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Whom the Gods Created
The corridor was dim…lit only by what appeared to be emergency lights. The red color painted the walls with shadows. Sam located the door that would lead them into what they were calling the 'command center'. It opened as soon as her hand touched the smooth metal. It wasn't a typical ship's bridge. It more closely resembled the large room that was known as 'Mission Control' for the NASA program in Houston, Texas, Daniel thought. At least, what he could remember seeing in pictures and on television.
"The atmosphere would be breathable if there was more of it," Sam announced.
"Damage of some sort?" Jack asked.
"Not that I'm reading. I'd say that Daniel was right. And from the size of this thing, I'd venture to guess that the people on board this ship were trying to escape their home world, for whatever reason."
"If that's true, it's possible that there could be more ships like this out there," Daniel said.
"Let's see if we can't figure out where these people would be," Jack instructed. One disaster at a time, he thought worriedly.
Two hours later SG-1 had a working idea of the ship. And what they had learned was astounding. Schematics showed that the disk was honeycombed with sections which held cryogenic tubes. Twenty-five thousand cryogenic tubes. Each of the spheres on the 'legs' of the ship were greenhouses, where crops and gardens were raised. The 'legs' themselves had quarters where those who worked in the spheres lived. The outer edges of the disk also contained what appeared to be living quarters. The very center of the disk was where the engines and all life support function equipment was located.
"According to this log, the people lived on this ship for nearly two years before deciding to enter the tubes," Sam said. She couldn't read the readouts on any of the other computers. The symbols seemed familiar, but she couldn't place where she'd seen them.
"The ship's library seems to be locked," Daniel reported. He didn't even realize he was reading both the 'library', and the other readouts that flashed on the various screens. "But I was able to find out that these people left their home world in search of 'one who could heal them'."
"I don't think I like the sound of that," Jack muttered.
"According to this," the young archaeologist continued, "Victims, and that's the word used, 'victims' were taken from their homes, and changed by creatures of great evil. These changes were viewed as a curse, and the 'curse' continued in generation after generation. Then one hundred years ago, an angel appeared to the leaders of Capricia, and were told of one who could heal them. They were given coordinates. The people themselves had to figure out how to get here."
"Here? What do you mean, here?" Jack asked.
"The coordinates are for Gamma," Daniel replied. "And did anyone notice that everything in the logs we were able to retrieve was written in English? Old English, but not so old that it's difficult to read. I'm guessing maybe the tenth or eleventh century."
"Hold on here," Jack said, holding up a gloved hand. "Are you telling me that these people are from merry old England?"
"Or their ancestors at least," Daniel confirmed.
"Okay, let's go see if we can find somebody and wake them up, and let them know they've found us. Or found Gamma," Jack sighed. "Sam, any luck on finding that damn radio?"
"Not yet, Jack. Wait…I think…got it!" she said triumphantly. She pushed several buttons. The annoying buzzing sound that they had been sensing since entering the room stopped. Lights began to flicker on. And then alarm bells began to wail.
"Oh, shit!" Jack said. "Heads up, campers, keep alert. Teal'c you watch that door. I'll take this one. Just zat 'em to keep 'em down."
The large man signaled his understanding, turned to face the door that opened on the opposite side of the room from where they had entered.
"Keep trying to find out who would be in charge. He…or she…would be the first to wake up in an emergency," Jack told Sam and Daniel.
"Jack, can you read?"
"Yeah. Whatever you did, you stopped the interference. Phone lines, radio, TV, it's all coming back," the Highlander reported. "So what did you find?"
"One hell of a big ship. Filled with people from merry old England. Or their children. Not sure yet. Haven't met them just yet."
"You have got to be kidding!"
'Hey, babe. Miss you.'
'Miss you too. Don't fire on them, please…they need our help.'
'I promise, Angel.' He tapped Jack on the shoulder. "Casey's awake. She said not to fire on them. That they need our help."
"Got it," Jack nodded.
"Holy Hannah!" Sam gasped. The team turned toward the door Teal'c had been guarding. And watched as nearly a dozen lizard like creatures entered the room. Creatures that looked terrifyingly like those engineered by the NID in Siberia.
The lizard creatures moved cautiously into the room. The one in front, who appeared to be male, held both clawed hands up, at shoulder height. A universal signal for surrender.
'Case, I need you here,' Daniel said desperately. 'Lizards babe, just like on that NID ship.'
