One Small Step...
We are in the gate room and I think I've already lost track of the number of things that could possibly go wrong here but that doesn't keep my mind from supplying me with a brand new possibility every ten seconds or so. This is it, this is the moment I've been both looking forward to and dreading for most of this past week. I've seen the gate in action almost twenty times since I first came to the SGC but I am all too aware that seeing it in action is not the same as going through it.
The good news is that Jim has managed to overcome all the obstacles the SGC has thrown at him up until now, though I have to admit that at times that outcome was far from certain. In fact after we first arrived there was a time when we feared that this had all been a huge mistake... especially because it took Jim more than half a dozen tries to be able to do so much as look into the event horizon without zoning. Of course, that problem --while unexpected-- may well have turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Sure, Jim was more than a little embarrassed afterwards but the fact remains that those incidents helped everyone understand just how vulnerable his senses can render him at times. In that regard that problem turned out to be more effective than a hundred lectures. Yes, the zone-outs were pretty bad and they scared quite a few people, but in the end they took place in a safe and controlled environment so there were no real risks involved, not like there would have been if it had happened in the course of a battle.
Since then we've had a few days to work with SG-1, the team we've been unofficially assigned to for the duration of our 'training period'... or until General Hammond can figure out what the heck he is supposed to do with us. For the time being I am somewhat comforted by the knowledge that our temporary teammates can at least recognize a zone for what it is and I'm hoping they will even be able to pull Jim out of a minor one should the need arise, though I am also well aware that they would be lost if they were confronted with a major one when I'm not there... and I'm not the only one who is more than a little worried about that possibility. Sure, we had warned them long before we left Cascade that we could not afford to be separated but I think up until they saw Jim zone they had assumed that that was a matter of choice, now they understand it is a matter of necessity and that even if for some reason the team has to split up, the two of us must remain together at all times.
From their perspective that is a problem, especially because it is pretty obvious that they see me as the weakest member of the team. That means that they worry that if Jim were to become incapacitated because of a zone we would both be rendered vulnerable and by extension whoever happened to be stuck with the two of us would be automatically compromised. In other words, they won't be able to relax unless I can prove to them that I can hold my own... unfortunately I'm not sure of how to do that, not with the information I have currently available to me.
That is why this 'mission' is so important to me: because one of the things I've learned in this past week is that none of my previous experiences as a guide has prepared me for what I am going to experience here and that means that I have way too many unknowns and I really need to know where I stand and what I'm up against. After all, Jim is counting on me to watch his back.
Sure, Jim may have managed to overcome his problems when it comes to looking at the event horizon but that doesn't change the fact that I am pretty much counting on a major zone-out when we arrive in the 'Land of the Light' and that is not going to be fun... far from it.
I know that sounds more than a little pessimistic of me --and I'd really love to be wrong about that-- but somehow I don't think I am. Still, in spite of the fact that I know chances are we are in for a rough time, I can't deny the fact that I am itching to get going.
Even though Sam told me of their adventures --and misadventures-- involving the quantum mirror, in a way I can't help but feel that traveling through the stargate will be an opportunity to study different realities. Sure, they won't be different realities, not literally, but we are going to worlds inhabited by the descendants of our own ancient civilizations and that means that I'll be able to see what those societies might have become if things had turned out differently.
Oddly enough I think in the long run that is going to be a major difference between me and Daniel. I've lost track of how many times I've heard Jack teasing him about spending way too much time with his 'rocks' but then again he is an archeologist. I, on the other hand, am an anthropologist. For me it's not so much about the artifacts as it is about the people, about how they live and what they do.
According to Daniel in the Land of the Light we'll encounter a society that is reminiscent of the Ancient Minoans. That means it is based on one of the civilizations that is at the root of what we now know as the Western civilization... and that makes their development --or lack thereof-- particularly intriguing. What happened to them since they were taken? Considering the changes our own world has seen it is hard for me to imagine that their society has remained virtually unchanged for hundreds or maybe even thousands of years and yet that would seem to be the case.
Did their civilization remain static because there were no other cultures around? I hate to even consider it but if they were taken from earth and then abandoned by the Goa'uld because of the presence of a mysterious illness, could it be that theirs was a centralized society that faced no real external threats and therefore had no need to evolve? After all, a sad fact of human history is that wars have been key to our own technological development. That is one of the reasons why isolated populations on remote islands can remain virtually unchanged for thousands of years.
Of course, in addition to that, I have other questions, like why did the Goa'uld abandon that world after going through the trouble of populating it in the first place. Sure, I could understand that the presence of a disease may have turned out to be a problem, but somehow I don't think that explanation can withstand much scrutiny under the circumstances, not unless there is more to it than meets the eye.
The way I see it, the Goa'uld must have found something valuable enough in that world to make settling it worth while and --considering their technology-- it should have been possible for them to overcome the disease without too much trouble, so why didn't they? Sure, they may have thought that human lives were unworthy of being saved but that still doesn't answer the question of what happened to whatever brought them there in the first place. Could it be that whatever cause the disease SG-1 first found on that planet was even deadlier for the Goa'uld than it was for humans? I know I'm just guessing here, but I admit that I'm more than a little curious about that... especially because if there was something that caused the Goa'uld to abandon that world, maybe that something could be duplicated elsewhere.
Sure, the evidence provided by the fact that Teal'c was immune would seem to contradict that theory but seeing how the disease affects the nervous system it may well have had a different impact on a Goa'uld than on a Jaffa. After all, a Jaffa is essentially an incubator and he's nervous system is independent of that of the larva he carries... that, however, wouldn't necessarily be true for a Goa'uld who could find itself even more vulnerable than the average human.
Oh well, it's just one crazy theory, one that --being the new kid on the secret project-- I know better than to mention. It's just something to keep my mind away from the fact that I am about to step literally into another world, with my sentinel by my side.
Funny, I never really imagined that my life could possibly turn out like this and still somehow it feels just right.
Author's notes: Okay, I know the end seems kind of abrupt but with the number of TS/SG-1 crossovers out there I felt that going into the adventures of Jim and Blair through the gate was more than a little redundant, that's the reason why my emphasis was on getting them into the SGC in the first place. Anyway, I hope you've enjoyed this and thanks for reading. Considering that this thing began as a one shot that required quite a bit of patience.