TITLE: Trouble with Timelines
CATEGORY: Drama, Action/adventure
CHARACTERS: Sam, Daniel, Teal'c, O'Neill, Jacob|Selmak, Martouf|Lantash
SUMMARY: Daniel accidentally activates a Furling device, which changes the timeline. Will SG-1 be able to fix it? Written as Christmas calendar, in 24 short chapters.
NOTES: Takes places around April 2002
"What does the text say?" Sam asked, looking with interest at the silvery cube Daniel was turning over and over in his hands.
"I don't know. It a different variant of Furling than the one we found on PB2-908. Ernest's Planet, you know." He slid his thumb over the red crystal set into one of the sides, and the letters on the sides glowed again.
"Let me take a look. Selmak knows a little bit of Furling," Jacob said, reaching for the cube.
Daniel shrugged and handed it to him. "Sure."
Jacob took it and gave control to Selmak, who studied it carefully.
"Did you notice that?" Sam pointed. "The edges glow when you push your hand hard against the crystal for a longer time."
"Yes. Interesting." Selmak pressed her hand against the crystal and held it there, and the edges slowly lighted up until they glowed dully.
"There was nothing else in the chamber where we found the cube," Sam said. "Nothing to explain what it might be. Too bad, really."
"No, but we haven't searched all the corridors. Not even close," Daniel reminded her.
O'Neill came running into the cave-like room, stopping just inside the door. "Time to leave, guys!"
"But Jack - we found only one artefact and if we could just-" Daniel began.
"No buts! A group of Jaffa came through the Stargate and they'll be here soon!"
"Jaffa? What sect are they?" Selmak asked.
"Eh, Olokun, according to Teal'c," O'Neill said. "Who cares!" He activated the radio and spoke into it, "Teal'c! We're on the way!"
"Understood, O'Neill. The Jaffa have not seen me. They are clearly searching for something, though."
"That's what I feared. O'Neill out." He turned to the others. "All right. Move it!"
Sam picked up her backpack, then hurried after Daniel, Jacob|Selmak, and O'Neill - all running back along the dark winding corridors they had walked through earlier that day. They had come there looking for a secret laboratory, rumoured to contain powerful technology, perhaps even weapons.
They had only had time to study a small part of the underground complex they had discovered, and the silvery cube was the only piece of technology they had found. Now the whole place might fall into the hands of a Goa'uld.
Of course, that could easily be their own fate as well, unless they made it safely back to the Stargate.
Finally they reached the exit of the tunnel complex and met Teal'c who was standing near the almost-hidden entrance set into the rock face.
"Anything new, T?" O'Neill asked in a low voice.
"There is not. We have not been discovered. None of the Jaffa have returned, but I do not know if any guards remain at the Stargate."
"Okay, I guess we'll know soon enough. Move out, people."
"Jack, we can't just leave all of this for the Goa'uld to take!" Daniel complained.
"Did you find anything except for that weird cube?" O'Neill asked.
"No, but I'm sure there is a lot more if we just..."
O'Neill shook his head. "No, Daniel. There's no time for that."
"But they may not find this place! I mean, we barely found it and we had a map!"
"Then it'll still be here when it's safe to return. Now move!" O'Neill repeated.
Daniel looked less than happy, but followed along and did not complain further.
They moved as quietly as possible through the light forest, keeping an eye out for the Jaffa. When they reached the clearing, with the Stargate located in the middle, they stopped and looked around carefully.
All seemed peaceful. Trees encircled the clearing on all sides, with a fairly overgrown path leading across the clearing and into the forest - the way they had come when they arrived. The sun was almost down, and the shadows were getting longer, throwing the clearing into twilight.
"The only protection is that group of rocks and low bushes." Jacob pointed. "We'll be vulnerable as soon as we move out from the treeline."
"Right. We'll just have to hope none of the Jaffa are nearby," O'Neill said, looking grim.
"Any idea what they are doing here?" Daniel wondered.
"Probably just coincidence. Bad luck," Jacob suggested.
