Stargate Horizons


Egeria strode down the corridor, all trace of her amusement gone.  The man who attacked Daniel would pay for what he had done.  She had already given orders to her Jaffa to seek out anyone who might be able to identify him, with the promise of a generous reward to the person who did, regardless of whether the informant was a slave or freeman.  And what would she do to the thief if he was caught?  She had not decided yet.

Egeria knew that she should not be this angry.  If it had been almost any other slave belonging to her, she would have been greatly displeased, but that would have been the extent of it.  If it had been one of the handful that she cared about, such as her Lo'taur, she would surely have been angry, but she would not have been filled with the rage that presently burned within her.

But Daniel was not just a slave to her.  In truth, she no longer looked upon him as a slave at all.  She cared a great deal about him.  The conversations that happened occasionally in the beginning were now taking place nearly every day.  She looked forward to every one, immensely enjoying the minutes spent with him even though they did no more than talk.

Egeria had thought more than once about freeing him from the slavery that she had imposed upon him, but she knew what would happen if she did.  Daniel would leave, go back to wherever it was in this galaxy that he called home.  She would never see him again.  Yes, she could order the Jaffa not to let him through the Stargate, but she had a feeling that, as intelligent as he was, he'd eventually figure out a way to get through it.  And so she would keep him a slave, if only so that she would not lose him.

But what about when the year was over?  She had not promised to free him at the end of that time, but, if she did not, it would be a betrayal of the trust that she hoped Daniel now had in her.  All she could hope was that, by the end of that year, Daniel would have no desire to leave.

Deep down inside, Egeria knew that to feel this way for any human was not a good thing.  Even if Daniel chose to stay, what future could they have?  As a human, he would eventually grow old and die, whereas she would remain forever young.  Once before, she had watched a man she cared about succumb to old age and death, and it had hurt.  She suspected that, with Daniel, it would hurt far more.

Yet what could be done?  If he was made a host, he would cease to be the man she cared about, his mind and heart imprisoned by a Goa'uld who would most likely use his body to do cruel and terrible things.  No.  That was something Egeria could not even consider.  It would be far better to say goodbye to Daniel forever than to see him become like her fellow Goa'uld, whom she despised more with each passing year, especially Ra, for whom her hatred ran deep.

But now was not the time to think about such things.  The year was far from over, and she would have many more pleasant days with Daniel.  The time to think about the future could wait for another day.

Daniel glanced at Egeria as they walked through the garden, wondering how to broach the subject that he felt compelled to discuss.  This morning, he'd learned that the thief who attacked him three days ago had been found.  Egeria spared the man's life because he had spared Daniel's, but she had sentenced him to slave for four years in a Naquadah mine.  Daniel knew that, depending on how harsh the conditions were in that mine, the thief might not even survive that long.  Though he certainly deserved to be punished, that punishment was far harsher than Daniel would have wanted.  Of course, for all he knew, the thief might also be a murderer.  Some other victim might not have been as lucky as Daniel.  But that was something he couldn't know for certain.  And did the guy have a family who depended on him?  Was his attempt to steal an act of desperation?

"Um . . . I'd like to talk to you about something," Daniel finally said.


"It's about the man who attacked me.  I found out what your sentence for him was.  I wish . . . I wish you hadn't done that."

Surprised, Egeria stared at him.  "Why?"

"I have some experience with Naquadah mines.  I know how cruel and demanding the work is, that many slaves do not live long.  That man tried to steal from me, but he didn't kill me.  He could have killed me first, then went looking for my money.  And we don't know why he did it.  Maybe he was desperate for money to feed his family."

Egeria was amazed.  Daniel was asking for mercy for the man who had attacked and nearly killed him.

"Why would you wish to extend mercy to him?" she asked.

"Because I think that punishment should fit the crime.  I believe in justice, not revenge."  He looked at her.  "If some of the things I've heard about you are true, you understand the value of being a just ruler."

