Episode Five- Bloodline- Chapter Two

Chapter Two

The on-foot wormhole ride is typical.  A tingling sensation of being pricked by thousands of pieces of ice.  It doesn’t hurt, it’s just… different.  But you get used to it.  You still notice the feeling, but you get used to it.  The green ethereal space cloud effect of the wormhole tunnel is always fantastic.  Awe-inspiring.  Split second because your ride through the wormhole is less than twenty seconds, but that’s still more than enough time to register the flashes of stars that literally buzz by you as you travel past them.  Even demolecularized it never fails to give your mind and body the feeling of being just a little bit closer to God.  The sensation of angels.  Wow.  As Jack would say:  That never gets old.  Somehow they all feel that if they ever left the Stargate program or at least transferred to a part of it that didn’t send them through the gate on a regular basis anymore, they’d miss this part.  They’d miss the what-a-rush ride.

 *                      *                      *

They come out of the gate.  Business as usual.  The planet gives the idea of being very forest-covered.  Tall evergreens, for some strange reason and it’s especially true of the worlds in the Pegasus Galaxy, it’s always evergreens.  Pine trees, Christmas firs, you name it and as long as it’s cones, needles, and rough bark, you’ll find it prolifically just on the other side of the Stargate, you know, on the ‘alien’ planet.  Tall grass, not wavy or reedy stuff the kind of which would be found on or near beaches, but more like the type found in fields.  So the idea was pretty good that there were no major water sources such as oceans or bays nearby, as if the lack of salt smell in the air didn’t convey as much already.  There’s no wind today, so there’s no rolling waves of grass, but John fights the urge to reach out and pluck a piece to chew on for however long they’ll have to walk to get anywhere worthwhile.  It was a casual/lazy kneejerk reaction of his when face with locales like this.  There are spikes of saplings starting to get their footholds in the ground here and there and growing taller than the grasses around them.  Even the gate platform is being overtaken by the local flora except for the very recent sign of the gate’s activating kawoosh incinerating the establishing wormhole’s expansion through the grass’s feathery fibrous tops.

The gate shuts down behind them and they look around.  Their landing what is frankly unusual for a Pegasus on-world Stargate.  The gates are normally just stuck in the ground, not embedded on a specially built gate platform.  Milky Way Stargates are like that, not Pegasus ones.  Pegasus gates see regular incoming and outgoing activity courtesy of the Wraith and their cullings or the locals endeavoring away from their towns either as fleeing refugees or, like Teyla, working as traders for the benefit of their people.  Some of the Pegasus gates aren’t even on planets, they’re in orbit and don’t necessitate the need for a raised dais that invited the concept of worship and reverence.  Not many people prayed to the Wraith, but when they did, according to information gathered from Teyla’s people and others, they prayed to the skies not the Stargate.

“Well this doesn’t look particularly helpful,” Rodney says in the most lack luster tuh-dah moment ever.

“Many cultures do not settle close to the Stargate because of the Wraith, Rodney.  You know this,” Teyla tries to quell him before he gets really on a roll.

“Yes, but there are still signs that they at least come to the gate from time to time to trade with others in the Pegasus.”

At this Teyla does have to agree, it’s true.  Teyla’s own people, the Athosians, do that and from her travels even before meeting and joining with Atlantis’ forces, she had encountered many other races that do as well.

Kenmore keeps her eyes on the land but her words are meant for Daniel even though everyone can hear her, “Enclosed gate system?”

Jackson keeps his eyes on the lookout as well as he answers her, “I’m not sure.  I don’t think so though.  In that case the settlement was right in front of the gate, it had no need to hide from anything.  The only things that came through were meant to come through.”

“’Enclosed gate system’,” Sheppard repeats, asking.

“When Morgan Le Fay hid Merlin, she put him in a cave on a planet whose Stargate was patched into a small network of other Stargates that were completely cut off from the main gate network in order to keep both Merlin and his research hidden more effectively.”

