Land of Make-Believe
AN: Thank you for everyone making sympathtic noises (or just kicking
my butt) for whining about the last chapter. I'm moving, tomorrow
actually, but its good because I detest packing so I wrote this
chapter instead. Of course now I'm moving and still have to pack,
but ya'll benefited so, at least someone is happy. And since you
guys outnumber even my moving boxes, that means I pleased the
majority. Theoretically anyway...
*************** Trick-Or-Treat: Chapter Nineteen **************
Xander sat and stared at the closed door to the room that was more
and more starting to resemble a prison. He stared at the door
It stayed closed.
"Fucking military," he muttered mutinously. Leave it to them to
watch him dust a VAMPIRE in their infirmary and then proceed to
And he STILL didn't know if Dr. Frasier was okay. He missed
Jack sighed as he passed by Daniel's closed door and noticed the
light on. He checked his watch and sighed again, making sure to add
a little bit of suffering to the sound. Leave it to Daniel to forget
about the whole sleeping thing. Of course, he had been inexplicably
excited about Mailer's little disappearance act on the security
Jack, unlike his little insomniac friend, was tired. Old, ahem 'well
aged', and tired- ready to sleep. The Doc was enough out of it to
put further tests on Xander on hold for the time being. The
infirmary staff was running around like chickens with their heads
cut off trying to compensate, so they wouldn't be any help. The
General wanted to go ahead and let Anise grope Xander some. Things
were happening outside their realm of understanding again and that
always tended to make their dearly beloved Commander pissy. The
General wanted to know what was going on and he wanted to know NOW.
The groping would take place bright and early in the morning. Jack
checked his watch again, blinking bleary eyes. And, well, morning
was coming closer and closer. Jack wanted to sleep, but he wanted
to make sure Daniel would get some sleep too. One of these days he
really was going to make the recommendation to Hammond that the SGC
should get Daniel a nanny.
He never took his naps otherwise.
Daniel had books spread out on every available surface in his office,
literally. He had been researching for hours upon hours and had come
to one, undeniable conclusion. Sergeant Mailer had been turned into
a Vampire. Not a real Vampire of course. If Vampires really were
demons, Daniel would eat his bandanna and call the Goa'ulds gods.
But just because Vampires weren't demons didn't mean that they
weren't something else, something equally tangible.
He had never really made a deep study into the occult, especially
into the occult originating from Europe and the Americas, where
Vampirism seemed to be centered. But even though he hadn't, that
didn't mean that others had ignored it.
There were thousands, millions of texts, old texts, texts in
languages even HE hadn't studied. It was exciting in a way to
realize that there was so much about his own culture that he was
unaware of. So much he still needed to know if he was going to
understand the Mailer puzzle.
And Daniel knew exactly who to call.
He shuffled some papers around on his desk before he managed to find
the post-it note with a name and telephone number written on it. In
all his research one name kept popping up as an expert on demonology,
mythology, and occult studies. One name that belonged to someone
still breathing. Experts in the field tended to have a rather short
lifespan for some reason, Daniel had discovered.
But a Mr. Rupert Giles was still very much of the living and after
Daniel had given the name to the base's computer whizzes and let them
work their magic, he had Mr. Giles telephone number. It took him
another few minutes of shuffling to find the phone, though Daniel
really didn't remember putting it under his desk, before he could
The phone took a moment to connect and rang five times before someone
picked up. Someone who was probably not Mr. Giles. "Hello?" asked a
Daniel frowned and slid his glasses further up his nose. "Umm, yes,
is a Mr. Giles home?"
He could almost hear the perky voice take on a slightly suspicious
air as the woman replied, "Can I ask who's calling?"
"Yes, I'm a Dr. Jackson. I was doing some research in Mr. Giles's
field and he seemed to be the most well known expert. I was hoping
that he might have a few moments to answer several questions I had..."
There was a disgruntled voice in the background, "Buffy, who on Earth
you talking to on that infernal machine because I could REALLY use
some help over here!"
"Oh, yeah, he's probably free for a few minutes. Hang on."
Daniel heard the woman's hand muffle the receiver on the phone but her
voice was still clear as she answered the man, "Hold on Giles. Geeze
you'd think you had never gone one-on-one with a..." Her voice cut
off and there was the definite sound of metal hitting something soft.
A distant scream had Daniel raising his eyebrows. Maybe he had
called at a bad time...
