Diamond in the Sand

Jack was the first to round the corner into the room. He and Daniel had spent 10 minutes arguing about who should take the lead, Daniel because he was the expedition director, or Jack because of his military leadership.

“Jack, there are no Goa’uld’s down here. I think the worst that will be down here is a few dust bunnies,” Daniel had insisted. He was about to bring up another point when Jack held up a hand.

“Osiris ring a bell? No Gou’ald? What about those copasetic jars?” Jack said beaming when Daniel closed his mouth.

“Canopic jars.”

“Whatever. Osiris. I take point,”

Daniel nodded and muttered to himself. Sam came beside him and smiled. “Just think, if there was a Goa’uld down here, he would be the first to be taken and you could negotiate a trade.”

Hmm, let’s concentrate on him being taken first. I don’t make a habit of negotiating with snakes,” Daniel smiled back.

After Jack did his sweep, he nodded to Daniel to come forward. Daniel did his own sole sweep of the walls and ground, much like his father did with his camera. He was in the same room as his parents, which struck him as sentimental and odd. They had been doing the same thing, but now he knew what the crates and baskets were full of.

Turning around in the room, sweeping his flashlight over the walls, Daniel saw that much of the writing was an old incantation for the Healing Waters, which suspiciously looked like a healing device. Looking around the crates and baskets, he uncovered the hand device.

“Well it looks like everything is still here,” Daniel said as he held up the various gold-laid devices. Nothing but the parchment reciting the rituals of this place made it out.”

“That’s a relief. Shall we try to find the other parts of this corridor?” Sam asked as she looked at the uncovered stash.

“Ok, then we will have to take this like any other mission. Daniel, you are behind me and have permission to tell me if I am destroying some important artifact or something. Teal’c you’re in the rear,” Jack said once more falling into his commander role.

They left the room, Daniel still amazed that they had actually found it and now in wonderment that they were going further then his parents in their expedition. As he fell behind Jack, he once more took out his hand held camera and followed his flashlight taking in the walls and the still colorful art.

“If nothing else, I wished we could take some of these walls, or pictures and present them to the Egyptian community. I mean these are still in pristine conditions, centuries after it slipped out of the people’s minds, and now it is found, waiting for people to enjoy,” Daniel said as they walked on. “This is a huge find.”

“And the strange circular disks that have that spiral thing coming out?” Jack asked, gesturing with a free hand. “How do you explain that?”

“Well, much of the artwork does show the disk, Ra, and the Pharaohs giving offerings to Ra, the principle god of the time. In exchange of the worship and offerings, Ra would promise to rise everyday, chasing Apophis out of the sky. All that to say I think it would be seen as a variation on that theme.”

“You’re the expert,” Jack said as they continued down the hall. Walking on, Jack watched as his beam disappeared into the darkness, not bouncing off a wall. “Hold up, I think we got something.”

Carefully the four spread out, sweeping the ground and piercing the darkness with their lights. Daniel and Sam rounded a big column on the far end of the room, not finding much to identify the place.

“This must be some vast hall, maybe the main temple,” Daniel said. Finding a tall Horus guard statue, Daniel followed the colored robe and golden features to a bowl it was holding out. “Sam, do you have a light?”

“Um one second,” she said, slinging her gun over her shoulder and digging through her cargo pant pockets for a book of matches Daniel had suggested she take along.

Handing over the book, Daniel smiled as he struck the match and held up the flame. As he was lifting it toward the bowl, Jack came over and gave a questioning look. “These are torches. Lighting them will give light.”

Nodding, Jack watched as Daniel tossed the match into the bowl. For a second, nothing happened, and then suddenly a flame shot up and licked the cobwebs and darkness. The dim glow of the light was enough for the four friends to see each other’s face. A small drop of fire came from the bottom of the bowl, dropping between Jack and Daniel.

“Um, I think it has a leak,” Jack said, backing away as another drop fell. He began stomping the fire when Daniel held a hand out and stopped him. “You want the temple to burn?”

“No, Jack. I think it is meant to do that. Think of the Indiana Jones movies, where a single spark lights a river of gasoline in a moat around the room. I think this is something like that.”

“Are you certain, DanielJackson?” Teal’c asked.

“Come here, there has to be something written on the columns,” Daniel said turning to round the column again.

“These things come with instructions?” Jack asked warily.

Daniel scanned the lines of hieroglyphs, translating them in his head as he moved across the word pictures. “Ok, ok. It looks like the fire is moving toward the throne of Ra, signaling the start of court sessions, the rising of the sun, beginning anew. And then as the court progresses, the different changes of the day are marked by the progress of the ‘Magical Light of Ra.’”

“Is there a way to speed up this ‘Magical Light'?” Jack asked looking around as the fire dripped from the bowl and pooled on the ground, creeping toward the front of the hall.

“I don’t know. I think we left some kerosene in the little healing room,” Daniel said as he continued translating.

“Ok, you two stay here, watch out for anything that does not belong here. T and I will go back and see if we can’t get this light show going,” Jack said as he and Teal’c walked back toward the room.

Chapter 7