Sheppard nods.  That’s actually a smarter plan than he’d expect from an Ancient… or at least any of the Ancients he’s ever met or heard of.  Although there was that sanctuary he’d been accidentally sucked into.  But that place didn’t have its own equally secluded Stargate, it was just secluded.  The whole thing.  And it was Ancient gene activated, which he supposed was its own form of a type of Stargate seclusion.  But still, you couldn’t go back and forth between the sanctuary and the regular world or any other worlds for that matter; apparently you could with this separated gate network they were talking about.  How else could Doctor Jackson and the rest of SG-1 still be around?

“And does this look anything like that,” Sheppard inquires as he continues to survey the area.  He made his first cursory gloss over and was moving on now to his second visual sweep, trying to pick out any what he would define as anomalies in the landscape that he should mentally note.

“No.  But I should point out that the planet that we went to in order to get to that link planet was just like all the other planets we had been to in the Milky Way and that it’s settlement was set well away from the Stargate.”

Sheppard nods again.  Good to know.  “Okay, so it looks like we’ve got a bit of a walk from here.  Let’s move out,” he orders as he slips on his aviators.  The sun is bright and summery, not unpleasant, but a little bit on the blinding side.  In a bizarre way it reminds him of Afghanistan.  Sun so intense it naturally bleached the already parched Earth white and the light color of the surroundings reflected the sun making the word ‘intense’ seem like an underestimating redundancy.  Eyeball-searing, skull-drilling, mother of all migraines-creating sunlight.  Try flying through and over crap like that and not start pushing the envelope of disobeying orders.  Suddenly the threat of really bad memories pushes in on his mind and he quickly moves on from them.  Away from them…

The group starts off of the short stone platform’s stairs and start wading into the waist-high grass heading directly away from the Stargate.  In the lead of the travelling group is an unlikely trio lineup, Colonel Sheppard in the lead followed by Doctor Jackson then Lieutenant Kenmore.  Followed a step or two by Doctor McKay. Then followed up lastly by well more than a few feet, more like ten yards, by the pairing of Athosian leader Teyla Emmagan with Satedan Weapons Specialist Ronon Dex right on her heels, practically by her side.  It looks like it’s going to be a nice trek through nice lush forest.

“So, Doc, what do you exactly expect to find here,” John starts up the chitchat.

“Well I had hoped that it would prove to be like that first planet in the disconnected gate system, but now I’m thinking it’s more like I hope to find something that will point us towards that planet.”

“So it’s like the beginning in more ways than one?”

“Yes.”

They keep going for a few more yards.

“Do you really think that the Ark of the Covenant is a weapon,” John asks, “Could we be able to use it against the Wraith?”

“I’m not sure about being able to use it against the Wraith, but I do believe that the Ark might be part of a weapon.”

“According to some records,” Kenmore pipes up, “the Ark was used in conjunction with the Manna Machine as possibly the small nuclear reactor the machine required in order to operate.”

“Sounds like a weapon to me,” Ronon says from further back in the line, “The only time I’ve ever heard any of you people using a nuclear reactor is in a weapon.”

“Yes,” Daniel admits and the more he thought about it, the more he realized that Dex was right; it did happen that every time they mentioned a nuclear reactor it was in regards to a weapon of some sort that they made…or enhanced, “modernly speaking that is possible.  But anciently speaking, perhaps not.  People from our world back then thought less about weaponry and more about aide and assistance.”

“But this ‘Holy Grail’ was indeed a weapon created by the Ancients in your elder times,” Teyla puts out there.

“So who was that meant to aide and assist,” Ronon adds to Teyla’s line of questioning.

Daniel sighs, yes definitely like back at Stargate Command.  Kenmore answers for him though.

“The Ancients, before they got so cocky the Ori handed their asses to them on a plate.”

Well he wouldn’t have put it that way exactly, but, “Merlin created the weapon only because he saw the threat that the Ori were becoming and that his fellow Ascended didn’t believe they were ever going to be,” Daniel improves.

“So, weapon.”  The Satedan finalizes.

