Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 belongs to MGM, Reanassicance Pictures, and its respective producers and creators as do all of the characters who appear here or are mentioned; they are not mine. Sanctuary and its characters belong to the SyFY Channel etc.
"Stranger Things" by Karen
While it was not unheard of for one of the Gul to find a way of infiltrating and finding a way to hide in plain sight among the inhabitants of the Tau'ri as the people of Earth were commonly referred to; Baal, discovered that the more things changed, the more they stayed the same.
He had also discovered that in this Western Edge of the nation state the humans called San Francisco, it had been far easier than he had ever imagined to maintain his distance from the SGC.
The SGC and their government had every reason to not want him wandering around and stirring up trouble. And yet, in the grand of scheme of things; he was not here to cause trouble, not really.
The Gou'ald had been mighty once, lords of an interstellar star system that most of the humans on this miserable rock could never have imagined.
As he continue to wander on down the street sunk deep in his own meandering thoughts, Baal; Benjamin Lawson, an assumed name that he had hit upon as a step in the process of reinventing himself; he came to the realization that if the humans of the Star Gate Command It was then that he realized that they had greatly underestimated humans.
"The SGC.....and the allies they made in the course of the conflict had not stood only risen to the occasion on numerous fronts, but had do so with skill and grit. He might not have to like it, but at heart Baal was a realist, and the facts of the matter were undeniable. "Respect, grudging as it might be, but it is respect."
When the squealing of metal-shod tires on concrete and gravel brought him to a halt on the empty side street and Baal swiveled around; his instincts of self-preservation and training and experience coming to the fore. "Who is there!"!
He adopted a fighting stance. While there was perhaps very little on this world that could pose a potentially lethal threat to one such as he; it was always a wise policy to be on the alert. And, despite his plan to reinvent himself, to start over as far as possible from the SGC and by extension any of the various governmental or military units; there would always be the lingering doubt in his mind that they had not given up searching for him.
"Who is there! I demand that you show your face!" he shouted.
The screech of the wheels growing gradually louder and he realized that it was more than one of the sleek metallic ground vehicles, but two. Their sides were a matte black divided diagonally but a slashing band of brilliant red. The riders of the motorcycles swept around and deliberately blocked the only way out of the square formed by the residential buildings that stood on either side of his present position.
"What do you want with me! I am rapidly losing patience with this pathetic game of cat and mouse!"
The rider to his left muttered a comment in aside to his or her companion. The sex of the the riders was difficult to determine for one of two reasons: one, they were both clad alike in form-fitting black leather clothing and two they both had helmets on.
"Are you certain this is the guy?"the rider on his right muttered to his companion.
"As certain as I can be, under the circumstances."
"Good enough for me." The first rider, to his left, brought his machine to a halt and dismounted and left it idling in place. Approaching Baal s position he held out his arms in front of his body with the palms of his hands spread flat out in the universal gesture of unarmed, non-hostile intent.
For his part Baal thought the gesture and this sudden change in the strangers approach both oddly incongruous and perhaps intentionally disarming. As if the intent was to lull him into a false sense of security. If had been carrying weapons of any sort it was not immediately obvious. In the back of his mind he had considered simply disengaging from the situation but the immediate exists out of the corner was blocked by remaining rider.
"I am not amused," he remarked aloud.
"Look, relax, will you? We don t want to harm you."
"You have a mighty peculiar way of showing it." Baal had considered employing the services and experience of his parasite but it seemed almost like overkill. There was hardly any reason at this stage for overplaying his hand.
Whoever and whatever these strangers might be, they seemed interested in engaging in a dialogue and in the back of his mind Baal thought. 'I will humor them, for now.'
"We would like you to come with us. You will find out more once we get there."
For the first time since their abrupt arrival the rider who had been blocking the exits spoke up. You can ride with me. That is, if you mind your manners. You gave us a run for our money, there. For at least a little while.
As you wish, Baal replied recalling both a rather quaint and odd human expression, as he arched an eyebrow. Indeed?
