Stargate Horizons


I have been away for only a short while, yet, when I return, I see that more have come to this world that has been my home for so long.  These new ones are not like the ones who came before, those who were servants of the Goa'uld and sought to take the human child.  I knew that those men must not be allowed to have the baby, so I destroyed them.  My fellow Ancients would frown upon my actions, but I understand something they do not.  Sometimes, we have no choice but to interfere, for not doing so would damage the balance of the universe so greatly that it might not recover.

I sense that these new ones also seek the child, but their motivations are different.  There is no evil here.  There is a Jaffa among them, but he is as unlike the Jaffa who were here before as the day is unlike the night.  In time, this one could become one of us, but he is not ready.  He still has far to go on his present path.

The female human has a spirit that is both light and dark.  She has chosen both the life of a warrior and of a scientist, and these two facets of her life have colored her soul.  Yet the light within her is far greater than the darkness.  This one, too, could be one of us if she would allow herself to see beyond the physical and accept the spiritual.

From the temple comes a man with the soul of a warrior.  There is much darkness in him, yet the light dispels many of the shadows.  I sense that he has no patience with our teachings.  This one would need to learn much before he could be one of us.  It may be that his path could never lead him to ascension.

Another Jaffa emerges from the temple.  He is many years older than the other one and has seen much more death, yet, like the younger one, he had turned from the path that their brethren walk upon.  It may be that, when this one's life is done, he will find the true path.

Something draws me into the temple, for I sense that there is another.  And that is when I see him.  I have known many humans over the millennia of my existence, yet never have I met one with a mind so open and a heart so willing to learn.  The light within him burns brightly, like a beacon shining in the night.  This one . . . ah, this one could be one of us so very easily, truly one of us, not one who can only ascend with the help of one of us, but one with the capacity to transcend his physical form through his own choosing.  I can feel the potential burning like a candle flame deep within his essence, like the flame he is attempting now to light with his mind.  He has the power to light the candle on his own, but I will help him, for the power is latent, sleeping in his mind, just as it is sleeping within the minds of most of his species.

This one whose name is Daniel wants the child, too, but his reasons are a need to protect, to shelter.  The boy has a special meaning to him.  But he is not ready to be the child's protector, and I must teach him this.  Someday, this may be different, but, for now, the boy must stay under my guardianship.

Everything I believed about the one called Daniel is true.  If the other Jaffa had not come, he could have become one of us before the night was done.  Never before have I met such an apt pupil.  Yet I sense that he is not yet ready.  He must travel a while longer on his present path.  There are more lessons for him to learn.  Even so, I find myself not wanting to depart his company.  I have known him only moments, yet I feel love for his beautiful soul and the brightness of his mind.  I must touch him, feel his flesh beneath my fingers.

Yes.  With that touch I have seen much.  I sense that, someday, he will be one of us, but he will suffer greatly before then.  I wish that I could prevent his suffering, for he has already suffered so much.  But it is not for me to decide when his time to join us will be.  And so I will watch over him so that, when his end draws near, I will be there to help him see that his place is among us.

Farewell, Daniel.  We will meet again.

Shifu has told me that he taught Daniel a lesson today.  Daniel has learned that he must find a new path.  Shifu believes, as I, that he will soon be one of us.  But this time that has passed since our first meeting has been difficult for Daniel.  The weight on his soul grows heavy.  I fear that he will become lost before he joins us.  Shifu says that Daniel is strong, that his heart will not give up.  Only time will tell if he is right.  I hope that he is.

The time has come.  I sensed it immediately.  Daniel's mortal body is failing him, and it is time for him to leave it behind and ascend.  Oh, but his soul is so weary.  Too much pain has he suffered.  He believes himself unworthy to gain ascension.  And, because he believes so, he cannot take that step.  He must have faith in himself and believe in the value of his deeds and his soul or he will never find the power to ascend.  I could use my power to help bring upon the change, as I have with others.  But, no.  Daniel must do this on his own.  I can only guide him and help him see the way.  He has the ability to become as the Ancients, and I must not rob him of that.  I can only help him see the truth about himself.  Once that is done, he will join us through the power of his own choosing.

