SG-1 FIC: Gateway to the Stars Title: Gateway to the Stars Summary: SG-1 is stranded off-world, but not for long. Author's Notes: Written for the Team Alphabet soup Anthology sponsored by sg_fignewton - S is for Stargate
Gateway to the Stars
The gateway stands on the hill like a sentry, strong and tall, forever watching humanity and wildlife as they come and go. There are many names for this gateway - the stone circle, Chappa'ai, stairway to heaven, Stargate, and yet to the four people running toward it now, the gateway represents a haven, a way to safety. It represents home.
There is no shame in retreat, Jack O'Neill thought, as he ordered his troops back to the gate. No shame at all, especially since the enemy outnumbered them four to one. He swore softly when a staff blast barely missed him, but he kept running toward the gate, the humongous beacon of hope that meant only one thing at a time like this… safety.
"Daniel!" he yelled as another blast hit the ground in front of him. "Dial it up!"
Daniel did as he was told, but Jack was more concerned about the artillery heading their way. Something exploded behind him, causing him to duck while he raced onward.
"Daniel!" What the hell was he doing anyway, Jack thought as he swiveled around and dropped to his knees. He aimed the P-90 at the nearest Jaffa, while valiantly listening for the telltale sound of the chevrons locking into place. Nothing. All he heard was the sounds of gun fire and the shouts of the wounded. "Daniel?"
"It's not working, something is wrong with it!"
Oh great. This was all he needed. "Carter!" he shouted. "Go!" He didn't even look to see if she obeyed him, he kept on shooting as he got up and back-pedaled toward the gate. He had faith in her abilities to fix things. If anyone could get that gate started, it was Carter.
He reached the DHD just as Carter stood back from the device, her panicked gaze telling him all he needed to know. Things were never as easy as he'd like.
"I have no idea what's wrong with it," she said, "I'm going to need more time to even diagnose the problem." He nodded at her, even as he sent another volley of ammunition toward the Jaffa who had become brave and were now advancing on to their positions. He knew the odds, and odds were they'd all be dead or taken prisoner within the hour if they hung around to wait for her to figure it out. He kept shooting at his targets, while yelling to his team.
"The caves on the other side of the gate! Go!" Carter nodded and took off, with Daniel hot on her heels. Jack and Teal'c continued to shoot at their enemy for a few moments then both took off at a dead run, stopping every few minutes to return the enemy fire.
They made it to the woods that surrounded the caves, but Jack knew better than to think they were safe here. Staff weapon blasts were still whizzing past them and their only hope was to find some shelter, and find it fast.
"This way," he heard Daniel yell and Jack ran for his life. Branches slapped against him as he sprinted through the brush, but he ignored it all, silently running toward what he hoped was a safe harbor.
The clanking of Jaffa boots were fading away by the time Jack reached the entrance to the caves, marked only by the branches that were broken when Daniel fell through them when they had first arrived on the planet. It was a good hiding place. Only those who had been there before would find them, and Jack was fairly sure they would hear the Jaffa if any of them came snooping around - which was a good possibility given their current predicament.
Carter disappeared through the foliage as Jack kept a vigilant watch, looking for anything out of the ordinary. Daniel and Teal'c followed, leaving Jack to take one more look around before joining his teammates.
Many have traveled through the gateway. Humans and animals, demons and gods, some to trade and visit, others to explore, yet they all pass through with a purpose. And the gateway welcomes them all, providing a direct route through the stars and offering them the opportunity to discover the various terrains, plants, cultures and lifestyles found on worlds other than their own. Because for some, the gateway is the portal to knowledge.
Daniel Jackson leaned back against the wall of the cave, trying desperately to ease the cramp in his side while wondering when he was going to be able to go back to the temple. He glared at the ceiling as he thought about it. He'd still be there if it wasn't for the Jaffa who suddenly showed up and demanded prisoners.
The pain in his side eased up a little, while his teammates moved into the shelter, but Daniel was still angry about giving up all that knowledge he had stumbled upon. There was so much to learn from the carvings on the walls of that temple. He could only hope that the photographs he took turned out. That's probably the only way he'll learn anything about this place.
"What happened to the Stargate?"
Daniel just shrugged at Jack's question, he had no clue. Sam, on the other hand, gave it a try.
"Nothing's wrong with the Stargate, sir. From what I could see during my preliminary check, the problem is with the DHD."
"Yes sir. I'm not entirely sure of the extent, but it looked like someone, or something, tampered with it."
"Great," Jack said, as he went to stand next to Teal'c at the entrance. "Looks like we're stranded with the Jaffa out there."
"I don't think they know of these caves," Sam said. Jack gave her a questioning look, prompting Sam to explain her logic. "I mean, the Jaffa would not have come to this world if they knew there was no way back, which means they don't know a whole lot about this planet."
"I concur with Major Carter," Teal'c said from his stance next to the entrance of the cave. "It would not be in their best interest."
"Yet here they are," Jack said with a trace of sarcasm. Daniel could certainly relate. Frustration still ate at him as he thought about all the knowledge he was missing out on. Studying the pictures and words on a temple wall was far more fascinating than the Egyptian pyramids or whatever else he would have been doing had he never heard of the Stargate.
"Well, it looks like we are in for the long haul, better get comfortable," Jack said. "Carter."
"Do you think you can fix that DHD?"
"I can give it a try," she said. Daniel waited for what he knew was coming. They were going to risk their lives again. He was more than ready to go with them, even though it meant leaving behind the temple. It just irked him that he wasn't going to get the chance to study it.