As promised upon arrival and after he had been greeted at the door by an individual that resembled a very tall, very bulky and very hirsute human, and been given a clean, plain, but dry clothing.
Several hours later Helen and Baal *add dialogue
"Colonel Carter, what an unexpected and unlooked for surprise. To what do I owe the honor of this, meeting?"
"I believe you have me mistaken for someone else. My name is Dr. Helen Magnus."
Baal glanced at her face, her poised and controlled manner amongst the lavish and somewhat anachronistic surroundings if he could claim to be any sort of expert on human interior decorating: It felt both stuffy and welcoming at the same time; if he could claim to be any judge of human interior decorating. "What is this place?"
For some odd reason that he was at a momentary loss to read that particular question brought a flush to her pale complexion and a confident smile to her face. She shifted slightly in her high-backed chair and tilting forward until she was nearly seated on the edge of her seat waved her hands in around and replied: "Welcome to the Sanctuary."
"Yes, that is well and good, but it does not answer my question."
"Tell you what, why don t you answer some of my questions first and then we ll get to yours, fair enough?" she replied.
He considered the gesture and its possible ulterior motives, and the pros and cons of whether or not to accept it. All of which passed through his mind in the blink of the proverbial eye; and decided, even if she were not Colonel Samantha Carter, although the resemblance was uncanny; thus far they had not offered either harm or help. He could persuaded to at least answer her questions; for now at least.
"What do you wish to know?" he asked.
"For one, why are you going about under an assumed name?"
"It seemed politic to adopt one. I doubt that anyone here would well, understand for it is complicated, knowledge about my true identity would be very dangerous." . He offered a challenging but not threatening smile that seemed to hint that if she wanted to play this question and answer game; he was willing to do so, but also willing to change up the rules so the need arise.
"Why don't you let me be the judge of that," she replied.
"Despite your claim to the contrary," he replied. "For a moment there you reminded of Colonel Carter."
"Indeed, and what exactly is the nature of your relationship with this Colonel Carter individual? If I could hazard a guess she would be a member of the armed forces, and you are a civilian, are you not?"
"I was, at one time, a soldier, " he smiled and then sighed. Hindsight gives your perfect clarity of vision when it is far too late to do anything to change matters. Glancing away from Dr. Magnus skeptical look and intent gaze; he reflected that despite his own conscious decision to answer her question there would always be the lingering doubt in the back of his mind what Magnus and her people would do with him if they knew the truth of his kind.
The antagonistic relationship he had established with Colonel Carter and by extension the other members of SG-1 had endured its own trial by fire, and granted it had only come about through a set of impossible circumstances that he had felt impossible to let endure. Still, even now, when he had finally come managed to establish himself here, as a civilian, and comfortable with his surroundings; every so often the need arose about tipping the SGC as to his whereabouts; stirring up trouble for the sake of stirring about trouble.
"I could tell you, oh I could tell you, Dr. Magnus. However, you still have not answered my essential question, what is this place and why have you brought me here?"
"We and by we, I mean my staff and I operate this place as a safe haven."
"The outside world, for those who are different, here we protect them for the outside world who otherwise might not understand them or wish to do them harm," she replied.
"I see, " he replied. "Do you have any idea what I am?"
"I have not managed to complete my tests, but I can be reasonably certain that you are Individual that shares a dual set of personality traits and abilities, " she replied.
"Dr. You surprise me," replied Baal.
" Well and good, replied Magnus." "And, for the record I don t mean that in the clinical sense of being a dual personality, I mean that in the course of encounters thus far, both in the alley and in our conversation I have heard two distinct voices:
one that I acquaint with your own and one other."
"I am surprised again."
"In a good or a bad way?" she challenged.
"That remains to be seen," he replied seemingly unfazed by the implicit challenge in her tone and body language.
"Just to be certain that we understand one another, I must ask you a hypothetical question."
"Fire away," she replied.
"Do you believe that humans are essentially alone in the universe? That there is no intelligent life in space?"
