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Apoca_fic: Be Strange In Heaven
Ronon
vain_glorious
Title: Be Strange in Heaven
Author: vain_glorious
Fandom: SG-1 with references to SGA
Summary: For the prompt:  Daniel/Vala - "Your people have military bases in two galaxies, have the knowledge and technology of the Asgard, and have spent the better part of a decade amassing weapons from all over the universe, and you're telling me you didn't expect them to go all Evil Empire someday."
Rating: PG-13, gen (If you squint, Daniel/Vala)

Word Count:  2,647
Author's Note: Apologies to whoever gave this prompt, both for the tardiness and the lack of Daniel/Vala. Title borrowed from here.

Daniel Jackson never thought it would be humans that did it. After the Goa’uld, after the Ori, after (well, he presumed there would be an after) the Wraith, it was hard to spare any thought to his own planet. Its capacity for violence wasn’t any less impressive, its means of destruction just seemed smaller, now.

He never found out what really happened. If it was the powder keg of the Middle East, a lunatic dictator with a hard-on for nuclear weapons, or if the Cold War suddenly exploded. Or if it was smaller and less organized, without blood feud history, and just as effective at killing half the planet. Or if it ever even happened.

Other people were paying attention, though. To the happenings on the little blue planet rather than the whole wide universe. And they were making a list of the people worth keeping. Worth keeping, worth saving, useful enough to deserve access to breathable air and drinkable water, whose knowledge and skill sets were too valuable to lose to radiation poisoning (again).

This was the speech Daniel got. Some time after he vanished from his quarters in the SGC Mountain, when his bed and his coffee cup melted away and a cool metal floor and the unmistakable sensation of artificial gravity replaced his surroundings.

He hadn’t been surprised at this. Annoyed, maybe, and little alarmed by the fact that he’d been abducted out of one the most secure facilities in existence, but not surprised. Not really all the scared, either, since that emotion generally wasn’t very useful and had stopped being instinctual after a few too many of these now overly familiar situations.

Instead, Daniel had shoved himself to his feet and stood up, sort of glancing around at the smooth metal walls and the rest of the stuff that screamed sinister space ship. But he’d focused on the gentlemen standing before him.

They were the humans. The normal humans from Earth who’d either started the whole thing or been really, really opportunistic about it.

In a refreshing change from cliché, the two wore gray suits instead of black. But everything else was how it should be. Two non-descript Caucasian men, of average height. Lacking any defining characteristics like facial hair, but well-built enough that Daniel immediately knew better than to try to get past them.

Instead, he’d crossed his arms. “What the hell?”

Then he got the speech. In English, with some kind of neutral middle American accent.

And he didn’t believe it. Of course he didn’t believe it. Daniel had been kidnapped a lot, at this point. Multiple times. And never once had it been for his own good.

Later, he would wish he’d paid closer attention to what they’d actually said. Once he’d realized how absolutely insane their words were, he listened less and spent most of the monologue peering around the room for an exit or something to hit them with. And then when it was his turn to talk, he’d been really obnoxious and refused to believe them.

But there’d been some signs, right off the bat.

For one, the men didn’t get angry at him for baiting them with sarcasm and insults. They acted like it was expected, which if someone had been keeping a file on the way one Daniel Jackson responded to being suddenly abducted, it very well may have been expected.

They didn’t get angry. They didn’t threaten him. They weren’t even armed. With how big and solid the men looked, weapons weren’t all that necessary, but still. It was weird to be kidnapped without the standard production of a gun in his face or against his ribs. And the lack of insinuations of how his face would be rearranged or his balls introduced to blunt force trauma was weird, too.

His captors didn’t hurt him. They didn’t even touch him. There wasn’t any spontaneous punching or slapping. The invitation to go to his quarters was polite and direct.

“I was just in my quarters,” Daniel had said, peevishly. “You mean I can go back?”

But they meant brand new quarters on the ship they were standing on, of course. He’d waited for the manhandling and dragging to begin, but it didn’t. And eventually he gave in and started walking, since the two men were apparently content to wait in the plain, empty corridor all day.