Daniel was referring to the legend of Egeria teaching Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome, how to be a wise and just ruler.  He didn't know how much of that legend was true, but he did know that Egeria did, indeed, have a relationship of some kind with Numa.  Anise had confirmed it.

Most Goa'uld would be outraged that a human would dare to counsel one of them, but Egeria was not offended.  This was another example of the kindness and goodness of Daniel's heart, the same goodness that overlooked the fact that she was a member of the race he hated.

"What would your punishment for him be?" she asked.

Daniel thought about it.  "It would depend on the circumstances.  If he acted out of a need to feed his family, then I think the punishment should be lighter.  I understand what people will do for the sake of the ones they love.  If, on the other hand, he's just a man who chooses to be a thief instead of working. . . ."  Daniel thought about it for a while.  "Where I come from, he would be thrown in prison for several years, but the prisons there are much kinder places than any prison the Goa'uld would have.  Maybe a few years of hard labor would be a suitable punishment, but not in a mine, not someplace where people are worked so mercilessly."

Egeria paused for a moment before saying, "I will consider your request, Daniel.  The man was to be sent through the Stargate later today, but I will hold off until I make a decision."

"Thank you."

The next day, Daniel was told that Egeria commuted the man's sentence to four years working in a quarry around ten miles from the city.  Though it was still backbreaking work, at least he would not be under the cruel hand of a heartless Goa'uld.  Daniel also learned that the man had no family to support.

The next few days passed quietly, Daniel spending most of his time doing translations in the library.  Though he'd already translated a great deal of text, it was a mere drop in the bucket compared to what had yet to be done.  That would still be true the day he left for home.

Daniel wondered who Egeria would turn to for translations after Decimus died.  The man was around seventy Earth years old, according to Daniel's calculations, a great deal older than the ancient Romans on Earth lived.  His ripe old age was partly thanks to the better quality of life that Egeria's subjects enjoyed.  The food, health care and living conditions were all far superior to that of ancient Rome, all of which contributed to a longer life span for both men and women and a much lower infant mortality rate.  Even so, Decimus was quite a bit older than most Estranian men lived, probably because he had an advantage that most other people on this planet didn't.  According to him, more than once, Egeria had used her healing device on him to take care of some ailment.  Unlike a sarcophagus, however, that device could not slow aging.  Sooner or later, Decimus would die, and Egeria would be left without anyone to translate all her many scrolls and books.

The city was in the midst of a heat wave when Daniel was told that Aulus was requesting his help at the construction site.  He headed straight over there.  Since going to work at the palace, the archeologist had been "loaned out" to the master builder only a few times, each time when Aulus wanted advice on how to do something new and revolutionary.  The builder had learned quite some time back that Daniel knew building techniques that were far more advanced than what he did and had taken advantage of that knowledge.  This building would use techniques that, unknown to Aulus, were from hundreds of years in the future.

As Daniel listened to Aulus explain his newest idea, the archeologist's mind was only partly on what the man was saying.  Today marked the three-month anniversary of the day he was sent back in time.  Three Earth months, that is.  Estrania's months were from thirty-two to thirty-three days long, though the length of the hours and days appeared to be pretty close to that on Earth.

And then there was the length of the years.  Daniel wasn't at all happy when he found out that they were fourteen months long since it meant that his enforced time here was going to be even longer than he'd originally believed.  Totaling up the difference in the length of the months and the years, Daniel had calculated that he'd be here for around fifteen Earth months, fifteen months of slavery, of not being in control of his own life, of not having complete freedom in where he could go, what he could do.

Daniel knew that, as slavery went, his situation was a picnic compared to what many slaves throughout history had to endure, but it still chafed at him, and it bothered him to know that, no matter where he went, some Jaffa watching some monitor somewhere knew where he was at all times.

Aulus glanced at his former assistant.  He could tell that Daniel's mind was elsewhere today and wondered what the man was thinking.

"You are distracted today," he finally said.

