Summary: SG-1 asks Duncan and Methos to help find an ancient weapon to fight the Goa'uld
Info: Based in same universe as Friends and Enemies- but do not have to read that to understand this story
Jack perched on a rock, drank from his canteen, and wiped the sweat from his brow. "Damn, can't the computer find us a nice cool planet to explore," he said under his breath. "Daniel, that makes five tablets today?" Jack asked as he watched Daniel unearth another tablet.
Daniel stopped his digging for a moment to take a drink from his canteen. He wiped the sweat form his brow, then poured some of the water on his bandanna, wrapping it around his head, attempting to cool himself.
"Umm actually that is the sixth one today. I didn't know you were counting."
Returning to his work, he gently wiped the accumulated dirt from thousands of years off the stone tablet and then picked up his camcorder to record the text for later review.
"What's so funny?" Daniel asked as he heard Jack laugh.
"Nothing. I was just thinking that I would love to have your focus. The way you can forget everyone and everything and concentrate on those old rocks is priceless."
Daniel frowned and gave Jack a quizzical look. "Uhh, thanks I think. But why the grin?"
"Oh, that. I just thought that your work has made the difference between being invited to dinner and being dinner. The vision of us cooking in a pot was funny."
'Oh," Daniel scrunched his forehead. "That doesn't seem too funny a picture to me." Turning toward the rocks, he returned to his taping.
After walking the length of the dig site for the tenth time in less than an hour, Jack called out, "You'll be done soon, right? If I stay here any longer I'll be an artifact. I must have drunk five canteens of water, but I think I've sweated at least a gallon of water today."
Daniel didn't answer and Jack repeated his question, "Daniel, almost done?"
Responding to his name, he said, "Umm, yeah. Just a few more minutes. I just have to tape the last of the tablets. Then we can leave." Daniel scanned the last tablet. He carefully placed protective wrapping around it for safe transport through the Gate.
"Good." Jack motioned for the airmen assigned to their mission to start loading up Daniel's tablets. ""You've got enough tablets to build..."
"Jack, these tablets are really important. From what I've seen, they could tell us a lot about the inhabitants of this part of the galaxy."
Jack rolled his eyes, but kept quiet.
"You know, Jack, I love exploring new planets, but I hate the bureaucracy."
"The military part. The government doesn't care about ancient cultures. I didn't become an Archeologist to look for weapons to fight the Goa'uld." Daniel stopped an airman who was loading the tablets.
"This one needs more packing. I don't want it to break. These are very valuable."
"Yes, Sir," the airman said as he rearranged the tablet.
"I see," Jack said as he tightened the straps on his backpack.
Daniel started walking toward the gate and Jack fell in beside him. "Sometimes I just wish for normal digs. You show up, help the team and write about your finds, hoping to get more funding for the next season."
"So you'd rather be somewhere else?" Jack said as he automatically scanned the countryside for possible threats.
"No. I love my job. It's just frustrating that no one outside the SGC knows about my work. Our government is only interested in information that helps fight the Goa'uld," Daniel said as he wiped his brow again. "There is so much knowledge we can learn from our explorations, but if it isn't helpful in the fight, it gets ignored."
"Your knowledge is priceless. One day, everyone will know about the gate," Jack said as he placed his hand on Daniel's shoulder.
"I know, but it's not the same. I just wish I could share my findings now, in my lifetime." Daniel took a drink from his canteen and poured some water on his bandana as well.
"The world's not ready for that yet, but one day you'll be known as Dr. Jackson, the man who opened the Gate. You'll probably wish for anonyminity then."
Jack pushed in his walkie talkie. "Ready to move out, Seargeant?"
"Yes, Sir," came the reply
Jack looked at Daniel and pointed toward the DHD. "So we ready to blow this popsicle stand?"
"Popsicle stand. I'll never get you, Jack," Daniel laughed. "I'm finished with my work here. These tablets will keep me busy for weeks. I wish we could stay longer and I could study the entire site, but I know your answer."
"Sorry," Jack said as he looked at Daniel. "I'd love to let you play with your rocks but we've been here for a week and..."
"Don't say it Jack. I know missions like these aren't the norm. Thanks for convincing Hammond to let me investigate the site. I don't get to do real work like this often."
"Cut it out. You're the best damn archaeologist I know and your work is integral to our mission, to the Stargate program and to the security of the world." Jack watched Daniel check that all his tapes were secure in the backpack.
Daniel grinned at Jack's response. "I'm the only archaeologist you know."
"Not true. There are lots of archaeologists at the mountain."
As they were finishing their conversation, Teal's and Sam returned to the Gate area.
Teal'c greeted them with a slight inclination of his head. "O'Neil, DanielJackson, it is good to see you. Did you find more tablets?"
"Yes. Eight today. That makes fifty."
"That is good."
"Sir, we were just finishing up with our soil samples in this region," Carter said as she finished packing her case. "I'll be glad to return home, Sir."
"Daniel, dial us home," Jack called out as he took one last look at the planet. "I'm tired of watching you play in the dirt."
They returned to the planet and Daniel had the new tablets placed in his lab. Unfortunately they were called to assist the Tok'ra in an urgent mission the next day.
_____________________________________________________________________ Daniel rubbed his neck, working the kinks out. In the two short weeks since returning, this was the only the second time he'd been able to study the tablets.
"Dr. Jackson, where do you want these tablets?" The airman asked as he carried in several small artifacts from PX 528.
Daniel looked up from his desk, startled by the intrusion. Pushing his glasses up his nose, he pointed to an empty work surface on a nearby table. "Over here will be fine."
"Here are a few more tablets. Should I put them with the others, Dr. Jackson?" he asked.
"Umm, yes. That's fine." Walking over to the table, Daniel glanced at the tablets, thinking they looked very familiar. Walking back to his desk, he picked up a tablet and brought it to table. "Ahh, airman... How many more of these tablets are there?"
"I think they brought back about a dozen of them, Dr. Jackson. Is there a problem?"
"No. No problem. Will they all fit on this work table?" Daniel asked as he continued to examine the new tablets.
"Yes, Dr. Jackson, they should," said the airman.
'You're dismissed, airman. Have someone help you bring the remainder of the tablets." He slowly walked around the table where the new tablets had been placed, attempting to see if there was a pattern in their edges. They looked like that had been part of a single stone. He silently thanked his foster family for giving him so many jigsaw puzzles when he was young.
"Yes, Dr. Jackson. Right away," said the airman as he left Daniel's office.
Jack's stomach rumbled as he looked at the clock on the shelf. He'd completed three reports and General Hammond would be happy as he lacked only two mission logs. He needed a reward.
Picking up the phone he dialed the familiar number. "Have you eaten?"
"Everything okay, Daniel?"
"I'm fine, Jack. Just looking at some new artifacts the airman brought in. These tablets seem to...."
"Stop." Jack held up his right hand, pointing his index finger and shaking it at the phone. "The rocks will be there after lunch. We've been at the mountain since 700 and its 0100. You need to eat."
"No, buts. Be right there. They're having meatloaf and blue Jell-O today."
"Sam will be in heaven. Blue Jell-O. Yum," Daniel said. Putting down the last tablet the airman had brought in, he went to his desk and shut off his light. He checked to make sure the coffee maker had enough coffee in the pot so it wouldn't burn. He turned off the light and locked his office door.
Daniel's stomach rumbled as he met Jack outside his door. "Someone's hungry," Jack joked.
They walked to the commissary, got their food and found a table off to the side.
"So, how you coming with the translation of those tablets from PX -357?" Jack asked. He took a bite of his meatloaf and frowned, then added ketchup to his plate and dipped his next bite into it.
