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The Arbitars

A Stargate SG-1 Story

 By

Mistx2

 

 (Stargate SG-1 is the property of  MGM, Showtime, Sci-fi Channel and other creative minds. I am borrowing the main characters  to further the imagination of an alternate reality or chain of events for the characters and the SGC.

No money or profit is being made by this work of fiction which is purely for entertainment and

artistic appreciation of the characters.)

Chapter 1

As they stepped out of the gate onto P3X279 the air was alive with the first flakes of snow. The tiny crystals fell gently around the team. "Well, now isnt this wonderful, and me without my thermals." Sam smiled while understanding the commanders special humor. Jack ONeal was renown for his dry humor. Tealc stationed himself in front of the DHD and scans the area. Daniel slowly walks down the steps while removing his headgear, careful not to trip this time around. As he makes his way over to Tealc, Daniel pauses and looks up at the weather and then to a nearby wall or what looks like a wall made out of the side of a stone mountain. "Careful Daniel, we havent finished our scanning." Jack calls out. "Jack, if there was people nearby the aerial units would have noticed and we would know it." Daniel replied. 

"Yes Danny, but the aerial unites showed a warm climate too, and thats all wrong! So humor me, stay close and dont touch anything." There is a pause in the air. "O.K. Danny?" Jack turns to look at his resident accident-prone archaeologist and linguist. Daniel mutters something under his breath, while Tealc arches an eyebrow and Sam grins at the two friends. "O.K.!" voices one irritated young man.

"Colonel, the area sweeps are clear. I'm picking up nothing." Sam states. She knew it was a good idea to change to subject. "Alright my happy campers, so much for fun in the warm sun, lets start for the ruins the MALP shot for us. Daniel you want to lead? Daniel?" Inquired Jack. ONeal can't believe that Daniel hadn't already started out for the ancient ruins. It would seem that something else has captured the young archaeologist's attention. "Oh Daniel? Danny boy, are you planning on coming with us today?" Jack quips. "HuH?" is all Daniel says as his hands run up and down the sides of the nearby wall.

Small cuts and notches, worn from the weather cycle glisten in the presence of the small ice crystals. "Jack, this is some form of writing, I think... It sounds like a story or poem. I wonder why it would be by the stargate?" By now Jack is behind Daniel with his gun slung over his shoulder. Jack stares at Daniel, staring at the wall. Sam comes over while Tealc remains on guard. Sam runs her hands over the surface of the wall. "These notches are diffidently non-natural forming." She replies. Non-natural quotes Jack with a bobbing head.

He raises a hand to his forehead and rubs his temple. "O.K. people, we know that for there to be ruins, there had to be beings to make them. This changes nothing so far. Daniel can you make out what this ...poem or story says. Perhaps maybe welcome strangers?" Jack inquired with a hint of suggestion. "Or a beware sign saying dont trespass." Adds Sam with a tight-lipped smile. "Thank you major, I never would have thought of that." Jack adds. Jack walks a little further back to get a better view while shaking his head. Sam knew that Jack hated surprises, especially alien surprises. She continued with Daniel and studied the wall more closely. "The marks are very old and bear a resemblance to hieroglyphics but some of it has a goauld tense."

The last statement from Daniel was all it took to put the rest of the team into full alert mode. Anywhere the goauld had been trouble was usually not far behind, especially with SG-1s track record. Tealc walked up and stared at the wall. "Daniel Jackson is correct, there is a goauld structure to some of the writings." Jacks patience was growing thin. "Fine, what does it say?" Daniel stood up from the bottom portion of the wall he had been studying and backed up to take in a bigger view of the writings on the wall. "From just a little observation and this may not be completely accurate, it says

Welcome all from the light.

May that which you seek, find you

May that which you desire, comfort you."

"Sounds nice so far." Jack declaimed. "But..." Daniel continued. Jack winced at the but from Daniel before adding "Ah ha! Theres always got to be a but." His sarcastic tone reflected his mood at the moment. He motioned for Daniel to continue with the translation.

"But too late fear the sanctuary

Which comes for your presence

And tremble with anguish and misery

As the unknown descends upon your essence

Beware the ubiquitary Arbitar, released by understanding."

Daniel stares at it a moment longer then turns around to face Jack. "O.K., Im ready to go see the ruins now." Sam and Tealc incline their heads to stare at Daniel Jackson. Jacks mouth is moving but no words are coming out. Jack tilts his head one more time. "Daniel, dont you think its a little bit serious to come out the gate into a big warning sign?"

"Well Jack, many cultures put up warning signs for trespassers and strangers entering into their territories but like you said. There is no activity to suggest a currently active culture on this planet. The clues to who wrote this warning may be at those ruins. Since its not in complete Goauld language it might suggest that these people were acquainted with the Goauld, wanted them also to be able to read this and turn back. It could have been a fair warning system or a hoax. The Egyptians and other civilizations were fond of putting curses on tombs and other valuable objects to keep unwanted attention away. The case here might be the same too. I can't tell till I get some more information that is most certainly going to come from the ruins."

