Stargate Horizons


After the Jaffa had pledged themselves as allies, things went a lot more smoothly, though the way that some of the Jaffa looked at him still made Daniel uneasy.  The last thing he wanted was for them to see him as a new leader.  That was one of the reasons why he hadn't wanted to reveal his abilities to any of them.  The other, more important reason was something that he would now have to try to prevent.

"There is something I must ask you not to do," he said after they had all been discussing things for a while.  "I need you to swear that you won't tell anyone about me, and that includes your families and other rebel Jaffa."

"Why do you wish to keep your power a secret?" a Jaffa asked.  "The Goa'uld flaunt their power, using it to discourage those who would seek to attack them."

"It's because of the Goa'uld that what I can do must be kept secret.  If they find out about me, they'll hunt me down and either kill me or try to take me as a host.  If my abilities are kept hidden from them, I can work in secret until the right time comes to strike."

Several Jaffa nodded in agreement.

"What you say is both wise and true," No'am stated.  "We will not speak of what we witnessed this day."

Several others spoke up and gave their promise to keep the secret.

"Why do you not destroy the Goa'uld one by one with your power?" a Jaffa asked the archeologist.  "With such power, you could strike at them, destroying any who stood in your way."

"My power is not without limit," Daniel explained.  "I haven't yet discovered that limit, but I'm pretty sure that I wouldn't be able to wipe out the hundreds of Jaffa that would stand between me and a Goa'uld.  And would you want me to?  How many of those Jaffa would be like you, men who want to be free but have no choice but to serve the Goa'uld?  Even if I had the capacity, I couldn't slaughter hundreds of men just to get at one Goa'uld.  I'd be no better than the Goa'uld if I did that."

"What Daniel Jackson says is correct," Bra'tac stated.  "If we are to defeat the Goa'uld, we must do so in a way that will spare as many of our fellow Jaffa as we can.  With the right plan," he looked at Daniel, "and the right use of power, we can cut the Goa'uld out like a knife cutting the heart out of an enemy's chest."

Daniel grimaced at the analogy, wishing that Bra'tac had used something a bit less . . . graphic.

"What is your plan?" No'am asked, his question addressed to Daniel rather than Bra'tac.  There was a look in the man's eyes that really made Daniel uncomfortable.  It was almost . . . worshipful.

"There is something that we're looking for, and I'm hoping that you can help us.  Are all of you familiar with the writing of the Ancients?"

Some nodded, while others shook their heads.  Daniel scratched a few lines of Ancient text in the dirt.  "It looks like this."

"What is its importance?" one of the Jaffa asked.

"We are looking for information about something, something that may help us against the Goa'uld.  If any of you know of planets where this kind of writing exists, I'd like to have the addresses."

Several of the Jaffa said that they had seen such writing, and those who could remember the gate addresses gave them to Daniel.  He and Teal'c then asked about other planets that might be of interest to them.  After that, the two former SG-1 team members gathered some intel from the Jaffa.  Some of it was very useful, useful enough that Daniel wished he had a way to safely pass on the information to the SGC.  Then he realized that maybe there was a way.  He knew some of the addresses of planets that were on the SGC's schedule to visit soon.  Perhaps he could somehow leave a message at one of them.

Finally, everything was wrapped up, and the rebel Jaffa departed through the Stargate, Bra'tac remaining behind to discuss some final things with Daniel and Teal'c.

"I must apologize to you, Daniel Jackson," the Jaffa Master said.  "I admit that my excitement over your power spurred me to show it to the others.  Many of the ones who were here today have great doubts that we can win against the Goa'uld, and I believed that seeing your power and knowing that you fight on our side would strengthen their confidence.  I did not anticipate the reaction of some.  I also did not consider the possibility that word of your power would spread through them to the Goa'uld and endanger your life."

"So that's why you did that.  I have to admit that I wasn't very happy about it, Bra'tac.  This is not something that I want a lot of people to know about.  The more people who do, the greater the chances are that the news will spread to the Goa'uld."  Daniel sighed.  "But what's done is done.  All we can do now is hope that those Jaffa don't tell anyone."

"I have confidence that they will not speak of it.  I fear, though, that some of them still see you as something akin to a god.  With our knowledge of the Goa'uld and how they deceived us into thinking that they were gods, I had not believed that any of our numbers would so readily succumb to such beliefs again."