"They're interesting. The tablet is written in Ancient and it's a familiar dialect so the work is coming along fairly quickly. It talks about a race of ancient Immortals."
The hairs on Jack's neck rose at the mention of the word immortal. Jack put his hand up, dropping his voice to a whisper, "Immortals? As in Duncan and Adam Immortal?"
"I'm not sure. I need to study the text some more."
"I see," Jack said as he put down his fork.
"This is better then last week's chicken," Daniel said after swallowing a piece of fried chicken. Waving his fork he continued to talk. "It tasted like rubber. At least today it tastes like chicken." He drank some juice and ate another piece of chicken. "The thing is, Jack; those new tablets SG 12 brought back from PX 528 look very similar to the ones I'm studying."
Jack put down his fork, opened and closed his mouth several times, but didn't say anything. After taking a drink of his tea, Jack asked, "You think they're connected?"
"Maybe. The minute I glanced at those new artifacts I wanted to start translating. We may be on to something new here. Just think if Adam and Duncan are Ancients or..."
Jack waved his index finger. "Not going there. It's creepy enough that they can't die. Can't we forget about Ancients and Immortals? They're not my most favorite people."
Daniel shook his head. "No, we can't just forget about them. I know you aren't serious, but I thought you liked Duncan and Adam."
"I like them well enough. It's just that they're so alien."
"Teal'c's alien," Daniel pointed out. "You like him."
"Teal'c's alien, but he can die."
"I see," Daniel said as he crossed his arms across his chest. "They can die, though."
"But they don't stay dead," Jack said.
Daniel was quiet for a moment. "Like the Goa'uld. They have their own personal sarcophagus. Is that it? So if Adam and Duncan could die, it would be okay?"
Jack squirmed in his chair. "I guess so. No, I don't know. Can't we forget about it? It's not like that's gonna happen and they've already proven their usefulness."
"Now you only like them because they're useful. I can't believe you. I thought you were more tolerant than that." Daniel forcefully put down his fork, pushing his chair back to leave the table.
"Sit down, Daniel. You're putting words in my mouth. Let's try this again. This isn't supposed to be a fight," Jack said as he ran his fingers through his gray hair.
Daniel sat. "Okay I'm listening, Jack." Daniel said as he looked Jack straight in the eye.
Jack took a breath, "I like Teal'c, but I don't like junior. Never have, never will. I like the Nox and they can bring people back from the dead. I like the Tollan, although they don't particularly like us. Something about not sharing their toys..." Jack grinned. "I put up with the Tok'ra, just don't trust them much. See it's not the alien that I don't like, its just weird seeing the dead come back to life. Every time I go through the gate, I meet a new culture, but I still have to adjust. I'm still adjusting to Duncan and Adam. Gotta remember I'm an old Colonel and that military mind set of Us vs Them is pretty ingrained."
Daniel nodded, standing again. "Okay. But I need to get back to the tablets. I love a good mystery."
"Look, it's Friday and there is an Avalanche game on tonight. They're playing the Blues. Should be a good match up. Why don't you work the rest of the afternoon and I'll come by around 1600. Then you can come to my place to watch the game."
Daniel shook his head. "I can't. I really want to make some headway with the translation of those tablets and compare the finds from both planets."
"Uhh, Uhh," Jack said as he put his hand up in front of Daniel. "I'm not taking no for an answer. We've spent the last few weeks on back to back missions and the translations will wait until Monday."
'Jack..." Daniel started to protest, but stopped at the stubborn look on Jack's face. "I know I won't win this one. I guess they'll wait until Monday. Besides I still have," Daniel looked at his watch, "about five hours to work." Daniel left Jack outside the commissary as he walked toward his office
"Where is the crossword puzzle from Sunday's paper?" Methos asked as he watched Duncan clean the kitchen table. "Did you throw it away already?" He frowned. "I was saving it for a rainy day." Walking to the bookshelf, he looked for the Sudoku puzzle book he'd picked up last week. He remembered doing the puzzles years ago when he lived in Japan and found the puzzles surprisingly fun. He liked the three-dimensional ones the best.
"It's not raining." Duncan said as he looked out the window.
"No, it's not, but I still want to do the puzzle. Challenge my mind, think in new ways."
Duncan laughed. "You're five thousand years old. I thought you'd been there and done that. One crossword isn't really going to challenge you." Looking at Methos, he paused as his dust rag wiped the edge of the table. "Come to think of it, you only started doing crosswords after you met Jack. I remember when he figured out the location of the ancient weapon while working a crossword puzzle."
Methos found the book he wanted, bringing it to the table. "You should get someone in to do that. The smell of the lemon reminds me of fruit groves. Did I ever tell you about the time I was a farm worker?"
"No, but I'm not sure I could imagine you picking fruit. I bet you ate more than you picked." He finished dusting the other end table, placing the cloth in the cleaning basket. "Missing Jack and Daniel?"
Grinning, Methos said, "I guess. It was kind of fun working with them. It was nice seeing Daniel too." Finding a pencil he opened the book to the middle, starting a medium difficulty puzzle.
"Should I be jealous?" Duncan teased as he placed a light kiss on Methos' lips.
"Jealous? Playing with staff weapons and fighting aliens is not really my cup of tea. Now give me a sword and an Immortal..."
Duncan shook his head. "I'll never understand you, but I love you anyway." He said as he walked to the kitchen, pulling out some chicken to defrost.
Methos eyed Duncan, enjoying the muscular form and its obvious power. He remembered those strong thighs wrapped around his waist as Duncan thrust into him this morning. He felt his erection growing, but ignored it. Sometimes anticipation was fun too.
"Good. If you don't understand me then I still have a chance of keeping you around. You know, trying to figure out the puzzle. You always liked puzzles."
The ringing phone interrupted them.
"Hello. Hi Daniel. We were just talking about you," Methos said as finished writing a number in the square.
..."Hmm. It was good. Duncan was just teasing me about wanting the Sunday crossword puzzle."
..."I see. I guess we could come out, but I'll have to ask Duncan."
Methos covered the mouthpiece while he called to Duncan. "Daniel found some ancient stone tablets and the writings refer to Immortals. He'd like me to come out and look at the tablets.
Duncan placed the frozen chicken on a plate to defrost. He frowned. "I don't know Methos. You know they're still a government agency and now they've found writings about Immortals. What's next? They'll want to experiment on us."
"Duncan, this isn't some deranged doctor who is trying to figure out your Immortality. Daniel would never put us in jeopardy," Methos said.
Duncan felt a chill over his body at the mention of the deranged doctor. "Okay, but I'm coming with you. I still don't trust them."
Methos uncovered the mouthpiece and said, "Duncan agrees but insists on joining me. Something about experiments..."
..."See you in a few days."
After hanging up the phone, Methos grabbed a bottle of orange juice, and waved Duncan into the living room where they sat opposite each other on the black leather couch.
"So we're going?" Duncan asked, a deep frown on his face.
"Yes, we are and you'll be civil. They're fighting an enemy that is far worse than an Immortal. They didn't do any experiments last time and I don't see that changing."
"I'm not worried about General Hammond, Jack or Daniel. I trust your judgment, but it's the military part that concerns me. Their mindset is different. Today they could protect you and tomorrow they will kill you. You've heard Jack and Daniel talk about the NID. The tests they wanted to perform when Daniel descended..."
"You know, your father should not have instilled that protective clan chieftain trait so strongly," Methos said as he leaned over to place a quick kiss on Duncan's lips.
Duncan allowed a slight grin to form on his lips. "So when do we leave?"