A A A A A A
In the infirmary Casey gasped, then closed her eyes. She reached toward Daniel. Felt him, couldn't stop from caressing him gently. Felt his tender touch in return. 'Not quite like those lizards. Different…the same…but different. We need…Daniel, you have to get them to turn on life support. They won't last long without it. They don't understand that yet.'
'Got it.' He raised the dark visor on his helmet. Watched as the lizard-creatures backed up slightly. "We mean you no harm," he said softly. Shook his head when he realized they couldn't hear him. "Sam, is there a way to put our communication on speaker?"
"Yeah, hang on a second." The colonel moved closer to Daniel, adjusted two controls on the back of his helmet. Did the same for Teal'c and Jack, turned so that Jack could adjust hers.
"Can you hear me?" Daniel asked.
The creatures huddled together. "We hear you," the leader replied. His voice was raspy, but didn't have the hissing quality that those lizards on the NID ship had had.
"Good. We mean you no harm. We live on the planet below. The planet your ship was programmed to find."
"We have arrived at the Place of Great Hope?"
The team members exchanged looks. "The city of Hope is on the planet, yes," Daniel replied.
'Daniel? What's going on? Get the damned life support turned on and get me up there!'
He grinned. "We need to turn on life support so that we can take these suits off. My Wife tells me that you will need oxygen soon as well."
"I did not hear her say anything," the leader said suspiciously, looking at Sam.
"That's because this woman isn't my Wife. My Wife is on the planet below us. She's a seer. She can…communicate with me."
"Why is she not with you?"
"Your…signals…the message that you sent, disrupted all of our communications. Took out a couple of our defense satellites. And rendered my Wife and others who are seers unconscious," Daniel explained.
"It was not meant to be so," the leader said worriedly. "We did not mean harm!"
"We understand that. Please, can you turn on life support?" Daniel asked.
The leader signaled, and he and three others hurried to four different control consoles. They began to work quickly, whispering back and forth. "It is done. Oxygen levels are rising. Temperature, rising."
"We should be able to take the suits off in about ten minutes," Sam said, watching her scanner.
"Do you know the Healer?" the leader asked. There was no mistaking the hope in his voice.
"I don't think so," Daniel replied. "Is the Healer supposed to be on Gamma…on this planet?"
Disappointed flowed over…and from…the creatures in waves. "Yes," the leader replied. "We will wake the others. If the Healer is not here, then we must learn where She has gone."
Daniel didn't miss the use of the pronoun. "She?"
"Yes, She." The leader said. "The Angel who appeared to our Elders told us that a Healer was here. And that She would heal us of the curse visited upon us by the Evil Ones."
"Why do I get the feeling we're talking about Goa'uld?" Jack asked softly.
"Tell us about these Evil Ones," Daniel said.
"They took our parents, and our grandparents from their homes, from their farms on a planet that was a beautiful paradise. They tricked our parents and grandparents with their beauty, with their words of peace and prosperity, promised that they would become as gods themselves and live in Eden. Our parents and grandparents fell for the lies, for the deception." The lizard-creature had begun to pace. "There was a great festival to celebrate the fact that they among all people had been chosen. When they awoke, they were in a place of great darkness. For many days they were kept in the dark, fed sparingly, given water only once every three days. They were kept in great pits, and they were forced to sleep in the filth that left their bodies. After a journey of many, many days, our parents and grandparents cannot even remember how long the journey was, they were taken into the light. At first they could not see. But when their eyes once again adjusted to sunlight, they were dismayed. For they had been brought not to Eden, as they had been promised. But to Hell. It was then that the parents and grandparents realized that Lucifer himself had tricked them. They began to wail, and prayed and pleaded for salvation. Instead, they were taken into caves. The heat was great, and moans of pain and misery could be heard all around them."
Again the teammates exchanged glances. They, too, had visited hell. "Do you remember if any of these…Evil Ones…had names?" Daniel asked.
"One of the Evil Ones was known as Nirrti. It was her beauty that beguiled the men. The other Evil Ones were known as Svarog and Ba'al. They had been known as gods of ancient peoples. They performed miracles to prove that they were gods…only…" the lizard-creature shook his head sadly. "They were demons."
'Daniel? I'm on the Prometheus. Can I beam over there now?'
Daniel grinned. "Sam, can we take these things off, now?"
"It's still a bit cool, but yeah, we can," Sam replied.
