The next day, after Sam calculated the exact time difference between New Hetara and Earth, Jack headed to the gate when it would be around seven a.m. in Colorado, knowing that the general would be there by then. Hammond agreed to allow Daniel to accompany Gilmesh to Hetara.
"If the Hetarans can wait another day, I can have an ambassador from Earth meet them there," he said.
"Oh, I don't think that'll be necessary, sir," Jack responded. "Daniel's doing a damn fine job of playing ambassador and diplomat. He's a natural at it. The Hetarans are quite impressed with him because of the way the Ur-mah-gal took to him."
"Well, then we'll leave it in Doctor Jackson's capable hands. Keep me updated, Colonel."
"Yes, sir. I'll check back in after we return from Hetara. Um, there is one thing, General. Could you send Teal'c and a team through to Hetara? I'd sort of like to have some backup there, just in case."
"Good thinking, Colonel. I'll get a team ready right away."
As soon as Jack radioed to Daniel and gave him the green light, Daniel, Sam, Gilmesh and several other Hetarans, some of whom were representatives from other cities, trekked to the gate, meeting Jack there. They had the translator with them to make communications easier for everyone.
Daniel dialed the address. There were slight gasps from the Hetarans as the wormhole was established, none of them ever having seen the Stargate activate.
"My grandparents told me that the trip through the Stargate was both frightening and exhilarating," Gilmesh said, looking at the event horizon.
Daniel nodded. "It's toughest the first time. You may feel cold and nauseous. It's possible that you'll lose your balance. I can hold onto you, if you'd like."
Gilmesh smiled at him. "That is kind of you, but I would very much like to walk through on my own." His smile widened. "But if it appears that I am going to fall on my face, feel free to grab hold of me. I must maintain my image, you know."
Daniel grinned. "Sure. I can do that."
"Everybody ready?" Jack asked. "Let's go." He ascended the dais and went through the gate. Daniel and Gilmesh were next in line, followed by the other Hetarans, Sam taking up the rear.
As Daniel and Gilmesh exited the other side, the Hetaran stumbled slightly. Daniel immediately grabbed his arm to steady him.
"Thank you, Daniel," Gilmesh said.
"How are you feeling?"
"Not too bad. A little nauseous and cold." Just then, the man caught sight of a group of five men standing a few yards away to the right. He stiffened in alarm when he saw that one of them was a Jaffa. Seeing the reaction, Daniel looked that way and smiled.
"It's okay, Gilmesh. That's Teal'c. Come on. I'll introduce you to him."
A bit reluctantly, the Hetaran went with Daniel to where Teal'c and SG-3 were.
"Hi, Teal'c. This is Gilmesh. He's a member of the High Council on New Hetara."
The Jaffa inclined his head. "It is an honor to meet you," he intoned. "Daniel Jackson has recounted how your people defeated Duamutef. It was a great victory against the Goa'uld."
Gilmesh gaped at Teal'c, having a hard time matching this polite, gentle-voiced man with the tales told about the Jaffa. "It . . . it is an honor to meet you as well," he finally said. "I would never have thought that my people would meet a Jaffa as a friend."
Teal'c nodded. "Yes. Such is the reaction of many. I deeply apologize for the wounds inflicted upon your people by mine. There is much for which the Jaffa must atone."
Recovering from his shock, Gilmesh nodded. Just then, a noise in the distance alerted Daniel that they were about to have company. Several Ur-mah-gal were approaching.
"What do they have, a guard watching the Stargate?" Jack muttered.
"They probably do," Daniel responded. "After all, there's been a lot of activity going on lately."
"Yeah, and it could also be that they've been waiting for you to come back."
Daniel didn't bother saying anything in reply to that. Instead, he headed for the Ur-mah-gal, going about thirty feet before stopping to wait for them.
The cats apparently caught his scent on the wind because they suddenly picked up the pace. Very quickly, they were clustered about Daniel, nearly trampling him in their eagerness to say hi. Gilmesh and the other Hetarans watched in wonder as Daniel happily greeted each Ur-mah-gal. A cry in the distance made everyone turn, and they saw another Ur-mah-gal running full speed toward them.
"Oh, boy. Here he comes," Jack murmured.
