Fandom: Stargate SG1; genfic
Length: 870 words
Rating: safe for the kiddies
Summary: SG1 gets called out for guard duty on Halloween so that Daniel can help translate an ancient stone pillar by full moon light. Written for the Spooky Tropes challenge at stargateland.
A full moon was already high in the night sky when the first wolf howled. A frigid breeze twined its way through the forest where the five people stood.
Teal'c raised his eyebrows as Sam shifted her weight to another foot.
"Remind me again," Jack whispered in what was clearly an audible tone. "Why are we stuck out here doing guard duty for Daniel and what's-his-name on Halloween?"
"We can hear you know," Daniel called out from his place by the crumbling stone pillar that was the source of this whole annoyance.
"I believe that General Hammond described the translation of this pillar to that of the utmost importance, O'Neill. I do recall Daniel Jackson saying that these writing might hold some secrets pertaining to a unknown as of yet Go'auld weakness."
"But on Halloween?"
"There was a meeting in which it was explained that certain parts of the writing only reveal themselves in the light of a full moon. As the lunar cycle on P3X-508 is twice as long as that of Earth's, the General felt it was imperative that the translation be carried out tonight. Do you not recall this?"
"Thank you, Teal'c. Your knowledge in these matters is most appreciated. As always." He hoped that he'd put enough bite on the words to let the sarcasm bleed through.
"You are most welcome, O'Neill."
"Why does it matter anyway?" Daniel asked, crouching down to inspect a line of writing near the base. "You're too old to get candy."
"Daniel, if there is one important lesson to be learned from life, it's that you're never too old to get candy."
"Do try to lighten up, sir," Sam said with a small smile.
"Lighten up," Jack repeated numbly.
"If it helps," she continued. "Halloween - if one regards it as a state of time lasting the duration of October the 31st - only exists on Earth. In fact, a physical state-"
Sam stopped, looking a bit sheepish and surprised at the same time. "Sorry, sir," she said.
"How's that writing coming along, Danny-Boy?"
Daniel cast an irritated glance in Jack's direction, but said, "Slow. And it will be even slower if you keep talking and breaking my concentration."
"That's never stopped you in the past," Jack said with a smirk. He walked over to where the two archeologists were standing and regarded the pillar with a inquisitive and contemplative gaze that he hoped masked his complete lacking of understanding and interest in the whole affair. "So what have you got so far?"
"Well..." Daniel said, standing up. He brought up his electronic notepad closer to his face and frowned. "I can only assume that whomever created this was speaking in metaphor. The knowledge and technology to link this with the lunar cycle combined with importance of keeping this secret from the Go'auld has to be taken into account."
"You see, from what I've been able to translate, and Phil is with me on this-"
Ah, so Phil was his name.
"-and like I said, I'm sure there's an underlying metaphor, but, that is... it's a story." The last three words came tumbling out so fast that Jack had to repeat them over again in his head to fully process them.
"It's a story," Daniel said his expression hesitant, trying to gauge Jack's reaction. "It's about a man who dies in, well, vague circumstances, and his... um, essence, takes his place, and wanders the land in the places the man used to wander and... some people see it, usually at night, and... that's... and..."
Jack stared at him. Daniel tried to stare back, then ventured an awkward smile.
"It's a ghost story."
"So it appears."
"Well, technically the writing appears at each full moon so the fact that it's Halloween is really only a coincidence."
"It's a ghost story. On Halloween," Jack said, pressing the point with each syllable. "You dragged me out to an alien planet. To read me some ancient ghost story. On Halloween."
"Ah," Daniel said, interrupting him with a swish of one finger as he browsed through various menus on his tablet. "Just wait until you hear the part about the werewolf."
"It's there somewhere." Daniel waved his hand vaguely towards some spot two thirds of the way up the pillar. "A second man bonds with the spirit of the wolf to let the first man achieve peace."
Jack stared at him in disbelief. "And does this have anything to do with a super important Go'auld weakness in anyway."
"I did mentioned that it's probably a metaphor for something else."
"A metaphor... Daniel, I could find more useful metaphors around a Boy Scout camping fire!"
"Sir?" It was Carter. She and Teal'c had most likely listened in; honestly, it would've been hard for them not too. "Perhaps we should fall back and let Daniel finish the translation. Just in case."
Just in case. If those weren't the three words that had caused him so much aggravation in these past years. Then again, they'd also saved his life more times than he could count. With a sigh, he patted Daniel on the shoulder and walked away.
"But if vampire shows up in there," he yelled back. "I'm out!"
- Full Moon Coincidence (1/1)