Series: Lost Is Flame
Category: First Time, Hurt/Comfort, Angst,
Spoilers: All seasons.
Summary: Lost in the inferno, hope arrives for the galaxy.
SG-1 stepped through the ‘gate onto P2Z-931. The natives of the planet met them at the ‘gate. SG-1 was treated nicely, and they were even given a tour of their capital city. Every thing was fine until they arrived at the center of the town. Daniel saw something in the middle of the town circle. It was very familiar to him.
“Mitchell, Sam, Teal’c we need to leave now,” Daniel said. His eyes never left the stone Alter where he and Vala had almost been burnt.
“Jackson, what’s wrong?” Mitchell asked. As he looked at what Daniel was looking at. The Alter wasn’t anything special. It looked like something from the past that was used to hold people who were in trouble.
“That is an Ori Alter. It’s the one Vala was burned at, and I was almost burnt at,” Daniel said. SG-1 turned to leave but stopped when the villagers surrounded them. Two of the larger villagers grabbed Daniel to stripped him of his weapons. The rest of SG-1 was also stripped before they could do anything. There were just too many villagers. Daniel was dragged to the Alter.
“Mitchell! Sam! Teal’c! No. Stay there. Don’t get yourselves killed,” Daniel yelled as he was chained to the Ori Alter. The rest of SG-1 was held back from their teammate by a group of followers. They were forced to watch as the fire slowly made its way towards Daniel. When the first flame touched Daniel, the fire took on a life of its own. Becoming a huge inferno that engulfed Daniel whole, no sound came from within the fire. Daniel never screamed or even tried to fight to get away from the bonds holding him there. He never moved or opened his mouth. It was almost as if he was not there. As if the body no longer held Daniel Jackson in it. As if it was just a shell to feed the inferno and satisfy it.
“No!” Sam cried out, fighting her captors. A minute later, the followers released SG-1 and walked away. They didn’t need to stay around. SG-1 couldn’t save Daniel. They stood on that spot until the fire died down to nothing and all that was left of Daniel was ashes. All three remaining members of SG-1 were in shock. They stood staring at what was left of their friend until the wind had blown the ashes away. Only then did SG-1 turn toward the ‘gate and made to leave.
When they neared the ‘gate a storm start on the planet a giant cloud covered the sky and a great wind-swept over the city. The storm on the planet went unnoticed by what was left of SG-1, but the inhabitants of P2Z-931 noticed, and they feared. After SG-1 had left, the cloud dumped its water on the ground a washed away everything. The inhabitants had only done as their gods had commanded but this seemed to mean that the gods were angry, until the clouds cleared and the sun shone. They decided that the gods must have used the storm to wash the ashes of the unclean away.
“It’s SG-1’s iris code,” Walter said as General Landry walked up behind him.
“They are seven hours early,” Landry said. Walter nodded and opened the iris. The remaining members of SG-1 stepped through. Everyone in the ‘gate and control rooms waited for Daniel to step through. He never did. The wormhole shut down without him stepping through. “Where’s Doctor Jackson?”
“He’s dead, Sir,” Sam said.
“Daniel Jackson was killed by the followers of the Ori on their fire Alter,” Teal’c said. Landry watched at SG-1 silently filed out of the ‘gate room, moving towards the locker rooms. Everyone else was in shock.
“Is Jack still on base?” Landry asked.
“Yes, Sir. He was waiting for the return of SG-1. He wanted to talk to Doctor Jackson,” Walter said.
“Have him meet me in an hour to debrief SG-1 and gag everyone. I want no word of this to escape. Not until I know everything. I’ve read Doctor Jackson’s file. He has a habit of looking like he’s died but he hasn’t,” Landry said. Walter nodded.
An hour later SG-1 was giving their story to Landry and Jack.
“P2Z-931 seemed to be a normal planet. Natives seemed friendly, no mention of the Priors or the Ori until we arrived at the center of town. Jackson took a look at that Alter and said we needed to leave. That’s when they surrounded us. They took our weapons in seconds,” Mitchell said. All of the rest of SG-1 was looking down at the table.
“Where is Daniel?” Jack asked. He didn’t like the way that no one would look him in the eye.
“They grabbed Jackson and dragged him to that damn Alter. He didn’t fight them. They chained him there, and he let them. He was afraid that one of us would be killed. Then the fire was dumped. Once it touched him, it became an inferno. He didn’t scream, he didn’t do anything, he let the fire take him,” Mitchell said. Jack looked at them. He hoped it was a joke.
“In a very short time nothing was left of Daniel Jackson except ashes. Those were carried away by the wind,” Teal’c said. Jack bowed his head. Daniel didn’t ascend this time. He was carried away by the wind. Never to be alive again, no not this time, this time there was no coming back. Jack’s eyes closed, and his head hit the table.
