This is the Summer 2006 Fic-a-thon for Allyndra. As close to the request as I could get, but I have an odd sense of humour so it may not be Funny. Also, my first real fic, and I know it turned out a bit more talking than I intended so constructive criticism (or praise!) will definitely be read and appreciated.
Characters: Xander, Oz, Lorne
Genres: Stargate SG-1, Smallville, Firefly
Three things in fic: humor, chocolate, weapons (any kind)
Three thing I don't want: Character bashing, major angst (a little is
Disclaimer: Naturally, none of these characters are mine, nor am I making any profit off the story. The idea of Oz being able to sense Jaffa is one pretty common in fandom, and I am using it here.
Teal’c hastily released his zat’nik’tel as streaks of electric current ran up it. He ducked down to scoop up his fallen staff weapon, dropped when he had dived behind some covering rocks near the temple. Beside him, Captain Samantha Carter quickly let off a few rounds from her pistol before leaping for cover just inside the doorway.
“Daniel, we’ve got to go now!” Colonel Jack O’Neill yelled, preparing to cover their retreat back to the Stargate.
“I know, I’m going, just let me get th….”
“No time! Get back to the ‘gate and dial!”
Daniel grabbed the book he had been examining before running at top speed back to the DHD, scrambling to dial as fast as he could. The wormhole opened, and the code was transmitted only a minute before the team dove through one after another. As soon as O’Neill, the last one through, hit the ramp the iris closed behind him, only letting through a couple of staff blasts to hit the wall behind them.
“Is everyone alright?” asked General Hammond, trying to see any possible injuries from beyond the glass barrier overlooking the room.
“Yeah, we’re fine sir,” said Jack, “just a little banged up from the hard landing. ”
Hammond nodded, looking relieved, as he said, “report to Doctor Fraiser immediately, debriefing in one hour.”
Hammond examined the tired-looking group calmly, before taking a breath. “Now, does someone want to tell me what the hell happened? This was supposed to be an abandoned world.”
Teal’c gravely tilted his head in assent. “Indeed. I have never heard of any Goa’uld using this planet as a base, nor of there being any human slaves present.”
Pausing for a moment to let the implications sink in, Hammond asked, “Did we at least find something of value on the planet to indicate exactly why the Goa’uld would be there in the first place?”
Daniel tapped the book sitting on the table gently, brushing a little dirt encrusted on the binding as he did. “The Stargate was in a temple of some sort, but the layout was really strange. It wasn’t similar to any Egyptian temple I’ve ever seen, or Goa’uld or anything else for that matter. I found this book in some sort of preserving cage, which explains why it’s in such good shape.”
Everyone looked at the book with interest for a moment before Jack spoke up. “Well for crying out loud, what does it say?”
“Well…I’m not sure,” Daniel said reluctantly, looking anywhere but at his team leader.
“What do you mean you’re not sure, Dr. Jackson?” Hammond asked.
“Well, I’ve looked through the entire book and other than what you see on the cover, the pages seem to be…blank. There’s no writing anywhere else on the book.”
Sam gestured at Daniel to give her the book, quickly flipping through the pages. “He’s right! There’s nothing in it.” She paused for a breath. “General, with your permission I’d like to take this down to the lab. There might be some form of invisible ink used here, and we may be able to bring it out using some of the equipment.”
Hammond considered for a minute before nodding. “Just try not to damage it, alright Captain?”
Sam nodded, looking a little irritated at the idea she might harm the book. “Yes sir.”
Hammond looked over the group that was once again situated around the briefing room table. O’Neill and Teal’c looked the same as always, although Jack looked a little more bored than usual. The other two, however, looked as though they had spent all night pouring over an unusually difficult puzzle. “So, Captain Carter, Dr. Jackson. Still no progress yet?”
Sam shook her head, frustrated. “No sir. We’ve tried everything I’ve ever heard of, from light bulbs to ammonia fumes to sodium carbonate and iodide. We’ve even tried a few of the artefacts from planet P3R-233, but the book’s pages are still completely blank.”
