TITLE: There and Back Again
AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass
AUTHOR'S E-MAIL: fishfolk@ix.netcom.com. Feedback is better than chocolate.
PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: Yes, just ask.
CATEGORY: Crossover/adventure
RATINGS/WARNINGS: G
SUMMARY: Enterprise/Stargate SG-1 crossover. The Enterprise crew must help SG-1 find a way home.
CONTINUITY: Long before Stargate's "Meridian," and some time late in Enterprise's first season. (And I'm choosing to ignore all the Star Trek jokes on Stargate. So there.)
DISCLAIMER: Enterprise and all its crew belong to Paramount, the SG-1 crew belongs to MGM, Gekko Productions and many other entities with expensive lawyers. I'm not makin' a dime here.
NOTES: This story is a result of Taryn's comment while I was ill and susceptible, and Chianna subsequently fed the plot bunny. Hugs to everyone who encouraged me to finish this, especially Taryn for catching some serious errors and giving me the fix for my faulty ending. Let me also take this opportunity to thank all the folks who've reviewed my stories on fanfiction.net, but haven't left me an e-mail address to respond to. In the future, please do! I really want to thank you personally.
DEDICATION: On the 25-year anniversary of the orbiter Enterprise, I dedicate this story to the countless employees and astronauts of NASA for fueling my decades of space dreams. The day I visited the Kennedy Space Center and watched the shuttle hurtle into the sky was one of the greatest of my life. Thank you.

* * * * *

The tinge of an orange sun shone at a late afternoon angle on a row of buildings, all empty. At least, that's what the scanners said. Jonathan Archer sighed as he walked down the abandoned street, trying to be excited about a new world.

Since landing Shuttlepod One on this planet several hours ago, they'd found little of value...or interest. The strange readings that Trip and T'Pol had seen from Enterprise were proving very difficult to track down now that they were on the surface.

Paving stones crumbling under his feet, Jon strolled, looking for something interesting to record. All he found was street after street of dilapidated buildings, square boxes with crumbling edges, looking like a weathered set of children's blocks. The colors were faded, but he could see green, and blue, and what had probably been a brilliant shade of red.

"Sato to Archer."

"Go ahead."

"I think Trip's found it, sir. It's...well, maybe you should come see."

"On my way." Jon grinned at the excited tone in Hoshi's voice, which was certainly nice to hear. Actually, it was always nice to-

Jon cut the thought short and concentrated on using his scanner to find his comm officer's location. Finally, he rounded a corner, looked up, and stopped dead in his tracks.

"What the-"

"That's about what I said, Cap'n," Trip said with some amusement from the base of an artifact that looked as out of place as a Klingon tending a flower garden.

At the center of an open space was a huge stone ring on a raised platform, with a series of symbols around its edge. A few feet in front of it, Hoshi stood at what looked like a control panel built out of the same weathered stone, and Malcolm peered over her shoulder. Off to one side Jon saw a series of large stone panels covered with carved designs, perhaps writing of some kind.

Jon shook his head and frankly stared around him. "What *is* this?"

"Not sure, Cap'n. I've never seen anything like it, but I'm pretty sure this is what we saw from the ship. I can't even tell you what this thing is made of. Hoshi, how's it going?"

She looked up from the panel. "I'm just not sure what I'm looking at, sir. The really strange thing is, the symbols here and on those panels are completely different than anything else I've seen on this planet. I think it's safe to say this thing isn't native."

Malcolm frowned. "Perhaps this artifact is the reason the planet is abandoned."

Jon was walking toward the ring to get a closer look when Trip's head shot up in alarm. "There's something funny. The readings are going off the scale."

"What's it doing?" Jon asked. Under his feet, the ground shook a little and he nearly lost his balance.

"I don't know," Trip replied, starting to back away, "but we'd better get out of its way. For all I know, we've set off the self-destruct. Get behind something."

There were a few moments of chaos, as all four dashed for the shelter of a nearby wall. Jon crouched next to Trip, who was frantically fiddling with the scanner.

