He was leaning forward, his head almost hanging down as he kept watching the small yellow object in front of him. It was a rectangular-shaped thing with four large buttons on it; each button with a foreign symbol on them. He chuckled slightly.
"Hey, what's got your attention there?" was her first question when she entered Daniel's office.
"The Geh'iod box."
"Yes. You've got to see this," he said and waved her over to him.
"Okay," Sam smiled and approached him. "What do the symbols mean?" she asked, her eyes on the engravings.
"I had no idea at first. Luckily
Placing her hands on the table Sam leaned forward for a better and closer view. "Did she tell you what it was exactly?"
"No." Daniel shook his head. "She just offered it as gift for us."
"Pretty nice of her."
"For you and me, to be more exact."
Sam glanced at him. "You and me," she repeated.
Daniel shrugged. "I think it might've had something to do with that blue energy thing."
As soon as those words were mentioned, Sam's cheeks felt an embarrassingly strong fire eating through the skin and leave a reddish mark behind. She cocked her head back with a shy smile which she couldn't hold back.
"The blue energy." She tried to give it a joking tone but it was quickly replaced with a softer one. "What made you think that?"
Daniel looked up at her, his eyes dangerously bold and yet still soft. He did not have to explain it to her and Sam knew it, so he simply looked back at the box without a verbal answer to that question.
Two weeks earlier …
The gates of the Krasna city appeared to be around twenty feet tall with pictures of grapevines engraved in their silver surface. There was no handle or any type of an object which could be used to move them, at least from the outside. The gates were secured on two large pillars, everything beyond that was not visible. Looking carefully at the gates Jack asked: "Okay, where's the doorbell?"
Immediately afterwards, a smaller door next to the right pillar opened. Two men, dressed in light blue armor resembling those of ancient time, came out. They carried tall spears with sharp diamonds at the ends and strange, hammer-like weapons hung from their waists. The language which they spoke wasn't familiar.
Daniel sensed the immediate looks from his teammates and glanced at each of them before he returned his gaze to the guards who repeated the same words from before. "Uh, this is quite a surprise."
"What is?" Sam asked.
"The language… it sounds very much like, uh, Macedonian. It's also used on Earth but, this is a different… um ..."
Before continuing his explanation, Daniel decided to verify his assumption. He spoke a few words to the two guards. The men watched him with their serious expressions for a while. One of them said something to Daniel, which the archeologist responded in the same language. The faces of the guards changed into small grins, which soon after turned into short laughter.
"What did you say to them?" Jack asked.
"Nothing which should have been funny," Daniel responded and listened to the exchange between the guards. "It is… it's definitely a form of Macedonian, but maybe an earlier one."
"And they're laughing because…" Jack wanted to know.
"I think it might be my accent."
"Oh." Jack's eyebrows rose up to indicate false astonishment. "You can understand what they're saying… right?"
"Most of it, yes," Daniel confirmed.
"Okay, then tell them… you know the drill."
Daniel nodded and started speaking to the guards. After he was finished, the two men looked at the rest of the team.
"Are you all soldiers?" one of the guards asked in his language.
"N-no. I'm a scientist and uh," he glanced at Sam. "She is… one as well."
"All right. You two can pass."
"What about them?" Daniel asked.
"We do not allow other soldiers to enter these gates. You are foreigners. Only you and she are allowed."
Daniel understood. He turned around and looked at Jack. "He said that they'll let only Sam and me through."
"Why?" Jack was confused.
"Apparently they don't allow military from outside to pass through."
"You did explain why we're here."
"And we can't go through?"
"You and Teal'c - no. They're just being cautious since we're foreigners."
"Well, can you please tell them that we mean no harm to them?"
"I already did. They won't let you in."
"But we've no idea what's behind those gates," Jack said.
"I'm sure they won't kill us the moment we get inside, sir," Sam said.
Jack eyed the situation carefully before he agreed. "Okay, but keep your radio on."
"Yes, sir," Sam agreed.
