It was a lot for O’Neil to take in but he had strange feeling that more was to come.
“You still haven’t told us how and when you knew we were coming.”
Mithrandir smiled. “You’re a sharp one Colonel.”
“So they say,” added O’Neil dryly “you haven’t answered my question.”
The old man was silent for several moments.
“As your 2 friends sped through the stars; I was on a journey with 8 companions. It was the beginning of a long trip and we were—delayed in some caves. They had to go on without me.”
“You chose to be left behind,” solemnly stated Teal’c to everyone’s surprise.
“It was logical choice at the time; but later, after a long battle with the demon of the depths…I lay dying or close to it and i believe i travelled outside space and time and saw events that had passed and were yet to come.
Then it was time for my soul to return and return it did with new memories. A lot of them disturbing.”
Stunned silence followed his words.
“Could someone please translate what he just said ?” asked an exasperated O’Neil.
Teal’c obliged. “He saw the past and the future…”
“…so knew Jolinar would crash and we would dial Middle-Earth?” added Daniel in a confused voice.
Sam laughed. “That’s a little hard to believe.”
Mithrandir smiled. “It doesn’t matter what you believe. Jolinar and Martouf are here and very ill and he needs your help.”
Sam and Daniel shared a look. “How bad are his injuries?”
The smile left Mithrandir’s face. “He had several internal injuries…”
O’Neil stared at him. “Had? “
“The ones to the chest and abdomen are healed due to Jolinar but the extra fluid in the head has put Martouf to sleep,” replied Cenaron.
Sam stared at him in shock. “He has cerebral oedema. Oh God.”
“Sir we have to get him back home as soon as possible.”
Mithrandir was shakng his head. “He wouldn’t survive being moved; days ago when Martouf fell asleep ; Jolinar informed us of how precarious his condition was and we asked for anyway we could treat him.
As a last resort he gave the elves plans to build a gould hand device; but we are unable to use it.”
O’Neil stopped walking. “Did you just say you built a gould hand device?”
“Not I, the elves did and it took many hours. But none of the healers can use it.”
“Naquadah,” said Daniel softly “that’s why you need the gate…and us.”
O’Neil swore silently. Daniel and his big mouth.
“Well; before we all get too excited,” he glared at Daniel “I would like to see the hand device.”
Mithrandir nodded. “By all means; that’s why you’re here in the first place.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * ** ***
Melvin quickly dispatched his people when they reached one of the Great Trees.
Even deep within Lothlorien he could not get rid of the anxiety that filled his heart.
His sister’s stretcher had preceded them; yet he had a feeling that it had not been quick enough.
He ran to the Healer’s Grove; surely they would have word of his sister’s condition
His steps faltered when he passed the ‘strangers’. Was there no where he could avoid them?
“Yaltenia,” the female elf within one of the inner chambers that housed ill patients looked up. “Melvin.”
“My sister; where is she? I can’s feel her.”
The female healer lay a gentle hand on his arm. “She is well but sleeps deeply. She needs it to fight the poison.”
“She will live?” Yaltenia nodded. Melvin let out a breath he did not know he was holding. He sat down wearily.
“Rest here awhile; a bed waits you if you wish to be close.”
Melvin nodded his thanks; too emotionally exhausted to utter a word. She silently left him to his thoughts.
Colwyn, Naftria, Seladriel, Lanawen and many others whose names he kept memorised had died. He would see himself dead first before he added his sister’s name to that long list.
Heavy footsteps that could only by human interrupted his train of thoughts.
He kept his head turned away hoping they would respect his privacy.
The steps stopped near him and after a few seconds moved away.
Oddly enough that did not leave him with gratitude towards them…but with resentment.
* * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * ** * ** * * * * * * * *
O’Neil had decided to for go all diplomatic questions and ask direct questions.
“How technologically advanced are the elves?”
“Technology?” asked Mithrandir.
Jack; maybe we should wait…” started Daniel.
“No, we ask now. Do they have ships?” continued O’Neil.
Mithrandir looked confused “Of cause we do.”
O’Neil pulled down his shades. “Really?”
“Ships that go over water or in the air?” added Teal’c.
Mithrandir’s face cleared. “Just ships over the water.”
Sam took one look at the thunderous look on the colonel’s face and spoke up.
“No offense Mithrandir; but we need to examine the new hand device to see if it works.”
Cenaron who was still with them nodded. “We kept it by Jolinar and Martouf. They rest in the House of Healing; which is where we are.”
O’Neil finally let the brilliance of the surrounding structure hit him.
They were inside a giant tree; he had dimly heard the sounds of awe from Daniel and Sam when they reached “The great Tree.”
However he had been too busy trying to understand how a Tokra (who he believed were the most un-cooperative race in the universe second only to the Tollan) had shared technology with these elves.
What did the elves have that made them so ….special?
O’Neil had a lot of questions for Jolinar.
* * * * * * * * * * * *