Stargate Horizons


The days passed more or less uneventfully.  SG-1 went on several more missions, but they all turned out to be mostly routine, no Goa'uld, no angry natives, no nasty surprises.

Finally, the Time of Tribute on P7Y-359 was over.  The following day, SG-1, minus Daniel, went through the gate and headed to the village.  Gennae greeted them with a smile.

"Welcome, friends.  We are pleased that you have come to visit us."

"Hi, Gennae," Sam said warmly.  "First of all, we wanted to tell you that Daniel is fine.  He recovered fully from what Bendrak did to him."

The chieftain's face lit with a wide smile.  "That is wonderful news!  Did the things your doctor learn from me help him?"

"Um, well . . . actually, no.  We don't know why Daniel recovered.  It happened very suddenly."

"Perhaps my prayers to Dengai were answered, and he healed your Insharra."

"Dengai?" Jack asked.

"One of their gods, sir," Sam answered.


"Gennae, we're here for a specific reason," Sam said.  "Daniel would like to learn the history of your people, especially about Bendrak.  He was hoping that you might have written accounts that he could borrow.  But he might also need one of your people to teach him your written language if he can't read it.  We don't want him to come here because we're concerned about the danger to him that Bendrak might pose.  So, if there was a way that someone could come with us back to Earth and be his teacher, it would be appreciated."

"It would be our privilege to teach your Insharra of our people, but we have no written account of our history."

"You don't record your history in written form?"

"No.  Our Insharras are the keepers of our history.  They teach us all that we need to know."

"Um, okay, so would your Insharra be willing to come back with us?" Jack asked.

Gennae shook his head.  "Our Insharra cannot leave the people.  She has not yet completed the passing of her knowledge onto another.  If something was to happen to her, some of what she knows would be lost.  Cannot Daniel come here?"

"Like Major Carter said, we don't want to take the risk that Bendrak will attack him again," Jack explained.

"But there would be no danger of that now.  Bendrak sleeps.  He will do so for a moon."  Gennae looked at all of them, seeing their expressions.  "I swear this to you.  There would be no danger from Bendrak."

"Well, we'll think about it and let you know what we decide.  We'll come back in a day or two."

"Will you not stay with us a while?" Gennae asked.  "I have told my people of the wonders of your world.  They would enjoy learning more."

"Um, could you excuse us for a moment, Gennae?" Sam asked.  Upon receiving a nod from the old man, Sam motioned to Jack and Teal'c.  They all walked away a few yards.  "So, are you going to let Daniel come, sir?"

"I don't know yet."

"Sir, you heard Gennae.  He swears that there would be no danger to Daniel right now.  You know that the minute Daniel finds out, he's going to insist on coming here, especially since we can't bring him what he wants."

Jack sighed.  "Yeah, I know.  And I also know that he probably won't let up until I agree.  He can be damn stubborn about things."

"So, you'll let him come?"

"Yeah, okay.  He can come."

Sam smiled and walked back over to Gennae.  "We're going to let Daniel come, Gennae.  He can teach you more about our people and cultures, and he can bring books and pictures to show you."

The chieftain smiled delightedly.  "I thank you.  My people will be most pleased."

"We'll come back tomorrow.  That'll be okay, right?" Jack asked.

"Yes!  Yes, that will be good.  We will make preparations for your visit."

SG-1 returned to the SGC.

"Well, you're going to get your wish, Daniel," Jack informed the archeologist at the debriefing.

"One of the natives is coming here?"

"Nope, you're going there."

"The natives assured us that, while Bendrak is sleeping, you won't be in any danger," Sam explained.

Daniel smiled.  "Really?  That's great."

"There is one problem, though," Sam told him.  "It seems that they have no written history.  Their Insharras teach them everything."

Daniel nodded.  "That's actually quite common with more primitive cultures.  The Australian Aborigines, many African tribes, native people throughout the Americas, all over the world, in fact, passed on their history orally, often through stories and songs.  I guess I'll just have to have a conversation with their Insharra."

Jack turned to Hammond.  "We told Gennae that we'd be back tomorrow.  I assume that's all right."

"Yes, that'll be fine, Colonel."

Daniel spent the remainder of the day gathering what he thought he'd need for the mission.  It was five o'clock when Sam came into his office.  She looked at the pile of books that sat on the desk.

"Are you taking all those with you?" she asked with a smile.

"Um, no, not all of them.  Jack would throw a fit if I did."

"So, are you planning on working the whole night?"