"Whoa," Trip said.

"Whoa? What does 'whoa' mean?" Hoshi asked, an edge of alarm in her voice.

As all four of them peered around the edges of the wall, the giant ring suddenly filled with a roiling mass of matter, blue and black liquid seething like a pot of bubbling water. A thick tendril of matter shot out toward them.

"Whoa!" Jon, Malcolm, and Hoshi yelled.

"Jeez, Cap'n, I don't know-"

Before Trip could finish whatever he was going to say, something even more astonishing happened...several bolts of energy shot out and four humanoid figures came running out of the ring. Then, as suddenly as it had appeared, the bubbling mass behind them disappeared with a flash of light, leaving the ring just as it had been. The four figures scrambled to a halt on the platform and looked around them, apparently surprised.

"Guys," a male figure with short graying hair said, aiming some kind of bulky weapon in front of him, "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."

"We were not going to Kansas, O'Neill," replied the large dark man behind him. He was holding a long stick, and there was some kind of symbol on his forehead.

"For crying out loud, Teal'c, I know that. I meant...never mind. Where the hell are we? This obviously isn't the SGC unless they've gone in for some serious redecoration." He paused. "And, you know, brought it up from underground. Never mind."

The Enterprise crew froze in shock, unwilling to believe their ears. They stared at each other for long moments before realizing they had all heard untranslated English. Jon stood up, evading Malcolm's hand trying to drag him back behind cover. Cursing under his breath, Malcolm followed his captain out into the open, followed by Trip and Hoshi.

"Excuse me," Jon asked, "but who the hell are you?"

Instantly, three of the four on the platform pointed something at them. Malcolm and Jon aimed phase pistols and the two teams stared at each other. There was a long moment of strangled silence, broken by Trip, who'd been studying his scanner and ignoring the weapons.

"Cap'n, they're human," he said, "Well, three of them at least."

"Of course we're human," the man in front said, lowering his weapon slightly. "Who are you?"

"Captain Jonathan Archer of the Enterprise."

"Enterprise?" the blonde woman asked with obvious surprise. "Enterprise is a decommissioned NASA vehicle."

Trip looked up at that. "Sure, it *was*, in what, the 20th century?"

The one person not holding a weapon stepped forward and peered diffidently at them through wire-rimmed glasses. "Not to be picky, but what year *is* it?"

"2151," Trip said.

Three of the four figures on the platform stared in astonishment. The fourth lowered the long stick in his hand, his expression unchanged. "I believe," he said with great dignity, "that the Tau'ri saying is, 'Here we go again.'"

"Yeah, that's about right," said the man in glasses.

The man who'd spoken first groaned, then lowered his weapon. "Well, just to get this party started, I'm Colonel Jack O'Neill of the United States Air Force." He pointed to the woman. "This here's Major Samantha Carter, also Air Force. The big guy's Teal'c, joined by his symbiote Junior (he's a Jaffa, don't ask), and that's Dr. Daniel Jackson, resident linguist and archaeologist. We're from the early 21st century."

Jon felt his jaw actually dropping, and he forced it to close, but didn't quite trust his voice. After a deep breath, he managed to sound almost normal. "United States Air Force? There's hasn't been such a thing-"

"Don't tell me," Jack said, "I don't want to know how long."

"Sorry if this sounds rude," Malcolm said, "but why should we believe you're time travelers? You must admit it's an unlikely story."

"Yeah, well, let's say we didn't intend to do this. And we've been through this before, so it's a little easier for us to believe." Jack shook his head and glared at the blonde next to him. "So, Carter, what did it this time? Sunspots? Meteorites? The cancellation of Baywatch?"

"I don't know, sir, I'll have to take some readings and see. But from past experience, it's going to be a great deal more complicated than simply dialing for home."

"How'd I know you were gonna say that?"

* * * * *

After further introductions, the reluctant time travelers decided they should try to use the giant ring, which they called a Stargate, in case they *could* go home easily.

