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STARGATE FANFIC: "Forward Distortion" Chapter 1/20 "Invisible Rock"

faux Fandemonium book coverTITLE: "Forward Distortion: The Day We Have" Chapter 1 of 20 "Invisible Rock"
AUTHORcampylobacter
EDITORS: hummingfly67, oceania
STORY & CANON CONSULTANTS: cleothemuse, lc59
FRENCH PROOFREADER: lusitanianotter
BANNER & WALLPAPER MANIPS: eilidh17 , csichick_2 
FANDOM: Stargate SG-1
PAIRINGS: Daniel/Vala (other pairings require het or slash goggles, available for purchase at any fine department store)
RATING: [This chapter PG-13 for depiction of drug addiction in incidental character] NC-17/Adult (violence; language; sexual situations; individual chapters specify content ratings)
STATUS: serialized
SPOILERS: SG-1 (Crusade, Flesh and Blood, Shell Game {audio book}, Unending, Ark of Truth) SGA (First Contact/The Lost Tribe)
TIMELINE: post-SGU "Air" (Col. Carter commands the USS Hammond.)
ARCHIVED: also at AO3
CATEGORY/GENRE: Action/Adventure, Team; Romance, Het, First Time
WORD COUNT: This chapter 1263 (20,000+ total)

CHAPTER SUMMARY: Vala tells how the adventure first began.

PREVIOUS: Prologue: "The Day We Have"


Chapter 1: Invisible Rock


=V= One Month Before the Day =V=
Vala tells how the adventure first began.


This entire, charming adventure began almost a month ago on P2X-2K6 (which Cameron and I dubbed "C'Poras: Cold Piles of Rock and Sludge") whilst Daniel video-recorded our trek to the nearest ridge. At the crest, the crisp, cloudless sky allowed us an unobstructed view of open terrain several hundred klicks southwest-ward, to yet more decidedly uninhabited cold piles of rock and sludge. Before we implemented the unanimous decision to return to the 'Gate, I sat on an ugly boulder to knock the mud off my boots.

"Hey guys, notice anything unusual about that rock?" Daniel asked. "It's different from the rest of the rocks on this moraine."

I snatched the camera from him and pointed it towards my face, at arm's length. "Unusual in that there's a cold but seductively attractive explorer perched on it without a sexy archaeologist to keep her warm?"

He sputtered and looked at my feet (to avoid admiring the way I arched my back) and then crouched to peer more closely at the rock.

"Move," he snapped, "there's some sort of writing here." My kicking had knocked off the dirt crusted on a metal panel embedded in the boulder, which triggered Daniel's excitement over old, boring objects. "Oh my god, it's in Furling."

"Cool!" Cameron exclaimed. "What's it say?"

"I have no idea. There are other glyphs here, too, that aren't in their alphabet. Vala, give back the camera."

After a few more fruitless hours of searching for the Key to the Secret of the Mysterious Ugly Rock, Cameron decided there wasn't anything else on the planet interesting enough to lengthen our stay, so we and the MALP returned to the SGC. After a mercifully short debriefing (General Landry could endure only two minutes' worth of video footage of rock close-ups), I followed Daniel to Dr. Lee's office where they struggled to figure out the engraving. Using the Spiral of Basics (or "periodic table of elements", as the Tau'ri call them) and the known interactions of chemical bonds, he and Dr. Lee deciphered the glyphs into an octal series of numerals and mathematical symbols that described several equations. I assisted by asking lots of questions and ensuring they took meal breaks. Cameron filed a composite mission report, grumbling about wasting his skills on "pushing paper".

Several days later, Dr. Lee presented their findings to the general, and suggested transmitting the microwave signal specified in one of the equations to the Ugly Rock. Unfortunately, our ever-curious Daniel volunteered SG-1's return to P2X-2K6 before Teal'c could return from reconstruction efforts on Dakara, instead of handing off the mission to another team.

So just the three of us revisited "C'Poras" — the weather hadn't changed one jot — with the proper equipment. From a safe distance, Daniel and I used a handheld transmitter to send signals to the boulder as Cameron kept watch on the other side of it. It didn't explode, or transform, or open a portal to a secret chamber of treasure; it disappeared!

Actually, it was cloaked. And transmitting more signals to it wouldn't get it to de-cloak, no matter what variations Daniel insisted I enter.

"Times like this I really miss Sam." Cameron tossed pebbles at the thing to watch its cloak shimmer. "What kind of idjits need an invisible rock with no 'off' switch?"

"We can't just leave it here." Daniel stamped his feet in either frustration or an effort to keep warm. "The rest of the equations describe a very specific geosynchronous orbit, which is where Dr. Lee suspected it fell from, in a decaying trajectory."

