It was late morning and the day had turned overcast; a light rain falling softly. Lya was busy preparing the afternoon meal of fruits, berries and greens for her family. Quietly humming to herself, she watched Opher and Nafrayu stoke the fire. She smiled. Nafrayu was such a
joy to have around. Most Nox children were, by their very nature, quiet and well-behaved. But Nafrayu showed an extra spark of inquisitiveness. Always eager to help. And so many questions! Opher mentioned more than once he was very like her in that respect.
She sensed, rather than heard, Antaeus approach the clearing near their hut. Shaking off the rain from his tousled hair, he dropped a load of small branches and twigs by the fire.
"The hunters are back," he said quietly.
"I know," she nodded her head in response.
"They are very persistent," he said with a smile, seating himself on the log beside her. Taking up a fruit, he began peeling it.
"They are," she smiled back at him. "You would think after all this time they would grow weary of the chase."
"They are stubborn," he replied, busying himself with another fruit. "The Golden One is with them this time."
"Oh?" she raised her head from her work, searching his face for more. "Have they new weapons?"
"No," he replied. "The Golden One looks tired. He pushes his men hard." Suddenly Antaeus cocked his head, listening intently. Lya heard it, too. The sound of the ring turning.
"More of them, do you think?" she asked.
"I don’t know," he replied. Had others discovered their world? Putting down their work, Lya and Antaeus went to investigate.
* * * * *
This was so not going according to plan, Jack thought as he crouched behind a rock. The mission had seemed simple, at first.
The heat was on back at Stargate Command. The brass at the Pentagon were screaming for something concrete with which to fight the Goa’uld. Even though he, Carter and Daniel had tried to point out that the SGC was one of the most important endeavors known to mankind, it wasn’t until Teal’c had spoken of a planet which was home to some kind of animal with invisible, stealth-like capabilities that the brass had pricked up their ears.
So here they were on said planet, hunting this beast with tranquilizer guns. The stargate had disappeared, which was unsettling in itself, but then Daniel had spotted one of the beasts hovering in the air nearby. Well, maybe ‘spotted’ wasn’t the right word – the thing was almost
invisible. But there was definite flappage and hovering. It wasn’t until a stray staff shot had come close to winging the thing – a staff shot which definitely hadn’t come from Teal’c – that SG1 discovered they weren’t the only group out today hunting the creature.
Sure enough, Jack couldn’t believe his eyes. The last person he expected to see on this planet was that rat bastard Apophis. But there he was – larger than life and twice as ugly. Accompanied by three Jaffa, he was
obviously in the know about this creature, too.
Then Daniel pulled them aside and gave an impassioned plea about kidnapping the guy and taking him earth side to force him into revealing all the Goa’uld secrets and, most importantly to Daniel, the whereabouts of Sha’uri. Teal’c said it was doable, Carter didn’t protest, so here he was, knees complaining, crouched behind a boulder at the side of a narrow, hilled path. His kids were hiding in the rocks on the hillside and Teal’c was near the end of the path. This better work.
* * * * *
Damn. This was so not working. When the shooting started, Apophis was immediately surrounded by his Jaffa. Not so unusual, but he was also surrounded by something else. A shimmering force field. Seemingly impenetrable by weapons but clear enough so that Jack could see the snarl on his face.
Jack aimed and fired his gun. Twice. No effect.
Apophis rumbled something, in that half Goa’uld, half human voice still disconcerting to Jack’s ears. A Jaffa tossed Apophis a staff weapon through the field.
Oops. Time to get the hell outta the way.
Jack dove to the left. A searing pain struck him in the back. Then, nothing.
* * * * *
Carter saw him fall. "Colonel!" she shouted, rising up from her hiding place. A blast caught her in the stomach and then she, too, felt nothing.
* * * * *
Daniel blinked his eyes in disbelief. This was not happening! He moved to change position and a blast caught him squarely in the chest. He toppled over backward. Dead.
Teal’c came forward from the cover of the bushes. Perhaps, this time, the false god had won. His teammates had surely been killed, as had one of Apophis’ Jaffa.
Teal’c vowed he would die with honor.
"Teal’c. Jaffa sholva," Apophis spat.
"Tall shaka mel. I die free," Teal’c intoned, lifting his chin, readying himself for the staff blast that would surely end his life. Suddenly, he blinked out of sight.
Apophis looked around him. Where once bodies had littered the hillside and the ground, there was nothing. The bodies of the humans had disappeared. The sholva Teal’c had disappeared. Even the body of his loyal Jaffa, Shak’l, was missing.
* * * * *
Back at their hut, Lya sighed, finding the presence of so many of her kinsmen together in one place rather unsettling. But, then, these unprecedented events had drawn them here.
She sighed again. So much damage. So much death.
When she and Antaeus had arrived near the path, taking care to remain unseen, the carnage unfolding before them had shocked and saddened them. They had to work quickly.
The pair whisked all the dead back to Antaeus’ hut. The living member of the party was placed out of harm’s way until he could be reunited with his fellow team members.
