“We received intel from the Tok’ra that they used to store gua’ould technology here, from raids. A backup storehouse, in case a base was attacked and they were unable to escape with weaponry.”
SG1 arrives, and tries to make contact with the small village, interested in the caves near their village that were rumored to hold some old technology. The structures were domes made from hide stretched over a wooden frame, some with decorative paintings on the outer wall. People milled about, baskets being carried or children herded.
Three men approached them, one with a thick scar curving along one cheek. They wore what looked like a mix between Native American and traditional Mexican garb, hide clothing lined with strips of brightly colored, woven cloth.
“Welcome to our home, travelers. Do you need anything?”
The man’s face was friendly, completely open to the newcomers.
“Ah, yes. We wanted to talk to your leader, to discuss the caves nearby.”
“Your interest is noted. I am the head warrior of this clan. What do you want to discuss?”
Jack and Daniel shared a glance. Was it really this easy?
“Well…. There are some relics in those caves, that my people want to bring back to our own… clan.”
The scarred man nodded, gesturing with his hand slightly.
“Those relics, they are holy items from the heavens. The coyote spirit would not be pleased if we let strangers raid those places.”
Of course it wasn’t that easy.
“Is there any way to convince the Coyote spirit that we mean no harm? That… those items are special to us as well. “
“Since the Coyote spirit chose our clan, we have been victorious in battle. Our clan is a great one. To go against the spirit’s wishes is not something we want.” Danny nodded. They had prosperity now, and did not want to anger whatever spirit they thought was helping them.
“Can we prove ourselves, to the Coyote spirit? The relics are important.”
The man lifted his hand to scratch at his chin, considering.
“Well, I can ask Coyote if he’d be willing to hold an audience with you, but I wouldn’t get your hopes up.”
Daniel smiled, his glasses glinting in the sunlight.
“That’d be great, thank you very much. Um… You honor us with your hospitality.”
The man nodded his head at the two, and turned away.
“If you want to explore the village while I talk to coyote, you are allowed.”
“Ah! Thank you!”
Talking to a spirit? Could they really? Perhaps there was a shamen he was consulting, who spoke for the spirits.
The bustle of the small village did not stop, and as they walked around, a child approached them.
It was small kid, barely higher than their waists.
“Oh! Are you warriors, too? What are you doing?”
Jack grinned at the kid, adjusting the gun’s strap on his shoulder. He saw a woman approaching, apparently the kid’s mother.
“Yeah, we’re waiting to speak with your… Coyote spirit guy. Talk trade, you know?”
The woman placed her hand on the child’s head, pushing him toward their home. She deftly ignored the sounds of protest.
“Many warriors from other clans seek out the Spirit’s blessing.”
Danny struck up conversation with her, smiling.
“What is the Spirit like? Does he protect your village?”
“Oh yes, He protects us from neighboring clans. His brother helps us in battle, and shows us where to lay traps. You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who does not admire and fear them.”
“Well, the eldest is a trickster spirit, after all. Odd things happen around him. Usually for the good of the village, but strange nonetheless.”
They were finally led to the far side of their village, to a domed structure with intricate paintings weaving around the sides.
Daniel took a moment to admire the painting work, briefly analyzing the symbolism in the paintings. A repeating theme was a coyote, with eyes painted in an odd shade of purple. The rest were blues and greens, of people bowing before it, and a small bird always hovering nearby. It looked like a stylized swallow, or a hummingbird.
The man knelt before the tent flap, placing his hand across his chest in a strange style he had never seen in this type of community. Alarm bells started going off, since it was rather similar to the Jaffa salute.
“My lord, some outsiders wish to hold a meeting with you. “
And who wished to be called ‘lord’ but the false-gods?
Jack and Daniel traded glances, each them going over options. How would they get out of this? A smooth tenor slid out through the leather flap of a doorway.
“Rid them of any weapons, and allow them to enter.”
“Yes, My lord”
The man turned to the two, and they warily shed their main weapons, setting their packs on the ground. Jack also took off the hand gun from his belt, but did nothing to remove the small knife strapped around his ankle. Any defense was better than none, when going against one of those snakes.
“Please, remove your shoes before you enter.”
The man’s smile was nothing less than serene.
They stepped into the dome, and were engulfed in a humid warmth. It immediately made them uncomfortably hot, but it was apparent the heat was perfect for the figure sprawled on the other side of the small building.
While the Tribal men’s faces had been fairly dark, this young man had absolutely pale skin. His body was draped with numerous colorful woven cloths, a variety of necklaces jingling together. Long legs were bare from the thigh-down, waist covered by a colorful woven blanket and torso draped in thick white fur. His hair was at least past his shoulders, though it was hard to tell while the boy’s head was laying down.
The young man made no effort to rise to greet them, instead watching them from his languid position, head pillowed in arms and leaning against a large pile of furs. Around the structure’s ceiling hung a number of sparkling objects, feathers and beads adorning ornaments of skulls. There was a low table laden with a variety of food, tucked off to one side, and the floor was carpeted by furs.