Jack nodded his head. It was hard at times to disagree with Dr. Jacksons reasoning; not that Jack didn't enjoy going head to head with Daniel. Jack stepped a little closer to the wall writings then turned to Daniel and Tealc. "Daniel, Tealc this reference to the Arbitar, you ever heard of it before?" Both Tealc and Daniel faced Jack, as Tealc began. "Only in Jaffa legends. The Arbitars I am familiar with is said to have the ability to change form in mid fight. The abilities of these Arbitars are greatly feared for it is said they can destroy a great number and few survive."  Jack nodded his head with a blank stare. "I see." Jack states out loud.

He turns to Daniel. "Your turn."  "Like Tealc said and it sounds like this Arbitar is similar to an arbiter or someone like that. The reference to his or her being ubiquitary refers to one that is or can be everywhere at the same time. A kind of omnipresent person, if you want to think like that or they might have been just really good at spying and disguises."   Jack had been quite patient so far.  "Well then I'm sure that they got along great with the Goauld, since they both consider themselves omnipresent and allllll powerful." Jack sarcastically deduced. Tealc arched an eyebrow. "That would not seem possible ONeal. The Goauld did not want to share anything with the Arbitars or anyone else. The Jaffa legends indicate that the Arbitars disliked the Goauld immensely." Jack rolled his eyes. Sam and Daniel smiled from Tealc to Jack. Tealc inclined his head to one side and continued "Another Tauri expressionism, Colonel ONeal?"   "Yep Tealc, you'll get a handle on it someday." Jack offered with a pat on the shoulder as he walked by the massive ex-Jaffa warrior.

"Listen up people, here's what we're going to do in light of all this wonderful information. Tealc you will take point. Sam you go after Tealc followed by Daniel and I'll bring up the rear. Keep your eyes and ears open. I don't care how old these ruins are. I don't want to be surprised anymore today. Let's go." Jack dismissed them and one by one they fell into line heading for the ruins.

They walked for two hours through the woods, across meadows and over hills. At the top of one particular hill, Daniel paused and stared at the ruins below. The light blanket of snow had quit falling an hour back. The mid-morning light was reflecting off a few points in the ruins. It looked like jewels sparkling in the snowy distances. Jack couldn't help shaking his head at Daniel's response to the surroundings.  "Come on Daniel, were almost there. Don't want to be late for a very important date, do we?"  "You read Louis Carroll? I thought Jules Vern would be more to your liking." Daniel replied. "Vern who?" Asked Jack. "The guy who wrote journey to the center of the earth. They made it into a movie; in fact several movies are based on the book."  However, before he could continue Jack interjected.  "Daniel the only journey I'm interested in right now is this one and so should you be. Keep you attention on the trial." Jack slapped Daniel on the back. "I know that but it's beautiful, just beautiful from up here." Daniel concluded. 

Jack turns his head to look back down the hill. "Only you would find something beautiful in a bunch of old roc...artifacts." Daniel smiles and was glad to see that Jack had corrected himself. It had taken much time for Daniel to get Jack to recognize artifacts and call them accordingly instead of referring to them as rocks all the time. As they started down, they had just one more small forest to pass through and then they would be at the ruins. "O.K. people take five." Jack stateds as he assessed that the stream running from the mountains over the hill and onward was a good place to refresh their cantinas, if Carter's water sample tested clear for health factors. "Clear Colonel, its fine to drink." Jack nods with a grin approvingly. Daniel starts to wander a little further up the stream. "Don't go too far Daniel!" Sam calls out to him. Daniel waves a hand at her signaling an affirmative. He approaches a bend in the stream that winds up and around a large overhand of growth and debris. Jack has been watching Daniel out of the corner of his eye. He didnt want to seem overly concerned with Daniel exploring the water but trouble seemed to follow that boy and Jack felt fatherly bound to watch out for him. He saw Daniel start to wander around the bend and then disappear beyond the leaves and branches. "Daniel get back here where we can see you!" Jack called out. Tealc and Sam both knew that the we actually meant I but said nothing. Jack didn't want to go charging around the streambed and dragging Daniel back but a small part did. Well, a very big part did but he didn't want to hurt Daniel's feelings. He wanted Daniel to feel that they did trust him in his own merits and Daniel had picked up some more self-defense lessons. Those lessons being after falling for them. The boy still couldn't duck. Jack chided himself. Here he was thinking of Daniel as a boy when he was a grown man but something about Daniel just projected a theme of boyishness that was hard to explain.

Meanwhile as the Colonel was pondering whether or not to collect his wayward archaeologist, Daniel was captivated by the streambed. Around the bend and away from the others Daniel watches as the light from the pools of water shimmer. He grinned upon hearing Jack. Some of the pools could pass for mirrors while others were flowing with the cool water. I guess not enough water has melted all at once to cover the entire stream yet. mused Daniel. One pool in front of him suddenly went dark. A shadow had descended over it and Daniel. 'Oh boy, what have I got into now.' thought Daniel. The shadow moved slightly, so very cautiously. Daniel stood and turned to look at the source of the shadow.

Daniels heart nearly leapt out of his chest! There, behind Daniel, was an extremely tall being. The being just started at him. The eyes were a cold blue, deep and the skin was a tanish-almond. The head had long graying copper hair flowing down the backside and the body was smooth looking, not rough and scaly as some encounters had shown. What appeared to be wings were folded back against the beings backside and draped behind to the ground floor. The being snorted the air at Daniel who did what he does best. Over all the being had a very human appearance.