They actually meant ‘quarters’ and not ‘cell,’ which was the next bizarre thing. Quarters that looked a lot like the standard compartment on a Daedalus-class vessel, if a little smaller.

Some of his stuff was there, which was immediately alarming. Eventually, when he bothered to actually look through it he’d realize it was almost all copies of his references and material they thought he’d want around. But at first glance, he thought they’d swiped his stuff, too. And that made him realize just how well this thing had been thought out, sent a chill down his spine.

“Oh, hey look,” he’d said. “You brought my library. That’s…creepy.”

“Some materials to help you,” one of his escorts had corrected him.

Daniel had picked up a Xeroxed packet in his own handwriting, a couple hundred pages of Ancient translations.

“Help me?” he’d asked. “That’s assuming I’m going to do anything for you. I’m not going to cooperate. At all. You should know that.”

A statement like that usually meant rejoinders like “Oh yes you will” or “We’ll see about that” ensued.

Instead, nothing happened.

“Eventually, you’ll be free to move around the vessel,” the same escort told him. “Gradually.”

That sounded disturbingly long term.

They left after that. The door locked solidly behind them. And despite the fact that Mitchell and Carter – separately – had taught him how to break into the locking mechanism on the Daedalus – just in case – he couldn’t get it to open. Daniel only managed to bruise and bloody his fingertips and he got really frustrated.

~

By Daniel’s estimation, the door stayed locked for about three weeks. He wasn’t left entirely alone. Someone brought him meals. Bland fare, served with plastic flatware that snapped if you stabbed too hard with it. The people who brought meals were dressed in the same plain gray suits and they shared the same flat affect. They never got angry or aggressive with him, which actually was more infuriating than if they’d been lording over him like the typical egomaniac Goa’uld.

Every time a tray showed up, it came with another repetitive explanation of why he was there. Earth was at war; it was unsafe; his knowledge was needed for the future of mankind; he had to be protected from the fallout.

He didn’t know if they actually meant nuclear fallout.

He still didn’t believe it.

The lack of physical abuse was a nice change, but he didn’t believe a single word of it. He considered destroying the library they’d supplied him with, except that he didn’t yet feel quite mentally unbalanced enough to actually enjoy that kind of thing.

Oddly enough, they hadn’t tried to make him do anything with all that reference material, either. Eventually, he’d gotten bored and started reading the stuff just to have something to do.

Some time in the middle of the third week, they stopped locking the door.

A lady in a gray suit who brought him lunch that day said he was free to wander, but that he should know they’d be monitoring him.

They really didn’t have to. Within minutes of leaving his quarters – fleeing, really – it was fairly apparent that there wasn’t anything he could do to interfere with their plan (whatever their plan was), such as blowing a hole in the side of the ship or something. That’d been his vague plan, even if the explosive side of things was generally Sam or Mitchell or Teal’c or Jack’s area of expertise.

His other plan was to run away. Since he couldn’t find anything resembling a shuttle bay or cargo bay or anything bay that had flying machines and a big door in it, that was out, too. Not that he knew how to fly things, but he was usually with Sam or Mitchell or Jack or Teal’c, and they usually did.

The ship was a lot like a Daedalus-class vessel. Except more sterile. It didn’t have a lot of access points to its controls. It didn’t have any. Daniel couldn’t smash electronic stations, or yank wires out of the wall, deliberately sabotage systems or even make a general nuisance of himself by randomly destroying components. Because he couldn’t find any.

That was well planned.

His inability to damage the ship was Daniel’s first observation. His second observation was that there were other people here. People he knew.

He was walking down a corridor sulking about the lack of things to destroy, when Kelly Donaldson rounded the corner and nearly walked into him. She jumped back to avoid a collision, did a double-take, then hugged him so hard it hurt.

That was how he found out that nearly his entire anthropology department from the SGC was here. Them and their immediate families, which was utterly baffling. And apparently there’d been some sort of meeting held by their gray-suited captors in which the “Earth at war” story had been told and actually believed. Daniel hadn’t been invited to that meeting, probably because he’d have thrown things at the speaker and called him a liar.

So Kelly was glad to see him, glad to see that he was alive, and not very receptive to him trying to convince her that they’d all been kidnapped and couldn’t she see that this was insane.