"Hmm.  Well, that all depends on whether or not someone makes me a better offer."

Sam saw the twinkle in Daniel's eyes.  "Ah, a better offer, eh?  Well, I think that Lieutenant Parker is on duty tonight, so you're probably out of luck."

The linguist's faked a disappointed expression.  "Too bad."

"However, it's possible that I might be free.  I know it's not quite the same, but. . . ."

A smiled spread across Daniel's face.  "I think you'll do, Sam."

They managed to get off the base without Jack seeing them and inviting himself along.  Each of them driving their own car, they met at the restaurant they'd chosen.

"This is nice," Daniel said as they waited for their food.  "It's been a really long time since just the two of us went out to eat."

"Yes, it has, too long.  I'm really sorry about that, Daniel.  Before you left, I guess I just got all caught up in work.  Since your return, we've all been pretty busy, and—"

"Sam, you have nothing to apologize for," Daniel told her quickly.

"I think I do, Daniel.  I feel like I've been neglecting our friendship."

"Well, if you have, then I'm guilty of the same crime.  A friendship takes two people, Sam.  It would have been easy for me to ask you out for a meal on occasion or find out if you'd like to go see a movie.  We both got caught up in work.  With work like ours, it's really easy to do.  We get so focused on the job that we forget that we're supposed to do other things."

Sam smiled.  "You know, that's something both of us can really understand.  Colonel O'Neill's not like that.  He could never figure out how I could think it was fun to spend my free time in the lab, working on some piece of technology."

Daniel laughed.  "Same here.  Did I ever tell you about the time that he and Teal'c dragged me, kicking and screaming, from a new book I'd gotten on Macedonia to see women wrestle in an arena full of Jello?"

Sam burst into laughter.  "You're kidding!"

"Oh, I wish I was.  God, was that embarrassing.  I mean, Jello?!  It would have been bad enough if it was mud wrestling."

Sam giggled.  "Poor Daniel."

"I got even with them, though."

"Oh?  What did you do?"

"I tricked them into letting me choose the next movie we went to.  I picked a French film noir.  Teal'c did all right, but, by the time the movie was over, Jack was squirming so much you'd have thought he was having an epileptic seizure."

Sam laughed again.

"For some strange reason, Jack never took me to another wrestling match, with or without Jello."

"I wonder why."

Their meals arrived, and they focused on eating for a while.  Throughout the meal, Sam kept glancing at Daniel when he wasn't looking, thinking about how wonderful it was that he was sitting there, alive and well. She had been trying very hard to push from her mind the image of him lying dead on that hospital bed, but she knew that it was going to be a long time before she could keep it out of her thoughts.

Determined not to let such thoughts spoil the evening, Sam returned her attention to her food.

"You okay, Sam?" Daniel asked quietly a few moments later.

"Hmm?"  She looked up from her food.

"You've been pretty quiet the last few minutes."

"Oh.  Yeah, I'm all right, Daniel.  Just thinking."

"Ah.  That seems to be something we both do a lot of.  According to Jack, too much of that is hazardous to your health."

Sam smiled.  "You do know that's an act, right?"  She was well aware that their C.O. was a lot smarter than he pretended to be.

"Yes, I know, but his act does leave him wide open for teasing."

Sam's smile broadened.  "Sometimes, you guys are so alike, though the similarities in your sense of humor isn't something I saw in the beginning.  I'm afraid that the colonel rubbed off on you, Daniel."

"No, not really.  I developed my sarcasm a long time ago.  I was picked on a lot as a kid.  I wasn't any good at fighting and really didn't want to anyway, so I learned to fight back with words."  Dnaiel smiled.  "Of course, it helped that I could say all kinds of cutting things to my tormentors in languages they had no hope of understanding."

Sam chuckled.  "You didn't do it in the beginning, though."

"No, not much, just once in a while.  But things changed.  Life got . . . harder, and the old instincts came back."  He looked at his plate.  "I think part of it was the way that things changed between me and Jack."

"Daniel, you do know that Colonel O'Neill cares about you, don't you?"

Daniel nodded, meeting her eyes.  "Yeah, I know, Sam.  We talked in the infirmary when I was . . ." his voice lowered, "when I was dying.  We're okay now.  I think we're more okay than we've been in a very long time."

"That's really good to hear, Daniel."

They finished their meal and paid the check.  Daniel walked Sam to her car.

"Thanks, Sam.  This was really nice."

"Yes, it was.   We'll have to do it again soon."

