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Ice Henge Observation Post

   
Sarah remains quiet for a few minutes trying to put together the pieces of this puzzle, at least the best she understood them. The major's explanation still didn't make sense to her - if addresses were defining coordinates, then short of having two galaxies completely overlapping each other, defining a point in the universe should be sufficient - but how precisely that seventh chevron worked was the least of her current concerns.

"Major, Doctor," she begins hesitantly from her seat. She didn't know if what she was about to say would actually be viable, but it seemed logical to her, at least at the moment, and she needed to bounce the idea off of others before she could move on. "I know I'm really new to this project, so this is probably going to sound incredibly naive and may well be completely off the mark, but I'm starting to think we've been approaching this problem all wrong."

"As near as the linguists have been able to translate, the Ancients put 'transportation' - the ring transporters and a Stargate and 'communication' devices - the Icehenge and possible the Stargate as well. And they did this 50,000 years ago, or so. I seem to recall Atlantis and the earth beta gates being dated in the millions of years, so this is a very recent piece of work."

"So this makes me think that this whole arrangement is something new that the Alterans were exploring, something that goes beyond but hopefully builds upon existing gate technology that we are already aware of. And likely something experimental that they didn't want all of Alteran society to know about."

With a shake of her head, she continues, not wanting to lose the momentum of her thoughts. "But anyway, they left this here to be found by intelligent life, so the question is, what did these Alterans consider to be intelligent life? We've been trying to read and translate what has been left here, but it is awfully narrow-minded to think that in order to be intelligent you had to be able to speak Alteran, or any one language. I think they would have picked a more universal language, something that should apply universe wide. We're just fortunate enough to actually be able to understand Alteran."

She looks over at von Braun with a sly smile, "I think they would have picked math and physics. Those rules should hold. You've already found some sort of sequence in the recently dialed addresses. Now all we have to do is prove that we are intelligent enough to figure out their puzzle and get off this rock."

Looking at the Major he face looks more troubled as she continues, "my concern is that if we want to get off this planet to a safe location, we're going to have to play the Alteran's game, at least for a while… which I would bet won't be a direct path leading to Earth. I'm not sure what "penalty" they may impose for failing their IQ test."

She looks between the two others in the room hesitantly, ready to be branded a lunatic and laughed out of the tent by either or both party, but this arrangement of puzzle pieces at least seemed to make some sense to her. The silence that followed made Sarah shift uncomfortably in her chair, though she tried to maintain her composure and not let on that she herself still had a number of questions about her theory.

Klaus makes a grumpy face as he stares at the data. "I suppose you two are right," he concedes. "The Ancients are nothing if not cryptic bastards." He squints at the screen. "Now, if we map these glyphs to the dialing circle... There. The sequences are repeating patterns either 9 or 18 glyphs apart. There are 45 glyphs on the dialer, so the sequences are evenly spaced loops. Beyond that... sequences 5 and 10 use the same glyphs, just in different order. And if the last glyph is the point of origin like in our usual Chappa'ai, then the true-north glyph – is ours."

Sarah stares at the alignment of the glyphs on the screen and shakes her head as everything starts to blur together. She blinks a coupe of times and looks again. "There also seems to be something with a doubling up of symbols, just like we saw with the F and U on the Icehenge. There are five sets of 9 glyph families, and the middle one in each set has the upper and lower glyphs the same, just like the upper and outer faces of the stones here.... not that I have a clue what that means."

Starting at the addresses longer she frowns, "Can glyphs be re-used? because it looks like in a few cases the same glyph is appearing a few times in one address," she says pointing to a couple of places in "especially in positions one and six." Sarah rubs her face tiredly with her hands and pulls a chair up close to von Braun at the computer and grabs her notebook and begins scribbling. She was decent at these types of puzzles, but certainly not the fastest at working them out, unlike some people who at a glance knew every little detail.

"OK, so we think we know where we are now.... so now where are we going? Which of these patterns is the "right" one? Is there any significance to this 9 thing?" she puzzles, largely to herself as she maps the glyphs of the addresses onto the dialer in her notebook.

