August 4, 1998 (Earth reckoning)
P3X-774 – Nox Homeworld
1 week; 7 days; 168 hours – that much time did not seem to be much in the scheme of things, but to Dr. Daniel Jackson, formerly of earth, that length of time marked a monumental change in his life. One week earlier he had had a job working for Stargate Command, friends – his teammates on SG1 and others in the SGC, and a home – either his apartment or his office in Cheyenne Mountain. Granted his job going through the Stargate was dangerous, but still his life was relatively stable. And he had been happy. The only things that were missing in his life were his wife, Sha’re, who was a prisoner of the Goa’uld, and the others of his adopted family from Abydos.
But now . . . but now everything had changed. He was dependent on his hosts, the Nox, for everything. He had tried to do the right thing by helping the Tollan escape from earth to keep them from being virtual prisoners of the NID. In return he had been accused of trumped up charges of treason and had been himself forced to flee. He had tried to do the right thing, and in return it seemed that his life had just gone down the drain.
Daniel wasn’t sure what he was going to do next. Lya, Anteaus, and Ohper had made it clear to him that he was welcome with them on the Nox homeworld, but there was only so long he would be willing to impose on their kind hospitality. And after over a year of fighting the Goa’uld and searching for his missing wife, there was only so long that he could stand sitting idly by doing nothing.
He was shaken from his thoughts as a crunch of leaves nearby heralded the approach of Ohper, one of the oldest of the Nox and one of the friendliest toward the Tau’ri. Daniel scooted over so Ohper would have room to sit down on the log beside him.
The old Nox passed Daniel a wooden bowl full of hot-spiced tea before also taking a seat.
“Have you thought more about your plans for the future?” Ohper asked. “You will be welcome among us for as long as you wish to stay.”
“I know, Ohper, and I thank you. Your hospitality and generosity has been much appreciated.” Daniel replied. “I have really enjoyed my time here, but I want to move on soon. I need to keep on looking for my wife.”
“An admirable goal. But where will you go? You told me that you were reluctant to go to any of the worlds that your people are now allied with for fear of being captured or putting your allies in a difficult position?”
“I really don’t know, Ohper.” Daniel said with a sigh. “In time the Stargate on Abydos, the planet where my wife is from, will be unburied. Hopefully I will be able to return there. In the meantime I might try some of the other planets in our database that are far down the list for the SG teams to visit. Besides this, I really don’t know.”
The old Nox was quiet for a minute before he spoke again. “I spoke with Anteaus last night about you, about any ways within our beliefs that we could seek to help you if you choose to leave us.” He paused for a moment to sip from his own bowl of tea before continuing. “There is one place we know of where you will be safe, where in time you would likely be able to seek help for your wife.”
Daniel looked up in surprise from where he had been staring at the ground. A light of hope flickered in his eyes. “Tell me, please!”
“Long ago the Nox were once part of the Alliance of Four Great Races. You would have seen some evidence of this while you were on Heliopolis, as you mentioned that you were last year.”
“Yes, we learned a little bit about them. Through our recent interactions with Thor and the Asgard and our earlier interactions with your people, we had managed to identify two of the four but still didn’t know anything about the other two.”
“The Nox and the Asgard were two of the races in this Alliance. The other two were the Ancients, the builders of the Stargate, and the Furlings.”
Daniel’s eyes widened at this statement.
Ohper continued, “The Ancients no longer dwell here or concern themselves with the affairs of this galaxy. The Furlings left this galaxy long, long ago after to escape a deadly plague. After wandering for many, many years they eventually settled in a neighboring galaxy near to that which the Asgard inhabit. They are interested in the affairs of this galaxy and would likely be willing to offer you asylum. . . I believe that is your term for it.”
“Yes, that’s right,” said Daniel, “But why would they be willing to help me? And how would they help me rescue Sha’re?”
“They would help you,” Ohper replied, “because they value justice and honor. Your government had no right to attempt to detain the Tollan, and they would say that you did the right thing by helping them even though it cost you greatly. As to your wife, the Furlings are enemies of the Goa’uld and are currently planning their downfall. They might in time be able to free her from captivity.”
A powerful race that was an enemy of the Goa’uld – this was the SGC had been searching for but had never been able to find. But there was something that bothered Daniel. “If they are enemies of the Goa’uld, why haven’t the Furlings down something already? The Goa’uld have controlled the galaxy for thousands of year. Also, why haven’t we heard about the Furlings before?”
A small frown flitted across Ohper’s face for a split second and then was gone. “The Furlings have, until recently, had their own problems to deal with that kept them from attending to matters pertaining to the Goa’uld. As to your second question, you have not heard of them before because they have not dwelt in this galaxy for a long time.”
Now it was Daniel’s turn to frown. “If they haven’t dwelt here in a long time, how did they become enemies of the Goa’uld?”
“That is their story to tell, not mine.” Ohper replied. “We could send a message to them this very day if you wish. I would encourage you to go to them. I think you would be happy there. The Furlings are a good and wise race, and they have a massive library on their homeworld that I believe you would greatly enjoy.”
“Well,” said Daniel with a smile at Ohper’s final sentence, “that sounds like a good a plan as any for the present.”
Ohper rose from his seat on the log and beckoned for Daniel to follow. Even with the plan decided, they still walked at a comfortable pace down a short hill back to the small village with the Nox that SG1 had met on their first visit to Gaia lived. Ducking into one of the huts, Ohper returned a minute later with two small stones. One was carved in a script that resembled a mishmash of Tolkien’s Elvish and Urdu, the current language of Pakistan. The other was of similar size but of a lighter color with no markings what so ever.
“Come,” Ohper said and beckoned for Daniel to follow.
“If the Furlings live in another galaxy, how will you contact them?”
“Through the Stargate,” Ohper replied.
“How?” Daniel asked. As far as the SGC knew, the Stargate only dialed gates within their galaxy.
“You will see.”
Daniel and Ohper continued the rest of the way to the Stargate in companionable silence. Nafrayu, the young and curious child that he was, met them part of the way there, sometimes walking with the two adults, other times trotting along in the woods on a parallel path.
When they reached the Stargate which had been temporarily unsealed, Ohper held the light colored stone in one hand. As he did so, it began to glow with a yellowish light. The event horizon on the Stargate instantly formed without the usual kawoosh. Ohper handed the other carved stone to Nafrayu who, approaching the Stargate, tossed it gently into the event horizon. After a moment, the Stargate shut off.
“Now what?” Daniel asked.
“Now we wait.” Ohper replied. “It will not be long.”
A half-an-hour passed quietly by Daniel’s watch without any sign of life from the gate. The forest, too, was quiet. Only the occasional birdsong could be heard and the rustle of the wind in the leaves and grass. But finally the silence was broken as the gate began to dial. Nafrayu with a look of great excitement on his young face ran forward to join Ohper and Daniel by the DHD.
“They’re here!” The boy cried in delight.
Daniel took a deep breath as he watched the wormhole form. It was time to face the future whatever it might hold. He hoped that he was making the right decision.