Author notes: Please note that this is an un-beta'd peice of fiction. Meaning there will me mistakes. I am accepting any comments on this story while I'm writing it so I can make it better so all comments and critisims (as long as they are not flames) are welcome.
Disclaimer: I do not own Stargate-SG-1. Or any characters therein and in thier subsequent shows. or Starwars, Farscape or any other television show I may mention.I own only the original characters used for the purpose of this story only. This is for fun and I'm not making any money off it.
Jack had watched the team go through the gate from the control room, remembering how hard it was to watch them go through without him that first year. It got easier when he moved to Washington although he still had Sam call him as soon as they came back through. As the gate shut down he happened to glance over and see Carolyn hanging in the hallway, close enough to see the gate but far away enough not to be noticed by a certain colonel should he choose to look. He smiled at her but she didn’t notice, having turned and walked back down the hall to her office. He spared a glance to Landry, who had also caught his daughter but the other general just shrugged.
“I’m not sure what it is with them.”
“I thought they were dating?”
“Honestly, so did I but technically I’m not even supposed to know that so who knows. Carolyn hasn’t been keeping me as a confident for a long time now, and Mitchell is too afraid to tell me he’s interested in her.”
“Your ok with him having an interest.” Landry paused.
“You know, oddly enough I am. He’s a good kid. A bit more enthusiastic then need be, and not quite comfortable with authority figures in one on one situations.” He laughed slightly at the memories of the days spent at Jack’s cabin. The boy had been trying so hard to impress him and he hadn’t needed to. “Aren’t I supposed to hate him and think he’s unworthy?” Landry joked. Jack just smiled and shrugged.
“I’d ask Walter. He’d know any bit of gossip in this base.”
“How did you think I knew they were even involved?”
SG-1 had only been gone four hours when SG-12 came in under fire. They had a problem with the technology that wasn’t letting going of the team members. Carolyn was worried as their rates kept dropping down and then going back up again which was not healthy nor normal. The science department was doing the best they could but neither they or the archeology departments were having much success. They needed more brain power, another mind to think around the block and Landry decided it was time to call SG-1 back and get Sam and Daniel working on the problem. It was only seven hours after the team had left.
The team had agreed and quickly said their apologies to both their hosts and the government of Athoria and reopened the gate from their end. Landry stood waiting to explain everything to them as they went. Sam was the first to arrive followed by Teal’c but as soon as the Jaffa stepped through the wormhole suddenly disengaged. Landry looked up at Walter who just looked down and shook his head in confusion. They had not terminated the gate. Landry turned to Sam.
“Could the Athorian’s have done this?”
“Possibly, but I doubt it. They seemed concerned but not like they were upset we were leaving. More because of the problem we had.” She paused. “It must have been the other gate shorting out. They did warn of this, sir.”
“Well, how can we fix it?”
“We can’t, sir,” Sam said with a slight embarrassed tone. “The gate on their end won’t be able to open a wormhole for another six months. We can gate there but no one can gate out. We were just getting to figure out possible reasons for it when we took a recess for the night.”
“How is it SG-7 returned then?”
“From what I did manage to learn it doesn’t happen all the time, and it only started about four years ago. Each black out would last about six to seven months and then they would have regular gate travel for about 3 more before it happened again. However, it had only been a month since the last blackout ended and they had no reason to believe it would happen any sooner then the previous ones.”
Landry stared at the gate and sighed. He turned back to other two.
“Get started on the problem with SG-12. I’ll have Walter reconnect and explain things to the stranded ones.”
Daniel and Cameron looked at the gate in shock as it stopped just seconds before Vala was to step through the gate. Vala just stood there, frozen in motion. Turning around she went to say something but heard the shifting of the ring above her and hurried down the stairs instead, reaching the others as the blue wave whooshed out of the ring and back.
“Dr. Jackson?” Walter’s voice came through loud and clear.”
