Title: Barista 32--Epiphany
Season: Season 4
Spoilers: None
Category Humor
Rating: PG-13 (Lanuage)

Author's Notes:

I’ve had quite a few emails from folks thanking me for not making Kira “Mary Sue-ish”. Now prior to writing this series, I hadn’t a clue what a Mary Sue was, and still reme mb er sheepishly having to email someone back and asking for an explanation. Kira might be an intelligent young woman, but she does have her faults. Keep that in mind now - Kira has faults.

The idea for this story hit me while I was considering what Season 4 episodes to write about this year. I was mulling over ideas with a friend when the plot epiphany hit me like a brick to the head. I think it was all she could do to sit there quietly and listen as I gushed out The Perfect Barista Story. Naturally I wanted to write it immediately, but the timing wasn’t quite right (Kira had just gotten on a plane to Egypt , and the story just wouldn’t work that well over there.). Ah, but now she’s home, we just witnessed a rather humorous take on Upgrades, and I’m ready for Kira to get loopy. And more than a little curious. {G}

For Donia, who was there when my personal epiphany hit.


“Miss, we’re here.”

Buzzing - I hear buzzing.


No buzzing; voices.

“Miss, you need to wake up now.”

No voices, just a single, gentle voice.

Wake up!” The gentle voice isn’t so gentle now.

“I’m up, I’m up!” I yell sluggishly. Ah hell, whom am I kidding? I’m not sluggish, I’m drunk. I sit up way too fast and instantly regret it as the world spins garishly about. Damn what's-his-name and that last shot of Jagermeister!

“That’ll be $16.70,” the cab driver says. Shit! Sixteen bucks? Where the hell was I, anyhow? Ah screw it- doesn’t matter anyhow. I give the driver $20 and tell him to keep the change. He thanks me and then waits patiently as I struggle with the back door. Who knew these things could be so tricky?

“Would you like some help?” He asks, trying hard not to sound condescending. At least I think he’s trying.

Not really very hard though.

“I’m fine,” I reply. Not certain if he actually heard the enunciated “eye” sound or not, but I swear I really did say it. I manage to make it out of the taxi without breaking a bone and the cab gleefully (or so it seems to me) speeds off into the night.

I stand there in front of my house and eye the thirteen front steps with disdain. Thirteen steps. Suddenly I burst into laughter, as I imagine Alfred Hitchcock doing a remake of that classic 1935 movie starring myself as Annabella Smith.

Oh wait, that was 39 Steps. Oops. Thank God, I don’t have to climb 39 steps!

Giggling, I stagger to the steps and carefully begin the Herculean climb towards the top. “Put one foot in front of the other…” I sing off-key as I maneuver up the stairs awkwardly. “ And soon you’ll be walking out the do-o-or..” Not really sure why I’m singing old TV Christmas Special songs, but me and Kris Kringle seem to have something in common at the moment. Or was it the Winter Wizard..?

Who knew walking could be so hard? I wish my roommates were home to help.

Suddenly, one of the stairs trips me, and I miss the uppermost step completely and go careening down the stairs, arms and legs windmilling. Miraculously, I land on my ass and not my head.

I’m really glad my roommates aren’t home to help.

Leaning on the handrail far more than is probably best, I manage to pull myself up to the top of the stairs, and stagger towards the front door. I lean against the door and close my eyes as I fervently ask the world to please stop spinning so much. It’s bad enough that gravity is against me, I don’t think I can handle earth’s gyrations as well.

I manage to open the front door and lurch towards the kitchen for some water. I suck down at least a liter of water and ransack the refrigerator for a snack. After consuming a cheese sandwich and a bowl full of garlic mashed potatoes, I feel a bit better.

I head into my bedroom and flop face down on my bed with a loud groan. I pound the pillow a few times for good measure before rolling over onto my back.

“MEN SUCK!” I scream at my ceiling. The date, as they say, did not go well. Bill, the cute young doctor turned out to be a forensic doctor. Now, this isn’t really so bad. After all, haven’t I chosen to study ancient history and cultures, a field that is essentially the observation of the dead? Well, an observation of historic events and customs making up long-dead cultures. Ah, but dear Bill really took it a step further.

First he got me drunk.

Then he got me drunker.

Then he took me to a morgue for the purpose of making out an autopsy table.

Now call me a prude, but that is just *wrong*! I know the bodies in his morgue are more than likely empty shells that once housed a human soul, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still show them respect. I know if I were dead, I’d be rather put-out to listen to human folks necking when I’m… well… dead.

Amazing how philosophical I can get when I’m inebriated, isn’t it? And isn’t it funny that I can *think* the word inebriated, but I don’t have a chance in hell of saying the word aloud.