“We tried. He wouldn’t let us. Daniel didn’t want us to sacrifice any of the villagers or ourselves. That would have happened if we tried to fight. We were outnumbered at least seven to one,” Sam said.
Three Months Later
“Sir, that’s the seventh planet we’ve been to that has renounced the Ori but this one we got to see the Prior stripped of his powers,” Sam said at the debriefing after SG-1’s visit to PS4-634.
“This man dropped to his knees and started crying that his Gods had left him. He demanded to know why they had forsaken him,” Mitchell said. He looked up at the man at the head of the table. General O’Neill and General Landry had swapped jobs after the death of Daniel. The whole SGC had gotten behind finding a way to destroy the Priors, as a way at getting back at them for taking Daniel from them but Jack took a personal vendetta against them. He wanted them gone. Landry also thought that Jack would do better at the head of the SGC, fighting the enemies as he had for over nine years.
One week before, SG-1 had gone to a world on reconnaissance. They had found a pile of burnt books. It didn’t take them long to see that they were Origin books. The people of the planet had begged forgiveness for their following of another set of false gods so close after the death of the Goa’uld. After that SG-1 had went to a planet a day seeing if that was happening everywhere. It was. It was happening everywhere. When the Priors could no longer do their work, they fled the planets. An SGC team found them on a planet. SG-3 was sent to the planet along with another group of Marines to keep them there. Making sure they wouldn’t be able to do anything in their desperation.
“Do you think the Ancients have something to do with it?” Teal’c asked.
“I doubt it,” Jack said. A commotion started outside the door.
“Now listen here. I’ve been part of this project for seven years,” A familiar female voice said.
“Ma’am, you can’t go in there!” the guard said. Seconds later, Doctor Janet Fraiser entered the briefing room.
“Janet?” Sam asked.
“What is going on?” Janet asked. She looked around. “Who is that?”
“Lieutenant Colonel Cameron Mitchell, SG-1,” Mitchell said standing up.
“SG-1? Where’s Daniel? Colonel, who did he replace?” Janet asked looking at Mitchell.
“Janet, where did you come from?” Sam asked. Janet looked at her as if she was crazy.
“I woke up in my quarters. SG-8 came back early last night,” Janet said. Her tone said that Sam should know that.
“Janet that was two years ago. You died the next day,” Sam said. Janet looked shocked. Jack stood up from the table.
“Carter, escort the Doc to get tested. Make sure she’s who she says she is. Mitchell, you and Teal’c look at the camera footage.”
“Where’s General Hammond?” Janet asked.
“Retired. I’m a General now. I run the SGC,” Jack said. Teal’c noticed that Janet was not as shocked as she should be. As if she knew the information.
“So Daniel is dead. As of three months ago?” Janet asked after Sam and Teal’c debriefed her the next morning. She had been put through every test during the night. “The Goa’uld have been defeated but replaced with the Ori. We’ve lost men, women and civilians because of one of their plagues. What a time to miss.”
“You have been greatly missed,” Teal’c said. Janet smiled at him. “O’Neill is trying to contact the Asgard. To see if Loki created you.”
“I see. I don’t know of any other possibility,” Janet said. Teal’c cocked his head in question. He knew she was lying.
“The General wants me to double-check the footage. I’ll see you later,” Sam said she left quickly. After seeing the Janet from that other reality, it was strange for Sam to see her.
“Janet Fraiser, while I know you mean no harm, I also know you are lying,” Teal’c said. Janet just smiled at him. “O’Neill has not taken Daniel Jackson’s death well.”
“I think that the General finally figured out where his heart lies,” Janet said. Teal’c nodded. “Too bad for Daniel, I had hoped to see him happy. He’d been unhappy since his return from the dead.”
“He found some peace when he came back to us after defeating the Replicators. He was going to go to Atlantis until Vala Mal Doran arrived,” Teal’c said. He smiled at Janet solidifying his resolve that she wasn’t here to harm then. “You are here to help?”
“Yes, Teal’c, I am,” Janet said. Teal’c nodded. “What happened with Sam and Pete?”
“They became engaged last year then ten months later Colonel Carter broke it off. She believed something would become of her and O’Neill. I never found out the details. We all went our ways not long after that: O’Neill to Washington, Colonel Carter to Area 51, and me to help with the Jaffa. It was Mitchell arriving that brought Colonel Carter and me back. O’Neill came back after the death of Daniel Jackson.”