Daniel blinked and looked at him.  "What?  Oh.  I'm sorry, Aulus.  My mind has been on something else today."

"May I ask what?"

Daniel hesitated before replying.  "As of today, it's been three of my homeworld's months since I came here."

"And was made a slave."

The archeologist's gaze drifted away.  "Yes."

The master builder studied the younger man for a moment.  "Come sit for a while," he then said, leading Daniel over to a large, flat boulder.  They settled upon it.  "I have never talked to you about this situation you are in.  You have told me that you have no family, but I know that you have friends.  They must be quite worried about you by now."

Daniel paused.  If he managed to figure out how the time device worked and got it to return him to the same time as he left, Jack, Sam and Teal'c wouldn't even know he'd been gone until he told them.  Of course, he couldn't tell Aulus that.

"Yes, I should imagine that they are," he said instead.

"Do they know where you are?"

"No.  If they did, they'd have tried their best to come get me . . . which would not have been a good thing."

"How so?"

"Because they wouldn't have been able to accept my situation.  They'd have tried to free me, which probably would have gotten them killed or also made slaves.  It's better that they don't know."

"Will they not think that you are dead when so much time passes and you do not return?"

Daniel didn't reply, his eyes focusing on his lap.  If, for some reason or another, he couldn't get back home, then, sooner or later, everyone might come to believe that he was dead, though he suspected that his teammates would not accept that easily.

"I am sorry.  I have upset you," Aulus said.  "I can only imagine the things you must be feeling.  I was born a slave and given my freedom.  You are the opposite, a freeborn man who has been forced into slavery.  If I was you, I believe that I would be angry."

Daniel sighed and shook his head.  "I'm not angry.  In the beginning, I was upset, but never angry.  I know that things could have been a lot worse.  I've had plenty of experience with the cruelty of the Goa'uld, so I know that I was lucky that it was Egeria who enslaved me rather than one of the others."

Aulus searched Daniel's face intently.  "Then you bear her no resentment?"

"No.  She has been very kind to me, far kinder than she needed to be."  Daniel smiled.  "I've actually come to like her, which is really quite something considering what she is."  The smile disappeared.  "I have . . . good reason to hate the Goa'uld."

Aulus's gaze sharpened.  "What is this reason?"

Daniel didn't reply for several seconds.  "They are responsible for the death of my wife."

The master builder was horrified by the revelation.  As a widower, he knew the pain of losing a wife, but his beloved Felicia's death was accidental, and he'd had the joy and privilege of thirty years with her.  How much worse it must be for this young man, who could have had no more than a handful of years with the woman he loved.

Aulus laid a hand on Daniel's shoulder.  "I am sorry."

Daniel nodded, remaining silent.

The master builder had to wonder how many men in Daniel's situation would bear no resentment toward Egeria, a woman who had not only enslaved him but was also a member of the race that was responsible for the death of his wife.  In Daniel's position, Aulus suspected that his emotions would not be nearly so kind.

Guessing that his former assistant would like some time to himself, Aulus got to his feet.  "I have kept you from your duties at the palace long enough.  I almost envy you today.  It must be much cooler within the walls of the palace than out here."

Daniel also stood.  Aulus was right about that.  The palace was kept a comfortable temperate at all times, most likely courtesy of Goa'uld technology.

After saying goodbye, Daniel made his way back toward the palace.  By the time he was halfway there, he was dripping with sweat.  The thought came to him that a little swim would be quite refreshing.  Making up his mind, he detoured to the river.  There were several slaves bathing in the water when he got there.  Going upstream from them a bit to a spot that he liked for its privacy, he sat down on a dead tree trunk to remove his shoes.  As he did so, he glanced up and caught sight of something floating by in the water.

"Oh my God," he gasped upon realizing that it was the body of a child.

In the next second, Daniel was running to the river and diving headlong into the water.  He swam with all his might to the unmoving form.  Grabbing hold, he lifted the pale face out of the water and struggled back toward shore.  The current had carried him down river far enough that the other slaves saw what was happening.  Two of them dove in to help Daniel the rest of the way back.