After mapping the first two addresses a grin begins to cross Sarah's face and the pace of her work picks up a bit, though as she continues sketching and scribbling, the grin fades to a scowl.

The first 5, 6, 7 addresses all follow the same pattern, she thinks to herself. One of these has to be different. The scowl deepens as she maps the ninth address. Well, she thinks, its always the last one you look at... except when its not. Not much of an optimist, her intuition told her that to have the same set of glyphs as address 5 but in a different order had to mean something different was happening, but she couldn't put her finger on it.

Mapping the second glyph of the last address, a smile begins to play across her lips and instead of matching the address to the dialer, she began checking her reading of the dialer against the address. By the time she reached the tenth glyph, she was beaming.

"We go there," she says, tapping at the tenth address on the computer screen. "The first nine addresses go forward by 18 glyphs and then forward by 9 glyphs... or backward by 27 and 36 glyphs...." she says with a non-committal shrug. "But the tenth address goes forward by 9 glyphs and then forward by 18 glyphs. The same general pattern as all the others, but inverted. Its the one different one. Plus it has all the double glyphs."

Now, if only they had a clue where 'here' and 'there' really were.

Then she turns to von Braun and asks "Chappa'ai? That's an odd choice of terms... I recognize the glyphs on the henge as stylized Ancient, but I don't recognize the ones on the dialer. Are you thinking this gate is Goa'uld in design?"

"Sounds more like something the Ori would do," Eileen mutters, sighing. "But you might be onto something. The question is, how to the glyphs on our mystery 'Gate here translate to conventional ones..."

She frowns, looking at the screen more closely, and sighing. "Those do look like duplicate glyphs - which on a conventional 'Gate is an invalid address..."

Studying the screen, she misses the smile on Captain Morgan's face until the woman speaks up again. "So, assumedly, the one that's different is wherever they came from, to here? And the others are their test patterns? Or maybe it is just a test and you're supposed to find the different one."

When Sarah mentions the possibility of the 'Gate being Gou'ald, though, the frown returns to the Major's face, and for a moment she almost hesitates - but then leans forwards to look at the dialer glyphs, resting one hand on the butt of the zat'nik'tel on her belt. "I don't think the ormar would use the Alteran language," she observes, slipping into her native tongue for a moment, before chuckling. "And I've yet to see any gold on this planet."

"Well, the history on the 'henge seemed to indicate that they came on a ship named Hope," she says with a glimpse over at von Braun for confirmation. "From where, is anyone's guess, though I'm hoping that we can get the linguists to busy themselves with prying every last bit of information out of the 'henge before we leave. If they aren't working on the dialing problem, they had better be recording and translating anything they can get their hands on. Hopefully they will be able to shed some more light on... well, ANYTHING."

With the excitement of her discovery waning, a hint of uncertainty creeps back into Sarah's voice. "Not knowing how this gate works or the purpose of this outpost is problematic. It forces us to make a number of assumptions. " Sarah rubs her face with her hands and looks between the physicist and the Major. "It is certainly possible that they were looking for something and started with that 10th address and it didn't put them where they wanted to be, so they then tried that 5th one, which put them closer. And then they kept walking out from that "north" glyph with the 18-9 pattern until they found what they wanted. By that logic we would want either address 4 or 9. Or they could have started at the ends of the 'north' glyph series and walked in, in which case we would want addresses 2 or 6. Currently we don't have enough information to really distinguish between these options. Or they knew exactly what they were doing all along and dialed a bunch of sequential addresses following a pattern and wanted us to find the different one." Sarah shakes her head in frustration.

"I'll have to admit that I am leaning towards a logic problem left for 'intelligent' life to find and use their intelligence to follow in their footsteps," she says, speaking a bit more rapidly, her curiosity and excitement evident. "This is a relatively new technology by Ancient standards, and yet access isn't restricted by the ATA or any other ancient only phenotype. So I think that one unique address presumably is where they want us to go, which may or may not be where they came from. After all, how many gate addresses are such nice, ordered patterns or have repeated glyphs? "

"Do we have ten or so MALPs to sacrifice, in the name of science and discovery," she asks the other doctor. "I think we need to get a group of people up to the Stargate and look around a bit and we probably need to start sending MALPs through the gate to see what is on the other side of some of our favorite addresses... assuming there is enough power to play guess and check."

