Stargate Horizons


Daniel stared at the candle for a long moment, then his eyes cast about the room.  "Oma?  Oma, are you here?"  There was no reply to his call.  He looked back down at the candle.  What was going on here?  Had he really been visited by Oma or had it been just a dream.  If it was just a dream, who put out the candle?  Maybe he accidentally blew it out in his sleep.  That was the most logical answer.  But should he be accepting the logical answer?

Daniel thought about what Oma had said.  'Power is in the knowing, and in the knowing is found power.'

All at once, Daniel recalled what the monk had said when Jack sarcastically asked if the man could teach him how to light candles and move things with his mind.

"I cannot teach you what you already know."

Suddenly realizing what Oma and the monk had been saying, Daniel turned his gaze back to the unlit candle.  Though it was harder this time because of his excitement, he brought himself back to the mental state he was in before he fell asleep.  Not taking his eyes from the candle, he focused his entire will upon lighting it.  A brief instant later, the wick burst into flames.  Daniel stared at it.  He'd done it.  He actually lit the candle.  Struggling to remain calm, Daniel attempted to put the flame out.  It took only a couple of seconds to succeed.

"Okay, this is, um . . . interesting," Daniel said aloud to the empty room.  "Oma, if you're here and playing a trick on me, please stop.  This is really serious, and I'm not in the mood for tricks."  Again, there was no reply.

Daniel rose and took the candle into the kitchen.  He sat at the kitchen table for a long time, thinking about what had just happened.  Back on Kheb, he had fully believed that he was the one who was doing those things, that he had the power to control fire and move objects with his mind.  But here in the stark reality of his own house, it was a little harder to accept.  Not that he didn't believe that humans had the potential to do such things.  No, he had always believed that the human mind had the capacity to move beyond the limits modern beliefs placed upon it and reach a higher level.  He was just having a hard time accepting that he had managed to do so himself.  And why now?  Had he always possessed this ability or had something changed?  Could it be because of his ascension?

Daniel had suspected that his unusual proficiency with biofeedback might have something to do with his ascension, but he'd had no proof.  Now, again, he was beginning to wonder if he might have returned to human form not quite the same as he was before.

The archeologist's eyes came to rest on a fork sitting on the kitchen counter.  Almost instinctively now, he calmed his mind, slowing his brainwave frequency until he reached that same feeling as before.  He willed the fork to move.  What happened next shocked the hell out of him.  The fork launched across the kitchen and dining room like a missile and slammed into the far wall, its tines burying deeply into the drywall.

The archeologist stared dumbly at the fork sticking out of the wall, stunned by what he had just done.

It was then that Daniel got scared.

Quickly leaving the chair, he went to the window and stood staring out at the night beyond.  He could have killed someone.  If anyone had been here with him that fork might have hit them.  The danger that this kind of power could pose to others or even to himself became all too apparent.

Daniel knew that he needed to tell someone at the SGC about this, but then what?  He could just imagine what would happen.  He'd be turned into a lab rat, his brain studied and tested to find the secret of his ability.  They might even remove him from SG-1 and transfer him to some special program.

All at once, Daniel wished that he'd never discovered what he could do.  But this was not something that he could ignore or pretend didn't exist.  Perhaps he could keep it a secret, at least for a while, until he figured out what he was going to do once everyone found out.

Decision made, Daniel went to bed.  But sleep did not come.  Lying awake in the darkness, he wondered if he'd just discovered a new facet of his life only to lose the part of his life that was more important to him than anything else.

Sam glanced over at Daniel with a frown.  Since arriving on the base yesterday morning, the archeologist had seemed distracted.  They all went out on one of their team dinners last night, and Daniel had been uncharacteristically quiet, appearing to be deep in thought about something.  Jack, of course, had noticed as well and tried to draw the younger man out, without success.

Now, they were all in the gate room, waiting as the chevrons dialed up.  Jack was joking about something, and Daniel appeared to be totally oblivious to it.  Seeing that his joke was not penetrating through to the archeologist, the colonel fell silent and met Sam's eyes questioningly, jerking his head in Daniel's direction.  Sam gave him a shrug.  She couldn't answer his unspoken question.

