"Hi, Sam," Daniel said as he came into her lab.
"Hey, Daniel. Feeling better?"
"Uh huh. As Jack would say, my batteries are recharging nicely." He looked at the abikar that was sitting on the table. "So, what are you up to?"
"I'm trying to figure out how to open this thing. It appears to be completely seamless, and there are no protrusions or indentations to push. I've been at it for an hour."
Daniel casually reached out and touched the crystal. Instantly, it opened up like the petals of a flower, exposing its core. Sam's mouth fell open and she looked at the archeologist.
"How'd you do that?"
Daniel tapped the side of his head. "Everything about them is controlled by thought processes. You just have to know what mental commands to give."
Sam smiled and shook her head. "Would you mind sticking around for a while? I have a feeling things will go a lot faster."
Daniel pulled up a chair and sat beside her. "I'm all yours."
Though Daniel didn't have a great deal of knowledge on how the technology of the abikars worked, he was still a big help to Sam. In the end, however, she came to the inescapable conclusion that there was no way for them to create more of the devices.
"The level of technology is just too advanced, sir," she told Jack a while later. "And, even if it wasn't, there are materials used in the construction that I've never seen before. Without a supply of those materials, it would be impossible to construct more."
"So, unless Daniel turns more of the red ones into blue ones, that's the only one we're ever going to have?" the colonel asked.
"I'm afraid so."
"And I won't be doing that," Daniel told him. "The abikars can't be used for any beneficial purpose. They were designed specifically to capture Gorrums. The one I accidentally activated during the test shut down when it failed to detect the presence of a Gorrum within the field it generated. If there had been some other kind of living creature trapped within the . . . I guess you could say the 'net' that the abikar cast, it would have shut down far sooner. That's one of the safety features. If a human being was caught by the full power of an abikar, they would be crushed by the extreme atmospheric pressure. The abikars are worthless to us unless a Gorrum happens to come to Earth. As for the red ones, we already know what happens to anyone they're used on. I won't let them fall into the wrong hands. When we go back to Dichar, I'm going to destroy all of the crystals."
Jack glanced about. "Um, you might want to keep that to yourself, Daniel," he said in a low voice. "Although I agree with you, the NID and certain other factions wouldn't be happy. You know how eager some of those politicians and military bigwigs are to get their hands on anything they think can be used as a weapon. We're just going to have to make up a story, like saying that the Dicharins destroyed all the crystals themselves."
"What about this one?" Sam asked.
"We need to get rid of it, too," Jack answered. "As it stands now, the NID still don't know that Daniel is the only one who can control that thing, but if they do get their hands on it, they'll find out that they can't make it work. That's going to make them start to wonder what's going on."
Sam nodded. "You're right. As long as the NID never get their hands on it, there won't be a problem with keeping Daniel's secret."
"So, how do we get rid of the thing and make it look like an accident?"
"We can take it with us back to Dichar," Daniel replied. "I'm sure we'll be able to think of something."
As they stepped out of the wormhole onto Dichar this time, Daniel felt no nervousness. He knew that Bendrak would not be coming after him. The Gorrum was a prisoner within one of the very things that he'd used to steal the lives of others, and, soon, he would be gone forever. Daniel had no compunction against killing him. Bendrak was as evil as any Goa'uld and was responsible for the deaths of thousands.
SG-1 headed for the village. SG-3 had remained there, helping the Dicharins clean up and rebuild their homes. They had been joined by SG-5. As SG-1 came into view of the village, they saw that lots of progress had been made. The village almost looked whole again.
As the villagers caught sight of SG-1, they all stopped what they were doing, every pair of eyes on Daniel. Then, all at once, a hoard of them came forward and started touching, embracing and kissing him. Totally embarrassed by the display, the archeologist blushed furiously, repeatedly insisting that there was no need for this. His teammates just stood back and watched, grins on their faces.
At last, Gennae pushed forward through the crowd. He engulfed Daniel in a tight hug, then stepped back, holding the younger man at arm's length. "Daniel, we have heard of how you stood against Bendrak and destroyed him, nearly forfeiting your own life for our sakes. There are no words, no deeds that can repay you for this wonderful and courageous thing you have done. My people are free because of you, and we will be eternally grateful. From this day forward, our Insharras will speak of you to the people, passing on the story of what you did. You will be a hero of the Dicharins for all time."
"Thank you, Gennae, but I did no more than what I felt I had to. There was nothing especially heroic in my actions. And I certainly don't deserve all of this." Daniel waved his arms about at the gathered villagers.
A quiet voice drew his attention. "You are the only one in this place who believes so," Ayarla said. "Are you, then, more wise than all of us put together?"
