Authors Note: The Pleading worked - there is now more Flickers. And it's still dark in places. Enjoy - and excuse errors, I don't have a beta at the moment.
Momento, homo, quia pulvis es et in pulverem revertis Remember, man, that dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return
The light from the TV was flickering in the darkened room, casting it`s ever moving shadow over the lounge-suite before it; the table and chairs to one corner of the room. The muted picture on the screen of the television bore silent witness to the events of the day before hand. Black and white static flickered across the screen; the very absence of a picture illustrating that the station was no longer there. As far as anyone could tell, the city itself could have been annihilated. Outside the room, the corridor was as silent, the normal rush of people navigating the long winding corridors gone. The hum of electricity was the only noise that could be heard, the complex deathly silent.
A floor down, deep beneath the surface of the planet, a tall hollow ring stood, the approaching ramp littered with discarded items as the last of the refugees scampered through, desperate to head to a better life before their world ended. The control room, a floor above the littered ramp, was silent. The glass of the observation widow`s shattered and the glass littering the floor and desks. The floor of the room was slick with blood, the liquid a thick ooze as it dried. Here and there across the floor was scattered paper, stuck to the red liquid where it touched. To anyone who looked, the room was horrific evidence of a final frontier. A final last ditch effort to push back the invaders. To save earth and all it`s people from destruction. The blood on the floor told of the outcome of the final effort.
Eventually, the power gave out; hours or days after the invasion, certainly long after anyone remained in the compound. Without warning, power was gone and the complex was abruptly blackened, the silence deafening. Here and there on each floor was an eerie green glow of an `exit` sign, their long life batteries keeping them gleaming even after the power had gone. The air grew stale and tepid as the filters stopped working. The blood littering the hallways congealed into thick, flaky pools, bright red liquid gone brown with age.
As with all things, time moved on. The complex remained unchanging, locked away from the world beneath a mountain of dirt and rubble. Locked air-tight, the complex itself was an instant captured in time, unchanged.
Time immemorial passed, until a sound echoed around the empty complex. A harsh, scratching howling sound, followed by a metallic thunk. This sound was heard seven times in all. Air began to move slowly, for the first time in years. Eddies swirled around the tall ring, once known to those who inhabited the complex as a Stargate. The swirl of air grew in force until suddenly the Stargate erupted into life, bursting out in a pool of water to light up the dark room. Had there still been power to the complex, a voice would have been heard transmitting through the pool of water, questioning the void. A voice of someone that once knew the complex well enough to call it home.
There was a brief pulse in the water inside the ring, then a figure emerged from the pool, draped in dark blue jacket and hood that covered the face and body, eyes searching the blue-lit room intently. Behind the figure stepped another two, both holding similar poses. The first figure gestured off to its left, then briefly off to its right. The three figures split up, each running its` own search pattern around the room. The hiss of the pool folding in on itself made the three of them hesitate as the room was once more plunged into absolute darkness.
A light flickered on, followed by another two. Three beams of light cris-crossed their way through the large room, taking in the details that darkness hid from view. One beam focused on the damage sustained to a large metallic shield that was hiding half of the control room behind it. The figure holding the light hesitated and then turned to walk out of the room, thumping solidly up the metal stairs into the room above it. Boots scuffed the brown substance off the floor, sending up drifts of fine powder that coated the already dusty surface of the footwear.
The two figures below continued to study the damage to the large, open room. One was squatting close to a small pile of rubble, leaning in with some device that was strapped to its` forearm. The other was continuing to scan the ceiling and upper walls of the room. There was a tap from above, and both looked up. The light beckoned them to come up to the control room. The two figures left the room; their beams directed a foot from their boots. They both entered the control room, the second figure going straight towards the chair that still remained, it`s seat turned away from the blank, damaged console. The first figure tapped it`s wrist, then pointed silently to the monitor. The second figure nodded in silent understanding, swinging the chair around and sitting down on it.
Minutes later, the three figures looked at the hardrive`s they`d removed from the computers below the console, checking them over closely for damage. Satisfied, they all walked out of the control room and down the metal stairs towards the Stargate. The first figure held out its wrist and made a gesture over it. The Stargate burst into life again, the blue light flickering over their uniforms. The three figures, still bathed in the blue light from the Stargate, walked up the metal ramp and entered the pool of light. The Stargate noted their passing with a slight ripple in the water-like horizon.