"Hello?" panted a very cross, very male, distinctly British voice.
Daniel, who felt very much out of his social depth, simply managed a
rather inelegant, "Hi."
"Can I help you?" The somewhat befuddled archaeologist was about to
respond when he was cut off. "One moment please." A hand clearly
muffled the phone but Daniel could still hear the tail end of the
British man's curt statement. "Buffy, swing HIGHER. It is almost
seven feet high..."
Seven feet? Buffy?! Poor woman.
"I'm sorry Mr...?"
"Daniel, Daniel Jackson, Dr. Daniel Jackson. Are you Mr. Giles?" he
asked, almost desperately.
A hint of humor shaded the other man's voice. "Yes Daniel, Daniel
Jackson, Dr. Daniel Jackson, I am Rupert Giles. May I help you?"
Daniel winced as there was a knock at his door. He didn't answer
but that didn't stop Jack from strolling right in, looking very
pleased with himself. The archaeologist glared at the Colonel who
grinned right back but seemed content to let him finish his phone
call. "Yes, I'm sorry, but I was doing some research into one of
your specialties and wanted clarification on a few of the theories
I have run across."
The voice was definitely amused now as Mr. Giles asked, "And which
field would that be, Dr. Jackson? Bloody hell, DUCK next time
Buffy! I'm terribly sorry Dr. Jackson. I'm in the middle of, a,
uhh training exercise at a gym."
Ah-huh, sure, that was totally believable if... "Jack!" Daniel
screeched, "Put those rocks down, they're evidence of early Greek
influence on Mongolian tribes in Southern China and are NOT to be
used for juggling of all things!"
Daniel winced again. "Please forgive my rudeness, Mr. Giles. One of
my colleagues doesn't quite have the proper respect for rare and
PRICELESS artifacts." Jack contrived to look innocent and went back
to prowling Daniel's cluttered office.
Mr. Giles chuckled. "Believe me," he said empathically, "I quite
understand. Now how can I help you again?"
"I was doing research on Vampires," Daniel replied bluntly.
"Yes, what would you like me to clarify?"
Okay, this next part was tricky. He wanted an expert's honest
opinion, but he also didn't want the man to think he was insane.
Though, depending on the mission of the day, he sometimes was. "I
was wondering if you believed that Vampires, in some shape or form,
actually existed or do exist."
Daniel's eyes bugged out when he happened to glance up and see Jack
poking a very fragile and EQUALLY priceless artifact that Daniel had
uncovered on a dig years ago in Giza. "Jack!"
Mr. Giles cursed quite vividly into the receiver. "I'm terribly
sorry, Dr. Jackson, but I really do have to go. Let me just say this
though, there's a shred of truth to every myth in my experience, and
sometimes there's more fact and less myth than you are led to
believe. And if I may ask, how did you receive this number, its
"Oh," Daniel replied sheepishly while his mind raced around the
gentle confirmation of his theories, "I work with the Air Force.
Thank you for your time."
He hung up before he could hear Mr. Rupert Giles's spluttering
Giles stared at his dratted cell phone in consternation and decided
that he and Buffy needed to have another little talk about secrecy.
Right after she defeated the seven-foot tall Torcha demon they had
come across on their way to the Zimbabwe airport. Torcha demons
always had to cause trouble...
The Watcher sighed as Buffy darted away from one clawed hand and
tripped over a goat. There was something to be said for fighting in
the States- livestock was usually not a consideration in battle.
"Roll!" he shouted to his charge, who actually complied and,
pocketing the cell phone, grabbed his staff before wading back into
Umm, okay. Daniel had weird friends. "What was that all about?"
"Vampires." Daniel beamed. Jack tried not to stare too hard.
"Vampires?" he echoed incredulously.
Daniel beamed brighter. He looked like a light bulb. A freaking
archaeological light bulb. "Well not REAL Vampires, of course," he
added thoughtfully, as a bright, blindingly happy afterthought.
"Of course not," Jack agreed faintly, "not REAL Vampires."
Daniel's bulb switched off as he scowled suddenly. "Are you making
fun of me?"
Jack, as a rule, was never lost in a conversation unless it involved
a woman's body image, or Daniel Jackson. "Are you telling me that
Sergeant Mailer was a make-believe Vampire?"
The younger man snorted, sounding frighteningly like Jack in the
process. They really had been spending too much off time together.
Jack, as much as he loved himself, did not need another person
running around with HIS bad manners. "Please, Jack, I'm trying to
have a serious conversation with you here."