The one member of the Golden One’s party who had been killed was taken to a nearby hut, and would be transferred back to Antaeus’ home when the healing was successfully underway. More hands than those residing here
would be needed. And the process needed to be done soon. Damage like this could not be left untreated for long. The Nox had been successfully healing themselves for millennia, but could they do the same for these? They appeared to have the same physical structure, but were they vastly different internally? Too different to heal? No matter. To not try was unthinkable.
The call had gone out and soon other Nox gathered under the thatched cottage roof. The strangers must be made ready.
Outside, three pallets had been prepared, and the bodies placed upon them.
Lya had kept the younger man for her group. She eased the bulky jacket off him and placed it under his head and shoulders. Normally those being treated remained clothed, but Lya was not certain of the strangers’ physiology, so she removed the black T-shirt to get a better look at the
The blast had hit the young man in the center of the chest, fracturing the sternum and bursting the heart. The skin around the wound was blackened and suppurating. Amazingly, there was little bleeding. The stick weapons of the Golden One caused much damage, but also burned away
blood. Death had been quick – and relatively painless.
For such damage to the torso, the young man’s face had been left unmarked. He looked to be merely asleep. Circles of glass covered his closed eyes. Lya slipped these off his face and tucked them away for safekeeping.
He appeared very young. He was handsome, she supposed, and with just a bit of imagination, Lya could see him as part of The Nox. A bit too tall, though. She shook herself firmly. Best not to linger too long over flights of fancy. He needed the healing, and immediately. Of the trio, he would be hardest to save.
She had examined all three. The blast to the older man’s back had caught him just under the left shoulder blade, singeing a lung and damaging the upper ribcage. The woman had taken a blast to the stomach, damaging it and some of the intestines. But neither had an organ destroyed. The
young man’s wound was only less severe than a blast to the brain.
She looked back over to where Antaeus stood. He and two other men were already beginning the healing ceremony on the older man. Melina was gathering her group to begin on the woman. Nafrayu had joined her, standing on tiptoe to peer into the young woman’s face.
Lya was glad the eldest of her clan, Opher, would be assisting her. This healing would take the skill of their best.
Before starting, she laid her hand over the damaged heart.
A rush of feelings and emotions almost overwhelmed her. Here was such pain, such faith, such basic goodness. This had never happened to her before; this immediate connection with someone not of The Nox.
Lya pulled her hand back quickly, as if burned by a flame. Opher, seeing her flinch, moved to her side.
"Lya?" he questioned gently, cocking his head to one side. Opher knew how gravely this young one was injured. They must not delay further.
Opher put his hand under Lya’s chin and turned her face towards his. He was shocked to see tears trickling down her face. "Lya?" he asked again, truly concerned. Lya was one of the most talented and sensitive members of his race to come along in some time. Her affinity for others, her ability to sense either evil or goodness in them was so developed, so finely tuned, even more so than his own abilities. Opher was certain she would take her place among the leaders soon. What was it about this young man that had upset her so?
"Lya," he said firmly, "we cannot delay any longer."
Lya shook off her emotions and nodded.
"Indeed not, Opher. Let us begin."
Daniel was positioned on a bier of ferns, flat on his back, arms to his side. Normally, his arms would have been positioned across his chest, but for a wound of this magnitude the chest was left exposed. Four members of The Nox gathered around him.
"It is time," Opher intoned and the ceremony began. Sela and Carin, both older women, positioned their hands above the young man’s abdomen and legs respectively. Lya stood over his right side, her left hand extended toward his head while her right hand grasped her left wrist. Opher
crossed his arms directly over the damaged sternum and heart.
* * * * *
Opher sighed with relief. It had been very close, but now the young man was resting peacefully near his teammates in Antaeus’ hut.
The whole process had taken nearly twenty minutes, exhausting the four Nox. Opher knew he would be hard pressed to remember any healing that had been as difficult as this one. Once, several years ago, Cephas, a
young member of The Nox, had strayed too far away from his clan and had fallen down a ravine. He had remained missing for several hours and because of his youth and severe injuries, had been unable to telepathically call for help. He, too, had taken much effort and energy to save.
Opher felt a light touch on his shoulder and looked up to see Lya bending over him, offering him something to drink in a rough hewn bowl. He took it gratefully, and found her hands were still trembling slightly.
"Sit beside me, Lya," Opher asked, and watched as she gracefully lowered herself on the log next to him. Truly this healing had taken its toll on her. Her elfin features were pinched and a deep sadness was present in
her usually twinkling eyes.
"This one has touched you, my daughter," Opher said, using the familiar endearment the elders reserved for their most favored among the younger clan members.
"Indeed," she replied, casting a sideways glance at Opher. "But you, too, were not unaffected by him."
"That is true," Opher nodded. "It is unusual to get such images from one not of The Nox." After the healing ceremony, Opher had placed his hand briefly on Daniel’s chest over his heart. And he, too, began receiving images, emotions.
"I agree, Grandfather," Lya replied, using another endearment. Opher was indeed like a grandfather to her – kindly, loving, always teaching.