"Since the map we used to find the Furling lab was found on one of Olokun's planets, it's not too far a stretch to assume he's heard about it too, is it?" Sam said.
"Or it's a trap. Maybe the snakehead knew about the map, but hadn't been able to find the entrance and decided to see if we had better luck. Have you thought of that?" O'Neill said.
Jacob considered it, listening to Selmak. "Olokun isn't known for his subtleties, but I agree, both options are possible."
"Well, we can consider it later. Let's get out of here before the Jaffa return!" O'Neill ordered.
They had only just stepped out into the clearing when they heard someone shouting angrily at them.
"A group of Jaffa. To our right!" Jacob warned.
"Crap!" O'Neill exclaimed. "Watch out!"
They all ran for the only cover, and made it to the relative safety just as staff blasts began zipping past them.
"Five Jaffa," Teal'c told them, checking. He quickly lowered his head as a shot flew by much too close for comfort, the plasma discharge burning away about half of one of the bushes they were hiding behind.
They all immediately withdrew behind the low pile of rocks, making sure all parts of their bodies were hidden from the enemy.
"Damn! Why do we always end up in these situations?" O'Neill grumbled. "Carter, you take the left. Teal'c - cover fire!"
"Yes, O'Neill." Teal'c swung his staff weapon around and shot over the top of the rocks in the general direction of the attacking Jaffa.
Sam and O'Neill leaned out from each their side of the rocks, taking care to show as little of themselves as possible. They fired quickly at the Jaffa who were occupied by the shots from Teal'c, before rolling back to safety.
"I got one," Sam said.
"Me too," O'Neill said.
"That's three left," Daniel observed, just as Teal'c rose to his knees and sent off a volley of plasma discharges from his staff weapon before ducking back down.
"So, two left," Daniel said.
"No, one left,." Teal'c told him, a pleased expression on his face.
They heard a zat'nik'tel discharge close by and turned to see Jacob kneeling behind them, his zat'nik'tel in hand. "Now there are none left."
The last Jaffa was lying only maybe 10 feet away to the side, having attempted to sneak up on them.
"Great. Good work, everyone!" O'Neill grinned, relieved. "Now let's get the Hell out of here! Daniel, dial Earth!"
Daniel ran to the DHD and began dialing. However, just as the wormhole connected, another group of Jaffa appeared among the trees.
"Jaffa!" Teal'c called out.
Daniel tried to cover behind the DHD as he sent the signal from his GDO. "Just a moment, guys!"
"Hurry up!" O'Neill shouted as a shot zinged the ground before him.
"All right, got it!" Daniel exclaimed as he got the 'all clear' from Stargate Command.
They ran for the open 'gate, firing at the approaching Jaffa, who fired back at them.
Jacob cried out as a staff blast hit his shoulder, but with Sam's help he continued running.
Daniel grabbed the silvery Furling cube and hurried towards the open wormhole, reaching it just before the others. Just as he was about to jump through, a discharge from one of the staff weapons hit the cube.
"Augh!" Daniel cried out, dropping the cube.
"Leave it!" O'Neill shouted. "Come on!"
Not willing to give up on the one artefact they had found, Daniel grabbed the device - and almost let go of it again. He made a surprised cry at the weird twang he felt, as if from static electricity, but he held onto it, accidentally pressing hard on the red crystal. Almost immediately the corners of the cube began to glow brilliantly and it let out a great flash, which illuminated the entire area. Daniel stumbled and nearly fell, but clutched the device to him as he fell through the wormhole.
The others followed moments later, jumping and running through the Stargate.
"Quickly! Close the iris!" Sam called out when she appeared on the other side. Dumbfounded by what she saw, she stopped and just stared.
"What the Hell?" Jacob exclaimed, as the wormhole closed behind them.
"Did you not dial Earth, Daniel Jackson?" Teal'c wondered.
"This isn't Stargate Command," Daniel observed, unnecessarily.
"No shit!" O'Neill snorted. He shook his head. "Oh, God. This takes me back!"