The man tilted his head, long black hair shifting and pooling around his shoulders.
“So you’re the newcomers I’ve heard so much about. Feel free to take a seat”
Jack was wary. From the decadence and obvious reverence the villagers had for this man, he expected demands for respect. To be treated politely by a guaould was rare, and offered kindness even more so. A dark black cloth was wrapped around the boy’s eyes, decorated with small beads that clinked slightly as he tilted his head. Blind? Or just hiding golden eyes? There was no hint of the echoing voice, though. Wouldn’t a Guaould want to show off the flash, to inspire fear in the villagers, to show his power?
“What purpose brings you to this place?”
The man’s voice was smooth, curling around them like a warm cup of coffee on a cold day. It seemed enchanting, and rather unsettling. Jack drew his eyes from the sparkling bangles around the man’s thin wrists and ankles, to his face. It definitely did not look like the rounded faces of the men outside, instead with high cheekbones and a thin, angular jaw. Something European, definitely.
“We wish to start a trade, with your people. We have food and supplies, and would be willing to trade with the items that can be found in the caves just south of your village. “
Ah, Danny. Diplomatic as ever.
“That technology, yes I imagine you would want to get your hands on it.”
Jack’s eyebrow twitched slightly. The boy had risen in threat level from ‘Probably Dangerous’ to ‘Definitely Dangerous’ The village outside did not seem to have technology beyond what was required to create bows and arrows. Yet the boy knew the term for that type of machine. A snake inside his head was becoming more and more likely.
“How do I know you won’t try to use it against me? The technology, that is.”
“Against you, no. We do not intend to cause any harm to your village, or your person.”
“Some greater enemy, then. “
The young man turned his head slightly, a small curl of his lips appearing.
A rustle of cloth behind them.
Danny started slightly, having been concentrating on their host.
“Ah. Welcome back.”
The slender boy cast a small glance at the two people intruding, but walked past without commenting. His dress was far less ornamented, with more emphasis placed on the tiny, colorful feathers laced into the curly brown hair. A simple brown tunic adorned his shoulders, and straight tan pants with only the faintest evidence of decorative stitching along the sides.
Yes, that was definitely a dagger strapped to his hip. What happened to ‘no weapons’?
Jack frowned at the boy, turning back toward their host.
“How did you know who it was?”
A secretive smile
“My younger brother is the only one who walks in unannounced.”
The boy did not comment, walking instead to what looked like a small chest, emptying his pack’s contents on the ground next to it.
Jack stiffened, recognizing a hand device when he saw it clatter against another piece of metal. They must have already begun raiding those caves.
Those brown curls shifted, shafts of feathers rasping against each other as he sorted through the pilfered technology.
The military men waited anxiously, ready to attack or bolt, depending on the actions of their hosts. Hand devices were never fun to mess with.
Jack couldn’t tell if the black-haired one was crippled somehow, or just lazy beyond reason. He still had yet to move from his lounging position. Then again, most of the royalty he had seen on the different planets did tend to wallow in their own wealth. These young men couldn’t be much different.
The younger boy spoke, turning to face the guests with a mild look on his face.
He was struck by the improbability of the boy’s eyes.
“Your dress shows are from the military. What nation?”
They were purple.
Daniel and Jack shared an unsure look.
“We are from the United States army, part of the Stargate program to reach out to other worlds for peaceful alliances.”
The black-haired one interrupted Danny’s explaination.
“United States of what.”
The voice was sharp, toned low with a warning.
Danny turned away from the younger, once again addressing the older.
“Our nation is called the United States of America, commonly just America or the U.S.A.”
That seemed to startle the boy, and he rose to a seated position.
Turns out his hair did fall past his shoulders, just barely.
“When did you gain independance?”
Both men blinked in surprise. Could this young man…. be from Earth? Or was he talking about independence from the false-gods?
To know about their history, he had to be at least familiar with someone else that had traveled through the Stargate. Or perhaps an ancestor had passed down stories.
Or maybe he was guaould, feigning ignorance.
Their long pause was seen as unwillingness to respond, and the black-haired boy scowled.
“When. Did. You. Gain. Independence.” The question was bit out, and Jack’s hand twitched toward his pant leg.
He froze cold, shocked.
The knife was gone.
His holster was there, but the knife itself was gone.
Danny spoke up again.
“1773, we declared independence from Britain and in 1783, we won the Revolutionary War, securing it.”
The fierce scowl softened, replaced by confusion.
“What calendar do you use? Last I heard, the Imperial Calendar was at 2018, and North America was still under Britannia’s rule.”
Danny looked ecstatic at the prospect of another culture knowing about earth. Jack cut in, still off-balanced from the loss of his knife. He swore he had it when he walked in, and neither of them had been anywhere near him.
“Does the name Apophis ring any bells? Or Ra?”