The archeologist carried the limp body of the little girl out of the water and laid her on the ground.  She wasn't breathing.  He felt for a pulse and found one.  His relief turned to horror upon feeling the pulse flutter to a stop beneath his fingertips.

"Someone get help!" he cried.

"The child is dead," said one of the slaves.  "There is no helping her now."

"Just do it!"

Daniel turned back to the child and checked her airway to make sure it was unobstructed.  He then began to give CPR.  Unaware of the reaction of the shocked slaves, he alternated chest compressions with rescue breathing just as he'd been taught years ago.  This was the first time he'd ever had to use it.

A crowd had begun gathering, and some of them started to mutter over what Daniel was doing.  They did not understand, and a few mistook the archeologist's actions as a violation of the child's dead body.  One man stepped forward to put a stop to it, but found his arm in the vice-like grip of a Jaffa.

"You will allow him to continue," the Jaffa commanded.  He also did not know what Daniel was doing, but he had come to respect the man who had shown respect and kindness to him and his fellow Jaffa.

Daniel, totally oblivious to what was going on around him, kept working on the child.

"Come on, sweetheart," he murmured in English.  "Come back to us."  Moments later, his plea was rewarded.  The girl gagged and coughed.  He turned her on her side, watching as water drained from her mouth.  "That's it.  You're going to be okay now," he told her, this time in Goa'uld.

When the child's eyes fluttered open, virtually everyone there let out a gasp or exclamation.  Daniel turned her on her back and smiled down at her, brushing the wet hair from her face.

"You brought her back from the dead," said a hushed voice.

Daniel looked up to see expressions of awe and amazement on the face of more than one person.

"No, I didn't.  She wasn't dead, not really.  Just because a person isn't breathing and their heart isn't beating doesn't mean that they're dead.  Real death is more than that.  What I did was just a medical procedure I learned.  There is nothing magical about it."

Daniel wasn't sure how much his explanation would penetrate.  To the ancient Romans, if you had no heartbeat and no respiration, you were dead, plain and simple.  To bring someone back from that state would be magical in their eyes.

Deciding just to ignore the people, Daniel returned his attention to the girl.  He made sure that she got all the water out of her lungs.  He then picked her up and turned to one of the Jaffa.

"We need to find her parents."

A slave girl stepped forward timidly.  "I recognize her.  I know where she lives."

"Will you take us there?"

The girl nodded, bowing her head.  Daniel frowned upon seeing the bow, but said nothing.

The crowd parted to let them pass.  Accompanied by the Jaffa who prevented the man from stopping Daniel, they walked to the child's home.  The girl's mother was horrified when she saw the state her daughter was in and snatched her from Daniel's arms.  The Jaffa told the woman what Daniel had done, and she thanked him several times.

On the way back to the palace, the Jaffa addressed Daniel.  "I have never before seen what you did with that child.  I have seen the Goa'uld bring the dead back to life, but I have never seen a human do the same."

Daniel glanced at the large, dark-skinned man, who reminded him a little of Teal'c.  "Like I said before, I did not really bring her back to life.  To my people, death is not accepted easily.  We fight it with all our might until there is no hope left for the person.  What I did is something that has been done many, many times by a great many people on my world.  It is a normal, proven method for restarting a person's heart and breathing.  It does not always work; sometimes it simply isn't enough, but it has saved many lives."

"Nevertheless, it was an amazing feat."

Not wanting to leave a trail of water on the palace floor, Daniel tried to ring out his clothes the best that he could before entering.  A slave brought him a blanket, which he wrapped around himself.  In his room, he stripped and used the blanket as a towel to dry himself off.  He had just finished putting on dry clothes when there was a knock on his door.  He was shocked to see that it was Egeria.  This was the first time she'd come to his room instead of having him join her elsewhere.