“Hey. What just happened?”
“Colonel Carter believes there was a malfunction of the gate on your end.”
“Really? Is there a way to fix that?”
“Apparently not, sir. You may be stuck on Athoria for the entire blackout of the gate.”
“Blackout?” Vala asked concerned. “What do you mean by Blackout?”
“Hey Vala,” Sam’s voice now entered the conversation. “According to the Athorians studies on the matter, the blackouts last for about six months and then gate activity can resume. We can contact you from time to time but you can’t use the DHD on Athoria to gate home. However, I can try to find a reason for the power blackout here and pass on the information if one of you wants to try repairs.”
“What about the Odyssey? Would they be able to pick us up?”
“It would take about as much time to get there as it would if we just waited till the black out ended. It’s in Pegasus right now filling in for the Deadulus while it receives some upgrades and repairs” It started to sputter now and Daniel got even more worried. “However looking at the power drainage, I think that we should be able to contact you once a month with new ideas and instructions on how to repair the gate. Perhaps we can fix the gate before the blackout ends.”
“So we’re stuck here till either the gate stops blacking out or we fix it, right” Cameron asked to confirm what he knew.”
“Right. I have to go now because our gate is the only one powering the wormhole so it’s double the amount of energy drainage.” Cameron had the feeling that they weren’t going to be able to finish this conversation from the sound of the garbled words he could barely pick up and the fluctuations in the event horizon. “I’ll contact you in…” Suddenly the gate shut off, cutting off Sam’s words. Cameron groaned and muttered “It’s never easy, is it” before realizing what he said as Vala started to laugh quietly. Daniel just looked at them like they were crazy and started back to where Lorian, Charon and Getha were standing, prepared to let them know what was going on.
Getha and Lorian took Vala and Daniel with them back to the house, but Charon pulled Cameron aside.
“I was going to show you this yesterday, but I believe since we are all up and have had bad news, I think now is a good time. Dr. Carter tells me you like to play around with transportation vehicles.
“Yeah, it’s a relaxation method for me.”
“Well, perhaps you will like to see this.”
Cameron was in love. It stood about three feet away from him, half covered in what appeared to be the Athorian's version of a tarp but there was no mistaking it. Had they been on earth it would have been a classic T-bird. Of course there were slight differences since it was an alien car on an alien world but still. The basis was still there.
Charon smiled. He knew he had found a kindred spirit as soon as Cameron had stepped into the garage where his Altak was placed. Cameron walked around the car, his hands touching it reverently. He had one of these, sitting in his Nana's garage since he hadn't taken it with him to Antarctica and he didn't know if it would stand up to the Colorado winter. But the appearance of this car-like vehicle made him miss it, as well as make him nostalgic.
"It's beautiful." He came around to stand where Charon was standing and the two men stared at it some more.
"It is." Charon walked over and pulled the tarp completely off. "I haven't been able to get it running though. Since my planet discovered the hydro-lift technology we haven't had much use for organic material powered vehicles. I have the parts though, if you would like to help me finish this." He knew that since the gate had closed down, Cameron had been the least settled about staying here. Perhaps a project like this one would help the man feel more at home while he waited for his friends to arrive in their ship.
"If you want me to, of course. I can see under the hood." Charon looked at him odd, but realized what he was talking about quickly. He lifted the hood and slid the locking mechanism in place. Cameron surveyed it. It looked quite similar to an car. In fact, Cameron was pretty sure that he could have gotten parts for this thing at the local auto parts store.
"You know, when I was a kid, I used to work at my Uncle's garage to make some extra money." Cameron stated. Charon simply listened. "I wasn't allowed to actually work on the cars till I was 16 but before that I watched. He loved cars. It was his art form. Nearly went into that line of business but flying caught my attention. Still has it. But if I never got to fly again, this would be the next best thing. Hearing the engine running after being silent because you did something to it is quite a rush sometimes."
