Stargate Horizons


The decision regarding the device was announced the next morning.  It had been decided that, under the circumstances, it would be best to keep it where it was, but only if there was some way to assure that it would not be found by anyone else.  Daniel's idea was that, if they could shut the door from outside the room, that would probably do the trick since the room was shielded.  Sam believed that she should be able to jury-rig some kind of remote control.

An hour later, SG-1 gated back through to Estrania with a GPRS and a technician who was an expert in reading their images.  With the ground-penetrating radar, they learned that the power source was small enough to get through the gate.  The problem was that the only way to get it out of the ground would be to demolish the ruins and dig it out with heavy machinery.  The look on Daniel's face told everyone what he thought of that.

Sam ran into trouble with rigging a remote control.  In a situation like this, she'd normally come up with a way to remotely trigger the circuit or other component on the device she was trying to operate, but the alienness of the technology coupled with her reluctance to blindly fiddle with the thing made that problematic.

"Why not just do what the MythBusters do?" Jack asked.

Sam stared at him, frowning in puzzlement.  "Sir?"

"The MythBusters, on the Discovery Channel."

Daniel gaped at him.  "You watch the Discovery Channel?"

"Sometimes," Jack admitted a little reluctantly.  "MythBusters is a new show."  He shrugged.  "I like the explosions.  They sometimes make remote controls that push buttons or light fuses and other stuff like that."

Light dawned in Sam's eyes.  "Sir, that's a great idea," she said, which made Jack smile proudly.  "All I'd have to do is rig up a device that would depress the button.  That'll be easy.  I'm going to need some other things from the SGC, though."

Jack's smile faded.  "You mean we have to make that trip again?"

"I'm afraid so, sir."

"Too bad we can't bring some kind of transportation through," Daniel remarked, also growing tired of the repeated trip.

Once they were back on base, Jack pleaded with General Hammond to let them use two of the base's motorcycles.

"I'm begging you, sir," he said.  "I don't think I can bear the thought of yet another round trip on foot.  Besides, it'll mean that we'll get finished so much sooner."

"Very well, Colonel.  I'll have two of the motorcycles brought down."

By the time they arrived, Sam had gathered all she'd need for the job.  She was surprised when she saw the bikes sitting in the gate room.

Jack grinned and patted one.  "Hey, how's this for off-world travel, Carter?"

She smiled as well.  "This will be fun.  Has something like this ever been done on an off-world mission before?"

"Nope.  We'll be the first."

The moment they were on Estrania, Jack got onto one of the bikes.

"Hop on behind me, T."

Teal'c frowned at the motorcycle.  "I have never before ridden on one of these vehicles."

"Oh, you'll love it!  The sun on your face, the wind in your ha—"  He looked up at the Jaffa's shaved head.  "Um, the wind in your face."

Sam sat astride the other bike.  "I don't get to ride mine nearly as much as I'd like to."  She handed a helmet to Daniel, who'd be riding with her.

"Should we not also be wearing helmets, O'Neill?" Teal'c asked.

"When I was a teenager, we never wore helmets," the colonel responded.  "It wasn't cool.  They make you wear them now because it's the law."

"Cool or not, sir, it is safer," Sam said as she donned her own helmet.  "The likelihood of a fatal injury in a motorcycle accident rises dramatically if the driver is not wearing a helmet."

Jack let out a sigh and start putting on his helmet, giving up on the "wind in your hair" part of the experience.

"So, have you ever been on a bike before, Daniel?" Sam asked him.

"A few times when I was in college.  I was always the passenger, though.  I did drive a little scooter around Italy when I was there one summer."

Minutes later, Egeria's city was witness to a sight that would have sent most of its inhabitants running away in fear, the ancient ruins echoing with the sound of two internal combustion engines roaring down its streets.  Though Sam and Jack both wanted to go faster, they kept their speed down to below thirty-five for the sake of safety.  Even so, the trip back to the Furling ruins flew by.

