AN: For those of you new to my writing, welcome. For those of you familiar, no I'm not dead. I keep trying to wrap my head back around the stories I already have in progress, but, alas, I have thus far been unable to. I will keep trying. I do intend to finish. In the meantime, this has been bouncing around for a couple of years, and it's up to several finished-ish chapters, so I thought I would give posting it a try.
Daniel sat at his desk; glasses perched precariously on the end of his nose as he poked through the translations that he needed to get done that day. There were always more on his desk, with more arriving daily than he thought that he could get through in a week. Fortunately, he was now down to being only a week behind. He'd been able to beg, steal and borrow every archaeologist with any proficiency in any ancient language from every other military application that required archeologists. He was astounded that there had been any in the first place, and most of them would have been perfectly happy to sign away their first born child, if only to get away from the drudgery of whatever desk that they'd been stuck behind.
That left him a week behind, rather than a year behind. Unfortunately, getting help from less proficient people meant that they translated the easy stuff, like Latin, or Greek. He could do that in his sleep, yes, but occasionally it would have been nice to have an easy day. Only a couple of them were proficient in Goa'uld, and even then only the most common dialect. He could shove some translations off on to them, but not many, and he still had to sort through them to see what dialect they were in before he handed them off to Sheffield or Timmons.
He picked up another tablet, scanned it; it was a list of trade goods. He put it off into a huge pile of similar tablets. He hated finding those kinds of things. They made nice museum pieces, but otherwise were absolutely useless. He picked up the next one. It was actually useful; it seemed to be a list of gate addresses. He pushed his glasses up to a more secure perch, picking up his jacket and shoving one arm through before shuffling the tablet to the other hand and finishing the task. He walked up toward the control room. Sirens started going off. Unscheduled Offworld Activation, blared the speakers repeatedly. He sped up, getting into the room first. Sam and Jack were pretty much right behind him, and Teal'c came in a few seconds later.
"It's SG-3, sir." Siler said. "They are sending a transmission via the MALP."
"Hey, could you send someone who's good with languages? Carver swears this scrawling on the wall is some kind of language, something he's seen before; but Edwards insists that he's never seen it; therefore, it's not a language. All I know is that it's not Ancient and it's not Goa'uld."
Everyone turned to look in his direction. "What?" he asked.
Siler watched as SG-1 filed into the room, due to the UOA. There were always so many of those. It usually made everyone on the base come scurrying into his little corner of the base, crowding him and making the room somewhat uncomfortable. Surprising, though was that Daniel Jackson was the first one through the door. He was carrying a tablet—he'd probably been on his way already. "It's SG-3, Sir. They are sending a transmission via the MALP," he said, showing the transmission on the computer screen.
They wanted another Linguist. SG-1 to the rescue again. It was so often that SG-1 went out after some disaster or another had befallen a team that Siler wondered why they bothered having so many teams in the first place. He looked at the tablet that Daniel had absently laid on his desk. He'd started to be able to read Goa'uld a little, he'd seen enough of it, but it wasn't Goa'uld, it was a list of gate addresses. He started to look them up. They'd had their disaster-of-the-day, so he was planning to be incredibly bored for the next 6 hours.
Daniel sighed; he didn't want to go on a mission when he was so far behind. Usually he could keep it down to about a four or five day backlog, but lately…
He suited up, not understanding how Carver, who was your standard issue combat geek, and all around pretty good military type, could recognize a language that Edwards, who was nearly as good as he was with languages, couldn't.
He was the last one in the gate room, all that ruminating, he told himself. He let Jack and Sam step in first, then went. Swoosh, he was there. PT-703.
"Ok, people, what is this fuss about?" he asked as the gate deactivated behind Teal'c.
"Come on, it's just over here." Carver told him, over riding the bright red Edwards. "Can't for the life of me remember where I've seen this, but it looks so familiar."
Daniel walked around the corner, and stared in disbelief.
Jack didn't have a good feeling about this. It wasn't anything specific, it never was. It was just that "Carver says it's a language" didn't feel like a good enough reason for him to take his team out and risk them. But Jack had learned both to trust that the feelings were correct, and to ignore them and do whatever dangerous thing that was setting them off anyway, and to the best of his ability.
Daniel blinked, and then his brain kicked into gear. "You're kidding, right?" he asked incredulously once he'd found his voice again. "This is trick Daniel day, right?"
"What's wrong with the wall, Daniel?" Jack asked him.
"Um, only that it can't possibly be here."
"Slow down, back up three steps and start from the beginning." Jack told him.
"It's in Aurebesh." Daniel said, as though that would explain everything.
"And I await the profound significance of that statement, Daniel," Jack said as Daniel started to examine the script that was carved into the stone hall with his fingers.
"It's the script that they use in Star Wars, Jack." Daniel said absently.
"So, this means that it was real. And if this is real, who knows how much of the rest of it is real?" Daniel frowned. He started to look at the script, translating it in his head. "It's not written in a spoken language that I know." He said absently, looking back and forth between a clipboard that he was writing on, and the first line of text on the wall. He suddenly got the idea to try to translate the letters into Ancient. He did it on the instincts of someone who'd spent years making sense out of nonsense. After about three lines, he realized why he'd been getting nowhere with it—it was written vertically.
"So what's it say?" Jack asked, as Daniel flipped over to another sheet of paper.
"Oh, ah, I don't know."
"You don't know?"
"No, I was trying to read it like you would English, but it's written vertically. Give me a minute."
Jack waited, counting in his head, to one minute. "So, Daniel, what does it say?"
Daniel had gotten to the bottom of the first column. "It's like a text to the movie, written by one of the characters."
"I'm not sure yet." Daniel said, distracted by the translation. About halfway down the second column he seemed to find the name. "Here it is."
"So, it's not like it's in English, Jack."
"George Lucas seemed to be able to understand it."
"I'm thinking that 'The Journal of the Whills' was not fictional."
"What is the 'Journal of the Whills'?"
"Well, according to Star Wars Mythology, it was a recorded history of the galaxy maintained by a mysterious group known as the Whills. He dropped the concept from the movies, but it's something in the early stuff for the scripts."
"It's possible that he wasn't doing creative stuff, but translating from a copy of this."
"So who wrote on the wall?" Jack asked, because Daniel was getting into techno-speak for something he didn't want to know any more about than he already did.
"Ah, I think, Ben Skywalker, although that's like so not his name."
"Who is Ben Skywalker?"
"Luke's kid. But don't worry too much about it."
"And you know this how?"
"By the relationship he indicates to the main characters, these stories are about his father and grandfather." He indicated the appropriate points at which it obviously said those things.
"He also says that he was named for the great warrior that taught his grandfather." Daniel said, picking up the translation.
Jack was always amazed at how Daniel could make sense out of scribbling on walls.
"Ok. So LUKE SKYWALKER'S kid comes to this galaxy, and writes on this wall,. Now what do you propose that we do about it?"
"Can I finish reading what it says first?"
Jack waved his hand to say, 'be my guest.'
Half a day later, Jack was still waiting for something profound to come from Daniel's translation of the wall, but even going and looking over his shoulder didn't help, because he was writing in Ancient. Worse, it was a bizarre dialect of Ancient that Jack didn't really know. Not that he really knew the one he knew. He just sort of did. Not that it helped at that particular moment. He'd let SG-3 continue to explore the surrounding area, and Teal'c and Carter explored the more immediate area.
"Daniel Jackson," Teal'c's baritone voice rang out.
"What, I'm in the middle of a—" He stopped as he saw the about three-foot-high domed shape that Teal'c was carrying.