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A Very Special Dig

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A Very Special Dig

"Welcome to Lower Micklethwaite-in-the-Mud World, or, as our hosts like to call it, PXH665. Time Team is here for a very special dig today - what the archaeologists think may be one of the largest and best preserved Bronze Age sites ever found. Take a look at these aerial shots... lumps and bumps, strange lines in the vegetation, circles that could be roundhouses just like those found in 2002 in the West Counties... or something else entirely.

So what is it? A transplanted tribe of Britons? Or other people whose history mirrored them? Or the last remaining evidence of people who aren't even people at all? Who knows?

But Time Team - and our special guest expert Doctor Daniel Jackson - have just three days to find out."

Colonel O'Neill groaned, and got the Eyebrow of Doom from three different sides, from Teal'c, from the British Embassy official overseeing the 'joint venture', and from the small bespectacled English professor with the wild white hair and rainbowed jumper.

"Can't we at least take a break till the rain eases up?" he said finally. He'd already tried ordering them out of the drizzle, which had worked even less that it did with American academics and geeks. Carter had been the only one to make a move to obey... and she not only had to, she was still sulking at the geo-whatever people. She, who had built a naquadah bomb from scratch and blown up a sun, had had her fingers smacked when she went to 'recalibrate' their precious equipment.

Maybe Bill Lee shouldn't have mentioned that business about the sun. It had taken the history huggers about ten minutes to work out how many dead civilisations she had blasted to atoms in that move, and they weren't at all impressed.

Personally, O'Neill damned the well-meaning folk in Washington who had insisted on making the Gate and all its wonders public. Half the countries on Earth wanted their own documentaries about the Wonders Out in Space, and if he thought this lot, brought in to film a possible transplant of Ancient Britons, were bad, the next - the Egyptians of course - was promising to be way way worse...

If the Goa'uld could see SG1, the saviours of Earth now, they would laugh themselves silly.

The Professor shrugged, looking out benignly over his crowd of busy, squabbling, cheery, muddy archaeologists. "A bit of rain won't do us any harm, but it might damage the evidence. And if we're going to survey the whole site in the three days -"

"Oi, Tony! Mick!! Jaaa-aack!!"

O'Neill winced. Colonel Reynolds - the other ranking officer in this madness - had tried just once to get some sort of military regard from this lot, and it had lasted all of... what, seven minutes? Personally, O'Neill blamed his own archaeologist, simply on principle.

Well Daniel and the ginger-haired one with the atrocious hat and even more atrocious accent who was waving cheerily if soggily at them from.... Trench 6, that was it, the one that had had the geo-whatever guy waving arms, instruments and massive sheaves of printout over.

And crap, the little guy with the microphone and the never-ending blather was scrambling in that direction too. O'Neill tried to share a long-suffering look with Teal'c, but got a bland smile; Teal'c was doing fine actually, he'd found a liking for the English geeks, for the bustle and cheerful English bickering, and - horrifyingly - for English food and beer.

Daniel, of course, was in his own very English happy place. As they approached, he barely looked up to beam at them all and wipe rain from his glasses with a muddy hand before hunkering back down in his own small and squelchy patch of Ancient Britain. He'd given up the fatigues about the time the Air Force had given up trying to get their guests to wear them, and was now in jeans, a T-shirt with "Part of the Team" just visible under the dirt, and a spare hat just like Ginger's, right down to the feather and the fraying.

"The gods have smiled upon us," Ginger-with-the-Hat enthused to all and sundry in that accent. "Will ye look at this superb trench? And t'think, Dannee, that anyone doubted what we said from the first." He beamed up at O'Neill and Teal'c, his pale eyes glowing with joy. "Mebbe they'll listen next time, eh?"

"The gods?" Teal'c intoned, somewhat warily. "You understand they are false -"

"Arrrrh, not them gods," Ginger-with-the-Hat waved a trowel dismissively. "The gods of historical digs, me friend."

O'Neill, silently objecting to the 'Danny' and noticing all too clearly that Daniel didn't, stared down, but all he could see was... mud.

"Oh yes!" The Professor agreed contentedly. "That's marvellous, Phil. I think you can clearly say those postholes -"

"Those what?" O'Neill found his voice.

"Postholes, Jack," Daniel scrambled up to join everyone, and wave at the BBC cameras that were trained on the Microphone Guy with the never-ending, ever-waving prattle. "See... here," he pointed reverently at a featureless spot of dirt, "and there," he pointed further away, "and there!!!"

Nearly everyone nodded - even Teal'c, which got him a sour et tu? look from both Colonels.

"Absilutely, and what's more," the big blonde with the cheery Antipodean voice jumped in before Ginger-with-the-Hat could, "I'd say that frim the size and plicement that it's got to be twenty feet across, and difinitely like Bronze Age bick hime."

"A Bronze Age settlement a million miles from England?" Microphone Guy enthused. "That's got to be a first on television. What do you say, Mick? Is that what we have here?"

"Mmmm, possibly... but we need to see more evidence. I think extend the trench, maybe, and put in another one -"

"Another one?" Reynolds yelped before he could stop himself. His men had already been supervised over the nine holes that were going strong - if damply - now, and hadn't been too happy about the detailed critique their shovel work had received, or being relegated to fetch and carry work afterwards.

"Oh yes, at least, and probably maybe more. We've got another day, after all."

Ginger-with-the-Hat beamed at them. "Nothin' like getting down an' into the earth, is there?"

"Yeahsureyoubetcha," O'Neill heard his Major mumble behind them, but he ignored it on the grounds she was still sulking over the geo-whatever.

"And even better... will ye take a look at this absolutely magnificent piece of dating evidence, Tony?"

He held up to the camera, incredibly delicately, what looked for all the world like a thumbnail-sized piece of dirt. And as Microphone Guy and the Professor - and Daniel, of course - ooohed and aaahed over it, and babbled about Neolithic and Bronze Age and comparative cultures and whatever, O'Neill bit down on an even sourer reflection that there were worse things than his archaeologist's damned artefacts, which at least were... rocks.

He snuck a look back at the mud under Daniel's feet, looking for whatever they'd all been so lyrical about, but all he could see was shadowy changes in the colour of the mud...

Oh yeahsureyoubetcha, Carter was dead right there. And if the Goa'uld could see the saviours of Earth now, they'd laugh themselves - with any luck - to death...

- the end -