Title: Lost in Translation
Rating: T (at the most)
Character/Pairing: Daniel, Teyla; everyone shows up, even if it is in passing
Spoilers: SGA 1.09 Home and 2.17 Coup D'etat
Warnings: I may have inadvertently missed a spoiler or two, especially with SG-1, but I don't think so.
Summery: Prompt: Translation help
Notes: For ryf for the sg1sga_ficathon. ~2900 words.
Disclaimer: Don't own them. Never will. It is all in fun and no copyright infringement is intended. Don't sue. You can't get blood from a turnip. Seriously, I am THAT poor. If I had money, I would be out, doing...stuff.
This is my first completed piece of fanfiction. I am still trying to find my voice. Of course, feedback is welcome. All mistakes are mine. I didn't have a beta for this part but did run it through spellcheck. Whatever good that did me. Feel free to point out any errors. There are reasons why I did not major in English. Or Math (but that is another story altogether) ;)
"Hey, Danny. Long time no hear," said the voice on the other end of the line.
"Yeah. Who else do you think would be calling you from D.C.? The Smithsonian?"
"Uh, well, yeah. You know, I do some academic work outside the SGC, Jack," Daniel said sarcastically. Like my work outside the SGC really matters. I'm still the laughing stock in many academic circles; if they only knew.
"Yeah, I know." O'Neill uncomfortable with his admission, quickly changed the subject, "Look the reason I called was we have a situation and I need you here in Washington right away. I can have you booked out on a flight leaving for Washington in three hours. Is that enough time?"
"Sure. I guess." Intrigued, Daniel asked, "Can I ask what this is all about?"
"Sorry Danny, it will have to wait until you get here. Gotta go."
Shocked at the somewhat abrupt nature of the calls ending, Daniel stared at the phone for moment before saying 'bye,' knowing the line was disconnected, and heading out to his apartment to pack a change or two of clothing.
"Alright Jack, I'm here. What can you tell me? You were awfully secretive on the phone," Jackson said taking a seat across the desk from O'Neill.
"This," O'Neill said, handing a folder to Daniel. O'Neill allowed Jackson to peruse the images in the folder for a few moments before continuing. "What you see there was found in the home of a murdered archaeologist working on recovering lost and stolen artifacts."
Daniel's head shot up at the word murdered. Yes, archeology could be a dangerous field. People were ruthless, not only in academia, but in the thriving blackmarket. The sheer amount of money that some of the artifacts up for auction fetched still shocked Daniel. "What happened and how does this have to do with us, more specifically me?" He continued to study the images trying to find some understanding of how a murdered archaeologist pertained to him.
"Your name appeared in his address book." Before Daniel could say anything, Jack said, "And he had several articles you had written, including your dissertation, lying about his office. Several passages had been highlighted."
O'Neill handed Jackson another folder, this one producing a much different reaction. There were copies of the articles in question with the highlighted passages and photographs of the crime scene. "Oh."
"'Oh" is right. The weapon used to kill him was energy based, not something a normal criminal from Earth would use."
Daniel heard and understood the stress on the word 'Earth.' "So you are thinking Gao'uld? Rogue Jaffa faction still loyal to the Gao'uld, maybe? Doesn't look like it though."
"Not sure. I was hoping you might be able to help us with the writing there. Narrow the field down as to who might want to kill the good Doc. The boys in cryptography got a hold of a copy of the file and couldn't make heads or tails of it. I believe they said it was close to than," Jack's voice rose questioningly, "but it wasn't. Said it was a made up language instead."
"Than? You mean Thaana?"
"Yeah. I guess. Whatever. Anyways, I had hoped you would recognized it."
"It's not any language I have knowledge of, but..." Daniel paused for a moment, staring again at the pictures, "I think I have seen this writing before and I think I know where. Do you have access to the Atlantis databursts?" Seeing Jack nod, Daniel said, "I need to see those. Can you give me a couple of hours?"
45 minutes later...
"Found it. The language is actually is a derivative one of the languages identified on the wanted posters. More likely it is an altered form of Ancient."
"Wanted posters?" questioned O'Neill, eyebrows raised. Lost him at found it.