Daniel stared down at the ground in discomfort.  "Yeah, I noticed it, too, especially No'am."

Bra'tac smiled.  "He is young and easily impressed."

"So, what do we do about this?"

"Nothing.  You have already told them the truth, that you are not a god.  In time, this first flush of awe will fade, and they will accept that you are just a man.  But I believe, Daniel Jackson, that all who were here today will continue to hold you in reverence.  It is not every day that they see someone wield godlike powers that were not created by some device.  This can only be to our advantage.  They will be far more willing to come to the aid of a human they hold in such deep respect."

Daniel sighed.  "Well, I still don't like it, Bra'tac."

The Jaffa Master laughed.  "Truly, you are not at all like the Goa'uld, despite your power."

"Indeed he is not," Teal'c agreed.

The humor left Bra'tac's face.  "I must take leave of you now.  If you have need of me again, contact me in the same way."

Teal'c grasped his mentor's arm.  "Goodbye, old friend.  When next you see Rya'c, tell him that I think of him often and hope to see him again soon."

Bra'tac nodded and turned to Daniel.  He took hold of Daniel's arm in the same manner as he would a Jaffa, laying his other hand on the archeologist's shoulder.  "When first we met, I believed you to be weak and useless.  I soon learned that I was in error.  But, now, you have a strength that is greater than the Jaffa, and I realize that much of that strength was there all along."  He placed his hand over Daniel's heart.  "It is here.  Goodbye, Daniel Jackson.  Until we meet again."

Daniel and Teal'c watched as the man activated the Stargate and walked through it.  The archeologist looked at the list of gate addresses that he had gotten from Bra'tac and the other Jaffa.  There were dozens of them.  Those marked with an asterisk were the planets where the Jaffa had seen Ancient writing.  They would be the first ones that he and Teal'c would visit.

"It is growing late," Teal'c remarked.  "We should remain here for the night, then depart at first light."

Daniel gave him a nod and helped set up camp.

Later on, after dinner, Daniel sat staring into the flames of the campfire.  "Teal'c, do you really think that we can do this?" he asked quietly.

"Do what, Daniel Jackson?"

"Manage to accomplish something without Jack, Sam and the rest of the SGC, manage to stay alive and out of the hands of the Goa'uld."

"Yes.  How can I not after witnessing your abilities?  With such power at our disposal, I am certain that we will succeed in doing much."

Daniel kept staring into the fire.  "I just wish that it hadn't been necessary to leave Earth to do it."

"You regret your decision?"

"No.  It's what I had to do.  I only regret that it was made necessary.  And. . . ."  Daniel looked out into the night.  "I miss Sam and Jack.  I've been on missions without them plenty of times, but knowing that this isn't just a temporary situation makes it a lot worse."

"I, too, wish that O'Neill and Major Carter were with us."

Daniel met the Jaffa's eyes.  "But I'm glad that you're with me, Teal'c.  I don't know if I could have done this alone."

The two men fell silent.  A short while later, they went to bed, wondering what the days ahead would bring.

Colonel Reynolds and the rest of SG-3 proceeded warily through the woodland, constantly on the lookout for danger.  They had found signs that someone had been in the area recently, though the UAV and MALP revealed no habitations or other structures within fifty miles of the gate, with the exception of some crumbling ruins.  It was toward those ruins that they were now heading.

This mission was one that a certain archeologist would have enjoyed.  Reynolds' jaw tightened as he thought about the reason why that archeologist and the rest of SG-1 were not here instead of SG-3.

When news of Daniel and Teal'c's escape through the Stargate hit the base, it sent a shockwave through everyone.  No one had any idea why the two members of SG-1 had done it.  And then they found out something else.  Two of the men who were guarding the gate room at the time reported that their weapons were ripped out of their grasp by an unseen force.  Most shocking of all was that the men swore it was Daniel who had done it.

Not long after that, an announcement was made by General Hammond.  What he told them left them all feeling stunned . . . and many of them angry.  Daniel Jackson had somehow gained an incredible ability that could have helped the SGC in its fight against the Goa'uld, yet he had been forced to leave SG-1 because it was believed by some that it was too much of a risk to allow him to go off-world.  His and Teal'c's escape through the Stargate had been the archeologist's only hope of continuing the fight instead of being relegated to a position that would have left him unable to directly aid in defeating the Goa'uld and in helping the countless billions of humans out there in the galaxy.