"Hello, my name is Daniel Jackson. My friends and I come as peaceful travelers." The being cocked an eyebrow and moved a hand towards Daniels weapon which of course was on the ground a foot away from him. Somewhat surprised that the being seemed to understand what Daniel had said and appeared to be asking why the weapon then, he proceeded. "That's for protection. It protects us from those who would try and hurt us." The human like being, which is now what Daniel has decided this person most resembles, turned its body alongside and lowered his head down to Daniels and replied "Should I try and hurt you to see if it really works?

Daniel could hardly believe his eyes. "Uh, No! No, that won't be necessary. No need to hurt anyone." Daniel offered. He was hoping that any second Jack would give in to his mothering and come over looking for one very deep in trouble archaeologist. "You travel with a Goauld and his vessel. You are here to spy out our lands for conquest." The being barely whispers the angry words at Daniel. Daniel quickly ascertained what the being was referring to. 'No doubt he thinks Tealc is a bad guy and that makes us all bad.' "No, no were not. Tealc, the big guy has a symbiant yes, but he wants to help free his people from slavery to the ones called the Goauld. He turned against his former master to save lives not to destroy them. We travel and look for allies in our struggle against the Goauld. That is why we have these weapons." Daniel gently nudges the gun with his foot.

"We mean no harm to you or your land. We thought that perhaps we would find some allies here since the sign at the gate say welcome but I guess that trembling part comes in handy about now, with you descending upon my presence and all." The latter part was spoken more for himself than for the being in front of him. "You can read the ancient words and symbols then I presume?" Inquires the being. "Well yes, its part of what I do." Replies Daniel. "What else do you do young one?" Asks the being who has took a step or two closer to Daniel. "I study the past and try to preserve records of information for latter generations so that knowledge is not forgotten and so that we can learn from mistakes and make advancements by following wisdom so that we can help not only ourselves but others too." The being took another step closer and was eyeing Daniel up and down. "That is all you do?" The being inquired further. Daniel blinked. 'What could be taking Jack so long he thought.' "No, I also am a linguist, a person who can communicate in multiple languages." "So, you are a learner and the older one is your master? Father?" Asked the being as he picks up a streambed stone in his massive hand. "No, he's not my master. I don't have one or need one." Daniel added. "Father it is then. He is very concerned." Put forth the being. "No, not that either. My parents are dead, he is my superior but I guess you could liken it to a father figure." Both Daniel and the being could hear Jack calling for Daniel to come back now or don't complain when he falls in and gets wet and has to walk in wet clothes.

Daniel was unsure whether to call out or not. It might make the situation worse. "You think the past holds wisdom?" The being was now almost right in front of Daniel. He towered over Daniel, blocking out the sunlight. The being was all muscle and strength. His coverings blended perfectly with his skin. 'Great camouflage' thought Daniel as he responded. "It holds some. It has been said that one persons wisdom is anothers doom. There is a mixture of good and bad. It depends on who wrote it and the perspective put on it as either beneficial or not. No one really likes to record all the bad or stupid things he or she has done."  "Thats so very true." Grinned the being. "You have a sharp mind but are your heart as strong as your head? "

Daniel gulped in air. "Excuse me? I appreciate your observations but I like my heart right where it is and theres really no need to inspect it." The being raised his head, looked around and then stared back at Daniel. "Well, this one has come to learn. Shall we ... teach him then? "A sly grin appeared on the beings face. Daniel could feel his heart drop down to the pit of his stomach. 'Oh no, not again.' thought Daniel. "Whose we?" Implored Daniel. At that moment two more strange like beings appeared from thin air. It looked to Daniel like they were using some form of cloaking similar to the Knox. Daniel was wishing Jack, Sam, or even Tealc would come around the bend any second. Any second now. Not! When Daniel turned his head toward the bend, the being struck, grabbing Daniel as he was now off guard.

The rest of SG-1, during Daniels encounter, had been relaxing around the bend of the river. Sam and Tealc were calculating how long until the Colonel actually went in search of their wandering friend. Sam had busied herself with the local fauna. Jack had been somewhat distracted by the size of the fish he saw swimming in the swim. 'Might come back and bring a rod and reel. That one looks like a tasty meal.' Jack kept busy between looking at the fish and looking for Daniel to return. Tealc walked over to Jack. "Sir, if it would be appealing to you, I can go and recover Daniel Jackson." Tealc knew that Jack felt protective over Daniel just as he did but Jack's was more of a paternal nature.

"No Tealc, I'll go get him and when I..." Jack got no further as Daniels scream echoed around the bend.

"JJJJAAAACCCCKKK!"

The yell from Daniel signaled SG-1 into action and that trouble had once again laid claim to one Dr. Daniel Jackson. Jack dashed over stones and through puddles closely followed by the members of his team. "DANIEL!" Cried out Jack and he rounded the area. "DANIEL!" The team took cover positions behind nearby boulders in the stream. As they scanned the area no sign of Daniel could be seen. "DANIEL, ANSWER ME NOW! DANIEL!" Yelled Jack. The surroundings were quiet. Daniel's gun lay by the shore along with a few more items he had been carrying. The fact that the items were left was not a good sign, not at all. "DANIEL, ANSWER ME! TELL ME WHERE YOU ARE!" Called out Jack again with no response.