And since she wasn’t listening to reason at all, he’d asked her if she’d seen Colonels Carter or Mitchell around. If they were here.

“No,” Kelly said. “There’s no military here, Dr. Jackson. They’re on their own ship.”

Daniel thought that if Carter and Mitchell were on a ship like this, and had been fed the same load of horse shit as he had, there was most likely a giant hole in that ship or it had been swiftly hijacked.

Later, when he was being escorted back to his quarters for trying to kick one of the portholes out (just checking to see if he could without breaking his foot; answer: no), the grey-suited man explained that useful civilians had been collected with their families to make the transition less traumatic.

“We would have brought your family, too,” the guy said, sympathetically.

Daniel guessed he was classified as an orphaned, childless widower on their paperwork. It was true, but his foot really hurt, so he threw a binder at the guy’s head. It missed.

~

As time passed and no one showed up to rescue him, Daniel found himself thinking more about what had happened to his friends.

He assumed the conspiracy was wide enough to have included the military. There was no way something like the Trust could have managed to get a ship like the one he was on by itself. At least he hoped not.

So that meant that Mitchell and Carter might be on a ship like this, too, not under any alleged protection, but under orders.

Unless there was actually a war on Earth. Then, they might be fighting in it.

The thought made his blood run cold, until he decided that if he’d been snatched for his expertise on Ancient, there was no way they’d put Carter in the line of fire. Mitchell, he was less sure of.

And Jack.

Daniel might never have worn a military uniform, but he’d been running around with a P-90 for the past ten years. He felt kind of owed. He couldn’t believe no one had tried to contact him. Just to confirm or deny that something was going on. Unless it wasn’t. Or they couldn’t.  But he couldn’t believe they’d just lose track of him when the military made them snap to. Jack was a General now. Surely he had the authority to find Daniel. Unless they hadn’t saved Jack.

He wondered what had happened to Teal’c. Daniel was pretty sure Teal’c had been offworld with the Jaffa. If anything, he was probably confused why he couldn’t get back to the SGC. But he was safe and alive, wrangling the Jaffa political institution back in line, Daniel decided. Hell, maybe the Jaffa would come surging to Earth’s rescue. That’d be a nice, if ironic change, after all their history.

But Sam and Mitchell were young and active enough to be in the middle of things – if there were any things – and they wouldn’t have forgotten about him. And they sure as hell would know that he wouldn’t have believed this story. If anything, they should have been recruited to convince him.

They’d both been on the Mountain the day Daniel had been taken. Mitchell had declared his intention to sleep for two days and Sam had something in her lab she wanted to look at.

Maybe they hadn’t been taken.

Vala was fine. That, Daniel was sure of. If there was a war, she’d probably bribed some General – Jack? – into access to a secure bunker and was running a brilliantly unethical smuggling operation in the middle of a war zone. If there wasn’t a war, she was probably wondering just where the hell he was and running a brilliantly unethical smuggling operation out of the SGC for fun.  She was safe, that was the only thing he knew. It comforted him, a little.

~

Ancient artifacts started showing up on board after a couple months. Daniel didn’t know where they came from. Earth, other planets, maybe even Pegasus. As he’d promised, he refused to help. Except if he’d refused outright, they might have locked him back in his quarters alone, and that would have been mind numbingly boring.

So Daniel pretended to cooperate. But he deliberately mistranslated Ancient glyphs, purposefully misidentified Ancient technology, and sent his staff on wild goose chases through their Ancient library.

If nothing else, it illuminated who on his staff was smart enough to catch his blatant screw ups.

The gray suits didn’t seem to care. Even after a straight month where he identified every single Ancient piece of technology as kitchen equipment. Identifying a ZPM – and where the hell had they gotten that? – as a can opener didn’t even earn him a scolding.

Some time after the Ancient artifacts began arriving, the ship was attacked. Daniel almost didn’t notice. The vessel barely shook. No alarms went off. The other passengers didn’t register it. He only wondered what was going on because the gray suits ordered them away from windows and suggested they all go back to their quarters.

So, Daniel, of course, went straight to the biggest window he could find and looked out.