Have I mentioned that men suck? Well, not all men. The gay ones are all right. And of course there’s my dad and my uncle, plus a few of the cousins seem pretty ok as well. And I can’t forget all the cool male professors I’ve had….

Professors! That’s my problem! I have got to date me a professor. Not one of my own of course, but I think there are plenty of cool, intellectually stimulating (not to mention cute) professor-type guys out there..

Hey, wait a minute!

Daniel’s a professor! And Daniel’s cool.

And cute...

And single….

“Kira you are drunk,” I say aloud as I contemplate me and Daniel as a couple. Oh, he’s cute all right. And don’t you think I have never er…imagined us doing something more than just playing backgammon, but me and Daniel as an actual viable couple? Not gonna happen. Besides, I don’t think Jack would approve.

Hey, Jack’s cute…

And old enough to be your father! Kira, would you stop it? Jack would kill you if he heard you thinking that way. Hmmm. That really didn’t make sense, did it? Jack and Daniel…wonder how those two met anyhow?

Suddenly I roll over and sit straight up as a truly wonderful idea hits me. Unfortunately a truly strong wave of nausea hits me as well and I barely have time to make it to the bathroom before my ever-so-lovely dinner and that liter of water make a return appearance.

After washing my face and brushing my teeth, I pour myself another glass of water and slowly drink about half of it. I stu mb le over to my computer and turn it on.

“Daniel Jackson, this is your life!” I giggle as I log onto the university’s network and access the online databases. When I first met Daniel all those years ago (three years is a long time, ya know), I remember Googling Daniel in an attempt to figure out how many languages he knows. I wasn’t really surprised nothing concrete turned up, but I did manage to find an old CV of his floating around. It was hanging out in the bowels of an old listserve and I was astounded to read that Daniel was fluent in 14 languages by the time he was 19! He also belonged to loads of professional organizations; Egypt Exploration Society (EES), Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (SSEA), Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), Register of Professional Archaeologists, American Schools of Oriental Research.. I could find a couple dozen Daniel references prior to 1995, but nothing afterwards; it was almost as if Daniel had fallen off the face of the Earth!

The few mainstream articles I did find only talked about this tragic wunderkind who was wowing the archaeological community with his amazing linguistic and archaeological acumen. I read a reader’s digest version of the horrible death of his parents and knew he had received a couple of PhD’s before he was 25, but found nothing more after Time magazine ran a little blurb on him in 1994. At that time, Daniel was the shining star of the archaeological community and there were literally dozens of universities who were vying for the young professor. Daniel had been quoted as saying, “I’ll go anywhere where I can continue to explore the secrets of our past”. Good sound byte, Daniel! The picture that accompanied the article showed an impossibly young-looking Daniel looking self-conscious, surrounded by dozens of research books and artifacts.

I tried dozens of different word combinations, but never did find out where Daniel went to teach, or what happened afterwards. The information just wasn’t available on the Internet. At least not on Google.

The University libraries however, have purchased oodles and oodles of subscriptions to online research databases; specifically, scholarly databases. The ERIC database is one of the earliest repositories of educational and social science research. If ERIC doesn’t have anything noteworthy, I’ll do another shot of Jager.

My stomach churns uncomfortably at that thought, and I assure it that consumption of nasty tasting liquors will not be necessary.

I type in “Daniel Jackson and archaeology” and hit the return key. “Bingo!” I say gleefully as my ever-so complex search resulted in 49 hits. Somehow, I have received my results in reverse chronological order, but I don’t really mind much as this will just give me a chance to get to know Daniel from earliest to latest.

I click on the first article and read a copy of one of Daniel’s valedictorian speech from New York University . 17 years old and the guy is the university valedictorian. Whoa. I read a couple articles he published about teaching archaeological methodology to undergrads, but nothing of any substance.

I want substance!

Having exhausted my search with ERIC, I now turn to the Science Citation Index. Most of these articles are likely to be way too scientific for me, but I still might find something of interest.

“Well, this is weird,” I say aloud as I click on the first (technically last) article and bring up a scathing review of “Dr. Daniel Jackson’s Delusions”. The article is from Journal of Egyptian Archaeology and goes on to describe the keynote speech Daniel gave to an esteemed body of archaeologists in the summer of 1995. Sections of Daniel’s speech are reprinted and then an analysis of the speech’s content is supplied below.

The speech starts out extremely scholarly and Daniel uses a hell of a lot of words that I recently learned in my studies. He talks dynasties and kingdoms and I can just imagine him gesturing wildly as he writes down translations on a chalkboard.

It’s a little hard to focus with my eyes jumping around the page like they are (the spinning room isn’t helping either), but I try to focus as I scan further down the article.

