For The Moment
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| Category: POV, Thoughts
Episode related: 111 Bloodlines, 208 Family, 302 Seth, 410 Beneath the Surface, 413 The Curse, 508 The Tomb
Season: Season 5
Warnings: adult themes
Summary: Teal'c's thoughts about the decisions he's made and the company he keeps. A possible explanation for his actions in 'The Warrior'.
FOR THE MOMENT
Teal'c was alone. His room, lit only by candles, was not the usual oasis of calm amid the hustle and bustle of the crowded military base. As he attempted to meditate, disturbing thoughts rose to the surface of his mind, preventing him from completing his kel-no-reem.
`Not such a great time has passed since I was the commander of a vast army. I had a wife, a son, a fine house. Humans and Jaffa alike trembled at the sound of my voice. Now I live on this base, alone, a sholva, serving under the command of those whom I have long considered to be my inferiors; it is galling. However, when I embarked upon this quest to free my people from the yoke of slavery, I was fully aware of the many sacrifices such an undertaking would entail.
I have pledged my allegiance to this world and its people, and what has this earned me? My wife is no longer my wife, my former lover is dead, my son is estranged from me.
I and my family are not the only ones who have suffered. I must not forget the populace of Jura. We informed them that their god was dead, and they would henceforth be free from persecution and they believed us. How many died at the hands of Kronos because they trusted the word of the Tauri? I am not without blame; it was in part `my word' that those simple peasants relied on, much to their sorrow. Or the inhabitants of Cassandra's home world, ruthlessly murdered by Nirrti in an attempt to annihilate the SGC. Can I honestly say that the lot of those innocents was improved by the Tauri?
As for the system lords, killing Kronos, Heru-ur, Ra, Sokar, Hathor, and Apophis has not served to improve the plight of the people living on their worlds. When one goa'uld is killed, another promptly takes his or her place. Nothing is changed, no one has been liberated from the harsh reign of the false gods. The bitter truth is that the human inhabitants of those planets have suffered greatly as a result of Tauri meddling.
Did the Tauri truly believe that the goa'uld empire, which has lasted for thousands of years, would instantly fall merely because a few leaders were destroyed? Did the Tauri not anticipate that ambitious underlings would seize the opportunity to rule? Decimating the ranks of the most powerful system lords has only served to aid power hungry courtiers, who were more than willing to sacrifice the lives of Jaffa warriors and human slaves to further their schemes.
It is the Tauri arrogance that I most dislike; the innate belief that they are the `lords and masters' of creation. I have studied the history of this world quite extensively; nothing that the goa'uld have inflicted upon their helpless slaves can be considered worse than the atrocities the Tauri have visited upon their own kind. I often suspect that the host has a far greater effect on the symbiote than either the goa'uld or the Tauri would care to admit. While they proclaim their superiority to the goa'uld, across this prosperous globe, wars rage and millions starve. I tire of their hypocrisy.
What of the man I have pledged my allegiance too, swearing to serve him, treating him as a brother? Was I wrong to put my faith in O'Neill? Was my trust misplaced? Could I have been mistaken in my assumption that this was the man who could fight the goa'uld, end the unspeakable reign of terror?
DanielJackson once referred to O'Neill's `inappropriate sarcasm'. At that time I was still new to the ways of this world and the language of the Tauri. I did not fully comprehend the meaning of DanielJackson's statement; now I do. O'Neill's behavior has been most unprofessional on sundry occasions, as when he childishly taunted the commander of the forces attempting to conquer the goa'uld Seth. The man was `just doing his job' as the saying goes, and as a fellow member of the Tauri government, he deserved respect, not ridicule.
Or when O'Neill engaged in what is vulgarly known as a `pissing contest' with his Russian counterpart during our mission to rescue the trapped men in the Ziggurat. I am aware that the people of the United States were long in conflict with the people of Russia, however, the formal hostilities ceased long ago. Had he displayed true maturity and leadership, instead of suspicion and hostility towards the Russian team, the outcome of that adventure might have been very different.
That was not an `one-off' event either. O'Neill's arrogance cost us dearly on the mission to the planet encased in ice. His self-righteous moralizing was the cause of our imprisonment and brainwashing. The lowliest Jaffa would have held his tongue and assured the safety of his squad in that situation. No Jaffa would `mouth off' while in the power of a man who had, by his own actions, proved himself to be both deceitful and cruel. If not for DanielJackson's curiosity and persistence, we would still labor in the bowels of the domed city, slaves, believing ourselves to be the saviors of `our people'.
I well recall O'Neill's petty, childish, behavior when DanielJackson endeavored to enlist our assistance in the hunt for Osiris. Snatching the telephone from my very hands; rudely hanging up; depriving DanielJackson of our support in an exceedingly dangerous situation; those were not the actions of a competent leader. Osiris now roams the galaxy, scheming to punish the inhabitants of this planet; perhaps our presence would have prevented such an outcome. Yet another example of poor judgment and uncontrollable temper. If I were his commander, O'Neill would have been punished severely for those acts.
O'Neill is not the `knight in shining armor' I once envisioned. Nor have the humans proved successful against the goa'uld. The system lords grow stronger while allies such as the Tollan and the Tok'ra have been decimated.
Was my decision to join the Tauri a misguided one? No, the Jaffa have suffered under the tyranny of false gods for many millennia; it was time to act, to strike against the deceivers. I cannot fault myself for wishing to liberate my people from slavery.'
Abandoning the attempt at kel-no-reem, Teal'c rose. Snuffing out the candles, he thought, `No matter if my decision was for good or ill; it has been made. The damage has been done and I must live with the consequences. However, I will no longer blindly follow the Tauri. I must do what is best for my people. If a superior opportunity to aid the Jaffa presents itself, I will seize it. Yes, I shall stay here for the moment, but only for the moment.'