Al'kesh Answers by Aurora Novarum
[Reviews - 1] Printer
Category: General
Genres: Drama, Friendship, Humor, Team, Vignette
Rated: All Ages
Warnings: None
Series: None
Summary: Daniel & Sam prep for a mission.

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Story Notes:
written as birthday present
"Do you have it yet?" Daniel leaned over, trying to get a view of what Sam was doing.

"No, hold on a second...actually, can you hand me the larger wrench?"

"Sure. This one, you mean?"

"Yep." Sam grunted, her tongue partly sticking out of her mouth as she tried to tighten whatever it was she found to tighten in the al'kesh console. "Okay, I think that's got it. What's the next step?"

Daniel looked again at the pad in his hand. "Um, the translation's a little dicey here. Are you sure the Tok'ra gave us the right tablet?"

"I'm certain this cramped access panel was made to make my life a living hell. Look at the tool they gave me to put this together. Ikea's got nothing on aliens."

Daniel looked at the flimsy alien version of an Allen Wrench his friend was holding and then at the pliers, wrenches and even a hammer scattered across the floor. He was still holding a bizarre looking screwdriver in his other hand Sam insisted calling a "torque". What happened to regular and Phillips?

"I'm beginning to wonder if Ikea are aliens. It took me forever to figure out the instructions, and I can read Swedish."

Sam's chuckle echoed through the cramped quarters that had swallowed her upper torso. "You'd think it should be a logical order to this. I'm getting the hang of the concept of crystal technology but as advanced as the Goa'uld are, you can tell this is a makeshift scavenge job."

"But you will be able to fix it." Daniel stated it as a fact, not a question, but couldn't help but raise his eyebrows hopefully.

Sam ducked down then, catching his expression and laughing. "Your confidence overwhelms me. What's the tablet say now?"

Daniel bit his lip as he scanned the tablet in his left hand, putting down the torque thing and picking up the Goa'uld page turner. "Once the crystals burn like the suns of Kilor, twist the control cycle to the third tier."

"Like the suns of Kilor?"

"Whoever wrote the manual was apparently an aspiring poet. Believe me, I've been giving you the paraphrased rendition." Daniel looked up to see Sam staring into space with a frown. "Sam?"

"Kilor sounds familiar."

It took only a few moments for Daniel to put together she was flashing back to Jolinar. It hadn't been all that long since the Netu adventure. He dropped the tablet on the table and moved closer to her. "Hey..."

Sam seemed to blink out of her fugue. She smiled instead. "I'm okay." Apparently he hadn't disguised his skepticism because she repeated. "Really, I'm okay."

She started scanning the crystal tray in front of her. "The color of the suns was an orangy pink...sort of like sherbert. I guess they're supposed to be heating up."

Daniel wasn't sure if he should pursue his concern at her possible flashback or not, but Sam seemed to think the subject dropped as she studied the panel with a look of half fascination, half concentration. They both watched as the crystals instead glowed more towards a greenish tinge. Sam frowned. "The tablet doesn't say anything about if they glow like the swamps of Kermit, do they?"

Daniel was reaching back for the tablet as Sam ducked back under the panel. "I'm looking for where it mentions other diagnostics and...wait, should you be working when things are hooked..."

"Ow!" Sparks flew from the crystals as Sam poke her head back out, sucking her thumb.

"Apparently green is bad," Daniel commented.

"I noticed." Sam replied petulantly, taking her thumb out of her mouth and studying it. "It's not bad, actually, just unstable. I'm pretty sure I see the problem. Just give me..."

"Wait." Daniel stopped her before she poked back inside. "Just, I'd like you to keep all your fingers, okay?" He glared at her before turning back to his reading. "It says here 'the pastures of Verdun', I'm guessing that means green, 'indicate an overload in the..." um...taking out the flowery language, I'm guessing they mean the defense systems. It says you need to bypass with the blue crystal."

"It says blue?"

"Well, it says 'the flower of Nefertum', so blue is an educated guess on my part."

"Okay." Sam ducked back in and Daniel could see a blue crystal being jiggled towards the back of the panel before Sam pulled it free and set it in a different spot. "I think we're back in business!"

The rest of the crystals glowed with a pink Daniel related to the sands of Abydos at sunset--pinkish orange, which made him think of Sha're, as so many unexpected ordinary things still did. Daniel sighed.

"Sam, do you ever wonder if it's all worth it? I mean...what we do?"

"Getting blasted by temperamental equipment and shot at on a weekly basis, you mean?" Sam wiped a bit of sweat from her brow as she fidgeted out from the access panel.

Daniel's smile was wan in response. "I mean, do you think we're making a difference? We keep fighting, but what headway have we made? How many times have we thought Apophis dead?"

"Well hopefully the whole moon blowing up got to him this time." Sam quipped, then frowned as she met Daniel's eyes. "Yes, Daniel. We have made a difference. Look at Teal'c and his people. Bra'tac's supposedly starting a whole little rebel movement. Think of the worlds we've saved, and the Tok'ra. As much as I question their mechanical lessons, they...they gave me back my dad. And what about Abydos? After we meet up with Dad with this rattletrap, we're supposed to bring him back home. Even now, would you give up one moment of your time with Sha're?"

"No!" Daniel looked scandalized. "Of course not. But I just sometimes wonder if we're making things better."

"We'll find Kheb, Daniel. And...look at where we are now. Did you ever think we'd be flying a machine like this through hyperspace?"

"No. Although, I never expected I'd be blowing up bigger ones either." Daniel smiled more broadly this time, trying to signal he was breaking out of the melancholy he fought against more often lately. Sam was right. They had allies now they didn't know before, the Asgard, the Tok'ra, and the recent Triad indicated more diplomatic possibilities could happen with the Tollan and Nox. Though he'd lost Sha're, because of them he now had Ska'ara back.

"Hey, have you finally cranked this baby up?"

And as always, he had his team, he realized as Jack joined him for his fifth time since he and Sam had been working in the engine room.

"Cranked it up, sir?" Daniel only cast a sidelong glance at Sam since he knew once he looked at her, she wouldn't be able to hold her repressed laugh.

"Yeah, like the Model A...what?"

"Nothing, Jack." Daniel shook his head and nodded. "We're at sherbert color, so we're good to go."

"We're what?"

"Never mind, sir." Sam closed the panel. "If Teal'c's got the navigation system set, we're ready to move."

"Great!" Jack seemed inordinately delighted at flying the space machine. He clapped his hands together after notifying Teal'c by radio. "So...are you sure we don't have time to swing this baby by Earth first? At least buzz round the moon?"

"Sir..." Sam admonished.

Jack raised his hands. "Stop for ice cream? You brought it up."

"Jack..." Daniel admonished as they went to rejoin Teal'c in the bridge.

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