Later that week, Muscles finally left Dakara and met us at the Alpha Site.

"I have returned in the now-repaired tel'tak Vala Mal Doran had procured for a previous mission to rescue the Odyssey." I could tell he was glad to see us by the subtle relaxation of tension in his shoulders as he waited to greet us at the end of the ramp. "We may depart for P2X-2K6 at your earliest convenience."

Within a few hours, we were once again back at C'poras, which was surprisingly quite green and tropical when viewed from orbit. We flew closer to its Stargate near the South Pole to ring Ugly Rock off the planet and on board, and then released it into the planet's high orbit, as specified by the rest of the Furling equations.

After an hour of transmitting more signals to the invisible (formerly asteroid-colored) lump, a thought occurred to me. "I've an idea..." I said, and activated the tel'tak's cloak, without even needing to kick the center console.

The Ugly Rock reappeared, looking like an ordinary asteroid, and began broadcasting telemetry that our SGC microwave equipment detected along the same frequency as our original transmission.

"That's weird," Daniel commented as he looked over my shoulder at the readout. "It's transmitting the location of our tel'tak, not its own location."

"Smack me sideways," whooped Cameron. "A Goa'uld cloak detector!"

I was a bit disappointed that it hadn't turned into gold or platinum, but the SGC and IOA were delighted with their new toy, and had it put into orbit around a naquadah mining planet whose populace suffered from kassa addiction. A few days later, the detector pinpointed a cloaked, retro-fitted Lucian Alliance troop transport which was impounded by SG-3 when it landed.

Upon inspection, a full hold of kassa and some curious glass bottles of pale purple syrup were discovered. The smugglers were rather piqued at having lost so lucrative a score.

"How did you detect my ship?" demanded the pilot, who'd been brought to the SGC for further questioning.

"We seen you rollin'," Cameron said. "We hatin'. Patrollin'. We done caught you ridin' dirty."

"What's he on about?" I asked Daniel as we watched from the observation room.

Daniel squeezed his eyes shut and dropped his head. "You haven't been deafened in the parking lot when he blasts that song through the subwoofers in his car."

"Actually, I have." I patted his shoulder in empathy and whispered, "But it was a rather anarchic song about telling 'the police' to, um, get buggered."

"Colonel Mitchell," General Landry barked at him over the comm, "just ask him where the crop was grown."

The pilot refused to cooperate until a few hours later, when withdrawal symptoms compelled him to beg for "mauve nectar". His eyes seemed greener when the whites were bloodshot.

"Our analysis of the substance indicates that it's a highly concentrated distillate of the psycho-stimulant in kassa," remarked Dr. Lam, who had joined us in the observation room. "This 'mauve nectar' has almost ten times the addictive properties of the strongest known narcotics. I'm guessing that it's meant to be diluted for 'street sale', so to speak."

"Makes smuggling delightfully convenient when you don't have to risk spoiling huge quantities of fresh corn," I said.

Daniel nodded and frowned in thought.

"All righty, Tweek, who's brewing the silage?" Cameron, in the interrogation room, tried again, this time waving a spoonful of diluted kassa syrup under the pilot's nose. "Who's cooking the space corn meth?"

"An Ori Prior on Bicoque." The pilot's mouth nearly snapped the spoon out of Cameron's hand, had not the colonel's reflexes been faster.

"Easy there, homeboy. Give us the 'Gate address, first."

"Bicoque has no Stargate. Give me the Nectar," the pilot groaned and began to rock against his restraints. "Please... the coordinates are in my ship's navigation archives, listed as '34606'." Cameron watched in fascinated disgust as the man greedily lapped every trace of syrup from the spoon.

NEXT Chapter 2: "Graveyard Shift"
Chapter 3: "The Whisper of a Turned Page"
Chapter 4: "Non-Quantifiable Nuance"
Chapter 5: "Change in Velocity"
Chapter 6: "Distorting Effects"
Chapter 7: "Sowing & Reaping"
Chapter 8: "Oil & Canvas"
Chapter 9: "Less Inclined To Negotiate"
Chapter 10: "Repurposed"
Chapter 11: "Pretending Nothing Happened"
Chapter 12: "Get Too Close"
Chapter 13: "Resonant Effects"
Chapter 14: "Feed-Forward, Feedback"
Chapter 15: "The Strength & the Will"

17 NOV 2012: Due to horrendous amounts of anonymous comment spam, I must freeze comments to this entry. :( Feedback can also be left for this story at AO3.
Tags: *daniel/vala, *fanfic, daniel jackson, nc-17, sg-1, ship fic, vala mal doran
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