Every member of Reynolds' team thought that what had been done to Daniel was wrong and that the archeologist had shown a lot of guts in doing what he did.  All of the SG teams had been told to keep an eye out for him and Teal'c and to strongly encourage them to return to the SGC.  This had been followed by every one of the SG team members making it clear that they would not be willing to do anything that would bring harm to the two men.  General Hammond had told all of them that, though the president and others high up in the chain of command wanted Daniel returned, no one was to do anything that might harm him or result in someone else being hurt.  In other words, talk to Daniel, try to reason with him, but do not attempt to force him.

Three days ago, Daniel and Teal'c had proven that, though they were no longer part of the SGC, they were still doing their job.  On their most recent mission, SG-20 had found a note attached to the DHD.  The note was written in a mixture of Spanish, Russian, French and German, but everyone instantly recognized the signature of the person who wrote it: Daniel Jackson.  Once the note was translated, it was found to be some valuable information about several Goa'uld.

A sudden sound tore Reynolds away from his thoughts.  An instant later, all hell broke loose as a large party of Jaffa appeared and started firing upon SG-3.  The humans returned fire, but it soon became apparent that they couldn't win.  There were far too many.  Reynolds called to his men to retreat to the gate.

Using the trees for cover, the team headed back toward the gate.  They were nearly there when one of the team was clipped in the arm by a staff weapon blast.  With the help of a teammate, he continued running.

At last they reached the clearing where the Stargate was.  Looking at the open ground, Reynolds knew that they were in big trouble.  There was no way that they could make it to the gate.  They'd be mowed down before they got halfway there.  But what other choice was there?  Waiting for help to arrive was out of the question.  Their first check-in wasn't due for several hours.  No one would know they were in trouble until after they failed to make it, which would be far too late to save them.

Realizing that they had no alternative, Reynolds gave the order to make a run for the Stargate, hoping that a miracle – or perhaps the Jaffa's poor aim – would save them.

Firing over their shoulders, SG-3 ran full-speed across the clearing.  They'd only covered about twenty yards when more Jaffa burst from the trees on the other side of the gate.  At the same time, one of Reynolds' men fell from a staff weapon blast to the leg.  It was then that Reynolds knew they were all going to die.

Two seconds after that, they got their miracle.

As if the very air had caught fire, a wave of flames suddenly blossomed to life and blasted toward the Jaffa who were pursuing SG-3, forcing them to turn and run or be fried where they stood.  Another wall of fire then raced at the Jaffa on the other side of the gate, who also fled.

Some of the Jaffa, either the stupidest or most stubborn, began advancing again after the flames vanished.  They didn't get very far.  The grass beneath their feet abruptly caught fire.  Screaming from the pain, the Jaffa retreated.  No matter how they tried to get around it, the fire was always there, blocking their path.  Fear finally drove the Jaffa to abandon their attack, and they ran away into the trees.

Stunned by what had just happened, SG-3 looked around as the fire flickered out.  Smoke from the burned grass filled the air, making the men cough.

"What the hell did that, sir?"

Reynolds looked at the man who had spoken.  "I have no. . . ."

The colonel's voice petered off as two figures appeared out of the smoke and came toward them.

"My God," Reynolds whispered.

"Jack, you can't put this off forever," General Hammond told the colonel.  "It's been a week.  You need to pick replacements for Doctor Jackson and Teal'c."

"I know, sir.  It's just that I keep hoping. . . ."

"That the president will change his mind and they'll come back?"

Jack sighed.  "Yes, sir."

The general's voice gentled.  "I understand your feelings, Colonel.  I feel the same way.  I wasn't shy about letting the president know that it was because of his decision that Doctor Jackson felt he had to leave and that, as long as that decision stood, neither Doctor Jackson nor Teal'c would return, which means that the SGC will not have their considerable skills.  I also pointed out that, as long as they were out there in the universe alone, without the SGC backing them up, the chances of them being caught or killed were significantly higher, meaning that, by attempting to prevent that from happening, the president had made it more likely that it would happen."

"How'd he take that, sir?"

