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04 August 2015 @ 10:09 pm
[Fic] "Engendered by Disquiet" -- Stargate: SG-1  
Summary: Some days, Earth still seems like a children's tale to Vala. (350 words)

Note: This ficlet was written for [tumblr.com profile] kk-maker as part of a three-sentence meme, in response to the prompt: Teal'c, or Vala Mal Doran. It is rather more than three sentences. Oops? (Also, everything I know about Stargate: SG-1 is secondhand, so please forgive any glaring canon errors.) [Tumblr crosspost]

[ETA: The AO3 crosspost is now up!]

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Engendered by Disquiet
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It was easy enough to forget Earth's true nature under the mountain, or even in its general vicinity. The Goa'uld had their fortresses and their capital cities, after all, though few were as decentralized as Colorado Springs. But now and then SG-1 traveled somewhere else and the scope of this world's alienness hit Vala like a fist to her gut.

"Your planet still seems like a children's tale some days, have I told you that? The old rebel dream -- 'what if there were no gods?' -- passed down from one hopeless fool to the next, and here's the answer, plucked out of heresy into real life," she said as she dragged Daniel through the streets of Washington, D.C., trying to catch up to the rest of their team. "If anyone had told me six billion humans could survive on a single planet without any Goa'uld to maintain order, I would have called them liars and madmen."

"And yet, here we are," Daniel said.

"Here you are," Vala agreed, cutting him off before he could dive into a lecture. "Upsetting the balance of ages just by existing, all six billion of you, with your wars and your technology and the false gods you build to justify all the shadows in your hearts. The thing about children's tales," she added in the face of Daniel's suddenly sour expression, "is that every wonder carries horror at its core; you can't have the hero without the dragon."

You could, unfortunately, have the dragon without the hero. But that wasn't something Vala wanted to remember. So she tugged on Daniel's arm again, breaking him out of his own black reflections. "Ah! You're not allowed to get distracted, not today. I want to enjoy every second of the time Sam allotted for observing the desecrated corpse of a tree your people stuck in front of the government offices."

Listening to Daniel's lengthy and ridiculous explanation of Christmas trees was a much more pleasant way to spend her afternoon, the irritated pitch of his voice a spark of familiarity to hold against the drowning impossibility of this world she had determined to call home.

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End of Ficlet

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The title is a random phrase from Tolkien's essay On Fairy-stories, which is a work I recommend to anyone interested in writing fantasy. One may not agree with all his points, but I think one should at least be aware of his questions.

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