“OK Daniel, would you like to explain what we’re doing here again?”

Dr Daniel Jackson rolled his eyes. He sometimes wondered if Colonel Jack O’Neill really was stupid, or if he just pretended to be to screw with peoples’ heads. Maybe it was a bit of both.

“We’re here because of the inscription Jack”

“Oh right, that Babylonian thing.”


“Yeah, whatever. But didn’t you say it said ‘If rabbits eat grass then goats will expire rapidly’?”

“We went through that in the briefing Jack, it was a code. If you rotate the cuneiform characters by 90 degrees then subtract earth’s point of origin symbol from each of them you end up with a dialling sequence.”

“Ah, I must have missed that bit.”


“I sort of zone out when you start talking archaeology”

“I’ve noticed”

“So, the inscription aside, why are we here?”

“Because of the other inscription”

“The other inscription?”

“You didn’t listen to a word of my briefing did you?”

“I listened to a few words”

“The other inscription that referred to the first inscription as the key to the land of plenty.”

“Ah. The land of plenty.”

“A mythical place where all luxuries are found in abundance, I would have thought even you could have worked that one out Jack.”

“Well excuse me for not being an archaeologist.”

Further argument was averted by the arrival of Major Samantha Carter, closely followed by Teal’c. They picked their way through the debris on the floor of the half ruined hut the team was using as a temporary base and sat down.

“The perimeter’s secure Colonel” reported Sam “No sign of any natives, hostile or friendly”.

“The area appears to be completely deserted” Commented Teal’c.

“Find anything interesting?” asked Daniel

“Nothing but a smell”

“A smell?” asked Jack.

“About a kilometre south we started getting a whiff of something like rotten meat”


“Yes Colonel”

“How strong was this meat smell?”

“The further south we went, the stronger it got.”

“Was the land of plenty famous for an all pervading smell of rotten meat Daniel?”


“Okay then. Anything else to report?”

“We saw thunderclouds moving in from the east as we returned” replied Teal’c

”So we could be in for some rain then.”

“Yes, I believe so”

“Right. Well it’s getting dark, and if there’s anything worse than marching through a thunderstorm it’s marching through a thunderstorm in the dark. So we’ll set up camp here for the night, hopefully wait out the rain, and check out this smell in the morning.”

“It was a very strong smell Colonel”

“You gave a quite adequate description of the smell Sam”

“I mean if it keeps getting stronger the further you go south....”

“We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it Major. For now we’re setting up camp.”

“Yes Colonel”

It was several hours later. Teal’s thunderclouds had moved in, but despite the occasional peals of distant thunder no rain had yet eventuated. With no sign of local inhabitants Jack had decided to risk a fire, and was busy throwing leaves and twigs into the flames while waiting for his rations to heat up. Teal’c was meditating next to a large tree. Sam was taking an inventory of her pack to make sure nothing had been lost on the scouting mission. Daniel was reading a paperback . Apart from Jack’s occasional muttered oaths when his fingers got a bit close to the fire, it was a scene of blissful tranquillity.

“What you reading?” asked Jack eventually, to break the silence.

"Tom Jones" replied Daniel without looking up. "Or more properly The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. It’s by Henry Fielding”

“Can’t say I’ve heard of him” said Jack sucking on a finger he’d just scorched. “New author?”

“He died in 1754 Colonel” contributed Sam.

“Ah.” He turned back to Daniel “So what’s it about?”

Daniel sighed. Jack obviously wasn’t going to shut up. He closed the book. “Um, a guy named Tom Jones. He gets adopted into this rich family as a kid, then gets kicked out when his evil brother betrays him. Then he goes wandering around the countryside trying to make a living.”

“His adopted brother?”


“Hard. But it all works out in the end?”

“Dunno, I haven’t got that far yet”

“It all works out in the end” piped up Sam. “He’s reunited with his sweetheart, proves his brother’s evil and manipulative and turns out to be the illegitimate son of his adopted father’s sister and thus heir to the estates.”

Daniel rolled his eyes and dropped the book.

“You’ve read it?” asked Jack in surprise.

“We had to do an assignment on it back at school. I got an ‘A’”

“I wouldn’t expect anything less. So why are you reading it Danny boy?”

“I wanted something to read, and saw it lying around in the med lab. ”

“So you stole it?”

“I didn’t steal it, I’m putting it back when I’m finished. Which is as soon as we get back now I suppose.”

“I would be interested in reading this book Daniel Jackson” contributed Teal’c

“Getting into the Tau’ri literature there Teal’c?” asked a surprised Jack

“The more I learn of your world, the better I can help defend it against the Goa’uld.”