It is done.  In the space of a breath not taken, the beat of a silenced heart, he is here.  He does not have our knowledge yet, for that is something we must give him, but he has our power.  Even now, so newly born to this form, I can feel it burning within him.  He will be great among us.

Yet within me there is a concern.  Though his mortal body is no more, his mortal heart remains.  He believes that he will have the ability to do more as an Ascended One, and, in some ways, this is true, but he does not yet know that he may not interfere in the affairs of mortals.  Will he accept this?  His love for his people is great, especially for the three who were his companions.  Will that love prevent him from following our ways?  I will have to watch him closely.  If he breaks the laws of the Ancients, he will be punished, and I must not let that happen.  Because I defy the laws of my people, I am outcast among them.  They allow me to continue my work, but I know that I walk a fine line.  With Daniel it would be different.  I must protect him from the others.

He has been denied the knowledge.  Not all of it, but enough that he does not realize what he is, what I and my kind are.  This was not my decision, but of the others.  They believe that he must prove himself before being given all of the knowledge.  They sense, as I do, that his heart still cleaves to his fellow humans and to those who were his friends and allies.

He will soon be tested.  The one called Jack O'Neill is a prisoner of the Goa'uld Ba'al.  Daniel believes that his friend can ascend.  I have not told him that O'Neill's spirit is not ready for such a step.  I know that Daniel must try to help his friend in this way, but what will he do when he realizes that O'Neill cannot, will not take that step?  I must watch closely.

Ah, my Daniel.  You were so subtle with your interference.  If I had not been watching you, I would have been unaware of it.  But I did see.  I find myself smiling at what you did.  You took no physical actions, nothing overt.  You merely whispered into the minds of those who could help O'Neill and showed them the way.  I know that you are pleased by the outcome, as am I.  What would have happened to O'Neill if you had not acted would have forever darkened a part of your spirit.

If the others knew of what you have done, they would be displeased, but it was such a small thing that I will not tell them.  They need not know.  But I wonder what you will do if something like this happens again.

I can sense the grief and frustration within him.  The woman named Samantha is dying, the victim of Nirrti's experiments.  She is in great pain, and Daniel wants to help her.  He wants to heal her.  But I cannot let him interfere, not this time.  The only way that he could help would surely draw the attention of the others, and I must protect him.  He is angry at me for forbidding him even to appear to Samantha to give her comfort.  I fear that anger may someday drive him to step so far over the line that I will have no choice but to act.  My kind cannot see the future, but we can sense things that are on the horizon, and I feel that there will soon come a day when Daniel will have to make a choice between the life he has now and the life he left behind.

For three days he has been with the Jaffa called Teal'c.  Throughout those days, he has given his friend strength and comfort, yet he has done nothing that would incur the displeasure of the others.  Even so, his actions have saved Teal'c's life and the life of the other Jaffa, Bra'tac.  Perhaps Daniel is finally learning and is ready to leave behind the last of his ties with his humanity.

Even as I think this, I know that something is coming.  A crisis is approaching that will force Daniel to choose, once and for all, what path he will walk upon.

Daniel has chosen.  In truth, his choice did not surprise me.  I admit that, all those years ago, when I first saw him, I failed to see that the love in Daniel's heart is too great, his need to help others too strong to ever be able to accept the chains that our laws put upon him.  At the same time as this saddens me it also brings me joy, for, in this way, Daniel is so much more than we are.  His spirit cannot be imprisoned.  His courage knows no bounds.  During his mortal life he sacrificed himself many times for the sake of others, and he has now done so again.