Daniel sighs again, really actually this is more like talking to Jack, “Yes.  Weapon.”  Food, good.  Shiny, bad.  And the simplifying goes on.

“Battery,” Ursula corrects.

“What,” Ronon says.

“Not weapon, battery for weapon.”

Rodney, already frustrated by the trek, the couple of dozen or so yards that it’s been, snaps, “And how the hell do you know so much about this?  And don’t tell me it’s from just being on an SG team.”

“No,” the Lieutenant answers, “I didn’t pick it up from an SG team.  I picked it up from my mother.”

“Mother?”  Teyla’s head shoots up to stare at the back of the Lieutenant’s head.

“Yes, Urs’s mother was one of my mentors.”

“I’ve known Daniel since I was sixteen,” Kenmore glances back at McKay.

“Even when the scientific community turned its back on me, Urs’s mother didn’t.  I will always be grateful to her for that,” Daniel and Ursula smile at each other, some things just run deeper than a gate team or the Stargate Program itself.

“And what exactly did her mother teach you?”  Rodney’s starting to get winded.

“Lynn was major in the fields of Native American archaeology and anthropology especially the Plains Indians as well as Ancient Irish archaeology and anthropology,” Daniel answers for her.

Okay, that one even dumbfounds Sheppard, “How do you get a twosome like that?”

“Lynn and Ursula are Irish and when it comes to the Native American studies, Lynn saw a lot of similarities between the two cultures.  Even became a blood brother with a tribal elder in Northern Idaho.”

Sheppard takes that information, and thinks about something else…

“What specific stuff did your mom teach you,” he refines the question that had formed in his head.

Daniel starts smiling and answers for the remaining silent Kenmore, “Oh just things she believed good Irish girls should know,” he teases.

Ursula takes the hint with a smile of her own, “I know my ancestry going back four hundred generations.”

“Oh please, that’s impossible.  No historical records could possibly be that accurate let alone go back that far,” McKay wheezes.

Kenmore picks up so quickly that she practically cuts him off, announcing loudly, “Adam the Red Man, created in God’s image.  Seth the Third Son, born after the death of Abel.  Enos,” as she goes on, Daniel starts talking again.

“Lynn got access to several genealogy records that were made by monks and protectively held by the church.”

Listening, something that keeps coming up has always bugged John and now is as good a time as any to ask.

“Why do so many of the names come with these super hero descriptions after them?  You know Clark Kent the last son of Krypton, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.”

“During ancient times many of the names were extremely common so descriptive sentences were used to indentify particular individuals like Ajax the Lesser and Ajax the Mighty in Greece.  The Mighty being the honorable Ajax of the Trojan War and the Lesser being the dishonorable one who during the battle captured and raped Cassandra even though he knew her to be a High Priestess of the Temple of Apollo and therefore off limits for such wartime procedures.”

“…Enoch whose walk with God was most pleasing and—“

Abruptly she stops, both vocally and physically.  Frozen in a moment of time.  Stunned by something.  Everyone staggers to a stop too, Sheppard and Daniel look back at her.  All eyes are on her.

“What is it,” Sheppard asks.

“‘And’ what,” McKay tries to encourage.

She looks up at Sheppard and Daniel, “And who ascended into Heaven without Death.”

They keep their eyes on her.  Rodney pales, John swallows hard.

“I, I can’t believe it.  I didn’t see it.  It was there all along.  I’ve known it all my life and I didn’t see it,” she’s floored.  Looking like she’s trying to find something in the grass.  It was there.  In the names.  Every single time she’s said that name since she was four it was coming out of her own mouth and it’d never dawned on her.  Of course, why would it?  She’d never known about the Ancient stuff until about a month ago… but there had been indicators.  Dreams she’d had growing up about terrible things, horrific things, that made her run to her mother’s bed and stay there, hiding underneath the sheets with her eyes turning every shadow in her mother’s bedroom into ghosts of the things from the dreams.  Then the dreams came true.  When she was young, her own mind scared her.