He took off his gloves, reached up and disconnected his helmet and took it off. Jack, Sam and Teal'c followed suit. They helped one another out of the bulky space suits. "Come on over, Angel."
A flash of light sent the lizard creatures scurrying toward the back of the room. Casey glanced around. "Wind of the Gods?" she asked, cocking an eyebrow at her teammates.
Jack chuckled. "Long story."
"I can't wait to hear it," she replied dryly.
"It is Her! The Healer of which the Angel told us!" one of the lizard creatures gasped.
Casey watched, her mouth hanging open as the creatures dropped to their knees, held their hands together in front of them, and lowered their heads.
"We beg of you, Great Healer, return us to that which we were born to be, before our parents and grandparents were cursed," the leader said softly.
"Oh, hell," she whispered. "I…I…I'm not…" The desperation, the sadness, the pain, both physical and emotional, that the creatures felt nearly overwhelmed her. "I have no idea how to help them," she said softly. "They…their minds weren't altered, not like the NID did. Their bodies…they're born as humans…but by…two…yes, two…no…well, yeah …second…by their second birthday, the genetic alterations begin to take affect. By the time they're five, they're…" she motioned helplessly at the creatures.
"I don't understand, if they were changed genetically, altered at the molecular level, why aren't their children born that way?" Sam asked, frowning.
"I'm not a biologist or a geneticist, Sam," Casey replied. "All I know is what I see."
"If they aren't affected until age two, maybe the change is activated by age," Sam mused. "Nirrti did that with the children of Hanka."
Daniel was frowning. "How much of what has been done to them is only in their appearance? Those things the NID created were different internally as well."
"Yeah, acid for blood and saliva," Jack shuddered.
"If we could get a doctor to check them out…" Sam turned to the leader. "Do you have medical facilities on this ship?"
"Yes," the leader replied, barely taking his eyes off of Casey long enough to answer the other woman's question.
"I don't get it. How could this 'Angel' have told them about Casey and Gamma, and Hope, a hundred years ago?" Jack asked of no one in particular.
"We have got to find those Time Travelers," Casey sighed.
Jack rolled his eyes.
"Have a better theory…sir?" Casey asked.
"Nope. And don't get smart with me," Jack replied. Fought like hell to keep his cheek from twitching. She was madder than a hornet about missing out on the 'first part' of the mission.
"Wouldn't dream of it," the young blonde retorted.
"Thor," Daniel said.
"Huh?" Jack said, turning to face the young man.
"Thor was able to help fix the genetic…flaw…in Immortals."
Sam shook her head. "It was a single genome, one that was affected by that virus. What would have to be done for these people…I'm not sure it's possible."
"We have to ask," Casey said quietly. "They came all this way so that they could become human again."
Jack was staring at one of the consoles. "If I don't miss my guess, Nirrti, Svarog, and Ba'al were working together. Trying to come up with the perfect soldiers."
"I thought Nirrti was looking for the perfect host," Daniel replied.
"Yeah, later. Much, much later," Jack said. "Something must have gone wrong…"
"And they abandoned the experiments, and the people," Daniel finished.
Sam was frowning as well. "We had assumed that the NID had taken the information of the…experiments…where we were held. But if she had kept the notes from this experiment…"
"Explains why the NID creatures looked like these…folks," Jack said. "Except the NID changed a hell of a lot more than just the way they looked."
"That could have been taken from later experiments," Sam admitted.
"Um…has anybody noticed that they keep saying their parents and grandparents were the ones taken?" Daniel asked. "I'm betting the parents were children when they were taken."
"Yeah, so?" Jack asked in return.
"Just how long lived are these people?"
"Not long lived," Casey said quietly. "I'm thinking that they were put into some sort of stasis when Nirrti and company took them from Earth. It's possible they were put back into stasis…maybe other Goa'uld found out about the experiments or something. Obviously they were dumped on another planet after their trip to 'hell'. Who knows how long between those two events? Then not long after their journey to find Hope, they decided to go into hibernation again. They've been in cryogenic sleep for several hundred years."
"Okay, where did they get this ship? You can't tell me that farmers from the English countryside could adapt that quickly and build this thing," Jack asked.
"Because, my dear sir, they did not build it," a voice from the open door said.
The team turned to face the newcomer.
Casey jerked slightly as she looked at the man. She never saw auras. Never. But this man had one so dark that even she couldn't miss it. "Hold me," she whispered, taking Daniel's hand.
He hurried toward her. "What's wrong?"
"Travelers! He's a Traveler!"
