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Into The Light

There had been no warning of what they were walking into. Just a brief, desperate call for help from trusted allies. The plague had decimated many of the small villages. Death had come so quickly, there was scarcely anyone left to bury those who had already succumbed.

Daniel Jackson had become sick himself within a day and Jack O’Neill had ordered him back through the gate but he’d refused, arguing that as he was sick anyway, it was already too late.

These people, those still alive at least, needed comfort as much as they did medical aid, Daniel argued, and the simple touch of an ungloved hand on a fevered brow, words of prayer or solace from a mouth not muffled by a mask would go some way to easing their fear.

He could feel the fever already beginning to sap his strength and his throat felt as though he’d swallowed a dozen razor blades. He took a sip of water and fought not to cough as he sat at the bedside of Galean, one of the young warriors who had convinced the elders to help SG-1 when they’d first visited the planet. Then, he had been a strong vibrant young man, full of life and eager to fight the Goa’uld, now he was a mere shadow, skeletal and pale, dark circles rimming his bloodshot eyes. He held tightly to Daniel’s hand as his entire body shook with another paroxysm of coughing.

When the spasm was over, he lay back against his pillow and drew slow, shallow breaths. Finally he spoke. “I am not afraid of death,” he whispered, his voice a barely there croak of sound. He coughed again and Daniel gently wiped away the blood-stained sputum from his lips.

“I know. You are a fine warrior. Your people are rightly proud of you, as am I,” Daniel replied. “Don’t give up hope, Galean,” he added, though he knew in his heart, it was already too late, “there is still time for the medicine to work.”

Galean shook his head. “Not for me, Daniel. We both know this. Already I have watched my mother and my little brother die. I know my time will come soon.” He squeezed Daniel’s hand with far more strength than he should have had. “Will you wait with me… for death to take me?”

“Yes, and then I will speak the ancient words that will send your spirit to God to be with those of your loved ones,” Daniel replied.

A small smile upturned Galean’s cracked lips. “That will be my reward.” Then a tear dribbled down his pale cheek. “I am afraid… of the darkness that comes with death.”

Daniel reached out and took Galean’s hand in his. He closed his eyes for a moment, remembering his own death and ascension. “I’m ready,” he’d told Oma, unable to bear the agony any longer yet fearful of what lay beyond. He smiled then and leaned in close to Galean. “There is no darkness, Galean,” he whispered, “only light.”


October 2013

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