As SG-1 pulled up and shut off the bikes, Jack exclaimed, "Yeah!  Now, that's the way to go.  I need to talk to Hammond about letting us do this on all missions that require a long walk."

"Oh, yes.  Just what we want to do, scare all the natives half to death and have them attacking the demon monsters," Daniel responded.

Jack paused a moment.  "Well . . . it was just a thought."

They went into the chamber with the device.  Jack stared at the thing for a moment.

"I just thought of something," he said.  "If this room is shielded, how are we going to open the door again once we get it closed?  The radio signal wouldn't penetrate, would it?"

"I already thought of that, sir," Sam told him.  "We'll run some wires underneath the door and attach a receiver to the end.  We can hide it with some of this debris."  She gestured at the chunks of the roof that littered the floor.

It didn't take long for Sam to put together what Jack called the alien button pusher.  They tested it with Daniel and Sam inside the room.  The device worked perfectly, and Jack was able to open the door using the remote.  Afterwards, Sam examined the wires leading to the receiver, making sure that the door hadn't pinched them.

"It looks good, so I guess we're good to go," she said.

She and her teammates gathered outside the room.  She was getting ready to close the door when Daniel abruptly said, "Wait!  I completely forgot about something."  He went back into the room, then returned carrying a leather satchel.

"What's that?" Jack asked curiously.

"It's the clothing I was wearing when I returned.  I didn't see any sense in leaving it in there.  There's a lantern, too, but I couldn't carry that on the motorcycle."

Jack was very curious now.  "So, is it a toga?"

"No, freemen work togas.  Slaves wore only tunics."

"Tunics, huh?  Are those the things that come up to your knees?"  Jack was almost smiling now.

"Mine was longer," Daniel replied shortly, now wishing he'd left the satchel in the room.

"So, what about the underwear?"  Jack received no reply to that question.

Smiling slightly, Sam pressed the button on the remote.  The little device once again did its job, and the door obediently slid shut.  Sam ran her scanner over the door.

"I'm not picking up anything at all.  I'd say this definitely confirms that the room is shielded."

"So, it'll be hidden from ships in orbit, too?" Jack asked.

"I'd say so, sir, as long as the ceiling and walls remain intact."

"Yeah, to be on the safe side, we should probably do something about shoring up the ceiling," Daniel said.

"I think that can wait for another day," Jack responded.  "I have seen more than enough of this planet."

Now that they were familiar with the feel of the road, Jack and Sam couldn't stop themselves from going a wee bit faster on the trip back.

"So, T," the colonel said as he got off the bike.  "How do you like riding a . . . oh."

The "oh" was uttered upon Jack turning to Teal'c and seeing what looked like the remains of a rather large bug splattered on the Jaffa's forehead, adding an interesting pattern to the gold emblem.

"Yeah, I should probably have warned you about that," the colonel said with a grimace.

Teal'c cooly reached up and wiped the mess off, taking the handkerchief that Jack handed to him.

"Thank you, O'Neill."

"You're welcome."

They were greeted in the gate room by Hammond when they arrived back at the SGC.  He told them that they might as well stay geared up since they'd be heading right back out again to get the part of the device that was in the care of Tuplo's people.  Because the main device was going to be remaining off-world, it had been decided that the other part would be brought to Earth instead of taken to the Alpha Site.

By the time they returned to the SGC with the orb, all the members of SG-1 decided that they'd had enough of off-world travel for a while.

Once the post-mission physical and the debriefing were done, Daniel went to his office to begin making a dent in the work that had piled up.  At 8:30 that night, he was still at it.

"So, did you even bother to eat dinner?" asked a voice from the doorway.

Daniel looked up at Jack.  "I grabbed a sandwich."

Jack noticed the sandwich sitting only half-eaten on the desk.  He got a chair and wheeled it over.  Glancing at the screen and seeing what looked like just a bunch of lines and squiggles, he focused his attention on the man who was reading them.

"I went back and read your report again," he said.


"Because I wanted to see if I could figure out what it was that you weren't telling us."

Daniel's gaze fell to the keyboard.

