Summary: Sometimes the universe accepts our intentions at face value. Sometimes it has other plans.
Jack O'Neill's one-time best friend had sacrificed himself while helping Jack save Earth from a black hole. But was he really gone? The past be damned; Jack wasn't about to leave Frank Cromwell behind if he could help it.
Lost on a planet in rebellion against the Goa'uld, with no knowledge of the gate addess for Earth, Cromwell finds unexpected allies while waiting for the chance to go home. But he is unprepared for a shocking discovery that will take him on an odyssey that no one could have anticipated.
Season: Season 2
Episode Spoilers/Tags: A Matter of Time, with mostly-oblique references to events of other episodes from the movie through much of Season 2.
Missing Scenes: A Matter of Time
Category: This is basically a Gen story, and will include elements of angst, action, adventure and drama. Should also be considered AU, in that A) someone considered to have died in the series is presented as alive in this story, B) we will be meeting an Earth-origin culture that was addressed later in the series, but I am giving it a different spin than the series did (see the relevant clause in the disclaimer below), and C) this story will also introduce a non-canon subgroup of a canon alien species.
Disclaimer: Standard. Stargate SG-1, its characters and all related entities are property of Stargate SG-1 Productions (II) Inc., MGM Worldwide Television Productions Inc., Double Secret Productions, Gekko Film Corp and Showtime Networks Inc / The SciFi Channel. No copyright infringement is intended. I am in no way affiliated with any of the foregoing entities; these are not my characters, I'm merely taking them out for a little exercise and fresh air, I'm not making any money from this, etc. (In fact, if I did own the Stargate franchise, elements of this story would have formed part of a major arc, and at least one group of aliens would have been a little less hardassed. Also, Seasons 8, 9 and 10 would have been very different. Well... Ahem. Anyway.)
Special note: I can but stand on the shoulders of giants. Many thanks to the extremely talented (and difficult-to-reach) Flora and Gallagater, authors of some very fine Frank Cromwell-centric fic available at jackfic dot net. Flora's trilogy of A Light in Dark Places, All Go Down Together, and What Love Remains provides a beautiful prologue to the episode from which my own story is drawn and their collaborative effort, So Builds An Absolute Trust, is an additional illustration of the depth of Frank and Jack's friendship and loyalty during their time serving together prior to the Gulf War. These stories have proven inspirational to me – although I began this story before reading any of theirs – and if it seems that I have adopted their take on Frank's prior history as essentially 'true', this is because of the astounding quality of their work. I find I cannot improve upon it, only embellish. Those are only four stories in a series, and I highly recommend Gallagater's Stray Thoughts and Flora's High Speed Dirt as well. Furthermore, reading them, while not completely necessary to understanding my story, will provide more depth to anyone choosing to do so. If you do read these tales of theirs, be aware that the only portions of What Love Remains that would have occurred in my own universe would be Sara O'Neill's interactions with her father and with Frank, and what she knows about his marriage to Lisa.
All credit for the existence of Lisa Cromwell, Captain Stuart, Sergeant Douglas and the 121st Special Tactics team goes to Flora, for they are her inventions. I am only borrowing them, and will forever remain more deeply indebted to her genius than I can express.
A big "you rock!" to my friend Richard M. for editing duties and general feedback, and to Sealurk and Nzie for the same. See my profile for links to the latter pair's author pages here on FFnet.
Reviews always welcome and appreciated!
This story is for D.C., wherever he may be. Godspeed, my friend.
**ORIGINAL CHARACTERS & GLOSSARY OF TERMS IN TOK'RA/GOA'ULD, PRIDANIC AND OTHER LANGUAGES USED IN THIS STORY**
IF THIS STORY WERE IN A PRINTED BOOK, THIS MATERIAL WOULD BE IN AN APPENDIX AT THE BACK. FEEL FREE TO SKIP THIS SECTION AND PROCEED DIRECTLY TO THE NEXT CHAPTER, WHICH IS THE FIRST ACTUAL CHAPTER OF THE STORY. THIS SECTION IS MERELY HERE FOR THE SAKE OF REFERENCE, FOR THOSE READERS WHO HAVE REQUESTED ADDITIONAL HELPFUL INFORMATION.
A/N: I've occasionally been asked by readers for a little help in keeping the characters and the language used in this story sorted. Since this tale does make use of a very large cast of original characters and a barely-canon protagonist, I've decided to include a list of the dramatis personae (other than the familiar SGC personnel we are accustomed to seeing, who also appear in this work) to aid the reader in understanding them. Also included is a glossary of terms in Pridanic and in Tok'ra/Goa'uld that the reader is likely to encounter in this story.
