“It is not in strict accordance with the facts,” Teal’c said, “but, as a dramatic presentation, your show Hak’tyl
is… impressive. The adventures are sufficiently exciting, the actor portraying the false god Moloc shows his stupidity and evil in convincing fashion, and although the actress playing the part of Ishta does not resemble her in appearance she is adequately charismatic and almost matches the real Ishta in athleticism and ability in simulated combat. I believe that this dramatization would be popular with the Jaffa.”
“It has been extremely successful here,” Ninmah said. “It is a favorite both of myself and of Shamhat.”
“Do you watch it together or separately?” Sam asked.
“Together,” Ninmah replied. “We make comments to each other, share laughs at the humorous sections, and weep together at the tragedies.”
“So you can have a Girls’ Night all by yourself? It’s a side of being a Goa’uld that had never occurred to me,” Sam said.
“And now we can share the taste of chocolate,” Ninmah said. “Of all the things from Earth that you have presented that is the one that I believe will be most popular with my people.”
“I really liked that pennigu
cake,” Sam said, “and I think it would go down pretty well with other girls on Earth.”
“I also found the pennigu
to be tasty and satisfying,” Teal’c commented. “A confection comparable to the best of those that I have experienced on Earth.”
“What about our movies and TV shows?” Jack asked Ninmah. “What did you make of The Simpsons
, for instance?”
Ninmah shook her head. “I found some of it amusing,” she said, “but for the most part it aroused no emotions in me whatsoever apart from incomprehension. It is too closely tied to your culture and strikes no chords in us. The test audience also reacted poorly.”
“It’s a shame,” Jack said. “Maybe when your people get to know ours better.”
“Perhaps,” said Ninmah. “I was far more impressed by Buffy the Vampire Slayer
“I would have thought an American High School would be too alien an environment for your people to understand,” Sam said.
“There are parallels within the social structures,” Ninmah said, “and your legends of vampires closely resemble our own tales of the Ekimmu
and the Uruku
. The young heroine is extremely personable.”
“Everybody likes a blonde who kicks ass,” Sam said, grinning.
“Indeed,” said Teal’c.
“Our test audiences shared that opinion,” Ninmah said, “and Buffy’s rejection of the social elite in favor of the ostracized Willow makes her an immediately sympathetic character. Young men in the audience also identified strongly with the boy Xander. Yes, we would be interested in purchasing the series Buffy the Vampire Slayer
. Also Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
– I loved that one – and the Indiana Jones
“Everybody likes an intrepid archaeologist who kicks ass,” Daniel said, grinning at Sam.
Teal’c opened his mouth, presumably to say ‘Indeed’, but reconsidered and contented himself with raising an eyebrow and giving a half nod.
“You are correct,” Ninmah said. “That reminds me, Daniel, you have not yet gone water-skiing with Shamhat.”
“There were some… distractions,” Daniel said. “Maybe some other time.” His eyes met Jack’s in a mute appeal for help.
Jack answered the call. “So, Queen Ninmah, I hear you didn’t think much of Casablanca
,” he remarked. “What was the problem? That’s one of our all-time classics.”
“It was in shades of grey rather than proper colors,” Ninmah said. “It was very strange to my eyes. Perhaps if you had it colored properly it would not be so alien to us.”
“Sacrilege,” Jack muttered.
“The leading characters were interesting,” Ninmah went on, “but I understood little of what was going on. No, I think that the Earth movies that will find the largest audience within the Commonwealth are those which consist largely of people smiting each other with swords.”
“Yeah, and your space battle spectaculars should do will on Earth,” Jack said. “The things that rely on cultural reference points aren’t going to travel so well. Swords, light sabers, bullwhips, maybe an occasional gunfight, and of course the ever-popular Death Stars and big honking space guns.”
“Indeed,” Teal’c agreed. He tilted his head to one side. “I wonder if Wormhole X-Treme
would find acceptance in the Commonwealth?”
Jack shuddered. “I sincerely hope not,” he said, “at least not unless they remake it with a much bigger production budget.”
“That is a valid point, O’Neill,” Teal’c conceded.
“Next time I’ll bring along The Princess Bride
,” Sam suggested to the Queen. “I think you’d like that one.”
“I shall look forward to it,” Ninmah said. She looked at Daniel. “And I have not forgotten about the water-skiing. We must make definite arrangements.”
Jack glanced at his watch. “I hate to break things up,” he said, “but we’re due back at the SGC soon. It’s time to go, people.”
“Very well,” Ninmah said. “This has been a pleasant diversion but I, too, must return to my work.”
As the members of SG1 prepared for their return to Earth Jack seized an opportunity for a quiet word with Queen Ninmah on a more serious subject. “There’s something I’ve been meaning to ask you,” he said. “How could your people tell that the poison missiles came from Earth? Do you have a way of telling where an incoming wormhole originates? That would be something we’d pay a lot to have.”
Ninmah shook her head. “No,” she said. “It was far simpler than that. If you wait a moment I will show you.” She departed from the room and returned a moment later with a small piece of twisted and blackened metal. She handed it to Jack. “We recovered this from the debris,” she explained.
He scrutinized it closely and was able to make out lettering. “Rocket M-55,” he read. “Newport Army Ammunition Plant, Vermillion County, Indiana, USA.” He raised his eyes to meet Ninmah’s. “As easy as that, huh? I guess working out where it came from wasn’t exactly… rocket science.”