Jack raised his eyebrows.

“Be my guest Teal’c” said Daniel, handing over the book. “There’s not much point me finishing it now” He glared pointedly at Sam.

“Sorry Daniel”



Any further discussion was halted as everyone stopped dead.

“What the heck was that!?” hissed Jack, glancing around and reaching for his sidearm. Sam and Teal’c were already taking point and covering the surrounding trees with their weapons. Daniel was looking around apprehensively. His face clearly said Don’t shoot! I’m a civilian!


Something plummeted out of the sky, and into the middle of the camp. It flopped around on the ground for a few seconds then lay still. It was a fish. A red fish. There was a peal of thunder.

Everyone stared at the fish.

Daniel stepped forward and poked it with his shoe. He stared at it.

“It’s a herring” he announced in a bewildered tone.

“A herring” returned Jack

“Yeah” Daniel knelt down for a closer look.

“A red herring”


“And it fell from the sky”



Another herring fell to the ground narrowly missing Teal’c. He jumped away, looking quite panicked for a few seconds before regaining his composure.

“But fish don’t just fall from the sky!” exclaimed Jack in a somewhat disturbed tone. He eyed the fish with a look of extreme discomfort.

“Actually they do Colonel, it’s not unusual.” explained Sam “Every year there’s several reports of fish or frogs falling in rainstorms from all over the world.”

“But how?” cried Jack looking more worried. In his world things like this shouldn’t happen. In his world things made sense.

“A whirlwind or waterspout goes over a pond, or picks up a school of fish out at sea. They get carried along in the clouds for a while, then fall out when the windspeed becomes too slow to keep them airborne. It’s a documented phenomena.”


“There is a similar phenomena on Chulak” commented Teal’c. “A fall of fish from the sky is taken as a blessing or curse from Apophis. “

“A blessing or curse?”

“If there are enough people in the vicinity to consume the fish, it is a blessing. If not it is a curse.”



“It’s a fafrotsky” announced Daniel, who was still poking at the fish, quite oblivious to the conversation going on behind him.

“I thought you said it was a herring?” asked Jack, once again becoming confused.

“No, the phenomena, a fall from the sky” the empahsis were quite clear. “A fafrotsky is when anything falls inexplicably out of the sky”

“But it’s not inexplicable” contributed Sam “Like I told the Colonel, a whirlwind...”

“Not the old whirlwind-waterspout theory Sam?” asked Daniel, getting to his feet.

“What’s wrong with the whirlwind-waterspout theory?” replied Sam, somewhat defensively.

“Fafrotskies are almost always homogenous”

“What do you mean ‘homogenous’?”

“All the same. They consist of individuals of the same age, same size and same species. All in the same condition too. No whirlwind could ever be that selective.”

“It could out in the ocean, schools of fish generally segregate into groups based on age and size. And I do know what homogenous means by the way!”

“Frogs toads and newts don’t segregate into groups! They inhabit varied environments full of other species of amphibians, fish and insects!”

“Well, maybe the whirlwind sorts them by specific gravity!”

“Ha! Ever see a Kansas town once a tornado’s been through? You don’t find all the pillows in one pile and all the bathtubs in another! Debris’s scattered all over the place!”

“Well what’s your explanation then!?”

“I don’t have one! I’m just pointing out that your paradigm is invalid!”

“Invalid? It’s supported by the greatest scientific minds in the world!”


“Do you have any idea what they’re talking about Teal’c?” asked Jack, watching the two becoming more and more animated.

“I do not O’Neill”

“Right, in that case I’d better stop them before we both get a headache.” He stepped forward.

“Kids! Kids! let’s not get into some kind of scientific deathmatch here!”

Sam and Daniel stopped arguing and stared at him.

“Deathmatch Jack?”

“Well you looked just about ready to tear each other’s throats out.”

“We were just engaging in a free exchange of scientific ideas Colonel” explained Sam.

“It didn’t look that way!”

“It wasn’t personal, we were just agreeing to disagree, right Sam?”


“OK, whatever” said Jack, throwing up his hands in exasperation. “Just.....don’t do it again, OK?”



“The fish storm appears to have passed, we should rest for the morning” suggested Teal’c.

“Good idea. People, go to sleep, that’s an order.” Jack unfurled his bedroll and lay down next to the fire. “Scientists!” he thought “Bunch of lunatics!”

