In the Name of the Furlings
by Maureen Thayer
Content Warning: None
Spoilers: Torment of Tantalus, Unending
Author's Notes: This ficlet was inspired by a discussion on this Web site's message board. The story takes place sometime after the events of Ark of Truth.
SG-1 and General Jack O'Neill stood waiting before Earth's Stargate. All military personnel in the gate room were in dress uniforms, civilians in suits. The air of anticipation was high.
"I can't believe we're finally going to get to meet the Furlings," Daniel said, an eager smile on his face.
Two weeks ago, the SGC was contacted by an emissary of the mysterious and ancient race, one of the original four races that – along with the Asgard, Ancients, and Nox – used to meet on the world SG-1 had named Heliopolis, a race that, just like those other three, was highly advanced technologically. With the blessings of the Asgard, the human race on Earth had been added to that exclusive club, making it the Fifth Race.
The Asgard were now gone, the Ancients once again uncommunicative, and the Nox cut off from the rest of the galaxy by their own choice. Now, at last, Earth was going to meet the final member of the club.
"I wonder what they look like," Sam murmured.
"I'm thinking Ewoks," Jack responded.
"Actually, I'm betting more like Wookies," Cameron Mitchell stated.
"I'm imaging fluffy teddy bears," declared Vala.
Daniel stared at the three people. "Where do you get that?"
"Well, because they have fur," Jack responded.
"Hello. Fur-lings. Isn't it obvious?"
"Uh . . . no. What kind of logic is that? The name of their species has f-u-r in it, so that means they have fur on their bodies? Lieutenant Greenberg's name has 'green' in it. Is his skin or hair green?"
"Well . . . no."
"Besides, 'fur' is the word for animal hair in English, Jack, and I seriously doubt that English is the native tongue of the Furlings. In German, 'für' means 'for'. We don't know what the pronunciation or spelling is for the name in the Furlings' own language. Very likely, no part of it is a word that means the same thing as 'fur'."
"Daniel's right, sir," Sam said. "Assuming they have fur just because of how their name is spelled in English makes no sense. My guess is that their home planet's name, translated into English, is 'Fur'. If we weren't being called 'Tau'ri' by people off-world, we'd be referred to as 'Earthlings' because we're from Earth."
Daniel nodded in agreement. "Just what I was thinking."
Jack paused for a moment, then said, "Yeah, well, mark my words. They're gonna be Ewoks."
"Wookies," Cameron countered. Seeing the glare Jack shot him, he added, "Sir."
"Teddy bears," Vala insisted.
"Perhaps Bigfoot," suggested Teal'c, knowing that Daniel and Sam's reasoning was sound.
Just then, the gate began dialing up, and everyone's attention turned to it. Seconds later, the wormhole was established. Seconds after that, the first members of the Furling race ever seen by the people of Earth came striding through the gate.
Jack's mouth fell open, followed by Cam's. One of Teal'c's eyebrows was now a bit higher up his forehead. Vala's eyes had widened in surprise, and Sam was smiling slightly. As for Daniel . . . he was smirking.
Standing a bit shorter than the average human woman, the Furlings were coal black and quite rotund. They had two arms and two legs, each of which ended in hands or feet with six digits. Around a third smaller than those of the Asgard, the almond-shaped eyes were a startling shade of green and somewhat catlike with slitted pupils. Most important of all, in the opinion of the present and former members of SG-1, was the fact that they were utterly bald. Not one hair, not one tiny tuft of fur could be seen anywhere on their bodies, which were completely exposed to view, except for tiny kilt-like garments around their hips. In fact, their skin looked polished, shining under the florescent lights of the gate room like they were giant eight balls come to life.
Getting over his shock – and dismay – Jack stepped forward to greet them, followed by SG-1.
Two hours later, the meeting with the Furlings was over, and they had departed with a promise to keep in touch. Knowing what he was going to see, Jack reluctantly turned to Daniel. Yep, the archeologist was wearing a big "I told you so" smirk.
"Okay, so you were right, and I was wrong," Jack groused. "I should have known. You're almost always right."
Sam was hiding her grin. "I asked one of the Furlings about their name, and he confirmed that, in English, the name of their original homeworld would be spelled and pronounced 'Fur'. I couldn't even begin to repeat the pronunciation of it in their language."
"Well, I have to say that I'm disappointed," Cameron said. "I was looking forward to making some Star Wars quotes and comments."
Jack looked at him. "Hey, me too."
Daniel stared at the general disapprovingly. "So, instead, you made less than amusing comments about pool, billiard balls and The Hustler."
"Well, it's not like they understood what I meant," Jack responded defensively.
Daniel looked at him, Cam and Vala. "So, no more making assumptions about what a species looks like based upon nothing but its name?"
"Agreed," they sighed.
The six people left the briefing room, the voice of Vala being heard to say as it faded away down the stairs, "Although I do have to admit that, every time I hear a reference to the extinct Phallusians, I imagine them looking like great big. . . ."
If any of you can't figure out what Vala was going to say at the end, take a look at what the first seven letters of "Phallusian" spells. If you still don't get it, look that word up in a dictionary. :-D
Some of you may be thinking of the meeting with the Furlings that was shown in the episode "200." That was complete fiction created my Martin Lloyd for his Wormhole X-Treme movie. As far as we know, no one from Earth has ever met a Furling.