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Melayne Seahawk's Writer's Island [userpic]

Stargate -- "A Still and Silent Sea" -- Part 1/3?

December 30th, 2010 (12:54 pm)

slash_100, prompt 032: Sunset
big damn table

It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man. - Norse proverb

A Still and Silent Sea | G | 1243 words | 1 of 3?

Well, this is spooky, Jack thought, looking around at the area surrounding the stargate. There were trees, as usual, but these ones looked dead: pale and leafless, branches rattling in the light breeze. The almost-silence was eerie; there was no birdsong, not even the chirruping of bugs. Jack tightened his hands on the butt of his P90, looking up at the two suns hanging in the sky. “Remind me why we’re here again?”

“There’s a village not far from the ‘gate, the UAV picked it up,” Daniel said.

“Peachy,” Jack said. “Which way?” Daniel gestured toward a clear path through the trees. “Alright. Teal’c, you take point.”

The team slotted into their usual positions, Jack watching Daniel’s six. He resisted the urge to check out Daniel’s ass, which was easier than usual since there was something in the air that Jack didn’t like. Jack noticed a wreath of flowers on the DHD, and then they were in the trees. The path was obviously well travelled, but that did nothing to set Jack’s mind at ease. He heard Daniel talking to Sam about the significance of the wreath but tuned it out, focusing on the unsettling trees.

Suddenly, Teal’c stopped, and a moment later a figure crossed from the trees onto the path in front of them. It was a stoop-shouldered old woman, though she was almost as tall as Teal’c. Her grey hair was braided back from her face, and her eyes were disconcertingly wide-set and a luminous purple. “Turn back, strangers,” she said, with an accent Jack couldn’t place. “Turn back.”

Daniel stepped forward. “We’re just going to visit the village,” he said.

The old woman shook her head. “The time of ghosts is not safe, not for strangers.” She stared at each of them in turn, her unsettling eyes finally alighting on Jack. “Come find me when the ghosts come.” Before anyone else could say anything, she crossed the path and disappeared into the trees.

“Well, that was creepy,” Jack said, tone light despite the real shiver the woman had sent down his spine.

“We’ll protect you, sir,” Carter said, grinning, and it helped break the tension a little bit.

“I’m sure,” Jack said, grinning back. “Let’s go.”

The rest of the trip to the village was uneventful, though the forest was no less creepy as they continued on. Eventually, the trees gave way to fields of ripe grain, which was in the process of being harvested. The people looked much like the old woman--very tall and thin, with light hair and wide-set purple eyes. They stopped working to watch SG-1 pass, but no one spoke to them. The continued silence was starting to affect Jack’s calm.

Then they reached the village itself, and then at least it wasn’t quiet anymore. Children and chicken-like birds ran back and forth across the path, seemingly oblivious to SG-1’s presence. A woman ran into one of the larger buildings, returning moments later leading a round-bellied older man, who smiled brightly and approached them, arms raised in welcome. “Visitors!” he said. Daniel stepped forward, and the man clasped his forearms. “Have you come to celebrate the return of the spirits?”

Jack nodded slightly, and Daniel said, “Yes. May we join you for the celebration?”

The man nodded vigorously. “All are welcome to pay homage to the spirits. Come, come, we will find somewhere for you to rest until it is time.”

The man--Aki, he introduced himself--led them to to biggest building, a cavernous hall built of interlocking wooden beams. The inside was dim, with a roaring fire in the middle under a hole in the roof, the sides of the hall lined with long tables and benches. Aki gestured to some of the men who had followed them, and they began to stack the closest tables in a pile, clearing a space. “You may rest here from your journey, or explore the village. The celebration begins at suns down.”

Daniel looked at Jack hopefully, and Jack waved him on. “Take Teal’c with you. Don’t get into any trouble.” Daniel rolled his eyes and followed Aki out the door of the longhouse, Teal’c on his heels. “Yes, you can go with them, too, Carter,” Jack said, and she grinning and hurried out the door.

Jack finished unpacking their gear and setting up their sleeping bags and then wandered outside to find the rest of his team. He found them poking around the marketplace, and sidled up to Daniel. “Anything interesting?” he asked.