"Aw, hell! I was sure that the ship that crashed on that planet was the only one that had survived!" he groused.
"I'm thinking that that ship was one of the smaller ones. I don't know what happened to the rest of it…the leg thingys," Casey said. "But this is…" she cocked her head sideways. "This is the first of those ships. But something happened…the people in the tubes…some sort of disease. All but a handful died. They landed on the planet where those poor…creatures…had been left." She frowned. The images were so…jumbled! She couldn't be certain that she was seeing them in the correct order.
"So what happened?"
She closed her eyes. "The virus that the…ship…released, had no affect on these people. When the readings indicated that the planet was safe, the remaining Travelers opened the door. The…creatures…were pretty quick to figure out that this ship could take them where they needed to go. The…creatures…this ship must have seemed like a miracle dropped into their laps."
"So why would the Travelers help?" So far, all indications of the Travelers were of a people who held little regard for any life other than their own.
"Numbers, Sweetheart. There are nearly eight hundred of these poor creatures. Only…twenty…Travelers. I think." She frowned. Something was poking at her, but she couldn't focus well enough to get any details. "These…people…had a destination in mind, and the Travelers were more than happy to promise passage to Gamma. With only twenty of them, they had to train most of the…creatures…to help maintain the ship. And those twenty have every intention of taking over Gamma! They don't care about the creatures, in fact, they'll get them on the surface and kill them as well. "
"The virus doesn't work on them," he pointed out.
"No, but other weapons will."
"Okay, we need to alert our ships to stand by," Daniel said. He reached out and cupped her cheek. "I missed you, Angel."
"I know. Love you."
"Love you, too." He dropped a quick kiss on her lips. Moved away gently.
"Jack, can we talk?" Daniel said, putting his arm around the man's shoulders. He led his best friend to the far side of the room.
"You were right."
"I was? I knew it! About what?"
He couldn't help but grin. "Travelers."
"Twenty Travelers...or so, Casey thinks. Seems that these…creatures…were trying desperately to discover space flight when this ship landed…look, I'll give you the details later. That guy wants to take over Gamma," Daniel said.
"Not on my watch!" Jack walked back to the middle of the room. "Sam, contact Thor. Tell him what we know, see if he can help these folks. And tell him, and the Prometheus and the Phoenix, that if this ship breaks orbit for any reason, destroy it."
Sam jerked, glanced at Daniel, then back at her husband. "You got it," she said softly.
The leader of the lizard-creatures moved away from the man who stood calmly in the doorway, his hands clasped in front of him. "They know as we know, you are one of the Evil Ones."
"That is not true," the man said. "Surely you would not believe a creature such as this over one of your own kind!"
"Mister, I have no idea what 'kind' you are, but you sure as hell aren't mine! And these folks are from our home world. Goa'uld changed them at the genetic level, made their appearance different, that's all. With luck, we're gonna get 'em fixed right up."
The man's eyes narrowed. "You will do no such thing!" He raised his hand, a small weapon was hidden between his fingers. He aimed at Jack, who had raised his zat in response. The Traveler swung his arm, and began to fire on several of the control panels.
Casey screamed. "He's killing them! Those panels directly control the cryogenic pods in the section where the people are!"
Four zats filled the air with blue electrical streamers of power, and took down the man and the four who were with him.
"Secure those men!" Jack ordered. "How many more?"
Daniel glanced at Casey, who shrugged helplessly. "Not sure," he replied. He looked at the leader of the lizard creatures. "You need to get down there and get your people out of those pods, can you do that?"
"We have been trained to do so, yes," the creature replied.
"Go, quickly. Before the pods malfunction and kill them!" Daniel told him firmly.
The creature hesitated, looked at Casey.
"Go, hurry, do what he says," Casey said softly.
The creatures ran out of the room.
"Did you get that message sent?" Jack asked Sam.
Wide-eyed, Sam shook her head. "Not yet."
"Do it. Teal'c, you and Daniel are with me. Lock these doors. Don't let anyone but us back in, and you make damned sure it's just us," the older man told Casey. The three men dashed out of the door.
She nodded. "Legs. They're in one of the legs," she called after them.
"Which one?" Daniel called back.
Daniel waved, followed Jack and Teal'c to the elevator that waited at the end of the corridor. He'd been 'connected' to the computer from the other Traveler's Ship long enough to recognize several of the words and symbols on the walls. Enough to help them get to where they needed to go.
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