At school, she’d made friends by simply looking at some beautifully quintessential puffy cloud, concentrate at the thing, lift her hand and reverse the cloud’s direction.  In a sky full of cotton balls, that one would be the sole ball that would be going in the opposite direction.  It was a trick to her, a game.  One that had earned her some friends… and frightened others away from her.  A few she had known all her life had abandoned her when she started using her mind to change singled out parts of the weather, they started calling her evil.  A witch.  Other kids thought it was a joke, but when Ursula hadn’t shied away from the term, it became the bullies’ favorite tool.  She remembered students she didn’t even know spitting on her in the hallways, shoving her against lockers and laughing about it, humiliating her by ruining drawings she was proud of or wrecking the STAR WARS books she was reading or jeering at the stories she’d write for class.  All of that she could have saved herself from back then if she’d just realized that half of her wasn’t even human.

There was more silence coming from the others.  Ursula brings herself to take a step, if she didn’t they none of them would go any further, then she takes another and Sheppard takes that as his cue to start the group moving again.  So he does.  The tense silence reigns supreme for a long while then…

“Just for curiosity’s sake, are there any other Ascended Beings in your genealogy we should know about?”

Oh for the love of

“McKay,” Sheppard scolds.

“None that I’m aware of.  Well at least no other descriptions like that one,” the Lieutenant answers willingly.

“Well there’s Methuselah,” Daniel offers, almost like he was encouraging her into something that he hopes she’ll get to, that he really really hopes she’ll get to.

“Longevity doesn’t count as Ascension.  If it did, George Burns would be Merlin… and actually God for real instead of just on a movie screen,” Ursula shuts his idea down.

“Noah,” Daniel tries again, still encouraging her.

“Known as a farmer and the Ark builder.”

“Ark?”  Ronon asks, his baritone voice perking at the mention.

“Wrong Ark,” Daniel and Ursula answer him in unison.

“Japheth,” Daniel continues leading her on.

“Noah’s pretty son,” Ursula keeps answering.

“Magog.”

“Very fertile, fathered an entire race.”

“Really?”  Hell, even John’s with Rodney on that one, really?  An entire race?  Wow.  Now was that with, hopefully, just for energy’s sake, more than one wife?  Or just the one wife, because that would be really tiring especially for her?

“Yes,” Kenmore nods, “The Scythians.”

“Nuada,” Daniel finally comes to the name and looks at her expectantly, hoping his urging has down the trick.

“No, he—“

She abruptly stops again.  Frozen.  She’s shocked herself again.  Everyone stops as well, looks at her.  Daniel keeps his eyes on her, watching intently for the signs he’s been looking for.

Again Kenmore looks up.  This time at Sheppard, the only one ahead of her now since Daniel lagged behind to be beside her for the genealogical question and answer.

“He came back,” she breathes, “He shows up in the bloodline three or four more times… to replenish it.  The bloodline was about to die out and he retook human form in order to bolster it.  My God, they really did interfere, didn’t they?  Just got right in there.”

John doesn’t know what to say to her, but luckily he doesn’t have to say anything, Kenmore starts moving for a second time.  Once again he takes that as his cue to move the group on.  He does and they do.

After a few more dozens of yards, the group break onto a more worn but still less traveled than they’re used to path from the Stargate.  It still isn’t like what their used to in their own galaxy.  It’s not like they haven’t encountered worlds like this before, but they’ve usually been discovered to have been abandoned either because the Wraith culled those particular denizens out of existence or the Replicators beat the Wraith to the punch by wiping out that food source as means of a preemptive strike.  The grass height drops from their waists down to their knees.  It’s a small help in making their trek less of a slog.  The saplings have fallen away to become the forest that now lines either side of this path, a clear cut, not necessarily natural-looking path through the woodland.  At least it might be their second sign of previously residing human life, the gate platform being their first.

Suddenly there’s some rustling, somewhere off in the woods to the path’s left side.  Immediately Sheppard, Ronon, Teyla, and McKay bring up their weapons.  Kenmore and Daniel don’t.