Jon watched as the four of them huddled around the control panel, and he listened to their confusing conversation.

"We don't know which symbol represents this planet," Jack said. "I thought you had to know that." The other three looked at him. "What? I listen to you sometimes."

"You're right, we do need to know the correct symbol," Sam said, "but we know what most of the others represent, so we can eliminate those and try whichever combinations are left."

Jon smiled as Hoshi hovered around the strangers, recording whatever information she could about the symbols on the Stargate, and Trip tried to figure out how it worked.

Malcolm watched from a few feet away, frowning, obviously bothered by the easy acceptance of the visitors.

"At ease, Lieutenant," Jon said quietly, walking over to Malcolm.

"But, sir-"

"They've offered us no harm, and their story makes a twisted kind of sense. I appreciate your concerns, but I think we're in no danger from these people." Jon saw Malcolm's eyes shift, so he was prepared for the deep voice that spoke from behind him.

"Your Captain is correct," Teal'c said. "We intend no harm, we simply wish to return to our own time."

"Where were you coming from, anyway?"

"We seek allies in a war against..."

Jon left the two to trade stories and went to see how the "dialing" process was going.

"Sir, we've narrowed it down to these 5 glyphs based on addresses we remember," Sam said, pointing to several symbols.

"What are you waiting for?"

Sam and Daniel looked at each other and shrugged. "Nothing, sir." She leaned over and began to press a series of symbols. As she pushed each one, the button sank into the console.

She paused, hand just over the seventh, her eyes stole up to the Stargate, then she quickly pressed down.

The four visitors looked expectant, but nothing happened.

Disappointment was plain on their faces, but Sam quickly reset the panel and began again. Each time, everyone held their breath and each time nothing happened.

"One more," she said quietly.

"Just do it, Carter."

She pushed each symbol slowly, as if she were afraid to finish, then finally came to the last. All eight people looked at the Stargate.

Silence.

No matter filled the circle and nothing happened.

"Damn it," Jack said, turning away.

"That's all of them," Daniel said.

"Are you telling me we really *are* stuck?" Jack whirled to face him, obviously spoiling for a fight.

"Yes, sir." Sam looked frustrated. "We've tried every combination of Earth's address with different final symbols. There's something else wrong."

"What about the Tok'ra? Can we reach them? Maybe it's just the SGC."

"I can try the same final symbols with a different address, but I don't think it will make a difference. We need to figure out what caused us to end up here rather than at the SGC."

"Damn." Jack's face was tight with tension. "Let's get to work, then."

Jon decided it was time to interrupt. "Whatever we can do to help, we'd be happy to do. Trip, I think you're most likely to be of assistance here."

Trip jumped at the chance to learn more about the Stargate, and he hit it off immediately with Sam as she explained the engineering of the Stargate and he showed her readings from before and during their emergence. Blond heads bent over the equipment, their conversation quickly became too technical for almost anyone else.

Jon noticed Jack staring at Trip every time the engineer put a hand anywhere near Sam, and he made a mental note to warn Trip about it. Trip's casual manner with women had gotten him in trouble before, and it looked likely to do so again without intervention.

Teal'c and Malcolm, both bored since weapons weren't involved, settled watchfully on a nearby stone wall. Without ever losing track of their teammate's whereabouts, they engaged in a detailed discussion of battle tactics. Jon fought not to grin in paternal amusement as the two of them bonded over details of firefights, guerilla warfare, and treachery.

Daniel and Hoshi also found common ground; the latter explaining what she'd found on this world while the former explained the Stargate and its creators. They kept wandering further afield to gather more data and had to be dragged back to the Stargate. Jon and Jack eventually threatened to put them on leashes, which curbed their wandering for a while. They settled down near the Stargate to work on their notes.

"I wish I had my books," Daniel said wistfully. "Your database is great, but it doesn't include the information I need."

"Sorry," Hoshi said, smiling. "I've never seen this language before, I'm afraid, and my training was entirely focused on modern languages, not ancient."