The two friends bid each other good night.  Sam got in her car, and Daniel waved goodbye.  Then he made his way to his own car, a little smile on his face.

As they stepped out of the wormhole onto P7Y-359, Daniel felt himself tense up.  He was half-expecting to see an evil black shadow come flying out of the trees to consume him.

"Daniel, are you all right?" Sam asked in concern.

Realizing that he had been standing there frozen like a statue for several seconds, he forced himself to relax.  "Yeah.  Yeah, I'm okay."

"Do you feel anything?  I mean, can you feel Benny?" Jack asked worriedly.

"It's Bendrak, Jack, and, no, I don't feel him.  But then, I didn't feel him the last time until we'd been walking toward the temple for several minutes."

"Well, regardless of whether or not Benny's taking a power snooze, we're keeping you as far away from that place as we can."

They headed for the village.  As they came within sight of it, several voices called out.  A moment later, Gennae came forward, all smiles.

"Welcome!  Welcome!"  He looked at Daniel.  "Ah!  Insharra Daniel!  It is so good to see that you are well.  Many blessing upon you."

"Thank you, Gennae."

"Come, all of you.  My people are eager to see you."

As they entered the village this time, the people did not run and hide.  Instead, they smiled at the visitors.  Little children ran up to them, touching their clothing and the things they carried.  Several adults came up and greeted them.  Daniel in particular was of immense curiosity to the villagers.  Apparently, they all knew that he had been attacked by Bendrak and were filled with wonder by his recovery.

Gennae took them to what appeared to be the largest structure in the village and led them inside.  A low table filled with various fruits and breads sat in the middle of the room, cushions on the floor around it.  Mats that were obviously meant to be beds were along the walls.

"This is one of the huts that is used when we have visitors from other villages.  It is yours for as long as you wish to remain."  Gennae looked at Sam.  "It is not our custom for women to sleep in the same hut as men who are not family, but, since you travel with these men. . . ."

Sam smiled.  "It's fine, Gennae.  It's common for all of us to sleep in the same place."

Gennae smiled in relief.  "Good.  I did not wish to bring offense."  He looked at the others.  "I will let you get settled."  He bowed his head and exited the hut.

"That's interesting," Daniel said.  "Many primitive societies are very intolerant of differences in cultural practices.  There have been many cases when some unwitting explorer or missionary got themselves killed because they did something that was forbidden by the native people they were in the company of.  Yet Gennae had no trouble at all accepting that our ways are different from theirs."

"Well, that has to be a good thing," Jack said.

"Oh, yes, it definitely is.  At least we won't have to worry so much about getting into trouble."

They removed their packs and gear.  Daniel insisted that there was no need for their weapons, but, as usual, Jack refused to part with his P-90.  Teal'c also held onto his staff weapon.  They left the hut and went in search of Gennae.  Daniel had with him a couple of the books he'd brought.  They found the chieftain quickly.

"Gennae, I brought some things for you to look at.  These are books.  These particular books have a written account of our history in architecture, that's the construction of buildings.  Sam said that you have a lot of interest in that."

The man's eyes lit up.  "Yes.  She showed me pictures of wonderful buildings that your people have made."

"Well, you are welcome to look at these books I brought.  You won't be able to read them, but they have lots of pictures."  Daniel opened one of the books and flipped through it.  Gennae's gaze devoured what was on the pages.  Smiling, Daniel handed the books to him.

"Thank you, Insharra Daniel!  I am honored that you would share these with me."

"You're welcome.  But please, just call me Daniel."

Gennae inclined his head.  "Daniel.  I will take great care with your books.  May I show them to others?"

"Sure.  I've got several more as well, books about our planet with pictures of places around the world, books about the different peoples of our world, showing the diversity of our races.  You're welcome to pass them out among your people so that everyone can see them."

"Thank you again, Daniel.  You are most generous."

"I'd like to ask some questions about your people and your culture.  When would be a good time for that?"

"Now would be good."

"Well, since it looks like you two are going to be busy for a while, the rest of us will check this place out," Jack said.

Daniel spent the next hour talking with Gennae, finding out about his people, whom Daniel learned were called the Dicharin or, simply, "the people".  When Daniel began asking questions that the chieftain couldn't answer, the old man told him that he needed to speak with their Insharra.

"When would I be able to do that?" the archeologist asked.

"Any time.  She is most eager to speak with you."

Daniel smiled.  "Great.  How about now?"

Daniel followed the chieftain, hoping that the Insharra would be able to answer his questions about Bendrak and help them figure out a way to kill it.

Next Chapter

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