Hammond turned to Jackson. “And you’re sure this book does have writing in it that we just haven’t found yet?”
Daniel nodded, also frustrated. “It would make no sense for the book to be blank, yet clearly protected against the elements. They put so much effort into preserving it that it was the only book left there, and they wouldn’t have done that if it wasn’t important to them.”
Hammond sighed, looking around the table again. Daniel also looked around, to see if anyone had any other ideas on what could be done. When no one volunteered, he again raised his voice. “…General? I might know someone who can help us though.”
When he saw everyone’s attention was back on him, Daniel said “When I was doing some research on my theory, there was a curator at the British Museum who could work magic on the really old books that needed to be restored before you could even touch them. He…well, he didn’t agree with my thesis, but compared to most he was pretty supportive of my ideas.”
General Hammond thought it over, and then asked for the curator’s name. “Giles, it was Dr. Rupert Giles,” Daniel answered. “I haven’t spoken to him in years, barely remembered his name, but when Sam was trying the last experiments I managed to track him down.”
“So where is he now?” asked Jack, more animated now that he might be able to contribute.
“He relocated a few years ago to a small town in Sunnydale, California. He’s the high school librarian.”
“High school librarian?” Sam and Jack asked in chorus. After a glance exchanged, Sam went on. “Daniel, what kind of man goes from being a curator at the British Museum to a high school librarian in another country?!”
Daniel smiled weakly, “Maybe he wanted more sun?”
Hammond sighed, and then nodded. “Alright son, use the phone in my office to give him a call. Just ask him if he’s heard of the book or has any ideas of how to reveal the writing.”
Daniel shot him an insulted look before walking over to the phone. Pulling a piece of paper out of his pocket, he dialled the number on it slowly, double-checking each number. “Hi, is this Dr. Rupert Giles? …Oh great, this is Dr. Daniel Jackson. You might remember me from the Brit…yeah. Anyway, I’ve come across a bit of a puzzle and I thought you might be able to help me. I found a book that’s bound in some sort of leather, and it’s old….Really old…Yeah, the problem is that on the cover is a title, but there are no words inside the book. Actually, there’s nothing inside the book but blank pages….Well, the title is in some variant of Latin, it says something about the “touched of the Goddess”, or maybe the “Goddess-touched” or something like that…Uh huh…right…You have? That’s great!…What do you mean?…Oh. Uh, sure. 10 minutes? Thanks a lot Dr. Giles, I really appreciate the help.”
He hung up the phone and walked back to the briefing room, looking a little confused. “He’s heard of the book, or something similar to it.”
“And?” prodded Jack.
“He said he didn’t remember exactly, but that only certain people, these Goddess-touched, could actually read the book.”
“And what exactly is a Goddess-touched, Dr. Jackson?” asked the General.
Daniel paused, before answering, “he wasn’t entirely sure on that either. He said he was going to look something up, and that I should call him in about 10 minutes.”
Five minutes later
“Jack, stop flicking paper bits at me! It’s only ten minutes!”
Five minutes later
“Hi, Dr. Giles? Did you find anything?…Oh, you did?…Right, and he’s close?…What was the address?…Ok great. Thank you so much for everything, Dr. Giles. Goodbye.”
After ending the call Daniel jotted down a few notes on a piece of paper before going back to the group. “He said that no one’s ever scientifically explained who is “Goddess-touched” and who isn’t, but that he did know someone who qualified. Apparently, a Daniel Osborne is pretty close anyway doing some travelling, and agreed to meet us to look at the book.”
“Danny, this Osborne guy isn’t going to have the security clearance to look at us, much less the book!” Jack said firmly.
“But Jack! If we don’t let him look at it, we’ll never find out what these people thought so important they preserved it for countless centuries!” begged Daniel.