WARNING: EXPLAINING THE DETAILS OF ORIGINAL CHARACTERS OCCASIONALLY NECESSITATES THE INCLUSION OF MILD SPOILERS. READ THIS LIST AT YOUR OWN RISK.
DRAMATIS PERSONAE (in order of appearance):
(other than the familiar SGC personnel we know and love, who also appear in this work but who need no introduction)
NOTE: Those readers wishing assistance in pronouncing various names and words in Welsh/Pridanic may find a good resource at:
dubdub DOT welshleigh DOT org SLASH genealogy SLASH welshnames DOT html
Colonel Frank Cromwell — US Air Force Colonel, once-estranged best friend of Jack O'Neill. Fell through the SGC's Stargate while setting a shaped charge to force the gate to disconnect from P3W-451, which was orbiting a black hole. He becomes known among the Pridani as filwriad Neirin ab Owein trwy Lona (Neirin, son of Owein by Lona; filwriad is a military rank roughly equivalent to colonel in Pridanic usage. The pronunciation of his Pridanic name is NYE-rin ab OH-wine tru-ee LAW-nuh, and that of his rank is VIL-o-ree-adh) He also collects the affectionate nicknames "Nye" and "Neirin Llwyd" (pronounced "Hlew-id") at some point during his sojourn among the Pridani, as they are wont to bestow nicknames on nearly everyone, often according to some physical characteristic or other personal trait. "Nye" is simply short for "Neirin" (in the same way as "Bob" is short for "Robert), while Neirin Llwyd means "Neirin the Gray".
Ris ab Idris trwy Anwen (his first name is pronounced HREES, with the "s" pronounced the same as in "son"; the rest of his name is pronounced ap YIH-drees tru-ee AN-wen) — son of Idris and Anwen, older brother of Tegwyn, nephew of Tesni.
Tegwyn trwy Idris ferch Anwen (pron. TEG-wen tru-ee YIH-drees vairkh AN-wen) — daughter of Idris and Anwen, younger sister of Ris, niece of Tesni.
Tesni ferch Dwynwen trwy Teilo, o Branoc ("Tesni, daughter of Dwynwen by Teilo, of (clan) Branoc"; pronounced. TES-nee vairkh due-IN-wen tru-ee TIE-lo oh BRAHN-ock) — Pridanic woman whom Frank meets upon his arrival at the village of Llanavon ("Hlanavon") on the planet designated P2A-870 by the SGC and called Tir Awyr (pron. "CHEER ah-wehr"; meaning land in the sky) by its own inhabitants. She is of somewhat noble birth, her late mother Dwynwen having served as chieftain of clan Branoc (in Pridanic society, gender does not determine social status or life roles). Tesni is an intelligence operative in the human rebellion against the Goa'uld lord Bel.
Nenniaw ap Hywel trwy Olwen (pron. NEH-nyow ap HIH-wel tru-ee AHL-wen) — a team leader in the local unit of the rebel militia in Llanavon. He is a cousin to Tesni and Idris.
Dynawd ap Hywel trwy Olwen (pron. DEE-nawd) — Nenniaw's brother. He is also a team leader in the local rebel militia unit, and is cousin to Tesni and Idris.
Celyn ap Morfudd trwy Ceinwen (pron KEL-in ap MOR-vith tru-ee KYNE-wen) — Another team leader in the local rebel militia unit.
Cadogan ap Cynan trwy Hafgan, pen Branoc ("Cadogan, son of Cynan by Hafgan, chief Branoc"; pron. CAD-uh-gan ap KEE-nan tru-ee HAV-gan pen BRAHN-ock) — Uncle of Tesni and Idris, his military rank is cadlywydd, which translates as "battle-leader" and is roughly equivalent to "marshal" or "general". (The name Cadogan itself comes from roots meaning "battle glory" or "battle honor" and is a clue that the Pridani have a rather strong warrior tradition.) Cadogan is the patriarch of clan Branoc and its chief-in-fact, although he ceded his clan duties to Idris years ago because he has other fish to fry. As cadlywydd (pron. KAHD-lew-ith or KAHD-lew-eedth), Cadogan is the high commander of the entirety of the human rebel military effort against the Goa'uld Bel. Cadogan is also the human host of the Tok'ra symbiote Sabar, who is the leader of the Tok'ra faction calling themselves the Tok'bel (Tok = "against", so Tok'bel = "against Bel") who have allied themselves with the Pridani and other Celtic rebels against Bel, who enslaved the humans two millennia ago. It is traditional among the rebels for whomever is Sabar's host to serve as the cadlywydd or high commander of the human element of the rebellion.
