No Vala mentioned, but that doesn't mean she isn't around somewhere... as always, please review :-)
The stars were particularly bright that night, and the moon merely a sliver of a crescent, almost invisible against the splendour of the Milky Way. It was the sort of sight to take your breath away, and it certainly seemed to have acted as a conversation stopper. Jack lay on the deck cushions, hands behind his head, and Daniel and Teal'c occupied the chairs. Sam, a glass of wine in one hand, was perched on the railings, head cocked towards the sky.
"I wonder how many times we've not come back from a mission." Her words broke the spell, and the silence. The men stirred, and General O'Neill raised his head from the deck.
"No, seriously, Jack." She swung her leg over the railing and hugged her arms to her sides."I mean, we know that there is a team in Ancient Egypt. Let's be honest, we know WE are in Ancient Egypt"
"Well" Daniel interjected, "we don't know that they're us completely, there could have been other changes in our timeline beside Jack's fish..."
Sam shook her head. "Come on Daniel - you saw the video. They were us - same interests, same hairstyles, everything. And they're there, 5000 years ago. If they've managed to survive, that is."
Silence fell again. It was Teal'c who broke it.
"If we are speculating, Samantha, we must also consider the possibility that perhaps we made changes that had to be repaired by a second SG-1 team in yet another timeline. Perhaps it is not merely those on the video who are residing in the Egypt of 2000BC."
"Hang on a minute, T!" Jack was sitting up now, gesturing with his beer and not noticing Daniel's disgruntled snort as droplets flew into his eyes. "You're saying there could be any number of alternate, um, ussess, living in the past?"
"But that's just plain creepy. Ew."
"Actually" Daniel weighed in, "it's fascinating. And think of it this way - there may be other occasions when we've had to mess about with the timeline, and become trapped and had to live out our lives wherever we found ourselves. There could be versions of us all over the past 5000 years. After all, we know we're in 1969"
"Yeah, well, we got back from that one. " Jack was feeling put upon. "And besides folks, we don't just mess with the timeline for no good reason. It's pretty much taboo. It's pretty much our Prime Directive - don't screw with the timeline!"
"And yet," Carter spoke quietly. "We did. I was just wondering if we had ever done it before, or, in fact, again." She sighed. "Here's Teal'c, nearly 200 years old thanks to some fiddling with time on my part, and yet neither Daniel nor I retains any memories from that time..."
"... and T won't tell" muttered Jack, glaring at him. Teal'c inclined his head, murmuring "Indeed" and smiling slightly.
"AND Cameron has a photo of a someone who could be his twin taken on the deck of the Achilles in 1939," Daniel put in thoughtfully. "Even he is starting to wonder about the long lost uncle Charlie story."
There was a general pause. Above them the stars beamed their light towards Earth, unthinking and infinite. Teal'c spoke again.
"I believe, Samantha, that there is a quote from a Tauri author I very much enjoy which encapsulates your queries." He cleared his throat and declaimed "There is more in Heaven and earth, Horatio, than dreamed of in your philosophy."
"Shakespeare, T?" O'Neill raised his head up again, and reached into the cooler box for another beer. "More wine, Sam? Beer, Daniel?"
Sam Carter-O'Neill swung herself off the railing and reached for the bottle herself. "Mmmm, maybe just a bit. Where is Cam anyway? Not like him to miss out on a team night."
"Well," Her husband stretched comfortably and pulled her down next to him on the deck. "Someone has to mind the shop."
"Or perhaps," Daniel put in lazily "he's visiting the Victorian era in a puddle jumper and getting stuck there. " He yawned, setting them all off, and hauled himself up. "Time for bed. Night all."
And the stars wheeled on.