rigel: (tealc desert)[personal profile] rigel wrote
on July 9th, 2008 at 02:53 pm

Ficlet Post: "G is for Glory" (G)

Title: "G is for Glory"
Author: Rigel
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Rating: G
Categories: Gen, Teal'c and Bra'tac Friendship, Pre-series
Wordcount: 951
A/N: Written for [livejournal.com profile] sg_fignewton's Teal'c Alphabet Soup



The evening shadows deepened, throwing the figure of Bra'tac into stark relief against the darkening sky. He was clad in his full battle regalia, the heavy cloak of his office flapping at the hem as the wind caught at it. He stood with one foot braced against a hummock of grass. Somehow, it had flourished amongst the barren scree that surrounded the encampment, a lone note of green against rock and shale.

The guards at his side snapped to attention, and he turned his gaze toward his finest apprentice, who was now approaching the command post.

"First Prime Bra'tac, Nu'man sends orders from our god." Teal'c halted and bowed his head, slightly awed by the air of authority that his master radiated.

"Speak." An impatient note had crept into Bra'tac's voice, no doubt a result of the long day spent marshalling the vast force now assembled behind him on the plains. He gestured and Teal'c stepped forward, unrolling a scroll that had been covered with carefully inked glyphs.

Teal'c swallowed hard, and read the missive. "Bring glory to your god this day and serve our divine purpose. Our will is strong, and our path is clear…"

Bra'tac listened to the charges dictated to him, his expression impassive as the terms of the demanded victory grew impossible to achieve, even for renowned Jaffa that had been bred solely for the purpose of war.

As he drew to a close, Teal'c felt the first seeds of unease blossom within him. He concentrated on the engraved pattern of entwined serpents on his gauntlets and set aside his fears. Bra'tac was the warrior who had led the charge against a ten thousand strong army with only two thousand under his command and prevailed, earning a golden tattoo and the approval of a god – it was disloyal to doubt his abilities.

"Come, Teal'c," said Bra'tac. "Walk with me a while." Grasping his staff weapon, he used it to point in a sweeping arc across the plain. "Tell me what you see."

Teal'c took a moment to consider, glancing at his surroundings. "I see the vanguard of our army; warriors preparing for battle and honing their skills."

"And beyond?"

"There is nothing, only the dark of the battlefield."

"Truly?"

"There is only wind and rock, Master."

"I see the fires of the enemy." Bra'tac sighed uncharacteristically. "And they are gathered as the bee is to honey. Every warrior there burning with the desire to destroy us and win acclaim."

Teal'c felt uncomfortable. His mentor rarely showed any kind of emotion – it was almost unseemly, even unnatural for a Jaffa.

The silence between them lingered.

"Perhaps it is unwise to dwell on such things," he suggested. "Tomorrow we shall triumph, for your strategy is sound."

"I think of the morrow and I am saddened, Teal'c," Bra'tac said gravely. "For after we have claimed victory, so many of our people will lie slain on these grounds. Even now, I can see their shadows among us."

"It is an honor to die in the service of our god," Teal'c said. "I do not fear death."

Bra'tac turned to look at him; his eyes seemed veiled and distant. "Those are the words of youth. When you have as many years as I, then perhaps you will see that death is not to be feared, as it comes to us all; but there is no shame in mourning its coming." He paused, and readjusted his grip on the staff weapon, resting it against his shoulder. "Many of those who will fall in battle have sons who will rise and take their place, it is true. But I am grieved by the futility of this conflict."

"Master?"

"One hundred and eighty years past, I stood at this very place and looked to the lines of the enemy massed over on that rise. I dreamed of the glory that I would win, of the many foes that I would slay as I cried the name of our god to strike fear in their hearts." His fingers loosened on the staff and it gave a hollow ring against his armor. "Every Jaffa in my cohort died beside me, and I stepped over them as they fell, looking only to my goal."

"And yet you prevailed; the battle is legend among us. There are many tales of your bravery."

Bra'tac shook his head. "Ten thousand died that day, all for this barren strip of land on which no crop grows, which has no value save to the gods for their petty squabbles of power."

Teal'c's eyes widened in shock, such a thought was traitorous, and to even voice it was a death sentence – he should call for the guards and see his master dragged from the field. But he remained silent, a small part of him wanted to hear why the First Prime would dare to speak such a thing.

"Teal'c, you must understand, as the sun rises tomorrow we shall fight. And perhaps you shall pass over my fallen body, but know this: you shall repeat this scenario many times. The life of a Jaffa is to serve his god as a warrior, and you will know little else but the sounds of men dying beside you and the bleak task of sending them to die to achieve nothing."

Bra'tac looked straight into his eyes, his expression fierce and unflinching. "There is no glory in this, only death."

"It is our duty."

"Can you not conceive of a better purpose for your life?"

"Perhaps…" Teal'c broke off, almost unable to believe that he was about to speak his thoughts. "Perhaps it will not always be so."

"It is my long held dream, my friend."

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