It was the next morning. Daniel was heating up the breakfast rations after refusing to let Sam anywhere near them. He insisted that everything she cooked tasted like chicken. She decided not to argue, and went over to talk to Jack.

“Colonel, I’d like to apologise for last night.”

“Don’t worry about it Sam”

“No really, despite what we said that was turning into a serious argument. It was getting out of hand, in all probability you stopped us from killing each other.”

“Well like I said, just don’t let it happen again. We have enough problems with the Goa’uld trying to kill us, I don’t need you two joining in.”

“We had a talk last night.”

“What? Even after I ordered you to go to sleep?”

“Well technically Daniel is a civilian”

“And don’t I know it. OK, so long as things are OK between you now.”

“No, that’s not what I mean. We think we might have figured something out.”

“About the fish?”

“About this planet.”

“Well what are you waiting for?”

“Uh, Daniel could probably explain it better, but apparently there was a researcher early this century called Charles Fort. He studied all kinds of unexplained phenomena. He’s the one who came up with the word ‘fafrotsky’”

“So that’s who we can blame.”

“He had a theory that whenever anything goes inexplicably missing, it was teleported to a sort of cosmic storage house. And whenever things appear mysteriously, like fish falling from the sky, they’re being teleported back from the same place. He called it the Super Sargasso Sea.”

“Sounds like a nut.”

“He also had a theory that earth had been conquered by aliens in the distant past who masqueraded as gods and considered us property” announced Daniel, bringing over the rations.

“Ah. Point taken.”

“The Akkadian inscription called this world the land of plenty” continued Daniel. “If the Super Sargasso Sea actually existed, a sort of lost and found department for the whole of the earth, or even more planets, that would be a pretty good description. You could find anything there if you knew where to look.”

“Like the copy of Tom Jones Dr Fraiser lost last week for instance?”


“She thought someone had stolen it. I kept telling her no one on base could be that dishonest.”

“I’ll put it back, I swear.”

“Well, you gave it to Teal’c”

“I swear upon my honour as a warrior that I shall return Dr Fraiser’s book” announced Teal’c from where he was sitting with his nose buried in it.

“Good. So you’re both suggesting this planet is the Super ...Saragossa Sea?”

“It’s the best theory we’ve come up with so far.”

“Well I guess we better get out there and see then. Eat up, we move out in ten minutes.”

Leading by example he forked a lump of breakfast into his mouth. “Mmmmm. Chicken.”

Half an hour later, and a kilometre south into the forest, the smell Sam and Teal’c had noticed the day before began to become apparent. As the team continued south it became worse, until Jack called a halt and ordered deployment of the bio-hazard hoods. It was at this point that a problem arose.

“Ah, I can’t seem to find my bio-hazard hood Jack” announced Daniel sheepishly, sorting through his backpack.

“Neither can I find my hood O’Neill” contributed Teal’c.

“Me neither Colonel” said Sam “In fact, there’s only this in it’s pouch.” She pulled out a rather squashed loaf of pre-sliced wholegrain bread.

“Hey! I’ve got one too!” reported Daniel in some puzzlement, pulling out a loaf. Teal’c reached into his pack, and pulled out a third loaf, holding it out silently for inspection.

“Ah” said Jack, looking somewhat embarrassed. “That would be ...my ...fault“

“What?” cried Daniel. Sam looked as if she would have liked to join in, but her military discipline restrained her. Just. Teal’c raised an eyebrow.

“Well Dr Fraiser was complaining that there wasn’t enough fibre in the standard rations.” began Jack reluctantly. “So I submitted a report saying that rather than alter the rations, each SG team member should supplement their supplies with a loaf of bread.”

The others stared at him. He continued.

“I may have mentioned that the bio-hood pouch would be the best place to put the bread. I also may not have mentioned that the hood should be put back somewhere else.”

“You told them to replace our hoods with bread?” cried Sam, her disbelief finally getting the better of her.

“Well, not intentionally”

“I don’t believe this!” muttered Daniel.

“Well, you know what they say, bread is good for you” Jack grinned sheepishly.

“When,” growled Daniel “When has anyone ever said that Jack? NAME ME ONE PERSON WHO HAS EVER, EVER SAID THAT JACK!!” His eyes were bulging from their sockets and his face had gone an interesting shade of purple. Teal’c moved to intercept in case he tried to attack.

“Uh, bread is good for you. There, me. Haha”


“Well I don’t know! But I’m sure someone, somewhere on our planet has said ‘Bread is good for you’ at some point during history! For crying out loud!”