Seconds later, the Stargate closed in on itself, the bright blue flickering light extinguishing. And once more, the Complex was silent and dark. A piece of paper lying on the metal ramp approaching the tall ring fluttering and then fell to the floor, its movement noted only by the slight rustle it made as it landed. Then all was silent, in the complex, as it would be forever more.
The three figures stepped out of the horizon quickly and trotted down the stairs, removing the protective jackets and hoods as they did so. The others, waiting at the base of the stairs, looked on curiously as the descended. All but one remained silent.
`Well?` She asked, stepping forward. `Did you get it?` Jack grinned down at her and nodded. Teal`c, standing beside his friend, held up the hard-drives that he held so carefully. Sam, looking up at the three of them, grinned in relief.
`Right, people.` Jack said, getting everyone`s attention. `We`ll have a full briefing in two hours, but right now, we need to analyse the info on these things.` Jack pointed to the computer pieces in Teal`c hand, then clumped down the final three stairs and walked through the large crowd toward the small compact building that served as Sam`s lab and Jack`s office at the same time. He was followed, of course, but that was okay. It was his team, his family. He opened the door and allowed the other three to enter before him. They all took seats on the cane chairs that they`d constructed in the first year they`d been on the alpha site, the rustle of the stuffing in the cushions accompanying their movement. Sam groaned as she sat down beside Jack, putting her hand on her lower back to help her sit down.
`You okay, Sam?` Jonas asked, leaning forward. Teal`c and Jack looked on, equally concerned.
`I`m fine. Just.. fat.` She grumbled. Jack smiled and took her hand, offering her a squeeze in sympathy. `How did it look?` She asked, looking at each of the men in turn.
`Bad.` Jonas said, sitting back.
`Very bad.` Jack agreed, his voice deep. `Maintaining vocal silence while we were there was the hardest thing I`ve had to do since we abandoned Cheyenne to the A`cuit`s.` He continued, pulling his hand away from Sam`s and gripping his knee`s.
`Jack, you didn`t have a choice. You know the A`cuit`s are attracted vocal sounds. One word and you`d have all been ripped to shreds and your bones ground for their bread.` Teal`c raised an eyebrow at the analogy, but it generated a small smile from Jack.
`You`ve been telling Danny bedtime stories again, haven`t you?` He asked. She smiled guiltily in return.
`Well, yes. But it`s pretty close to the truth. Which is why you had to maintain silence while you were there. Was there any..` She drifted off, unable to continue the question. Jack shook his head in reply.
`None. You knew there wouldn`t be.` Jack took her hand again, offering mute comfort. Sam nodded her head, blinking to hold back tears. Before any of them could continue, the door burst open and a young boy of about six years old scampered in, blue eyes wide with excitement.
`Daddy!` He yelled, throwing himself at Jack. Jack grunted as the solid weight of his son hit him, then hugged him tight.
`Hey, kiddo. I told you I`d be back.`
`But I dreamt you died. Lots and lots of times.` The boy stopped, his eyes closing and his face taking on a haunted look. The four adults around him exchanges sombre looks, then turned their attention back to the boy.
`Daniel?` Jack asked, pulling the boy back to study his face. He brushed the sandy hair out of his son`s eyes, looking briefly to Sam before picking him up and seating him on his lap, holding him close. `It`s alright. I know it`s confusing now, but eventually it`ll be okay. Just remember that I`m okay, and that`s all in the past now.` He continued to hold his son, who was and always would be his best friend, rocking gently as the child snuggled closer, comforted by the sound of his father`s heart beat.
`It`s hard.` Sam said, watching as her son and husband rocked together. `He`s just a child, but he can remember everything that Daniel was, everything that Daniel did.`
`It was his wish, MajorCarter.` Teal`c said softly. `To be a child again, and to have parents. He will grow to be a brilliant adult, and will have loving memories of his family.` Jack and Sam smiled at each other while simultaneously placing their hands on her rotund stomach. The five of them remained silent for several moments, smiling in their own way, then Jack cleared his throat.
`Right, let`s start having a look at this data, shall we? We have places to visit, you know!` The others, kicked into motivation, nodded their heads and stood up. It was eight years since the destruction of earth and the Alpha site (aka Maui II) was ready to contact the rest of the galaxy. Armed and dangerous. Jack grinned. God bless the Asgard and God help their enemies.
Stargate SG-1 Fanfiction