"Ah, so you’re a hands person."
"My mother used to claim there were three types of people. There were people who were thinkers, ones who could think a million miles a second and come up with the ideas but try as they may the could never actually do the hands-on work. They would rely on hands people. People who, while they may not think of the ideas, understood them and could make them come alive. Bring an engine designed to go a certain speed into creation. Breathe life into mechanical forms. The third was a hybrid of these two people of course."
"Seems that way. It kind of works that way with my friends and I."
"Yeah. Sam's the thinker. Daniel too. That boy can think up an answer where there's no clues and actually be right. I'm not sure how he does it. Not that he's always right. Teal'c is a doer. Vala...well I'm actually not sure how she fits into the picture yet, but I think she's kind of a hybrid between Sam and Daniel and Me and Teal'c. She keeps the balance in the force."
"Sorry. Cultural reference."
"Ah. I have heard your friend Teal'c state that phrase before he left and wondered if it had some significant meaning." Cameron laid the hood back down gently, running his hands on the top of the hood.
"No, just something in a movie."
"Ah, Vala mentioned such a thing. I believe she was going to bring one of your movies along with you on your next diplomatic mission before the accident. Something called "Star Wars". She believed we may find something in common with that movie."
"I suppose so. Teal'c and Vala love it. I think she finds it amusing. Just don't let her bring Farscape."
"What is Farscape?"
"Television program. Highly addictive, particularly when you’re around Vala."
"Ah. I see." Charon smiled. "From my grandfather's writings, she was always like that."
"How did your grandfather know Vala?"
"Vala was his step-sister. My grandfather Larek’s mother was Adria Maldoran. He kept a journal of his life from the age of thirteen so we know much of the culture of that time. Its one of our most prized artifacts since it is so detailed, even in his younger years. There is not much on Vala as my grandfather was only sixteen when Vala was made a host, but there is enough to conceive a character portrait of her. According to his journals, she was quite intelligent, having been taken as an appearance to a local geneticist who was working on a vaccine. She was quite popular and was engaged to one of our top historians at the time. Gareth Dela Shan's work is one of our school's primary textbooks."
"Ah, so perhaps it’s not quite so boring to her after all?" Cameron mused to himself, but Charon had heard anyway.
"Vala once told Daniel that she was bored by studying the cultures like he did. Granted, she never said anything after she returned but perhaps she actually does have an interest in it."
"According to my grandfather's papers, yes. In fact, she was helping Gareth with a research project into the ancestors who settled this planet. It was a hard project as many of the old texts of our ancestors were destroyed several years before by what we then believed to be gods. Ra was not a fan of learning one's past. He believed one should have faith in one's god, not in one's history." Charon led Cameron back outside and towards the area where Vala and Daniel were working.
"Sounds like him. From what I have heard, Ra has outlawed learning on several of his planets when his first one rebelled against him. Felt it easier to keep the people ignorant if they couldn't learn their own history. That’s how we got started in this thing."
"Your Stargate program?"
"Yeah. Daniel and General O'Neill were the first to use our gate and they were sent to a planet where Ra still ruled. Daniel managed to learn the local language and was able to translate to them some of the stories left behind by their ancestors. Helped them rebel against him."
"So the legend is true? That the Tauri were involved in the destruction of the first System lord, Ra?"
"Yep. Can't say I'm not proud of that fact, even if I wasn't even involved."
"You have destroyed many a system lord."
"Yeah, but it's not exactly been a one sided thing."
"War rarely is. But one must continue to fit, regardless of the loss, if the cause is just."
"True. You are a wise man, Charon."
"Well, I have lived many years. If I did not learn something, it would not be worth anything."
"Live and Learn."
"I have not quite heard it said so simply but the phrase does it justice." Cameron just smiled. He liked this planet. Perhaps six months wasn't all that bad anymore. He had a new friend, a new project he KNEW he was going to love, and Daniel and Vala were waist deep in an archeology find that was sure to keep them occupied. It was like camp. Only without the strict bedtimes and good looking councilors who never knew you existed until the last day when you ended up standing between them and the coffee by accident.
