...Challenging the Doors of Time...
Sam and Teal’c entered the room shortly after Jack’s outburst and he knew he would have to tell all three of them. “Please sit, this may take a while,” Daniel indicated the chairs around the room as he stood and allowed the woman to take his seat.
Teal’c also sat, but the Colonel remained standing.
“As I said before I was Daniel of the Book of Daniel in the Bible.”
“Just get to it!” Jack demanded impatiently.
“I am, just be patient,” Daniel snapped as he turned away from them and looked at some artifacts on a shelf while he spoke. “I was ever the mediator back then. I would settle disputes between quarrelers, break up fights and so forth. I guess it was part of my calling as Prophet, part and parcel and whatnot. One day, when Cyrus was ruler, there was a fight between a field owner and his workers. They wanted more money than some men who had been hired later in the day. The land owner decided to give all of the workers equal shares in the profits.”
“I remember this parable,” Samantha quoted with a nod, “the last will be first, the first will be last.”
Daniel rolled his eyes as he mocked,"I remember that passage." He gave her a blanket stare, "Do you know how many events such as this occurred?” he inquired of her.
She shook her head.
“They were rather common,” he sighed as he turned back to them. “Anyway, This argument got out of hand. One of the workers took his eating knife and threatened the landowner if he would not give more money to those workers who had been there longer then he would kill him. Ever the peacemaker, I tried to intervene. I failed. The disheartened worker stabbed the landowner and myself. The landowner survived while I did not. I died and Cyrus, who knew of my kind and was, in fact, Immortal, took my body and brought it to his chambers. I revived and he explained what I was and how to survive.”
Daniel turned away from them once more in obvious pain from his memories. “He sent me on my merry way. My travels eventually led me to an immortal: Madera,” the name was said with anguish and pain. “Madera taught me what it meant to love.”
“Madera?” Jack echoed curiously.
“Yeah,” Daniel said softly as he turned back toward them all traces of emotion gone from his features, he looked much older than the files said he was. “Madera was killed after we spent three hundred years together and I was lucky I survived. I wanted to die," he sounded sincere, as though the would were still fresh. "I was 'broken' and ‘rebuilt’. I think she would be happy that I made a life here, though I barely remember it. Her death made me look for her killers in the faces of all Immortals I have met since then.”
All three were entranced by the sad tale.
Daniel sighed and looked away from them, “I hated myself.” He glossed over the more gruesome details of that time. "Not long after her death, I made my way to Holy Ground and became a monk."
“Why? How did you become this way, Daniel?” Samantha asked sympathetically as she put her hand on his shoulder.
Daniel frowned as he looked into Sam's sympathetic face, “I felt guilty for hating myself. I felt guilty for feeling vengeance toward others.”
“Daniel Jackson,” Teal’c said as gently as his monotone would allow, "You and I are not too dissimilar."
Daniel sat in the chair behind the desk and leaned forward until his head rested in his hands. "I'm sorry."
"Why?" Jack asked, he did not sound as angry as he had been, but the anger was still there.
"For not remembering earlier," Daniel said as he looked up into Jack's eyes. All pretense was gone from the Immortal's face. Jack could see a similar anguish in Daniel's eyes that he had seen reflected in a mirror.
Daniel continued, "For being unable to tell you from the beginning. It is hard for my kind to trust mortals, but I sense that all four of us were true friends, from what memories I've already begun to assimilate."
"When I hid away on sacred ground, guilt and pain were at the forefront of my thoughts. I did not want to associate with anyone. I've tried to stay out of the Game.”
"The Game?" Teal'c questioned.
"Others of my kind try to kill one another for our life essences, our Quickenings. I try to stay as far away as the ones in the Game as possible. I keep in touch with other Immortals who are not interested in the Game."
“Speed up to what happened before you found yourself here,” Jack said with a frown, he could tell Daniel was feeling pain from talking about such personal things.
Daniel sighed long suffering and complied, “I joined the Society of Watchers off and on every 100 years or so since their beginnings. They watch and record the goings on of Immortals that are in the Game, but never interfere. I did this to stay away from head hunters and keep in touch with friends. Finally, I reinvented myself as Dr. Daniel Geiger. In 1984, I signed on as an Historian, and eventually I was assigned to Amanda. She's another friend, but she likes to travel the gray area. There is this gem called the Methuselah Stone that can make mortals become one of my kind. There were Immortals trying to… obtain… this item. Amanda had one piece. Nathan Stern, my Director, gave me a piece that he had… acquired... somehow and told me to investigate the situation. He reassigned me to research before he and his driver were killed before my eyes at Nezy-sur-Seine in Paris. I remember being shot, once in the chest and once in the back, and..." he clutched the back of his head near the occipital region, "once back here, then the sensation of falling. I must have hit the back of my head because the river is very blurry. I must have drowned, probably more than once. I don’t remember anything after that… until Nicholas Ballard pulled me out of the drink...” he trailed off as he began searching himself.
“What are you doing, Daniel?” Jack asked exasperated. The Daniel he knew was in there somewhere, Jack hoped he would come back soon.
“Where is it?” Daniel asked aloud to no one in particular.
“Where’s what?” Sam asked.
“The crystal! I had it in my hand,” he exclaimed as he began searching the office in earnest.
“I don’t remember you ever carrying a crystal,” Jack said as he moved to stop the other man’s frantic searching.
Daniel turned to him and frowned, “You don’t understand, that crystal is important. It is a sacred artifact. A mystical object with great significance to Immortals.”
“What the hell?!” Jack exclaimed. “What’s so important about some stupid piece of rock?!”