BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

EMMARIGBY

Winding River: Chapter 2
Monday, May 1, 2006

This is a crossover fic that will spend a lot of time in the Stargate verse (If you hate crossovers don't read!) A friend of mine stated that it was impossible to mix these two programs convincingly. Is he right? Let me know!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2389    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Timeline: Set Post Firefly and pre-Serenity and sometime during season 7 of Stargate, i.e. Daniel has returned from being an ascended being, Teal’c is minus symbiote (and hair still!) but dear Dr. Frasier has not yet left us (sniff!).

Chapter 2 Diversion

Jack was bored.

It was his own fault. He’d obviously complained one too many times that his team seemed to be assigned to world saving, life risking missions almost every week. His punishment: a trip to an uninhabited planet to study dirt and rocks.

Samantha Carter was studying the dirt. His second in command was crouched in the dust of this parched plain a few hundred meters away. Her blonde head was bowed intently over an array of tubes and she was doing something bewilderingly scientific with various brightly coloured liquids.

Daniel Jackson was studying the rocks. The archaeologist was hunkered down at the base of a four-foot high wall. His glasses had slipped forward on his nose and he peered through them with the abstracted gaze of an eccentric professor, his notebooks fanned around him like fallen leaves.

Jack O’Neill and Teal’c were; well, they were mooching. In their own unique ways. Teal'c was standing at parade rest, eyes scanning the desolate tundra, his spine as straight as the staff weapon he had planted before him. Jack slumped, hands in pockets, kicking fitfully at a clump of dry, yellow grass. He glared balefully around him.

They were clustered at the base of a large mound ringed with what once, he had been told at length, would have been an imposing array of intricately carved temples, but was now little more than weathered boulders. The large stone circle of the Stargate, through which they’d arrived three long and tedious hours ago, stood silhouetted in profile at the top of the embankment like a pimple on a teenage chin. Jack sighed and slouched over to the bulky form of the ex-Jaffa, leaning toward him to whisper conspiratorially.

"Bet’cha five bucks that Daniel’ll squeal in excitement over something on that wall sometime in the next five minutes!" Teal’c arched one eyebrow, causing the gold embossed emblem on his forehead to rise beneath his shaven mahogany crown.

"I do not believe such a wager to be advisable, Colonel O’Neill" he rumbled sternly, reverting to eyes front position. O’Neill glumly went back to torturing the tussock of grass with his toe. There was a moment of stillness. Daniel broke it by leaning forward to brush some dust from a carving, muttering an absent-minded

"Fascinating!" His absorption was so complete that he didn’t even look up at Jack’s wail.

"Damn it! I knew I should have asked Carter!"

A flicker of a smile twitched the corners of Teal’c’s mouth, only to be replaced an instant later by tight mask of alertness. Jack straightened from his sulk, suddenly all business, as the distinctive grind of stone against stone announced the imminent arrival of an incoming wormhole. Carter had abandoned her test tubes and stood poised on the balls of her feet, palm resting on the butt of her handgun. Even Daniel had broken off his studies and gazed up the hill with a slightly distracted air.

The plume of plasma erupted in billowing waves from the mouth of the circle, licking the evening skyline before collapsing back on itself. A slight figure burst from the shimmering surface with almost as much violence. The slender girl was running, her thin dress flapping round her legs as the heavy boots flew over the ground. She craned her neck back in a swirl of flying hair and stumbled slightly as the ground sloped away from under her feet. In a flash, a second figure had sprung from the Stargate and had launched at her feet, sending them both rolling down the bank in a tangle of limbs.

A third person followed them through the gate and paused, his body hunched with the arms dangling loosely. As he sniffed the air his deranged gaze rose above the struggling pair to fix on Carter’s horrified face. With a primal snarl he came bounding in great simian leaps toward her. She raised her weapon, the other hand braced against her wrist, but her professional stance was shaken as she caught sight of the rabid devastation of his face. She gasped, taking a step back, the gun beginning to tremble in her hand. She nearly fumbled it altogether a second later as she flinched from the sharp retort of an MP5 and a staff weapon being fired simultaneously.