Slowly but effectively they advanced on Daniel's effects. There were tracks made by Daniel by the stream edge but not anywhere else. It was as if he simply vanished into thin air. "You know when we get Daniel back; I'm putting one of those harness leashes on him. So just when he starts to wander off I can jerk him and his curiosity back. Tealc and Sam knew the Colonel was very concerned for their friends safety and that Jack felt so very responsible for Daniel. The Colonel was just venting his frustration, again. Daniel often referred to Jack as a mother hen and Tealc got several explanations until Sam told him its like being a very concerned parent.

Jack studied the area carefully and reached down into a small pool of water. He pulled out Daniel's floppy hat. The one that was well worn and had a rim all the way around it. Jack felt knots tie up in his stomach. He knew that Daniel was in trouble again. He gripped Daniels hat, 'Daniel's favorite hat'. "Anybody got ideas people? Daniel just didnt vanish into thin air. Someone had to take him." Sam started scanning. "Sir, I'm not picking up any other heat signatures besides us three." Jack didn't like the sound of that and was about to make another colorful comment when someone else spoke up. "jaaacck...jaaacck" SG-1 rotated around their positions. They tried to locate where the voice was coming from. "Daniel!" Jack spoke out hoping that it was Daniel. "Jaaacck...jaaacck...hehehe...jaaaccckkk...hehehehehe...hehehe" He realized that someone was playing with them. Whoever it was knew Jacks name and was taking pleasure in their discomfort. "Who are you? Where is our friend?" Yells Jack.

Chills ran up and down his spine, as the air remains quiet except for the sounds of the wind passing through the trees. 'Oh God, has Daniel got captured by these people. Were they playing dead for visitors and now just toying with us before they do something really awful? What if theyve already killed Daniel? No Jack, dont think like that. Hes alive; he has got to be alive. Daniel cant die like this, without us with him. Its not right.' Jack motions for Sam and Tealc to move in where they heard the taunting voices. "Where's Daniel? What do you want from us?" Jack yells back into the woods as a sudden breeze passes by him. He was hoping the voices would speak again so they could narrow down the position and possibly overtake the unknown hostiles.

No more voices called out to them. A sinking feeling over came Jack's stomach. No Daniel, no sign of the hostiles or descriptions, and no way to track them. The mission was diffidently going from bad to worse. The rest of SG-1 searched the remainder of the day and the ruins in hope of finding Daniel or who had taken him. Jack kept going back to that stream and clutching Daniel's hat to his chest. The last image he had of Daniel was as Daniel was hopping over stones, giving a thumb up with a wide grin when Sam told him to be careful. Daniel had been wearing his hat and that boyish smile he was famous for. The last action he saw Daniel do was wave back at them as he disappeared around the steam bend. That was not going to be the last image he had of Daniel. He was going to find him, ALIVE, but his imagination was kicking in. *JJAAACCCKKK*, that one frighten high-pitched sound tore at his heart and mind.

The team had to return the SGC and report what had happened. Tealc almost had to drag Jack back. He didn't want to leave. 'What if Daniel gets here and nobody is here to help him? His captures might take him again.' Tealc reasoned with him that it was unlikely and that more reinforcements could widen the search and increase the changes of finding Daniel Jackson. Jack finally conceded to that line of thought. He stood by the gate as Carter worked the DHD.

Jack stared into the dark night and dwelt on the feelings of how he had failed Daniel. Daniel had fallen into danger and called to him for help but he had failed to reach Daniel in time. 'Never were great on timing were you.' thought Jack. His wife blamed him for not being punctual. If he had arrived home early the day Charlie had his gun; his son would still be alive. If he had went to check on Daniel sooner, Daniel would still be...'No he's alive and I'm going to find him.' The gate shimmered to life. "Signal sent sir." Sam replied. "It's time to return to the SGC and get a fully equipped search team in here." He hears her words, looks into her eyes, at Tealc, and stares back at the planet surface. "You're right. Let's go inform Hammond and when we get there I want you to put a call into dear ole dad and Selmac. Let's see if the Tokra know anything about these Arbitars." All three of them looked back into the dead of night and one by one entered the stargate.

 

Chapter 2

Back at the base, SG-1 waited for a message from the Tok’ra. A rescue party had been sent back to the planet. General George Hammond decided that the rest of SG-1 needed rest, which he doubted any of them would actual get. He knew that team was a close knit bunch. The rescue party had sent back reports stating that nothing had been uncovered. Jack hated the waiting, the wondering. He had often wondered in the past few days if he had only being more alert, more attentive, more something, then things would not be like it was now. The trips back and to from the planet with no success were draining his reserves.

The alarms to the Stargate started to ring. Maybe it was Teal’c coming back with Daniel from the latest rescue party that went out. Sam had stayed behind incase the Tok’ra responded and Jack had been under orders to ‘organize’ himself and rest. He hated not being with Teal’c and personally searching for Daniel. If Teal’c didn’t report he had found Daniel, well Jack O’Neil would just be organizing right on down to that planet again.

