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Whispers From the Past
The screams of the klaxons were deafening. But did little to conceal the sound of gunfire, and the distinct sound made by the weapons of the Demon Soldiers. The same sounds that had filled the air, and her mind, when the Chappa'ai had opened four months ago, and the red-haired Demoness and her Jaffa had stepped through. Dan'yel had been in the control room. He, and the others there, had never had a chance of escaping. Three of the men had been killed trying to defend the others. Hammond had told her that.
She shook her head, as if trying to clear the painful memories from her mind. She had been hiding on that horrible day; she always hid when the warning lights flashed, and the sirens wailed, and the soldiers with their frightening guns ran toward the 'gate-room'. Technically, she wasn't allowed on any levels lower than twenty-one. But often she would follow her husband, just to watch him. He loved his work, his beautiful blue eyes danced with delight when more old things were brought to him, so that he could explain what they were, what they said. How learning those things could help them in the fight against the Goa'uld, she didn’t understand.
She had followed on that day, simply to watch him. She hadn’t known what he was doing, he seldom talked to her about his work. Her own fault, she knew. For the briefest of moments, amid the turmoil around her, she realized that he had been drifting away from her, that the only thing that they shared was their bed...and even that had become a sporadic thing...because he chose to work...to remain in the underground rooms, looking at the old things. He had tried to share his excitement with her, to explain...but she didn’t want to hear about old things. Didn’t care. She knew only that she wanted to return to Abydos, to her people. To the life she did know. To a place much more peaceful than his world.
So many people. So many noises. And so much tek...tek...tek-noh-logy. The language was difficult as well. Words that sounded the same, but meant different things. Words that were difficult to pronounce. When they were in their home, the house that he had rented upon returning to Earth, she spoke Abydonian, as did her father and brother. Dan’yel had protested at first. Insisted that they needed to learn to speak his language. So that they could ‘fit in’. After a time, he no longer corrected them. He had stopped taking them out into the city, stopped trying to show them his world, as well. Stopped trying to make them...help them...become a part of his world. He simply let them be.
Then that awful, heart-wrenching day, the day a Demoness...a Goa’uld...had walked down the ramp, Jaffa with armor and frightening helmets flooding the ‘gate room, killing any who tried to stop them...and she had watched from her hiding place, as Dan’yel had been taken away. He had struggled, and one of the Demon Soldiers had struck him. He had fallen to the floor, blood pouring from the wound on his head. She had feared him dead, and when the scream that was rising out of her throat would have echoed around her, a strong hand had clamped down over her mouth. Skaara had shaken his head in warning. And she had remained silent, tears streaming down her cheeks, over the fingers of her younger brother, as the Jaffa carried her husband through the Chappa’ai. Away from her.
So long, it had been so long now since she had been with her Dan’yel. Since he had held her and smiled and whispered words of love to her. She had seen him just two months ago. But he had not been her Dan’yel, a heartbreaking fact that she learned in just a few moments after racing into the ‘gate room, heart pounding with joy to see him alive and well. He had been wearing robes of silk, with a jeweled belt around his waist. She had darted forward as the Jaffa had filled the ‘gate room for the second time in as many months. She had called his name.
She shivered when she remembered his eyes. He had turned, looked at her, but did not see her. She was nothing to him, those beautiful blue eyes held nothing but contempt. They had glowed from within, his words angry as he thrust her away from him when she reached for him, tried to touch him. He had ordered one of the Jaffa to take her to the slave pens with the others. Then the Demoness had walked down the ramp. He had knelt at her feet, looked up at her, the love that had once belonged to her, his Abydonian bride, now shining for the Goa’uld. Her pain had been excruciating. Hammond and O’Neill had managed to defeat the demons that day, and saved her from being taken. She had wept bitterly, wanting to go with Dan’yel. Surely if she could be near him, he would remember. She would be able to help him remember...
The sound of gunfire was moving farther away, but the other sounds, from the fire sticks...staff weapons O'Neill had called them...moved closer. The floor shook beneath her feet as she tried to keep up with Skaara and her father. There were others running in the same direction. The orders had been given for everyone to escape through the Chappa’ai...the great door above them had been closed and sealed, never to open again, Hammond had said. And O’Neill had told Skaara that a bomb, like the one that had destroyed Ra, would bury Hathor and her minions forever.
Another explosion, and the walls around them began to crack. Where the stone had been left rough, chunks of rock tumbled to the floor.
"We will not make it to the Chappa’ai," Kasuf huffed.
"No, we will not," Skaara said, his voice filled with sadness. But no fear. "There is another way. Dan'yel told me of it before he was taken away. Hurry, follow me!"
