: Unnatural CondescensionAuthor
: Jedi ButtercupRating
: The words are mine; the worlds are not.Summary
: SG-1/B:tVS. It was enough to make Sam wonder if there was anyone left in the universe worthy of awe
. 900 words.Spoilers
: Post-series for SG-1; general BuffyverseNotes
: For the Twistedshorts August Challenge; clearing out an old scrapfile.
Late one evening, after the SGC had switched over to nightshift and she was nearly alone on her floor, Sam Carter sifted through the data preserved in the Odyssey's computer core and guiltily entertained doubts about the fate of the Asgard.
She couldn't help but remember how amazed the team had been to meet them for the first time nine years before; how she'd stood with Daniel in the Hall of Thor's Might and watched as the holographic image of a stereotypical Viking warrior had dissolved into a realtime transmission from the leader of an entire alien fleet.
Thor hadn't even met with them in person, then, just sent word through Gairwyn that like the Cimmerians, they were still 'too young'. After encountering the same attitude from the Nox, they hadn't even batted an eye at that condescension; it had only seemed natural. Of course
they were more advanced than Humanity was. If it hadn't been for Jack's accidental absorption of an Ancient database later that year, there was no telling how long it might have been until they'd met Thor again. Jack's ability to process enough of the information to successfully reach out to them for help had piqued the Asgard's interest, and thoroughly cemented their image as a superior and benevolent race.
Unfortunately, that image had eventually proven to be nothing but illusion. The initial wonder Sam had felt had gradually tarnished over the years, until the grey-skinned aliens had seemed scarcely different to her than any other group of sentient beings. Part of that, she knew, was a side-effect of living the kind of life that included such marvels as walking on other worlds, bending time and space to her will, and casting would-be gods at her feet, none of which she would ever have believed possible back in Basic. She couldn't help but lay some of it at the feet of the Asgard themselves, though, for failing to live up to the reputation they'd inspired.
Of the Four Great Races immortalized in galactic history, three had survived to meet the Tau'ri, and each and every one of them had been a disappointment.
She understood, she really did, that they all thought of the human race as latecomers, primitives in comparison to their long histories and lofty technology. But when they refused to guide, actively neglected, and in some cases actually impeded
the SGC in their efforts to learn, grow, and shelter those less fortunate, they sacrificed any awe or respect that might have been due them. Their inaction had forced the children
they claimed to want to protect into the roles the adults themselves should have taken; and if the results weren't to those adults' liking, what right did they have to complain?
For every friendly, helpful, and usually unavailable Thor there existed a Loki who had run experiments on human beings for decades
, and for every Oma who interfered positively in the lives of lesser beings there was an Anubis doing the same for the other side. And the balance of those two races-- along with the entirety of the apathetic Nox-- chose to simply sit back and watch the fireworks.
And now that the Asgard had
finally passed on their knowledge-- who was to say it actually was the sum total of what they knew? Who was to say they were actually even gone
? Which was more likely: that an entire race would voluntarily agree to commit suicide all at the same time, or that their leadership had decided to toss the Replicator hot potato into the lap of the likeliest up-and-comers and duck out of galactic affairs for awhile to lick their wounds in peace? Sam had her suspicions, and the unexpected lack of truly groundbreaking scientific theories in the database was only encouraging them. Thor had left plenty of practical things for the SGC to immediately implement, but nothing on the order of the science behind the Stargates themselves-- which a contemporary race of the Ancients should
have been able to provide.
Either the information was conditionally locked until Earth proved itself advanced enough to handle it-- or they'd never passed it on at all, and were in fact still preserving it themselves.
It was enough to make a woman wonder if there was anyone left in the universe worthy of awe.
Sam sat back from the screen and rubbed her palms over bleary eyes. "I can't believe he'd do that to us," she said aloud, frustrated and upset by the conclusions she was coming to. "I wish they really had
been gods; at least then they wouldn't have been able to abandon us."
Reality stuttered suddenly, then ground to a halt as a startled Vengeance Demon kibitzing from a dimension called Arashmar broke into a disbelieving grin and whispered, "Done".
Several millennia back along the line, a small grey race looked at themselves, then at each other, realized they had no peers, and began systematically rebalancing the equations of power in their dimension. How could mere tinkertoys ever threaten such as they? From there, it was a small step to deny the Alterans Ascension: what were those careless scientists thinking, trying to join them?
Loki was not the only Asgard with a creative mindset; without any reason to believe lesser species worthy of reaching their level, why protect them? Why not
Thus did the Powers That Be come into being.