The rescuer party’s code was confirmed. Teal’c was the first to emerge from the gate. His expression related bad news. There was no Daniel Jackson. Hammond issued an order to debrief. The debriefing revealed that while Teal’c and his team had been searching, the wall with the writings had been destroyed. “Destroyed?” Jack asked with disbelief. “Yes, Colonel O’Neil. The two men I posted at the stargate stated that suddenly a huge burst of fire erupted on the wall and dissolved the writing. There was no evidence of incinerates devices or any other kind of disturbance in the surrounding area.” Teal’c explained. “There were no signs of disturbance? How could it be destroyed and still show no signs of disturbance. Did laser fire or something shoot it to that effect?” Inquired an irritated Jack.

“I do not know O’Neil. It appears a great amount of heat was applied and melted the inscriptions away. The nearby vegetation was unharmed and the dirt surrounding the wall only revealed our presence. I am sorry to report I have failed in my duty to return Daniel Jackson.” Teal’c bowed his head. He was really sorry to have failed to protect Daniel. He felt responsible for the loss and death of Daniel’s wife.

Jack instantly jumped in. “Don’t start with that! You didn’t fail anyone here and not Daniel either! Hell, everyone knows that anyone of us could be missing. It just happens that it’s Daniel’s butt in the sling more than most.” Jack continued. “Now this messed up wall tells me someone is trying to hide some information about this Arbitar or Arbitars. Daniel was able to read it so maybe we were being watched. They noticed that Daniel could read it and decided to take him. They then came back and destroyed the message before anyone else could read it like Daniel did.” Jack reasoned out loud.

Sam interjected a comment. “That makes some sense sir, but why take the chance of having the writing visible in the first place? Why not just go ahead and destroy it, and be done? Why wait until someone reads it? It doesn’t make sense to me?” Teal’c offers an explanation. “Perhaps they saw no need to destroy it because no one beside himself or herself had the ability to read their language, until Daniel Jackson appeared and proceeded to decipher it for us. I myself was unable to read it.” Jack tapped a pencil on the table. “Teal’c may be onto something, but we all heard what Daniel said. Why take just him since we all heard the message.” Jack stated.

“Because sir, Daniel is the only one able to decipher the language which means he can translate other pieces of the script. Maybe these Arbitar people put that wall there as a test to see if anyone coming through the gate would pose a threat by being able to read about their documents and secrets. If Daniel were to find more of this writing on the planet then these peoples’ secrets would be out. They would no longer be a myth or legend.” Sam concluded by lending back in her chair and crossing her arms. “It was not a myth that abducted Daniel and taunted us by the steam.” Jack retorted dryly.

Alarms started to go off again as the iris went active. “Incoming travelers sir!” Replied an airman. Everyone headed for the main observation deck to confirm the identity of the incoming signal. “It’s the Tok’ra, their signal checks out.” Stated a young man behind the computer console. Hammond pipes up. “Open the iris and hopefully they will know more about these Arbitars and perhaps be able to assist in locating Dr. Jackson.” Jack muttered “Don’t hold your breath on that.” SG-1 was at the bottom of the ramp as the last chevron locked into place.

Two figures emerged from the shimmering gate. As they came down the ramp, the two Tok’ra pulled their hoods back to reveal recognizable faces. “DAD!” Calls out Samantha Carter. Her father Jacob Carter was the host to Selmac, a very important and high-ranking Tok’ra member. The other one was Martouf who carried the symbiant Lantesh. His Tok’ra mate had been Jolinar. She had once been carried by Samantha Carter but died so that Sam could live after an assassination attempt on the Tok’ra Jolinar’s life. The father and daughter hug as Jack and Teal’c come forward to the Tok’ra.

“It’s good to see my little girl again even if it isn’t a social call. What can we do for you today?” Asks Jacob. Sam starts off. “It’s about Daniel, Dad.” Martouf interjected, “Daniel? Is he all right?” His display of concern is genuine. Daniel had often made him feel welcomed at the SGC when others did not. Jack jumped in at that. “That’s just it. We don’t know. Someone kidnapped him while we were on a mission to a planet that had some old ruins.”

Jack began. “It seems that Daniel translated some inscriptions about some people called the Arbitars and after that he disappears and voices from the woods taunts us about it. Then we go back and forth searching but find nothing. We were kind of hoping that in all your years of experience traveling around the universe you might be able to shed some light on these people and help us get Daniel back.” Jack stared straight at Jacob for some type of response.

Both Martouf and Jacob looked to each other then the symbiotes took over. Selmac and Lantesh join the conversation with a little flash of the eyes and that ever-disturbing voice change. “Daniel translated the language of the Arbitars?” Inquired Selmac. “Yes.” Jack added. “No one had ever learned the ways in which the Arbitars communicate well enough to understand their written and oral languages. They are believed to have been very reclusive and secretive. They are known for their strength, ferocity, cunning, and a strict sense of justice.” Selmac continued. “It was even said they had a mischievous nature, enjoying a good irritation at their opponents’ expense but also are believed to be vicious in defending their kind from any perceived threat.”

Jack was started to get impatient. Here was another race that the Tok’ra had failed to mention they might run into on the gate highway. “Daniel is not a threat.” Jack stated matter-of-factly. Lantesh spoke, “Would not the Goa’uld disagree with you O’Neil. He has proven to be a large threat in the past to them.” Jack was really getting irritated now. He didn’t really like the Tok’ra that much and the way they held information and put his team in danger in the past was a thorn in his side, but if they could help get Daniel back he might could overlook it. Might. Heavy on the might.