One Month Later
Aboard the Daniel Jackson
Orbit Around Earth
“Sir, we just found a reference to a higher plane of existence. It’s called the Black Plane but we’ve only found mention of it in Ancient texts dating after their return to Earth,” One of the linguists said to Jack, rushing around Jack’s desk to hand him some papers. Jack waved him away to look at the papers. He wanted to know more about the plane. Maybe he could find help to deal with the Ori from him. Jack fell asleep that night at his desk thinking about it.
“O’Neill, we found a reference to a plane of existence above ascension. The Ancient’s called it the Black Plane,” Thor said the second Jack appeared on the deck of the Daniel Jackson, waking him. Jack had a feeling of déjà vu as Thor talked. Until he remembered the scientist barging into his office hours before.
“Hello, Thor. Long time no see,” Jack said, trying to wake up fully.
“I’m sorry, O’Neill. We scanned for Doctor Jackson but he is not on Earth,” Thor said.
“The Ori killed him. The Asgard knows this.”
“I have been out of contact with my fellow Asgard for some time. Our research into the Ancient’s knowledge has taken most of my time, and I do not contact them often. I had hoped to talk to Doctor Jackson. See if he has seen writings on this Black Plane.”
“Thor a month ago, Doctor Fraiser appeared in what used to be her quarters on base. With no memories of the past two years. She said she went to sleep and woke up in the future but our Janet died. Now we don’t have a body because she was cremated but we have her ashes.”
“I have Loki aboard my ship. He has not gone anywhere nor done anything.”
“That’s what Kvasir said but he couldn’t confirm it,” Jack said. Thor nodded. “Then where did she come from?”
“That I do not know. Would you like me run tests on her?” Thor asked.
“We’ve put her through every test we can think of. We’ve had her under discreet watch. She’ll have to agree to the tests,” Jack said. Thor nodded in understanding.
“O’Neill, she is human, and she matches your Janet Fraiser; according to the medical file you gave me. Including previous broken bones but she does not have the marker in her DNA that would prove she is an Asgard clone,” Thor said. Janet had agreed to the testing and was sitting beside Teal’c.
“Okay, who are you?” Jack asked looking at her. Janet smiled at him.
“I’m Doctor Janet Fraiser. Sir, I don’t know what’s going on. I’m willing to do anything,” Janet said. Jack stared at her. He couldn’t tell if it was her or not.
~Trust her,~ A voice said. Jack looked around but no one had spoken and no one seemed to have heard it but him.
“You are still confined to base but the guard is no longer necessary. I’ll start the paperwork to reinstate you as the CMO. You should start to get to know the staff,” Jack said. Janet smiled at him and nodded.
“Yes, Sir. Thank you,” Janet said.
“I need to continue working on the Ancient knowledge. I will stay in Earth’s orbit for a while,” Thor said before he disappeared. Walter entered the briefing room; he stepped up beside Jack, waiting till Jack looked at him.
“Sir, SG-11 returned as scheduled from P2Z-931. They want nothing to do with Earth. Seems they can’t face what they did but this was on the Alter,” Walter said handing Jack an envelope. It said. “Major General Jack O’Neill” on the outside.
“Thank you, Walter,” Jack said before he opened it. Jack read the two words of the letter out loud. “Find Excalibur.”
“Cryptic much?” Mitchell asked.
“There’s no name,” Jack said. He handed the letter to Sam. She looked at it for a few seconds before she shrugged. “Run tests on it.”
“Right away,” Sam said. As she stood the letter started to burn. Sam dropped it and backed away. The letter landed on the table but didn’t catch anything else on fire.
“Carter?” Jack asked.
“I don’t know, Sir,” Sam said.
“I think we are being watched, O’Neill,” Teal’c said. He glanced at Janet before looking back at Jack. Jack saw the movement and was intrigued by what Teal’c had done. Jack told himself to keep an eye on the good doctor for a while.
One Month Later
“Jackson is who we need to decipher this. He’s got instincts about it,” Mitchell said as he watched the linguists pour over the Ancient data, trying to find mention of Excalibur.
“One month, and we still only have the small mention about only the worthy can touch it. ‘The man who comes from blackness,'” Jack said. Mitchell nodded. Everyone was at his or her short ends. Everything was up to the linguists. The problem was that since the trip to Atlantis there was very few linguists at the SGC who could read Ancient.
“We have nothing to go on,” Mitchell said. Jack nodded. He’d had a thought for a while, but always dismissed it. He didn’t want to have to send anyone back there.
~P2Z-931,~ The voice said. Jack reacted as he did the last time the voice talked to him. He looked around making sure no one else heard.
“Mitchell, the people on P2Z-931, did they say anything to you about why they killed Daniel?” Jack asked. Mitchell shook his head ‘no’. “Then I want SG-1 to go back there. There had to be a reason why. Maybe they were protecting something. Find out. Take SG-3 with you as back up and SG-7 to guard the ‘gate.”
