of Grace

Chapter 1: Bright Lights

"Forget the engines! Give them everything we got!" A man Grace didn't recognise called out to his comrades. He was sitting at the helm of a strange looking vessel. There was fire and strange bright things flying around him but he didn't seem to take any notice.

A ship Grace can see to the right of her, looking like the Ha-taks that were currently on Earth, fell to pieces before her eyes. She started to panic as a stream of light headed to another ha-tak not far from the now destroyed one.

"Can you beam me back on board?" She heard her mother's voice somewhere behind her but when she looked she saw nothing but a giant Chaapa'ai against the night.

"Sorry, Colonel. We've lost beaming capabilities as well as hyperdrive and sub light engines. We're also experiencing hull breach in several places. Just hold..." There was static.\

"Marks? Marks, are you there?" Then the woman swore. Grace had never heard her mother swear before and it seemed strange that she would do so, even in these circumstances. "Jack, I wish you were here right now." Her mother mumbled to herself, clearly unaware Grace could still hear her. That was when her thoughts jumped. Where was her father?

Her thoughts were cut short, however, when one of the beams of light shot down towards where Grace stood on the alien vessel. She tried to scream, to tell someone to do something but there was a sudden flash of bright light and then total darkness.

The image of their faces seemed to be burned into her mind as Grace woke from her fitful dream to the sound of her own screaming.

She felt the hot tears that streamed down her face but did not try to stop them this time. She hugged her father's military jacket around her tightly, attempting to shake the feeling that something terrible was about to happen from her mind.

Admitting to herself that she would not be able to return to sleep that night, she stood from her makeshift bed on the ground and walked around the humble tent that recently had become her home. It was freezing but she did not light a fire, not wanting to alert anyone of her condition, especially her guardian that she was sure was still sleeping comfortably with his wife in the next compartment.

She stayed huddled in a corner of her room until light poured into the tent from the newly risen sun, the khaki jacket wrapped around her legs that were held tight to her chest. She was staring straight ahead and did not see Daniel enter until he was standing right in front of her, and had put a hand on her shoulder.

"Grace?" He questioned, concern written all over his fair features.

"Mmm." She replied, her gaze not wavering.

"Grace, can you look at me?" She did, her dark eyes sparkling with unshed tears.

"Did you have another nightmare?" He asked of her, kneeling down onto the sand. Grace nodded, a single tear falling from the movement. "Was it the same one?" Grace nodded again, more tears sliding down her cheeks. Daniel moved to wipe them away with his thumb and Grace still did not move.

After a few moments silence, Daniel looked troubled by something and it was the blonde's turn to worry. "Danny?" He looked up at her and smiled, albeit very weakly.

"I thought this day couldn't come soon enough, but now your 17, I wonder where the time has gone." Grace tried to comfort his sudden change of mood with a warm smile. But it soon vanished when she remembered how Daniel always told her she looked like her mother when she smiled, and she knew it pained him.

Daniel gave out a great sigh and stood up, holding out his hand to help her up as well. "I need to tell you something." Was all he said and it was all that needed to be said. Grace trusted him with her life and she took his offered hand without question.

--

"So you're saying the machine is still around somewhere out there?"

"Yeah." Daniel replied, his head hung low as he was interrogated by this young girl.

"Why the hell didn't you tell me this before?" She all but screamed at him. Grace couldn't believe that her best friend and the best friend of her now deceased parents would keep something like this from her when he knew she was having visions. She could do something about it and she didn't even know, until now. "I've got to go warn them!"

Grace got up from the chair, ready to head off but Daniel grabbed her arm.

"Grace." Grace didn't look at him, her face set. "Grace, you can't."

"And why not!" She hissed, turning on him suddenly. Daniel visibly recoiled from the venom in her voice but Grace was too blinded by her rage. "Daniel, I have a way to save my parents from another horrible death. I'm going to go and you can't stop me."

"Grace, they aren't your parents."

"What? And you are?" She yelled at him, "They share my DNA and that's closer than you will ever be." She finished, snatching her arm back and storming out of the tent.

