Salt of the Earth
You can all thank Cryefourme for help ironing out the wrinkles! This is a bit of a big one and I'm glad that you are all still enjoying my story. Oh! While the symbolic references are accurate the results that I've provided are not. Enjoy the chapter!
This chapter is dedicated to Michaelsuave's Spark of Genius
and its latest chapter! God, I love that story.
Salt of the Earth
Eventually they found Sam and Daniel but neither had any ideas what to do about the hyena aside from a few meditation techniques. Teal'c suggested attempting kel'noreem, which Xander eventually agreed to try. The alternative being Jack and Jon attempting to either dunk him continually in ice melt water for a couple of hours or *shudder* them attempting to give him a massage. Xander opted to try for the kel'noreem in the same room that Sam was working on her device in case there was something in the prophecy that they didn't know about yet that he needed to do to help complete it. Daniel, Jon, Jack, and Teal'c opted to stay in the room using a variety of different excuses. Horuk on the other hand had disappeared just before Xander and Jon were ambushed and no one had seen him since...
"Hey, didn't those weird body snatchers call Xander an Entu'unt Gardian too?" Jack asked suddenly, causing Sam to drop the tools she was holding and Daniel to choke on a bit of half-swallowed air.
"I believe they did, O'Neil." Teal'c inclined his head in acknowledgment.
"So, why didn't you say anything about this legend then?" Jon asked curiously.
"I am not a teller of tales. I do not know all of the tales nor am I privledged enough to share them unless they are relevant to the situation at hand. Nor is my memory perfect." Teal'c explained. "At the time I had my suspicions and I was still uncertain if young Alexander was indeed a Guardian. Now, I am not."
"Ooookay." Jon said cautiously.
"Moving on." Jack said, changing the subject. "Is that doohicky going to work? Or do we need to try and get something more?"
"Well, we're still waiting on a few pieces from the Tok'ra," Sam explained. "but it might not be enough. I need a focus. Something better than the crystals that the Goa'uld use in their equipment. I'm just not sure what that focus would be."
"I know we aren't talking magic or mystical power or anything like that but have you tried blood?" Xander asked, never moving from his meditation pose on the floor a few feet away, eyes closed.
"Why would blood work?" Jon asked baffled.
"Blood has been used as a symbol of many different things in many different cultures over the centuries. Mostly, from what I can remember, it has stood for life, power, love, and the essence of whoever or whatever it was taken from." Daniel explained.
Daniel's explanation startled Xander into opening his eyes and looking over at his father, mouth open.
"How do you know that?" Xander demanded.
"Basic symbology." Daniel admitted. "You had to know what symbols stood for what before you can even start trying to figure out what is being said or done. If you fail on symbolism in archeology, you might as well drop out or you might just find yourself, shall we say encouraged? to change majors."
Jack stared at his friend and co-parent. "Sometimes you scare me, space-monkey. Makes me glad I didn't go into accademia."
Jon swats his older self. "You used a big word, we aren't supposed to use them around peoples much less admit that we thought about teaching." Jon accused.
Jack stared at his clone for a second. Shook himself and stated, "Right, um rock hard, tree pretty."
"No. No! You are not going back to that, not after what we just heard." Daniel practically snarled.
"You knew we weren't dumb. Why are you surprised?" Jon pointed out.
"He's got a point." Sam admitted hesitantly. "I mean the courses you have to pass just to be let near the kind of equipment we operate on a regular basis... The calculations we have to do in split seconds aren't just look, point, and press the button they require actual math, high level math."
Jack sighed. "Alright, alright. You wanna know why we don't act smart?"
"Yes!" Daniel said angrily.
"Its to annoy you." Jon drawled.
"It works, dosen't it?" Jack asked smugly.
"JACK!" Daniel and Sam shouted, as Teal'c merely raised his eyebrows in question.