Gerlad ap Bleddyn trwy Rhonwen (pron. GAIR-lad ap BLETH-in tru-ee RHON-wen) — a military officer who serves as Cadogan's aide.
Sabar (pron. sa-BAR) — Tok'ra symbiote who leads a small band or faction of Tok'ra who have chosen to break with the High Council's prohibition against overt, direct action against the Goa'uld in order to aid the Celtic rebels against Bel. This came about after Sabar blended with the rather strong-willed and persuasive Berwyn, whom he had encountered by chance while on a covert mission for the High Council. Berwyn was a teenager at the time, a Pridano who had been captured and made a court slave by Bel but not turned into a host. He was given as a gift to Sabar, who was undercover as the emissary to Bel of another Goa'uld lord. Sabar took Berwyn with him when he went back to the Tok'ra, and set him free on a world inhabited by free humans from among whom the Tok'ra occasionally obtained hosts. Not quite thirty years later, when Sabar's host was dying of old age, he went in search of a new host and Berwyn approached him, offering himself as host in gratitude for his freedom. Once blended, he convinced Sabar to aid the Pridani and the other Celts, who had already been discussing rebellion some thirty years earlier, before Berwyn had been taken from his world. Sabar, already chafing somewhat under the Council's restrictions, agreed and brought some similarly-minded friends along to help; thus were born the Tok'bel.
Idris trwy Dwynwen ap Teilo, pen Branoc* ("Idris, by Dwynwen son of Teilo, chief Branoc"; pron. YIH-drees tru-ee due-IN-wen ap TIE-lo, pen BRAHN-ock) — Tesni's older brother, acting chieftain of clan Branoc. While technically himself a member of the local rebel militia, his primary responsibility is the administration of clan business and the well-being of the local villagers and the surrounding district.
Anwen ferch Meriel trwy Sywno (pron. AN-wen vairkh MARE-yel tru-ee see-YOO-no) — Wife of Idris, sister-in-law to Tesni, mother of Ris and Tegwyn.
Armagil ap Bryn trwy Fiona (pron. ar-MAH-gil ap Brin tru-ee fee-AW-na) — Pridanic man, a member of the first military unit under Cromwell's command in the Am Rhyddid. Serves as his company clerk for a time.
Sefys (pron. SEF-ees) — Tok'ra symbiote; Sabar's second-in-command among the Tok'bel. His host is Duthac.
Duthac ab Arcol trwy Rannilt (pron. DUE-thak ab AR-kol tru-ee RAN-ilt) — Pridanic man, host of the Tok'ra Sefys.
Kaldin (pron. KAL-din) — Tok'ra symbiote; friend of Sabar and member of the Tok'bel. His host is Joron.
Joron (pron. JOH-ron) — Human male, host of the Tok'ra Kaldin.
* A note on Pridanic naming conventions: like many human cultures including the Welsh/Britannic tribes from whom they are descended, the Pridani use bynames rather than surnames as a means of identifying an individual. In Pridanic tradition, a person will have a given name, and also a byname which identifies them in relation to their parents. "Ferch" (fairkh or vairkh, with the "kh" aspirated rather than hard) means "daughter of", while "ab" and "ap" mean "son of". ("Ab" is used before names beginning with a vowel, while "ap" is used before names beginning with a consonant.) "Trwy" means "by" or "through".
A Pridanic person's byname generally refers to their same-sex parent first, and their opposite-sex parent second. The exception to this is when identifying someone of noble parentage, in which case the higher-ranking parent's name comes first, or when a person introduces themself/is introduced to someone who has a stronger connection to one of their parents than to the other. Dwynwen, the mother of Tesni and Idris, was a clan chieftain, so while the normal practice of putting her name first in Tesni's byname satisfies both the condition of gender and the condition of rank, this changes somewhat with Idris, who is known as "Idris, by Dwynwen son of Teilo" rather than "Idris, son of Teilo by Dwynwen" as would be the case if Dwynwen had not been a noblewoman, or if Teilo had been of equal or higher social rank to Dwynwen, which he was not. This renders Pridanic bynames somewhat fluid, as the way a person will identify himself or herself can change according to context.