“What was it Daniel read?” Inquired Selmac. Jack had them move to the debriefing room and related the message and how easily Daniel had translated it and brought them up to speed on all that had transpired before the Tok’ra arrived. Jack concluded, “O.K., now you know what happened, what exactly are these Arbitars? Are they long lost misguided good guys or kiss-n-cousins of the Goa’uld?” “And why would they take Daniel and taunt us?” Sam asks her father/Selmac.

Selmac begins, “Let me start by telling you what I do know about the Arbitars. I personally have never met one. Of all my hosts, not one has ever had any connection with them.” Selmac goes on relating a story of a time long ago when the goa’uld we’re a very young race and had started to enslave other species. The Arbitars were outraged and demanded that action be taken immediately to protect innocence races. The Ancients and the Asguard held a different view as to how to resolve the dilemma. The Arbitars argued constantly over the issues but out of respect for the Ancients, they would hold off any action until a conscience was reached. The conscience was never reached.

Not long after a very large objection from the Arbitars, the Goa’uld took advantage of one true weakness of the Arbitars known at that time. Mind you that the Goa’uld were very much aware that the Arbitars were planning to stop them. The Goa’uld launched a massive attack at the Arbitars simultaneously on the Arbitar home worlds. The one weakness was at the Arbitars’ children. The battles killed all the children, supposedly. It was the only time that the Goa’uld united in warfare. The common purpose to eliminate the Arbitars. It was believed that the Arbitars possess a power that could have crushed the Goa’uld.

The simultaneous attacks crippled the Arbitar forces and few survived. If the Arbitars had not let other races move freely about them, it would have been impossible for the Goa’uld to destroy the Arbitar forces. The Goa’uld believed they had succeeded in wiping out the Arbitar threat but it only made the Arbitars madder. The Arbitars gathered their remaining forces and began to torment every Goa’uld they encounter, friendly or not. They dissolved connections with the Ancients and Asguard and became wanderers.

The ferocity of their attacks on the Goa’uld made them even a more feared threat. Raids, strikes, sabotage, you name it, it happened, and then suddenly it stopped. For a long time it was thought they were planning a major offensive but as time went on with no sign of them, the Arbitars became less and less part of the picture. They faded into the background becoming parts in an old stories and legends. The Ancients by this time had withdrawn as well and the Asguard were trying to just keep some measure of peace. The Arbitars were too good and ahead of their time.” Selmac ended.

Jack had listened intently to the information delivered by Selmac. “Well that’s all fine and dandy, but how do we get Daniel back from these people? I mean we weren’t out to take anybody over and we sure as hell aren’t in league with any Goa’uld.” “That’s assuming that Daniel has been taken by the Arbitars. It could be someone making use of an old legend to gain access to Tau’ri knowledge.” Replies Lantesh. “We’ve thought of that and have already taken precautions, but I still trust my team’s instincts. If SG-1 believes the Arbitar has taken Dr. Jackson then that’s the route I intend to pursue.” Hammond stated. Selmac asks, “Would it be possible for us to go back to the planet? Perhaps we may observe something that might have been overlooked?”

Jack twisted in his chair. He thought, ‘Not only do they think we’re too young but we’re also incompetent as well.’ Hammond nodded in agreement with Selmac’s request. “I concur that would be advantageous. Colonel, make preparation for the rest of SG-1 and the Tok’ra to return to P3X279.” They were dismissed and prepared to go back in search of overlooked clues and perhaps answers to where Daniel Jackson was and if he was alive.

It had been two days since Daniel had seen SG-1. On the first encounter the beings had encircled Daniel and put up a shield of energy that bent light around objects, rendering them invisible to any outside viewer or scanner. One of them had blown some type of dust into his face after he called out for Jack. The dust almost immediately made Daniel lose nearly all-motor control. He was still conscious and could see that Jack had called for him. Daniel could do nothing but watch. The other two Arbitars taunted his teammates.

Daniel wanted to yell and scream, and run but his body was limp in the arms of one of the Arbitars. Suddenly the wings of each of the Arbitars expanded, unfolded into a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors. Gusts of wind rushed past Daniel’s head. Though he could not move on his own, Daniel was given a spectacular view from an aerial position. He was held securely but firmly in the embrace of an Arbitar as they took flight.

Soon he could no longer see the woods where he knew Jack would still be looking for him. They flew over the ruins. The old city sparkled as rays from the planet’s sun melted the snowflakes. Shortly into the flight the rays disappeared and grayness settled over the land. Ahead of Daniel, he saw towering mountains, dark and cold. The range seemed to extend right into the clouds above. Daniel and the Arbitars flew right into the mist surrounding the most prominent mountain.

They landed on an outcropping of ledges. An opening was in the mountainside. Daniel was carried inside. He expected a cold and dark environment. He was beginning to be able to move some arms and legs. A light from within surprised him. It grew brighter and brighter as they got closer. He used one arm to cover his eyes. After a few seconds, he removed his arm back away from his eyes. He couldn’t believe what he saw.