"Oh fer cryin out loud!" Jack said in exasperation as his clone just smirked next to him as he explained. "Its the same reason that Xander doesn't let anyone see past his clown act or Daniel doesn't let the snakes see he hates whatever the hell they're doing but still trying to understand all the pieces from all sides. Its a defense mechanism and a hunting blind. When we decide to blindside the enemy they're blindsided."
"We understand alot of what goes on around us that we pretend not to but its safer and frankly more fun to let everyone think that we have no clue what's going on." Jon explained.
"That and the techno watsits and dodads are BORING
," Jack admitted then perked up. "unless we get to fly them or they blow up."
"And if they blow up, we get to be the ones to blow them up." Jon added smugly.
"How do you think I managed to stay alive on the Hellmouth for so long?" Xander said quietly.
"By ducking a lot." Jack said mildly.
"Jack, Xander..." Daniel said helplessly.
"Blood!" Sam said suddenly, and everyone looked at her, uncomprehending. "Naquadah laced blood. Anyone who's been a host to a symbiote will have Naquadah laced blood and we can use the Naquadah in the blood as the main focus with the blood its self acting as a sort of protective coolant. As long as we keep it relatively cold it should conduct the current with enough resistance to reduce, even avoid the natural power surges being a problem. The best thing to use would be a living person with Naquada laced blood but it would kill whoever was acting as a focus. A pint and a half of the blood on its own would probably last for half an hour before becoming unusable and then the device would become unstable. I'll have to install a special protocol that monitors the blood shutting it down when the blood's, well freshness, becomes a problem."
"The mystical significance from that much blood, willingly given, means that its going to pack quite the punch." Xander told her grimly. "We'll need to add some sort of anchor to the mix."
"I'm still not quite sold on the whole magic being real bit." Sam admitted. "Adara likes it though and has been reviewing my memories of that spell you did to keep Raylin and the salvaged equipment safe. For some reason she's also facinated by that weird dream we all had when we met that hyena."
"Lessee..." Xander said as he scratched his head thinking. "Um, what's the best way to explain magic? Well its an energy form, one that simple or hard to tap depending on your bloodlines and natural disposition toward it. In a way it connects really well with string theory but its almost as if its a different type of a base form of energy than what most things use to stay put together. Now that I think about it its almost as if its more of a side-effect of things just living and existing. Life generates power in one form or another just to exist. If you follow that logically, especially knowing about radiation, then why wouldn't it pool and flow any excess energy that's being generated by whatever's alive? Since energy is kinda hard to destroy and usually just changes its form or disappates, why wouldn't we naturally use at least some of the latent energy that's produced? It would be a survival edge for starters and there have to be some types of energy we just plain don't know about and can't detect with our current technology. I bet if we could analyze the major energy pools and flows of a planet we'd find almost a type of brain pattern or neural network making the planet its self very alive. Hey! That means that whenever Willow calls on Gaia or Mother Earth she would actually be talking to the planet and it would actually be able to listen..." Xander trailed off in contemplation of the idea of Earth actually being alive while his teammates sat stock still in shock over his little lecture on the definition of magic.
"My head hurts." Jon complained after a few moments of silence.
"I know what you mean little buddy." Jack sympathised. "Why don't we just go back to the simple definition of Magic Is Real
and leave it at that?"
"The concept is intriuging, however there is little time if we are to save your planet, O'Neil." Teal'c informed them solemnly bringing them back to the matter at hand.
"I think that was close enough to a reasonably scientific explanation for me to work with." Sam admitted. "Thank you Xander."
"My pleasure." Xander said with a slight half bow. "Now for the magical ground to help balance the blood, we can use something made from plants or we can use a stone or crystal. Which would you prefer?"
"Um, I'm not sure..." Sam said hesitantly while exchanging a startled glance with Jack, Jon, and Daniel as Teal'c stood by passively.
"Well, for anything organic you'd probably have to set the computer to monitor it at the same time as the blood but for stones you'd have to switch them out from time to time and purify them if this takes awhile to work, and then there's the quality of the stones too. You have to have good quality stones and crystals or they wont do what they're supposed to and have a nasty habit of blowing up or shattering when there's too much power running through and around them." Xander calmly informed them.