He invited her in.  Her eyes went to the wet clothes on the floor.

"I have heard what you did," she said.  "Some are saying that you resurrected the child from the dead."

Daniel let out a loud sigh.  "I did no such thing.  Her heart had stopped, and I just used a simple medical procedure to restart it.  It's done all the time on my homeworld.  I could teach anyone on this planet how to do the same thing.  The girl wasn't dead, not in the way that my people view true death."

Egeria answered with a slight nod.  The Jaffa who watched Daniel revive the child had described everything to her, including the murmurs they'd heard among some of the other witnesses after the girl appeared to magically return to life.  It would seem that some were now questioning if Daniel was more than a mere human.  To another Goa'uld, this would be instant cause for alarm.  Daniel would be immediately killed to stop all such talk.

Egeria, on the other hand, was merely amused by the reaction.  She believed Daniel when he said that it was a simple medical procedure, no magical powers involved.  There was no reason to be concerned by what some were presently thinking.  In time, this talk would fade, and everything would return to normal.

Much to Daniel's relief, the hubbub about the "resurrection" of the little girl died down after several days, although the archeologist did notice that a great many of the slaves treated him differently, with a level of deference they didn't display before that whole thing happened.  He really preferred things the way it used to be.

The archeologist may not have been happy, but Aulus thought it was quite amusing to see some slaves bowing their heads like Daniel was a freeman as he kept telling them to please stop.  Like others, the master builder had been amazed when he heard the story of what Daniel did, but he believed his former assistant's explanation.  Daniel had already proven himself to be unlike anyone Aulus had ever met.  Was it really all that surprising that the man also knew how to bring life back to a stilled heart?

Egeria was also glad that the talk about Daniel had faded as she had believed it would, although she could not help but notice that his position in the eyes of many of the other slaves in the palace had gone up quite a bit, which was something that pleased her.  She wanted them to respect him, to recognize that he was special.  She knew that some wondered why she favored him, especially since he had been here for so short a time.  Perhaps those who questioned it would now see in him what she did.

Every now and then, Egeria liked to travel out into the countryside.  She wanted to do so again, and, this time, she intended to take Daniel with her.

The archeologist was quite surprised when the Goa'uld queen invited him to come with her on her little jaunt, but jumped at the chance to get out of the city for a while.  He'd assumed that they'd travel on foot, or, rather, him on foot and Egeria in her litter with its sedan chair, the usual method of transportation for Roman royalty.  He was shocked when, instead, an open carriage drawn by two white horses pulled up outside the palace.

"You look surprised," Egeria remarked.  "Have you never before seen such a thing?"

"Um, actually, yes, I have, but, from what I know about Rome, they don't have things like this."

"That is true, or at least it was when I left there.  I saw a similar carriage on one of the worlds I visited.  I liked it, so I had one built for me.  It is far quicker and more pleasurable than my litter."  She smiled.  "And it will also seat two."

As Daniel and Egeria rode in the carriage, four Jaffa accompanied them on horseback.  Having never seen a Jaffa on a horse before, Daniel found it an interesting sight.  In Egeria's domain, Jaffa took the place of Roman soldiers, though, without any wars to fight, their duties were pretty much limited to protecting their queen and maintaining order on Estrania.

Daniel had been hoping that they'd head north or south or perhaps even cross the bridge over the river and go east.  Instead, they went west, the one direction he didn't want them to go.

As they headed down the road, Daniel kept his attention on the countryside, trying not to think about the fact that they were getting progressively closer to the Furling ruins.

"The weather is quite pleasant today," Egeria commented, startling Daniel.

"Um, yes.  Yes, it is.  I'm glad that the heat has eased."

Egeria looked at him.  "Are you enjoying the ride?"

"Uh huh.  It's nice.  Thank you for inviting me."

"I should imagine that you have tired of being confined to the city."

"Well, I do have to admit that I'm not used to being city bound for so long.  I'm accustomed to traveling."