Or perhaps that was an experience unique to him. Cameron shrugged, not really realizing he was acting to his own thoughts. Charon was also lost in his own thoughts and paid little attention. The two walked into the house and went back to bed, eager to start working on the DHD the next morning as well as the Altak.
It had been ten days since the malfunction of the gate and things were slowly falling into a rhythm. Lorian and Charon had offered another Maldoran property for them to stay, knowing the three would no doubt want some more privacy then being a guest would allow them if they were going to stay several months. While not as big as the main house that the couple lived in, the “guesthouse” was still quite large. It had four bedrooms, and two bathrooms (something which Vala rejoiced for…no more sharing!). It reminded Cameron of an Italian Villa with its open courtyard and hallways along it. There was even a pool. Obviously the Maldoran family was wealthy and all three stranded SG-1 members were quite glad for it. It was about a quarter mile away from the main house which gave them a lot of privacy.
Once they were they were settled in, they had started work on finding their own answers to the gate problem while they weren’t in contact with Sam. Cameron would go and work on the DHD with Charon and some other local engineers while Vala and Daniel researched in the local repository of records. It was connected to the library, so they didn’t have to go far for either resource. Daniel was impressed by the large amount of material from early years of their civilization. The planet was very concerned with historical records and had preserved as many documents from their earlier civilizations as possible. Occasionally, if she had some free time from the bakery, Lorian would come by and help them. Most often she just made sure they ate. She knew how her husband was when he was stuck on a problem and just needed to solve it. Remembering to eat something was least on the person’s mind. She did the same for Cameron and the engineers, but she could keep a closer watch on the pair in the library.
Vala had become very good in helping Daniel research. She knew his style and worked to match it, although he wasn’t sure if it was simply something that had happened or something she did on purpose. On Earth, she always made sure he got coffee (He had to once tell her to stop refilling it ) and seemed to know where he was going with his ideas because she could easily follow along and ask question that made him double check his theories. It was a good working relationship.
Here, there was no coffee but Lorian had supplied them with enough of their own version of Java and some of her old fashioned scones that tasted mildly like heaven and Daniel had to fight Vala for the last one which only ended when the scone ripped in half and they fell on each other laughing.
They had gotten to work as soon as they finished the scones and were relatively silent. Vala would browse the shelves while Daniel looked over some texts for anything mentioning the gate. Vala would occasionally sigh and once verbally put forth her discontent that her apparent home planet did not have a computer card catalog system. Especially since they were so advanced at preserving their library. Daniel for the most part ignored her, as he was ampt to do when she complained. She knew it, and did it anyway because that was how their system worked. He’d ignore her but he probably do something later that would say he actually did hear her so she never really minded when it was something trivial like a card catalog.
It was on the tenth day that they came across the journals of Larek Maldoran, her younger brother. She had no memories of a brother and stared at the set of beautifully bound journals. Each was a different color, the covers seemed to be made of a velvet material that had been hardened and the actual binds were leather. They were of very good quality and reminded Vala of the journal she had brought. It still lay on her bed, with no words. She wasn’t sure she was ready to read the journals and Daniel had left that open to her since it was her family. She appreciated the action, but there was a part of her that wished he would just grab one and read it without her having to read it. She wasn’t sure she was ready to know how her brother viewed her.
Daniel was currently going over some ancient text that she had found. Apparently the written language of the time was similar to Middle English and Daniel seemed to have no trouble with reading it. Vala had, which had added to her frustration at being able to write English. If it was her native language as well, she should be fairly fluent at it, both oral and written. But she wasn’t. However she kept her thoughts to herself. She didn’t want Daniel to know she was still struggling a bit.
