Chapter Three: Brief Candle

SG-1 stepped through the Stargate and onto the world designated P3X-8596.

O'Neill pointed at a statue that was facing away from the Stargate holding a lightning bolt and riding in some kind of chariot, "Anyone you know Adam, Daniel?"

Methos studied the statue a moment, "I've seen this before, but I can't place the name. Daniel?"

Daniel shrugged and said, "No clue here, I can't see any reference in the implant's library except for Odin, and this guy isn't anything like him."

O'Neill was about to say something when they all heard a woman cry out in pain. He gestured for the rest of SG-1 to fan out and get ready for anything, then began searching the pillared room for the woman.

A few seconds later they found her and a man behind a pillar. The man was holding the woman's hand and it was clear that the girl was in labor. She cried out in fear when she saw SG-1.

"Woah, we, we're sorry. We didn't mean to scare you." Daniel stammered out.

The man spoke, "You are not Pelops."

"No, we're travelers, we're friendly too. Do you need help?" Methos answered.

"Husband please, the child comes!" the girl cried.

The man looked fearfully at SG-1, "Please, the midwife is gone and I do not know the birthing mysteries, will you help us?"

Methos stepped forward and smiled reassuringly, "I know the mysteries, I will help her. What are your names?" he asked as went down on his knees and began to check the girl's progress.

"I am Alekos and this is my wife Thetys." Alekos responded.

"Alekos, my name is Adam. I'm going to need plenty of room to work would you go with my friends here? You can trust that Thetys is in good hands. I've delivered many children in my lifetime." Methos said. He turned to the others. "Sam, Daniel, please stay. I may need your assistance and I think it will calm the girl if you stay Sam."

Carter nodded and took Alekos' place, holding the girl's hand and helping Methos time the contractions. Daniel hovered in the background acting as a nurse when Methos asked for something from their packs.

Meanwhile, Duncan, Teal'c and O'Neill gathered around the DHD and waited with Alekos. After several minutes of hearing Thetys moaning and grunting from the labor, they heard a baby's cries.

Alekos leaped to his feet and rushed towards the sound, the rest of them followed and found Methos toweling down the baby and swaddling it up.

"Congratulations Alekos, it's a boy." Methos said as he held the child up to his father. Alekos gingerly took the child and then looked at Thetys. "He's beautiful, we shall name him Adam in honor of the stranger who birthed him."

"I'm honored. Thank you Alekos, may your son grow strong and bring you honor." Methos replied in a half amused voice. Thetys sat up and then stood up, causing Carter to show a little panic. "Shouldn't you rest for a while? You shouldn't be walking around yet."

Thetys smiled and said, "I'm fine, I'm fine. Alekos, look at his right arm!"

Alekos pulled the swaddling back to see the arm in question. It revealed a birthmark in the shape of a triangle. "A tri-point! It will bring him luck and joy."

"Would you like to come to our village, we offer you our hospitality." Thetys said looking eager to please her new friends.

Daniel asked, "What are your people called?"

"We are the Chosen." Alekos replied proudly.

"Where do the gods reside?" asked Teal'c, looking troubled.

Methos noticed this, but said nothing.

"Doesn't everyone know this?" asked Alekos, laughing with his wife.

"The live in the sky, of course!" Thetys said, laughing as if at a good joke.

Sam frowned to herself as she watched Thetys' body language. If I'd just given birth, I doubt I'd be laughing like she is. She pulled her scanner out and studied the display after running it behind the three Chosen. "Adam, come have a look at this."

Methos started as if he'd been daydreaming and walked over to Sam. He looked at the display as well and frowned at what he saw. "Are you sure this is accurate?" he asked out of habit. Sam had mastered the scanner weeks ago.

"Yes, I'm sure. What do you make of these readings?" Sam replied. rolling her eyes.

"If I'm reading this correctly, these people are loaded with nanites, and even more puzzling is the age indicator of the Chosen. This can't be right." Methos turned to the Chosen and asked, "Alekos, Thetys, how old are you?"

