I disclaim all rights to the Stargate and Buffy universe and/or characters.
The alarm began to blare. Unauthorised gate activation. Unauthorised gate activation.
At this point Daniel could mouth the words along with the looped announcement. He sighed, and leant back in his chair, rubbing at his temples. The colony on P4Q-941 had kept fairly meticulous records, but they were written in a rather cumbersome derivation of Aramaic. Daniel glanced at the clock, and winced. Three hours of work, and all he had to show for it was a headache and three paragraphs about an increased need for religious symbols; no clues about why the people of that planet had been wiped out. He sighed again, and decided to check on the gate room. He needed a break.
He wandered into the administration room above the gate, saw Jack leaning against a wall, and went over to join him. Jack was watching the flurry of panicked activity, scientists consulting readouts and swearing softly, soldiers forming a perimeter inside the gate room. Daniel leaned against the wall next to Jack.
"This seems more confused than usual."
"Gate's doing something weird." Jack said, and Daniel knew from the raised eyebrow that this was the condensed form of a long rant from Sam. Their team-mate heard the brief summary, and darted over from a console.
"The gate is being activated, but there's no incoming transmission - in fact, it isn't even trying to form a wormhole. It's more like a sympathetic link, like the fluctuations of some outside entity are affecting the gate."
"Sounds weird to me." Jack said.
Carter nodded. "It is, I've no idea--"
There was a crackling sound from the gate room, harsh and vibrant. Even Jack was drawn to the window, looking down at the gate as bolts of green light flashed around the circumference of the gate. Something was growing in the centre of the massive stone circle, an area where the light fell in the wrong direction and the air was blurred. Suddenly the blur broke apart, twisting into a flare of roiling green light. The rift began to pulse, expanding and contracting, moving in and out like a beating heart. The brilliance of the rift increased, so bright that those watching had to turn away and shade their eyes, there was a thump
and then all was silent for a moment as those in the admin and gate rooms stared at the blond, young, naked
girl lying unconscious in front of the gate.
Daniel was curious about the girl, of course, but after she was put under armed guard in the infirmary there was little to do until she woke up. Sam was busy examining the readings from the gate's bizarre activations, but Daniel couldn't help with that. So it was back to the corrupted Aramaic, and after another two hours Daniel was ready for a Goa'uld invasion, a Replicator ship in orbit, a crisis on another planet, anything to get him away from these records with their torturous grammar and shifted verbs. And their strange demonisation of local predators. The colony had apparently been attacked by a creature the records called 'Nighthunters', nocturnal predators who drained their victims of blood. There were also baffling references to people being 'turned'; from the context, Daniel thought this might be some kind of secondary infection, but the records were unclear on that point.
All in all, he was relieved when Jack popped into his office. Pretending to be annoyed, Daniel gave his superior a frown. "Writing a report?"
"Nah, you're needed in the infirmary."
"Ah, Jack, they cleared me last week. The pollen didn't have any lasting effect, and I am not going down there for more tests--"
"Not you. The girl. She's awake, but not speaking. Figure maybe you speak a language the nurses don't."
"Oh." Daniel shoved the Aramaic printouts in a drawer, and followed Jack out. "Hey, has Sam figured out how the girl got here?"
"The gate linked up with an uncontrolled wormhole, she thinks. Pulled the girl through. Which raises the question, is she from another planet? Or is she from Earth, and someone was playing with things they shouldn't know about?"
"Some kind of accident with a gate, probably. Hopefully she's from one of the colonies with a less corrupted dialect," Daniel said, and sighed.
The girl was awake and clothed, sitting on a hospital bed, seemingly unaware of the two armed guards near the door. A nurse was listening to the girl's heartbeat, with the blonde staring down at the stethoscope in bemusement. Daniel cleared his throat, and was startled by the girl's reaction. Her head snapped up in an instant, and cold, hard eyes assessed him, then looked away. Apparently he was not a threat. Daniel glanced at Jack, who shrugged, but didn't take his eyes off the girl. Daniel turned to the girl, still blinking at the nurse's routine, and started trying languages.
"Hello, do you understand me?
" He said in Hebrew. Nothing. He tried again in Greek, Coptic, and Aramaic. Her face remained blank, not even a glimmer of understanding. Desperate, he tried Latin...and the girl perked up, leaning towards Daniel, away from the nurse. The girl leaned in close, and inhaled
near Daniel's neck. No, not inhaled. Sniffed. Daniel stared at the girl, who cocked her head at him and then turned away, inspecting a shiny dripfeed regulator next to the bed.