Glossary of Terms in Pridanic, Tok'ra/Goauld and other Languages
"Wait; do you you say it or sneeze it?"
anwyll (Pridanic, "AN-weel") — Loved one. A term of endearment.
bennaeth (Pridanic, "BEN-eye-th") — chieftain, chief. Bennaeth Bod = "Chieftain House" or "Chief House", the large stone manor in which Idris and Anwen live with their children, and sometimes Cadogan and Gerlad. The house is also used as place of gathering by the other members of their extended family and is the centerpiece around which Llanavon was built.
bod (Pridanic, "bod") — house; also used in the sense of family or household
cariad (Pridanic, "CAR-yad") — Beloved. A term of endearment.
drws deialwr (Pridanic, "droos day-loor") — a DHD. Literally, "door dialer".
drws rhyng y byd (Pridanic, "droos ring ee beed") — a Stargate. Literally, "door between worlds".
fach, bach (Pridanic, "vakh", "bakh" with the "kh" sound aspirated rather than a hard "k"; think of the Scottish word "loch" or the German name "Bach") — Terms of endearment, basically meaning "small". Fach is feminine, while bach is masculine. Calling someone "bach" is more or less equivalent to calling someone "son" the way that General Hammond does it, or calling them "dear". Fach is the same way, but used when speaking to someone who is female. Used especially often with regard to children, but can be used with others as well.
fy (Pridanic, "vee") — my
kara (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — many, or multi- (when used as a prefix with another word)
kesh (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — device (as in "kara kesh" the multipurpose hand device or ribbon device that shields, shoots, subdues and — when used by the Goa'uld — tortures)
ma'tok (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — a staff weapon, like the one Teal'c uses
mai'tac (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — expletive, roughly equivalent to "Damn it!"
neb ankh (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — sarcophagus ("possessor of life" - directly from Ancient Egyptian)
nghalon (Pridanic, "NGAL-on"; pronounce the "ng" as in "ring") — Heart. Fy nghalon = "my heart", a term of endearment
pen, ben (Pridanic, "pen", "ben") — chief, head. pen Branoc = "head/chief of clan Branoc" (a title shared by Cadogan and Idris, as Cadogan is chief-in-fact, while Idris is chief in function due to Cadogan's having other, more pressing duties)
Pridanaes ("pree-DAHN-ehs") — a Pridanic female
Pridano ("pree-DAHN-o") — a Pridanic male
ta'el kesh (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — healing device worn on the hand, like the one that SG-1 obtained from Cimmeria.
ta'khet (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — term for what the SG teams call a DHD
til ta'khet (Tok'ra/Goa'uld) — a portable gate controller that can be used to dial the gate in lieu of a DHD, allowing gate use on worlds where the DHD has been lost or destroyed.
Tir 'n Awyr ("CHEER nah-wehr") — Land in the Sky (tir, "land" + 'n (a contracted form of yn y) "in the" +awyr, "sky")
Llanavon ("HLAHN-ah-von") — Village at the River (from llan, "village" + avon, "river")
Dinas Coedwyg ("DIH-nas COYD-weeg") — Forest City (dinas, "city" + coedwyg, "forest")
Bren Argoed ("BREN AR-goyd") — Hill Grove (bren, "hill" + argoed, "wooded grove")
Because family terms are very important among the Pridani, here is a list of those as well:
llwyth (Pridanic, "hlew-eeth") — clan
mam (Pridanic, "mam") — mother
tad (Pridanic, "tad") — father
brawd (Pridanic, "browd", to rhyme with "crowd") — brother
chwaer (Pridanic, "shwye") — sister
nith (Pridanic, "neeth") — niece
nai (Pridanic, "nye", to rhyme with "eye") — nephew
modryb (Pridanic, "mod-RIB") — aunt
ewythr (Pridanic, "ay-WITH") — uncle
mab (Pridanic, "mob") — son
merch (Pridanic, "mairkh", the "kh" being aspirated rather than hard) — daughter
wyres (Pridanic, "wooh-res") — granddaughter
wyr (Pridanic, "woohr") — grandson
cyfnither (Pridanic, "KEEV-neeth-air") — female cousin
cefnder (Pridanic, "KEV-end-air") — male cousin
nain, naina (Welsh and Pridanic, "nine", "NINE-ah") — grandmother
taid (Welsh and Pridanic, "tide") — grandfather
A reminder: Any modern or near-modern Welsh language used in this story is intended to stand in for a hypothetical related language, Pridanic, descended from the Brythonic language of the time when these people were taken from Earth. Brythonic was one of the two major language groups of the British Isles in pre-Saxon, pre-Roman times, and later went on to produce Welsh, Cornish, Cumbric, Breton and possibly other tongues. In the period from 100 BCE to ca. 150 CE, the time the Celtic peoples in this story were taken from Earth, Brythonic is postulated to have been one common language, possibly with two dialects. I am taking some license with the idea that another language evolved from Brythonic in off-world isolation would be at least close enough for a Welsh speaker to learn easily, possibly coming to sound something like a strikingly different dialect of Welsh.