Anything Jack might have said to Daniel was put on hold by the activation of the Stargate.  The sound apparently broke through the linguist's thoughts, and he looked at the gate with a slightly startled expression.

With a final glance in Daniel's direction, his teammates went with him through the event horizon.  They stepped out on the other side into the broken ruins of an ancient city.

Jack looked about and casually asked, "So, what did you say this place looked like, Daniel?"

Daniel glanced at him, then returned his gaze to the ruins.  "The architecture resembles that seen in Mesopotamia, an ancient region of what is now Iraq."

His mind now fully engaged in the archeological treasures around them, Daniel went on to talk about his thoughts and beliefs regarding the people who had lived there and when in history they were taken from Earth.  Jack shot Sam a self-satisfied grin, congratulating himself on getting Daniel back to his usual loquacious self.  Smiling, Sam began exploring the ruins with her teammates.

After an hour of walking, they reached the center of the city.  Daniel frowned upon seeing something that didn't fit in with the rest of the architecture.

"Um, Teal'c, you'd better take a look at this," he said.

The Jaffa joined him.  "This is of Goa'uld origin."

"Yeah, that's pretty obvious, isn't it."

"Oh, just great," Jack muttered.  He studied the lone column of black stone that stood before them.  "So, what does it say?"

Daniel and Teal'c stepped closer to read the Goa'uld writing.

"It is a warning," Teal'c answered.  "The people of this world defied the Goa'uld and were destroyed by Imhotep."

"Imhotep?  That sounds familiar.  Didn't we kill him?" Jack asked.

"Actually, Teal'c did," Daniel reminded him.  "Imhotep was the Goa'uld who passed himself off as a Jaffa on Cal Mah and tricked all the rebel Jaffa there into following him."

"Oh, yeah.  He called himself Kato, right?"


"Whatever.  The point is that he's dead, so we don't have to worry about him showing up here."

Teal'c's head nodded faintly.  "Indeed.  Imhotep will never return to this planet and has paid for the deaths of these people."

"Good, 'cus I'm really not in the mood for—"

The all too familiar sound of approaching Jaffa cut Jack's sentence off.

"For that!" Jack hissed.

Before he could say anything else, the blast from a staff weapon slammed into a nearby structure.  SG-1 immediately sought cover, diving behind a low stone wall.

"You know, I am really going to have to have a long talk with the people who make those UAVs since they are obviously not detecting the things they should be detecting!" Jack yelled as he fired at the Jaffa who had suddenly appeared.

"There was no sign of recent Goa'uld actively, sir," Sam told him, also firing.  "These Jaffa must have just arrived."

Jack ducked as another staff weapon blast came a bit too close for comfort.  "And they had to pick now of all times to show up?"

Sam fired at the Jaffa, who were slowly advancing on their position.  "We're pinned down, sir, and there's no way that we'll be able to make it back to the gate.  The Jaffa are between us and it."

More staff weapon blasts made a mess of the wall that SG-1 was using for cover.  "We need better cover!" Jack shouted.

Daniel looked at the nearest building.  "If we can make it to that building, we'll have more shelter."

Jack looked at the structure in question.  It was forty feet away, and there was no cover between it and them.  Could they make it?

"Carter, on my mark, toss a grenade into the middle of those Jaffa and make a run for it.  Daniel, you go with her.  Teal'c and I will cover you.  Once you're safe, I'll use another grenade, and you cover us."

Sam unclipped one of the grenades from her belt, and took hold of the pin.  She waited for her commanding officer's signal.  It came a few seconds later.  Pulling the pin, Sam waited a brief moment, then threw the grenade, which landed right in the middle of the enemy Jaffa.  The explosion tossed several of them through the air.  Not waiting for those still alive to regroup, Daniel and Sam ran as fast as they could for the building, shooting at the Jaffa as they went.  From their shelter, Jack and Teal'c pounded the enemy with bullets and staff weapon fire.

Daniel dashed through the doorway of the structure, Sam right on his heels.  Taking cover behind the wall to the left of the door, they began firing upon the Jaffa, providing cover for their teammates.  A second grenade sailed through the air and wreaked havoc among the Jaffa.  Jack and Teal'c instantly dashed for the building.  Jack was nearly hit by a staff weapon blast, which came close enough to singe his hair.  He fairly threw himself into the building.