“They seem to be Norse in origin, but I don’t think they were brought here by the Asgard,” Daniel said. “Aki mentioned something about the Vanir, who were the other species of gods in Norse myth, so maybe--”

“Anything useful, Daniel?” Jack asked, but he smiled to soften his words.

“No space guns, no,” Daniel said, frowning slightly. “But it’s possible something might happen at this celebration tonight. It sounds like they actually see ghosts.”

“I don’t see why we can’t stay for it, since we’re already set to stay overnight,” Jack said, irrationally pleased when Daniel smiled happily. “So, talk to me about these Vanir people.”

Jack let Daniel’s words wash over him as they poked around the market. It was the usual blend of handmade crafts, though there was a beautiful blue sweater that perfectly matched Daniel’s eyes that Jack wondered if he could barter a few Butterfingers for. He wondered if he could get Carter to distract Daniel while he snuck back and bought it.

Soon enough, the suns began to set, and people started to gather in the village courtyard, milling around and greeting each other. Jack gathered up the rest of the team and they stood off to one side, observing. As the sky began to blend from orange into a deep twilight blue, Aki appeared, leading a short parade of torch-bearing figures. They split up as they reached the center of the courtyard, spreading out to light torches bracketed to the walls of each of the buildings. Soon the courtyard was lit with a warm glow, though there was still a chill in the air that made the hair on Jack’s neck stand on end.

Aki stood on the steps of the longhouse, facing the assembled villagers, and raised his arms. “Disir, come to us,” he said, and the crowd fell silent. “Visit those who have lost loved ones. Tell us secrets of the world beyond.”

There was a flash of lightning in the otherwise clear sky, and Aki lowered his arms. Jack crossed his arms and rested them on the butt of his P90. He didn’t expected much of anything to happen, which is why he was incredibly shocked when a silvery figure appeared next to Aki, solidifying into a young woman with a baby in her arms. “Ragnfridr, beloved,” Aki said, tears in his eyes, and the woman smiled. “Let me tell you of the village since last year.”

Around the courtyard, other ghosts were appearing, old women and young women and little girls. There were no male ghosts, Jack noticed. “Any idea what we’re seeing?” he asked softly. Daniel shook his head in wonder.

“Maybe aliens of some type?” Carter suggested. “They could be reading the minds of the people and taking familiar shapes.”

“Jack?” Daniel said, and there was something in his voice that Jack really didn’t like. “Tell me you’re seeing what I’m seeing.”

Jack turned to look...and saw Sha’re.

to be continued

Feedback is better than chocolate.


Posted by: whogeek (whogeek)
Posted at: December 31st, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)

OHMYGOD!! **flails** MORE!!! Please? :D This looks like it could be really interesting! :D

Posted at: December 31st, 2010 03:44 am (UTC)
poker muse

Soon, precious, soon!

Posted by: Antares (antares04a)
Posted at: December 31st, 2010 09:43 am (UTC)

This sounds very interesting! I'd like to know whom the others see.

Posted at: December 31st, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)
rock of death

Thank you!

Posted by: Sunrise (lilybertha)
Posted at: December 31st, 2010 02:55 pm (UTC)

Great start, looking forward to reading more.


Posted at: December 31st, 2010 05:05 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Posted by: Sid (sidlj)
Posted at: December 31st, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC)
Daniel oh

Okay, it was already spooky and interesting... and then that last line blew my mind! Looking forward to the rest of the story. \o/

Posted at: December 31st, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
reading your work


Posted by: mareearia (mareearia)
Posted at: January 6th, 2011 02:22 am (UTC)

Awesome! Part 2???

Posted at: January 6th, 2011 02:23 am (UTC)
bad wolf

Should be up soon! Keep an eye out.

Posted by: findo (findo)
Posted at: January 19th, 2011 12:38 pm (UTC)


Posted by: the_chavadye (the_chavadye)
Posted at: January 31st, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)

Yes, Please continue this. You have opened the door to a new story, now we need more. I'll send you lots of chocolate tidbits for more of this story.Pleassee continue...

Posted at: January 31st, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)

Thank you! I definitely intent to complete this story.

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