He shook his head, bewildered. "Believe it or not, Danny, I am
"Okay, just listen for a minute..." He opened his mouth to interrupt
and Daniel glared fiercely at him. "Mouth closed." Jack shut it
with an audible snap. "All right, ancient Egyptians believed that
the Goa'uld were their gods, right?" Jack considered the likelihood
of that being a trick question before slowly opening his mouth to
agree. "No talking." Jack shook his head in agreement instead.
"But we now know that the Goa'uld weren't really gods." Daniel
paused to breathe and Jack nodded again, just to be safe. "Well,
what if Vampires, the myths of Vampires, are based in obscured fact
like the Goa'uld? What if Vampires themselves were, ARE, real? Not
actual demons, but something else. Something that exists!"
Jack thought that through. Unfortunately, he must have been
spending too much time with Daniel because it almost made sense.
"Are you saying that Vampires are aliens?"
Daniel's brow furrowed. "See, that's where it gets unclear.
Vampires are Earth mythology. We have yet to encounter any tales
containing them off-world, but the symptoms Sergeant Mailer had
align with symptoms of someone who is a Vampire- the fangs, the need
for blood, increased strength and speed..."
"Lack of a pulse?" Jack added sweetly.
Daniel ignored him and finished with, "...turning to ash when a
wooden stake is put through his heart. And he was turned into one,
a Vampire if you will, off-world, so that suggests that Vampires
may not originate from Earth at all."
"The Scourge of the Goa'uld."
Daniel blinked at him as his mind skidded and took a sharp detour to
catch up with Jack's. "Holy shit..." the archaeologist whispered.
Jack's mind concurred, smugly before Daniel took his idea and ran
with it. "What if the Scourge of the Goa'uld is Vampirism? Vampires
are in some of Earth's oldest mythology, what if they predate the
Goa'uld arrival on our world?"
"Not aliens," Jack agreed softly.
"NOT aliens!" Daniel whooped. Actually whooped. Jack was so proud.
"And, and..." Daniel was almost panting with excitement, "what if
the Goa'uld are somehow incompatible with Vampires? I mean, near
as I can tell, Vampirism has some sort of parasitical relationship
with humanity and the Goa'uld would see Vampires as direct rivals
for hosts. The writings on Harukna said that Horaka forsake Ra, the
sun, and Vampires..."
"Go poof in sunlight." At Daniel's surprised glance Jack held up
his hands. "Hey, I watch movies and Hollywood doesn't ALWAYS get
Daniel barreled on. "Ra and the other Goa'uld exported millions of
people all across the galaxy for slave colonies. But why? What if
it was because of Vampires? If Vampires are an Earthen anomaly then
to keep their supply of hosts secure it would only make sense for the
Goa'uld to remove humans from Earth. This, this one bit of
information could totally rewrite what WE, the SGC, know about our
own world! When Horaka was founded Ra must have accidentally
transported an infected human... You should pretend to be smart
more often, Jack, it suits you."
He grinned unrepentantly at the younger man. "Nah, brains create
the expectation of ideas. I'm much happier pleasantly surprising
people on occasion."
"Ass," Daniel muttered fondly. He lost himself in thought again
before blue eyes opened wide. "Wow, what if the central focus of
the sun in early civilizations isn't strictly related to the turning
of the seasons and necessity of life but rather a statement against
Vampirism? I mean think about it, how much more antithetical could
Ra have gotten when choosing a name if mere sunlight causes umm,
"Only thing is, why aren't these Vampires still around? I mean, you
think someone would have noticed if Vampires, whatever they really
are, were going around biting people."
"What if they do still exist, and only certain people know?"
Jack was starting to get a bad feeling. Daniel had a gleam in his
eye that the leader of SG-1 knew ALL too well. "Daniel?" he asked
"Xander seemed to know EXACTLY what to do with Sergeant Mailer."
Oh yeah, they were all screwed. "Daniel..." he tried again but their
resident archaeologist was already scooping up his notes, face set
"I think it's high time that I have my OWN little chat with Xander.
I want to know what he knows about Vampires."
"Daniel its four-thirty in the morning. No one knows ANYTHING at
four-thirty in the morning."
The younger man blinked owlishly and checked his watch, looking
faintly surprised. "Well, lookee there." He proceeded towards
Level 27 without another word and Jack, with another sigh, resignedly