The elevators were no longer working. She didn't mind, they had always frightened her. Especially after seeing one of the 'cars' worked on by the men who maintained the equipment of the SGC.
The young man led them into one of the storage rooms, on the same level where Dan'yel’s workroom was located. In the corner was a mirror - oddly shaped, with what looked like a stone frame. The glass was black, it reflected nothing. There was another stone attached to the top, she wondered what it might be. When Skaara took a device from a nearby shelf, she tried to slap it out of his hands. Dan’yel had told them that they were never to touch anything in the storerooms, he didn’t want them hurt, or to get into trouble. Skaara touched the device, and the stone on the mirror began to glow brightly.
She watched, wide-eyed, as the mirror began to reflect the room behind them. The room seemed to dance before her eyes, suddenly all they could see were flames, and rubble. Skaara shook his head, touched the device again. Once more the room in which they stood was the same in the mirror.
"We must hurry," Skaara said, urging them forward. He moved two boxes, retrieved three canvas bags. When he had put them there, or what they contained, Sha’re had no clue.
She stopped to look over her shoulder. Through that door, somewhere in the halls and rooms that were known as the SGC, was Dan’yel. She had heard his voice shouting orders...his voice, but not his voice. The strange, duel voice she had heard when he had returned the first time...the voice that had ordered her taken away. Her heart was out there...with Dan’yel. The blast of a staff weapon in the corridor outside of the room made her cringe with fear. To escape meant a chance to live, to stay...she shuddered. Stared at the mirror forever...or a few seconds, it was all the same to her at that moment. Just breathe...she could do this...she had to do this...just breathe...in...out...
She had followed Dan’yel willingly when he had returned to his home, after O’Neill and Kawalsky and Ferretti and Carter and other people she had never seen before walked through the Chappa’ai for the second time, telling her husband that another Goa’uld had attacked their world. Or at least, a place called the SGC. That the Jaffa of this unknown Goa’uld had been seen in the area for several days, and when they disappeared, nearly a dozen young women had disappeared as well.
Dan’yel had rented a house, making certain that there was room for her father and brother. She hadn’t wanted to leave them, and he hadn’t wanted to leave her, so the invitation to return to his world was extended to them as well. She had known that her father was reluctant to leave, he was one of the chiefs, after all. Skaara had believed it all to be a great adventure. His disappointment - no, not disappointment...confusion - in Daniel’s world had been greater than her own.
Dan’yel had been pressed into service, trying to find the answers that the soldiers who worked in the SGC needed. To find this Demon...this Goa’uld named Apophis. They had learned that there were many Demons, many enemies to battle. Skaara had been incensed when Hammond refused to allow him to fight at O’Neill’s side. There was little that a young man with no training on this world could do. Dan’yel had found jobs for him...cleaning, cooking, helping to move around boxes. All of it women’s work. Her brother had been angry that Dan’yel would even ask him to do such things. When he had begun wandering from the house, walking the streets at night, he had met other angry young men. At first, they had beaten Skaara. Dan’yel had wanted to call the police, but Skaara had stopped him. He had told Dan’yel that a man must deal with his troubles in his own way. Soon, he was coming home with things...watches, stereos, the round disks that Dan’yel called CDs and DVDs, although she could never tell the difference between them. Dan’yel had been angry, and ordered Skaara to return the things to their rightful owners. At first Skaara had refused. The two had shouted at each other every time they were in the same room...then...they had ignored one another. Uneasy silence filled the house whenever they were both home at the same time. The night the police had arrived, looking for Skaara, she had been frightened. Dan’yel had been working, and she had not known what to say...did not know where her brother was. Then Dan’yel had told his young brother-in-law that he must obey the rules of this world, for he would be unable to protect Skaara if he was ‘arrested’. When one of Skaara’s new ‘friends’ was killed, he had relented, and the things Daniel had been so upset about disappeared...
She squeezed her eyes closed. She remembered Dan’yel talking about this mirror. He had ‘stepped into’ it, he said. Had been in another place, another SGC. She remembered because Carter had called her; told her that Daniel was...missing. But that they were searching for him...and that she wasn’t to worry. How could she not worry, knowing that something had happened to her husband? He had barely returned home alive, because Apophis had destroyed that place, that ‘alternate’ SGC. He had been in the infirmary for three days, his shoulder bound from the staff wound he had received. He had warned them, told them that Apophis was no doubt on his way to destroy Earth. A man from a place called Washington D.C. had tried to shut down the Stargate Program. But Dan’yel and O’Neill and Captain Carter had prevented him from doing so. He had been away for two days, that time. Dan’yel had returned three full hours before the others. His clothes had been bloody that day as well, although there hadn’t been a scratch on him. He had never explained what had happened. But his eyes had been troubled. After that, Hammond had insisted that he was needed on the base, his expertise in languages and ancient cultures would be more help than him stumbling around with one of the teams. She had been secretly delighted when that order had been given. While Dan’yel often worked through the night, she knew he was safe...or at least, she had always assumed he was safe...