Daniel buried his face in his hands and sat down against a tree. He muttered something that sounded suspiciously like “Give me strength”. Then he got up, pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and tied it across his mouth and nose. He sighed heavily.

“OK, I’m better now” he explained.

The rest of the team followed his example and improvised masks. Sam and Teal’c from spare shirts, and Jack from a spare baseball cap. They continued on their way. Teal’c dropped back to speak with Daniel.

“Doctor Jackson”

“Yes Teal’c?”

“Your display of anger against Colonel O’Neill”

“What about it?”

“I was wondering why?”



“I just couldn’t take any more.” Explained Daniel. “I hope you’ll all forgive me.” He picked up his pace, leaving a somewhat puzzled Teal’c taking up the rear.

Soon afterwards the team came to the edge of the forest. The smell of decaying meat was now strong enough to make their eyes water, but all thoughts of physical discomfort were swept away at the sight that lay before them.

“Holy Hannah!” exclaimed Sam.

It was a mountain range. A towering mountain range extending for as far as the eye could see. And each mountain was a pile of homogeneously sorted objects. The overpowering smell seemed to be emanating from a nearby peak made up of dead frogs. Just next to that was a mountain of dried fish. To the left of that was a small range made completely of children’s bicycles, and behind that a massif of breeze blocks. As the team watched in disbelief a large thundercloud skidded across the sky and came to a halt above a summit made entirely of keys. With a crack of thunder it began raining more keys down on top of it provoking a landslide that rattled and chinged it’s way down into a valley of single running shoes. In the distance a strange, electrical whirlwind tore across a mountain of motor parts before disappearing with a loud bang and bright flash.

“Whoah” was Jack’s only comment.

“This is indeed a remarkable sight” muttered Teal’c, his usual composure wobbling unsteadily.

“Think of the history!” gabbled Daniel “The lost codices of the Mayas! The books that were checked out from Alexandria and never came back! The odd socks of the Roman Emperors! The car keys the Hittites dropped down the back of the sofa!” He fell to his knees giggling.

“Holy Hannah” repeated Sam.

Jack dropped his backpack and began walking down the slope to the nearest pile. Broken perspex cases crunched under his feet as he approached the mound which was made up of CDs. He plunged his arm into it, and pulled out a single labelled Burning Down the House.

“Tom Jones!” he yelled with a foolish grin “Sweet!”

Daniel and Sam dropped their packs and staggered down the slope to began rifling through the piles. Teal’c remained at the edge of the trees and surveyed the scene with a pair of electronic binoculars.

“Haha! Bread is good for you!” laughed Daniel, pointing at a mountain of it. He began to climb, but fell down after only a few metres in a mini breadcrumb avalanche. Instead he started making breadballs and hurling them at Sam, who was tearing around the piles on a slightly rusted mountain bike. “WHEEEEEEE!” she yelled as she slid down a slope of used envelopes and onto a plateau of Cyrillic alphabet phone books.

Jack collapsed onto a pile of velvet Elvis paintings. “I always wondered who bought these things” he grinned. He grabbed an empty detergent bottle and some sticky backed plastic and proceeded to make a crude Elvis doll which he balanced on top of the pile. “Hail to the king!” he cried and ran off to see what other treasures he could find.

O’NIELL! DANIEL JACKSON! MAJOR CARTER!” Teal’c’s voice echoed across the foothills, followed seconds later by a blast from his staff weapon. There was a small explosion as it hit a pile of empty whiskey bottles and a pained yowling, accompanied by angry snarls. The three revellers stopped dead, then turned and began to run up the slope towards Teal’c.

“What is it?” gasped Jack as he grabbed his backpack and sidearm. Teal’c handed him the binoculars and pointed, before letting off another blast. A growing black tide was pouring out of the valleys towards the slope. Jack focused the binoculars.

“What the....?” He dropped the binoculars and began sprinting towards the forest. “RUN!!” he screamed. The others needed little encouragement and followed him.

Sam caught up with Jack.

“What..... is..... it.....?” she gasped between breaths.

“Cougars!” panted Jack “Big..... black..... cougars.....!”

By now Daniel had caught up as well.

“A..... B..... Cs.....!” he gasped out

“What?” panted the others

“Anomalous..... Big..... Cats” he continued “Worldwide...... big..... black..... cats..... no-one..... knows..... where..... from” he stumbled and half choked but continued “Beast..... of..... Bodmin..... Moor..... Granville..... Panthers..... New Jersey..... Growler.....!”