Egeria nodded.  Though this little carriage ride could not make up for the fact that he was no longer free to roam wherever he wished, she had hoped that it would please him.  However, that was not the only reason for taking him on this trip.  She had come to suspect something about Daniel, and this little outing would give her the opportunity to observe his reaction to being here.

They'd been traveling for a while when Egeria told the driver to stop the carriage.  Daniel was not happy with how close they were to the ruins and was fervently hoping that Egeria wouldn't decide to go investigate them.  He didn't think he'd be able to remain calm if she did.

They got out of the carriage and began walking slowly down the road, two of the Jaffa shadowing them.  Daniel thought he was doing a pretty good job of remaining outwardly calm – until Egeria abruptly pointed at the ruins and asked, "In all your travels, have you ever seen the likes of those?"

"Uh . . . no, I can't say that I have," Daniel replied truthfully.

"Some months after I chose this world to be the site of my city, I investigated them.  They are quite old.  There is writing inside in a language I have never seen anywhere else."

Daniel's mind was racing.  Egeria had been in the ruins?  Then she must have seen the pedestal.  Obviously, she couldn't know what it was, though.

"I sent Decimus to examine the writing many years ago, but he could not decipher it either."  Egeria glanced at him.  "Perhaps you would have better luck."

Crap.  Was that why she'd brought him here?  She was hoping that he could translate the writing in the ruins?

"I probably would have no luck either," he said.  "The number of languages I know is minuscule compared to how many there are in the galaxy, about like comparing a single grain of sand to all the beaches on this planet."

Egeria nodded.  "You are most likely right.  There would be no harm in taking a look, though."

Daniel was beginning to wonder of the Fates of Greek and Roman mythology actually existed and were having fun toying with him when a distant clap of thunder heralded his salvation.  They turned to see dark clouds on the horizon, threatening to bring some summer rain.

Egeria sighed.  "It appears that it will have to wait for another day.  That storm will not take long to arrive.  We must hurry back."

The return trip was made at a much faster speed.  Even so, they hadn't been in the palace for long when the sky opened up.

Egeria ordered some lunch and asked Daniel to join her for the meal.  They went to the sitting room, which was where they ate every time the archeologist shared a meal with her.

As they waited for the food, Daniel went to a window and watched the rain come down.  As he stood there, Egeria studied him closely.  Though he had told her much about his adventures and shared some personal things about himself, there were still many mysteries surrounding him, not the least of which being the name of the world he called home.  She knew that he had a home, that having been made evident by some of the things he said, but he'd revealed very little about that world or its people.  Were they the makers of his weapons and other devices?  If so, it was a world far superior in technology than any other human world about which she had heard.  It could be for that reason that he said so little about it, because he feared what might happen if the Goa'uld learned about it.  Egeria knew that fear was warranted.  The Goa'uld would not allow a human society that had advanced so far to continue.  It would be perceived as a possible future threat.  If it had been any other Goa'uld besides her who had captured Daniel, he would have been tortured until he told them all he knew, especially if they had learned the same thing she did a few days ago.

She had been speaking with the farmers who produced food for the city's population.  When one of them saw Daniel and quite clearly recognized him, she questioned the man.  From him she learned that the day Daniel was arrested he had been seen on the same road they'd traveled upon today.  This intrigued Egeria.  She had believed that he had not been on the planet for long when he was arrested, yet, if the witness was to be believed, Daniel would have had to walk through the city from the Stargate, then out beyond the city some distance, only to turn around and come back.  Why would he do such a thing?

Curious, Egeria questioned the Jaffa who were stationed at the Stargate the day she had believed Daniel arrived and discovered that they had no memory of his arrival.  With his strange clothing and unfamiliar face, the Jaffa surely would have made note of him.  In fact, by rights, he should have been stopped and questioned.  As she dug further into the mystery, she discovered that there were no Jaffa who saw Daniel arrive on any day.   That was quite impossible . . . if he came through the Stargate.  But if he did not come through the portal, how did he get here?  There was only one answer.