Hold on a second.. this doesn’t make sense. I force myself to concentrate and focus and scroll back up to the start of the dialogue.

Dr. Daniel Jackson : "Dr. Daniel Jackson: "Every other major architectural structure at the time was covered with detailed hieroglyphics. When is the academic community going to accept the fact that the pharaohs of the 4th Dynasty did not build the Great Pyramids?"

What?! Daniel, what the hell are you talking about?

“Look, look.. inside the pyramid, the most incredible structure ever erected, there are no writings whatsoever.”

Dr. Edward Higgins: “Dr Jackson, you left out the fact that Colonel Weiss discovered Corrimon’s inscriptions of Kofu ’s name within the pyramid.”

Dr. Daniel Jackson: “His discovery was a fraud.”

Dr. Edward Higgins: “You can prove that, I hope?”

Dr. Harold Smythe: “Well, who do you think built the pyramids?”

Dr. Jackson: “I don’t have any idea who built them, I mean that...”

Voice 1 : “Men from Atlantis?”

Voice 2 : “Or Martians perhaps?”

Oh Daniel! This must have been horrible for you! I mean, sure - you are talking complete nonsense, but that is no reason for those men to be so mean! Idly I draw a pyramid on a piece of scratch paper by my computer. I add a really bad picture of a big-headed alien next to the pyramid picture and continue reading.

Dr. Daniel Jackson: “The point is not who built them, the point is when they were built. I mean we all know new geological evidence distinctly points to an earlier time period. And knowing this, I think we have to begin to reevaluate everything we have come to accept about..”

I mean I have been able to show a fully developed writing system appearing here in the first two dynasties. You know, which, almost as if it were based on an even earlier time..”

Earlier time? What the hell are you talking about Daniel? Diringer dates Egyptian hieroglyphics at 3000 BCE and the even older Mesopotamian cuneiform to 3500 BCE . But those two languages developed independently from one another and there just isn’t anything older than that! At least nothing that we have found. Nothing that survived 5000 years of being stuffed in an airless vessel… ‘Linear B’ didn’t even make headlines until 1200 BCE , only a couple hundred years before the earliest known Chinese scripts were found. I really get a kick out of discovering that several different cultures “invented” written language independently from one another.

The article goes on to interview Dr. Higgins and his take on Daniel’s speech. I read on shakily and my eyes blur with tears as I read the mean commentary from one of Daniel’s supposed colleagues. Dr. Higgins is quoted as saying that Daniel will inevitably become “the laughingstock of the archaeological world”; much like his grandfather, Nicholas Ballard, did back in the early 70’s.

Huh? Grandfather?

I shake my head slowly side to side and try to focus on the issue at hand. “Daniel, you hafta admit,” I say aloud, “giving that speech wasn’t your brightest move.”

I giggle as I trace my picture of the big-headed alien. Aliens building the pyramids of Giza ! Can you imagine such a sight! I finish drawing a big bright sun above my plain-looking pyramid when suddenly I flash back to one of my first meetings with Daniel.

"I was extremely jet-lagged when I was in here last."

"Where'd you fly in from?

Egypt .”

For some reason, I seem to remember Daniel hesitating before he said the “Egypt ” part. Flickers of drunken-induced insight come to me, as I recall conversation after conversation that I’ve had with Daniel that just seemed off.

"My wife was..IS from a more traditional Egyptian family."

"You mean like Nubians?"

"No, not Nubian but something like that. Sha're and her family led very simple lives and physical tokens of commitment were generally not used."

"So what happened?"

"She was kidnapped. It happened about a year ago and I have been searching for her ever since."

"And Colonel Jack is helping you."

"When he can, Jack is definitely helping."

Daniel’s Egyptian wife is kidnapped and a United States Colonel is helping Daniel find her? Doesn’t that seem a little funny? And what about all those other weird Daniel moments? Daniel coming off of drugs; Daniel with his arm in a sling; bruises on his body; gaunt and pale in the middle of summer; tan and fit in the middle of winter.


Why does Daniel have carte blanche to the Colorado Springs University library? Why, when he “goes into the field”, are those trips referred to as “missions”?

Why did Daniel smile when Jack referred to his wounded shoulder as an “archery accident”, and why did both of them nearly burst out laughing when they described Jack’s woefully poor state a couple years ago as a “training accident”?

And what about..

I gasp suddenly as realization hits me.

"Would you believe me if I told you I was kidnapped by aliens and cryogenically frozen?"

What if Daniel was telling the truth?

"Daniel, why did you cut your hair?"

"It was definitely not my idea."

“The alien kidnappers did it huh?"


Alien kidnappers…

“How did you and Jack meet?”

