Disclaimer: I don't own Buffy or Stargate SG-1. Buffy and related characters belong to Whedon. Stargate SG-1 and related characters belong to Sci-fi and MGM.

Originally for TwistedShorts August Fic-a-Day Challenge (Day 09)

Warnings: Light spoilers for another fic of mine, Of Old Gods and Archaeologists.

A/N: *dodges thrown items* Okay, okay! I'm sorry I haven't updated my chapter fic, Of Old Gods and Archaeologists in forever, but… the truth is, I spent one day, long ago, and outlined the entire story with my writing buddy and BFF, TwistedSlinky. Want to know the fatal mistake I made on that? I was at work with her… and we didn't write it down! So, now, I beg your forgiveness and your patience as I work on finishing a couple of my other fics that are completely outlined and written down while I try to re-create my outline for Of Old Gods. Please take this ficlet as a peace offering. The setting for this is shortly before the chapter that has yet to be updated (chapter 6). This story, like the chapter fic, is set post Angel season 5 and is set within SG-1 season 7.

The Human Factor

They had taken a break from the questions, from trying to find out what Illyria knew of the Goa'uld. Jack O'Neill, Sam Carter, Teal'c, and Daniel Jackson had gone their separate ways from the conference room while their leader, Hammond, was still making his "calls" to his sources, trying to get someone from their military who knew of demons and vampires.

This had all left Illyria with little to do. Without the knowledge of where Angel and Spike were, and with none of the humans in the base knowing quite what to do at the moment, the Old One was left to simply wander. A pair of the uniformed humans, the ones with their mere weapons held at the ready, followed a respectable pace behind her. It amused her to know that they thought they could stop her should she chose to end the lives of all who passed around her. But she let them have their small comfort, simply observing all she came into contact with as she slinked around the various rooms of the base. Most regarded her with a mixture of fear and discomfort in their eyes, and the scientists—she knew this word from the fragments left by her shell, Fred—looked overjoyed when she had spared them some of her time. This pleased her.

But the others, the ones who did not find themselves fascinated with her… she noticed the change within them. She could see, as her wandering continued, the fear turn to a type of loathing. She came to a complete stop in the center of one of their many halls, whirling without warning to address the armed humans who followed her like sick, pathetic worms.

"Take me to Daniel," she ordered.

The two exchanged a look before nodding, pointing in the proper direction. She led the way once more, finally entering Daniel's room—the office, as he called it, that she had awoken in—with no preamble or announcement.

He looked up from the ancient parchment he was reading, adjusting his round glasses as he regarded her with surprise.

"Is something wrong, Illyria?" he asked.

"The eyes of your fellows disturb me greatly," she said, her gaze shooting all about the dusty room in a single moment.

"Their eyes? …Oh! Do you mean that they're staring at you?"

Illyria's head snapped back to Daniel, her blue eyes lit by a strange fire.

"They accuse; they loath. I can feel their emotions crawling over me like a million parasites, sick and biting at me. I wish them to cease."

Daniel set down his parchment and turned so that he was fully facing the Old One. With a shrug, he sighed.

"I don't think that's going to happen."

Illyria's glare could have melted diamonds, and Daniel fidgeted on his stool.

"I command it," she ordered.

"Humans aren't so easily ordered, especially when it comes to something—someone—like you," he said plaintively.

"I do not understand."

Daniel pursed his lips, looking away from the blue-skinned woman as if trying to clear his mind of her presence. Finally, he forced himself to meet her eyes, putting on a tone of voice as if he was explaining something to a very small child.

"Humans don't like what they don't understand, or what is different. It's a weakness of ours, but it's always been there. They fear you, and in their minds, it's not long before that fear can mutate into hate."

Illyria did not speak at first, staring down the archaeologist for a long moment, her head cocked somewhat to the side. Finally, pulling her head back into a rigid straightness, she put her back to him.

"Your kind has always been a weak and fearful slime. I used to mock you as you tried, in vain, to stand on your own, straight and tall like we did. You fell every time. How the likes of you hairless monkeys ever came to rule this world—to banish the old gods—is a mystery to me."

She began to exit the room, but Daniel slid off his seat, calling to her to stop.

"You said, 'every time'? You laughed at my kind 'every time' they tried to stand upright?"

She peered over her shoulder at him, the slightest nod Daniel's only reply. Daniel laughed.

"That's how we came to power, Illyria. What you just said."

"Explain," the Old One demanded, still not bothering to turn back to him.

"We kept trying. We didn't stop. We may be a fearful species, and we might even be weak, but we keep trying. Keep picking ourselves up off the ground. And that is our greatest strength. We never stop."

Illyria's eyes widened, as if she was suddenly witnessing the fall of her kind—something that, in truth, she had already been banished into a sleep during. When she finally seemed a little more calm, she whirled to the archaeologist.

"You have much to learn of the Goa'uld. They were quite tenacious in my time as well."

She left the room, saying nothing more. Daniel ran a slow hand over his head. He turned, snatching up a ledger pad and a pen. If Illyria said that the Goa'uld of her time were "tenacious," then the sooner Daniel, Jack, and the rest got back to conference room—back to their questions about the Goa'uld—then the better off they'd be.

End Notes: I really do love to write for Illyria. Maybe I have a tiny bit of a God Complex? Anyway, I hope this peace offering was well accepted. And please know that I do intend to finish Of Old Gods… I just don't know when. Please review!