Chf'aza sat at her desk, bored out of her mind. With her daughter on the throne, she could finally focus on what she loved: research and development. She'd been responsible for numerous technological advancements, and now she was working on making cars lighter and more efficient. She had everything worked out; all she needed was steel. And her nephew was gladly helping by supervising the mining crew.
She turned around to see her nephew covered with dirt and mud, glistening with sweat. Hra'vakh never sweated unless it was incredibly hot. "What is it, Edan?" she asked.
"You should come and see something," he replied. She got up and followed him out to the waiting car. "We were digging in a promising spot," he explained, "when we came across something that doesn't look like iron."
"Well, what is it?" she asked.
"We have no idea."
"Maybe I can shed some light on it," she shrugged. The dig site was several miles away, and the terrain was boring, flat, and brown. The grass had died due to lack of rain, and she wished there was some way she could control the weather other than through prayer, which worked every once in a great while. But at least water was abundant in te seas and rivers.
The car stopped at a large cliff where a dark grey piece of metal glinted out of the brown dirt. "That?" she asked upon observing it.
"Yes," Edan replied. They got out of the car and climbed the dirt pile up to the exposed piece of the object. She took a look at it and brushed some of the dirt and mud away. "Well, it's metallic," she observed. "But that's obvious. Certainly nothing I've ever seen. Have you tried taking a sample for analysis?"
"Our tools can't touch it."
"What about the diamond-coated blades?"
He held up one of the expensive blades. It was a shambles, the edge bent in all manner of directions, blackened by the sparks of grinding metal on metal. "Carbon-steel, diamond coated. Not a scratch on the object."
Aza was intrigued. "What else have you found?"
"Well..." He led her down to something made of the same material but located near the ground. "There's this."
She took a trowel from the tool palette and started moving the dirt away from the metal. She wasn't worried about damaging it, so she was a bit rougher than usual. "Is it an artifact from our ancestors?" she wondered.
"No telling," Edan shrugged, joining her and handing her a brush. "It was definitely made by somebody."
"Look at this beveled edge," he said, pointing his trowel at the edge of the object they were unearthing. "Nature doesn't form these, especially out of a metal this tough."
"Well, if it's that tough, let's get out the heavier artillery." She traded her trowel for a pick, and started hacking at the tough dirt. A large portion fell away and revealed a series of symbols arranged in what appeared to be a circle. They were glyphs of some language, but not of any she knew. And she knew every language on Hra. She dug a bit further with the trowel and unearthed the entire top of the object: the thirty-eight symbols were aligned in two tiers around a large orange, glass dome. She turned to Edan and said, "I want this entire area excavated as soon as possible. I'm going to call Sakara, Drak and Liasi to see if they can spare anybody."
"I'm sure Danh would be glad to help," Edan chuckled. He turned and shouted to the workers, "We're not abandoning this thing after all. Double time, everybody! I want twenty yards around this area clear to ground level by next Der'eshal!"
Jack O'Neill sat, twiddling his thumbs as Teal'c sat across from him. "Isn't there anything better to do than this?" he asked rhetorically.
"I suppose not, O'Nell," the jaffa replied.
"We haven't seen any action in two weeks."
"Colonel O'Neill and Teal'c to the briefing room," said General Hammond over the intercom.
"Great," Jack said sarcastically. "Might as well. Better than sitting around this dump."He walked with Teal'c to the briefing room and took a seat next to Major Carter. "How are you?" he asked absentmindedly.
"Fine, Sir," she replied. "It's about time we came across a friendly world."
"Friendly?" he said skeptically, raising his eyebrow. "Nine out of the last ten planets turned out to be under Goa'uld control."
General Hammond entered the room and started explaining the upcoming mission. "As some of you know, P6X-556 was recently added to the list of accessible addresses. We sent a MALP through and discovered a sentient species on the other side that appears to be technologically advanced enough to possibly provide some kind of defense against the Goa'uld. Your mission is to make contact with the people of P6X-556 and attempt to establish a relationship with them."
"Boilerplate," Jack muttered. "Might as well go suit up."
Half an hour later, SG-1 stood at the stargate as Sergeant Harriman dialed the address and the wormhole opened. The team walked through the event horizon and out the other side. Jack looked around and saw two of the aliens peering up over rocks, training pistols on the team. He instinctively raised his P90 and trained it on the lighter-skinned of the two.
"Lower your weapons," Daniel said. "They're not firing."
"I can see that," Jack replied, not moving. "But those look an awful lot like Desert Eagles."