"Yes, wanted posters. You remember. Um, Ladon Radim staged a coup against Cowen. To help capture ATA gene carriers, wanted posters were circulated."
"Oh, yeah." He vaguely remembered reading the report. Atlantis teams got in to more trouble than SG-1 ever thought of. He really couldn't keep track of it all, not that he was going to admit it.
"It would take months or even years to decipher. Possibly, years."
"So what do you want me to do about it?"
Daniel looked at Jack frowning, "We have an expert or at least someone who can marginally read the language-"
"We do?" Jack interrupted.
"Yes." I remember now how exasperating it is to talk to Jack sometimes. "Yes, we do. Teyla Emmagan, a Pegasus Native and member of Colonel Sheppard's team."
"Right. I'll back at the Mountain by the time you get there."
Daniel found the rest of SG-1, Teyla, McKay, and Colonel Sheppard as he entered the Cafeteria. "Join the party, Jackson," called Cameron Mitchell.
"Doctor Jackson," Teyla said, as Daniel joined the group, "I believe you needed my help?"
"Yes, I do," he said raising his voice to be head over the others in the group, especially the bickering of McKay and Sheppard. "Why don't we go to my lab and I will explain?"
"I understand you were delayed?" Teyla questioned.
"Yes, I needed to get a few things." Pulling a scroll out of his bag, Daniel asked, "Do you recognize the writing?"
"Yes, it is Adjaran. It is a fairly common language among traders and fairly easy to learn."
"Good." Sneaking a look at the Athosian, Daniel was taken aback when he realized he was attracted to Teyla. He had spent time and gotten to know the Athosian during his trip to Atlantis. She reminded him of Shar're in many ways. Quickly, shaking his head to clear of his head of such thoughts and diverting his train of thought, Daniel said, "So the entire gang came along, except for Ronon. What happened to him, by the way?
"Ronon is off-world with Sergeant Ironwood's team. The team is has been on enforced downtime due to Colonel Sheppard's injury during our last mission." Smiling, Teyla lowed her voice, "I believe Doctor Weir had Doctor McKay and Colonel Sheppard escort me here because she wanted some peace and quiet."
Daniel chuckled. With those two, he was surprised she hadn't locked them up or even killed them. Not that some of the Pegasus tribes hadn't tried for her. How does Teyla, much less Weir, stand it, I'll never know.
They had been translating the text for hours and still no clue as to why Doctor McKlure was murdered. "Doctor Jackson-"
"Very well. Daniel. So far the text has been unhelpful. Do you believe that it is not the text but maybe the place that is of interest?"
Thinking, Daniel said, "I don't think so. The NID have been over McKlure's place and haven't found anything. I was there myself, but I was more interested in the scrolls, so I may have missed something. Maybe you are right."
"Your world is beautiful and so diverse," Teyla said.
"Yes, I guess it is. I am sure the Pegasus Galaxy is just as diverse."
"I believe so, but it is spread over many, many worlds. Here, you can find so many cultures even in one of your large cities. And your cities...they are so large! Most people in the Pegasus Galaxy have never thought of such things because of the Wraith. Oh! What are those trees? They are beautiful."
Daniel looked over to where Teyla was pointing. "Huh? Oh, it is the Prunus serrulata, or the Japanese Cherry tree. They are in full bloom this time of year here in Washington and there is even a festival."
Before Daniel could comment further, his cell rang. "Jackson. Hey. No. We are on our way now. Why? Oh, okay. Sure, see you there."
Teyla waited for Daniel to tell her what was going on. Though she was used to hearing one side of a conversation, it still unnerved her not to be able to hear the other person; comms allowed for citywide communication, but could be to more personal channels allowing one, or two or more people to communicate with each other.
"That was Jack...uh, General O'Neill. He will meet us at Doctor McKlure's town home."
"Doctor McKlure has many books on treasure hunting." Teyla was amazed at the number of books that were stuffed on the shelves in the office. Leafing though the books, she noticed that most of the books had passages that were notated or highlighted. She told Jackson as such.
Daniel was scanning through each of the highlighted passages when O'Neill arrived. "Swanky place. I think I need a change of occupation." Seeing the scathing look Daniel sent his way, Jack said, "So kiddies, find anything?"