The most majestic city lay before them. An orb of light as brilliant as the sun illuminated the inside of what must be the most massive cave in history, even thought it resembled a city. The elder looking Arbitar, which had carried Daniel, eases Daniel onto his feet. “Behold our home. Here we are hidden from the outside and exist in harmony with the planet. No other outsider has ever laid eyes upon it until today. Can you walk young one?” Asked the elder Arbitar.

His eyes were relaying a genuine sincerity and concern. Daniel wobbles for a moment and with a little assistance remains standing. “Yes, I guess so, but I must ask why bring me here, my friends will be very concerned for me and I have no wish to cause any trouble for you or my friends.” Daniel looked the elder Arbitar straight in the eyes.

The Arbitar responded, “Look again below the city young one. All you see and hear is the last of our kind. Once there were many more of us that soared in the skies of any number of worlds and traveled the space routes. Tragedy befell us in the form of the Goa’uld. Unprepared we were and suffered we did very greatly. Time became essential, time to heal, to reflect, to learn, to rebuild, and to safeguard our futures. You see, we under estimated the Goa’uld cunning and deceptiveness. They have no honor. We struck back but, ah lass, it did not seem enough, so we reorganized our position in the grand scheme of things. We re-strategic ourselves and concealed what was left of our society. Our people’s knowledge and technology was greatly honored and prized by some.” The elder Arbitar turned to stand right in front of Daniel now. “What the Goa’uld cannot possess they seek to destroy. For millennium, we have watched as they fight among themselves and with other races.”

The Arbitar took a step closer to Daniel and added, “Our language has always eluded others, none could understand it thus our knowledge of weapons and technology was secured until today. We have always known the Goa’uld would try to obtain any advantage over others so it’s very important to keep certain things from them. Those myths you referred to among your friends do have facts as the foundation. An opponent that can be readily seen, found, and touched in no way compares to the one that can’t be seen, found or even touched. The latter instills fear, suspicion, and causes one to react in bad judgment. If the Goa’uld were to learn that it was possible to understand our language thus learn our technology, it would make fighting them less possible.”

Daniel was beginning to see the point or points that the Arbitar was making to him. “The symbols on the wall, the Goa’uld would recognize your people’s name but without someone who knew the language, they would never be able to decipher references to your people being here. The wall was a test of sorts to see who was able to understand your written language. By monitoring the stargate and the wall, you could detect if the Goa’uld were onto your language and able to decipher it.”

Daniel’s mind was in full whirlwind mode now. “Just because someone can read your language doesn’t mean they will learn your secrets unless you give them access or...” Daniel began to fully realize why the Arbitars were so concerned about the Goa’uld learned their language. “They already have the written works or information but can’t figure out how to read them or put it together.” The two Arbitars behind the elder Arbitar hung their heads as if in shame. “One of our great losses,” continued the elder one, “was a craft that contained an orb with all the detailed information on all our great advances in technology, medicines, military, sciences, and cultural histories.”

“I take it this orb must be a container with written instructions in how to open it on the outside of it. Kind of like a push down and twist to open sort of thing.” Daniel openly conjectured. “ A push?” Inquired the smaller Arbitar. “Oh, just... I get the idea of how your orb functions and I conclude that you brought me hear to find out if I am on the Goa’uld’s side or not, correct?” Daniel decided to move about the entrance way a little. “That is correct.” Replies the elder Arbitar. “ Well, I could have told you back there, in fact, I think I did. My friends and myself are not on the Goa'uld’s side.” Daniel could tell that from the Arbitars expressions he was not being very convincing. “I know what it looked like back there. Four travelers, one with a goa’uld symbiant but Teal’c isn’t controlled by the larva goa’uld. He still has his freewill to choose and he has chosen to fight against the Goa’uld.

Daniel paces in front of them now. “What can I do to prove to you that we are not in league with the Goa’uld and I have no intention of translating anything for them?” The Arbitars turn to each other and Daniel can barely hear the whispers of their conversation. Then they face Daniel. The elder Arbitar comes closer once more. “My name is Talon. I am the leader of the last of the Arbitars. These are my friends Da’resh and her sister Mes’ka. My title to outsiders is just Arbitar, since no one will ever see more than one of us at a time. The mystery helps to keep the legends going. You appear to be very intelligent for a Tau’ri.” Daniel is surprised. “You know what others call my people?” “Of course, just because we have not been seen doesn’t mean we don’t get around.” Talon laughed at Daniel’s bewilderment.

Daniel didn’t like being the object of laughter but he thought to himself ‘O.K., don’t act anymore stupid than you have to and diffidently don’t say anything stupid. My so-called intelligence is the only thing I got going for me right now.’ “Daniel, you were brought here because you have been the only one to, other than our own kind, to read the Arbitar language. We must be sure that you are not an agent of the Goa’uld. They must not learn our language or great power would be at their disposable. Since we could see you are not infected with those despicable creatures we brought you hear. We must determine whether you are what you say you are and if so, what we should do with you.” Talon eased back onto a natural outcropping of stone for support, making it look like a hard version of an easy chair. “Do with me?” Echoes Daniel. “Uh, letting me go back to my friends would be great for starters. You can ask them questions, ask Teal’c even. Talk with my superiors, and I assure you I’ll never translate anything Arbitar again.” The seriousness of Daniel’s tone was lost on the Arbitars as they started laughing uncontrollably. Mes’ka spoke up. “Smart and funny, I like that combination in a male.” Daniel crosses his arms while staring at the group of laughing Arbitars.