"Who?" Gilmesh asked.
"That's got to be Denali. He's sort of become a surrogate papa to Daniel. You should have seen him when Daniel got hurt. He followed us through the Stargate because he refused to be separated from Daniel." Jack grinned. "Just watch."
Bounding like a kitten, an amazing thing for a creature so huge, Denali made a beeline toward Daniel, the other cats moving out of the way. This time, the Ur-mah-gal pack leader was a little less careful and ended up knocking Daniel to the ground with the enthusiasm of his greeting. He then proceeded to nuzzle and lick Daniel's face all over.
"Denali!" the archeologist cried in protest. "Let me up." The cat pulled back a little, letting Daniel rise to his feet. Daniel hugged him around the neck and scratched behind his ears. "It's good to see you, too, Denali."
Gilmesh watched it all with amazement. "You did not exaggerate, Jack," he said. "They do love him very much."
"Yes, they do. And I know that Daniel cares a lot about them, too. It's going to be tough for him to say goodbye."
"If the Ur-mah-gal agree to come with us to New Hetara, Daniel is welcome to visit any time he wishes. The same goes for the rest of your people. We would very much like to remain friends."
"So would we, Gilmesh."
Daniel and the Ur-mah-gal came up to the others. The Hetarans, never having seen an Ur-mah-gal in the flesh, found themselves overwhelmed by the size of the cats.
"Denali, this is Gilmesh, a leader of the Hetarans," the archeologist said. "Gilmesh, this is Denali, leader of his pack."
Gilmesh stepped forward. "We are filled with joy to at last be reunited with the Ur-mah-gal after so many years," he said in Hetaran. He held out both hands close together, palms up.
Something in the gesture must have registered in the genetic memory of the Ur-mah-gal, for they got very excited, "talking" to each other. Denali then stepped up to Gilmesh and sniffed at his hands. He then let out a loud call, which the other Ur-mah-gal echoed. As the sound ceased, an answering cry could be heard way in the distance, in the direction of the city.
"Um, I think that was a big hello," Daniel said with a smile. "Come on. Let's go to Ur. I have a feeling that there's going to be a big welcoming committee waiting for you there."
Sure enough, when the SG-1 and the Hetarans arrived in the city, every Ur-mah-gal that lived there was waiting to greet them. Quite a few of them gave a personal greeting to Daniel, who introduced them to the Hetarans.
The next hour was a bit of a madhouse as the Ur-mah-gal milled about, clearly very happy about the return of the Hetarans. SG-1 stood back and watched the reunion.
"This is great," Daniel said with a smile a mile wide.
"Yes, it is," Jack agreed.
"Do you think that the Ur-mah-gal will agree to go to New Hetara?" Sam asked.
"I'm not sure," Daniel replied. "I'm certain that at least some of them will. As for the whole population, I don't know. Some might decide that they'd rather stay here."
"Even with the winters as nasty as they are?" Jack asked.
"They've adapted quite well to the weather. Besides, this is their homeworld. The memories of countless generations on this planet are in their minds. It would be a tough decision to leave it."
Once the initial excitement was over, some of the Ur-mah-gal left. Daniel joined the Hetarans, who were all smiling brightly.
"Daniel, it is wonderful," Gilmesh exclaimed. "The Ur-mah-gal are just as my grandparents told me."
"Have you asked them yet about going to New Hetara?"
"No. I thought that we should wait until we were better acquainted. Do you think that some of them would like to come through the gate to see our new home, to see that there are many Hetarans there?"
"Um, I don't know. I guess I could ask." Daniel called Denali over. "Denali, Gilmesh would like to know if you and some of your fellow Ur-mah-gal would like to visit the Hetaran's new home. There are many Hetarans there who would like to meet you."
Denali appeared to think about it for a while, then he looked at Daniel and made some noises in his throat, rubbing up against him. Daniel grinned and looked at Gilmesh.
"That was a yes."
The man blinked. "You understood that?"
"I've gotten pretty good at 'reading' their language. I really do think that they are equally as intelligent as we are."