"What did you see, child?" Opher asked.
Lya closed her eyes, once again assailed by the vivid images. Then she spoke slowly.
"He is like the others, but he is very different. There is wisdom, gentleness, a goodness about him that is so strong." She turned to Opher, tears again glistening in her eyes. "There is so much pain, Grandfather. He has seen terrible things; the deaths and disappearances
of so many close to him. And loneliness. I sense he has been alone most of his life."
She bent her head, clasping her hands together.
"There is also a seed of great hatred in him. Hatred for those who visit our planet; they are called the Goa’uld. Hatred especially for the Golden One, called Apophis, who was here today. This one has inflicted much pain on him. And yet…"
Again she raised her gaze to Opher.
"Although he hates the Goa’uld, he bears no hatred for the one who accompanied them here, the one called Teal’c. Teal’c, who was responsible for the kidnapping and enslavement of his wife. His wife, who now carries the Goa’uld Ammonet within her. He considers Teal’c a friend, almost a brother. It is most unusual, don’t you think, among their kind? To hold no malice towards one who has wronged you so greatly?" She smiled shyly. "He would make a fine Nox."
Opher’s face remained impassive, but he was greatly impressed by Lya’s words. He had gotten faint images of what she spoke of, but nothing as detailed as what she had seen. Her words rang true. He had seen glimpses of the great pain and suffering the young man had endured in his brief life, yet, underlying it all was such a powerful goodness of spirit that Opher indeed felt a sort of kinship with him.
You are wise beyond your years, Lya," Opher said, smiling. He rose stiffly to his feet. "The strangers will sleep for several hours. I, too, feel the need for rest. This has been a most exhausting experience."
Immediately Lya was at his elbow, helping him up. "You are right, Grandfather. How thoughtless of me to not see how tired you are after this healing. Antaeus has prepared a pallet for you. Come. Sleep now."
She led him over to the bed and helped him settle. As she turned to leave, Opher grasped her hand.
"Rest, too, daughter. When they awaken we must be prepared for an onslaught of questions. Although very young, this is a very curious race."
Lya laughed quietly. "This is so. I will check on them one more time before resting."
* * * * *
Lya moved quietly through the still hut. The jobs done, most of her clan members had left for their own homes. Antaeus and Nafrayu were outside.
She stepped into the room where the strangers slept. All were fully clothed; Daniel included. While holes remained where the blasts from the stick weapons had penetrated, their clothes were no longer stained with blood or ash.
Going first to the bedside of the older man, who was lying on his stomach, Lya placed a gentle hand on his back.
"Indeed you are the leader, ‘Jack O’Neill’," she said quietly. "I sense a dark past in you. Your job is lonely; you must make decisions which affect your companions. But, there is a place in your heart for these two – and the one called Teal’c. They feel the same for you. Rest, Jack. They are well and will soon awaken beside you."
She then moved to the woman and put her hand on her shoulder. "‘Samantha Carter’," she whispered. "Rest easy. Your teammates did not die, and neither did you. You have not known them long, but there is affection there. Much knowledge, too. You are a brilliant woman. But among these
men, you do not have to keep proving yourself. They like you for who you are, Samantha, not for what you can do. Remember that."
Moving to the young man’s side, she knelt by the pallet. Placing her hands gently over his heart, she spoke quietly.
"‘Daniel Jackson’, you have survived to live another day. Fear not for your friends, they are here. The one called Teal’c is also nearby. Just rest – and heal."
Lya moved one hand up to her face and was surprised to find her cheek wet with tears.
Placing her hand back on Daniel’s chest, she continued speaking to him in a low voice.
"I do not know what connection this is between us; just know I sense a kinship with you.
Although your race is young, you show such promise. You especially, Daniel. You have the potential to accomplish wonderful things. Your mind is truly amazing. Like Sam’s, only more so. Know this, Daniel. Because of your wisdom, your compassion, your soul, you are the conscience for
this team. Yes, you need them, as they are the family you seek. But they need you also. For balance. For empathy. For helping to achieve the greatness which right now is just beyond their grasp.
"I cannot read the future, Daniel. I truly do not know what lies before you. Just know that, if it is within my power, I will look in on you from time to time. You’ve become rather special to me. If there are others like you among your people, perhaps your race is not as young as
Smiling sweetly, Lya leaned over and placed a gentle kiss on Daniel’s forehead. Then she lightly brushed some strands of hair out of his eyes. Reaching into a small pouch by her side, she took Daniel’s circles of glass out and carefully placed them back on the bridge of his nose.
Standing, Lya straightened her dress and made her way out of the hut to join Antaeus and Nafrayu. When the team awoke, she would show no signs of ever having communicated with them, of knowing their language or
their intentions. This was, of course, the way of The Nox.
|Summary:||SG1 find themselves miraculously brought back to life after an ambush goes south. Missing scene for "The Nox."|
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Canon tells us it didn’t happen this way. Actually, canon doesn’t really fill in all the blanks. I like to think it might have been like this. It would go a long way into explaining some of the Nox’s future actions towards the team – particularly one member.