Klaus purses his lips as if to deliver a bit of biting sarcasm. Then, he smiles and shakes his head. "No, dear Doktor, you do not need to guess and check. You merely need to be a study in Greek or Chinese history and understand the symbolism--or perhaps you recall the shield of Sir Gawain when he fought the Green Knight. I shall leave it to my good colleague Doktor Gottjäger, however, to tell us whether the pentacle is scribed clockwise or counter-clockwise." He sits back in his chair, smugly looking to Eileen to see if she is following the conversation. "Speaking of, he should be here any moment, if he can stop stuffing his face with all the gruel there is to eat..."

The derisive look that passes across the physicists face coupled with being addressed condescendingly or not as "dear Doktor" puts Sarah on edge. The smug look that then plays across his face, she was certain, was as much for the Major as for her.

A pentacle? Like from summoners, witches, and other 'pagan' pursuits? Had she missed something that obvious? She thinks as her face melts into a combination of embarrassment, anger, and pain. Looking back down at her notes, she begins connecting the glyphs in each address, revealing a star that was then circumscribed with a pentagon or a pentagon that was then inscribed with a star. How did I missed that?! Still glowering, mostly at herself though still stung by the form of address, Sarah sits quietly pondering her sketch.

Arthurian legend, she thinks. How fitting that the answer may come from those hundred of year old tales of the isles, which apparently were quite heavily influenced by the Ancients. But if he is right that it was in Greek and Chinese mythology as well, the Ancients were probably leaving behind clues on other worlds as well as with all the races of earth.

Not sure what else to say, Sarah continues to look at her notes and sketches, feigning to be thinking, but really just trying to get her emotions in check. Even if this was far from her area of expertise, it was general enough that she felt she should have come at least close to this conclusion without having it unceremoniously shoved under her nose.

Noticing the distress on Sarah's face, the Major rests a hand on her shoulder as she looks at the graphed sketch of the five-pointed star, ignoring the other Doctor in the tent pointedly. "It's too bad we don't have a copy of the book Dr. Jackon found at Glastonbury," she mutters quietly, reaching out to trace a finger across the paper, first one way around the pentacle, then the other.

Hmm, we don't do too much of this, do we? But it seems to be appropriate here:

First, she'll access her weak knowledge of Ancient ("I really should have studied that more.") to see if she can tell if there's any words that the address spells out:
Alteran reading:
Dice Roll:
1d30
d30 Results: 28


And a general Knowledge roll, to see if she can tell anything that hints at which way is up!
Knowledge:
Dice Roll:
1d12
d12 Results: 10


...or not.
Rolling

For not the first time in the last month Sarah finds herself thinking she is in way over her head. She had thought dealing with all the wounded in the wake of the Ori attack on a crippled ship or in an icebound camp had pushed her to the limit. And it had... she was drained and exhausted. Things had begun to slow down and she managed to get some rest as her patients recovered.

And then von Braun found her. Why the man wanted to work with her still boggled her mind. He could have solved this puzzle on his own, or at least with the help of one of the archeologist or linguists. A nurse or a molecular geneticist wasn't going to solve any big physics or math problems or come up with brilliant insight from what she had up until recently believed were mythical histories. And so here she found herself in over her head yet again...

Rubbing her face, Sarah changes the topic, taking on a serious, and perhaps a touch confrontational air, "Have we tried to use the rings to get up close to where we think the Stargate is? It seems like we could at least begin to take a look around up there when the Hammond is out of ring range. It would make a better use of our time then waiting until the Hammond is gutted." She couldn't believe that von Braun wouldn't have tried that weeks ago, but doubted that he would admit that he had tried such a thing with Thorsson present.




 

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