With my power I have helped all the people of Abydos ascend.  I did this for Daniel's sake, for the loss of those people would have irreparably scarred his spirit.  Daniel knows what I have done and is grateful, but he also knows that I now have a difficult task before me.  His punishment has been left in my hands, and I find myself unwilling to mete it out.  Daniel's passionate argument as he stood before the others had so many words of truth, and I know that some of them agreed, but not enough.  Most of my kind refuse to change their way of thinking.

Daniel and I are alone now, the others having withdrawn.

"So, what now, Oma?"  he asks.

I look upon him and see no regret, though he knows that his punishment will be harsh.  "There is no regret within you for what you did."

"No.  I only regret that I did not succeed.  I can't be like you and the others, Oma.  I tried, but I can't stand back and do nothing, just stand aside and watch terrible things happen when I have the power to help.  To even try is a betrayal of who I am."

"This I know," I say.

"So, I ask again.  What happens now?"

"There is a choice for you to make."

"Me?  What choice?  What my punishment will be?"

I nod my head.

"What are my options?"

"There are two.  The first is exile on a world with no life for a time period of our choosing."

"You mean like Orlin was?"

"Yes.  When we feel that you are ready, you will be offered the opportunity to rejoin us."

"What's the other option?"

"To become human once again."

"Human?  You mean descend?  I'd have my old body back?"


"The last time I had a human body, Oma, it was dying of radiation poisoning," Daniel reminds me.

"You would be healthy and whole, your body created anew.  But you would lose all that you have gained in your time with us.  All memories of your life as an Ascended One would be gone.  It is the law of the others.  Also taken would be the memories of your life before you ascended."

"Whoa, wait a minute.  You mean that I'd have no memories at all?  I wouldn't know who I am? My entire life would be gone?"

"There is no other way," I tell him regretfully.

"What of my knowledge, the languages I have learned, the things I have studied?  Would it all be gone, too?"

"The knowledge would still be there, only you will not know it until you seek to learn it again."

"When I go to relearn everything, it'll start coming back to me?"

"Some of it will.  Other things may not."

"So, my choices are to be exiled alone for several hundred years or more, then continue living an existence that I can no longer accept and still be true to myself or to be made human again but lose all memory of who I am and perhaps lose a big chunk of the knowledge I've spent my whole life gaining."

I say nothing.  There is nothing more I can tell him.  I cannot influence his decision.

Daniel turns away from me for a long moment.  When he turns back, I know what he has decided.  His words confirm this.

"I'm sorry, Oma.  I cannot live like you do.  I can't sit on the sidelines as others fight and die.  It is not in me to be that kind of person."

"Then you have chosen."

"Yes.  Even though I'm going to lose my past and perhaps much of what I know, at least I'll be in control of my own life again.  And, maybe someday, I'll be able to rejoin the fight against the Goa'uld, to help others again.  It's the only choice I can make."

"This I also know."

Daniel looks at me with those beautiful eyes that are so wise for one who is so young.  "I'm sorry, Oma.  I know I've disappointed you."

"A flower rises from the earth, blooms in the warmth of summer, then fades and returns to the earth when winter arrives.  One cannot be disappointed when the flower is gone, for that is the way it must be.  All things must be true to their nature."


I reach out and touch his face one last time.  With that touch, I see a truth I was blind to before.  Daniel's time among us has served a purpose, not the one that I had believed it would, but one that I now realize is a far greater purpose than if he had remained one of us.

What is happening now is not an ending.  Though Daniel's path is returning to its former course, in doing so, a new future is opening to him, one that I must make sure comes to pass, even if I must break the laws of my people yet again.

And so it is done.  Daniel is once again human, left upon a world of strangers.  And, once more, I have defied the will of the others, though they do not know it.  When the time is right, Daniel will remember.  His knowledge and memories of his mortal life will return.  As for those of his time as one of the Ascended, in time, he may remember them as well, when he has need.

At the proper time, I must go to the world of Daniel's birth and make sure that those who love him most will find him and help him fulfill the destiny that I sense lies before him.

Someday soon, Daniel will realize that one does not need to be taught what they already know.

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