They bent back over the padd, but it was only a few minutes later Jon noticed the smiles were gone, and Daniel's brows were furrowed. Jon figured that was probably a bad thing.

"Jack," Daniel said, "we need to talk."

"Captain?" Hoshi called. "I think you'd better come here as well."

Jack had been debating firepower with Malcolm and Teal'c, but he turned and walked over at the sound of Daniel's voice. "What's up, Danny?"

"I've only translated part of the Ancient's writing, but I think this was another experiment."

"You mean like that time loop we were stuck in?" Jack didn't look at all happy, and from his seat a few meters away, Teal'c stared at Daniel in what had to be dismay.

"I think so."

Jon looked back and forth between the two of them. "Experiment? I don't like the sound of that?"

"The people who built the Stargates, the Ancients, were technologically advanced, but let's say they didn't always use their knowledge wisely." Daniel's smile was slightly twisted. "The last time we ran into a failed experiment, it trapped all of us in a time loop for months."

"So, did somebody stick us here because they were mucking around with it?" Jack looked at Jon, with dawning suspicion.

Jon held up his hands. "Whoa there, we didn't touch anything, we were just looking at it."

"Sir, I don't think it was anything on this end that triggered what happened," Sam said, looking up from her own work. "I could be wrong, but that doesn't seem likely."

"But there *is* the minor coincidence of our arriving just as you came here to study the planet," Jack said.

"We came because on the way to investigating an incipient supernova, my science officer noticed strange readings from an abandoned planet. Maybe it was the Stargate, or maybe the readings heralded your arrival, but that's why they dropped us off here. They'll be back in two days."

Jack relaxed slightly. "That makes sense."

"Let's get back to figuring out what happened," Jon said.

Jon and Jack had to drag the scientists away from the Stargate when night fell a short time later. It was tough, but when Trip found himself having to hold a light so Sam could see something, even he had to concede the logic of breaking off work. The planet's one moon wasn't reflecting enough light to be of much help. In fact, it was just enough to cast faint shadows across the ground.

Everyone trekked the half mile to where the Enterprise crew had left Shuttlepod One and its supplies. The walk wasn't far, but it was much worse in the dark than it had been earlier. It wasn't just the difficulty of not tripping over debris, it was the alien feel of the empty city.

Voices that had been raised while they worked dropped to just a murmur as the humans (and one Jaffa) reacted to the oppressive darkness. Malcolm, on point, looked tense even though there was still no evidence of any sentient life on the planet.

Jon and Trip brought up the rear, and the former found himself eyeing the looming buildings with caution. Trip grinned at him. "Spooky, huh? Too bad Travis isn't here, this'd be perfect for one of his ghost stories."

Jon sighed. "I think it's the emptiness, the quiet, that bother me. Since we don't know why they left, my mind keeps imagining more horrible possibilities."

"I know what you mean. Plague, natural disaster, some weapon that only kills living beings, any of 'em are possible until we know something more."

Everyone sighed with relief when they reached the campsite. In true human fashion, the first thing they did was build a fire, a little rebellion against the dark. With the flames licking up into the sky, everyone seemed to relax a bit, although Teal'c, Jack, and Malcolm continued to keep an eye on the shadows outside their ring.

"I can't believe this happened to us again," Jack grumbled to Jon as he leaned against the shuttle and idly tossed pebbles at a nearby wall. "I just wanted to get home and watch the hockey game. Is that too much to ask?"

Jon grinned at him. "Water polo for me, but I know what you mean. It's always something, isn't it?"

"Yeah," Jack said, then he got a strange expression on his face. "Wait a minute, I've had a thought. You say you guys are what the military turned into, right?"

"Yes."

"And you're off doing the exploration thing?"

"Yes."

"Well, what the hell happened to the Stargates in the last 150 years? Have you ever heard of the Goa'uld? The Tok'ra? The Asgard?"

Jon shook his head. "No. They don't sound familiar. And I've never seen anything like this Stargate before."