"Teyla noticed that Doctor McKlure had passages notated and highlighted in a number of books. Many of them pertain to a 'treasure of untold fortune.' This may be the actual reason Doctor McKlure was killed."
"Untold fortune, huh? Any idea where this fortune is at?"
"No, not at this point. That is probably what McKlure was working on. I hasn't been determined if any files stolen."
"What about the scrolls?"
"From what I was able to find out about them, which was not much, Doctor McKlure acquired them from a private collector about a month ago. Unfortunately, I was not able to learn anything about the origin of the scrolls from the original collector because they too died under suspicious circumstances. The police are running down a couple of suspects in that case. She had dealings in the archaeological underworld and many of her pieces have been acquired illegally."
"So...you aren't any closer?" prodded Jack. "By the way, where is Teyla?"
"I didn't say that. And Teyla wanted to look at the scrolls again. I set her up in the den."
"Ah. So..." Jack motioned vaguely outside of the study.
"So what?" asked Daniel genuinely confused.
"You and her?
Daniel just shrugged.
Three days later, Colonel's Carter, Mitchell, and Sheppard, Teal'c, Vala Mal Doran, Teyla, and McKay were landing in Batumi. I don't see why the Daedalus couldn't just transport us where ever it is we are headed. Where are we going again, anyways?" complained McKay.
"Khulo, in the Meskheti Range. Doctor McKlure highlighted several passages in the books in his study. Coupled with those passages and geographical references in the scrolls, it led us here."
And where is that? Hell, I don't even know where I am, except I am sweating." Wiping his forehead, Rodney said, "That's disgusting. They do have air conditioning where we are staying I hope. You know how easily I get heat stroke."
"Rodney, you didn't have to come along."
"Sure. Sure, I didn't. But what if you need my help and you are one to talk. Are you even supposed to be doing anything strenuous, Sheppard?"
"This is not strenuous. We will just be helping with Doctor Jackson's research. How dangerous can it be?"
"You had to go and jinx it, didn't you, Sheppard?" shouted Mitchell as the group ran for cover.
The group had spent several hours in one of the local church crypts on the insistence of Doctor Jackson. He thought that they would have a good chance of learning more about the scrolls and the 'untold fortune.' They had been ambushed on the way out of the church.
"Hey! I did no such thing," came the indignant huff, as Sheppard slid into place beside Mitchell. "Any idea where everyone else is?"
"Teal'c. McKay, Carter, and Vala took cover about 100 yards to our north. Jackson and Teyla, I haven't a clue."
As soon as the attack started it was over. As everyone came out from their places of cover, it was noticed Daniel and Teyla were missing.
Daniel woke up to a throbbing headache. He noticed an odd smell in the air- sulfur, if he wasn't mistaken. That meant they were ery near one of the hot springs in the area.
"Doctor Jackson," a voice said, startling Daniel, "glad to see you are now awake."
"Who are you and what do you want? What happened to the person that was with me?"
"Do not worry Doctor Jackson. She is safe. As for who we are, that does not matter. What we want, I believe you and your female companion are after the same thing. Doctor McKlure came across the scroll and found clues to an 'untold fortune' while doing translation work for group. He believed he owed nothing to us."
"I take it he did?"
"Doctor McKlure owed everything to us. Without us, he would have been nothing. We funded all of his research for the past 15 years."
"And what do you expect from me?"
"Apparently you and your companion have been able to break the code on the scrolls. No one has been able to do that."
"And you know this how?"
"I have my sources Doctor Jackson. Now, you have a choice. You can help us find the treasure or I can kill you friend."
"Apparently your source didn't tell you everything. if there are additional clues in the same code as on the scroll, it takes both of us to decrypt the entry." God, I hope they are buying this. We need to stay together if we want to increase our chances of escape.
"You will be taken to see your companion in a few minutes."
"Teyla, are you okay?"
"I am fine, Doctor Jackson. Are you harmed?"
"No, just a slight headache. Did they ask you any questions?"
"No. What do they want?"
"They want us to help them find the treasure Doctor McKlure eluded to," said Daniel.