One day later, they returned with a scabbard in hand with sword in it. It had Ancient writing down one side but no other markings. It was checked out thoroughly by scientists before the linguists looked it at. No energy readings had been detected. From a scientific stand point it was a normal sword scabbard.
“I brought it back because I remember something Jackson told me. After the Lady of the Lake gave Arthur Excalibur, she also gave him a scabbard. As long as he wore it, no wound on him would bleed. No matter how serious,” Mitchell said. Jack nodded.
“Okay and this helps how?” Jack asked. Mitchell pointed at the scabbard.
“What if that is the scabbard of Excalibur?” Mitchell asked. Jack shrugged. That was a stretch even for Mitchell but then they were going on hunches and leaps right now.
“What does it say?” Jack asked. Mitchell grabbed a sheet of paper.
“‘To be used by the rightful owner of Excalibur.’ The rest is just drawings,” Mitchell said. Jack nodded. That was all the proof Jack needed that it was the scabbard.
“So it should be some sort of Ancient device,” Sam said finally touching the scabbard.
“I believe we must find Excalibur and its rightful owner,” Teal’c said.
~Find Excalibur, Arthur’s Heir will follow,~ The voice said. Jack listened to see if the voice would say anymore, and he wasn’t listening to SG-1. Which did those around him noticed.
“Sir?” Mitchell asked.
“That voice. It said: ‘Find Excalibur, Arthur’s Heir will follow.’ I was seeing if it would say anymore. It didn’t,” Jack said.
“Arthur’s Heir?” Mitchell asked.
“If Arthur did ascend, he would not have been able to keep all his knowledge if he came back to Earth. We saw that with Orlin,” Sam said.
“So he picked someone out to what?” Mitchell asked.
“To replace him. To wield Excalibur,” Sam said. Mitchell picked up the scabbard. He saw a place on it where it looked liked something was supposed to go.
“I recognize this or something that was close to it. Jackson had it in his office. A metal star on his wall,” Mitchell said pointing at the area. “A seven pointed star.”
“Must activate the scabbard. So that not just anyone can use it. I wonder how long he had had it,” Sam said. She looked at Jack. Jack shrugged.
“It should be in his things in storage. One of us should go look at it,” Jack said.
Two Days Later
“General, we’ve found another mention of Excalibur. A passage that says ‘He of blackness shall return, he will wield Excalibur and its shield unto the death of the fire gods.'”
“Shield?” Jack asked the linguist.
“As far as we can tell it’s talking about the scabbard,” The linguist said. Jack never saw Janet step up behind him into the room.
“No, it’s not. The Heir’s shield is the scabbard. Excalibur’s shield is the glove, it’s what the Heir’s wears. Only with the four together will the Sangreal be found,” Janet said. Jack spun around, staring at Janet in shock.
“Glove?” Jack asked. He ignored the fact that Janet had just told him things that no one on Earth could know. Now he knew why she was back. Why she had appeared out of now where.
“It’s with Excalibur. I was sent back to help you. I don’t know who the Heir is. He is a mystery. Only Arthur knew who is Heir was,” Janet said.
“Arthur?” Jack asked.
“Yes, he was ascended. When the first Prior stepped through the ‘gate Arthur picked an Heir,” Janet said.
“You’re ascended?” Jack asked. This was getting confusing for him. If she was ascended, how was she able to come back as if she wasn’t?
“Sort of. I’m from the Black Plane, we don’t share knowledge and our knowledge is our own unless we want to share with certain other beings. We are allowed to affect whatever we wish as long as it helps humanity,” Janet said. Jack continued to stare at Janet. She had been on Earth for almost two months.
“Black Plane?” Jack asked remembering Thor and a linguist talking about that plane.
“I don’t know a lot about it. I have a feeling things were kept from me. After finding the scabbard I am here to help you find Excalibur.” Janet smiled at Jack before stepping closer. “Do you trust me?”
“Was it your voice I was hearing?” Jack asked. Janet shook her head no. “All those tests. How were they wrong?”
“I’m human. We can move easily from one form to the other. If one knows how,” Janet said. She jumped when Walter announced there was an off world activation. Jack ran to the control room. SG-1 came down the ramp. Teal’c was carrying something wrapped in a cloth. Jack noticed Mitchell’s hand was also wrapped in gauze. He moved to meet them in the room.
“Mitchell touched the sword. It burned him but it is healing fast. This sword was just lying on the ground in the middle of a field,” Sam said.
“So this was found on PS1- 867? It has Ancient writing on it. Is it Excalibur?” Jack asked. He looked at Janet. Janet shook her head ‘yes’.
~No. I placed it on the planet,~ The voice said. This time everyone in the room reacted. Jack knew it was the same voice he had been hearing.