This had been one of the reasons why she'd invited him to join her on her carriage ride.  She had wanted to see his reaction to being out there.  At times, he had appeared tense, and his quietness indicated that his mind had been on something.  Perhaps it was time for her to find out if her suspicions were correct.

The food arrived.  As they ate, the queen asked about Aulus and how things were coming along with the gallery, then how Daniel's own work was progressing.  The meal was almost finished when she steered the conversation into the desired direction.

"I discovered something of great interest several days ago," she said.

Daniel looked at her.  "Oh?  What's that?"

"As you may know, it is harvest time for some of the summer crops, and the farmers who grow our food were here to report on their expected yield and to obtain additional workers for their fields."  Egeria's eyes came to rest upon Daniel.  "One of them recognized you.  He saw you on the road west of the city on the day that you were arrested.  This intrigued me, so I decided to investigate.  I learned that none of the Jaffa who have the duty of guarding the Stargate recall ever seeing you come through, not on that day nor any other."

Daniel's tension level immediately shot into orbit.  He was trying to hide it, but he was getting really worried.  There could be no doubt that Egeria suspected he hadn't arrived via the Stargate.  If she confronted him outright, what was he going to do?  Did she think he came by ship?  If she demanded that he reveal its location, he wouldn't be able to do so since there was no ship.

"I am curious.  Have you ever piloted a spacecraft, Daniel?" Egeria asked casually as she nibbled on a piece of cheese.

'Oh, God.  What am I going to do now?'  Very cautiously, Daniel replied.  "Um . . . yes.  Nothing big, though, just small ships."

"Interesting.  I am not surprised.  You appear to have a great deal of familiarity with more advanced technology."  Egeria rose to her feet.  "It grows late, and I am sure that you have more work to attend to this day.  We will speak again another time."

Daniel just sat and gaped at the Goa'uld queen for several seconds before gathering his wits enough to get up and leave the room.  What the hell just happened?  He'd been certain that Egeria was going to demand to know if he'd come to the planet by ship and where that ship was.  Would she ask another day?  Why put it off?  Was she going to send her Jaffa out looking for it?  No, that made no sense.  Why waste all that time when she'd believe that she could learn its exact location from Daniel?

The archeologist thought again about escape, wondering if he would have no choice but to try.  The problem was that he didn't know how accurate the device was that tracked the signal from his slave bracelet.  Would it be able to pinpoint his precise location once he was outside the city?  If it was on a ship or some kind of satellite in orbit, it probably could.  If, on the other hand, it was something inside the city, it might not be quite so precise.

If Egeria believed that he came by ship, which seemed pretty obvious now, and he was to suddenly vanish off the "grid" in the vicinity of the Furling ruins, would she assume that his ship had been hidden there, cloaked so that no one would see it?  Did cloaking technology even exist at this time in history?  Judging by what Aris Boch had said, he didn't think so, or at least not to the Goa'ulds' knowledge.

Daniel knew that he could take the chance and go ahead and make a break for it, but it would be a huge risk.  If everyone assumed that the sensors tracking him had been a little off in their positioning, that, instead of being inside the ruins when he disappeared, he was actually nearby, it would be all right.  But if they didn't. . . .

The archeologist wondered if the Asgard had their beaming technology this far back in history.  A cloaked ship in orbit waiting to beam him up at a signal from him, perhaps from a device he'd hidden in the ruins, would be a logical explanation for his disappearance.  But if such technology didn't even exist yet, what would Egeria think?

Daniel didn't know what to do.  More than his own fate might ride on his decision.  If he made the wrong one and that time travel device fell into the hands of the Goa'uld, he would be partly to blame for all the calamities that followed.

Daniel decided that, for now, the best thing to do would be to wait and see what happened.  If Egeria began pushing him about how he got to the planet, then he would have no choice but to attempt an escape.

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