"Though you mostly kept the report factual, I was reading a lot of stuff between the lines, stuff mostly about you and Egeria.  You did it again, didn't you."

"Did what again?"

"What you did with Sha're, Shyla, Ke'ra and probably a few others as well."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"Oh, yes, you do.  Oh, I'm sure you didn't do it deliberately.  You never do.  But, apparently, there's just something about you that makes alien women fall head over heels for you.   Now, you've added a Goa'uld to the list."

Daniel turned his face away.  He'd really been hoping that Jack wouldn't figure this out.

"I also remember what it is that Goa'uld queens do when they want a guy."

Daniel sprang from his chair and strode over to his desk.  "Egeria wasn't like Hathor," he said in a tight voice.

"You know, I did get that from all the things you said about her.  Yet I can't help but notice that you're having trouble looking at me."

"Just . . . just leave it alone, all right?" Daniel asked.  "Please."

Jack got up.  "I can't do that, Daniel.  I made that mistake once before, and I'm not going to do it again.  When you told us that some of your DNA would be in those larvae that Hathor made, I guessed right off how that DNA got there, but I chose not to think about whether or not you were a completely willing donor.  I didn't want to think about it.  I wanted to stick my head in the sand and pretend that things were fine.  Because of that, you had to deal with the fallout alone for two days, and it was Carter who had the guts to finally step up and do something.  So, no, I'm not going to leave you alone about this, not this time."

Daniel closed his eyes.  Jack's voice was gentle, a concerned, caring voice that he seldom heard from this man.  More often, it was the voice of wisecracks, sarcastic remarks, angry outbursts.  After years of practice, he'd pretty much hardened himself against that voice and its words.  Against this voice, he had little resistance.

"It was an accident," he said in a low tone.  "When Egeria made the decision to produce larvae without the Goa'uld genetic knowledge, she approached me about being the one to provide the DNA.  I, uh . . . reacted really badly.  I had a flashback to the incident with Hathor, and I sort of panicked for a second.  I just about flew across the room as far from her as I could get.  She didn't understand why I reacted that way.  She thought it was because I found her repulsive.  I couldn't let her believe that, so I told her what happened.  She was pretty angry.  I think she'd have happily torn Hathor to shreds at that moment, if she could have.  It was the next day that I found out that she was in love with me."

Jack remained silent, absorbing the confirmation of the Goa'uld queen's feelings for Daniel.

"She'd told me that she wouldn't ask me again to be the donor, that she'd find somebody else instead, so, every day after that, I kept expecting her to tell me that she'd spawned the Tok'ra, but she never did.  Looking back on it now and knowing how she felt about me, I realize that it probably wasn't happening because she didn't want to have sex with another guy, just like I hadn't want to be with another woman besides Sha're.  Stupidly, that thought never even occurred to me back then."  He shook his head at his own idiocy and sighed.  "It was six days later that Spurius killed me.  My body wasn't found until noon the next day.  From what I heard, when Egeria saw me, she fell apart.  She thought I'd been killed earlier than I was, that it was too late to save me with the sarcophagus.  There is a time limit, you know."

"Yeah, I know," Jack said.  He didn't want to think about how close Daniel had come to being permanently dead.

Daniel continued.  "Once she realized that I might have died later than she had believed, she had me put in the sarcophagus, and it revived me."  He paused for several seconds.  "That evening, she called me to her private chambers.  She let her host have control, and Arria completely broke down.  She threw herself into my arms and started babbling about me not leaving them.  Egeria had to take back control.  Then she confessed how much it hurt when she thought she'd lost me."  There was another, much longer pause.  "She, um, kissed me and . . . lost control.  It triggered the release of the drug.  She didn't even realize that it had happened."

'Damn,' Jack cursed silently.

"The stuff hit me like a freight train.  It wasn't like what Hathor used.  I think it must have been pure pheromone.  I'm, uh . . . pretty sure you can guess what happened next."


