Track of the Apocalypse Ch2 Ficbit – Pretty

A/N: And now we go back in time a few hours….


Jack O’Neill walked out onto the temple’s gray-stained wooden balcony, wide enough to line up half the SGC’s offworld teams with room to spare, and looked out over summer-green trees cloaking the mountain slope down to a tile-roofed city. “This place? Is way too pretty.”

Familiar footsteps thumped out behind him. “Jack.”

“Seriously.” Jack gripped the railing, testing how well it was anchored. Wouldn’t do to have a fight break out and go plummeting down a hundred-odd feet because he thought the railing would stop him. Not that there seemed to be anything here to fight. Just chirpy local-equivalent-of-bird songs and dust sparkling in stray shafts of early morning sunlight; the first warm breaths of what promised to be a stifling summer day. “There’s nobody here. Dragon statue fountains, mini-waterfalls trained off the roof on the rising-sun side, not a speck of litter from a stray acolyte grabbing lunch when nobody’s looking… and no pine trees. Isn’t that one of the rules of the universe? Every planet the Goa’uld colonized has pine trees.”

“Abydos,” Daniel Jackson reminded him, making sure to get a good panorama of the city below for the videocamera.

“Okay, almost every planet.”

“And just because nobody’s here right now, doesn’t mean they won’t be back later.” Daniel did a slower visual sweep, pausing on what looked like possible buildings of interest. “Even if no one’s used the Stargate since Ma’chello left, it’s probably still a center of worship. It could be they only come up and clean the place out once a year for specific ceremonies.”

Jack tried to shake the railing again, and hmphed. “Or it could be they all up and left real quick, because Ma’chello.”

“It probably would be a good idea,” Daniel allowed, lowering the videocam to take his own look. “I’m not going back to PY3-948 anytime soon.” He paused. “But if this place were completely abandoned… like you pointed out, there are good water sources here. We should see animal tracks. Nests.”

And they hadn’t. Okay. So… probably people, just probably not right now. Which could be subject to change with not much warning. Better to keep their eyes open. If only because it would suck to be stabbed with a pointy stick by some justifiably paranoid local mistaking them for Ma’chello’s best buddies. “Teal’c?”

A quiet tread, and a glint of sun off gold from the wide sliding doors; Teal’c carried the most muscle of all of them, but the Jaffa moved stealthy as a Special Ops veteran. “All seems quiet, O’Neill.”

“Good. Quiet is… good.” Jack headed back inside, stopping just inside the track of translucent panels. The red-painted wooden columns holding up the ornamented ceiling were thicker than he could wrap his arms around; they ought to be solid enough. But all the delicately-painted lamps hanging from above were dark – probably because it was daylight, imagine that – and the shadowed interior twitched at his nerves. Seeing the MALP in front of the Stargate, and the nice, friendly, intact DHD helped. A little. “Major?”

51 thoughts on “Track of the Apocalypse Ch2 Ficbit – Pretty

  1. Hahahaha. All that foreshadowing, wonderful.

    The Kabane have hunted down the local animal life, which is why the place is so intact.

    And there are probably Kabane that have been hunting arrivals at the gate, which may be why they have carefully left no sign of corpses.

    This all works very well, and I’m happy to see SG1 again.

    Couple thoughts. One, insects would be difficult for Kabeneri to hunt, and in absence of larger predators, might have gone out of control. Two, accidental fires maybe should have burned the place down already. That last should be corrected soon enough. 🙂

    Thank you.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Canon, Kabane seem to ignore animals completely. Vice versa is not true, so anything with half a brain is staying well clear of the wrong things.

      Hmm. Accidental fires would pretty much have to be lightning strike, so… not that likely.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Why not so likely? Wooden Temple, of dried seasoned wood, up on an elevation? There was a comment on the lack of trees around the complex, so I guess no fires starting from lightning strikes into surrounding trees grown tall in 20 some years, but lighting rods and grounding wires are likely to have corroded…

        There ought to be some visible fire scars in the city, in any case. Unlikely that no major fires were started during panicked chaos when the Kabane began to overrun the city, or deliberately set to try to hold back the hordes temporarily to gain more time for evacuation.

        If there were enough time, and organized defense, perhaps some of the coal stockpile Keishi inevitably would have had could have been loaded onto railroad cars, brought into position on the city’s internal rail network and dumped to make fiery barricades, or connected cars set alight directly.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. About Keishi being too pretty . . . I wonder how pretty he is going think this place when he finds out about the zombies . . . especially since they probably aren’t going to find out about the zombies in a nice, quiet manner . . . but probably in the run-for-your-lives kind of manner.