Daniel had meant to use reason with them but it now appears they think he is jesting or something. Daniel lends back on the rock wall and crosses his arms while waiting for the laughter to stop. “I wasn’t trying to be funny. Excuse me but I’m very serious about this.” Daniel offered to the group. They stop and stare directly at Daniel. ‘Good, I have their attention now.’ Then they rolled with laughter once more. ‘Or, maybe not.’ thought Daniel. “I’m sorry young Daniel, but even you must realize that we can not just take every word offered as fact and turn our backs. That would be very dangerous on our part. Come, we will go into the city. There we will decide what merit to give your words and what actions are best given the presence events.

They made their way into the city. Daniel became a fast curiosity among the other Arbitars. Outsiders were never allowed among them and Daniel was bombarded with onlookers and questioning inhabitants. For two days, Daniel debated with Talon and members of his counsel that he and the SGC were enemies of the Goa’uld and he would not divulge any Arbitar knowledge to anyone. It was only after Daniel agreed to take what he likens to a truth drug that the Arbitars believed him. Now the only question left to resolve was what to do with Daniel. The Arbitars stated that no matter what he intended if he became a host, the Arbitar knowledge would fall into the Goa’uld hands. Daniel countered with, host or not, if the orb was not in the Goa’uld possession the threat was mute. There was no real proof either way if the orb was in enemy hands or not. Since it could not be determined, on what honorable merit could the Arbitars justify holding Daniel?

The Arbitars, in two days since meeting Daniel, realized a very intelligent and cunning thinker was among them. “O.K., the orb is not where it’s supposed to be. You say during the last great battle the last great leader of your people supposedly had the orb and was going to hide it. He was found by one of the towers and in his dying words said the orb, ‘denied to us will light our eyes,’ then pasted away. You concluded that meant he lost it in some battle but what if he was telling you where he hid the orb, not that it was lost to your enemies.” The statement of Daniel’s sent waves of astonishment through the counsel. It was apparent the Arbitars never considered this possibility. “ It’s possible.” “Could it have been here all this time?” Similar statements rolled around the room before all eyes fell back on Daniel. “ O.K., let’s think, he would want you to be able to figure it out. He said the orb, denied to us meaning you couldn’t or wouldn’t have access to it, but assume it was close by, will light our eyes...” Daniel ponders over the last phrase. His gaze reaching upon the light from outside reflecting off his glasses. He suddenly realized. ‘We’re inside a freaking mountain. It should be black as night in hear.’ “Talon, where does the light for this hidden city originate from?” Inquires Daniel.

Talon raised his head and spoke. “It comes from an anti-gravity devise designed to emit...” He went no further then “...could it be that simply solved?” The rest of the counsel shared talon’s astonishment. Their hopes were elated at this new revelation and possibility. Daniel added. “You did say your former leader liked to put things right out in the open. You could say it might have been over your intelligent heads the whole time.” The bits of sarcasm held in the air. Daniel didn’t really want to humiliate them anymore than needed but after all that they had done to him it felt good.

Talon orders an immediate inspection of the lighting equipment. Within a half-hour, Da’resh enters the chamber with a small round metallic ball. Murmurs of excitement and relief rush through the chamber. ‘So that’s what they store all their wisdom in?’ thought Daniel. It didn’t look very special to him. It was simple looking. Inscriptions covered nearly every inch of the surface. ‘I wonder how they enter data and retrieve anything?’ As Da’resh carried the orb it started to vibrate. She dropped it very undignified. The orb shielding started to spin and cracks of light emitted from among the openings.

A burst of energy grew from its confines. It took the shape of an Arbitar. “Keeper of all things Arbitar I am. A long sleep concealed the safety of all Arbitar knowledge. Reclaimed today this knowledge is. Who is my reclaimer?” Talon steps forward. It was not unheard in the Arbitar society for the orb to speak to the counsel. Talon asks the orb a startling question “Keeper of all things Arbitar. What is the reclaimer?” The keeper spoke. “Long ago it was decided to hide all Arbitar knowledge and that one day one would have the wisdom to decipher my location, only after gaining approval and acceptance from those entrusted with the key. The one that enabled my return to the Arbitars, by law of honor and reward, will be granted insight and wisdom beyond his current understanding.” Everyone had such amazed looks on their faces.

Slowly all heads turned to stare at Daniel. ‘Why me? Why me?’ thought Daniel. Talon looked at Daniel then spoke to the orb again. “Orb the one, who returned you to us, is not an Arbitar but an outsider who already possesses wisdom.” The orb glowed even brighter. It emitted a small burst of energy that expanded outward and passed through all present. The orb then turned its attention to Daniel. The scan must have been a means to locate the only outsider in the room. The orb stated to Daniel, “Stand before me, child of the Tau’ri.”

More on the way!  Changed the site design.  1/3/2009

Any Suggestions? Then make a comment on the main page, thanks!  Please be kind and don't flame.  This is my first Stargate Fic and I may not always go by cannon.