Alekos and Thetys exchanged glances, looking confused. Alekos answered, "I am twenty-two. Thetys is twenty-one."

Methos looked at Sam in shock. "Sam, these readings. Look at them."

Sam complied and frowned, "What's the problem? The ages given look right."

Methos sighed, "Look at the scale, it's not in years, it's in days!"

Sam looked perplexedly at the readings again, then gasped as what he'd said sank in. "Oh my God."

O'Neill was also frowning now. "Let me get this straight, you and Thetys are twenty-two and twenty-one DAYS old?"

Alekos and Thetys were troubled, "Yes, unto every man, the creator gives one hundred blissful days. It is a sin not to celebrate each and every one." Alekos responded.

Duncan and Daniel let out a gasp as well, while Teal'c looked a little green at the discovery.

Teal'c spoke up, "The Chosen of Pelops, O'Neill, these people are part of some experiment that this Pelops must have been running. They have no idea about what they are."

Methos began circling the room, "There must be something here, something that holds the answers to this problem."

O'Neill said, "Fan out, look for anything that might be a clue."

Alekos and Thetys looked frightened. Sam smiled reassuringly at them and sad, "Don't worry, we'll get to the bottom of this. I promise."

This did little to alleviate their fears, "What is it that has alarmed you so? Will you not come with us to the village?" Alekos asked.

"We're not positive about anything yet, but it looks like your god, Pelops, did something bad to your people. We want to fix that." Sam replied, hoping that it wouldn't cause them to panic.

She failed. "Come Thetys, let us go to the village and tell the others what we've seen here. Bring the boy." Alekos said, a determined look on his face. Before anyone could really stop them, the two Chosen were running out of the building, their baby clutched tightly to Thetys' breast.

"Colonel, we might be having trouble soon!" Sam called out as he searched the outer wall.

O'Neill turned back and sighed when he saw that the Chosen were gone, "Let me guess, they took off on us. That's just great. Keep up the good work Carter!" He turned back and continued to examine the wall.

Teal'c and Daniel were examining the statue when Daniel noticed a line of script. "Here, look at this, what do you make of that?"

Teal'c bent down to have a better look, "It appears to be an obscure Goa'uld dialect."

"It looks like linear A script to me. Can you decipher it?" Daniel asked.

Teal'c nodded, "The symbols are a sequence, a combination, I believe you would call it."

"That's great Teal'c, what's the combination?" Daniel said looking pleased.

Teal'c didn't reply, instead he began pressing the symbols in a certain order, after a moment, a drawer popped out. Inside was a tablet and a stone. Teal'c picked them up and examined the tablet intently.

"Can you read it?" Daniel asked.

Teal'c gave a slow nod, "I believe I can, but it is a difficult language with many nuances meaning different things from line to line."

Daniel sighed, "Great, of all the things to use, this Goa'uld had to be cryptic about it.. Daniel yelled to the others. "Guys! I think we've got something over here."

The rest of SG-1 broke off their search and joined Daniel and Teal'c at the statue.

Methos spoke up first, "What have you there Teal'c?"

Teal'c stopped reading to answer, "It appears to be a record of Pelops' experiment here. I am having some difficulty translating the text. Pelops used a very archaic dialect when he wrote down his findings."

Methos looked at the writing for a moment and sighed, he could only read one in ten words and he was unsure of that. "You keep reading, you seem to have the knack for this language, let me know what you find."

Teal'c nodded solemnly and went back to reading.

O'Neill said, "So this Pelops was one sick sonofabitch wasn't he."

Methos smiled sadly, "Yes he was. My figures say that these people are living a life that's about one two hundred fiftieth of normal. They're born, live and die a full range of life in one hundred days. It's enough to make me swear a blood oath. If this Pelops is still out there, I will kill him, very, very slowly..."

O'Neill almost grinned, "I think I can relate to that."

Methos frowned, "No, I don't think you can. Don't you understand what's happened here? I've lived long enough to have seen some pretty sick things in my life, but this... this makes me want to vomit. They've been so robbed, these Chosen, and to top it off, they think of Pelops as their divine protector and provider. It's monstrous Jack, truly monstrous."