--

Outside she ran into Daniel's wife, Nathifa, but did not stop and ran to the edge of the tents. There she stopped, looking out at the great pyramids in the distance. She had never been there herself, being hidden by her family because of her appearance. They feared her being condemned for her differences, but she already had by her peers. It didn't matter to her much, however, as she preferred to be alone. She had all she ever needed and never asked for anything more.

She had not noticed how long she was out there until the sun had set and she heard footsteps behind her. She did not have to look at who it was; the heaviness of the feet told her it was Teal'c.

"Grace O'Neill," He greeted her, knowing it made her smile when he said this. With her parents gone, she felt like she was missing a piece of herself and Teal'c made her feel like she belonged with so few words, only his silent, comforting presence and the mention of her father's name attached to her own.

"Hey, T."

"May I enquire as to the reason of your absence at this day's training, Grace O'Neill?"

"Just had a lot on my mind, T." Grace took her eyes from the pyramids and looked at the large Jaffa, so far from his home. He was the only one apart from herself that felt like an outsider. Daniel knew the language and had even married one of the locals. But out here, isolated with her closest and only friends, she knew she would never truly fit in to this culture. She did not belong in this time.

"Danny told you what happened." She stated rather than asked.

"Indeed." Grace nodded, understanding why. She wouldn't dare talk to the man himself right now. Sending Teal'c had been a good decision on his part. Right now, those were hard to count for Grace.

The pair of them stayed side by side with their eyes set on the horizon. No words were exchanged between them. The silence was enough.

--

Grace didn't return to her tent until she was sure that Daniel would not be awake. But when she arrived, ready to go to bed for the night, Nathifa was there waiting for her. Without her mother, Nathifa was the only female influence Grace had but her and Daniel's wife had never been close like she had with her mother.

"Hello, Grace." She said in her broken English. She knew Grace spoke her language perfectly but knew she preferred to speak English when she could.

"Nathifa." Grace answered, not really willing to talk at this time. She walked right past the dark woman and headed to her part of the tent that passed as her room.

"Grace, I would talk to you." Grace stopped at her tent flap and turned slowly and deliberately to emphasise her feelings about it. Nathifa just looked at her intently, making Grace feel like she could read her mind.

"Yes?" She said, getting uncomfortable under her gaze.

"Dannyel is upset this morning."

"yes." She replied simply, crossing her arms across her chest.

"He told me about machine."

"Did everyone know?" Grace bawled out, suddenly very emotional and throwing her hands up as if in defeat.

"Everyone but you mother." Nathifa told her calmly, a hint of a smile gracing her lips. Grace couldn't help but give out a choked laugh at the woman's idea of a joke.

"Yeah, Daniel told me about the General and how he wanted to keep it. He buried it without my mother knowing." Grace laughed at the idea but it was hard to picture that jack would keep anything from Sam. They were always so open with each other.

Nathifa moved to her side as Grace blinked back the tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. "I miss them so much." Nathifa nodded, pulling her into her arms and for the first time in a long while, Grace cried openly.

--

In the morning, Grace was awoken by Nathifa. It was still dark and the older woman held in her hand a large bag.

"I will show you." Was all she said and exited the tent. It was curiosity above anything else that compelled Grace to go with her. Once outside, still wrapped in her old tattered military jacket that she wore to bed, Nathifa put the bag in her hands and took her out of the little encampment they lived in. They walked for a good few hours, only to stop in a deserted place with only large sand dunes in sight. Grace still saw the pyramids far off in the distance but the sight of the village was far behind them.

"Here." Nathifa told her. She took the bag from Grace and when she opened it, she noticed all her things in the bottom of the bag. She was about to ask about it until Nathifa took out a few tools.

"Nathifa, what is going on?" Grace couldn't help but ask as she started to dig into one of the larger sand dunes.

"You go home." And then it clicked in Grace's mind. Nathifa was helping her find the ancient ship that would send her to her parents. She could help them and warn them about her visions. Grace suddenly ran up to her friend and threw her arms around her neck.

"Thank you so much." When they pulled apart, Nathifa just smiled.

"Do not tell Dannyel."

"If this works, I won't have a chance to." Grace laughed with joy as they continued to uncover the key to Grace's past and her future.

--

Ok, so tell me what you think. Should I continue?

By the way, I am continuing with Blood and Water but I'm having a little trouble so bare with me.