“It appeared on the field. We ran to it. It was in a streak of lightning,” Mitchell said.
~You have visited all Ancient planets the SGC never looked at except one. I guess it was just forgotten,~ The voice said. Mitchell looked around. He was trying to see if someone was playing with them.
“Really? Which one is that?” Mitchell asked.
~PB2-908,~ The voice said. Mitchell looked at the rest of the SG-1 and Jack for clarification.
“Where?” Mitchell asked.
“Ernest said that there was nothing for miles on that planet,” Sam said. All of the security teams had left the room by then and only SG-1, Jack, and Janet were left. Janet was the only one fully facing the ‘gate and therefore the only was who was able to see what was happening at the top of the ramp. As if, teleported the scabbard and Star appeared at the top of the ramp and floated there. Behind them, a black misted formed from thin air. Janet wanted to keep their eyes off it and so she rejoined the conversation.
“Was there a glove with the sword?” Jack asked. Sam shook her head.
“The glove will only appear when the Heir touches the sword,” Janet said. Sam looked at her in shock, followed by Teal’c and Mitchell. “PB2-908 is a very large planet. Who knows how far Excalibur was from the ‘gate. Or even if it was in a secret room.” Walter got everyone’s attention by speaking over the intercom. Then he pointed at the top of the ramp. The mist was in a rough human form. Excalibur floated to the form with the cloth unwrapping itself as it moved. Once the “hand” gripped the hilt of the sword, it gained substance. It became a black glove with red and silver writing along the wrist. The solidifying effect slowly crept up the arm until a blue sleeve was visible. Next was the top of that shoulder and then the next and down to other arm. It swept downward next until the whole of the truck and limbs of the body were visible only then could one could tell that the person as wearing blue SGC BDU’s. Last was the neck and head.
“Oh my God!” Sam said as she looked at the face.
“That is not possible,” Mitchell said. The man lowered the hand that held Excalibur and looked around the ‘gate room. His smile was soft and spoke of coming home. His eyes shone with happiness, and they looked at everyone but also no one.
“Arthur’s Heir,” Teal’c said. The man acted as if he didn’t even notice them. He grabbed the scabbard and sheathed Excalibur; next, he snapped the Star into place. Finally, he looked at the people at the bottom of the ramp. His gazed landed, last, on Janet, and he smiled at her. He nodded at her while he strapped the scabbard and sword to his waist.
“How is this possible, Daniel?” Janet asked. Daniel grinned at her.
“One knight made it to the Black Plane. Sir Percival, he was to make sure that you knew nothing about the Black Plane since you were brought onto it. Seems they knew this was going to happen for almost two years. Since I descended. They feared what would happen if the Ori found out any of this plan. This is why the knowledge of me being alive has been so guarded but Merlin took the knowledge of where Excalibur was to the grave with him. It was said that when it was needed it would appear. I guess we had to find the Star, the scabbard and be on a certain planet for it to appear,” Daniel said. He looked at the hand that had the glove on it. It felt strange, and he pulled it off. “We need to go to Camelot. There we will find all we need to find the Sangreal.”
“Sangreal? Janet said that word once,” Jack said.
“Blood Stone. Holy Grail. A weapon to negate the Ori. Merlin built it. Only he knows where it is. The people of Camelot will help,” Daniel said.
“I think we should take this to the briefing room,” Jack said. SG-1 and Janet filed out, with Jack waiting on Daniel. “You died.”
“Yes, Jack but I knew I would be back. I spent most of my time on another planet training with a sword. I received most of Arthur’s memories, but anything on fighting I had to learn on my own,” Daniel said. He smiled at Jack before sitting at the table.
“I thought the Holy Grail was a cup,” Mitchell said.
“Actually, no. The notion that the Grail was a cup or chalice, particularly the one used by Christ as the Last Supper, was a late addition to the myth. In earlier accounts, it’s described variously as a cup disk or platter. Or in the case of Von Eschenbach and other Middle Eastern chroniclers as a stone that fell from the heavens,” Daniel said.
“So what is it?” Jack asked.
“It’s a stone. Wore on the neck of Merlin,” Daniel said.
“With the way news travels around this base everyone has to know that you’re back but you do need to be checked out. I’ll call the President. He didn’t want to file you as dead. Seems he had more faith than we did. So you are filed as M.I.A,” Jack said. He motioned Daniel to the door. Daniel waited for Mitchell and Teal’c.
“I’m sorry about the Sodan but I’m glad you both made it out just fine,” Daniel said. Jack’s voice called out, and Daniel stopped.
“Where’s Excalibur?” Jack asked. Mitchell looked down at Daniel’s waist to see the sword gone. Daniel just smiled at Jack.