O'Neill scowled. He did get it, at least he thought he did, but Methos was obviously stung by what Pelops had done. It was truly eating at him like a cancer. "Let's concentrate on making these people better. We'll find Pelops later."

Teal'c looked up, and called for Methos, "I believe I have found the information we require. There is a device within the statue that emits two different frequencies. The first activates the nanites and makes the Chosen fall asleep. The second turns the nanites off."

"That's good news Teal'c, nice job." O'Neill said as he listened.

Methos grinned, "Yes it is. With those frequencies we can control the nanites. Can you shut down the device altogether?"

"I believe so, but what effect this will have is unknown. Pelops did not put anything about it in his notes." Teal'c replied.

"Go ahead and do it. If we're lucky, we can get this done and be gone before the Chosen show up." O'Neill said.

Just at that moment, SG-1 could hear the sounds of a large group of people coming towards the temple. "Um, I don't think we'll get the chance guys." Sam called out from the entrance. "Here they come."

"Okay, get ready, but don't do anything to provoke them, they might just want to talk." O'Neill ordered.

SG-1 set themselves up around the statue and waited for the Chosen to appear. They didn't have to wait long as a crowd of people filed into the temple and began to array themselves in front of the statue. The Chosen didn't look ready to fight, just confused and scared. They began to pray to Pelops for guidance.

"Stop! You mustn't pray to this monster!" Methos yelled, as he stepped out and in front of the statue, pointing at it as he spoke.

"Who are you? How do you know what you say?" asked one man.

"I am Adam. I know who Pelops is because he left a tablet explaining his purpose for bringing you here." Methos said.

"Pelops brought us here to care for us and to love us as his Chosen." the man said.

"No, Pelops brought you here to be slaves. He wanted you so he could experiment on you and see how humans might evolve. He is a monster!" Methos said, more angry now.

"Pelops thinks of us as slaves?" Alekos cried out. The crowd looked at each other in confusion and fear. "Then I will no longer be one of the Chosen!" Alekos continued.

The crowd gasped as one at this bold statement. Methos stepped up to him and put his hand on Alekos' shoulder. "Good, it is a good thing to stand up for yourself."

Thetys spoke, "I will not be a Chosen either."

The crowd began to voice like sentiments and Methos grinned happily. "My friends, this is a glorious day. Let us go out and enjoy it."

The crowd smiled and began to file out. Methos accompanied them and sent via his implant to Sam, "Get the device shutdown. I think I might stay here for a few days, help these people adjust. We still haven't explained to them that they now may have thousands of days to enjoy."

Sam smiled and relayed his words the the rest of SG-1.

O'Neill grinned, "It must have been the way that one girl was eyeing him when she walked in. I'll bet he comes back a happy man."

Sam scowled at him, but didn't argue. Duncan came over to her and said, "So, things are getting sorted out here rather nicely. Would you care to join me in Seacouver this weekend? I know this great place to eat..."

Sam blushed and smiled. "Sure, I was wondering when you were going to ask..."

O'Neill overheard them and smirked. It's about time...

Several days passed without any major incidents, though it was a bit of a shock for the parents of the children. They had thought something was terribly wrong when their kids didn't age a year each night. It had taken Methos a day to reassure them that their children were fine.

Alekos had set out the same day and came back two days later, talking about his wondrous journey to the neighboring valley. He said that the next valley looked even more beautiful than that of the village.

Methos almost doubted him, but instead decided to join him on a return trek. It was just as Alekos had described, and Methos was struck by how wonderful the planet seemed to be. He decided to mark down its coordinates for a later visit by ship, and vowed to himself that he would find a way to protect the people of Argos, as they were now calling themselves.

Six days later, he received a transmission from General Hammond, requesting that he return to the SGC immediately.

He bid his new love, Kynthia goodbye, and promised to return soon, then stepped through the Stargate home.

End of Origins Supplement I

Coming Soon: Origins: Unholy Alliance