With both his second in command and his head linguist looking at him with puppy dog eyes, Hammond sighed. “Agreed, Dr. Jackson. If we don’t meet him, we might never learn the contents of that book. I’ll talk to the President myself and clear it with him. I’m sure I don’t have to remind you what is acceptable for the public’s ears, so unless you hear differently, SG-1, you have a go.”
Jack looked around the half-empty café, noting the Goth couple eating a massive chocolate cake over in one corner and enjoying it tremendously, if their faces were anything to go by. There was also an older lady sitting in the sun sipping a cup of coffee, a group of rowdy twenty-somethings, and a quiet guy chatting with a waitress. “Danny, remind me why we’re sitting in a coffee shop in the middle of Colorado Springs waiting for some punk teenager?”
Daniel sighed, as the question was asked for the third time in as many minutes. The rest of the team just patiently looked around, pretending to ignore the pair. Their contact was about 15 minutes late, and their team leader was getting a little impatient waiting for him.
Out of the corner of his eye, O’Neill noticed the quit guy getting up and walking over in their direction. He stopped in front of their table, quickly drawing the attention of the rest of the team. “Whose Dr. Jackson?”
Daniel quickly answered, “I am. These are my friends Jack, Sam, and... Murray. You must be Daniel Osborne”.
Oz nodded, saying “Oz. You have the book?”
Daniel quickly pulled it out, and Oz slid into the spare seat next to him to look at it. He flipped open the cover, and started to look at it.
“Can you read it?” Asked Daniel excitedly. “Is there any writing?”
Oz flipped the page, nodding slightly in response. “Giles knows the language. He taught me some.”
Daniel slipped forward in his seat, practically bouncing with excitement. “What does it say? Can you tell anything of what it’s about?”
Oz frowned in concentration, stopping at one page in particular just a little ways into the book. Everyone’s attention was sharply on him as he read, causing him to look up. “Index.”
A few minutes later he finally stopped reading. “Where’d you get this?” he asked.
Jack silenced Daniel with a glare, only saying “Somewhere far away. Look, ‘Oz’, we just need to know if it’s important.”
Oz nodded, returning his concentration to the book. “This is rough, but it starts with Chapter One: ‘Ten ways to remove warts using the sap of the sacred tree.’ Chapter Two: ‘Meditations on the beauty of the starts.’ Chapter Three: ‘Drawing down the moon’.”
Jack snorted in disbelief. “You mean the book’s full of some sort of New Age crap?”
“Just healing and meditation stuff,” agreed Oz.
“Nothing about an enemy, or a weapon, or possession or anything like that?” asked Daniel a little desperately, thinking of his promise to remove the Goa’uld from his wife.
“What exactly is it that makes you able to read the book? I mean, what if we want a second opinion?” Jack’s tone only hinted at the true level of suspicion he felt.
Oz, leaning back in his chair, looked at him for a minute before replying. “I’ll tell you if you tell me who he
,” he gestured to Teal’c, disguised in his usual cap, “really is.”
Jack didn’t let an iota of shock cross his face, keeping his voice at a reasonable surprised level as he returned, “What are you talking about? He
is Murray. We told you that.”
Oz nodded silently, his face a study of disbelief to someone with practice at reading Teal’c expressions. Looking at the four people sitting around the table, Oz gauged the likelihood of their explaining. Estimating the odds at approximately zero, Oz stood up and prepared to leave.
Daniel grabbed his arm. “Look, Oz, this is very important. We really need to have that book translated completely just in case it has any information we need. To do that, we need to know who is ‘Goddess-touched.’”
Jack lazily blinked his eyes a little and stretched back in his chair. “Does it have anything to do with the sealed military record we found?”
Oz just smirked a little. “If you’re serious, get Giles clearance. Tell him everything, he’ll explain ‘Goddess-touched.’” Looking at their serious faces he relented a little, continuing, “Look. I have a friend in the military I met in Tibet. Here’s his number. If you convince him, he can help you out.” With that, Oz turned around and left the café, ready to continue his travels.