“From..... here.....?” questioned Sam


With a speed born from sheer visceral terror the team made it to the gate ahead of the advancing feline horde. “DIAL!” screamed O’Neill, and began firing his SMG randomly into the forest. Daniel staggered up to the DHD and began punching glyphs.

Sam opened up as well. Growls and screams of pain echoed through the woods. Teal’c began taking potshots as the panthers started to appear between the trees.

The gate opened. Daniel typed the code into his GDO, and prayed that the techs on the other side were awake. “C’mon! C’mon!” he muttered.

The panthers were advancing. They had changed their tactics, rather than rushing headlong into the clearing surrounding the gate they were now prowling around the outside, looking for an opening. Low modulated growls and yelps sounded all around. The team backed up to the gate, Daniel looking extremely uncomfortable with the small pistol he’d pulled out of his pack.

“Are they talking?” queried Sam

“I hope not” answered O’Neill “Oh God I hope not.”

Without warning three panthers lept out of the trees to the left. All four weapons were immediately trained on them, they were dead before they hit the ground, but that was the idea. Not one member of SG-1 noticed the single panther shooting in from the right until it smashed through their ranks, ploughing Colonel O’Neill to the floor.

Jack looked up at the face of the creature on top of him. It’s slavering jaws were open wide, it’s lips pulled back in a terrifying snarl. It’s green eyes glistened, and looking into them, Jack knew that the panthers had been talking, they were intelligent. A fiendish spark of self awareness shone in those eyes, an awareness that knew full well what it was doing, and took pleasure in it. Out the corner of his eye Jack noticed a green light flashing on the GDO. “Good” he thought “The others should get home”. He looked at the beast again. “What a way to go.” He felt a sudden stab of sadness “Wish I’d said something to Sarah.” The beast roared and lifted a paw. “Here we go” he thought, then “Well, one last time”.

“What’s new pussycat?” asked Colonel Jack O’Neill.

There was a brilliant flash of light. Then darkness.

There was an irritating beeping noise. Jack wished it would stop. All he wanted to do was sleep. But it kept going. BEEP! - BEEP! - BEEP! It was like a dagger digging into his brain. With that thought, his torso suddenly exploded into pain. He gasped and opened his eyes.

“Colonel O’Neill, you are awake” stated Teal’c. Fairly obvious thought Jack.

“Welcome back Colonel” Jack turned his head to see Dr Fraiser smiling down at him. “How many times is it we’ve done this now? You have to take better care of yourself”

“B...” began Jack, but instead burst into a coughing fit which lasted for the best part of a minute. The pain was incredible.

“Don’t try to talk” continued Dr Fraiser. “You’ve got a fair bit of damage to your chest and respiratory system, although nothing we can’t fix with some of those drugs you brought back from Simarka.”

“I have an apology to make O’Neill” said Teal’c “Shooting the creature with my staff weapon was the only way to prevent its killing you. Many of your injuries are my responsibility” He bowed his head. Jack would have much preferred to make some kind of witty remark, but had to settle for nodding his head and grinning to show it was OK.

“He’s been here for the last twelve hours waiting for you to wake up” explained Dr Fraiser ”I was on the verge of ordering him to go get some rest” Jack nodded and grinned again.

“Dr Fraiser, if you would inform the rest of SG-1 and General Hammond that O’Neill is awake, I will remain by his side until they arrive” suggested Teal’c.

“Of course Teal’c” replied Dr Fraiser “Just don’t get him too excited.” She walked off.

“While we wait for their arrival, I have some observations I wish to share with you about this book O’Neill” said Teal’c placing Tom Jones on the sheet next to him. “I believe you will find my thoughts on your literature enlightening”.

Jack nodded and grinned as Teal’c embarked on a detailed analysis of the character of Tom Jones. He kept nodding and grinning, and nodding and grinning until Dr Fraiser returned. Then he nodded and grinned so much the bed started shaking, and Dr Fraiser insisted on administering a sedative. “Peace at last!” he thought as he drifted off.

He came to sitting in an uncomfortable chair in some kind of antique loungeroom. A giant black panther in tights, a waistcoat and a powdered wig glared down at him. “And what have you done this time Mr Jones?” it asked in a severe tone of voice, peering at him over it’s half moon glasses.

They had to administer more sedatives to stop the screaming.


Stargate Sg-1 and its characters and concepts are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. These works are for entertainment purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended. These works may not be copied, reproduced, posted elsewhere, distributed, put on CD-ROM or other digital media, sold or otherwise exploited without the consent of the author. "We are Living in Fortean Times" ©Copyright 2000 Denys the Purple Wyrm All Rights Reserved.