When Skaara had told his friends he was from another planet, and tried to explain about the Chappa’ai, Dan’yel had been very upset. He had told Skaara that his job in the mountain fortress was at risk because of the young man’s loose tongue. They had argued loudly, Skaara had slammed out of the house. Dan’yel had gone after him. Her brother had been sullen when they returned. From that moment on, when Dan’yel was on the base, she, her brother, and their father were with him. They were never allowed ‘topside’ alone. She had felt like a prisoner. When she had told Dan’yel this, he had held her, and told her that it was only for awhile. That as soon as the Goa’uld were defeated, they would return to their simple life on Abydos...
January 7th. That was the day on the calendar that Dan’yel kept on his desk. That horrible day was etched into her memory forever. She would never forget it. Her world had come crashing down around her on that day. O’Neill and Captain Carter and many others had gone after the Goa’uld, but never could they find the Demoness, never could they find Dan’yel. O’Neill told her to never give up hope. But she knew the battle against the Goa’uld was going badly. The three of them had been given rooms, VIP rooms, Hammond had called them. The general had wanted to send them back to Abydos, where they would be safe, he said. But she couldn’t leave, not until Dan’yel was safe in her arms once again. She had cried, had begged not to be sent away until Dan’yel had been returned to her. O’Neill had talked to the general, and he had agreed to let her stay, but only for a short time. Six weeks, O’Neill had said. Just before that time was up, Dan’yel had come through the Chappa’ai. And O’Neill had cursed, and said he wasn’t their Dan’yel any longer, but that he was controlled by the demon creature within him. He had tried to shoot Dan’yel, but she had stopped him, unable to stand by and watch her husband killed...
"Sha’re, hurry! We must go now!" Skaara grabbed her arm, and yanked her, stepping through the mirror at the same time. Kasuf had followed closely, and then Skaara had touched the device in his hand once again, turning the mirror behind them to black.
A A A A A A
The world they had entered was much different than their own. There was an SGC, but Dan’yel had been killed on the third mission that the SG-1 of that reality had embarked on...a mission with the primary purpose of finding her. Or at least that world’s Sha’re. Apophis had attacked Abydos, where she and her family and people...and Dan’yel, had been living in peace. That Sha’re had been taken, and one of the demon creatures put inside her.
Captain Carter had explained that because their ‘counterparts’ were still alive in that ‘reality’, they couldn’t stay. Within hours of this declaration, Skaara and her father had become ill, looking as if they were becoming ghosts, their bodies moving so quickly in one place that they blurred. When she didn’t fall ill, Carter said that the Sha’re of that reality must have been killed.
At first she had thought that the strangers were making her brother and father ill, to force them to leave. But Carter had worked so hard to find a ‘reality’ where they could go and not fall ill. It seemed that they had no choice...she understood only that a reality had been chosen. Carter knew only that it was safe...at least for awhile. Skaara and her father would not suffer the sickness for at least twenty-four hours. Enough time, she said, to find a safe reality, one where they could live in peace once again.
The first time she had walked through the mirror, it had taken her away from Dan’yel. When she stepped through a second time, she would be just that much further from him. The second reality had been no different than the first...at least not that she could see. The Carter of this new place explained that some realities were very similar, some very different. Again the sickness hit her father and brother. This time it hit her as well...such pain...such agony! So again they had stood in front of the mirror.
Again and again and again they stepped through the mirror. Her journey had begun...she knew only that her heart was breaking as she moved farther and farther from Dan’yel...so many places...and never did she find Dan’yel in any of them.
She stared at the mirror. O’Neill, the O’Neill of this reality, who was very much like the O’Neill she knew, had told her that her Dan’yel would never be returned to her...that the creature within him would kill him before giving up his body. That if the bomb had worked, Dan’yel, and the demon within him were buried beneath the mountain known as ‘Cheyenne’. Words that she did not want to hear, did not want to believe. Even though her heart knew that the words held the truth.
"Sha’re, you have to go, or your father and brother aren’t going to get better," Janet said gently.
With a weary nod, Sha’re shifted the bag of her belongings, packed by Dan’yel for her in secret, a secret which he had shared only with Skaara, who had shared it with her and their father, and followed the two men through the mirror. Turned and looked at the faces who watched them. Tried to smile when O’Neill waved. Then the mirror went dark. And alarms began to wail above them.
Skaara sighed. "Once again we will be prisoners."
"But alive," Kasuf replied, coughing slightly.
Alive. What life was there for her without Dan’yel?
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