Daniel looked flustered. "Well, I obviously can't say yes to that, now can I."
A smile lit the old woman's face, a wicked glint in her eyes. "No, you cannot."
Knowing he was beaten, Daniel made no further protests.
SG-1 spent the rest of the day helping out in the village and talking with the natives. Later in the afternoon, Daniel asked to see the crystal that contained Bendrak. He had not told the Dicharins that the Gorrum was alive within the abikar. They believed that Bendrak's life power had been pulled into the abikar and that he was, therefore, dead. Not wanting the Dicharins to worry, Daniel didn't correct that belief.
Alone in the hut where the Vault of Life was kept, Daniel stared at the abikar. To his surprise, he could faintly sense Bendrak's presence within it. That realization made him feel uneasy. He quickly placed the abikar back in the vault, along with the blue one that he'd brought from Earth, and locked the box.
That night, there was a big feast to honor Daniel and to celebrate the Dicharins' freedom from Bendrak. Being the guest of honor, Daniel was treated like royalty, which thoroughly embarrassed the modest archeologist. Throughout the evening, he kept insisting that all of this really wasn't necessary. Nobody paid any attentions to his objections.
The next morning, Daniel suddenly decided that he wanted to go to the temple. Jack's first reaction was an adamant "No way in Hell."
"Jack, there's no danger in the temple," the archeologist reasoned. "It's just a building. Gennae told me last night that they plan on tearing it down, and I'd like to take a better look at it before it's gone. There are still some unanswered questions."
"Such as why was the temple built in the first place? Ayarla said that Bendrak told the Dicharins he wanted a place to dwell. Okay, so let's say that an incorporeal being like Bendrak would, for some reason, want a . . . a house. Why is there nothing there? Except for the altar, there's nothing in the temple at all. And what about the month that Bendrak would 'sleep' after the Time of Tribute? Did he stay in the temple? I'd have thought that he would want someplace hidden away. Things just don't add up."
Jack reluctantly agreed to the trip to the temple. Once they got there, it took him a good ten minutes before he started to relax. During that time, Daniel and Sam were checking the place out.
"This place is pretty big for a building that has nothing in it," Sam commented.
"Yes, it is," Daniel agreed. "Kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it? I'm going to go inside."
Deciding to check something out, Sam pulled a device out of her vest pocket and turned it on, sweeping it around. On the screen of the infrared scanner, she could see the heat signatures of her teammates and that of small animals nearby. She turned it back toward the temple and watched Daniel's heat pattern as it moved away from her position. Suddenly, it vanished. Sam gasped in shock.
"Daniel!" she called anxiously, her gaze flying to the temple.
The archeologist appeared in the doorway. "Yeah?"
Sam stared at him for a moment, then back down at the infrared scanner. Daniel's heat signature was wavering, fading in and out. "Daniel, come here for a sec."
He complied, walking toward her. As soon as he was out of the temple, the image of his heat pattern on the screen stabilized.
"What's wrong?" he asked as he came up to her.
"Something weird is happening. Colonel? You need to take a look at this."
Jack and Teal'c walked up to them.
"What's up?" the colonel asked.
"Watch this," Sam responded. "Daniel, go back into the temple."
As the archeologist went back to the building, the other three members of SG-1 watched the infrared scanner. They saw Daniel's image begin to waver and flicker, then it disappeared.
"Whoa!" Jack exclaimed. "What the heck?"
"Would someone like to explain to me what's going on?" Daniel asked from the doorway a moment later.
"There is something inside the temple that's interfering with the infrared scanner," Sam replied. "The second you step all the way inside, you disappear off the screen."
"Okay, that's interesting. What would cause that?"
"Some kind of jamming device. I wonder if it only works on the infrared scanner or if other electronic equipment would be affected." Sam looked at her C.O. "Sir, we need to find out what's causing this."
She, Jack and Teal'c entered the temple. Sam kept her eyes on the scanner. As soon they were inside, Daniel's pattern reappeared.
"Hmm. That's interesting," Sam muttered. "Teal'c, could you walk back outside for a moment?"
The Jaffa did as she asked. His heat pattern began flickering as soon as he stepped beyond the doorway.
"Go behind the wall," she told him. They all watched as his heat pattern vanished off the screen. "It's something in the walls," Sam concluded. "Something is acting as a shield, blocking the scanner's ability to see anything beyond it."
"But these walls are made of solid stone and mortar," Daniel said.
"Are they? Maybe they just look like they are," Jack suggested.
Daniel looked around at the walls. "Well, there's one way to find out for sure." He crouched at the right edge of the doorway. Pulling out his knife, he began chipping away at the mortar holding one of the stones in place. Jack did the same, working on the outside. Within a few minutes, they managed to remove enough mortar to pull the stone out. Daniel examined it closely, hefting it.