“Away for now,” Daniel said. He still held the glove but Excalibur and its scabbard were gone. The Star was around his neck.
“Are you sure it’s safe for me to be out of the SGC? I don’t want to get you in trouble,” Daniel said as he walked around Jack’s living room.
“Yes, you were checked out by a Doctor. You have every right to be allowed out,” Jack said handing Daniel a cup of coffee. Daniel had set the glove down but the Star was still around his neck. Jack compared it to his tags that he wore all the time. “Does that thing really activate the scabbard?”
“Yes, it’s called the Star of Avalon. Merlin had it created so that it healed but didn’t drive humans crazy. The Star was imprinted on me; the scabbard will only heal me and those I wish it to heal. I found it years ago in England. Never knew what it was till Arthur came to me,” Daniel said. Jack set his cup on the coffee table before looking Daniel in the eye.
“Why didn’t you tell anyone?” Jack asked.
“Ever since I descended everyone was wary of me. If I started talking about it, with no proof…” Daniel trailed off knowing Jack would understand.
“Why didn’t you tell me?” Jack asked.
“You went to Washington. You left, Jack. You told me three days before you left. I was going to Atlantis for two weeks, a total of a month. I wanted to look for information but you taking the job in Washington was a bit more permanent. What was I going to do? Beg you to come back so you could help. Sorry. I wasn’t going to do that,” Daniel said. He finished his cup and looked at his watch. “I’m tired. Haven’t slept in a while. I’m guessing I can use the guest room.”
Daniel turned to try to leave the living room. He didn’t want to fight with Jack. He needed to be calm. All was based him getting Jack to do what he needed to do. “Was it you? The one who was stripping the Priors of their powers? Turning the followers?” Jack asked. He stayed in the living room. Daniel stopped on the steps.
“Yes, I can neutralize the Ori’s hold on people. So can Janet, when I give her the knowledge that was held from her. By then the Ori’s hold on this galaxy will be gone, and I can get on my life,” Daniel said. He felt Jack move up behind him.
“Do you think there’s room for someone else? In that life?” Jack asked. Daniel could feel the breath on his neck and it made him shiver. Jack took it as a go-ahead, and he let his lips touch the back of Daniel’s neck. Daniel felt arms slip around his waist, and Jack’s chest pressed close to his back. “You left me. I was about to set up my retirement. I was going to retire. I can’t go in the field because of my knees. I can’t watch you guys go off world with out me, and I can’t stand Washington. I’ve run from you for years. Fate’s given me many chances to face up. I’m not running anymore. I love you, Danny. I know that you love me. Please tell me I haven’t lost you.”
“I need you out there with me if this takes a long time. I hope it doesn’t but it could. That all depends on the Ori and what it will take to make them come at us. Talk to Landry about him coming back and leading the SGC. I’m sure you can share Walter. I’m so tired, Jack. Give me time to get my feet under me,” Daniel said. He felt Jack nod. Jack felt content just to stand there with him.
“Whatever you need,” Jack said. He didn’t let Daniel go. He wanted to feel the warm body in his arms for a while longer.
“Jack?” Daniel asked. Jack inhaled sharply, as if he was trying not to cry.
“Let me hold you tonight,” Jack begged. Daniel heard the need in his voice, even the tinge of fear in his voice that Daniel wouldn’t let him. That Daniel would deny him. “You died.”
“I know. There was no other way. That burning death gave me what I needed to ascend. Janet was done by the collective. I did it on my own. It’s the safest way to defeat the Ori. With me going on my own, I have more power. Janet’s fate is ruled by the collective. I rule my own but I don’t go unchecked, not by far. I still have to answer to everything that I do that affects more than myself, and you if you become bound to me,” Daniel said.
“You’ve sacrificed too much,” Jack said.
“After the Ori, I am gone. I am leaving the project. I almost lost my soul five years ago, that’s why I went with Oma,” Daniel said. Jack pushed Daniel forward a little, and Daniel got the idea that Jack wanted him to move. Daniel laughed at the fact that Jack wasn’t letting him go. Once they were finally in Jack’s room, he did.
“I’ll lock up while you get ready. We need to get back early. I’ll set the alarm for five thirty,” Jack said. Daniel nodded. He raided Jack’s drawers for sleeping clothes then went to the bathroom to get ready. Once done he laid down on the left side of the bed and was asleep in seconds.
Jack locked up and moved into his bedroom. He smiled at the sight of Daniel asleep on the bed. His face was buried in the pillow Jack used. Jack quickly got himself ready and lay down. Jack curled up behind him. Daniel wiggled so that Jack was plastered against his back. Jack kissed his neck and drifted off to sleep.
A Week Later
“So this is Camelot?” Mitchell asked looking around. A man approached them with an entourage following.