"I told Daniel a few days. I have a small translation for the New York Museum of Art that I need to finish. The last time I agreed to Daniel's request we were gone for months. I've put off this job for awhile and I really should finish it."
"Methos, you're beginning to scare me. You actually want to take responsibility for a project."
Methos looked at Duncan, pretending to be affronted. "I'll have you know..."
"Blah, blah, blah..."
Methos pounced on Duncan, effectively stopping his comments. Duncan kissed Methos and soon they were wrestling on the couch.
They lay in bed, limbs entangled after their lovemaking. "You know I'll never understand you," Duncan whispered softly into Methos' neck.
"Really," Methos answered. "I'm just a guy. What's there to understand?"
Sitting up, Duncan continued to caress Methos' arm. "Watch out for number one. No good deed goes unpunished. Etcetera, etcetera, but now you're helping out the military a second time in just a few short months. What ever happened to the Methos who only looked out for himself?"
Methos leaned forward, kissing Duncan on the mouth and giving his shoulder a small squeeze. "I never get tired of kissing you. You taste like almonds."
"You're avoiding me," Duncan said as he put some space between them.
"Ahh, but that is where you're wrong. I am looking out for number one. The Goa'uld are a threat to me. They're a bigger threat than any war between two countries of this planet. Countries can kill their citizens and bomb their lands, but the Goa'uld could take over the entire planet and we'd all be snakeheads. I can't allow that to happen."
"So, you're saying that losing earth is unthinkable and you'll fight for it."
"Yes, the Goa'uld are a threat to me because they could conquer earth. If they take over, no one will be safe and we'll have to leave. Going to another planet could be dangerous. I like it here. I don't want to leave."
Duncan pulled the sheet over his legs as he was getting chilled. "Do you think there might be Immortals on other planets?"
"Until a few months ago, I didn't think there was life on other planets. Now I know there is life on other planets, so it'd be possible there could be Immortals on other planets too."
Duncan shivered. "Immortals on other planets. I wonder if they adhere to the Game? Maybe we should ask to go through the gate to find out. Imagine if there is a world where there are Immortals who don't play the Game."
Sitting up, Methos looked at Duncan, studying his face and the small furrow of his brow that he always developed when he was deep in thought. "I don't really want to think about that. There are so many things that could go wrong if other Immortals were discovered. I think I'll just stay on my planet here. Thank you very much."
Methos looked at the clock on the nightstand, and then pulled the sheet off of his body. He grinned when MacLeod frowned even deeper. "I'm not ignoring you, love, but we have that fundraiser in a few hours and we must get ready. Remember they are unveiling one of Tessa's pieces that you donated."
Duncan left the bed, walking to the bathroom and turning on the shower. He felt Methos behind him pulling him close. Leaning into Methos' chest, he pulled his hands around his waist. "Why would finding other Immortals be bad? I would think that it'd be just the opposite."
Methos stuck his hand in the water. "Just like you like it, hot, but not steamy."
"You know it's not the hot water that I mind, it's the cold water. When I shower after you, there's never any hot water left," Duncan said as he placed his hand in the stream.
"Well today we can shower together and save the hot water," Methos said as he stepped into the shower.
"Well I do like to be thrifty," Duncan said as he joined Methos.
"Ahh the innocence of youth," Methos responded as he picked up the soap, its sandalwood scent filling the shower. "There could be a different game on a different planet and before we knew the rules, we could be dead." His sudsy hands ran over Duncan's arms and chest, enjoying the feel of the muscles on his lover's body.
Duncan relaxed into the light massage. "I think we should shower together more often."
"Stay on topic, Duncan." Methos slapped his buttocks lightly, leaving a slight red hand print. "There could be much older Immortals there and then I wouldn't be the oldest of our kind. Being the elder Immortal has its privileges." Methos spun Duncan around to clean his back, kissing the strong muscles as he rinsed away the soap. "The entire planet could be made up of Immortals and we would no longer be different." Bending down to wash Duncan's legs, he kissed and nipped them starting at the strong ankles, moving up to the muscular thighs. Duncan's erection grew, jutting out from his body, but Methos ignored it. "Do you understand, in this instance the unknown could be deadly? I like my head where it is and finding other Immortals is really not a good idea."
Duncan pulled Methos up from his kissing expedition and kissed him on his mouth. Taking the soap from Methos' hands, he lathered his hands. "I hadn't thought about those possibilities." He washed Methos' chest, playing with his nipples as he watched them harden. Methos pushed his body toward Duncan. "Maybe there is a planet of Immortals and we could find out where we came from. Did you ever consider that?"
Methos stepped back from his partner, pulling Duncan's hands away from his aroused body. "Curiosity is not always a good thing, Duncan. I think there are some things that need to remain a mystery. Leave it alone, please."
Frowning, Duncan nodded his head. "Okay. I won't talk about it anymore." Duncan turned Methos, wetting his head so he could wash his short hair with the new Dolce and Gabana shampoo they purchased. "Wonder what Daniel and Jack want us for? After we found the weapon, I thought that victory was imminent for the SGC."
Methos moaned as Duncan washed his hair. "Did you know that having your hair washed is considered a luxury in many places?"
"No, I didn't know that, but I wouldn't be surprised. It's very arousing," Duncan said as he rinsed Methos' hair.
"Well if Daniel asked for our help, then maybe the Goa'uld are still out there. We'll find out soon enough. Right now I'm more interested in the fight my body is losing against your touch." Methos said as he moved Duncan's hand to his engorged cock.
"I didn't think it was a fight. You weren't putting up any resistance. Usually a fight requires one party to attack the other when the other doesn't want it. Seems to me, there is no fight here." Duncan stroked and caressed Methos' cock as it grew to its full length from the sweet friction. Grabbing the lube they kept in the shower, Duncan squeezed the gel onto his fingers. Sticking two fingers into Methos' tight hole, he prepared his lover for joining.
Methos gasped slightly at the intrusion, but quickly moved with his lover. "Yes. Do it. Hurry," Methos urged as he spread his legs and leaned against the shower tiles. Feeling Duncan's cock push into his tight ring, Methos hissed in pleasure. "Yes. Oh yes," he cried as he met each thrust of his lover. Soon they enjoyed a rhythm older then Methos, two people in love sharing their bodies and souls in the most intimate connection. Methos pushed his body toward Duncan as Duncan thrust into Methos. They climaxed together, Duncan holding Methos by the waist as he kissed his neck and shoulders. Pulling out of his lover, Duncan quickly repeated the wash of his lover's body. Methos grabbed the shampoo, deftly washing Duncan's hair.
"I hate to rush this. I love your hair, running my hands through the long locks, watching as the strands go through my fingers," Duncan leaned his head back as Methos rinsed the suds. "It's like playing with the finest of silk. And I'm the one who said we have to get a move on. You're so distracting."
Duncan smiled. "Methos, you're not fooling me. You didn't want to talk anymore about the possibility of other Immortals so you used the reception as an excuse. We've been known to shower and dress in under thirty minutes and we had over two hours today." Duncan shut off the water, opening the curtain to grab a towel for Methos and himself. "Now go dry off and get ready. We really will be late if we play any longer."
Methos stepped out of the shower, drying his body as directed. "You're no fun. Do you know that?" Methos pouted.
Ignoring the comment, Duncan pushed Methos out of the way and into the bedroom. "Wear your tux. I haven't seen you in it for awhile."
"I thought it wasn't that formal," Methos called as he tossed the wet towel into the bathroom, hitting Duncan.
"Not really, but I like you in a tux and I'll wear mine. I know what me in a tux does to you."