The boy’s mouth twitched downward again in a frown.
“You didn’t answer my question.”
There was a long pause, where neither of the dark-haired men seemed inclined to bow their wills to the other. Danny spoke softly, trying rather hard not to disturb the thick tension suddenly roiling around the domed tent.
“We use the Gregorian Calendar, based on the Julian Calendar, which was based on the Roman Calendar. The current year is 2010.”
The boy reached up, tracing a long finger over the black blindfold for a moment, before flicking a strand of hair out of his face.
“Ra is a god from ancient Egyptian lore. God of the Sun, though the other doesn’t sound familiar.” The boy laid back down on his furs, one long-fingered hand playing with the beads strung around his wrists.
“Would the two of you object to my brother accompanying you, back to your home? I’d like to know more about you, and the United States you represent.”
Jack nodded, and Danny took the hint.
“We would be honored to have him as a guest. Are you willing to begin a trade negotiation, for the items within the cave system?”
“In three days, I expect you back. You are allowed to bring negotiators, but will again be banned from bringing weapons into my quarters.”
He held his hand out
His brother walked calmly over, bending down to place a military dagger, handle-down into his hand.
“Next time, there will be consequences for ignoring my request.”
“You have my permission to interfere if trouble arrives.”
The violet eyes of the younger boy showed a distracting lack of emotion as he rose to stand beside the two older military men, watching them rise to their feet.
“Was there anything else, brother?”
A hand waved breezily, dismissive.
Jack and Daniel were ushered out of the domed building, the flap secured easily behind them. Compared to the humid heat inside, the twilight air seemed even crisper and fresher than before.
“You are free to gather your weapons. Any intent to harm my person will result in retaliation with deadly force.”
Jack nodded, frowning. How old was this kid? He and his brother lived on a planet across the galaxy, yet knew about Earth history. He barely looked 14, lanky form suggesting he was still growing into himself, and threatened ‘deadly force’ with a bland voice. Unsettling.
Then again, who was to say it wasn’t normal? Their clothing, buildings, nearly everything was made out of wood, stone or animal parts. Even the spiritual leaders would know about hunting or warring, depending on their relationship with any other populations nearby.n
As they departed from the village, they received quite a few bows and well-wishes, aimed primarily at the young boy. The murmured name ‘Hummingbird’ clued Daniel in on a bit more of the village’s ideas about these two boys.
As they approached the ‘Gate area, there was a distinctive sound of the event horizon activating, with the faint sound of heavy boots on stone.
Jack quietly clicked the safety off his gun, eyeing the brown-haired boy and two knives… His missing knife in the boy’s hand.
His eyebrow twitched.
“Would you classify this as trouble?”
A soft voice, and gleaming purple eyes in the growing darkness.
Daniel gave a short nod, his own handgun clutched between stiff fingers.
And suddenly, the boy was gone.
Jack started, looking around wildly. He was JUST THERE! What had… What happened?
Several thumps brought his gaze back to the Gate area, where four jaffa were laying motionless on the ground, a fifth clutching at his throat and struggling to lift his staff weapon. The boy was standing calmly amongst the carnage, and moved at a sedate walk toward the wounded man.
He flickered again, appearing several feet away with the staff weapon in both hands, knife nowhere to be seen. The final Jaffa collapsed, a spray of blood arching into the air.
The violet-eyed boy was examining the staff weapon, and didn’t seem to pay attention as the two men approached with their guns at the ready.
“Is this a weapon, then?”
“How were you able to do that? That… flickering thing. It’s like you teleported.”
They tensed as the staff’s head slid back with a crackle of energy. The boy made a noise of discovery. With another shift of his hands, the head relaxed back into its sleeping state, and the boy turned toward them.
“Are you leaving, yet?”
Danny turned to begin dialing the code for home, but Jack continued to pin the boy down with his gaze. Unfortunately, the stern commander-look didn’t seem to be doing much. The look on the boy’s face was as bland as ever.
The event horizon materialized, stretching outward and sucking back in, to create the familiar rippling liquid surface. The boy seemed mildly interested, but not surprised.
Jack turned and started walking forward, pausing only to hear Danny ask another question.
“Since your brother said it would be alright to start this alliance, could I know your name? I’m Daniel, and that’s Jack.”
Colorful feathers shined under the blue ambient light pouring from the Gate’s surface.
The boy gave them a considering look, and spoke softly.
“The villagers refer to me, as one of the Hummingbird people. Brother is Coyote.”
Danny frowned, but felt pushing this kid would not be a good idea. Mostly due to the teleporting and relaxed slaughter of those men.
They hadn’t even shown themselves as a threat! As soon as Jack had identified them as the enemy, the kid took off.
Children soldiers…. didn’t sit right with him.
Nonetheless, Daniel nodded, following his friend into the Stargate, feeling the slightly chilled feeling of liquid energy play over his skin before he was flung across space.