Daniel spoke to the soldiers and both stepped aside, letting him and Sam pass through. When the two scientists were gone, it was only the four men left in front of the big gates. Jack looked at Teal'c and then at the guards.
"So, how's guard duty in this place?" he asked with a friendly tone.
Not understanding the language, the two guards only watched the visitors coldly. Jack smiled briefly and glanced at his teammate. "This'll be a lot of 'fun'," he said and exhaled.
When Daniel and Sam entered the city, they were greeted by an older woman with waist-long, sky-blue hair. She was accompanied by three guards and behind them was a large mass of people, curious as to what the visitors looked like. Once they laid eyes on the newcomers, their enthusiasm seemed to almost disappear and they parted from the rest, going about their business.
"There go our fifteen minutes of fame," Daniel said quietly, which stole a low chuckle from Sam.
"Who are you?" The woman approached them, her voice cold.
"My name is Daniel Jackson," Daniel responded and pointed to himself. "And this is Samantha Carter."
"What are you?"
"Um, excuse me?"
"You're obviously not soldiers if you were allowed to pass through the gates. What are you?"
"We're, uh, we're scientists."
The woman glanced down and then back at them. "With weapons?"
"They're more for protection," Daniel responded.
The woman nodded to this and spoke a few words to the soldiers who then approached Daniel and Sam.
"No foreign weapons are allowed here, Daniel," she told them.
"What's going on?" Sam asked.
"We need to give them our weapons."
"They're not allowed here."
Quietly agreeing, Sam handed her weapons to the guard, as did Daniel.
"You are from Earth?"
The woman's question turned both Sam and Daniel's heads, particularly because her language changed into their own.
"Yes," Sam replied.
Her dark brown eyes suddenly softened; her previously colder expression got washed over by a much warmer one.
"By the sea?" her voice however, remained the same.
"N-no, not exactly. I'm sorry, how can you speak our language?" Daniel asked.
"We've come to acquire information for over 3,000 languages since we've arrived here."
"And you remember them all?" Sam asked.
"As you can see," the woman responded and smiled briefly. "We've had unpleasant experiences with some races in the past which forced us to be more cautious of our visitors. It has also required us to place our hospitality on hold. My apology for the cold welcome."
"We understand," Sam replied.
"We only allow non-military persons to enter this city because of unfortunate past events, and as I've learned, two soldiers came with you?"
"Yes. But we-…"
"They will stay outside, it is the rule. My apologies once again," the woman responded to which Sam and Daniel exchanged confusing looks. "I am Utra. Welcome to Krasna."
Utra approached Sam and took her hands, kissing them softly. She then took Daniel's in hers and squeezed them warmly.
"Please come with me."
Walking through the wide marble street of the city, Daniel and Sam couldn't help but admire the uniqueness of the place; the buildings almost identical as the archeological ruins found on Earth; the people dressed in the long gowns familiar from that period. The only abnormality appeared to have been the color of the women’s hair. Some had that light blue color, others the familiar brown.
"I understand how surprised you must be by what you see here," Utra then said.
"We are. The ancient period is the most explored on our planet and your city is a beautiful example of that time," Daniel said.
"Thank you," Utra's smile showed with her response.
"What are your people called?" Sam asked.
"We're Krasnians, but our ancestors who lived on Earth were called Macedonians."
"Macedonians?" Sam was surprised. "Macedonian, Macedon… Alexander the Great?" she looked over at Daniel.
"Who is he?" Utra asked.
"One of the greatest conquerors in our history,"
Daniel responded. "He was from
The woman stopped. She shook her head slowly. "We do not know him. He must've been born after our ancestors left… or at least those who chose to leave."
"What happened to your people?" Daniel asked.
Utra watched both Daniel and Sam for a while. "I can see you must be very curious about our history. But, that will wait. We would first like to hear about you. Where you come from? How you live…" She continued walking. "You also must be very hungry."
"Well, we -…" Sam was about to reply when Daniel did instead.
"We are, thank you," he said and looked at Sam, giving her a sign that an acceptance of the offer was much wiser than the refusal.