He saw Atlantis. The unmistakable city towers, illuminated under its pulsating shield.

And drones. Firing up from the surface, aiming at the vessel on which Daniel stood.

He could barely even process it before a gray suit showed up and yanked him away from the window, twittering about it being unsafe.

But Daniel had seen enough. The ship was attacking Atlantis. Or Atlantis was attacking the ship. And it just didn’t make any sense, not with the story he’d been told or with any he’d come up with on his own.

The next time he got near a window, Atlantis was gone. Nothing but stars stretched out before him in space.

The gray suits wouldn’t answer any of his questions. When they realized he’d seen Atlantis out the window, they tried to pretend he hadn’t.

“We’ve been in space a long time,” one said. “It’s natural to start seeing things.”

“The war,” Daniel said. “I thought you said it was on Earth.”

Gray suit smiled with a mouth full of teeth. “You’re safe,” he said. “That’s why you’re here.”

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~

~please feed the author~


Tags:

  • 1
that really creepy, the not knowing anything, and the not-an-ending is interesting. Who are these people? what did they do? I love stories that leave me with more questions than I started with!

I'm glad you liked it. "Creepy" is definitely the vibe I was going for.

Thanks so much for commenting, too. No one had said anything and I was starting to feel pissy and immature about it. :)

heh, I get that whole pissy thing, been there, done that.

Hey, I have a new least popular story. That makes my either stories MORE popular! ;)


LOL There ya go! excellent strategy--I may have to adopt that one myself.

Just came across this via apocalypse_kree. This is an odd, strange fic, but I really quite like it.

Thanks so much for the feedback! I'm glad you liked.

(Deleted comment)
Here via a different rec by sg_fignewton

This is very interesting to me, and I feel quite frustrated at the ending, that there isn't. That's not a criticism, more 'hey, I was enjoying that' moment. I like this very much, and I think you've captured Daniel very well here.

I've taken the opportunity to 'friend' you on DWJ as well :)

Thanks for the comment, particularly on this story since it seems to inspire a lot of silence from readers.

Welcome aboard, as well! :)

hmmmm...

The grey-suited businessmen kind of remind me of the Auditors from Terry Pratchetts Discworld novels and I dont quite know why. They're nicely creepy, though.

And I felt like Daniel's mental insistence that Vala would be okay was really just covering denial that he knew she was one of his freinds who would definietly NOT be- an alien, skills that don't appear particularly valuable on paper unless you've got her loyalty, and to much of a maverick for any organization to ever entirely trust. (Whereas Daniel, as an anthropologist, has several times developed a talent for blending in and adapting to situations that the grey-suits might think to use that strength against him. Vala, on the other hand, is more familiar with trying to turn EVERY situation to her advantage, even with groups she's supposed to rely on.
Ergo. grey-suits dont really want Vala alive (or in a position nearly as comfortable as Daniel's.))

It's definietly something that made me think.

Thanks so much for the feedback. I'm glad it struck you.

And yeah, Daniel's smart enough to know that Vala probably isn't safe.

More?

With that said, this was an insanely creepy fic. Just wow.

I think this was a one shot thing. Thanks for the comment, I'm glad the fic worked for you! :)

What the heeel is going on?!?! 0_o
*iz freaked out*

Freaky apocafic is going on, of course.

Thanks for the comment! :)

Loved this! Hated it! Loved it!
one shot? Double crap! Very creepy -- sadly believable.
Thanks so much!
Sr. Patti (a fan fiction fanatic)

Thanks for the comment! :)

(Deleted comment)
Thanks for the comment! :)

Gah! Nicely creepy indeed.

I loved the sense of helplessness you managed to convey as he confronted his inability to do anything much in the face of their psychological warfare.

The place you leave it totally works....

But I can't help speculating on what could happen next. Is the earth really gone? Can SGA-1 or SGC-1 rescue them? Could these be the Aschen for example, back for revenge? Can Daniel rouse his staff and find a way to subvert things?

Almost begging for someone to do a remix or something!

Thanks for the feedback!

This was supposed to be a longer fic with greater specificity, it just got away from me. Glad you enjoyed.

Edited at 2012-05-09 09:55 pm (UTC)

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