Rascals II - Chapter 10
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Back again at the SGC, they took Mark down to the Gateroom. O'Neill, Mark, Jacob, and Hammond stood near the exit, Mark throwing strange glances at the Stargate.
"So that's the device you found?"
"It was found in Giza, by Professor Langford in 1928." Hammond told him.
"And it was made by aliens?" Mark said, not so much as a question, more as a statement.
"Yes, a very long time ago. By a race of people we call the Ancients. They have left behind many pieces of technology, as well as many ruins." Jacob explained.
"Yes." Jacob confirmed.
"But they're not here, now, are they? These aliens?" Mark looked decidedly uneasy.
"We think they left this Galaxy - or this plane of existance, at any rate - thousands of years ago, maybe even more." Jacob told him.
Mark nodded, looking relieved. "So there are no people out there? Just...stuff? What about animals?"
"Someone either terraformed the planets they placed the Stargates on, or chose planets agreeable to humanoid life." Jacob said. "There are plenty of plants and animals on most worlds, and much of it resembles what we have here on Earth."
"Actually, that's an understatement." O'Neill remarked. "Most places I've been to looked like it could be Earth."
"As for people...ah, someone seems to have taken humans from Earth and spread them across the planets. At any rate, there are humans living on many worlds, their cultures still based on various ancient cultures here on Earth, still living like people did on Earth in those periods." Jacob said, a little evasively.
"Remarkable!" Mark said, now more in awe than either disbelieving, or afraid. "I'd like to see that!"
"You can if you want. We can take you to one of the planets." Jacob smiled at him.
"Why isn't this public? I'm sure lots of people would love to go!" Mark remarked.
"Remember, you can't tell anyone about this." Jacob warned.
"Not even your wife and kids." O'Neill added.
"Why not? People deserve to know!" Mark started to look agitated.
"What do you think the result would be from that? Yes, there is much technology out there with the potential to give a lot of people a better life. We could power the whole plane with clean energy, requiring very little work, but if we did that from one day to another, it would mean chaos! It would likely result in mass-unemployment, and potentially crash our economic system. To say nothing of the panic that would almost certainly ensure just from people knowing about these things." Hammond said. "No, we cannot risk that. It has to be done slowly, the technology released as we get ready for it. Besides, it's not...always...safe out there."
"Why not? Didn't you just say the people out there were still living like they did a long time ago? What could they do? Throw spears at us?" Mark scoffed.
"Some are more developed than others." O'Neill said, carefully.
"We're not at war with any of them, are we? That would just be like you guys from the military! Getting into conflicts with people as soon as you meet them!" Mark exclaimed.
"Some of the most advanced humans we have met out there could best be described as pacifists." Jacob said, thinking of the Tollan.
"Yeah, a lot of good it did them!" O'Neill mumbled. "Poor arrogant sons of bitches!"
"Anyway, the planet we're taking you to is uninhabited, and there are no dangerous animals either. Completely peaceful, paradisaical planet." Jacob assured him.
The door opened and Teal'c and Janet entered, the children in tow. They were carrying baskets and blankets, and looked to have everything needed for a nice little picnic.
"You're bringing little children to an alien planet?" Mark looked shocked. "My sister? How can you do that, dad!"
"She's been to alien planets before - all of them have." Jacob reassured him. "It really is a nice, peaceful planet. Don't worry, Mark."
Mark sighed, then frowned as he looked at Teal'c's forehead, focusing on the golden tattoo. "Uh..."
"It symbolizes slavery to false gods." Teal'c informed him.
"I am Teal'c, and this is Doctor Janet Fraiser."
"And we've got sandwiches..." Daniel said happily.
"...and fruit!" Freya told them.
"Oh, and pie." Martouf added excitedly.
"Don't forget the lemonade." Sam reminded him.
Mark stepped through the Stargate and came out onto a beautiful world. Around the gate grew soft grass and flowers, as well as small trees and bushes. A winding path led into a lush forest, with trees covered by pale green leaves. Birds were singing and insects were buzzing.