Daniel turned to Jack. "I don't think she'll understand any language. I think she's gone feral." They watched the girl rub her cheek against the nurse's arm. Then the nurse picked up a needle to take blood samples, and the girl's body language changed. She snarled at the nurse and slid off the bed, crouching against it and glaring up at the nurse. The nurse crouched down and reached out to the girl, who watched the empty hand carefully but allowed it to straighten her arm. Then the nurse produced the needle again, and the girl bucked against the bed and slapped the nurse's arm away. The nurse took a breath and reached out with the needle.
Jack called out "Wait!" but it was too late. The girl snapped out a hand with blurring speed, so fast that Daniel didn't even see it move, holding the nurse still without any sign of effort from the girl's petite frame. The guards at the door moved forward uncertainly, then stilled as the girl turned her eyes on them.
Predator's eyes, not just cold but wary and full of violence, watching for the slightest hint of threat. Daniel swallowed against a touch of instinctive fear. The girl stood up slowly, eyes still on the soldiers, and lifted the nurse with her. The guards were tense, ready to move to retrieve the nurse and restrain the girl, but Daniel had seen the blonde's muscles not even tense as she lifted the seventy-kilo nurse. The blonde was abnormally strong, and from her posture ready for a fight.
"How about we all just calm down?" drawled Jack from beside Daniel. "Boys, take a step back."
The soldiers moved away a fraction, and the girl set the petrified nurse back on her feet; the woman darted past Daniel and out the door, the syringe dropping from a limp hand. The girl glared at the metal needle, then returned to staring at the soldiers warily.
"Daniel, try that last language again. Seemed to get a reaction." said Jack.
"Uh, sure," Daniel muttered. He gave the girl what he hoped was a friendly smile, and addressed her in Latin. "We're just trying to help you. If you don't want us to test your blood, that's fine.
" The girl didn't respond, but her defensive stance eased a little. Daniel took this as a good sign, and moved towards her slowly, pausing between each step.
"What are you doing?" hissed Jack.
Daniel ignored his friend and theoretical commanding officer, and kept moving closer to the girl. Eventually he eased himself down to sit on the bed, a few feet from where she stood, now more curious than threatening. "What's your name?
" She just stared at him. "Do you remember your name? Anything at all?
" he tried, still in Latin.
Daniel patted the bed next to him, and the girl sat down lightly, almost all of her weight still on her feet. The girl blinked, her eyes wide and tremulous, filled with confusion and...grief? He tried some more Latin; perhaps she was simply too frightened to respond verbally. "You're safe now. This is a place of healing. Do you, ah, remember how you got here?
" Still no response. He spoke again, using a word she should recognise even if she didn't speak Latin. "Did you come here through a stargate? The chappa'ai?
" There was a long pause, and then the girl buried her head in Daniel's shoulder and burst into tears.
"Nice one, Danny." said Jack. "Even the girls who don't understand what you're saying get confused."
Daniel just glared, then returned his focus to the sobbing, voiceless girl. He tried an experimental pat on the back, followed by another, and her tears gradually slid down into quiet sniffles.
"What's the verdict on mystery girl, Sam?" Jack asked, starting the briefing on an exquisitely formal note.
"Inconclusive results, sir." She replied.
Jack raised his eyebrows. "I already know she's a mystery. Give me details." Sam opened her mouth, and Jack waved her down. "The summary of the summary, Sam. For us non-technical people."
"Can I use verbs, sir, or would they go over your head?"
"Verbs are fine," Jack parried gently. "Just go easy on the gerunds."
Daniel sighed inwardly and wished the two would kiss already. The tension was driving him batty. Daniel looked across the table to Teal'c, who returned Daniel's glance with the slightest shift in his cheek muscles; Teal'c's equivalent of a conspiratorial wink. They both turned back to Sam's slightly caustic summary.
"Daniel's interactions with her indicate that she's sentient and fairly intelligent, capable of understanding body language and facial expression. Her responses show that she understands the purpose of speech, but can't understand it."
"There are languages that I don't know," Daniel interjected.
"That's where the MRI comes in." Sam continued patiently.
"Oh, I'm glad it was useful. It only took us half an hour to get her to lie still." muttered Jack, conveniently forgetting that he'd just watched and laughed.
Sam brought up an image on the projector, showing a map of a brain, some areas in red and others in blue. "As you can see," she gestured to an area dotted with red. "Some of her long-term memory was damaged in the wormhole, possibly due to the phased transfer interrupting neural transmission. I don't think she remembers any language, possibly nothing of the less vital memories at all."