“Oh relax, they’ve been there since we stepped out of the gate,” the Lieutenant chides them like they were being ridiculous.  Which in her opinion, they were.

God damn her, Sheppard grits his teeth, “And why didn’t you tell us that you knew people we’re watching us from the start?”

“Because they’re just scouts.  If they’d wanted to kill us or meant to harm us, they’d have done it before we’d even had a chance to respond.”  Duh.

“Which they didn’t,” Daniel tries to placate more smoothly and politely than his longtime friend, “so we’re fine.”

“We are getting nearer to their settlement.  That is why they are showing more of themselves to us,” Teyla confirms.  Her demeanor towards the forest guarding either side of their path is not tense.  She is simply proving to the eyes hidden there that she is both well armed and more than capable and willing to use her weaponry in defensive of herself and her companions.

Sheppard glances at her, “You knew they were already there too?”

“Yes,” Teyla and Ronon answer simultaneously.  Although Ronon phrases it as ‘Yeah’, but either way…

Sheppard rolls his eyes.

“They’re not threatening,” Ronon tells him, “They’re traveling light.  No heavy arms.  Bows and arrows maybe, only a few arrows though.”

“Oh great, yeah, like neither of those are threatening,” Rodney snarks.

“Okay, they’re not threatening except to McKay’s butt.”

Rodney comes out of his defensive stance to glare at Ronon, “Oh very funny.”

“You pointed it out,” Ronon tells him.

Teyla continues to peer at the forest, “They are waiting for us,” she looks back at the rest of her team and their two companions, “I believe they have been expecting us for some time.  Since the MALP came through the Stargate perhaps.”

Sheppard eases like the rest of his team.  He looks back at Kenmore and Jackson.  The Doctor looks considerately unfazed by this information, but Kenmore’s looking at the archeologist very unhappily.  Sheppard’s first red flag.

“Well that certainly sounds familiar,” she comments tersely in such a similar tone of voice to how John unhappily eyes Rodney when the scientist has failed to mention something that proves useful later or comes up with the same idea John had had awhile ago that the scientist had equally dismissed offhandedly.  Like when that Daedalus showed up and started jumping them to different parallel dimensions and the Great and Powerful McKay saved the day… with an idea that John had come up with two hours prior to Rodney magically coming up with it.  Granted Rodney had said it was because he suddenly realized that he had to stop thinking like him in order to stop them from failing like two of their other counterpart teams had, so it actually was John that had ended up saving the day and he took credit for it in two universes courtesy of a parting conversation with another version of himself in which John willingly admits he kissed his own ass.

Jackson doesn’t look over at her as he nods, “Yes, yes, it does.”

“What sort of familiar,” Sheppard isn’t liking this.

To add good reason for his not liking this, Lieutenant Kenmore frowns at Daniel Jackson along with continuing to be thoroughly unhappy with him.  John knows what that means when he does that to Rodney.  And exactly like Jackson is now, McKay avoids eye contact with him during those times too.

“Camelot,” she condemns.

“Maybe,” Daniel tries to dissuade.  Again just like how McKay tries to throw off the blame no matter how well deserved it seems to be brewing up to be.

Then without another word Daniel turns slightly and continues down the path at a confident pace like it’s the archeologist’s personal version of when McKay starts rapidly snapping his fingers then babbles off an ‘Aha’ moment.  Kenmore watches her friend go for a moment, still not happy with him, then follows nonetheless… just like Sheppard would, just like John does do in those moments because, well, in those moments, it’s usually Rodney that’s got the golden ticket and the scientist is sure as hell going to use it.  In those moments of all moments is when John trusts Rodney McKay the most.

John spares a glance back at the forest.  He still doesn’t see anything, but now at least he knows people are there.  He follows Kenmore following Jackson.  And Atlantis’ flagship team follows its leader.  The group catches up with Doctor Jackson at the end of the path that’s suddenly went from enclosed by forest on two sides to widen abruptly, the forest falling away behind them.  The group comes to a stop.