"When I woke up a few hours later, I thought that Egeria had betrayed me, that she did it deliberately.  When she realized what had happened, what she'd done, she was utterly horrified.  She tried to explain, but I was hurting too much.  Afterwards, she was so wracked with guilt.  She thought that she'd destroyed everything, every bit of respect and trust I had in her.  She was so upset that she didn't go out in the sun.  By the time her Lo'taur came and got me, she was in agony.  As she recovered we talked, and I let her know that I still respected her.  Even so, she was desperate to atone for what she'd done."

Even though Jack understood that it had not been intentional, he was still angry at Egeria for what she did, for the way she hurt Daniel.  Why was it that things like this kept happening to him?

There was a very long moment of silence.  Jack knew that there was more to the story, so he stayed put, giving his friend the time he needed to say the rest.

At last, Daniel started speaking again.  "I, um, decided that, though there wasn't anything that could be done to fully repair our relationship, there was at least something that could be done to make what happened have some meaning.  I told her to use my DNA for the Tok'ra larvae.  I don't know how many were spawned with it, at least several hundred . . . including Selmak."

Whoa.  Okay, this Jack had not seen coming.  After what happened with Hathor, he would never have guessed that Daniel would willingly allow his DNA to be used to create symbiotes, not even Tok'ra symbiotes.

Jack being the kind of man he was, he couldn't help but think about the humorous side of this, especially the part about Daniel being, from a certain point of view, Selmak's papa, but humor was definitely not the right thing to be feeling now.

"The next day, Egeria took me to see the larvae, and we talked some more," Daniel said.  "I really hadn't lost my respect for her.  I didn't lie about that.  But I had lost something else.  Though I still trusted her in most ways, I knew that I would never be able to trust being in a situation with her where what happened before might happen again."

"Wouldn't you have been immune like you and I were to Hathor's stuff when we ran into her again?"

Daniel shook his head.  "There was no guarantee of that.  It doesn't always happen."  He finally turned around to face Jack.  "It was then that Egeria set me free.  When I asked her why, she said that it was because she loved me and couldn't bear it if she hurt me again."

That last sentenced softened Jack's opinion of the woman.  She'd done the right thing in the end.

He got up from his chair.  He really didn't know what to say.  What do you say to your best friend when you've learned that, yet again, he was drugged into having sex with a woman he'd never have done that with while in his right mind?  At least, this time, it wasn't rape.

Unknown to both men, just outside the door, Sam stood leaning against the wall, crying.  She'd come to say good night to Daniel and had overheard nearly all of his confession about what happened to him.  Her heart ached for him, understanding how much it must have hurt.  Sam suspected that this was what he talked to Egeria about when he was ascended.

Looking at it from a woman's point of view, Sam wondered about what this had done to Egeria.  She knew how she'd feel if it had been her.  She would be so riddled with guilt that she'd have a hard time living with herself.

Inside the office, Daniel spoke again.

"I'm okay about it all now, and, no, I'm not just saying that.  It really wasn't like what happened with Hathor.  What Hathor did to me was cruel and ugly.  She used me to get what she wanted without any remorse.  What happened with Egeria wasn't that way.  It wasn't cruel, and it wasn't something ugly.  Yes, it hurt at the time it happened, but it stopped hurting a long time ago.  I know that, if I had loved her like she loved me, it wouldn't have taken her pheromone for me to make love to her.  In fact, if I had loved her and had known that she felt the same when she asked me to be the one to provide the DNA, I'd probably have said yes."

Jack was surprised yet again by that last admission.  But then again, maybe he shouldn't be surprised.  Daniel would do just about anything for the people he loved.

"I'm pretty tired, Jack, so I'm going to head on home."

"Yeah.  Okay."  Jack paused a few seconds.  "If, sometime, you'd like to, uh . . . you know . . . talk some more . . . or something, you can come over for a beer or whatever . . . if you want."

Daniel nodded slightly.  "Thanks."

With a little nod of his own, Jack turned and left the office.