As Methos looked through the closet, he yelled, "You're totally incorrigible. Thank God for Immortality. I don't think I could keep up with you if I didn't have such wonderful recuperative powers."
Duncan emerged from the bathroom, with a towel wrapped around his waist. He kissed Methos on his back as he pulled out the tuxedo. "Yes, Immortality has its benefits. Now get dressed so we can get to the fundraiser at a reasonable hour."
"You know the last time I drove this road I thought we'd defeated the Goa'uld. I could sleep better at night knowing that particular evil was gone," Methos said as he passed the sign indicating Colorado Springs was 10 miles away.
Duncan watched the landscape, mountains for as far as he could see. "It's beautiful out here, but I still prefer the mountains of Scotland. More green there. It just looks so barren.
"Here's the gate. Ready?"
"No. The last time I followed you here, my world turned upside down. While I've lived over 400 years, I think learning about the Goa'uld was the most frightening thing I ever did. Knowing there is something out there that even you're scared of..."
"I'm not scared," Methos said.
Duncan turned toward him, eyebrows raised.
"Okay. They are scary, but I thought we beat them."
"Guess you were wrong. It does happen sometimes, you know," Duncan laughed.
"May I see your badges gentlemen?" the sentry asked. Looking at them, he scanned a list of expected visitors. "General Hammond is expecting you. You may park in the Green lot."
Duncan and Methos sat at the long table in the Stargate Command's conference room. Methos picked up his coffee mug. Twirling it in his hand, he stared at it, mesmerized by the object.
Duncan said, "I thought you didn't have any reservations about this trip. You look a million miles away."
Methos looked at Duncan, "Sorry. You know how it is? An object can take you back to another time."
"I hadn't noticed," Duncan grinned as he picked up his own coffee cup, taking a sip. "Care to share the memories?"
"Not really anything important. Just thinking about our first meeting here. Finding out the Goa'uld were still around and that my worst fears were about to be realized. Nothing earth shattering." Methos smiled a little as he spoke the ominous words. "This room does not bring back good memories."
"You want to leave? Say the word and we'll leave."
Shaking his head, Methos said, "No. I already told you I believe Daniel. He's to be trusted and he wouldn't have asked us here unless he needed us. I want to hear what he has to say."
Duncan stood up, walking to the large window overlooking the gate room. He watched the military personnel going about their business in the complex.
General Hammond entered the room.
"Thank you for coming. Dr. Jackson will be here shortly."
The men were handed black binders with the SGC logo emblazoned on the front which they reviewed while they waited for Daniel. As usual, Daniel entered reading his notes as he walked into the conference area. Looking up, he acknowledged the Immortals with a quick nod. Going to the coffee area, he prepared himself a large mug of the fresh brew, and then went to the front of the table where the overhead was located.
"As you know, the Goa'uld were on earth thousands of years ago and Adam helped defeat them. The Goa'uld used the Stargate to settle many planets where they left humans to be hosts for their symbiotes. Some of the civilizations were able to keep the Goa'uld at bay." He blew air into his cup, cooling the hot liquid, took a sip of his coffee, and then placed the cup on the table. "One of our goals at SGC is to use the Stargate to travel to other planets and determine if there is technology or weapons that we might use to help us defeat the Goa'uld. We're also looking for archeological information about our own culture." Daniel opened his copy of the briefing material, walking around the table as he continued to talk. "About one month ago, I was on an expedition to PX 357 where I unearthed a number of tablets with Ancient writing." Returning to the head of the table, he clicked on the control and a view of the quadrant of space where PX 357 was located came up on the screen behind him. A circle designated the planet. "Another Stargate team went to PX 528 and brought back twelve tablets." Daniel pointed to the second slide, which showed a circled planet. "These two planets are on opposite sides of a quadrant of space as seen here." A third slide came up showing the spatial relationship between the planets. Daniel put down his papers, eyeing both Immortals at the table.
"While working on the translation of the tablets from these two planets, I came across references to Immortals and Ancients. I think the Ancients knew about Immortals." He looked directly at Adam, watching the furrows on his forehead deepen. "If I'm right, I think you need to be involved with this project." He took another drink of his coffee as he waited for his words to settle.
Adam opened his mouth then closed it as he looked from Duncan to Daniel.
"If I have translated the material correctly, Immortals are a key in the fight against the Goa'uld."
"What exactly are you saying, Daniel?" Adam asked.
Daniel sat down at the table before answering. "There is reference to a weapon and Immortals but I'm not sure how the two are connected. I'm hoping with your knowledge of Linguistics and Immortals, you can help me solve the mystery."
"I see," Adam said. He looked at Duncan, watching his frown grow. "So... you just want my help in translating the tablets?"
"At this point, yes," Daniel answered.
"At this point?" Adam repeated. "What about in the future? I think you aren't being completely honest, Daniel."
Daniel looked down at his notes before answering. "There might be more if there is a connection. I just don't know at this point. You said you'd do anything to fight the Goa'uld and keep earth safe. Have you changed your mind because it might involve you personally?" Daniel saw Adam swallow at the harsh accusation.
Adam asked, "Where are these tablets? I can understand why you wanted me here, but why Duncan?"
Daniel started to answer the question, but General Hammond put up his hand, motioning for Daniel to let him talk. "I remember from your previous assistance that you are very leery of the government and don't trust us. I understand your concern and knew that unless you and Duncan were invited together, you wouldn't come. Am I correct, Adam?"
"Yes." Adam looked at Daniel and his boss, General Hammond. "I know you wouldn't have asked unless you needed me." He watched Daniel nod his head in agreement and unclasp his hands. "So when do I start?" Adam said as he went to pour a fresh cup of coffee. "I don't suppose the rules have changed and I can drink beer while I work?" he said tongue in cheek.
"Sorry son, that can't happen on base. I'll buy you a beer when you're off the mountain. That goes for you too, Mr. MacLeod," General Hammond smiled.
"I'm too old to be your son, but I accept the offer. I never turn down free beer," Adam said as he returned to the table.
Daniel sat hunched over his desk, several reference books opened to Ancient dialects as he pointed his stylus at the tablet in front of him. Daniel took off his glasses, running his hand over his eyes as he gave them a rest. "We've been working for almost a month and I think my original theory is right. Immortals are involved. What do you think, Adam?"
Adam presented a mirror image of Daniel, books spread open on his desk and a stone tablet in front of him. "I agree. All the texts point to the "weapon" that will be released with a flash of light and that means a quickening." Adam stood up and stretched, and then walked around the room as he thought out loud. "But in order to have a quickening, an Immortal has to lose his head and that isn't a very practical solution in battle. There are only so many of us left and besides no one is going to volunteer for the job." Adam laughed.
"What's so funny?" Daniel asked.
"I was reminded of the sea voyages I took where cattle and other animals were taken for the express purpose of killing them for food on the voyage. Seeing a cargo of Immortals whose sole purpose is to set off weapons struck me as funny. The animals were too dumb to know better, but I can't see Immortals voluntarily going to slaughter."
Daniel ran his finger over his most recent translations, checking his work. "True. I don't see Immortals as willing weapons. So something isn't right here, Adam. What other option is there?"
Adam stopped his walk around the room and looked at Daniel. "I'm not sure, but the only way to find out is to go to the planet. I think we've done all we can with the stone tablets. It's time to go to the source."
"Do you think Duncan will go? I know he isn't very happy about this whole investigation."
Smiling Adam said, "Leave Duncan to me. I can get him to go."
