"Come in, take a seat, there’s more than enough sandstone for everyone!"
Jack held up his P90 nervously while he was entering the cave in front of them, they’ve been searching for all day long. Sam and Daniel followed him, then Teal`c, after he was scanning the area around the cave. Despite the fact that nobody seemed to track them, the Jaffa was holding up his staff weapon in a thigh grip- just for prevention measures…
The U- AV hadn’t found any organic creatures, but just no organic…
"Ya sure, we’ll find the Trinium in here, Major? In my opinion, it looks like a…mouldy, dark, stinking sandstone cave…"
Jack stopped and took out his flashlight.
"Extremely sure, Sir. We’ve made two geo- analysis and the high energy levels we’ve found here are typical signs for raw Trinium. And Sir, this is actually not sandstone, it’s some sort of…very solid limestone…", Sam followed the example of her CO and switched the flashlight on, illuminating the entrance of the cave.
Everywhere on the walls they found some sort of little stalactites which seemed to warn them not to go any further.
"What about strange or ancient cultures, Daniel?"
The archaeologist was shaking his head while he observed the stalactites.
"Absolutely nothing- I’m sure you’ve seen it yourself; there were no paths, no signs for organic life except those nice trees. And I didn’t hear one of them speak to me, did you?"
Sam knew he was irritated- after three hours walking through a wood, finding nothing but trees and mud. He had hoped to find any primitive cultures but he had been disappointed so far.
"OK, then- if nobody disagrees- let’s start our little search for Carters treasure!"
The further they walked inside of the cave, the more of stalactites they found- definitely warnings.
"Major…how much energy did you say you’ve found here? And where exactly? I mean…maybe your fantastic signals came from those sandstone walls…"
"Arg!" he raised his finger warningly, " How much energy and where had the source of this energy been located- exactly?!"
"Well, to be exact, Sir…200 yards in northern direction. I think that we’ll find it if we follow this path further."
"There’re traces!" Daniel said enthusiastically and turned the cone of light from his flashlight into the direction of the footprints.
O`Neill followed his gaze and bent down over Jackson’s discovery.
"Well…that…weren’t trees, Danny boy…"
"Obviously, the creature went into the same direction we do …" the archaeologist mentioned and also bent down to the footprints.
"I like your sharpness, Daniel…"
His comment had been ignored and O’Neill stood up.
Sam was by his side and saw concerned into the darkness of the cave in front of them.
"Well, somebody paced barefooted along this way…", the archaeologist explained behind the two of them.
"Thanks Daniel…what a discovery.", Jack hissed.
Sam sighed and gave it up to interfere with these soooooooo precocious gentlemen while they were having their arguments.
Next to her, O`Neill stood up and went into the direction the footprints lead to, followed by Daniel and Teal`c.
After 150 yards SG-1 suddenly reached a chamber where the footprints as well as the path stopped.
It was gigantic and the ceiling towered up far into the mountain.
The walls were polished and decorated with ancient paintings.
Daniel rushed to one of the walls and started to observe the paintings with wide open eyes.
Jack let him do his job and sighed.
"Be careful, Indiana Jackson- we’re not home!"
The archaeologist never responded. His fingers followed the multicoloured pictures almost venerable. Teal`c stood next to him while Jack and Sam observed the other side of the chamber. It was as rich decorated as the wall, Daniel was working on.
"Uhm…to be honest: NO."
He stood up and walked to the two of them.
"These are pictograms…there’s no language and the pictures are very vague…it looks like a big city…"
Jack raised an eyebrow.
"Built with raw trinium?"
"No…actually it appears to be some sort of trading place…have a look at this…"
Excitedly he pointed with his finger to a dark shadow at the left side of the pictogram.
"This looks like a market place- here are some houses…but there’s one thing I’m missing…"
"Those bad, stinking snakeheads?"
"Exactly! Why would the Goa’ uld give up on such a fertile world?"
Daniels eyes were wide open when he continued to speak. Desperately O`Neill sighed and prepared himself for an endless monolog…
"Maybe we’ll find people who are absolutely untouched by the Goa’uld, we could analyse their culture precisely and they might even have methods to be safe of the Goa’ uld, they could have another religion, they might even think absolutely different than we do…do you understand what I’m trying to say?"
"Yes, Daniel…as always…"
The archaeologist hesitated suddenly.
"You don’t even see a chapel…just a few houses, a market place, some traders with their horses…no snakeheads, no pyramids, no ancient monuments, no churches, nothing…there seems to be no religion…at all"
After a long pause O`Neill continued to speak.
"I think I got the point- around some really naked, white folks you’ve told me once something about mythology…that it is one of the primary motivations for cultural development…"
"Not really…mythology isn’t the same as religion. The mythology of a civilisation can also base on legends about their heroes or something like that. It’s not usual but sometimes a culture develops without any gods- no matter if they’re false or not. We shouldn’t be hasty in this case here."