Since Jack now knew the truth about what happened with Egeria, the archeologist decided that his other teammates might as well be told as well, especially since he was almost certain that Sam had already guessed most of it.  He told each of them separately.  Teal'c listened mostly in silence, his understanding of the pain Daniel had felt showing in his deep brown eyes.  Sam surprised Daniel with a tight hug and a confession that she'd heard the conversation between him and Jack.

The astrophysicist had been unable to learn very much from the CT scan she did of the orb.  Unfortunately, an MRI, which would probably have revealed more, would not be possible because it looked like there might be metal components inside the globe.  With more than a little reluctance she boxed it up in preparation for it being shipped to Area 51 for further study.

Four days later, SG-1 was back in the briefing room with Hammond, prepping for another mission, this one to the planet to which Egeria had sent her human subjects.

"What can you tell us about this planet, Doctor Jackson?" the general asked.

Daniel told Hammond and his team what he knew about the planet and all the preparations that were made for Estrania's population to be moved there.

"Judging by the size of the population that must have lived in that city on Estrania, we could be talking about millions of people now," Sam said.

Daniel nodded.  "There's no telling what the culture would be like now, that is if it still exists.  It could have stuck to its Roman roots or gone off in a completely different direction."

"What of the Ancient ruins?" Hammond questioned.

"Well, back then, I didn't have the knowledge of the Ancient language that I do now, so I understood only part of the little bit of text that I read, which appeared to be historical information.  I didn't have the opportunity to read much.  The ruins were not extensive, so I'm pretty sure they're not the Lost City, but it's possible that there is information there that will lead us in the right direction."

"All right.  Go ahead and gear up.  If we can establish a wormhole, we'll send a MALP through."

A while later, SG-1 stood in the control room as the address was dialed.  With each chevron that encoded, Daniel's heart beat a little faster.  He might soon be meeting the descendants of the people with whom he'd spent some of the most extraordinary months of his life.  The ideal image in his mind was of a peaceful, thriving civilization that had grown into a technologically advanced society.  The flip side of the coin was a world with the ruins of a dead culture that vanished centuries ago.

When the final chevron locked and the Stargate burst to life, Daniel gave a silent cheer that the gate had apparently been unburied.  He watched as the MALP made its slow way up the ramp, then disappeared through the event horizon.  His eyes turned to the screen that would show the video transmission.

"MALP has reached the destination," the technician announced.  "Receiving telemetry."

An image came up on the screen of the inside of a dimly lit structure.  Straight ahead was a tall, narrow staircase, a hint of light at the top.  After descending the dais, the MALP moved around the gate, the camera panning to show the rest of the room, revealing nothing but high walls with no openings.

"That's interesting," Daniel remarked.  "When I was there, the gate was not in a building, so it must have been moved there, and it looks like the building was built below ground level.  I wonder why they did that."

Sam studied the image on the screen.  "That staircase is too narrow and steep to get the MALP up it, so we're not going to be able to see what's up there, unless we go through."

Everyone turned to General Hammond.

"Very well," he said.  "You have a go."

SG-1 went down to the gate room.

"So, are you excited?" Sam asked Daniel, already knowing the answer.

"Yeah.  I can't stop thinking about what we might find there."

With Jack and Teal'c in the lead, the four people ascended the ramp and stepped through the gate.  Seconds later, they were coming out the other side.  As they reached the bottom of the dais, the gate shut down, the only light in the chamber now being provided by small fixtures on the walls.

They made their way to the staircase, Jack and Teal'c still in the lead.  Cautiously, they took the steps, the staircase so narrow that they had to go up one at a time.  The higher they climbed, the brighter it got until they could see the doorway at the top.  Finally, Jack, Teal'c, Daniel and, last, Sam reached the top.

"Wow," Sam and Daniel both murmured.

The city was like Ancient Rome on steroids.  That was the best description Daniel could come up with as he gaped at the sight.  Many of the buildings they could see were far taller than any that the Romans ever built, constructed with massive columns to support the weight.  Though they could only see a limited distance, it was easy to tell that the city was huge.  It was also in pristine condition.  These were not ruins they were looking at.