She slowly opened the first volume, this one green, and looked at the inscription on the inside cover. Apparently the first had been a gift from her; she could tell it was her writing. It hadn’t changed much in the century since and she traced the letters with her fingers, trying to remember writing those words but she still came up blank.
This is write all those thoughts that go on in that head of yours so none of those ideas go to waste,
A simple sentence, yet it could mean so much. She couldn’t tell if it was teasing, loving or something cruel. She didn’t know. It must have been the former, or at least she hoped, because Larek had used it. If it had been done to cruel, he wouldn’t have used it. But then she didn’t know him to be sure.
She turned the first page, plain white and left blank. The next page had some light blue lines on it and began the written section. On the back side of the blank page was a drawing, lightly colored in with what appeared to be colored pencil due to the gentle look of the coloring. It was of two people, one of which she recognized as herself, the other she did not but perhaps that was Larek himself. The boy in the drawing looked enough like her for there to be a relation. At the bottom, were the initials of GD.
“You don’t look much different now,” Daniel commented, having come over to get another cup of the Athorian coffee. He hadn’t caught the actual name of the stuff, but it was alright for a substitute. He had stopped when he noticed Vala staring at the page and curiosity got the better of him. He had peered over her shoulder and had seen the drawing. It was a very good portrait. Vala did look the same, only a little older now that life had handed her one hell of a hand. But he could still see the joyful sister in the drawing in the women sitting on the chair next to him.
“Do you think that is Larek?”
It appears so. You can ask Charon tonight if he has any pictures of his grandfather for you.” Vala nodded. Daniel paused for a second, worried that she was upset but she smiled up at him in reassurance.
“Don’t worry about me. I’m fine. It’s just hard to see this and not have the accompanying memories.” Daniel nodded.
“I know the feeling. I’m sure you’ll get more of your memory back.”
“Maybe. I’m not so sure anymore,” she said sadly. Daniel sat down beside her.
“Carolyn said you had a very good chance.”
“A chance of regaining my memory, Daniel. Not a certainty. I just wish it had taken the host-years without my years with my family.”
“It took me a year and a half to fully regain my memory.” Daniel admitted, feeling it was important for her to realize that she wasn’t the only one who had gone through this. Vala turned to look at him. “After I ascended the first time, I got put back on the mortal realm for disobeying the no-interference rule. They took away every memory I had and for the first two months I didn’t remember a thing. When the others found me, things started to fall into place and I had most of my memories within a couple of weeks. But I still had moments when I got a huge blank spot for more then a year afterwards. Apparently not often enough for the others to recognize or if they did they never mentioned it.”
“And the second time? Did they force you to forget again?” Vala had known that he had ascended twice, but she never knew the exact details.
“No, but I don’t think I fully ascended that time. I was kind of sitting in the waiting room and decided not to stay. Maybe because it was my choice I got to keep the memories. It wasn’t a punishment, just something I choose to do.”
“I’m glad you did.” She smiled softly at him, both thanking him for letting her know she wasn’t alone and for actually staying and not ascending. Both ignored the third time, not wanting to delve into bad memories.
He smiled back and for a second they just watched each other, comfortable in each others company. Things were getting better. Perhaps this trip was more then just bad luck striking again. Perhaps it was a good thing.
The moment was broken when Lorian came in, carrying in their lunch and offering Vala a change of scenery for the afternoon.
When it came to cooking, Vala Mal Doran was horrible. You could just ask Tomin, if you doubted it, as she had never cooked anything that appeared edible. Occasionally, like with all people, she cooked something that was relatively good even if it didn't look it but it was very rare and probably only tea or coffee. She did make really good coffee. However, Lorian had taken pity on the younger looking women and decided to teach her how to cook.
