“Whew, that was a close one.” Jack commented as he looked out from the mouth of the cave at the ‘rain’ that fell outside the cave where they were sheltered. “That stuff looks nasty.”
Instead of water, the objects that fell from the sky looked like silvery threads. That is, until they hit something living. Then they turned into monstrous, writhing worms that rapidly consumed all organic material within reach and multiplied as they ‘ate’. The tall grass that the team had just run through was rapidly devolving into a sea of moving threads.
“Indeed,” Teal’c agreed.
“I don’t know sir, but this is probably why the address is on the prohibited list.”
SG-1, made up of Colonel Jack O’Neill, Major Samantha Carter, Dr. Daniel Jackson and Teal’c, was scouting the latest gate address spit out by the dialing computer. They were particularly curious about the planet because Teal’c recognized the gate address during the mission briefing. The address led to one of the planets that were banned by the Goa’uld.
However, when the Mountain first dialed the address and sent a MALP through, all readings came back normal. The video camera showed tall grasslands in all directions, undisturbed by any signs of civilization.
“Oh boy,” Jack had joked when he realized that the undergrowth was almost as tall as he was. “That’s going to be fun to hike through.”
Now he was looking at the annihilation of that same undergrowth with shock and awe.
While the rest of the team was watching the spectacle outside, Daniel was more interested in the interior of the cave. Shining his torch against the far wall, he caught a glimpse of what looked like writing. On closer inspection, Daniel saw that it was actually the first image in a sequence of scenes painted on the wall. The story told through the paintings was simple, but impactful.
In the first scene, a group of humans and Jaffa came through the stargate, with the gate address to the planet written below the main image.
The second scene showed a village with people cultivating and harvesting a crop of a particular native plant. In one corner of the scene, a close up image of a single plant was included. The village looked like a permanent settlement with homes built of brick and thatched roofs.
The third scene was the stuff of nightmares. Rain fell on the village, but where it hit, it consumed people, livestock and belongings alike. It was clear that the rain was the same as the silver threads that fell outside the cave.
The fourth scene was one of heartbreak. In it, a few people were picking through the remains of the village. Most of the homes had become low walls of brick, with the exception of a single stone building that was mostly intact. This building, apparently the only safe shelter from the ribbons, must have been where the survivors had sheltered during the ‘threadfall’.
The fifth scene was the conclusion. In it, the few remaining settlers fled through the stargate even as a second ‘threadfall’ approached in the distance.
As Daniel followed the images along the wall of the passage, it curved until he was out of sight of the rest of the team. A low ‘chirp’ interrupted his examination of the surface. Turning, he allowed the torch’s light to follow the sound to where an oddly shaped lizard stood beside a pile of eggs.
Before he could do anything more, Daniel was hit by an odd feeling, as if someone was greeting him inside his head. It was sense of welcome/hope/friend that made the man smile in fascination at the odd method of communication. He tried to project a similar greeting, hoping that the unknown being could read as well as project.
A second pulse, this one of confusion/curiosity, followed the first, even as the strange lizard unfurled wings and flew up to hover at eye level. The lizard’s skin had a golden sheen and its large multifaceted eyes gleamed in the light of the torch that Daniel still held in his hand.
“It’s you, isn’t it?” Daniel whispered as he stared at the creature. “You’re the one in my head.”
The creature gave another chirp in response.
Jack poking his head around the corner interrupted the moment.
“What the hell, Danny!” he exclaimed as he shifted his gun into shooting position.
At the same time, there was a series of popping sounds and several more flying lizards appeared out of thin air. They hovered in formation around the original golden beast.
Daniel yelled, “don’t shoot,” and placed himself between the lizards and his teammate even as Sam and Teal’c came round the corner to join their leader.
“Danny…” Jack warned, trying to get him to move.
“Jack, they’re not hostile!”
His message was somewhat weakened by the gout of fire that emerged from the throat of one of the lizards.
“Easy,” Daniel begged while projecting a sense of calm/misunderstanding/peace as best he could.
When no further gouts appeared, the rest of the team lowered their weapons.
Apology/greeting was projected; but this time Daniel was not the only one who felt it.
“What is that?” Sam asked.
“I think it’s how they communicate,” Daniel explained, even as he held out his arm. As the original golden beast landed on it, Jack grinned.
“Well, Danny, it looks like you’ve managed to make friends with a mini dragon.”