"There will be holes in this one Kira, but that's because some of it falls under that "national security" thing, ok? But I'll tell you what I can.

"I set to work on translating the artifact and what I found made a lot of people nervous. Jack was actually called in to lead a team to find out more information about the people who made the artifact."

"This is where Egypt comes in, right? Where you met Sha're?"

"Umm- sort of. All I can tell you Kira is that we traveled a very far distance and met some people we had never met before."

Sort of…national security….artifact..very long distance..met some people we have never met before…kidnapped by aliens..

Kidnapped by aliens…

Holy Shit! Daniel’s theory wasn’t just a theory! He’s an alien archaeologist and Jack and Sam are his military body guards! That’s it! I’m right! I know, I am! My heart is thumping like crazy and I feel like my brain might explode at what this realization really means.

Aliens are real. And judging from the occassional sorry state of my friends, sometimes they aren't all that friendly.

I want to find out more- I want to talk to Daniel and Jack and Sam. I want to..

I want to not get sick. I realize that if I am not horizontal in the next five seconds, I'm going to once again be sick. Hastily, I save my assorted searches and shakily climb back into bed. I am never going to drink again!

I lie quietly in my bed and take small, shallow breaths. The nauseau fades a bit and I think about what I have discovered this evening.

Daniel’s an alien archaeologist.

Daniel’s a freakin’ alien archaeologist!

Against my will I feel my consciousness fading and my last thought before falling to sleep is…


Don’t forget.

I wake up with the biggest honking headache I have *ever* had and the random phrase, “don’t forget” floating around my head. Seems to me, I would want to forget all about Bill and his necrophilic tendencies. Gee, lucky me. I didn’t forget a damn thing.

I slowly roll out of bed and groan audibly when my feet hit the carpet and the reverberations shoot straight to my head. I swear I will never drink again. I slowly make my way to the bathroom and marvel at the horrid state of my bathroom. There’s a toothbrush on the side of the bathtub, the tube of toothpaste in the bathtub, and a bar of soap soaking in the sink.

I take out a new toothbrush and brush my teeth, vowing to never drink again. Ever.

I feel a bit better after my shower, but there are still several concertos going on inside my head at high decibel levels. I pad to the kitchen and take a Diet Coke from the refrigerator, purposefully ignoring the sorry state of the kitchen. I head back to my room grateful that my roommates won’t be home until this evening.

I pop open the soda and turn on my computer in order to mail my friend Jeannie the latest in my dating fiascos. I’m a little surprised to find that I am still logged into the University network. Weird. I don’t reme mb er being online last night. Guess, I did forget something after all.. Wonder what I was doing?

I check my Internet history and discover that I apparently played in the school libraries last night. I could see that I'd looked at both ERIC and Science Citation Index, but apparently I didn’t save my searches (or if I did save my searches, I didn't do a very good job of it) and I can’t for the life of me figure out what I was looking for.

I take another sip of my soda and set my drink down on a piece of paper by the computer. I then move my soda and pick up the paper in puzzlement. A triangle, a circle and a really bad stick figure.

I lift the freshly-ringed paper up closer and try to reme mb er what the heck I was thinking about when I drew those very funny-looking shapes. A delta sign? Maybe I was doing bizarre mathematical equations last night? The delta of null is… a funny looking human. Nope. That can’t be right.

I stare at the heavily traced triangle with the big circle on top of it and rack my brain trying to reme mb er just what it was I was trying to draw. After a minute or two, my head seriously starts to throb, and I set the piece of paper back down and go online to check my email. Maybe I’ll remember what the damn cryptic doodle means later.

Author's Notes: Aren’t I evil? I just thought it would be so much fun to have Kira figure things out (sort of) but then forget it all the next day. Obviously, the bits about Daniel’s experience in front of those stuffy scholarly sorts came from my badly transcribed Stargate movies dialog. The additional information Kira talks about with language origins? That comes from Walter J. Ong’s 1996 book, Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word. I’m currently reading a chapter of his book right now for a graduate class I’m taking on the History of Information. How’s that for serendipity?

All the database stuff is real and both ERIC and the Science Citation Index are actual online databases. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology is the real McCoy as well, although I doubt they would print an article that gave the blow-by-blow account of a lecture!

The funny song about putting one foot in front of the other came from the Christmas Special, "Santa Clause is Coming To Town" (Thanks, Jane!), and will probably be well known to all Americans out there (especially those who grew up in the 70s and 80s), but not so well known to everyone else. Sorry about that-- the song just seemed to fit.

PLEASE let me know what you thought of this! As always, your feedback is seriously one of the main reasons this series is still going on. I can’t thank you guys enough for all the wonderful support you give me.

Completed October 18, 2004

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