Sheppard’s team gawks.  Rodney fights the urge to take out his lifesigns detector and start scanning; it was hard to figure out exactly what he was looking at.  In the light of the day, he squinted and still wasn’t sure his brain was processing it all correctly.  They’ve seen more advanced than nomadic farmlands before but not like this.  He had been expecting something like… well, he honesty expected something like that buried cityship Tower they’d run into in their second year of the Expedition, the one whose residents, according to Sheppard, were a bunch of self-absorbed, self-indulgent, Regency Era gluttons with superior attitudes to match.  Rodney really hadn’t expected… this.  Again, he double-checks his urge to draw his detector and start scanning to see if this is all some elaborate hologram.

Sheppard stands there with his weight shifted to one side and his opposite side’s thumb hooked into his pants’ pocket, surveying the outlook with an air of ‘Oh that’s interesting’ without trying to look as interested as he was.  They’d never run into this before… no, wait, they had once.  When they were trying to find a ZPM before the Wraith laid siege to Atlantis with the Expedition defending the city and his team went to this planet that a ten thousand year old Elizabeth Weir had left behind for them.  The planet with that Brotherhood of monks on it that treated the ZPMs like religious relics.  The Brotherhood’s temple was something like this.  He really wanted to get in there and see just how much something like the Brotherhood’s temple what they were seeing is like.  Could there be a ZPM in there?  They could always use a ZPM.

Teyla’s body tension eased and she turned at a bit of angle to and turned her head to look the scene over, her soft mouth slightly opened and her not overly widened eyes searching everything in their keen sight.  She had encountered many similar places to this before in her travels both as a trader for her people and then as a member of Sheppard’s team and Atlantis’ Expedition, but never as this.  The Wraith would not have allowed it… but she had expected more.  More than what she was feeling.  She could not help but feel as though she was missing something, and her eyes kept searching.

Ronon took on the same laxed stance as Sheppard, shifting his weight to one side, but not hooking his thumb in his pants’ pocket, instead opting for his usual of hooking his thumb in between his golden-colored denim waistband and his dark chocolate-colored leather belt.  His sharply angled dark eyebrows rising slightly and his black eyes and tanned eyelids narrowing, squinting, just enough to exude the apprehension he was feeling perfectly.  This wasn’t any new sight to be seen in this galaxy.  Were they really going to find something, anything important here?  He harrumphed silently, just enough to bob his chest and shoulders up then down quickly.

Kenmore faced their view head on, but with her weapon slung down across her midriff to show armed pacifism.  Her frown deepens on her flat and expressively numb face.  She’s very close to either pouting or glaring at what she sees.  Either way means she’s this frickin’ close to turning her back now and leaving, screw Daniel and the goddamn Ark of the Covenant.

Daniel, for his part, is the only one assured by the sight.  He expected to see this, he hoped to see this.  Yep, they’re on the right track.

“I take it that this is a good sign,” Rodney asks.

“Very good,” Daniel nods.

“Until a black knight hologram shows up and starts killing villagers,” Ursula grumbles.

Sheppard looks over at her and sees Jackson tilt his head in that way Rodney does when caught between Sheppard and a hard place then eventually starts nodding, conceding her point.  Reluctantly.

Sheppard returns to looking at the village.  To him it’s everything he’d expected to see, has seen, of a medieval village, the fortified ones he’d seen old sketches of in dusty, time worn books in his college library or his father’s library back home.  Of course his father’s books were just for show.  As far as John could tell the old man never cracked a single one, just paid incredible amounts of money for them then sat them on the shelves to impress clients.  John had read them, pawed them, put his, as his father had put it once, ‘grimy little hands’ all over them just to piss the old guy off.  He’d expected John to read them, but he’d never read any himself.  The ghosts of hypocrisy needle John, causing him to glare at the wall-less yet seemingly enclosed town.  He shifts uncomfortably from foot to foot and moves his hand away from his pants’ pocket and back to grip the barrel of his loose hanging P-90 under the guise of a casual change of position.

