A/n: Nothing like vagueness to get everyone all worked up...

Chapter Four

( When I get out of here ) Daniel thought to himself, not willing yet to admit that the word he should be using is if rather than when ( I am not leaving my desk for a month. ) He had no idea how long he'd been unconscious. Nor did he have any clue as to where he was, as his surroundings were pitch black. What he did know was that he was laying on his stomach, his back was killing him and he was pretty much immobilized. Any attempt to move or shift was either met with excruciating pain or resistance in the form of what felt like leather straps binding him to the table or bed or platform or whatever the hell it was.

He cleared his throat nervously. "Umm..hello?" he tentatively spoke, his voice raspy. "Is there anyone there?" The words seemed to be absorbed by the darkness..There was no echo, no way to guesstimate the size of the room he was in, or if there was anything else in it. Or anyone. Daniel let his head fall and rest against the table. Sighing mightily he spoke aloud, just to reassure himself. "Why didn't they tell me there'd be days like this?" he moaned. " 'Solve this riddle.' They said. 'It'll be cool.' They said. "National security is at stake.' They said." Daniel grunted in exasperation. (Funny how they neglected to mention Goa'uld and Lucien Alliances and Unas and the rest.)

He tried again to get the attention of whoever or whatever had brought him here. "Hey, uhh, look, I appreciate the fact that you probably saved me from being burnt alive, but if it's all the same to you, I'd like to go back home now. Just, you know, drop me off at the nearest Gate and I'll see myself out."

Nothing. Not even the sound of breathing. In fact, Daniel realized with a start, he couldn't even hear his own breathing. Or heartbeat, which picked up the pace at the realization. At this point, he began to panic and started struggling against his bonds, ignoring the searing pain it caused in his back. He was causing so much of his own noise that he failed to register the new sound; by the time the hissing got through his panic, it was too late and he breathed in the gas and was asleep in mere seconds.

Had he been awake, though, he may have heard the sibilant hiss of a door opening. It remained pitch black in the room, however. A solitary figure moved through the inky darkness with ease. An appendage reached out and rested lightly on Daniel's prone form, checking for a pulse. It was erratic and quite fast, but the figure showed no signs of alarm or worry. An outside observer, had there been one, who have posed a few questions. What was this creature? How did it know what a normal pulse rate for a human was? Or what constituted an injury, much less how to treat it? All those pesky practical questions. Jack O'Neill would have made snide comments about Klingons. Sam Carter would have theorized that all matter is essentially the same no matter what language is used so this alien must have some basis to work around. Teal'c would have tipped his head sideways and said "Indeed." The alien in question did none of these things. Instead, it sprayed a fine mist over Daniel's back, covering the burns in a foam that immediately cooled the burning and eased the daggers of pain running throughout. Had he been awake, Daniel would have been most grateful for the relief. A second sweep of an appendage that may or may not have been an arm felt for fever. Finding a low one, a second spray was administered, this time absorbing directly into his skin. Completing the exam, the being left the room as silently as it had entered, still in the dark.

The entire complex was devoid of light. It was capable of providing it, but as the current occupants(save one) did not need it to tend to routine tasks, it was not utilized. Daniel would have compared it to the living quarters of a blind person, had he been in a position to notice. As it was, he slept soundly, pain free and observed nothing.

The solitary figure made its' way down a corridor towards another door. It, too, slipped open with the quietest of hisses and repeated the noise as it closed again. This room was not empty, but neither was it occupied by a human, or any other race that Daniel would have recognized. In other words, he would have been giddy with delight.

The two figures stood close. The air became tainted with a low level electrical current that would have stood hair on end. If there was any. The silence grew heavy and yet at the same time it was obvious some form of communication was happening. The subject of the conversation slept on, blissfully unaware he was the topic of the moment. A decision having been made, the two figures went their separate ways. The initial being returned to the room where the slumbering archeologist still lay quietly. This time, there was no spray, but rather a long, microscopically thin probe that entered the base of Daniel's skull, extracting the merest sliver of brain tissue. The being removed the probe, and inserted it into its' own skull. And thus began the process.

A/n: vague enough for you? Are the aliens good guys or bad guys? Why did they save daniel? what do they want with his brain? and just exactly what do they look like? You'll find out.. when SG1 does...