Daniel took a sip of his coffee and frowned. He got up and poured out the cold liquid. He went to the coffee maker and poured a fresh cup. Taking a sip of the hot coffee, he smiled. "You're right. I think the only way to know is to investigate the planet. I'll write up a proposal. It will probably be a few days until we get an answer. Why don't you and Duncan leave the mountain, take a break. I think he's getting tired of the place."
Methos parked his car in the lot of the apartment complex. The two men had been in Colorado Springs for almost a month and he knew his lover was getting restless. Their lives were at a standstill, waiting for Methos and Daniel to translate the tablets. Having lived for centuries, Methos was used to living day to day without specific plans. Life as an Immortal offered infinite time on your hands and endless possibilities which resulted in a more leisure pace than the frantic existence Methos saw in most mortals. Having infinite time was a big advantage of being Immortal. Despite a longer life, waiting around was tedious and Duncan was irritable. With the translation completed, they were hoping to go off world and test their theories. The opportunity to meet other Immortals scared Methos for all the reasons that he'd outlined to Duncan before they made their trip; however, the most frightening part was the possibility that there were other Immortals and one or both of them might lose their head before they learned the new "rules" on a different planet. He'd been with Duncan for many years and their relationship had provided him with some of his fondest memories. He didn't want to lose Duncan and would do anything in his power to avoid that fate.
"Duncan," he called when he didn't see Duncan at either of his usual places- reading while sitting on the couch or in front of the computer. "I brought us a treat. Where are you?" Methos made his way to the kitchen, placing the bag on the table.
Duncan walked out of the bathroom, with a towel wrapped around his waist. His wet hair dripped tiny droplets of water on his muscular shoulder blades. "Just finished my run," he stated.
Methos looked around the apartment for tattered clothing or Duncan's sword cleaning kit, but didn't see either item. "It's late." Methos said the question obvious in his tone.
Duncan returned to the bathroom taking a small towel off the rack to dry his hair. "Actually it was the second one today. I ran this morning, but felt an Immortal nearby so cut it short. I finished my book and was feeling a little restless so decided to run by the park."
"I see," Methos said. "Were you going to tell me about the Immortal?"
"No. It was a vague brush of presence and when I turned to go home, the presence totally faded. I don't think it's anyone that's a threat."
"Okay. I've got fresh cheese and a baguette in the kitchen. I thought we might share a little snack," Methos said as he eyed the slightly damp man standing in front of him. Duncan smiled and Methos was reminded how he came to have this wonderful man as his lover.
While he'd had sex with many men in his long life, Duncan was special as he was Immortal. Methos stayed away from relationships with his own kind, but Duncan was different. Methos had read Duncan's chronicle and seen first hand the passion that Duncan put into his relationships and he wasn't sure he wanted that intensity. The longer he was friends with Duncan, the harder it was to ignore the man's magnetism and sexuality as well as his generosity and code of honor. When Methos gave in, he was rewarded by a relationship far richer than he'd ever had. Not only was the sex fulfilling, the ability to live openly and not hide his Immortality was very freeing.
Duncan, damp from his shower and talking about his day reminded Methos of their first time. His body tingled and he felt his cock harden as the memories of Duncan's large calloused hands grabbing his neck, pulling him toward his open mouth and kissing him quiet flashed through his mind.
Walking toward Duncan, he licked his lips as he untwisted his lover's towel. He kissed his chest, licking the droplets of water that lingered. Running his hands through his wet hair, he pulled Duncan toward him as he moved his lips back to Duncan's mouth, savoring the kiss. Methos enjoyed kissing Duncan as he tasted like a mix of coffee and beer, two of his favorite drinks. Today he tasted a hint of lemon as well. Methos explored Duncan's mouth with his tongue, enjoying the connection as well as the taste. Duncan moaned into the kiss as he wrapped his hands around Methos' waist. Methos felt Duncan's engorged cock pressing against him. Methos ended the deep kiss with several light kisses to Duncan's lips, and then kissed his way down Duncan's chest. He alternated between kisses and licks, stopping at Duncan's belly button where he twirled his tongue in the little hole.
A light sheen of sweat covered Duncan's body as it heated from Methos' actions. Duncan placed his hands on Methos' head as he repeated, "Methos. Methos. Methos."
Methos dropped to his knees, enveloping Duncan's cock in one swallow. Methos tasted the slightly bitter precum, lapping it up as if it were the best drink in the world. Methos loved Duncan's cock; its earthy scent reminded him of the Highlands, Duncan's home. Laving the thick shaft, he swirled his tongue around the purple, red head. Methos' calloused hand grabbed his cock, rubbing it up and down. Methos wet one finger on his other hand, gently teasing Duncan's puckered hole.
Duncan spread his legs as he felt Methos' finger explore. "Yes. Yes," he yelled as he continued to gently push on Methos' head.
Methos pushed his finger deeper as he increased the pumping of his other hand and continued sucking Duncan's cock.
"Methos," Duncan yelled as he shot his come into Methos' mouth.
Methos swallowed, trying not to let any dribble out. He gently removed his finger as he continued to lightly lick Duncan's cock. As Duncan's cock relaxed, Methos stood up and kissed his lover.
They kissed for a several minutes, and then Duncan pulled away. "Let me return the favor," he said as he started unbuttoning Methos' well worn jeans.
"Good idea," Methos said.
Duncan finished unbuttoning Methos' pants and he stepped out of them. "Commando, huh? Aren't you taking a risk dressing like that at the SGC?"
"I left early. No one was in the locker room when I changed back into civilian clothes. Beside I didn't wear underwear for thousands of years."
"You have a point. I really don't want to have a discussion about your underwear; I think I was helping you get naked." Duncan said as he started unbuttoning Methos' shirt.
"I wasn't the one asking the question about my underwear." Methos said as he tossed his shirt toward the chair. "I don't have any clothes on now. Is that better?"
"Yes. Much. Now I think we need to go somewhere more comfortable. I'm tired of standing." Duncan said as he walked to the bedroom.
Methos followed and lay on his back on the bed. Duncan licked his lips at the site of his lover's cock jutting out from the wiry brown curls. It was thinner, but longer then Duncan's. Duncan started his kisses at Methos' ankles, kissing and gently biting the pale flesh. Methos' breathing became louder as Duncan moved his ministrations closer to Methos' cock. Duncan sucked one ball into his mouth as his hands gently caressed Methos' thighs. Methos opened his thighs, encouraging Duncan. Duncan moved his hands to Methos' ass, kneading the muscled flesh.
"Duncan," Methos moaned as Duncan sucked the other ball into his mouth.
Methos enjoyed Duncan's lovemaking. Duncan was a considerate lover, always aiming to please his partner and Methos never was unsatisfied. Duncan had learned his erogenous zones quickly, but didn't approach sex in a mechanical way. He used a variety of techniques depending on the mood. Today he was playful and lusting. He enjoyed the feel of Duncan's strong hands kneading his ass like bread dough. The tight squeeze on his cheeks was stimulating and enjoyable.
Duncan moved to lick his perineum and Methos gently pushed on his head in appreciation. Methos loved rimming and Duncan's tongue gave Methos hours of pleasure. He loved the way Duncan's tongue licked a slow path from the top of his cock head to his ass, stopping at his balls to suck each one while he fingered his ass. This was one of Methos' favorite activities and today was no different. He loved the way Duncan smelled after he'd rimmed him, musky and slightly bitter. He pulled Duncan from his task, enjoying the smell and taste of himself and his lover co-mingled. The combination of the smell and taste of Duncan engorged his cock, forcing it to seek relief. Duncan lay on top of him, feeling Methos hump him. Duncan stopped his kissing for a moment while he reached over to the nightstand drawer, grabbing the lube. Quickly he put some of the cold liquid on his finger, inserting his finger into Methos' tight hole. Methos hissed at the cold intrusion. When Methos was ready, he placed his legs on Duncan's shoulders as Duncan pushed into him.