Daniel and the rest of SG-1 took the Hetarans to the educational center, where Daniel activated one of the viewers. Gilmesh and his people were delighted that they would be able to recover their lost history. Next, Daniel took everyone to the building with the holographic projector. The Hetarans were ecstatic that such a magnificent record of the battle against the Goa'uld had survived. They spoke of dismantling the building, mural and all, and setting it back up in the capital city so that everything would remain safe. Daniel was now very glad that he'd refused to let Maybourne take the projector.
The sun was low in the sky by the time everyone headed back to the gate. Six Ur-mah-gal, two individuals from each of the three packs that lived in the city, accompanied them. Denali, of course, was among them.
Not wanting to overwhelm the Hetarans with both the sight of the Ur-mah-gal and a Jaffa, Jack told Teal'c to return to Earth with SG-3.
The reaction of the Hetarans on New Hetara upon seeing the Ur-mah-gal was mixed. Some, recognizing what the cats were, became very excited, while others were fearful of their size and ferocious appearance. As for the Ur-mah-gal, they were continually communicating with each other and looking about at everything they passed.
Gilmesh, knowing that the Ur-mah-gal would probably prefer to stay outdoors, took everyone to a park with a small outdoor theater. Parents gasped when they saw the cats and hurriedly gathered up their children in case there was danger. One little boy, however, eluded his mother, and came toddling up to one of the Ur-mah-gal, totally without fear.
"Dog!" he cried happily in Hetaran and started patting the Ur-mah-gal's leg. The huge cat looked down at the tiny child for a long moment, then, as everyone held their breath, gently nuzzled the little boy. The child giggled and wrapped his arms around the Ur-mah-gal's neck as well as he could.
A smile beamed across Gilmesh's face. There was the glint of tears in his eyes. "Though I have only heard stories and read our historical accounts, I feel as if I am greeting a long lost friend," he murmured. He turned to Daniel and took his hands. "I cannot thank you enough for reuniting us with the Ur-mah-gal."
Daniel smiled happily. "You're welcome, Gilmesh. I am so happy that everything is working out."
Seeing how gentle the Ur-mah-gal was with the child, some of the other Hetarans in the park approached the cats, receiving encouragement from Gilmesh and the other men who had gone to Hetara. Soon, there was a small crowd around them, people asking excited questions, some venturing to touch the cats.
As darkness approached and the others in the park left, Gilmesh led their group to a large gazebo-like building with ivy-covered lattice walls. There, the humans all found seats. One of the Hetarans made a call on a phone-like device and requested that some food be brought to them. In a surprisingly short time, several people arrived with trays of meats, breads and cheeses for the humans and at least a couple hundred pounds of raw meat for the Ur-mah-gal.
"I hope that this is satisfactory," Gilmesh said to SG-1.
"This is just fine," Daniel assured him. "Better than fine, actually, considering that, on most missions, we have to eat MRE's."
"Meals Ready to Eat," Sam explained. "They're standard military rations."
"Yeah, and they all taste like chicken," Daniel complained.
"What is chicken?" another Hetaran asked.
"A domestic fowl raised for its eggs and meat. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against chicken. I'd just prefer it if everything I ate on a mission didn't taste like it." He took a bite from a piece of meat that looked like beef. "And this definitely doesn't," Daniel said happily.
Everyone enjoyed their meal, including the Ur-mah-gal. After they were finished, Gilmesh turned to Daniel.
"Daniel, since you are so close to the Ur-mah-gal and understand their language to some extent, would you do us the honor of being our voice?"
"Um . . . yeah, sure, I can do that. You want me to ask them about coming here to live?"
Daniel turned to the Ur-mah-gal and called them over. The cats immediately complied and sat before him.
"As your memory tells you, there was a time when the Hetarans and the Ur-mah-gal lived together in peace and friendship on your world," Daniel said to them. "Then the weather changed, and the Hetarans had to leave to survive. With them went many Ur-mah-gal. Sadly, there was a terrible tragedy, and all of the Ur-mah-gal who came here with the Hetarans died. The Hetarans have been without the Ur-mah-gal since then, and they miss them greatly. The Hetarans now wish to extend an invitation to you. They would like you and all of the Ur-mah-gal on your world to come to this world and share it with them. They want it to be as it was a hundred years ago."