Sam eyes lit up gold showing that Adara was in the drivers seat for the moment. "Can we hear both?" She asked almost eagerly, before allowing her golden glow to fade away leaving a slightly annoyed if intriuged Sam back in control.
"Sure." Xander smiled at her. "For the organic or plant stuff it would probably be best to use a mix of Rowan, Sagebrush, and Wood Sorrel but we could probably get away with just using Rowan and White Sandalwood crafted together. For the stones, well we could probably just get away with using a big chunk of rock salt." He grinned.
"Why those plants and why salt?" Daniel asked, intriugied.
"First there isn't really a plant specifically for grounding. There are some associated with the element of earth and some which have to do with similar intent but most people just use rocks and crystals for their anchor's or grounds. Its more closely related to the planet or something. The reason I suggest those mixes of plants are because of the properties of the plants and how some of them overlap. Most of what I suggested has a healing or protection ability of some type and I tried picking stuff that has an established connection with earth without overpowering what we want done. For instance, Sandalwood is for: Protection, Wishes, Healing, Exorcism, and Spirituality; While Rowan is for: Psychic Powers, Healing, Power, Success, and Protection. From these two plants we would use the Protection, Healing, Success, Wishes, and Power aspects, if we could get it to focus and balance right." Xander explained. "For salt its a little easier since we'd only be adding one element to the bowl of blood and there's already salt there. On top of that Salt its self stands for: Purification, Protection, Grounding, and Money. Money would be the only aspect we wouldn't be able to or really want to trigger this way."
"Caaarrterrrr, make him stop. He's making my head hurt again." Jack whined.
Jon shook his head. "Scary, dude. Really really scary." He told his son gravely.
"I think we'll just go with Salt." Daniel told Xander. "Its easier to find and there's no telling what properties the plants would have if they weren't actually grown on earth for the past couple hundred or thousand generations."
Xander nodded. "Good choice. Easier to link to the blood to since there's already a very small natural amount in blood any way."
"Is there anything special we need to do to it?" Daniel asked.
"Nope." Xander grinned. "Just plop it in the blood and turn on Sam's doohicky. It isn't like we're trying anything complex, just visualize a link to the ground beneath the machine and a general idea of what else you want protected as part of the whole thing and let 'er rip."
"Ooookay. I think we can do that. We've done crazier things before." Sam said with a shrug. "Just let me build that part and we're good to go."
They helped her build the rest of it, which mostly consisted of finding all of the pieces she needed. 12 hours later everything was set and they were ready to turn it on and see if it brought earth back...
Sam met each of their gazes, looking for and recieving support, before she took a breath and dropped the lump of rock salt into the small container of blood and turned it on. As soon as current was applied the salt was drawn to the exact center of the blood and lines of light started forming a litteral energy lattice within the blood, ricochetting all over the container making it glow an almost delicate pink, almost edging toward pure white. The device started a loud whine, straining to do what it had been designed for then there was a light *pop* before it disappeared, leaving behind a blood read ruby on the platform where it had sat, shaped identically to the lump of rock salt they had added to container of blood.
"That's not possible." Sam said in shock.
"That's magic for you, or in this case magic mixed inexpertly with tech. You never know what you're going to get when you improvise." Xander shrugged.
"Carter? Why don't we phone home and see if home is back where it belongs? We can worry about the implications later." Jack suggested after boggling at the ruby for another few moments.
"No need." Ares said from behind them with a grin, making them all jump. "I just thought you'd all like to know that you passed the test and got earth put back where it belongs. I've gotten special permission to send you straight to the gateroom and to tell you that the prophecies all worked themselves out, for now..."
With that Ares waved his hand and they were all back on the ramp upto the gate staring at some very startled Marines. They might not have gotten all of the answers to everything, or even understood what had happened, but for now it didn't matter. They were home...The End
Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Suggestions? I'm willing to consider a sequel if there are enough votes for one, or musy and murphy start hammering on my brain again....