And So It Was Written
"The hills are alive--"
"I said don't."
"I know what you said, but--"
"Now isn't the time."
"Even though?"
"Yes! In fact more so now that..."
"That the hills really are alive?"
"Would you prefer I introduce you as the team minstrel?"
"Well," Jack eyed the distant hills as though weighing up a potential job offer, "it sure beats being the team jester."
"And yet sometimes I wonder if you are over-qualified for the position."
"Of minstrel?"
Jack made a theatrical show of clutching his chest. "You wound me!"
"You'll live."
"O'Neill!" Teal'c strode quickly across the clearing, from where he was patrolling near the village square. "I believe the hills are moving."
"Got it, Teal'c. I starting singing a song for the occasion, but Mister No Fun At All kyboshed it."
Sam lowered her field glasses and nervously pushed a stray lock of hair from her face. "Looks like they mean to overrun our position, sir."
"The hills?"
"Yes, Carter. The hills are alive. Not sure they plan on overrunning us, though, but you can never be sure."
"I believe the hills are stationary and it is some other force that threatens our position." Teal'c, ever the voice of reason and stating of the plainly obvious.
Because answering a question with a question was always a sure winner in the game of life, to which Daniel suddenly wondered when he had become so in-tune with exactly with how Jack's mind worked. Of course, there was no way of knowing whether or not Teal'c was a Tolkien fan.
"You know," Jack continued on in a slightly exasperated tone, of the opinion that Teal'c should clearly understand the reference. "Huge honkin' trees that walk?"
One perfectly plucked eyebrow rose but the lights weren't on.
Daniel figured a rescue was in order. "Lord of the Rings?"
The eyebrow collapsed, along with any hope Daniel had for the conversation actually making sense. "The Ents are a fictional character in J.R.R Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. The word 'Ent' taken from Old English and meaning 'giant'. In Tolkien's universe, the Ents are among the oldest race from Middle Earth and--"
"You're confusing Teal'c."
Daniel looked towards Teal'c and noted with disappointment that his expression hadn't changed. "Have I confused you, Teal'c?"
"Indeed you have."
"See!" Jack said with a cheeky smile.
"No more than O'Neill has," Teal'c continued. "And yet the Ents continue in our direction. An intentional retreat would seem wise."
"Intentional?" asked Jack, looking fleetingly at Daniel for help.
"They're not Ents, Teal'c. And, Jack, I think he means tactical."
"Ah, right! Tactical. Well, I'm all for bugging out of here, but Daniel isn't your buddy Optic supposed to be throwing us a banquet?"
"It's Otic, and you know the banquet is the last stage in sealing the mining treaty. A formality."
Jack looked back towards the hills and coughed up in his best tenor, "With songs they have sung for a thousand years!" Pavarotti would have turned in his grave.
"Doctor Jackson, good scholar!"
Daniel thanked every deity worthy of note and turned to greet their host, craning his neck at a cruel angle in the hopes of at least being able to make eye-contact with the wily Thalan leader.
"Otic, good leader." All offworld packs should come with a retractable emergency stepladder. Daniel was feeling height challenged. "We fore-greet you in the names of our revered leaders and their esteemed wives. May you be blessed with great seed for the mother to swallow."
Daniel didn't need to see Jack to know he had probably disappeared up his own rear at this point. There was no missing the ritual greeting and its rather exaggerated meaning.
"And to you," Otic returned smoothly. "May your loin squirt forth and fertilize the wombs of a thousand women on a thousand worlds."
To which Jack mumbled, "I think this guy has your measure, Daniel."
"Your companions?" Otic asked, spreading his long arms wide to encompass the rest of SG-1. "These are not the lessers who greeted us on the seventh night of the eclipse of the third moon?"
"They are not." Daniel suddenly wished he had returned with SG-11. "Those lessers had lower duties to perform. Not being worthy to return to your greatness."
"As it is so written," the Thalan leader decided after a moment. "Then we shall greet your lessers with the same equal as your others, and have them dine to the left and several levels lower than your esteemed self."
Jack coughed. "Ah, Daniel?"
"As it is so written," Daniel returned quickly before Jack could say another word. "My lessers would be grateful to partake of a bounty not worthy of our esteemed selves."
With a small nod, Otic puffed his chest out and straightened up to his full height of ten feet, once again spreading his arms wide, but this time in the direction on the distant mountains. "And so it is also written that all of Thalan should be present for this virtuous event, and that they should spill much seed which would be swallowed by yourself and your grateful lessers."
"Ah, right. You said all of Thalan?"
"All. You are displeased?"
"Oh, no, no... just curious. How many is all?"
"The Thalan of this Cha'tal number ten thousand. Look to the hills, see the great ocean that is their life that has spilled forth from the Cha'tal, across the plains of fertility, to join us at the table of plenty."
"Right. That's a lot of seed to swallow."
Sam paled visibly, Teal'c tried on his best stoic expression.
And Jack started humming Oh, Danny boy...

The End

Kleenex anyone?


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