"Good. We'll leave just before dusk."
Just like that, Daniel thought with a sigh. He grabbed his flashlight and moved further into the depths of the cave. Maybe there was another way out, a quicker way back to the Stargate.
"Don't go too far, Daniel," Sam told him. "It should be dark soon."
"I won't." It was an automatic reply, uttered softly as the beam of his flashlight shone on something that looked like carvings on the wall. "This is more like it," he whispered softly. At least he would have something to do while he waited for dusk.
Technology is a major factor in all aspects of the gateway. From the beginning, when the people who are called the Ancients built the Gate, to the various stages of it that pass through its threshold, technology is the backbone of the universe. And like knowledge, many of those who travel through the gateway to the stars, do so in search of technology - and the power that it brings to them."
Sam Carter really hated it when she was faced with a dead DHD. Too many memories of doing so and the frustrations she dealt with when it didn't work when she was sure it would, not to mention an impatient Colonel lurking over her shoulder…
"Can you fix it?" O'Neill asked her for what was at least the second time. Sam nodded although she really wasn't sure if anything would work at this point. Still she knew that if she was going to fix it, she'd better get to it. They had eliminated the Jaffa threat at the Gate when they arrived, but there were a lot more of them out there and Sam didn't want to be anywhere near the Gate when the other Jaffa got around to checking on their comrades.
"I'm going to need some more light over here," she said, and was grateful when Daniel came over to help. O'Neill and Teal'c kept guard while Sam went to work on figuring out the problem.
"This wiring is wrong," she mumbled, her mind going over all the diagrams and schematics she had studied throughout her career. From the moment she had been assigned to the Stargate Program, she had poured over everything she could get her hands on. But the one she was most interested in remembering was the blueprint of the DHD that Colonel O'Neill had drawn when the ancient technology was downloaded into his brain. That blueprint helped her once before, surely she could use it again.
She went to work, based on what she could remember, temporarily forgetting the threat of Jaffa as she did what she could to repair the damage. This was just another device, she thought, as she switched out a dead crystal. Much more technologically advanced than what she was taught in college, but for the most part it was just another device.
"Carter," the Colonel said in a loud whisper.
"Almost there, sir." It should work, she reasoned as she gerry-rigged a loose wire into the casing. Please work, she begged silently as she stood up and punched the seven symbols needed to dial the gate. The chevrons lit up as she punched in the codes, filling Sam with hope. It was definitely an encouraging sign. "Please!" she said hopefully, just before she hit the red center of the device. The Stargate burst into life causing her to shout with elation.
"All right!" Daniel said with gusto, obviously sharing in her excitement. Sam punched in the code to alert Stargate Command that they were coming through, then turned to smile at her commanding officer.
"I knew you could do it," he said, his manner nonchalant. "Didn't have a doubt."
"Yes sir," she said, not believing him for a minute. She turned toward the gate, but was distracted by a voice in the distance.
"Just in time," the Colonel said, as he and Sam aimed their weapons toward the Jaffa who appeared out of nowhere. "Go!"
Sam took a few minutes to shoot at a few of the Jaffa who were advancing on them from the trees, then turned and ran toward the gate, knowing her teammates were right behind her.
Many travelers pass through the gateway, relying on it for safe passage through the cosmos, for there are so many worlds that are still unexplored - and for some travelers, worlds still unconquered. Yet, the gateway's only purpose is to provide transportation to those who wish to travel through the stars, whether to explore foreign lands or to fight for what they believe in. Sometimes, that's all that matters most.
The energy of the Stargate died with a familiar sound as Teal'c walked down the ramp. They had barely made it to safety and he took a moment to look around the Gate Room, as was his habit. A habit he acquired from his youth, many years before he earned the position as First Prime.
General Hammond came in through the blast doors with his usual greeting. O'Neill answered him, informing the General of the events that transpired while they were away. Teal'c listened quietly, but his attention was directed toward the wall directly in front of the Stargate. A scorched mark indicated that it was hit by a stray staff weapon blast, reminding him yet again that this world was just as vulnerable as when he first came through the Chappai'ai many years ago.
He turned back to look at the device in question, a mode of transportation readily available for the system lords, and he wondered when the inevitable war would ensue. And they would come. Perhaps not through the Stargate, but they would come and try to destroy those who would destroy them.
They would come and Teal'c would stand by the people of this world.
He turned to face the young man standing in front of him with his hand held out in a gesture that reminded Teal'c of the day he turned against Apophis. Samantha Carter had done the same thing that day, a gesture of friendship that spanned across the galaxy. It was an honor he would never forget. These people were his allies. He gave the soldier his weapon, bowing slightly to acknowledge the exchange. He would not need the weapon this day.
O'Neill, Daniel Jackson and Major Carter were standing at the end of the ramp, watching him with various expressions of concern and amusement. Teal'c bowed slightly to signify that he indeed was ready and he followed them away from the Stargate knowing that he would soon be back to go through it again.
There was much more to accomplish in his own personal war.
The Stargate stands tall, towering over the four people walking away from it, and over the technicians who work daily to keep it running smoothly. The symbols gleam in the fluorescent light, silent and calm, representing the various worlds that are visited by the teams who pass through its giant portal. It provides many things to the people who rely on it, yet despite the fact that it is a technological device that doesn't think or feel, it is still a part of the SGC, which in turn, allows it to play an integral role with the teams as they work to bring peace to the universe. To the people who work here, the Stargate represents so many things. To the Ancients who built it, it represents peace.