He stood, stunned, for several moments, before he suddenly looked at the sky. It had a slightly odd, greenish hue that he had never seen before. The sun seemed normal-ish...until he noticed there were two of them. Aside from the matter with the two suns, there was also a large planet or moon visible in the sky, near the horizon. It was close enough - or large enough - that features were visible on its surface, making it more than obvious that particular celestial body was not Earth's moon. Besides, it was much too big.
He took a deep breath. "Okay, I admit it. We're actually on an alien planet." He turned around and looked at the Stargate, then shook his head slowly.
Jacob smiled and patted his back. "Don't worry. I didn't react much better to learning about this - and the first planet I went to was way more Earth-like."
"Congratulations on your first trip through the Stargate!" O'Neill smiled at Mark, remembering his own reaction. "It's quite a thing, isn't it?"
"That it is!" Mark agreed, whole-heartedly.
"Great! Come play with us, then?" Sam said, eagerly.
"We can run ahead and see what's there, right?" Freya wondered, excitedly.
"Yes, but don't run too far. There's a lake ahead, so don't fall in!" Jacob warned her.
"I think I'll take it a little slow, Sam, if you don't mind. It's a lot to take in..." Mark told his younger sister.
Sam frowned, then smiled at him. "Oh, I understand! Okay! See you!"
She took off, the other children following immediately.
"Such energy!" O'Neill shook his head, feeling tired just looking at them.
"Yeah, I think it's good we brought all this food!" Janet grinned.
"Okay, come and eat!" O'Neill shouted, trying to get heard by the children who were running around, happily playing some kind of game that currently seemed to involve throwing a ball while jumping backwards on one leg. The rules appeared to have changed steadily over the last hour or so. He shook his head at it, but smiled to himself at their inventiveness.
"Yay! Food!" Daniel exclaimed, followed by a similar chorus from the other children.
"What do you want? Cheese and ham, turkey, or jam?" Janet asked.
"Cheese and ham." Sam said, decisively.
"I don't want ham!" Daniel decided. "I hate ham. I just want cheese."
"Sweetie, you said you wanted ham on your sandwich when we made the food." Janet reminded him gently.
"No, I didn't." Daniel insisted.
"Yes, you did." Freya told him. "I heard it."
"Tattletale!" Daniel hissed, sticking his tongue out at her.
Janet groaned silently. "I'll just take it off, okay?" She opened the sandwich and began peeling of the ham.
Daniel looked defiant for a few moments, then reluctantly nodded. "Okay." He took the sandwich, inspecting it carefully for any remaining pieces of ham before he slowly ate it.
"What kind of jam is it?" Freya asked, ignoring Daniel.
"Strawberry." Janet smiled at her. "Would you like that, honey?"
Freya nodded slowly. "Yes...but Anise wants ham. Can we have the ham from Daniel's sandwich?"
"Yes, why not." Janet shrugged and handed it to her. "What about you, Martouf? What would you like?"
Martouf looked undecided, but finally seemed to come to a decision. "I think...cheese and ham."
"Here you go, sweetheart."
Mark grinned at them. "I think I'll take one of those with turkey on. That doesn't seem to be in demand."
"That is not completely true. I would like such a sandwich as well." Teal'c told Janet.
"I thought you might." She smiled as she handed them their food. "Jack?"
"Just give me one of those with jam."
Mark frowned, then smiled, as he observed Freya putting the extra ham on top of the jam, then closing the sandwich again and biting from it. She chewed slowly, an expression on her face as if she was not sure if she loved or hated what she was eating. "Listen, sweetie, I don't think you want to combine that. Trust me, it's better separate."
"I think I agree...but Anise does not." She frowned. "I believe I shall let her eat it." She closed her eyes in a long blink.
Mark grinned. "Who's Anise?"
"She is Freya's...ah...invisible friend." O'Neill said, quickly, giving Anise a warning look.
Anise rolled her eyes at him, but fortunately did not tell Mark what she really was.
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