"Ahh," Methos said as he relaxed his hole letting Duncan in. He felt a slight tug as the cock passed the ring of muscle, but relaxed to allow the intrusion. He arched his body, signaling to Duncan that he was ready.
Duncan pushed into Methos' body, hitting his prostate with each thrust. Methos grabbed his cock, pulling it in time to Duncan's strokes.
"Duncan. Duncan," he shouted as his come covered his and Duncan's chest.
He felt Duncan's come course through his channel as his cock spasmed.
Duncan pulled out, going to the bathroom and grabbing a towel to clean them off. They lay quietly for some time, enjoying their connection.
"I think I like your snacks," Duncan said as his stomach growled. "However; I think I may need more nutritionally filling ones."
Methos grinned, "I like them too, but I think we better get dressed before we eat. I think you make a great snack and I might be tempted to eat you again."
"Cheese, a baguette and wine. I always knew you had good taste," Duncan said as they sat at the kitchen island. "Americans can do a lot of things, but they cannot make a true baguette. For that you must be in France." Duncan half smiled as he tore a piece of the bread. After biting into the hard crust, he heard the grandfather clock strike 5:00.
"You're home early. Daniel kick you out so he and Jack could have a night on the town?"
"No. Daniel and I finished our translations and he is writing up a request for General Hammond to send us on a mission to the planet," Methos replied as he took a bite of the pungent cheese. "Did you know that Munster originated in France and was made by monks who wouldn't eat meat? They taught the locals how to make the cheese."
"No, I didn't know that. Your mind is filled with a vast amount of trivia." He took a sip of wine. "Where did you get this wine? Its full bodied taste is perfect for the cheese."
"I went to World Market. It's amazing what you can buy even in this small city. The wine is French. Bourgogne."
"I know my wine, Methos," Duncan said. "I'm just surprised you bought it. I don't see you drinking much wine and you're usually more of a beer connoisseur."
"I bought it for you."
"I see. So you have come to a conclusion?" Duncan asked the unease clearly evident in his voice.
"Yes. We think that there is a weapon that is powered by quickening energy and that it might fight the Goa'uld."
"So there are Immortals on other planets?"
"Since Immortals are the only people with a quickening, I guess so. We have to go to the planet to be certain."
"But I thought....," Duncan started to ask.
Methos cut himself another slice of cheese and placed it on a piece of baguette. He chewed slowly, enjoying the combination of crusty bread and soft cheese. The two tastes reminded him of his last time in Paris. Paris had an old world smell, but the fumes of modern inventions had invaded one of Duncan's favorite cities. He and Duncan spent many afternoons eating bread and cheese and sipping wine while sitting in an outdoor café. They often discussed trivial topics like the latest movie or a new book one of them had read. Occasionally they met Joe for lunch and talked music. He wished for those innocuous times, instead of the situation they found themselves in while working with the SGC.
"The safety of Earth depends on it. If there is a weapon only we can use, then we must offer our help."
"What about other Immortals?"
Methos walked to the sink, looking out the window above it. He did not see Pike's Peak in the distance nor did he see the parking lot with three large RV's, but instead the memory of defeating the Goa'uld in ancient Egypt passed before his eyes. "I'm 5,000 years old and the one thing I won't do is live in fear. If there are Immortals, we try our best to keep our "game" away from others. The Goa'uld must be stopped." He turned around, facing Duncan, nodding his head to a silent voice. "I will not let my home be taken over by the Goa'uld. You can come with me or not, but I must go."
Duncan stood, walking over to Methos, embracing him. They stayed like that for several moments.
"I'll watch your back," Duncan said as he let go of his lover. Both men moved to put the remaining food away.
Methos broke the silence, "How about a movie? I hear Rambo 10 is in the theatres."
"I suppose I could use some shining examples of men's strategic skills," Duncan replied, tongue in cheek.
They went to the theatre and returned to their apartment, going to bed early. _______________________
SG-1 had received approval for the mission and it was set for the next day at 1000 hours. Jack and Daniel joined Adam and Duncan in the commissary to eat breakfast before the mission.
Jack took a bite of his pancakes. He asked Daniel, "So, you think we'll find a weapon on the planet?"
Daniel swallowed his mouthful of cereal before answering. "I don't know, Jack. We've been on so many missions that were promising..."
Jack shrugged his shoulders and asked Adam, "What do you think?"
"I think that I'm looking forward to meeting the people on the planet." Adam said eagerly. He looked at Duncan, trying to gage his feelings on the subject.
"About that, I think you and Duncan should wait until we check out the planet," Jack said.
Adam said as he sat up straight in his chair. "Why? I passed the field weapons test and I can protect myself,"
Jack put up his finger, shaking it from side to side. "I know you can, but I don't like to bring non SG-1 personnel into first contact situations."
Daniel waved his fork in the air. "I'd like to meet and get to know the inhabitants before we bring you to the planet. You're a very valuable resource."
Duncan nodded in agreement. He drank some coffee, before he spoke. "I agree. I'll fight an Immortal any day. I know what I'm up against, but..."
Adam frowned and gave Duncan a glaring look. "I think we should go. I have an invaluable understanding of the texts and I could help Daniel speak to the inhabitants," Adam said as pushed his plate away.
Daniel put down his glass of juice and said, "Adam, there's no guarantee that the people on the planet are even the same ones that wrote the tablets. This time, I agree with Jack."
"Sorry, Adam. If it's safe, you can join us in a few days," Jack said.
Accepting defeat, Adam nodded his head.
Daniel looked at the clock on the wall. "Shouldn't we be getting back? It's almost time for the mission. I'm very curious to see what the MALP finds on the planet."
The men placed their dishes on the conveyor and returned to the ready room.
Everyone stood in the Gate room to watch.
"Send the MALP through," General Hammond ordered.
"First Chevron encoded. Second chevron encoded. Third Chevron encoded. Seventh Chevron locked," Siler said as he watched the spinning gate, and then the wormhole appear.
Sam sat in front of the small monitor watching the images the MALP sent through the gate. Daniel stood immediately in back of her looking for signs of civilization. Jack looked at a similar screen assessing the area for defensibility. Teal'c watched the other three members of the team. Adam and Duncan stood next to Daniel.
"The level of atomic power and electrical current suggests signs of industrialization. There is less pollution, but also less atmospheric noise. Look!" Sam pointed to the screen, "Those look like cars in the air, but I don't detect any fossil fuel, more like fusion," Sam said as her voice rose higher with excitement. "Do you realize we may be looking at a very advanced society? I would love to talk to them about their industry, Sir," she said to General Hammond.
"General, there are obvious paths around the gate, suggesting the inhabitants of the planet are aware of its existence," Daniel said. "No one has come to investigate the gate opening and the MALP. They may be used to its opening on a regular basis."
"Don't jump to conclusions, Daniel. We've been to many planets where the gate area appears empty, but when we step through we're met by unfriendly natives," Jack said as he crossed his arms over his chest. "There are trees nearby so we could run for cover if we're met by hostiles."
"I know Jack, but for once, let me be optimistic," Daniel said.
General Hammond looked at his eager first contact team, "You have a go, SG-1. You leave in one hour."
"Welcome to PX- 589. Today's forecast is hot and hotter," Jack said as he walked down the steps in front of the Gate. "I'd say we walk this way as our generous hosts have provided a lovely skyline for easy navigation," he said as he pointed to the left.