"Um . . . where are all the people?" Jack asked.

That's when it dawned on Daniel that there was not a soul in sight, though he could see the signs that there had been people there just a short while ago.

Jack's question was partially answered when ten men with rifles suddenly surrounded them.  Daniel's three teammates responded by aiming their own weapons.  Seeing that this could very quickly degenerate into a complete meltdown, Daniel hurriedly stepped forward, empty hands raised.

"Whoa!  Stop!  Stop!" he cried.  He looked around at the men until he saw someone who, judging by the differences in his uniform, looked like he might have some authority.  "Can you understand me?" he asked.

"We understand your words," the man replied, his hard gaze never wavering.

"We are not your enemies.  We're here in peace."

The man pointed at Teal'c.  "That one is a Jaffa.  All Jaffa who do not bear the mark of Egeria are enemies."

"Um, well, at one time, that was true, but a lot has changed lately.  This is Teal'c.  He has rebelled against the Goa'uld and now fights with us against them.  We're here as your friends."

The archeologist noticed that one of the other men was staring at him rather strangely.

"I know your face," the man said.  "It is familiar."  His eyes widened.  "Yours is the face on the statue guarded by the House of Aurelius, the one Egeria herself commanded be protected!"

Jack was instantly very interested.  "Statue, you say."

Daniel was busy groaning on the inside.  He now knew what had become of the other statue of him.  During the evacuation, Egeria must have given it to Titus, whose family name was Aurelius, and told him to keep it safe.

The man's next words made Daniel realize that this situation might be more serious than simply a source of embarrassment.

"You are Daniel, the one who brought life back to a drowned child and rose from the dead!"

"Oh, boy," the archeologist murmured under his breath.  This was really not good.

"But it has been two thousand years, and you have not aged."  The man's voice dropped to an awed whisper.  "Are you now a god?"

That succeeded in making all the others shift nervously, several murmurs arising.

"Ummm . . . okay, look," Daniel said.  "I do admit that I am Daniel, and that statue is of me, but I'm not a god.  I'm not even two thousand years old.  This may be hard for you to comprehend, but I have traveled through time.  I traveled back in time two thousand years, where I met Egeria and lived for a while with her subjects, then I came back to this time, the time in which I was born."

"But only a god could do such a thing," another man said.

Jack leaned toward Daniel and murmured under his breath.  "Your little revelation doesn't seem to have changed the situation much."

Ignoring him, Daniel said to the natives, "No, I traveled through time using a device, a piece of technology built a long time ago by an ancient race.  There is nothing magical about it or me.  I'm just a man, just like you."

The men all looked at each other, then slowly lowered their weapons.

The first man spoke.  "If you are truly Daniel, and all the things written about you in the legend are true, then this Jaffa with you must be a good man."

Jack was now sporting a little smile.  "Legend, you say."

'I am never going to hear the end of this,' Daniel silently sighed.

The man Daniel had pegged as someone in authority stepped forward and bowed slightly.  "I am Enlus.  I apologize for the greeting.  When the warning came that the portal had been activated, we feared that the evil Goa'uld had come at last.  We have worried for many centuries that they would come, ever since we chose to reopen the portal."

"Why did you do that?  Didn't Egeria tell you to bury it so that you'd be safe?"

"Yes, and it was kept buried for many centuries, but then the plague came."

"Excuse me?" said Jack, suddenly nervous.  "Plague?"

Enlus nodded.  "A terrible sickness that killed without mercy.  It killed seven in ten, decimating our civilization.  Some hoped that, if the portal was opened, Egeria would come and banish the sickness, so it was unburied.  But the sickness raged on.  By the time it was gone, most of our world's people lay dead."

Thinking that this was a lot like what happened when the Black Death decimated Europe in the fourteenth century, Daniel said, "I am so sorry to hear about this.  If Egeria could have come, I know she would have."

Enlus nodded.  He turned to one of the others and said, "Give the all clear signal."

The man lifted a horn to his lips and blew a long, loud note, followed by two short ones, then another long note.  Seconds later, people began appearing from where they had apparently been hiding.