The savage snarls died as the body jerked with the impact of the bullets. The mutilated carcass tumbled and slid to a halt in a cloud of dust at Carter’s feet. She backed away from it and, shaking her head as if casting off a bad dream, looked up in alarm at where the young girl had fallen. She lay very still, the smoking corpse of her attacker still draped across her in a grotesque embrace. Teal'c bent over her, laying down his staff at the feet of the victim it had claimed, and carefully pulled the body away from the dirty and bloodstained girl. She looked up at him, silent and solemn apart from the catch of her laboured breathing. Her eyes darted rapidly and erratically over his face and the others now crowding over her before drifting away to cover the landscape before her.

"I ran too far." She announced pensively to the world at large.

"You okay?" Jack snapped. He cast a critical eye over her torn dress. The broken spaghetti strap dangled loose beneath an expanse of smooth pale skin marred by jagged parallel scratches. Her upper arm was a mess of mangled flesh and bubbling blood. He looked down in disgust at the upturned face of her attacker, still snarling through a mask of hideous injuries. The blood clotted around the mottled skin of the lipless grimace suggested that he’d been in the process of biting a chunk out of her when Teal’c’s staff blast stopped him. "What the hell are these things?" he demanded in alarm.

Her vacant gaze clicked into focus on him for a moment before shifting to the sprawled body beside her. She shuffled away from it, then paused and stretched over to poke one finger tentatively into scarred and oozing flesh of its cheek. Daniel crouched before her, looking a little queasy, and gently pulled her hand away.

"It’s okay. It’s dead now." Large dark eyes fixed on his and he felt a little disconcerted at the intensity of their gaze.

"Some people don’t stay down." She stated quietly.

Jack let out a snort. "She’s got you there, Danny," he said with a grin. "You’ve turned coming back from the dead into a hobby!" Daniel glared at him before turning back to the girl.

"Can you tell us your name?" he asked in a soothing voice. She stayed silent, her eyes sliding off his face and back to the corpse. She rose to her knees, bending over the remains, head slightly tilted to one side. Her dark hair fell in waves that almost brushed the lacerated face below her. "Hunger" she muttered, staring intently into the vacant eyes. "They took everything from them but the pain and the hate, so they fill the emptiness with it. From others when they can. Or their own self."

“My God!” Carter breathed. “Do you mean they cut open their own faces? That’s … nasty!”

Daniel reached out and held the girl’s chin carefully between thumb and forefinger, turning her to face him again.

”What’s your name?” He entreated again. “Where did you come from?”

“I’m not sure you’ll get your answers, Daniel.” Jack spoke softly. “I’m not sure she’s all there!” Her head snapped around to face him, a slightly puzzled frown crinkling her brow.

“I’m here!” she stated decisively. Without turning her gaze from Jack she shot out a pale, blood streaked arm, finger pointing squarely at Teal’c. “He’s not all there. Gotta piece missing!”

Jack hesitated, eyes flickering over Teal’c’s stomach before looking up into his team-mate’s face. Teal’c raised his eyebrow in silent communication but Jack gave a minute shake of his head, dismissing his unspoken thoughts. He opened his mouth to ask another question but was stopped by a sudden exclamation.

“River.”

Daniel glanced at Jack in confusion before saying hesitantly

“I don’t think … There aren’t any rivers around here.” She looked back to him in amused derision.

“It’s my name, dummy!”

“Oh!” Daniel felt a flush suffuse his cheeks and avoided looking at Carter’s grin. “Pleased to meet you River. My name’s Daniel.” He said, extending a hand.

River ignored the offered clasp and rose gracefully to her feet. As her eyes scanned the horizon she seemed to shrink in on herself, wrapping her arms around her body in a desperate hug.

“I’m lost!” she moaned in a small voice. “Can’t see the right thread. I’m so sorry Simon…” she trailed off in a whimper.

Jack felt a pain pull tight in his chest. The girl, barely more than a child really, who had been so self-assured a moment ago now looked defeated and very much alone. Jack moved to put a comforting hand on her shoulder.

“It’s okay” he soothed. “We’ll get you home, won’t we Carter?” he looked up in encouragement at the blonde scientist. She frowned, caught a little off-guard.

“Well … I’m afraid I was too far away and at the wrong angle to catch any of the symbols as she dialled in. If River can’t remember the address of the gate she came from…” she trailed off under the weight of his glare.