"Damn!  That was way too close!" he said, panting, as he ducked behind the wall on the other side of the doorway from Daniel and Sam.  Teal'c joined him on that side.

"Will this place hold against those staff weapons?" Sam asked.

"The walls are thick enough that we'll be okay for now," Daniel replied, "but it's not going to hold forever."

"Then we need to figure out how we're going to get out of here," Jack stated.  He fired off a shot at a Jaffa who'd gotten careless and exposed himself.  "We're not due back for another six hours.  I'm not sure if we'll be able to hold our position that long."  He looked at Daniel.  "I suppose there's no chance of any secret passageways around here that will take us back to the gate."

"Sorry, Jack.  I kind of doubt it."

"Is there a back door to this place?"

"There might be.  If so, it's possible that we could lose the Jaffa in the ruins and circle around back to the gate."

"All right, you go look for another way out of here.  We'll keep our unwelcome guests busy."

Daniel immediately went in search of another way out.  It didn't take him long to find a second doorway.  To his dismay, however, he discovered that it was hopelessly blocked by a fallen piece of roof.  A search of the rest of the building found no other exit.  He returned to his teammates.

"I found another door, but it's blocked, and I don't think that even Teal'c could clear it," he told them.

"Crap," Jack cursed.  "Any other ideas anyone?"

"I'm fresh out, sir," Sam admitted.  "We may have to dig in here and hope that we can hold out till Hammond contacts us and sends help."

"If these Jaffa came through the Stargate, they may call for more aid," Teal'c stated.  "It is also possible that there are already other Jaffa on this planet who will be arriving soon."

Jack shot off another burst of gunfire.  "Yeah, that's what I'm afraid of."

Even as he said those words, another troop of Jaffa arrived.  The enemy fire immediately doubled, forcing SG-1 to take cover.

Kneeling behind the wall, Daniel glanced outside.  They were pinned down, badly outnumbered, and with no way to escape.  If more Jaffa came, their position would be overrun.  The archeologist looked at his teammates.  If something wasn't done, they might all die today.  Jack, Sam and Teal'c were out of options, but there was a possible option that they didn't know about.  The question was, could Daniel risk it?  More importantly, did he even possess the power that would be needed to get them all out of this alive?

Hoping that he wasn't making a mistake, Daniel closed his eyes and attempted to quiet his mind.  The sound of gunfire and staff weapon blasts made it extremely hard, and, for a long moment, he thought he was going to fail.  But then he felt the change in his mind, the calming of his emotions and his body.  He quieted his mind further, reaching that place of stillness where he'd found the power.

Realizing that Daniel had not fired his weapon in a while, Jack looked over at him.  The younger man was kneeling on the floor, utterly still, his eyes closed.  There was a strange look of peace on his face that reminded Jack of an expression he'd seen there before, though he couldn't remember when.

"Daniel, what—"

Jack never got a chance to finish his sentence, for, without warning, a huge ball of fire blossomed out of thin air and blasted toward the Jaffa.  The screams of Jaffa being incinerated came to them an instant later.

"My God!" Sam cried.

Shocked by what had just happened, Jack glanced at her, but his gaze was caught by the sight of Daniel.  The light of the fire was reflecting on his glasses eerily, and it suddenly hit Jack when and where he'd seen that look on the archeologist's face before.  He swung his head around in time to witness another fireball explode into existence and hurtle toward the Jaffa.  Apparently choosing life over the rather nasty alternative, the men made a hasty retreat, pursued for several yards by the flames.

The silence that followed was deafening.  As the dust settled, Jack returned his attention to Daniel.  The linguist was staring at the burned remains of the Jaffa who had perished in the fire, an expression of anguish on his face.

"Daniel?  What's going on?" Jack asked quietly.  "Is Oma hiding around here somewhere?"

Daniel got to his feet.  "No, Jack.  Oma isn't here."  He met the colonel's gaze with eyes that held a look of horror and guilt.  "I did that."  Then he walked out of the building and away from the destruction.

Stunned, Jack, Sam and Teal'c all looked at each other.  Then they hurried after their teammate.  The first to reach Daniel, Jack grabbed his arm, halting the man's further progress.