"But the UA-V would have surely discovered a city with such an extend. We flew over the landscape more than 50 miles around the Stargate. There were no further paths and definitely no city, just that huge mountain here." Sam explained.
When Daniel inhaled deeply, Jack looked at her reproachful.
"Well…first of all, we’re talking here about pictograms which could be older than 3000 years…it’s possible that under such climatic circumstances this city is now less than dust in the wind or mud…or whatever…secondly…it is very common that only temples and monuments stay in a good condition after thousands of years. Mostly they’re build to survive more than just one century to show people in the future which god they paid homage to. But there … didn’t exist a believe in gods here, I’m sure."
"Maybe they left something for their children which has nothing to do with religion, Danieljackson.", Teal`c stepped besides them and pointed with his finger to an inconspicuous slot in one of the ceilings.
The archaeologist was on his way to study it but O`Neill stopped him by his shoulder.
"Be careful…this could be a trap!"
He nodded and let the colonel observe the slot first.
"I wonder if it’s the car or the 50.000 $ check behind this curtain…" he mumbled under his breath when he began to kick against the ceiling.
Sand trickled onto the ground and suddenly they saw the outline of a door.
"Carter- pick up your camera! This is going to be a great adventure movie…let’s call it "Indiana O`Neill and the fantastic raw trinium mine"…"
Teal`c raised an eyebrow and began to help O`Neill kicking against the ceiling when the door suddenly cracked and SG-1 was surrounded by dust.
Coughing Daniel began to walk along the corridor which had been hidden behind the wall. This time it was less than 10 yards long and continued behind a curve. Carefully, step by step the archaeologist began to walk along the path, followed by the others.
He didn’t need to wear his glasses to see the source of light after that curve. When Jack also recognized it he stopped his friend by his shoulders again to lead the group by himself with his P-90 in both hands.
No matter how excited the archaeologist was, there could always be something dangerous behind the curve and O’Neill definitely was prepared, Daniel not…most times…
Nervously he followed the corridor to the right and wasn’t less confused than Daniel as he saw what was in front of them.
"Well…that…that’s really…well, that’s…"
Daniel stuttered and that was never a good sign. It usually meant that something was terribly wrong…
Jack followed the last short part of the corridor and found himself in a dizzy height above exactly that city they saw on the pictograms.
"Sir, this is totally impossible…" Sam mumbled and shook her head.
"Yes Carter, I know, but obviously things are quite different here at the moment…"
"That’s like a fairy tale…a city inside of a mountain…"
Daniel wanted to look down to the small houses but hesitated when he recognized the extreme height.
"We have to be kilometres inside of that mountain…"
He pointed to the sky above them which was nothing more than solid stone with a big light source in his zenith.
"Carter- I think we’ve found your energy source…"
Sam wanted to answer when suddenly the whole cave began to tremble. Nervously the four SG-1 members went back into the long corridor, away from that city but it didn’t help.
"What’s that?" O`Neill asked but everyone just shook the head in irritation.
"Maybe transportation rings…?" Daniel guessed.
"I didn’t see a device…you, Teal`c?"
They went deeper into cave but the trembling was getting worse by each minute that passed by. All of a sudden Daniel stopped and gazed with wide opened eyes into Jacks direction.
"Do you smell this…?"
O`Neill watched him critically.
Daniel hit the ground before he could finish his sentence.
Sam wanted to check on him but it didn’t take a second before she was unconscious, too.
Finally O`Neill saw the slot in the ceiling from which a green gas was streaming.
"Teal`c- get the hell out of here!"
Jack was using his jacket to make sure that the toxic wasn’t finding it’s way inside his body when he approached Sam and Teal`c, both out cold.
Carefully he crawled to Carter and checked her pulse.
"Come on, Major…time to wake up!"
Neither she nor Teal`c or Daniel responded when Jack decided to walk further inside the corridor, but suddenly he gazed into the false end of a gun.
To be continued…
Authors notes: For a German girl, it’s a challenge to write an English Stargate- FF- Please consider that.
Feedback is appreciated J
© March 2004 The characters mentioned in this story are the sole property of Showtime and Gekko Film Corp. The Stargate, SG-I, the Goa’uld and all other characters who have appeared in the series STARGATE SG-1 together with the names, titles and back story are the sole copyright property of MGM-UA Worldwide Television, Gekko Film Corp, Glassner/Wright Double Secret Productions and Stargate SG-I Prod. Ltd. Partnership. This fanfic is not intended as an infringement upon those rights and solely meant for entertainment. All other characters, the story idea and the story itself are the sole property of the author. This story was reprinted with the permission of the author.