“I am Meurik, Governor of this village. Welcome to Camelot,” he said. Daniel smiled at Mitchell. He kept his gloved hand hid in his pocket and double-checked to make sure that the Star was hidden under his shirt. Meurik ushered them to a tavern so they could sit and talk. A man entered he seemed to be in a rush to get where he was going. Daniel laughed because the man reminded him of himself.
“These must be the strangers that everyone is speaking of,” He said.
“This is Antonius, our village historian,” Meurik said.
“Welcome to Camelot, past and future home of King Arthur, and his round table,” Antonius said. SG-1 nodded in welcome.
“Can I see his castle?” Daniel asked. Meurik laughed.
“It has not been opened since Arthur and his knights left. Nor will it open till Arthur returns,” Meurik said. Daniel nodded in understanding.
“May we look around?” Daniel asked.
“Yes, feel free,” Meurik said. SG-1 stood up and exited the tavern. They stopped to look around.
“Jackson and I will go this way. Keep in radio contact,” Mitchell said. Sam and Teal’c nodded and went the way SG-1 had come. Mitchell and Daniel walked until they came across a teenage girl and a young boy sparring. They fought until the girl’s sword touched the boy’s neck.
“Valencia,” Daniel said. Both the girl and Mitchell looked at him in shock.
“How do you know my name?” Valencia asked.
“Meurik said you would be willing to show us around. Especially the castle but first I want to see the library of Merlin,” Daniel said. Mitchell kept his mouth shut trusting that Daniel knew what he was doing. Valencia shared a look with her brother. However, if Meurik said so, she would. She showed them to a section of the town that was deserted.
“This is it. The door is magicked. There is a key…” Valencia said as Daniel touched the door. The shield flared and disappeared. Daniel opened the door but didn’t enter the room.
“Do not tell anyone we opened the door. Now, please show us where the outer wall of the castle is?” Daniel asked.
“You are powerful. Are you Merlin’s descendent? Who are you?” Valencia asked. Daniel smiled at her.
“My name is Daniel,” Daniel said. Valencia looked at Mitchell. “This is Cameron. We came from another world. We wish to see the castle.”
“Yes, follow me,” Valencia said. She made her way through the city. “Merlin concealed the entrance before he left. He said that the wielder of Excalibur would be able to open it. Once the sword was pulled from the stone. That is also the time when Arthur will return.”
“And the sword has yet to come out,” Daniel said.
“Yes, here is the castle wall. The entrance is near here,” Valencia said.
“Valencia, meet me by the sword before dawn tomorrow. Now go home. Speak of this to no one,” Daniel said. Valencia nodded and took off.
“Think she can keep quiet?” Mitchell asked.
“She called me Merlin’s descendent. She is slightly scared of me. She will,” Daniel said. He looked at Mitchell as if he should know that then he clicked his radio. “Sam, Teal’c, come in.”
“Daniel these people are scared of Merlin. We asked where the library was, and they hurried away.”
“Antonius said he was a wizard of darkness. That he tried to do good but he had the potential for great mischief,” Teal’c said.
“Look I found what we wanted. They didn’t destroy it, thankfully. Meet Mitchell at the sword. He’ll show you where it is. I’ll need both of your help,” Daniel said.
Four hours later Sam, Teal’c, and Daniel were looking through the books. Daniel found what he was looking for. He turned to tell the others and saw Mitchell asleep. He picked up a book and dropped it. Mitchell sat up startled and started to search for the enemy.
“Sorry…didn’t mean to wake you,” Daniel said turning back to the desk.
“No…uh…I wasn’t sleeping. I was kel’no’reeming. Teal’c taught me the fundamentals,” Mitchell said.
“I also mentioned you must remain conscious in the process,” Teal’c said.
“I’m still working on the basics. You find what you need?” Mitchell asked.
“No, I found what you three need. Sam, when I radio you I want you to start entering these in the Ancient device I’ll show you,” Daniel said. He stepped over to one of the bookshelves and pulled a book. Behind it, a door slid open. ‘It’s down there. I’ll join you in a few minutes.”
“Why don’t we just do it now?” Sam asked.
“Because it draws forth the Black Knight. Only after Valencia pulls the sword can I step forth as Arthur’s Heir,” Daniel said.
“Only one who is pure of heart and true of spirit can pull the sword from the stone,” Valencia said as she joined Daniel at the stone the next morning.
“I know. Try pulling it out,” Daniel said. Valencia shook her head no. “Why not?”
“It is for the young men who are preparing to be Knights. They must test themselves,” Valencia said.
“You have the training.”
“I only do that to help Ramus train,” Valencia said. A small crowd gathered. Most were wondering why the man from another world was so interested in the sword.