"Come," Enlus said.  "We will take you to the House of Magistrates so that they may meet you."

Daniel smiled.  "You have executive magistrates?"

"Yes, nine men and women who establish the laws."

"You don't have a king or queen?"

"No.  The highest authority is the Chief Magistrate.  It was agreed by all that no monarch would ever rule us except Egeria."

As they walked, Daniel looked about, his eyes taking in everything.  Though they were far from being skyscrapers, the buildings were amazing, tall, massive things that would impress any architect and probably have the jaw of many archeologists hitting the ground.  Daniel also noted that there were many trees and small grassy areas with flowers, like little parks, something that no Ancient Roman city had.

As for the people, though hints of the Roman style of clothing were still evident in what they wore, it had advanced to much more practical apparel, men wearing loose trousers with a belted, tunic-like shirt and women in comfortable-looking dresses the length of which varied from all the way to the ankles to around halfway up the calves.

"You know, after two thousand years of not having the Goa'uld around, I'd have thought they'd be a little more advanced," murmured Jack's low voice.

That's when it occurred to Daniel that there were no signs of advanced technology, no motor vehicles, no electronic devices, nor anything else.  Everyone was on foot, on horseback, or in carts or carriages, except for the few Daniel saw riding three-wheeled bicycles – or, more accurately tricycles – made of wood and metal, which looked rather strange against the Ancient Roman backdrop.

"The plague is probably the reason for the lack of significant technological advancement," he responded.  "If they lost over two-thirds of the planet's population, it would have been a devastating blow that would have taken generations to recover from and seriously slowed their advancement, perhaps even setting it back several decades, especially if they lost most of their learned men and inventors.  They do have those rifles, and the lights in the building with the Stargate were not using fire, so they have some other form of energy for lighting.  Even discounting the plague, the kind of technological advancement that took place on Earth isn't always going to happen, regardless of how much time passes.  Look at the people on Cimmeria.  Even though they'd been there at least since the eleventh century, protected from the Goa'uld, their society hadn't advanced at all from that of the ancient Norse people who were their ancestors.  In fact, from what we've seen, significant technological advancement appears to be the exception rather than the rule."

Just then, they came around a corner and almost stopped in their tracks at the sight of what stood before them.  The train, which had only three cars attached to the engine, appeared to be steam-powered.  It was constructed of wood, bronze and iron and looked as if it was used only for transporting people.

"Okay, this makes sense," Daniel said.  "They have rifles that look like they're lever-action, they have a form of bicycle, and they have trains.  On Earth, all those things were invented in the nineteenth century.  It wouldn't surprise me if we saw some other steam-powered vehicles."

"So, their level of technology is equivalent to nineteenth century Earth," Sam said.

"At least with some things.  If the lights run on electricity, that was also a nineteenth century invention."

The men with SG-1 led them up to the train.

"We will ride this the rest of the way to the House of Magistrates," Enlus explained.  "It will make a few stops along the way."

SG-1, Enlus and three of the others got on the train.  A couple of minutes later, it left the station and slowly began winding its way through the city.  It stopped periodically at places that looked more like bus stops than train depots to pick up or let off passengers.

"Well, this is different," Daniel remarked.  "Trains on Earth were invented to carry passengers and cargo long distances.  They weren't used for intercity transportation until a great deal later in history, with the invention of elevated trains and subways."

At last, they came to a stop near an imposing structure that Daniel guessed was the House of Magistrates.  Sure enough, Enlus stood and told them that this was where they got off.

They went through the doors of the building and into a large entrance hall.  Straight ahead were massive double doors that Daniel guessed was where the magistrates convened.  There were other doors visible, as well as two wide staircases that went up to the second floor.

Telling SG-1 to wait, Enlus went to speak to a guard who stood outside the double doors.  After a short conversation, during which the guard looked at SG-1 more than once, Enlus disappeared through the doors.  He came back out around ten minutes later and returned to SG-1.

"The magistrates will speak with you now."

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