"Put the guns down," Daniel pressed. He stepped forward and put his hands in the air. "We come in peace. We're explorers."
The aliens looked at each other and then slowly rose up and came out to meet Daniel, holstering their guns but still keeping their hands ready. The two of them were obviously females and mammallian, but their skin appeared to be smooth like a salamander's and completely hairless. Each one was a shade of green, though one was lighter than the other. They had tails, which twitched back and forth warily.
"Ken tir?" asked the lighter-skinned one.
"What did she say?" Jack asked.
"I...I don't know," Daniel stammered. "It's like nothing I've ever heard."
"Ken tir?" the alien repeated, more sternly this time.
"I am Daniel Jackson," he said, putting his hand on his chest.
"I am Daniel Jackson," she repeated.
"No, that's my name," Daniel replied. He gestured to himself again and clarified, "Daniel Jackson." The alien nodded.
"Daniel Jackson," she said, gesturing to him. Then she placed her hand on her own chest and said, "Chf'aza. Tir Daniel Jackson, Ier Chf'aza. Ipf Ra'liasi."
Daniel turned around and pointed at Major Carter. "Ipf Major Carter." He pointed at Jack and said, "Ipf Colonel O'Neill."
Ra'liasi snorted and then cleared her throat, trying to hold back a grin. Chf'aza smirked and said, "Colonel O'Neill nes ipf'vakh; es pep'vakh. Pep Colonel O'Neill."
"I think I just learned pronouns," Daniel mused. "Ipf is she, and pep is he. Tir is you, and Ier is I."
"Daniel," Jack observed, "I think they're snickering at your accent." The two aliens were trying to hold back girlish fits of giggling. He cleared his throat and got their attention.
Chf'aza turned around and called, "Edan!" Another darker-skinned alien stepped out from behind a dirt pile that was near the DHD. This one was obviously male, and he came forward and said, "Ier Chf'Edan. Liasi seme dama." He gave Liasi a hug. "Beneven a Hra."
A red flag shot up in Jack's mind. "Ra?" He gripped his P90.
"Wait," Daniel said. "There are some cognates here. Beneven—welcome, perhaps? I think he said, 'Welcome to Hra.'"
"Let's see. Ra was the sun god, right?" He pointed at the sun and said, "Ra?"
"Ah...ne, ne," said Edan. He pointed at the sun and said, "Shal." Then he pointed at the ground. "Hra." He gestured at the other two aliens. "Nier hra'vakh. Tir?"
"Nier humans," Daniel replied. "From Earth." He gestured with his hands, simulating a sphere.
"From..." Edan repeated, struggling with the word. Then he gestured similarly to Daniel and said, "Hra?" Daniel nodded. "Ah. Tir ader Earth. Nier ader Hra. Humans ader earth; hra'vakh ader Hra."
"They're trying to teach us the language," Daniel said, turning around. "This is different than anything I've ever heard, expect of course for the cognates. Maybe they're untouched by the Goa'uld." He turned to Edan and asked, "Do you know of the Goa'uld?"
He drew a rough sketch of a symbiote, and then a sketch of a hra'vakh with glowing eyes. Then he drew a ha'tak. "Goa'uld."
"Goa'uld," Edan said, joining Daniel in sketching. He drew a flower, a quadripedal animal, and several other things including charicatures of SG-1.
"No, that's drawing."
"Yes." He motioned to the Stargate. "What do you call that?"
Edan looked back at the others and shrugged. "Ier e'nese."
"'Je ne sais pas', maybe," Daniel mumbled. "He doesn't know what to call the Stargate. Chappa'ai?"
"Eh?" Edan grunted. Daniel tried again. "Khes 'chappa'ai'?"
Aza walked up next to him and whispered something. Then she said, "You said 'Stargate'. We...doesn't know."
"Well you certainly picked that up fast," Daniel chuckled. "The correct word is 'don't.' We don't know. Nier e'nese."
"Well with the language barrier, I don't think we'll get very far," Jack said. "Carter, dial us out. We should go."
"Go?" Aza asked.
"Go," Daniel explained, walking up to the gate. He stepped through the empty ring.
"Ah," Aza smiled. She nodded and then said, "Go."
Daniel turned to Jack and said, "I think she knows we'll be back." He came back around to the front and held out his hand as the wormhole was activated. She took it and shook it, smiling broadly. "Well at least she knows how to do that," Carter remarked. She input the IDC and they stepped through the gate.