"Sir," Carter said. She held out her instruments and looked at the readings. "I'm detecting readings similar to earth. There are some that I can't identify, but I think this planet is similar in technological advancement or slightly above our own."
"Good. Let's hope we have something they want and they're willing to share. The Tolan and the Nox have lots of toys, but they obviously didn't learn to share in kindergarten," Jack said as he rearranged his hat.
Carter and Daniel stifled a smile, and the comment was ignored by Teal'c.
"Let's go campers. Let's make some new friends," Jack said as he took point.
They'd been walking for a half an hour and had stopped to rest from the unrelenting heat of the sun. "Daniel, can't you find us a nice cool planet to explore? I feel like I'm back on Dante's planet and we've only been here an hour," Jack said as he screwed the cap back on his canteen.
"Sir! Incoming. Better take cover." Carter yelled as she scanned the road for safety.
"Jack," Daniel yelled as he waved to some rocks near the side of the road.
The team ran towards the rocks watching the ship in the sky. A bright light came from the ground zapping the ship in the sky, exploding it.
"Cool," Jack said. "That was impressive. I wonder if we could play nice and get the inhabitants of the planet to give us one of those."
Jack glanced at his watch. "It's been ten minutes; I don't think there are any more ships. Any of you see where that light came from?"
Everyone shook their head in denial.
"Jack," Daniel said as his voice rose in pitch. His hands starting gesturing as his statements were spoken faster. "That light looks familiar. Sort of like a quickening. Do you think there really are Immortals on the planet? If there are Immortals here, what kind of society do they have? Adam would be right. I wonder if ...."
"Stop!" Jack said as he waved his finger back and forth. "Speculation is great, but first we have to meet the natives. You know that beam of light could be like the one on Thor's planet. The people may know nothing about its workings."
His voice lowering as his enthusiasm diminished, Daniel agreed, "Yes, you're right. I think the quickening like lightening and the fact the tablets talked about Immortals means something. We may not always understand the text, but I'm sure there is a reason someone wrote it down."
"Enough with the science talk. Let's see if we can find these inhabitants and then we won't have to guess anymore," Jack said as he started down the road towards the city.
They walked another five clicks and saw a few structures dotting the road.
"I'm picking up an increase in radio waves and noise on my instruments, Sir. I think we are close to a major city," Carter said as she looked at her scanners.
A group of three people, two men and a woman walked out of a large structure, making their way to SG-1. As they neared SG-1 the dipped their heads in welcome, and showing their hands were empty. "Welcome to Moriah. I am Salom and this is Caren and Julos."
Daniel walked forward from the group. "My name is Daniel Jackson and we are peaceful explorers."
"What brings you and your friends to Moriah?" Salom asked as he moved forward to stand in front of Daniel.
"We found the address of this planet on some tablets."
"So you use the gate for travel?" Salom asked.
"Yes. Do you use the gate?" Carter asked.
"Our ancestors traveled to many planets and we occasionally use the gate as well. We do not get many travelers through the ring. Most of our visitors come for trade and use ships. It is good to know that exploration still occurs," Caren said.
"Come, join us for noon meal. I'm sure you have many questions as do I and my companions," Salom said as he walked toward the building they exited.
"So Daniel," Jack whispered softly as he dropped back to what he hoped was out of hearing range of their hosts. "What's your impression?"
"They seem friendly and they know the gate is a transportation device. They weren't frightened by us and didn't attack us so I think that's a good sign. They assumed we were no threat to them which is highly unusual, but maybe that is a cultural anomaly. Did you know that among the ancient..."
Jack put up his hand, stopping Daniel's discourse. "I didn't ask for an anthropology lesson, Daniel. Just answer the question."
Daniel frowned slightly, but continued. "There are two scenarios; the first is that they don't understand the gate and aren't fearful as nothing bad has come through it, the second option, is they do understand it and have such good defenses that they aren't afraid of anything. Either way I think we're safe for now."
"One day, you will just answer the question with 'I think we're safe' but that is part of who you are." Jack said as he looked at his team mate. "I like safe, so let's go eat."
The team followed the small group into a one story building made of stone and glass with several large windows facing the street. Turning into a hallway on their left, they saw only a few people. They passed a few doorways, but all were closed.
"Jack," Daniel whispered. The writing on those doors is the same as the tablets Adam and I've been studying. At least we know the address is probably right."
They walked to the end of the corridor, entering a small room. "Welcome to Moriah. Noon meal is almost ready. Sit." Salom said as he gestured toward a table. "We will dine alone.
Their chairs scraped the grey stone tile as they sat around the long rectangular table in the center of room.
"We haven't had visitors through the gate for many moons."
"Do you get many visitors?" Carter asked as she admired the painting of a flowery meadow on the wall.
"Yes. We trade frequently, but most come by ship. The gate brings trade from distant planets and some explorers like you. There are some items that we can't manufacture on our planet and we use the gate to travel and obtain them. The exchange works both ways as there are minerals that we mine that aren't available on other planets," Salom explained as he motioned for the team to begin eating the food.
Carter's ears perked up when she heard minerals. "What kind of minerals do you mine?"
"We mine gold, silver, iron, nickel, and naquada."
"You mine Naquada?" Sam asked to be sure she heard correctly. She picked up her utensils to cut a small bite of the bright orange food.
"Yes. We have a large supply on the land mass' northern side. Perhaps you would like to see the mines while you're here." Julos said. "I can arrange a trip for you." Julos drank the clear liquid from his ceramic mug, nodding toward the waiter standing in the corner.
"Sir?" Sam turned toward her commanding officer.
"Sure, Carter." Jack answered. Looking at Salom he continued," I'm sure Daniel would like to talk with you about your customs and history. Is that possible?"
"Of course. Is there anything that you or Teal'c would be interested in seeing? Perhaps I can arrange something for you as well."
"Actually I'd like to talk about trade. You mentioned using the gate for trading purposes and I'm sure my government would be interested in trade negotiations," Jack stated. He placed some food on his plate and tentatively stabbed a piece of what looked like meat, looking at it and then smelling it. "Teal'c will join Carter in her tours of the mines." The food smelled okay so he put in his mouth and chewed.
"Of course. That can be arranged. I'm sorry, but if you'll excuse me, I must attend to some other business. Julos and Caren can assist you. I look forward to our next meeting," Salom stood, bowing his head and then walked out of the meeting room.
When everyone completed the meal, Julos motioned for the waiters to clear the table.
"I will give you a tour of the area."
They walked down the long corridor. "This is our central government building of Calom. We are the capital city and there are fifteen cities on this land mass."
"How many land masses are there?" Daniel asked.
"There are three on the planet, but this is the one that is most populated." Julos turned into a room where the walls were covered in maps. "This is our planet and this is where we are," he said as he pointed to a multi-colored map on the wall. Walking to a topographical map, he said, "Here is a larger picture of our land mass. We're here and here is the ring. It is located between our two largest cities." He moved so SG-1 could view the map. "Here, here, and here are the other major cities on the land mass." He pointed to areas on the map.
"Where are the mines?" Sam asked.
Julos pointed to an area at the top of the map.
"How do you get the ore to the cities for your people and to trade?" Sam asked.
"Our sky cars travel daily to the area and transport it. They also carry personnel to insure the mechanicals are in working order and to make repairs as needed."
"Were the cities planned this way? They're far from the mines. This would help eliminate a lot of pollution to the inhabitants of the cities," Daniel asked as he studied the map.
"Ours is an old society. According to our historical documents, the founders of our planet settled here when they found the ores."