There was silence for a long moment, then the Ur-mah-gal began talking to each other. Daniel, not being that conversant in their language could not follow along, though he could tell that there was some excitement.
This went on for several minutes, then the cats fell silent and motionless. They all turned at the same moment and stared at Daniel unblinkingly, their gaze so intense that it made the archeologist a little nervous.
"Uhhhh . . . Daniel? What's going on?" Jack asked, also feeling nervous.
"I-I don't know. They've never acted like this before."
Jack reached for his weapon as Denali rose and approached Daniel, but he did not point it at the cat. The Ur-mah-gal brought its face right up to the archeologist, who, since he was sitting down, had to look up at the cat. Totally baffled, he remained still as Denali tilted his head and pressed his forehead against Daniel's. For a moment, nothing happened, then, all at once, a flood of feelings and images poured into Daniel's mind. He saw memories of the Ur-mah-gal meeting the Hetarans for the first time, those first years when peace was established between them. Flashing forward, he saw the Ur-mah-gal fighting with the Hetarans against Duamutef and his Jaffa. Then came images of the Ur-mah-gal and Hetarans living in peace with each other throughout centuries of time. More time passed and Daniel saw the Hetarans and thousands of Ur-mah-gal leaving through the Stargate, saying goodbye to their brethren forever. Lastly, Daniel saw himself from the viewpoint of the Ur-mah-gal as they looked upon him for the first time and recognized him as a friend.
Then what Daniel was experiencing changed, and what he saw were no longer memories of things in the past. It went on for a couple more minutes, then abruptly stopped. As Denali stepped back, Daniel swayed in his seat. Jack and Gilmesh both grabbed hold of him.
"Daniel? Are you okay?" the colonel asked worriedly.
"Uh . . . yeah. Yeah, I'm all right," he answered shakily. "It was just a bit overwhelming."
"What? What just happened?"
"Denali just, um, talked to me, mind to mind. I-I felt and saw . . . wow. It was incredible."
"He spoke to you telepathically?" Sam asked, stunned.
"Not with words. It was all done with images and emotions. He showed me the history of the Ur-mah-gal and Hetarans, from the time they met to the time they said goodbye."
Gilmesh was staring at him, open-mouthed. "There is no mention of anything like this ever happening with any Hetaran. No Ur-mah-gal has ever spoken like that to one of us."
"Well, maybe it was the only way they could think of to communicate what they wanted to since we can't fully understand their language. It could be that, before, they didn't want the Hetarans to know that they have this ability."
"So, other that the history lesson, what did he say . . . um, think . . . whatever?" Jack asked.
"He told me that, though there would be Ur-mah-gal who may not wish to leave their home, many others would gladly accept the Hetaran's invitation and come to this world to live."
Gilmesh and the other Hetarans smiled in delight.
"It is with great joy that we welcome all Ur-mah-gal who wish to come to this world," Gilmesh said.
Gilmesh invited the Ur-mah-gal to come to his house, telling them that they could sleep in his garden. Saying goodbye to the other Hetarans, who went off to their own accommodations in the city, SG-1 and the Ur-mah-gal went with Gilmesh to his house.
"I'm going to stay out in the garden with Denali tonight," Daniel told Jack in their room. "He and I need to, um, talk."
"Uh, okay. You want one of us to stay with you?"
"No, I'll be fine."
Getting some bedding from one of Gilmesh's servants, Daniel went out into the garden and made his way over to where the Ur-mah-gal were. He spread out the bedding beside Denali and lay down. The cat immediately curled up close to him. There was silence for a moment.
"Denali, why did you do that?" Daniel asked at last. "Why did you speak to me that way when the Ur-mah-gal have never done so with the Hetarans?"
The cat once again pressed his head against Daniel's. 'Trust,' came the feeling through the empathic link.
"You trusted me. Did the Ur-mah-gal not trust the Hetarans?" He felt Denali communicate that, yes, they did.
'Love,' was the next feeling that came through. Daniel smiled and stroked Denali's neck.
"I feel the same way, Denali. But was there not love between the Ur-mah-gal and the Hetarans?" Again, Denali answered in the affirmative. Then came something else that Daniel couldn't understand.
"What are you trying to say?"