"Well, if it's not a rock, someone did a pretty good job of making it look and feel like one," he stated. "It has the appearance, texture and weight of granite. Teal'c, let's see what it looks like on the inside."
The rock was placed upon the ground a few yards away from the temple. Standing well out of the way, SG-1 watched as the Jaffa took aim and blasted the stone with his staff weapon. The rock shattered.
Daniel examined the pieces. "Granite, just like I said," he announced. "I've seen similar stones throughout this area."
"Okay, so if it's not the walls themselves, what's blocking the scanner?" Jack asked.
"It's possible that there is some hidden device that's generating a field around the temple," Sam replied.
"Which brings up an obvious question. Why?"
They returned to the temple. Jack looked around inside. "Okay, it's not really a bad looking place. Sort of has a primitive charm, though the decor could definitely use some work. But excuse me if I don't see anything here that's worth the trouble of hiding from electronic sensors."
"The Dicharins are technologically primitive," Daniel said. "Except for the abikars, they have no technology at all, so Bendrak didn't do it to hide something from them. He must have had someone else in mind." His gaze lifted to the ceiling. "Sam?"
Again knowing what he was thinking, Sam had Teal'c give her a boost up onto the roof of the temple. Sure enough, the infrared scanner was unable to penetrate through it.
While Sam was on the roof, Daniel began looking around inside. He went to the center column. The thought came to him that it was too big. The girth was much larger than what would be needed to support the roof. He stepped up to it and began to examine it. He soon noticed something else. There appeared to be a continuous crack in the mortar between the stones, traveling all the way from the top of the column to the bottom. Leaning forward to study it more closely, he realized that it wasn't a crack, it was a seam. Daniel checked the other side, and, sure enough, a seam was there as well. The seams aligned with ones that were in the altar.
A suspicion growing in his mind, Daniel started looking for something else. Very soon, he found what he'd been seeking. One of the stones of the column looked like it was loose from the mortar. He pushed on it, quickly stepping back as the column abruptly split in half. The two halves moved away from each other, revealing an opening in the floor.
"Um . . . guys? I found something," Daniel called.
The others came in a moment later and saw the opening. Jack shone his flashlight down into the hole, which revealed that there was some kind of chamber below.
"I guess we should check it out," Jack said. "That looks to be about a ten, twelve foot drop. We don't have any rope, so we'll just have to chance it. Daniel, you're with me. Teal'c, cover us. Carter, stay here for now, but we may need you down there if there's any technical stuff."
Jack lowered himself over the edge until he was hanging by his hands. Then he let go and dropped the short distance to the floor. He snapped on his flashlight and shone it about. Not seeing anything that looked threatening, he told Daniel to come on down, then he began taking a look around. By the time Daniel got to the bottom, Jack had reached one of the walls. It was smooth and appeared to be made of some kind of metal.
"It's a little dark down here," Daniel commented. "I supposed you haven't found anything that looks like a light switch yet."
Three seconds later, the lights suddenly snapped on.
"Whoa!" Jack shouted, startled. He looked at Daniel, who had a funny smile on his face. "What did you do?"
"I just thought hard about wanting the lights on."
Jack stared at him. "You what?"
"The systems must be controlled by thoughts, just like the abikars."
"So, all you have to do is think something, and it happens?"
"Well, I'm sure there are limits, Jack."
Jack got this look of concentration on his face for a few seconds. "It's not working," he said.
"It's probably like the abikars. I'm the only one who can control the blue ones."
"Yeah, right. The ex-ascended thing again."
The two men turned their attention to the chamber.
"Jack, does this look a little familiar to you?" Daniel asked.
"Yeah, come to think of it. It reminds me a little of the cargo bay of a tel'tak, except that there aren't any of those hieroglyph things on the walls."
Daniel walked over to what looked like a door. He concentrated on making it open, and it obediently complied. What was revealed on the other side confirmed their suspicions. They were within some kind of alien spacecraft.
"Well, well, well. So, this is the little secret Benny was hiding, eh?" Jack murmured, pleased at the discovery. He went back into the cargo bay. "Carter, you're gonna to want to see this." He then rejoined Daniel, who was looking around.
"Wow," Sam said a couple of minutes later as she entered the cockpit.
"This must be Bendrak's ship," Daniel said. "He buried it so that no one would see it."
"The temple must have been built so that passing ships wouldn't be able to detect the power from the onboard systems," Sam determined, "which would mean that whatever it is that's blocking the infrared scanner definitely blocks other scanners and sensors as well." She looked about eagerly. "We need to find the propulsion system."