"Usually cities are built close to resources," Daniel said.
"True, but our ancestors built the cities close to the gate."
Daniel put his hands in his pockets as he spoke, "I'd love to study your historical documents to learn more about your origins. Would that be possible?
"Of course, the center is close by. I can take you there." Walking out of the room, Julos motioned them toward the front doors. "Colonel, will you be joining us on our tour or would you prefer another activity?"
"I'll let Teal'c and Carter see the mines. I'll just walk around the city."
"Very good. The market is to your left and you can see many of our local products. If you need assistance, come back to this building and ask for Sharel, she can help you."
"Thank you. Daniel go play with your musty texts and Carter and Teal'c, go see the fascinating mines." Jack said as he left his team and walked in the opposite direction.
In the evening SG-1 met in their assigned quarters.
"Well, campers. Do tell. Is this planet too good to be true?" Jack asked as they sat at the small table in the living area of their assigned suite.
Sam sat in a chair with one foot on the floor and the other on the chair seat. Her hands were wrapped around her leg on the chair and she leaned back in her chair. "Their mining operations are phenomenal, Sir. They're able to extract minerals from their planet's core with little machines, and almost no manual labor. This gives them an advantage in trading with less advanced cultures. They can offer the minerals for a fair price and still make a profit. I'd love to see if they would trade for some of those machines. It would advance our mining operations decades and make the industry very safe." Carter said as the pitch in her voice rose with each sentence.
"Seems like you found new toys to play with? Daniel, what about you? Find anything interesting?" Jack asked.
Daniel sat in a chair opposite Jack and was writing in his journal. He flipped through some pages of notes before answering. "Their culture is very old. Some of those texts are thousands of years old, but there are some very interesting aspects I'm not sure about," Daniel said as he pushed his glasses on his nose. "There is almost no history of conflict and a very informal government. I'm not really sure what to make of it."
"So, no repeats of Euronda?" Jack clasped his fingers together and twiddled his thumbs. He shifted his eyes back and forth from Daniel to Carter and then to Teal'c. "It looked great too.
"Not that I can see. It is a very old and peaceful society. Almost a Utopia. According to the texts I've studied, they live a long life, perhaps hundreds of years," Daniel said, silently acknowledging Jack's admission that Jack should have listened to his warning.
"So they're Immortal?" Jack asked, his eyebrows rose.
"I don't know. I don't see anyone who carries an obvious sword and they don't go around wearing long coats like Adam and Duncan," Daniel said.
"I did not see any weapons factories in our tours either," Teal'c remarked.
"True, but they wouldn't necessarily show us those in a first contact situation," Jack said.
"Indeed," Teal'c agreed.
"Any mention of the Goa'uld?"
"As I was looking at their records there is no mention of the Goa'uld, but we can't forget the weapon we saw on the way into the city. I'm not really sure what to make of it. I'm pretty sure that was a Goa'uld ship we saw earlier, but if so why weren't there follow up ships. It's not like the Goa'uld to send ships and not follow up when they don't return," Daniel said as he pushed his glasses up and ran his hands over his face. "I think its safe here and I think Adam would find the culture fascinating. I'd love to stay and study it further."
"Okay. We have another day here before we return to Earth. Everyone look, listen and snoop as much as possible and if there is nothing there, we'll let Hammond know that we give the go ahead. It's been a long day, I'm going to sleep. I suggest everyone else do the same."
"Sir, did you find anything interesting?" Carter asked as she placed her foot on the floor.
"Not really. They have a market place, reminds me of the market in Seattle, lots of fresh fish, produce and spices, and hundreds of stores selling everything from books to clothing."
"What about the people, Jack? How were they?" Daniel asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Did they talk while they were shopping? Did they seem on edge? Were they friendly?"
"Oh, that. Well it just seemed like shopping at home. I was asked if I needed help a few times and the owners hawked their wares, trying to get me to buy whatever they were selling. If I didn't have a P-90 strapped on my back while wearing SGC issued gear in 100 degree heat, I'd think I was on vacation in Seattle."
"It was an out door market?"
"Yeah. Kinda hot here for that, but there were shops indoors. Most of the shops that sold non perishable items were outside, but at least they were under overhangs. Food was all inside in the cool air. Since I wasn't hungry and wasn't going to buy food, I didn't spend much time in there."
"Did you see any businesses? What about factories?" Daniel asked
"Look Daniel, I went to the market. It was hot. They sold food, clothing and small items you could carry with you. I didn't get to look for the mall or find one of those flying machines to give me a grand tour of the city." Jack yawned, stretching his arms to the side. "I'm tired. We have another day here and maybe they will give us a bigger tour."
"Okay," Daniel said. "Nite Teal'c. Nite Sam."
"Nite Daniel, Sir," Carter said.
"Good night," Teal'c said.
"Enough with the Waltons. Good night," Jack said as he closed the door to the living area.
"This planet seems so innocuous Daniel. In all of our travels I've never felt so unthreatened." Jack mused as he took off his clothes and went to the bathroom to get ready for bed.
"I know, Jack. There is no underlying animosity. I'm just not comfortable. I don't think they're hiding anything either."
Jack smiled and got into his bed and Daniel did the same.
While SG-1 was exploring Moriah, Adam and Duncan kept busy at the SGC. Adam continued to study the texts for further information while Duncan taught several marshal arts classes and one meditation class. Duncan's skills as a warrior were always welcome at the SGC and his classes filled quickly.
Adam and Duncan left the SGC early. They sat on the patio of a small Bistro in downtown Colorado Springs.
"The sun is nice. I haven't seen it for awhile, being in the mountain," Methos said as he stretched in his chair.
"Don't enjoy it too much. The air is thinner in the mountains and you could easily burn," Duncan said as he waived to the waitress. "I bet translating these tablets is different than most of your work," Duncan said as he watched another patron be seated a few tables away. Lowering his voice to a whisper, he said, "It must be mind boggling to think that not only is the text old, but from another planet as well."
"I enjoyed it as much as I enjoy any translating. I find the entire process fascinating and the idea that the text didn't originate here is even more enticing. When I translate I often think about where I was or what I was doing when the text was written. With these tablets, I have no perspective. I can't wait to meet the descendants of the authors."
The waitress arrived with the Merlot and Gouda. Duncan took a drink of his wine, enjoying the warmth of the alcohol. He smiled his acceptance to the waitress and she poured a full glass for him and Methos. "So, you've changed your mind and don't think they're a threat to us?"
"Don't put words in my mouth. I'm not convinced that they aren't a threat. After all everyone we meet in life is a threat. Any person could cut off my head and that would be the end of my life. The people who wrote those tablets, they're different. They've fought the Goa'uld and lived to tell about it. If they're still around, I'd want to talk to them, see if they'd share their knowledge. Daniel has told me the races that are able to fight the Goa'uld aren't willing to share their knowledge or technology with Earth. If the SGC could find weapons to fight the Goa'uld, I'd sleep better at night.
"You have nightmares. Why didn't you tell me?"
"Duncan, I have nightmares about a lot of things. I've lived five thousand years and remember I've done a lot in those years. Some things like my time with the Horseman will always haunt my thoughts, both waking and sleeping. Other memories are buried so deep, I can't recall them even if I wanted to and still others bring me happiness." Methos reached out to squeeze Duncan's hand as he waved his other hand toward the waiter for their check. "I cannot tell you every thought I have or I'd never get anything done." Methos reviewed the check, placing sufficient money on the table. "I think Daniel and Jack are due to check in. Let's return to the mountain."
Next: The Ancient Moriahans