The feelings and images repeated, a little different this time, pictures of an Ur-mah-gal with a Hetaran, a barrier between them, then images of an Ur-mah-gal and Daniel with no barrier.
"Are you saying that there was something that prevented you from talking to the Hetarans like this, something that does not exist between us?" When Denali said yes, he asked, "What is this barrier? Can you tell me?"
More images came, and Daniel finally understood. He felt silent, thinking about what he had just learned. Denali expressed concern for him.
"I am all right, just thinking," he assured the cat. He looked up at the moon. "We should get some sleep. A lot will probably be happening tomorrow."
Resting his head against Denali's neck, Daniel closed his eyes, thoughts of what he had learned and what would be happening in the days ahead drifting away as sleep overtook him.
At breakfast the following morning, both Jack and Sam could tell that the archeologist was a little troubled about something, but did not say anything until they were alone.
"What's wrong, Daniel?" Sam asked.
"Um, I found out something from Denali last night. I asked him why he had communicated with me like that when the Ur-mah-gal never had with the Hetarans all the years that they were together."
"And?" Jack said when Daniel paused.
"He told me that it was because they couldn't. I guess they tried, but the Hetarans were unable to receive the mental communication."
"But you could," Sam said.
"Yeah. Denali said that, for some reason, the barrier does not exist with me. There's something a little different about my brain that enables them to communicate with me. Denali said that they realized this almost immediately. And I was right. They are empathic. They can sense emotions. But it turns out that, normally, they can only sense the emotions of their own kind. They never could with the Hetarans."
"But they do with you?"
"What about us?" Jack asked.
Daniel shook his head. "Only me. This is why they accepted me so completely and so very quickly. They could feel my emotions and knew that I was a friend."
Jack looked at Sam. "Carter? Any explanations?"
"Um, no, not really, sir. This isn't my field of expertise. But it's possible that there is something a little different about Daniel's brain chemistry that allows the telepathic and empathic connection between him and the Ur-mah-gal. It's likely that there are other humans who'd have the same ability. They're just very rare."
"Well, that has got to be one of the biggest lucky breaks in history," Jack said, "that it turns out that Daniel is one of the few people in the whole galaxy that those cats can talk to and . . . feel. I don't want to think about what would have happened if it hadn't been that way."
"I really think I would have been fine, Jack," Daniel insisted. "I would still have been able to communicate with them in Hetaran. I probably just wouldn't have gotten as close to them as I did."
"And you might not have been able to get them to go after the Jaffa."
Daniel shook his head. "With their hatred of the Goa'uld, they'd still have gone after the Jaffa."
"Well, I'm still glad that you've got whatever it is that makes the difference."
"Me too," Daniel murmured.
A couple of hours later, Gilmesh returned with SG-1 and the Ur-mah-gal to the Stargate. SG-1 was going to go with the Ur-mah-gal to Hetara, then head on home. They would return to Hetara in three weeks. During those weeks, Denali and the others would talk to their packs and spread the news of the Hetarans' invitation to all of the other Ur-mah-gal. Denali had promised that, by the end of the three weeks, they would know how many Ur-mah-gal wished to join the Hetarans.
Gilmesh gave both SG-1 and the Ur-mah-gal a warm goodbye, telling them that he looked forward to seeing them again.
The three weeks passed quickly. The only difficulty during that time was that, when Maybourne found out that there were other cities on Hetara, he wanted to send teams back there to pick them clean. Daniel, Jack and Hammond all said no way, stating that the Hetarans had already laid claim to what was in those other cities. When Maybourne pressed the issue, Daniel said that he wouldn't act as liaison between them and the Ur-mah-gal again, so, if they went, they'd have to fend for themselves. When he pointed out that the Ur-mah-gal in those other cities would be ones that had never personally seen humans before and might consider them to be prey, Maybourne decided to be content with what they'd gotten from the city of Ur.
Three weeks to the day, SG-1 returned to Hetara.
"Holy Hannah!" Sam exclaimed as they exited the gate, her mouth falling open. Her expression was mirrored by Daniel and Jack, even Teal'c's normally impassive features showing surprise.
Hundreds upon hundreds of Ur-mah-gal were gathered all around them.
"Uhhhh . . . okaaaay. This is just a few too many of those things for me to feel comfortable," Jack stated.