As the others looked around, Daniel walked up to the control console. There were no chairs, which didn't surprise him. After all, the Gorrums weren't corporeal, so they wouldn't need a place to sit. He found what he guessed was the main control panel and focused his thoughts on it, willing it to activate. A moment later, it did so, along with all the other panels.
"Abracadabra," he murmured under his breath. Then he realized what he was seeing. "Guys, I think I just found out what Bendrak stole." He turned to the others, an expression of excitement on his face. "This ship wasn't Bendrak's. It belongs to the Ancients."
Both Sam and Jack got the same expression of excitement on their faces and hurried forward to look at the control console. Daniel pointed at it.
"This writing is in the Ancients' language," he explained.
"Wow. Daniel, do you realize how important a find this is?" Sam said excitedly. "The Ancients are one of the most technologically advanced races we've ever encountered. Even if we only manage to understand a fraction of the systems on this ship, it could be of enormous value to us."
"Yeah, and there's no way we're going to let the Tok'ra borrow this baby," Jack said emphatically. "You remember what happened the last time we let them borrow a ship we got hold of."
"Well, since I'm very likely the only one who could get this thing to fly, the Tok'ra wouldn't be able to borrow it anyway," Daniel said.
"Cool." Jack looked around again, totally jazzed by the fact that they'd found themselves an Ancient spaceship. "So, when do you think we'd be able to take this baby for a spin?"
"Sir, before we can even consider trying to fly it, we need to find the engine," Sam said. "It's possible that the ship is damaged, and that's why Bendrak landed here."
Daniel looked at the console. "Well, let's see if I can find out where it is." He concentrated on the control panel.
"Daniel, what are you doing?" Sam asked.
"He's thinking, Carter," Jack told her.
A moment later, the images on the screen started to change. Being accustomed to pushing and touching things to get them to work, it was strange using something that was operated exclusively through the power of thought, but Daniel got the hang of it quickly. He managed to bring up a floorplan of the ship. He led Sam and Jack to a door, which opened at his command to reveal the engine room. Sam's eyes widened like a child inside a candy store. She wandered around, looking at the systems.
"I can't even begin to guess how this works," she admitted, thrilled at the idea of all the hours of discovery she had before her. "We need to excavate this ship so that we can get a better look at it."
"Oh, don't worry, Major. We're definitely going to dig it out," Jack told her. "Right now, however, we need to report back to Hammond and let him know what's going on."
"I'd like to stay here and see if Ayarla knows any more about the temple and anything about the ship," Daniel said.
An hour later, Jack and Sam headed back to Earth.
"Have we got a surprise for you, General," Jack said with a big smile as soon as they stepped out of the wormhole.
"Well, whatever it is, it seems to have pleased the both of you," the SGC commander remarked.
"Oh, yeah. I'm happy." Jack turned to Sam. "Aren't you happy?"
"Then I'm eager for you to tell me all about it," Hammond remarked.
They all went to the general's office.
"All right, so what is it that has you and the Major so excited, Colonel?" Hammond asked.
"Well, we found a little something that Benny was hiding underneath the temple," Jack replied. He paused for dramatic effect. "An Ancient spaceship."
Hammond leaned forward over his desk, interest sparking in his eyes. "A spaceship built by the Ancients? How do you know that it belongs to the Ancients?"
"Daniel identified the writing on the control panel screens as their language," Sam told him.
"But get this," Jack said. "The whole ship is controlled by thoughts, the lights, the doors, the control screens, apparently everything."
"The thing is that Daniel is the only one with the ability to control the systems, sir," Sam said, "just as he's the only one who can activate the blue abikars."
"Well, that would cause a problem if the time came that we were able to use the ship," Hammond stated.
"Yeah, but, in a way, it's a good thing," Jack said. "For one thing, it will mean that it has to stay in our control. It would be useless to the NID or the techies at Area 51. The Tok'ra also can't ask to borrow it. In other words, we're gonna get to keep it." Jack was grinning like a kid who'd gotten the present he most wanted for Christmas.
"Sirs, there is one other problem," Sam said.
"What's that, Major?" Hammond asked.
"We're not going to be able to keep Daniel's secret anymore. It was one thing to hide the truth about the abikars. It would be impossible to hide the fact that only Daniel can control the ship."
That thought dimmed Jack's enthusiasm. For a brief moment, he wished that they hadn't found the ship since its discovery could put Daniel in danger. But then he thought about how that ship could help them defeat the Goa'uld. That was the main reason why they were all out there, including Daniel.
"Well, I guess we're just going to have to keep on our toes and watch out for any potential threats to Daniel from the NID," he said, hoping that everything would be all right.