Stories and Surprises
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Not Stargate. Not BTVS.
A/N1: Buffy is still in her own dimension.
A/N2: Thanks for all the reviews so far. Please continue - I respond to all reviews.
CHAPTER THREE – Stories and Surprises
Village – Council Room
SG-1 walked into the council room to see a long oaken table with eight chairs on the opposite side facing the room. Separating the table from the rest of the room was an open area and a wooden bar similar to that seen in a courtroom. On the side of the barrier closest to the door were several rows of wooden benches allowing for the presence of spectators during council meetings.
Approaching the bar SG-1 took a seat on the first row. Daniel leaned over to Jack. “I think it might be best if you didn’t say anything. You’ve already angered the council and the Chosen One.”
Jack gave Daniel a sour look and scowled at the front table like a child who had just had his favorite toy taken away.
From a side door seven council members entered the room. They approached the table and stood behind their chairs, leaving the center seat open, and then took their seats. After they were seated Buffy entered the room and took her seat.
In what appeared to be the formalized opening of all council meetings she began to speak. “The Council of Elders established by the will of the people is seated before you. In the dark we seek light and in truth we seek wisdom. All who come before us will be heard. Speak now your purpose before the council.”
Daniel hesitated slightly wondering if this was their signal to speak when Buffy continued. “The council recognizes travelers from afar. Speak now and you will be heard.”
Daniel stood and after looking sharply at Jack, as if warning him not to say anything, began to speak using the same formal patterns adopted by Buffy. “My name is Daniel Jackson and along with my team we travel to the worlds connected by the Stargate seeking knowledge.”
Another council member looked to Buffy as if asking permission to speak; she nodded her head, “Councilman Gerard speaks for the council.”
“What knowledge do you seek? We are a simple folk and have no great knowledge.”
Daniel responded saying, “All knowledge is great. However, you spoke of Ba’al’s presence on this planet. We would request knowledge of this.”
Councilman Gerard nodded in acknowledgment of the question and began to speak with mixture of pride and sadness in his voice.
“For as long as my people can remember we served Ba’al. There is a small Naquadah mine located here on Ravenna. Many of our people died mining this ore on behalf of Ba’al or at the hands of his Jaffa merely because they displeased him. We suffered and saw no end to that suffering.”
Gerard paused looking into eyes of those before him to see if they understood the depth of his people’s suffering.
“Five years ago the Chappa’ai opened and a small girl tumbled through. She was forced to serve in the Jaffa camp. After she had been here several moons she began to speak quietly of rebellion. At first no one listened. We feared what Ba’al would do to us if we resisted. The small girl continued her pleas – she told us of the secrets she’d learned in the Jaffa camp. Where their weapons were located and that she knew how to use them. At first we did not believe her. But all who spent time with this small girl fell to her persuasion. We began to steal weapons and hide them in the village – under floorboards and in barns. Finally after a year we were ready. The weapons were distributed and in secret we learned to use them. A day came when a large number of Jaffa left through the Chappa’ai to serve Ba’al in a battle that was far from Ravenna. That was the day we acted.”
Again Gerard paused and seemed to be thinking of how best to continue his story. Those who knew him however saw only a master storyteller whose craft was honed and his pause was used to draw out the suspense of his listeners.
“In the early morning the girl led us quietly to the Jaffa camp and we attacked. Almost all the Jaffa were killed and only a few escaped back through the Chappa’ai. We were shocked. No one in the village could remember a time when our world had been free from Ba’al. But instead of celebrating the girl told us to prepare. She knew that Ba’al would be back. She was right. It was six months before Jaffa stopped coming through the gate. But as time passed the patrols that came through became smaller and smaller. Until one day none came – and then a year passed. Ba’al’s Jaffa did not return. A year to the day the last Jaffa patrol was defeated and sent back through the gate we held a great celebration. The girl who led us to freedom was named the Chosen One and we have lived in peace since.”
Gerard ended his tale with a satisfied smile on his face and once more took his seat.
Daniel stood again. “Do you know why Ba’al has not returned?”
Buffy spoke, “No we do not. The first large group of Jaffa left to assist in Ba’al’s war against another system lord. I heard this in the camp the day before they departed. Over time the number of Jaffa who returned lessened. I assume it was because the war was going badly for Ba’al and he could not afford to lose soldier’s to our rebellion.”
Daniel pondered the story told by Gerard and Buffy’s theory on Ba’al’s failure to return. While he was thinking Jack jumped in with his own question.
“Gerard said you came through the gate – this isn’t your home world is it?”
“No it is not but that is a discussion for another time. It grows late. This council is closed for the evening.”
Buffy stood and looked at the four strangers before her. These people were from her home world but she did not wish to discuss the possibility of returning home in front of the council.
Buffy wished the remainder of the council good evening and walked across the room to SG-1.
“Do you plan to stay on our planet – or will you return through the gate this night?”
Daniel answered her sensing she wished to speak of her own journey to Ravenna in private. “If it would not be to much trouble we would like to stay here for a few days.”
Buffy smiled at his courtesy. Unlike his companion he was unfailingly polite. “You may stay. My home is nearby and all of you are welcome there. Including the snarky one,” she said laughingly and led them from the building toward her home.
Village – Buffy’s Home
Buffy led the group to a large two-story home. The house was ablaze with welcoming light. As she stepped up on the porch the door was thrown open and out ran a small, blonde curly-headed little girl who appeared to be about two or three years old.
“Momma!” she screamed throwing herself into Buffy’s arms.