"These must be all the ones who are going to go to New Hetara," Daniel said. "Wow. There must be over a thousand of them."
"Yeah, well, let's just hope that they know we're friends."
Just then, a very familiar Ur-mah-gal came up to them, greeting Daniel warmly. The archeologist returned Denali's greeting.
"Are these all the ones who have chosen to go live with the Hetarans?" he asked.
Denali indicated that they were.
"Great. The Hetarans will be pleased. But, um, there might be a problem. First of all, it may be a bit overwhelming for this many to go there all at the same time. The other problem is food. There is no way that the animal population on Hetara in and around the Stargate would be enough to feed this many Ur-mah-gal, even for a short time. We were kind of thinking that just a couple hundred could come through at a time. Also, the Hetarans were talking about coming here and capturing some of the animals that you hunt for food and taking them to New Hetara."
Denali leaned toward Daniel, indicating that he wanted to "talk" with him. Daniel touched his forehead to the cat's. After a minute or so, he pulled back with a smile.
"Oh. Okay, that is fine, then. Thank them for coming."
"What was that about?" Jack asked.
"I told him that this many coming through all at the same time would cause problems, and he let me know that all these Ur-mah-gal aren't staying. They just came to be counted in the numbers that want to go to New Hetara and to, um, say hi to us."
"To us or to you?"
"Uhhh . . . mostly me."
Jack and Sam both grinned.
"Anyway, most of them will be leaving to go back to their territories tomorrow. They already figured that the migration would take several months. In fact, some may choose to wait until next spring. It'll be a gradual migration so that moving them to their new territories won't be so difficult for the Hetarans."
"Sounds like a plan to me," Jack stated. "So, how many are going through today?"
"Denali's pack is, along with several packs from other territories, about a hundred Ur-mah-gal in all."
"Do you know how many Ur-mah-gal are staying behind on Hetara?" Sam asked.
"I got the impression that there were a lot more that decided to stay than chose to leave, but that some of those who are staying might change their minds in time. I'll have to tell Gilmesh that he will need to send someone here at least once a year to find out if other Ur-mah-gal have decided to join them. I just hope that the Hetaran scientists were wrong."
"About what?" Sam asked.
"They believed that Hetara's orbit would shift again and that the planet would become uninhabitable. It would be horrible if that happened and the Ur-mah-gal who stayed behind all died."
"Well, maybe they should be warned about that danger," Jack said.
"Yeah, I guess they should. I wonder if, in case of emergency, there would be a way for the Ur-Mal-Gal to dial the gate themselves."
"I suppose we could see if they could," Sam responded. "If not, I might be able to come up with some kind of adaptor that they could use."
Wading through a sea of Ur-mah-gal, SG-1 headed toward the city. While Jack and Sam received mostly only looks of curiosity, both Daniel and Teal'c were given a far more thorough scrutiny. Most of the looks that Teal'c got were not so friendly, the Ur-mah-gal able to sense the symbiote he carried. As for Daniel, the intensity of the looks he got was a bit nerve-racking, even though they were friendly.
As they made their way through the gathering of Ur-mah-gal, Daniel became increasingly aware of something. It was faint at first, but, by the time they were about two-thirds of the way through the Ur-mah-gal, it had gotten so strong that he was feeling dizzy, his head pounding. When he swayed on his feet, Jack grabbed his arm.
"Daniel, what's wrong?" he asked, seeing the paleness of the archeologist's face.
"I . . . I can feel them, their emotions," Daniel said in a tight voice. "It's getting . . . really strong."
"It must be because there are so many," Sam reasoned.
"Are you going to be okay or do we need to go back home?" Jack asked.
"I-I don't know. If they just weren't so close I think it would be okay."
Sensing that Daniel was in trouble, Denali came up to him. The archeologist haltingly told him what the problem was. Immediately, the cat began conversing with those nearby, who quickly moved away, passing the message onto others, who also retreated. Very soon, a large area around SG-1 was cleared of Ur-mah-gal, with the exception of Denali, who worriedly stayed at Daniel's side. The archeologist gave a sigh of relief as the bombardment of emotions faded.
"Thanks, Denali," he said.