“Won’t we Carter?” he repeated slowly, in a deliberate tone that brooked no argument. She straightened to attention.

“Yes, sir, of course!” Her face brightened and she blurted out in relief, “Actually, sir, I’ve just remembered reading a report by Dr. Lee. He was working on a program to trace incoming wormholes. There’s no reason why we can’t adapt it to decode the hyperspacial memory buffers of … “

“See?” Jack interrupted brightly, “As I said, we’ll get you home.”

Carter shuddered as she glanced around at the two bodies. “Although if there are more of those where she came from, I’m not sure why she’d want to go back.”

Jack grimaced. “Yeah! What’ya think Big Guy” he questioned. “Another fun filled prank from the friendly neighbourhood Goa’uld?”

Teal’c shook his head. “I have never seen their like, O’Neill.”

“Uh, Guys?” Daniel interrupted, worried eyes on River’s shivering figure. “Can the debate about what they are and where they came from wait until we’re back on base? We really ought to get River some medical attention.”

Colonel O’Neill gave a quick nod. “Sure. I was bored of the rocks and dirt anyway. Let’s head back, people. Daniel, you dial. Carter, you gather up the geek stuff.” She shot him a look, but headed back down the hill without a word.

River seemed to pull herself out of her funk at the sudden movement around her, and trailed after Daniel as he climbed the few steps to the summit. He stopped in front of the carved pedestal that had acquired the affectionate tag of Dial Home Device, or DHD. River reached out a hand to trail soft fingers over the raised emblems.

“I remembered.” She murmured. “From long ago.” She frowned “Or maybe still to unfold.” She looked up at Daniel in irritation. “It’s hard to keep track when your ontological perception of the flow of time isn’t intersubjective.”

“Riiight!” he drawled, pressing the final symbol and placing a hand on the glowing hemisphere at the centre of the column.

River flinched as the Stargate belched out its quicksilver flume before collapsing back into a serene, liquid silk doorway to the universe. She walked towards it, eyes fever bright, and stopped a hand’s breadth from the glistening vertical pool. The others gathered behind her, Jack re-pocketing the GDO after using the device to announce their imminent arrival to the folks back home. River reached up reverently, skimming tentative fingers over the watery surface.

“So pretty!” she breathed in delight, beaming an incandescent smile at the group. “An origami of distant sunsets, reflected through the folds in the ‘verse!”

Sam blinked in surprise. “Actually, sir, that’s pretty much what those shimmers are. Photons of light from other dimensions are being refracted by the fluctuations in the event horizon.”

O’Neill gave her a blank look. “Sooo … what you’re saying is that she just made sense to you?” he asked doubtfully.

“Yes, sir. I think she may have a deep and instinctive understanding of wormhole physics.” Carter gave a wry grin and lowered her voice to add “Either that or I’m reading far too much into the ramblings of a crazy person!” River glanced back at her, wrinkling her nose and sticking her tongue out in infantile pique, causing Carter to shuffle her feet in embarrassment.

Before Carter could utter a word in her defence, River had turned back to the gate. Closing her eyes in rapture, arms spread as if to embrace the experience, River glided forward unhesitatingly and disappeared, leaving barely a ripple behind her.

AN. My apologies to any Physicists out there. The technobabble is consistent with the Stargate ethos, but real life I’m not so sure about!

COMMENTS

Monday, May 1, 2006 3:19 AM

ALLIETHORN7


<River flinched as the Stargate belched out its quicksilver flume before collapsing back into a serene, liquid silk doorway to the universe>
Loved that part, such descriptive writing! You don't see that all that much. Gotta love those gorram metaphors!!!!

-Danny

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 2:43 AM

BSCPANTHERFAN


Very interesting!

River: I ran too far.

Director: Cut! What's going on!

Nathan Fillion (OS): SUMMER!!!

Wednesday, May 3, 2006 9:15 PM

BLUEEYEDBRIGADIER


Uh...guess time travel is consistant with SG-1 (as seen with the episode where SG-1 meets a young Hammond) but 500 years seems a bit too far. Though it would make sense that one of the planets in the Firefly 'verse was in a sector of space explored by the Ancients and Goua'ld;)

BEB


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