"Well, needless to say, I was a bit more politic about how I said it, but he got the point.  He said that he would think about it.  He's not very pleased, however, that Doctor Jackson did this."

"Do you think that the president would have Daniel brought up on charges if he ever came back to Earth?"

"I'd like to think that he wouldn't because of Doctor Jackson's reason for doing it and because Earth needs him in the fight against the Goa'uld, but I can't be certain of that.  But then, it's all academic if we can't find Doctor Jackson and Teal'c."

"There's been no word from the Tok'ra?"

"No.  As you know, Jacob and several other Tok'ra are at the Alpha Site, working on the Telchak device.  They've heard nothing from any of the Tok'ra operatives about where Doctor Jackson and Teal'c might be.  However, they say that there is something going on with the rebel Jaffa.  There's a rumor spreading among the Jaffa that a very powerful ally has joined them to fight alongside them."

A smile spread across Jack's face.  "Daniel.  It's Daniel, sir.  He and Teal'c have hooked up with the rebel Jaffa.  It's exactly what I would have done in their situation.  This might explain how Daniel and Teal'c got that information they passed on."

"I believe that you may be right, but the Jaffa, when questioned, would not disclose any details.  It's possible that many may not even know the whole truth."

"If they are working directly with the Jaffa, then you can bet that Bra'tac is involved.  He might even know where Daniel and Teal'c are hiding out.  If we can get a promise from the president that Daniel will be allowed to return to SG-1 and will not be charged with anything, we can contact Bra'tac and give him the message to pass on to them."

Any further conversation was halted by the alarm of an unscheduled off-world activation.  Jack and Hammond rushed to the control room.

"Are we getting a signal?" the general asked the moment the wormhole was established.

There was a pause, then Sergeant Harriman announced, "It's SG-3, sir!"

"Open the iris."  Hammond exchanged a glance with Jack.  "They weren't due back until tomorrow."

Moments after the iris opened, all four members of SG-3 stumbled through.  Two of the men were injured from what looked like staff blasts.  Hammond called for a medical team, then headed down to the gate room with Jack.

"What happened, Colonel?" the general asked Reynolds.

"Jaffa, sir.  They hit us hard."  An expression of wonder filled the man's face.  "If it wasn't for Doctor Jackson, we'd all be dead."

"What?!  Daniel was there?" Jack shouted.

"He and Teal'c showed up just as things were looking really bad."  The man shook his head.  "I've never seen anything like it.  There was suddenly fire everywhere, blasting the Jaffa and forcing them back.  They finally tucked tail and ran."

"Did you talk to Daniel and Teal'c?"

"Yes, for a little while.  It turns out that they were there for the same reason we were, to examine those ruins.  They arrived on the planet a couple of days ago and were heading back to the gate when they heard the fighting and came running."  Reynolds gazed at the commander of SG-1.  "Daniel didn't look so good, Jack."

Concern immediately flared within Jack.  "What do you mean he didn't look so good?"

"He was pale and obviously in pain, though he seemed to get better after a few minutes."

"Was he injured?" Hammond asked, also worried.

"I don't think so, at least not in the fight.  I didn't see a mark on him.  I asked if he was okay, and he said that he was fine.  I tried to convince them to come back, but they refused, and I wasn't about to press the issue, not after seeing what Daniel can do.  I know what you told us, sir, and what the report on the mission to 353 said, but damn!  I had no idea!  It was. . . ."  Reynolds shook his head.  "I can't even describe it, sir.  It's a damn shame that Daniel is no longer working for the SGC.  We could really use that kind of power."

"Yes, we could, Colonel."

The general told Reynolds and the other uninjured man to report in an hour for debriefing, then went with Jack back up to his office.

"Okay, now I'm really worried about Daniel," Jack said.  "We need to contact him."

"I agree, Colonel.  Once SG-3's debriefing is finished, I intend to call the president and give him this new information.  This proves even more how important it is to have Doctor Jackson on an SG team.  But, regardless of what the president says, I want us to get a message to Master Bra'tac that we need to talk to Doctor Jackson and Teal'c.  We then need to arrange a safe meeting place."

"Uh, well, sir, I kind of already set that up."

Hammond stared at Jack narrowly.  "I'd say that you had better explain that to me, Colonel."

"Yes, I guess I'd better."

Next Chapter

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