However, two hours later, she wasn't sure it was such a good idea anymore. Her kitchen, once pristine, was now covered in flour, sugar and the occasional glop of dough. Vala herself was starting to look like a ghost with the amount of white powder covering her body, and what was supposed to be cookie dough hanging off her cheek. Lorian was no better, although perhaps a little less white. However, she was having fun. It wasn't often she had such a carefree day, but she had been granted paid time off to help the visitors adjust. The Ruling council felt some of the guilt of their being stranded there fell on the shoulders of those on the planet who hadn't explained fully how the gate was broken. So here she was, trying to teach Vala to cook.
"You know, I used to do this a lot when I was married. Seven months and I didn't learn a thing. I think Tomin started to make sure he was required elsewhere at dinnertime to avoid my cooking without hurting my feelings."
"But I thought...” She didn't finish the sentence. It was none of her business what Vala's martial status was and certainly not whom she was married to. She had just assumed that Vala and Daniel were involved in some way. However, if Vala was married and still held to the ideals of their planet she would not be involved with a man who was not her husband. Unless Tomin was dead, this would free her to find other connections.
"You thought Daniel and I were together?" Vala's mood dipped slightly but Lorian noticed she quickly put on a false smile. "Well, we aren't, despite trying to.
"Why did Tomin not come with you?" The other women paused, poised to take the latest cookie sheet to the oven.
"Tomin believes in something other then what I do. He believes the Ori are gods and I am worthy of dying for my unbelief." There was silence in the kitchen for a second. “I don’t talk about him much. There really isn’t anyone who would understand. I care for Tomin, I do, I just never loved him. Not as a wife should anyhow.”
"Then why did you marry him.” Vala sighed and sat down at the counter opposite Lorian.
“I had no choice. The Ori had decided I was the perfect subject for a little genetic project and I couldn’t have a baby outside marriage. Not there. And he had cared for me when I first arrived so I convinced him to marry me and then that the child was really his.” There was guilt there. Lorain knew there was much to the story that wasn’t being said. She knew only a little of the Ori, but she knew they were formidable and desperate acts call for such measures. “I don’t think he believed me though,” Vala said after a moments pause. “At least he seemed to have doubts enough to leave me stranded in penalty box.”
“Oh, sorry. Too much time spent around Jack, Daniel’s friend,” Vala said, surprised herself that she had used an earth-term and not have done it on purpose. “Basically, if one was accused of being unbelieving of the Ori, they were chained to a stool sitting in the middle of a stone circle,” Vala continued, drawing a picture of it in the flour that had spilled onto the counter. “They burn unbelievers there.” Lorain wondered if Vala had seen this herself or just heard it from the villagers who had. She suspected the first one. “However as it turned out they simply wanted to test me. I was left there for two and half days before Tomin got up enough nerve to unchain me and take me home.” Hurt and a little anger filled her voice for a second.
“He left you out there pregnant?”
“Yes. So I wasn’t too sure if he believed me or not from that period on. But it doesn’t matter much anymore. As far as I have been told, Tomin has publicly denounced me and reestablished his good faith with his gods. So as far as I am concerned, I’m divorced.”
Lorain didn’t know what to say, so she said nothing. Luckily there wasn’t a long silence as soon Charan and Cameron came running into the room, covered in some oily substance. She sighed and rolled her eyes, bringing a slight giggle form Vala. She smiled at Vala and walked over to the two men.
“ Bath, now. Tell me what on earth you did to yourselves later. I don’t need my kitchen to be covered in whatever that is.” Cameron and Charon smiled, reminding Vala and Lorain of little boys who had been playing in the mud and were much to happy to remember that mother didn’t like to have dirt in the house.
A ding rang and they stopped and looked at the oven. It was then they noticed the sight of a pile of edible looking cookies. They looked pleading at Lorian who smiled sighed and shrugged. They smiled even bigger and rushed and grabbed a series of cookies each before walking to the two bathrooms the large house contained.When Daniel arrived an hour later, the kitchen had returned to its former pristine state and everyone was eating Vala’s cookies, which remarkably had tasted very good.