The First Ones
I can no longer count on one hand the number of good men and women that I've seen die. Up until I met Catherine, that number was only two, my parents. Now, I've lost count altogether. I don't know if that's more sad or scary. But I think that what's worse than not even knowing the number, is that I no longer feel traumatized by it. I mean, sure, I feel something when I see someone die or when I hear about someone that I knew dying, but it's almost like death has lost the meaning that I once assigned to it. And obviously some deaths are much, much harder to witness than others.
Watching Sha're die was worse than watching my parents die, and watching my parents die was worse than hearing about Dr. Robert Rothman's death. It shouldn't be that way. Each life is important. I should feel something more at the loss of Robert than what I do. I'm going to miss him, and I'm sorry that he died the way that he did. But at one point in time, I would have been angry with Jack for killing him instead of just wounding him and later trying to find a way to remove the Symbiote. Now, I just take it in stride. It happened. I hate that it happened, but it's a fact. My reaction is so much less emotional now, and more practical. Others in the archeology and anthropology department aren't so matter of fact about it. I actually caught Dr. Creekmoore crying one day and overheard her tell Dr. Hart that things like that weren't supposed to happen archeologists and linguists. Accidents on digs happen sometimes, that's to be expected, but being taken as host to an alien being and being shot, that's not something covered in our job descriptions. She's right. It's not supposed to happen to civilians, but it does. I've just gotten so used to it, and so numb to it, that unlike Kylie and Spencer, I no longer feel devastated by it, just a sense of somberness.
On a positive note, I've been cleared to begin recruiting for three new positions in the department. I'm amazed at how things have really started to take off as we get in more and more artifacts and texts that need to be analyzed, catalogued, and studied. Maybe I'll add another person to the night shift rotation. Kylie and Spencer have the day shift covered. They work extremely well together. I even heard rumor that they might have started dating. I don't really see it, but then again, I've always been one of the last to know.
Growing up in foster care, I never really made a lot of friends. I didn't want to get close to anyone because as soon as I did, I'd have to leave. But since joining the SGC, and being around new and different people all the time, I've discovered that I really like making new friends, both human and otherwise. And despite our very rocky beginnings, I believe that Chaka is going to be a really good friend to me for years to come. I plan to set up some video equipment to monitor and stay in touch with him. The Unas society is overwhelmingly fascinating to me. And just like when anthropologists have studied tribes in the Amazon or Africa, the easiest way to begin is to talk to a teenager. Talk to someone who is just beginning to learn and understand the ways of the tribe for themselves. Talk to someone who is just now reaching an age when they can decide for themselves if they want to continue to follow the traditional ways of the past or make a change and choose and a different way. Chaka is being forced to grow up overnight now that he's become the Alpha of his group. And for some strange reason, I feel like I want to help him be the best leader that he can be. I don't know how I'm going to get that done, but I'm going to try. I'm going to try to learn as much from him as I possibly, and hope that in return he learns a little from me as well.
I know I've talked about it before, and I'll probably talk about it again because it's a subject that I've always been super excited about. Communication can happen more without words, than it ever can without words. The dictionary definition of a word is only about 5% of what occurs during communication. Two people with two completely different and distinct languages can still carry on a complex conversation composed entirely of pictographs, charades, expressions, and tones. The language of the Unas is rudimentary at best, but the communication between Chaka and I became just as detailed, important, and clear as communication between two humans who speak the same, highly evolved language. Communication can happen with one word that means many different things, like Aloha. Context will tell you everything you need to know about the word and about how the word is meant to be used in a given instance. A person enters the room, and says Aloha, meaning hello. A person leaves the room, and says Aloha, meaning goodbye. Communication can happen in smile, in a wave, in eye contact. Communication can happen by taking a bite of food and passing it to someone else to try. Communication can happen in the presentation of a gift, and the acceptance of the same. Communication without words: Now this is what I do! It's wonderful to feel alive again, like I'm doing something that means something, something that I enjoy, something that I'm good at, something that utilizes my education and training and to the fullest extent possible.
It's not going to last long though, but I'll savor it while I can. As soon as I got back to Earth, I received a call from the President. He wants me in on his next meeting with the Russian President and the commander of the Russian Stargate program. Their gate has been inactive since our trip there, but they really want to start up a full-fledged program of their own or at least be involved in our program. And they want us to tell the full UN exactly what's been going on here. Hammond's already been in several preliminary meetings with Russian officials, but they're to the point where they want my input now. They call it a different perspective, fresh eyes. But in truth, I think they're just sick of dealing directly with each other and want an intermediary they can influence. Diplomacy is something that I've kind of been forced to master in recent years, and most of the people I've dealt with directly in writing treaties, or agreements, or contracts, or whatever seem to think I'm good at it. I just do my best and try to be as impartial as possible. I find out what the number one concern and desire are for each party involved and work to make it happen, sacrificing smaller desires and concerns in the process. Most anyone can be diplomatic if they really put their mind to it. Anyone who isn't Jack, that is.
Thankfully, I'm still slated for one last mission before negotiations have to begin. The Enkarans were successfully relocated and they've invited SG-1 to a celebration of sorts on their new home world. It should be exciting. It'll be good to just take it easy and not worry about anything for a few hours. Nothing is going to mess up this celebration.
-Dr. Daniel Jackson