“Has no one ever thought to have women try to pull the sword?” Daniel asked.
“No,” Valencia said.
“Should Arthur not have every able body ready to join him on his crusade?” Daniel asked.
“We are a simple people,” Meurik said as he stepped up behind Daniel. Daniel didn’t react he just kept looking at Valencia.
“I understand but women should be able to try if they want,” Daniel said. The villagers looked at each other then at Meurik. Meurik nodded. Daniel stepped into the background. He pulled his gloved hand out of his pocket and took off the Star of Avalon. He squeezed the gloved hand and Excalibur and its scabbard appeared, belted on his waist. He placed the Star where it belonged.
“Valencia, do you wish to try to pull the sword?” Meurik asked. Valencia nodded. Meurik nodded at the stone. Daniel double clicked his radio. Just before Valencia pulled out the sword, the Black Knight appeared. The crowd gasped in shock. Valencia turned as the Knight tried to strike down, blocking the blow. Daniel stepped out with Excalibur drawn. The Knight turned to him, but instead of striking, Daniel held Excalibur out and the jewel on the hilt glowed. The Knight knelt in front of him, and Daniel touched his helmet. A second later, he was gone.
“The Black Knight is gone,” Daniel said into the radio.
“We have Merlin on a loop here and lots of treasure,” Mitchell said.
“How did you get rid of the Black Knight?” Meurik asked. Daniel never answered. Antonius came running through the streets.
“Governor! The castle is open. The door appeared,” Antonius said. He looked at Daniel. “You…that is…”
“Yes, this is Excalibur,” Daniel said. The crowd gasped.
“Then you are Arthur,” Meurik said.
“No. I am Arthur’s Heir. I came to Camelot only to find where Arthur went on the search for the Sangreal,” Daniel said.
“It is said that they journeyed to three distant lands mentioned in Merlin’s prophecy: Castiana, Sahal, and Vagonbrei,” Meurik said.
“Thank you, Meurik. I am not Arthur no do I have the taste for politics and running a city. I trust that you would like to continue as before. I would be able to help with anything you want,” Daniel said.
“We have knights for you, Heir,” Meurik said.
“And soon I may call on them. I wish to see them tonight,” Daniel said. His radio came to life.
“Jackson?” Mitchell asked, he sounded bored.
“I’ll be there in a while,” Daniel said. He continued to talk to Meurik. He waved Valencia over and talked to them both.
“Why do you claim the right but not the throne?” Valencia asked.
“I come from a world far superior to yours in technology. I do not know what is best for you. You two do. I want Valencia to take over as the head of the Knights of the Round Table,” Daniel said.
“Do you wish to be shown to Merlin’s Library?” Meurik asked. Valencia looked at Daniel until he smiled at her.
“That is where my friends currently are. I have already accessed it. Meurik, if a man comes through the ‘gate talking of gods named the Ori. You must get word to me immediately. They are false gods that kill those who don’t believe in them. I have gotten rid of most of…”
“Daniel Jackson. How is it you are alive?” The Prior asked as he stepped up to them. Daniel turned to look at him.
“Valencia, go get my friends. Tell them a Prior has come. Go!” Daniel said. The Prior’s gaze fell on Daniel’s hand. “Like it? I do.”
“You are all children of the Ori, but you have been raised by evil. The true nature of the universe has been kept from you by powers that would have you stray from the Path of Origin. It is time to open your eyes! Let Origin show you the way,” The Prior said.
“Evil did nothing for me. Neither did the Ancients. This I did on my own through knowledge I gained for myself. I used fire to gain this. Others will use others things,” Daniel said. The Prior planted his staff in the ground as if he was going to do something. However, nothing happened. “The Ori have no more power here. They are not welcome. I am going to free those that have been raised on lies.”
“The Ori will prevail. Those raised by evil will perish,” The Prior said. He dropped his staff and held out his hand, trying to pull Daniel towards him. Fire engulfed him and was a human again. The rest of SG-1 and Valencia arrived in time to see the ex-Prior drop to his knees.
“Another Prior to join the ones we have,” Daniel said. He stumbled and Valencia caught him.
“Daniel?” Sam asked running to him.
“Fine. I’m fine. It’s just the first time I’ve done that in my human form,” Daniel said.
“There are hundreds of books in Merlin’s Library,” Sam said.
“Will they help you?” Meurik asked. Daniel nodded. “Then take them. We have no use nor need of them, Heir.”
“Thank you. Some of my people will be by to take care of them. The gold you can have. It was Arthur’s; it should go to his people,” Daniel said. Meurik smiled and nodded. “Now, I am going to look inside the castle. Any one who wants can join me. After that I will go to Merlin’s Library.”
Continued in Part Two