"Hardly what I expected, but fair enough." Helen sighed and raised one hand to finger comb through some of the worse of the snarls in her long, sleek black hair.
"I do not believe I have ever had anyone ask me that before, but I doubt that this planet is the only world capable of harboring intelligent life-forms.
Good. For let me share with one of the better-kept secrets that your own government and the governments of various nation states would very much like their citizens not to know: Aliens are real."
Helen tilted forward in her chair and pinned him with her best level gaze wondering if this were yet another game that he played with her and then after a brief stare into his dark eyes she understood that this time, it was no game.
"It brings to mind one of my late father's favorite quotes: any sufficiently advanced technology is oftimes indistinguishable from magic."
"However, be that as it may. What I am trying to say, Dr. Magnus, is that I am an alien. A race known as the Gouald and if this truly is a safe haven from the outside world, then I would like to ask for, damn it! What is the term you use for
this, oh yes, I would like to ask for political asylum."
"I will have to consider it," she replied.
"You are taking this rather in stride," he replied.
"As my colleague, Dr. Will Zimmerman so quaintly puts it," and then she grinned. "Weirdness is as weirdness doe; it just comes in surprising shapes and sizes and even manages to surprise me and I've been at this a very long time."
"How long?" he asked.
"Ah, a lady never reveals her age."
"My pardon, I did not mean to overstep my bounds."
"Then we have a deal?" he asked.
"Upon further consideration, but yes, you could you say we have a deal," she replied.
"Just when you think you get to reasonably comfortable with all the weirdness," muttered Kate with a rueful sigh rocking back and forth in the leather armchair that she had plunked into almost three hours earlier and showed no signs of vacating any time soon; "You go and get and additional weirdness piled onto weirdness. Not that I mind, really. I m Baal, or whatever he wants to go by these days is pretty cool as aliens go."
"But," prompted Will.
"But this isn't like the Cabal or the Sanctuary network. I mean, the idea that aliens, really honest to goodness aliens, from another planet existing right under our noses all this time and We never even knew about it?"
Kate unfolded from her scrunched up position and straightened out her long legs.
Will could well understand Kate's frustration and the reason for it. Not that long ago when Dr. Helen Magnus had brought him into the Sanctuary program and everything that she had helped to create and was containing to create: a place where both the mundane and the abnormal could reasonably be expected to coexist.
Will Zimmerman had harbored his own share of scepticism, doubts and fears: Now, over a year later and he had finally managed to wrap his own head around the weirdness.
As Henry had once said, if you did not find a way to do so, a way that was comfortable with both who you were and what you believed in: you d go completely off the dead end. But believing and trying to understand and help both the mundane the abnormal of one planet, was one thing; aliens from off-world was completely another.
He s hiding something, remarked Kate after a moment of thought. Do you recall how he was going on about Dr. Magnus being some kind of high-ranking military colonel.
Will nodded. "I remember. Lt. Colonel Samantha Carter, if I recall correctly, replied Will. And I believe there was a reward offered on any reports leading to his whereabouts or recent possibly subversive activity."
"Yeah, I m thinking that I can probably find out who she is and maybe I, I mean we could make a quick killing by turning him in. "Kate reached up and brushed back a strand of dark brown hair away from her eyes.
"I doubt the Doc will mind, given that he isn t human or abnormal., am I right?"
"I don'[t know," muttered Will. "I get the feeling he s trying to start over. And I also get the impression that no matter what he might have been like in the past; he is trying to do better on this go around."
"That s the psych-doc in you talking," replied Kate.
He did ask for politician asylum, after all.
"He's not from another country, damn it, Will!" Kate shouted and then glanced at him and around at the cluttered sitting parlor. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to go off on you like that, but he is an alien."
"So the question becomes what do we do with him?" Will sighed. "I wish had a good answer for you, but at the moment I don t. So, I guess the only thing to do is play it by ear and see what happens."
Kate nodded. "I guess so."