    Why did I get the feeling that some off-world alien with delusions of grandeur and/or a sadistic, evil streak did something typically awful . . . because Kabane are caused by a virus. Viruses have to come from somewhere . . . and we know several of alien species out there in SG-1 make a habit of genetic manipulation.

    At least the Kabane aren’t made by the Hollow virus? (That we know of)

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, maybe something along the lines of trying to give people a defense against becoming Goa’uld hosts, or becoming carriers for an anti-Goa’uld plague?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shame. I mean, at least he’s not causing anymore hellish situations? But the stress relief inherent in strangling someone who sent everything to hell in a hand basket…

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Maybe SG-1 will have a nice, sane meeting with the locals that steam into port, for once! I mean, over the muzzles of guns pointed every which way, of course, but that’s still pretty good for SG-1. It’d be a nice change of pace.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Doubt it for two reasons. One, this is SG1 and their luck isn’t that good. Two, last chapter had the horde of Keishi waking up and going towards something not the Kabenari, who are stated to be a preferential target.

        Liked by 4 people

      2. Maybe SG-1 will have a nice, sane meeting with the locals that steam into port, for once!

        Probably be considered almost a vacation, given what usually happens but as noted, their luck isn’t that good. And Daniel tends to find whatever trouble exists within a given area – and when he doesn’t, one of the others stumbles across it.

        Murphy is also seems pretty invested in keeping their lives . . . er . . . interesting.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. The amusing bit is that not only is there a Vancouver kenjutsu school, but it is a branch of a very old, very comprehensive samurai military arts school. They teach fortification classes, as well as all kinds of traditional weapons and tactics.

        And they make people who get far enough along, swear an oath not to demonstrate the art frivolously. Sworn to various Shinto deities. And there is a schismatic branch somewhere in the world. Drama!

        Liked by 3 people

      1. You do realize that just lends credence to my “Kabane virus/biochemistry + Naquadah = Bad Mix” idea, right?

        It’s pretty clear even in SG canon, that Machello never cared very much about collateral damage, when it came to fighting the Goa’uld.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Ah the classic start of mission(tm) for SG1. All seems normal and peaceful, Danny is investigating and Jack’s nerves are starting to twitch the longer it goes on.

    He’ll probably be (sort of) relieved when the Kabane attack. Because his paranoia/nerves will be justified even as hes running for his life (again).

    Also an Ikoma and Hozumi moment from the movie that got posted on youtube. Sure non-canon for this story but the scene is just too adorable.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Mumei’s and Ikoma’s reaction are pure win. And the matchmaker watching the two love birds and performing a victory fist pump is pure win as well. Must find, and create such moments whenever possible, in order to keep hope and heart alive.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. /Also sneaky sneaky Hozumi! /
        Though considering her target, stealth and subtlety are not exactly required.

        Ikoma is many things, positive and otherwise which his friends are well aware of.
        -Ikoma, Takumi’s voice said in memory, is freakin’ insane.-

        However interpersonal relations, particulary in regards to the opposite gender, is not one of them.

        Liked by 3 people

    1. Hmm. Armor-piercing bullets are standard-issue for SG-teams since Jaffa armor can stop regular ones. (You CAN kill an armored Jaffa with regular bullets, but you have to hit a less sturdy section of the armor or an unarmored portion. Armor-piercing bullets are a sure-thing, though.) I wonder how effective armor-piercing bullets will be against the local monsters.

      Jack: “Teal’c! This had better not be another Jaffa Legend!”

      Odds the Kabane are an experiment that got away from Ma’chello?

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Given this is apparently a world they pulled from Ma’chello’s data, extremely high.

        Didn’t even consider him in my head due mostly to the fact that I was thinking the kabane were a deliberately harmful creation.

        Gone Horribly Right and Gone Horribly Wrong have such a thin line between them…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. AP bullets are standard issue at a certain point in the SG timeline, yes. Still you have to check exactly what kind of armor they’re trying to pierce. I’m going off of Wikipedia “this is what X ammo” (that we know SG-1 has) “can pierce”, plus “this is what we see a staff weapon able to do on-show” and “this is what we see Ikoma test his piercing gun with, and later what we see jet bullets are capable of”.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. “Isn’t that one of the rules of the universe? Every planet the Goa’uld colonized has pine trees.”

    “Abydos,” Daniel Jackson reminded him.

    “Abydos didn’t have plants. It wasn’t a planet, it was a brillo-pad with pretensions.”

    Liked by 4 people

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