"Whoa there.  What are you saying, Daniel?"

"Exactly what I told you, Jack," Daniel responded wearily.

"Daniel, how is that possible?" Sam asked.

"You thought it was you before, and it turned out to be Oma," Jack reminded him.

"I know that, Jack, but I don't think it was Oma who put that fork in my wall night before last."


"Last Tuesday night, I was meditating, using the biofeedback techniques that I learned from Doctor White.  During our sessions, I had reached a brainwave frequency that made me feel something familiar, something I was sure I'd experienced before, but I couldn't remember when.  I went to that frequency again Tuesday night, and, this time, I remembered.  It was the same way I felt on Kheb when the monk was teaching me how to light fires and move objects by mental command.  Shortly after I realized that, I fell asleep and had a dream."

"What did you dream?" Sam asked.

"Oma was talking to me.  She told me, 'Power is in the knowing, and in the knowing is found power.'"

"As clear as mud, just like that nonsense her pet monk said," Jack remarked.

"Jack, do you recall what that monk said when you asked me if he could teach you how to light candles and move stuff just by thinking about it?"

"Uh, no, not really."

"He said, 'I cannot teach you what you already know.'"

"Which makes no sense at all."

"Yes, it does, Jack.  It makes perfect sense.  The problem is that I forgot about it later.  Many people believe that all humans have what we would call paranormal abilities.  It's just that the abilities are latent, and most people don't have the capacity to consciously access them."

Sam stared at him.  "And you're saying that you do now?"

Daniel's gaze focused on the destruction in the distance.  "Yeah.  I realized that all I needed to do was believe that I could do it."

"What's that you said about a fork in your wall?" Jack asked, still not ready to believe what Daniel was saying.

"I . . . experimented a little and sort of had a mishap.  I sent a fork flying across the room, and it stuck in my dining room wall."  Again, Daniel's eyes went to the place where he had killed the Jaffa.  "I didn't intend to kill them," he said in a low voice, turning away.

"Oh, Daniel," Sam murmured.  She didn't know if she believed that it really was Daniel who created those fireballs, but he believe it, and he was feeling guilty over accidentally killing those Jaffa like that.  She laid a comforting hand on his shoulder.

Jack stepped closer.  "Look, Daniel.  It's not that I don't believe you.  I just think that your friend Oma is behind this somehow.  Maybe she doesn't want you to know that she's around and is letting you believe that it's you who's doing these things."

Daniel looked at him.  "For what purpose, Jack?  Why do that?  What reason would she have?"

"I don't know, Daniel.  Maybe she's decided to appoint herself your guardian angel but doesn't want anyone else to know."

"Jack, she let me die a horrible death from radiation poisoning when we all know now that she could have healed me instead of trying to convince me to ascend.  Obviously, it wasn't because she was afraid of defying the laws of the Ancients.  She'd already done that several times.  She wanted me to ascend.  So, why would she decide now to keep me alive?"

"Like I said, Daniel, I don't know.  But this is something that we can figure out later.  We need to get back to the gate before the Jaffa who got away bring more friends."

SG-1 headed for the Stargate.  Out of concern for Daniel, Jack took a different route back, one that didn't pass within sight of the carnage that had been wrought.

The Stargate was being guarded by eight Jaffa, which, as far as Jack was concerned, proved how stupid Jaffa were sometimes.  If he'd been attacked by giant fireballs that appeared out of nowhere, he would have been through the gate faster than you could say "charbroiled Jaffa."

SG-1 managed to take out all of the guards.  As Daniel dialed out, the others kept an eye out for danger.  They didn't relax until they'd safely arrived back at the SGC.

Hammond approached them.  "Colonel?  You weren't scheduled to return for another five hours."  He looked at their disheveled appearance.  "Did you run into trouble?"

"Oh, yeah, you could say that.  Some of the friendly neighborhood Jaffa decided to drop in and say hi."

"Are any of you injured?"

"No, sir, we're all okay."

"All right.  Report for your post-mission physicals and get cleaned up.  We'll debrief in an hour."

"Yes, sir."

SG-1 headed to the infirmary, all of them thinking about what would happen during the upcoming debriefing.

Next Chapter

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