But John’s aren’t the only ghosts conjured up.  Daniel marvels at the town, amazed by its striking resemblance to the Milky Way’s Camelot.  He’d been anticipating something somewhat similar but not almost an exact copy.  It was only missing the incredibly high defensive walls encircling it and yes, it’d be an astounding replica.  Amazing, truly amazing.  There’re tall buildings, obviously implying both multiple levels and cathedral high interior ceilings.  Roofs, some thatched, some actually tiled by this terracotta-like tiling.  So beautiful, so advanced for what he’s heard of human cultures in this galaxy.  Daniel feels his pulse begin to race with excitement at the potential possibilities he’s staring at, the histories.  Even after all his years on the Stargate Program’s flagship team, that feeling has never dulled.  And he’s grateful for that.

Ursula’s eyes narrow even further at the sight of turrets, banners and pennants flying from short poles on the roof tops.  Chimneys.  Her mind doesn’t miss the undoubted similarities between what’s in front of her and the images of Camelot both Daniel and Cam had taken while they’d been in the city, those images that had survived the destruction of the Prometheus that is.  But to her, it’s more akin to the Rohan capital village in The Two Towers.  Yeah, that blended with Camelot.  Different but somehow still the same.  Either way, it’s all way to familiar for her comfort.  The itch to turn and walk away now before anything gets happens that they can’t back out of starts nagging her.  Her mahogany eyes notice more thatched roofs than tiled ones, indicating that the tiled buildings were considered more important than the thatched ones, more worth protecting from the elements.  Few of the buildings are in fact made of stone, again obviously the bricked ones are the important ones.  The rest of the buildings are made of wood, thick sturdy timbers judging by the looks of them.  An element of stucco creepy in oddly here and there, refortifications perhaps.  She wasn’t sure yet whether or not that was a good sign or a bad one, only time would tell and she hoped that time would tell shortly rather eventually.  The bright sun glints dully off of some of the turret tops, their limp banners hiding nothing, indicating metal tops as opposed to the apparent norm of terracotta; most likely rusted by the stout combination of weather and time to the color of terracotta instead of the substance of it.  Some of the metal looks to have rusted to the patina of a nice sea foam green color in some places.  Very important places.  Despite herself, one of her dark brown eyebrows rises, she wonders what makes them so important.

Suddenly the scouts come out of the forests on either side of them.  Ronon was right, they’re armed with bows made of a fine pliant yew waiting with a single arrow and two spare arrows each hooked to their backs.  Sheppard can see the nice white feathers of the fletching just peeking over the scouts’ left or right shoulders and their stiff angles lead him to think that their attached to their owners backs by clips rather than quivers.  It’s confirmed when he notices that none of the scouts are wearing any signs of the strap of a quiver.  Yep, traveling light and unthreatening except for the nice and considerate trio of warning shots they could possibly offer.  Very passive.  The scouts, five on each side, keep steady and unwavering aims on the Stargate group.  As the gate team exchange looks back at the scouts, everyone gripping their weapons but no one being stupid enough to antagonize what could so easily stay a quiet situation, another group of five approach them straight from within the village itself.  Again the garb is very reminiscent of a fusion of Camelot with Rohan, different and same, familiar all at once only with brighter and many more color combinations.  The lead man, wearing a long lime green tunic that extended all the way down to just above the toes of his tanned brown leather boots and was trimmed at the collar and cuffs by golden threaded embroidery mixed with bright yellow, garnet red, Crayola crayon box primary blue, and plum purple in a beautifully elaborate Celtic design, addresses them.

“I am Keltoi.  We have been expecting you for some time.”  He’s smiling at them.  Beaming.

The team exchange looks with each other except for Daniel.  He smiles back at the man, steps forward, and extends his hand out to him in friendly greeting.

“Hello, my name is Daniel Jackson.  I hope we haven’t kept you waiting too long.”

‘Too long’?  The Atlantis group and Kenmore stare at Daniel’s back.  Kenmore not blabbing key mission information is one thing, Daniel not doing it is something else.  Oh this is going to be a real treat, isn’t it?

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