Sam looked up from where she and Trip were huddling over a padd. "Sir, I think we've done something a lot more serious than travel in time."

Daniel and Hoshi had been making notes on another padd and they both looked up. "Jack, she's right. There are too many inconsistencies. I don't think we're even in our own universe, our own timestream, anymore."

"Did we run into another set of those quantum mirrors, then?"

"No, sir, I don't *think* so," Sam said. She frowned as she tried to figure out how to explain it. "Those only cycled through different realities, different universes, not through time as well. This is something different."

"Well, hell," Jack said. He banged his head back against the shuttle behind him. "Just another fine mission with SG-1. Why doesn't anything normal ever happen to us? Other teams get shot, we get shot through time and dimensions in space."

Jon chuckled. "I often feel that way. I'd like to get through just one first contact without someone being shot, kidnapped, or hit on the head."

Jack stopped throwing pebbles and frowned harder. "What the hell do we do now?"

"Now, we eat, we get some rest, and in the morning we figure out what happened."

"Thanks, we appreciate the help."

"It's the least we can do for fellow humans stranded far from home."

Jack turned to the rest of the team. "Okay, folks, we're bedding down here for the night."

"Good," Trip said with a yawn, "just now if I look at one more reading, my brain's gonna explode."

Sam smiled. "Well, as interesting a scientific phenomenon as that would be, I think I'll pass."

Daniel and Hoshi took the various food supplies and managed to put together a remarkably palatable stew, and as everyone ate, they got to know each other.

"So," Malcolm said, stirring a spoon through his bowl, "in all your traveling you've surely seen some interesting weaponry." He'd finally relaxed after several hours spent with their visitors.

Trip's eyes rolled up so far in his head it looked like they'd be lost forever. "Give it a rest, pal, just for a little while. Not everything is about weapons."

"Relax, he's just doing his job, trying to protect us." Jon chuckled at the look on his friend's face. "And we're certainly not the easiest people to protect."

Daniel, sensing a need to change the subject, spoke up from his corner of the group. "It's unbelievable," he said, absentmindedly eating while studying the Universal Translator. "This device learns languages, remembers them, and translates them."

"So, we wouldn't need you anymore?" Jack asked, balancing his already empty plate on two fingers.

"No," Hoshi said, "I'm afraid it's not that easy. Even with languages it knows, the Universal Translator can't interpret body language or tone the way a person can. And it still needs a lot of help to learn."

"Sorry, Colonel, you won't get rid of your linguist that easily," Malcolm said.

"Besides, sir, would *you* like to do the archaeology portion of Daniel's job?" Sam was checking and repacking her gear, and didn't look up as she spoke, but everyone could see the hint of a smile.

"Well, we haven't done much in the way of archaeology," Trip said, "but Hoshi's certainly been good to have around. She's saved our bacon more than a few times."

Hoshi blushed. Jon liked how it looked on her so he picked up where Trip left off. "For instance, our ship was invaded by a creature that tried to absorb several of us, and we would have died if she hadn't figured out how to speak to it."

"Sir!" Hoshi said, blushing harder. "I couldn't have done it without Sub-Commander T'Pol's help."

The conversation continued to meander, SG-1 explaining the Goa'uld, the Enterprise crew describing Klingons, everyone comparing the number of injuries.

"We've still got you beat on the injury front," Jack said, "but we've also been at this a couple years longer."

"I have a bad feeling we're catching up pretty quick," Trip said.

"And at least Daniel's never managed to get pregnant," Sam said.

Trip groaned and flung his arms out in supplication. "I am *never* gonna live that down, am I?"

"No," his crewmates said in unison.

"Okay, folks," Jack said, "I think it's time we get some sleep. I'll take first watch."

"Wake me in a few hours," Malcolm replied.

And with that, everyone dispersed to tents. Just before he shut the zipper to his, Jon got a glimpse of Hoshi and Sam, heads together, laughing as they walked. He shuddered at the thought of what they might be talking about.


--continued in part two--