"Is that not what we were doing?" asked Teyla, confused.
"In a sense. Many of the archaeological finds that we have that can be traced to the Ancients or descendants of the Ancients, possibly even the Pegasus Galaxy, the descriptive language used can be very misleading. I would think, since we know that the scrolls are not Terran-based, it is a good bet that the term 'untold fortune' doesn't mean gold and silver. To the Ancients, it meant knowledge."
"Should we not tell our captors? Maybe they will let us go."
"They have already committed one murder. What makes you think they won't kill us. We need to by more time, until we are rescued or can escape."
"So, how did you find us?" asked Daniel.
"It wasn't hard. They didn't hide their tracks very well," Mitchell said. "Probably thought they could take anyone who came after them." Almost did. Mitchell looked over to the two occupied infirmary beds in the SGC. Teal'c and Sheppard suffered first and second degree burns, but both were on their way to recovery. The treasure hunters, as they had come to be called, suffered severe losses, including one man who had fallen into to the scalding hot springs and drown. "Did you ever find out what that 'untold treasure' was?"
When Daniel hesitated, McKay prodded him, "Well?! What is it?"
"On the way back to Cheyenne Mountain, Teyla helped me to translate the last scroll that was in Doctor McKlure's benefactor's possession."
"Yes, yes, yes," interrupted Rodney. "Fascinating. Can we get to the important part before I die of old age?"
"What we determined, Doctor McKay," Teyla said,smiling at Daniel, "that the springs are the 'untold fortune.'"
"What?!" exclaimed McKay, clearly voicing Mitchell and Carter's opinions also.
"Apparently, the hot springs have some sort of medicinal properties, which to ancient peoples, including the Ancients, who were studying eternal life, this important to them. If you look at the people in the area, they are remarkably healthy and long-lived," said Jackson.
"No...no...no...no...no! Colonel, I can't believe you agreed to this!" Rodney McKay whined for what seemed liked the millionth time since entering the building.
"Rodney, I believe that Colonel Sheppard desired a break from the confines of his quarters. I do not believe that Dr. Lam would have allowed the Colonel to drive," Teyla said before John could respond, watching as Sheppard as he flashed his trademark grin. She knew although he was released from the SGC infirmary, Sheppard was still taking fairly strong medication and was still not feeling 'himself.'
"It is called a cab." Rounding on Sheppard, McKay said,"And you could have said no."
"They offered. I said yes. To what, didn't know, didn't care. I was going stir crazy."
"You said yes to this? This...this is worse than torture."
"Well, not exactly. Sam just asked if I would like to get out of the SGC for a while. She didn't say where we were going." Looking up, Sheppard paled. "Um, I think Rodney and I will uh..." he trailed off. "I don't need to know thing like this about a teammate or superior officer."
Teyla watched confused as the men walked away arguing over which store they wanted to go in first. "Colonel Carter, I do not understand. During our encounter with the mist beings on M5S 224, I was able to share in Colonel Sheppard's visions. He was able to introduce me some of the wonders of your world, including shopping. But I do not understand Colonel Sheppard and Doctor McKay's reaction."
Carter laughed as the two of them entered Victoria's Secret, Sam trying to explain lingerie catalogs, malls, and men.
A/N: I know it isn't exactly what ryf asked for, but this is what was screaming to be written at the time. So sorry. I tried really, but this is what came out. Sorry you had to wait so long. Please feel free to suspend belief as fuzzy (actually a little more than fuzzy) time, linguistics, and geography were used at my leisure.
Thanks to ryf for being so patient. No sooner than I said I would be a back up writer, I hurt my back. It has been very difficult to sit and type for more than 20 minutes at a time. I also have had to work over the holidays (not pleasant with my back). Those are my excuses and I am sticking with them ;)
The original piece was much longer (~ 7,000 words), but I trimmed a number of scenes from this that I really, really needed to be work on, but just couldn't. It also started out being a totally different story, and over the course of several days went a radical transformation plot wise. There started to be more Jackson/Teyla and Carter/Teyla, but Sheppard and McKay kept putting their noses in where it didn't belong, but what can you do? Who knows, if everyone thinks it is worth it, I may put up some of those deleted scenes.