"Sounds almost...mysterious." Daniel said, carefully straight-faced.
"Indeed." Said Teal'c. "Most mysterious."
Sam's glare was interrupted by Jack.
"So, if we don't know who she is, do we at least know how she got here?"
"Actually, sir, after analysing the readings from the gate, the physicists have a pretty good idea of what occurred. The green lightning that we saw was an uncontrolled wormhole attempting to establish a connection, but without a destination; why you'd do that I have no idea." Sam was gesturing with her hands now, as excited by the physics as she always was. "The wormhole locked on to the stargate, and apparently the girl was inside the wormhole as it did so. So she came out of the gate."
"Wait," Jack said, leaning forward on his elbows. "There's someone out there who can dump people, or objects, out of our gate whenever they feel like it?"
"No. The wormhole that connected was obviously uncontrolled; it could have connected to any of the gates, it just happened to be ours."
"Maybe ours was closer?" Daniel suggested.
Sam shook her head. "Wormholes don't work like that. Our gate happened to be on a similar resonant frequency, but next time it could be any one in the network. If there is a next time. To be honest, sir, this whole thing feels like something went wrong at the other end."
"So, someone's lab experiment went wrong?" asked Daniel.
"We've created a monster!" Jack muttered under his breath, then continued normally. "So, we have what appears to be a normal human girl, with some combat training, dumped through our gate with her long-term memory erased." Jack drummed his fingers on the conference table. "Okay, two important questions. Number one, what's our recommendation to Hammond?"
"With therapy, she might recover some of her memories," Sam said slowly. "But she's seen highly classified technology - the stargate, wherever she's from, maybe even her method of transit."
"So we should let her forget?" Daniel asked, his nose wrinkled in distaste.
"No," said Sam impatiently. "But we should keep her in the base until we know more. We have on-site therapists and psychiatrists, some of them with the necessary clearance."
"Sounds reasonable to me," Jack admitted. "Danny?"
"I don't think we have options, really."
"I concur with DanielJackson," Teal'c rumbled. "And the second?"
"Second what?" Asked Daniel.
"I believe JackO'Neill had two questions."
"Oh, right." said Jack. He grinned at the rest of SG-1. "What do we name her?"
Daniel flashed back to the girl's predatory gaze, and blurted out the obvious answer. "Artemis."
"The goddess of the hunt?" Sam asked curiously.
"Just seemed to fit."
"Artemis it is." Jack said solemnly. "And Daniel, since she seems to have taken to you, you can check in and make sure she doesn't start girlhandling the nurses again."
Sam was partly wrong. Artemis did understand language, but she only reacted to a few words; always violently. They quickly compiled a list of forbidden words and phrases, in an attempt to avoid the blonde girl's tantrums. Willow, Oz, angel, faith, mayor, trick, demon: all of them made Artemis freak out and start hitting things. This was a bad idea, especially with Artemis's inhuman strength. This was only discovered when they left the girl alone in a detention cell (with a fairly comfortable bed), and she broke down the steel-reinforced door, knocked out the corporal in charge of the detention area, and tracked Daniel to his office.
She was most comfortable there, and spent much of her time curled up around an old, dusty book that she had no idea how to read. One of the therapists thought the smell might remind her of an earlier, lost memory; Daniel hoped so. Artemis walked around with an open, curious expression, but underneath it there was confusion. And fear. The girl knew she was supposed to be somewhere else.
Artemis didn't seem to want to hurt anybody, or even to leave the mountain, so they let her wander around the bowels of the facility - trailed by an airman, of course. She ate from the canteen when hungry (Daniel had spent a nerve-wracking afternoon demonstrating that knives were for cutting steak, not pinning people to walls), slept in one of the ready rooms when she was sleepy, watched Daniel whenever he was in his office, and generally lurked about the base. It was an odd arrangement, but as Daniel had said at the meeting, there weren't really a lot of options for dealing with Artemis. As the days and weeks passed, she became a sort of base mascot; mildly curious about everything, she would listen to a rant about malfunctioning circuits or a cheating wife with the same intent gaze; although she might sniff you.
And that was how it went, for the first nine weeks of Artemis's life at Cheyenne Mountain.
Hey, look, another unfinished long-form story! I really need to start more of those! Man, I need to watch more SG-1. Currently I have no idea where this is in the SG timeline (although it's fairly obviously post-S5 for Buffy).