"I'd sure love to know what exactly it is about your brain that makes communication with them possible," Sam said.
"It probably has some connection to his unnerving ability to figure things out so fast that the rest of us don't even see," Jack remarked.
"Um, thanks, Jack . . . I think," Daniel said.
They made it to the city without any more problems, only Denali's pack accompanying them. There, Daniel talked with the Ur-mah-gal, telling them about the possible danger. A few from the pack left to pass on the news to others. Satisfied that all the Ur-mah-gal would eventually learn of the possible threat, Daniel changed the topic of discussion to the best way to handle things today. It was decided that he and Teal'c would remain with the Ur-mah-gal while Jack and Sam went to New Hetara to tell the people there to prepare for the arrival of a hundred Ur-mah-gal today and many more in the future. As soon as they heard from Jack, Daniel and Teal'c would take the Ur-mah-gal that were going today to the Stargate.
A couple of hours after Jack and Sam left, Daniel's and Teal'c's radios crackled to life, and Jack's voice told them to head out.
Jack and Sam were waiting for them at the gate when they arrived.
"So, what did the Hetarans say?" Daniel asked.
"They were happy that so many decided to come," Sam replied. "There's a bit of a crowd waiting to welcome the first ones through."
"Great. Shall we go, then?"
Daniel dialed the gate. As the wormhole formed, Jack gave him a smile.
"Daniel, you take point," he said.
The archeologist stared at him in surprise. "Me? You never let me go first."
"Yeah, well, there's a first time for everything. You're the one who made all this happen, Daniel. It's only right that you lead the Ur-mah-gal to their new home."
Daniel smiled. "Thanks, Jack." Turning to the gate, he said in Hetaran, "Come, Brothers. Let us go to your new home." Then, with a hundred Ur-mah-gal following in his wake, he stepped through the event horizon.
As he emerged from the other side, Daniel was surprised to see at least four hundred Hetarans waiting. Pausing only a moment, he quickly moved aside to make room for the arriving Ur-mah-gal. As the Hetarans and Ur-mah-gal saw each other, Daniel was wishing that he had a video camera. Then he saw a person off to the side who looked like he had some kind of recording device. Maybe he could get a copy of what they filmed.
For several seconds, there was utter silence. Then Gilmesh stepped forward. In a loud voice he called, "Welcome to New Hetara, Brothers! We rejoice at your arrival."
With those words, the Ur-mah-gal and Hetarans moved toward each other. Soon, the big cats were being greeted happily by the humans, children dancing around them.
Jack, Sam and Teal'c came up beside Daniel, and they all watched the festivities in silence for a while. It was Daniel's quiet voice that broke their silence.
"When I was with the Nox, Lya told me that I wasn't quite so young as they had believed me to be. They could see that I was someone who didn't want to fight, somebody who wished to live in peace with others. I look at that," he pointed to the joyful Hetarans reuniting with the Ur-mah-gal, "two totally different species living in peace with each other, and I wonder how long it will be before the nations of Earth all manage to get along with each other. It seems pretty foolish that people of the same species can't stop fighting amongst themselves."
"Yeah, you're right," Jack agreed. "It seems even more foolish when you know about what's out there in the universe. I sometimes wonder if everyone on Earth knew about the Goa'uld and everything else, would we still keep fighting with each other?"
Jack laid a hand on his friend's shoulder. "This is a really good thing you did, Daniel."
The archeologist smiled. "It makes it all worthwhile, you know? All the pain I suffered when I thought that I would never go back to Earth or be a part of the SGC or SG-1 again, the loneliness I felt when I was on Hetara with no human company."
"From great sorrow can come great joy," Teal'c said in his deep, serious voice.
Jack looked at him. "That's very profound, Teal'c."
"And also very true," Daniel added. "But I have to wonder. We've suffered so much pain while fighting the Goa'uld, and I know that we're going to suffer a lot more before everything's finished. Do you think that we'll find enough joy in the end to make it all worthwhile?"
"Yeah, Danny, I think we will," Jack replied, "because the day we get rid of the Goa'uld forever will be the greatest day in the history of mankind."
Turning back to the crowd, SG-1 thought about that day when humans across the galaxy would see an end to the Goa'uld and rejoice.