After they had received their prophecies Pembi-Keran invited them to stay a while in the village. She said they could talk to anyone they liked, because the Jihnnsai were happy to share their knowledge with their visitors.
“When you are ready to leave I will bid you goodbye in accordance with our way, through Gifting you a wish each, but now you must excuse me. My leaders are as eager for an account of our meeting as yours.”
She rose and disappeared in a cloud of pink smoke. Without delay Daniel turned two hopeful baby blues in Jack’s direction, performing a perfect imitation of a begging puppy dog. Jack suppressed a snigger.
“Yes, Daniel, we can stay for a while. Hammond didn’t put any specific time limit on this one, so let’s take the genies…”
“Whatever – let’s take ‘em up on their offer and gather as much intel as possible. Carter, focus on technology. Daniel and Teal'c, get to know these people. I’m going to dial up Earth and let the general know we’re all safe and sound over here.”
“Yes, sir.” Sam replied reflexively to the order and rose from her divan to follow Jack out of the meeting house. Teal'c rose as well and went to assist Daniel to his wheelchair.
“You know, Teal'c, why don’t you go take a look around the village. I think I want to start by having a look at these wall carvings. They could tell me a lot about the Jihnnsai culture.”
Teal'c bowed his head and exited the meeting house.
When Sam stepped out into the hot sun she wasn’t sure where to start. As the technology expert of the team, it was per Jack’s order her task to find and learn as much as she could about any technology the Jihnnsai had. According to Pembi-Keran there wasn’t anything she wasn’t allowed to explore, but first she had to find something worth studying among the seemingly primitive clay houses.
In lack of a specific goal Sam strolled further into the village. She hadn’t had the opportunity to see much of it on their first visit since the meeting house that Pembi-Keran had brought them was the closest to the Stargate. Now she took her chance and built a mental map of the village while she attempted to spot any technology that may be interesting.
The village was laid out in two concentric circles with roughly square shaped clay houses of different sizes. Between the houses led a network of brick paths, just like the one leading to the Stargate, framing little patches of greenery hugging up against the walls. At the centre was an open space, dominated by a huge tree. The green branches stretched widely, almost connecting with the roofs of the houses and coloring the air under it a shady golden green. A few children played in the square, their us-hayats flowing behind them as they rushed back and forth across the dusty ground. A young man who had stood watching the children approached her.
“Hello,” he said with a sunny grin. “My name is Batbayar.”
“Hi. I’m Samantha Carter.” She returned his smile with a beam of her own.
“What do you seek?” he asked and for a moment Sam lingered on the idea that he had read her mind, before she realized that her disorientation must be rather obvious.
“Ehm…Pembi-Keran invited us to explore your village so I’m just having a look around.”
“I could show you around,” he offered. “Are you seeking something particular that interests you?”
“Well, I am curious about your technology. We saw some of it on a planet we visited. I think Pembi-Keran called the planet Youva.”
Batbayar nodded excitedly.
“Yes, our first world. What you saw, was it Inansh?”
“Inansh? Yes, I think that’s what she called it. That’s the transportation device, right?”
“Yes, Inansh is a means to travel. I have learned that the forefathers left it there to guide our visitors.”
“Yeah, that’s pretty much what Pembi-Keran told us. Do you know how it works; could you tell me?”
“Come. Let us retire to my home and I will teach you all I can.”
Sam struggled to suppress an excited grin, worthy of Daniel in a formerly lost ancient civilization, as he led the way towards a small house bordering the square. Like the meeting house it consisted of a single room carpeted with an explosion of color, but Batbayar’s home held a more diverse range of furniture. In a corner stood a low bed that reminded Sam of the ones used in Japan, and at the centre of the room was a sitting group consisting of a low table and three divans. The walls were lined with shelves and antique-looking wooden cabinets, but she noticed a striking lack of anything resembling a kitchen. Batbayar gestured for her to take a seat.
“Are you hungry?” he asked, seeming a little excited, and Sam nodded. They hadn’t been offered a buffet like last time, and considering the very human items on that table she was curious as to how the Jihnnsai prepared their food.
“You might find this interesting,” Batbayar added and approached one of the large carved wooden cabinets. He opened it to reveal what looked like a high-tech oven. At eyelevel was a glass door, and all around it were different panels of buttons and dials. Sam jumped up from the divan and came to stand beside him.
“What is it?” she asked.
“You may call it a synthesizer. This device is capable of creating many things. For example…” He pushed a few buttons and made a string of text appear on a display under what Sam had in her mind dubbed the ‘oven door’. She recognized the writing from the data base from PQX-830, but none of the words were familiar as the few that Daniel had managed to translate so far. Their meaning soon became clear however as a light turned on behind the ‘oven door’ and a plate of fruit materialized inside. Batbayar opened the ‘oven’ and presented it to Sam with a flourish.
“Go ahead, it is real.”
Sam chose a pear and sank her teeth into the juicy pulp, savoring its sweetness before her curiosity got the better of her again.
“This is amazing! How does it work?”
“The synthesizer uses goerme to analyze the cravings of the user in order to provide the best suited nutritive and flavorable dish. The matter is extracted from the atmosphere by an ashila and transformed through appliance of three-secular wavelength current into the chosen foodstuffs.”
Sam blinked. She hadn’t followed even a fraction of the explanation. Is this how the colonel feels when I – what is it he calls it –techno-babble? Determined to learn nonetheless, since the synthesizer could have revolutionizing consequences for Earth, she honed in on the first confusing part.
“What is goerme?”
“Goerme is…” he seemed to search for the right words to explain, and she wondered if he was entering her mind to find them. “It is a thought processor,” he finally said. “With a four-sequenced polar current it creates a mind-penetrating field that can be customized to serve the purpose needed. The Inansh also uses goerme, to detect faith in the user.”
Relieved to know that she wasn’t entirely left behind, Sam nodded, even though she still had more questions than understanding.
“Yeah, we figured out that it must be a detection of belief that opened the portal. But, how does it detect belief? What is ‘four-sequenced polar current’? And how does it ‘penetrate’ the mind?”
Batbayar looked surprised.
“You do not use four-sequenced polar current on Earth?”
“Ehm…we only know of two types of electrical current, direct and alternating. Is it an adaptation of those?”
“Then you will find goerme difficult to understand.” He looked disappointed, but Sam was not prepared to admit defeat yet.
“Try me,” she said, but Batbayar’s eyes were still laden with doubt.
“Okay, how about this,” she suggested, “let’s assume that I understand the four-sequenced polar current. It is just a different type of current than the ones we have discovered on Earth right? So, just tell me how it makes it possible for the goerme to read thoughts.”
“The field created by the four-sequenced polar current penetrates the mind, and depending on the configurations it…reacts to particular thoughts.”
“How are these configurations made?”
“The four-sequenced polar current is adapted by repositioning the dymler, and…”
“Wait, what is the ‘dymler’?”
“The dymler are the magnetization nodes that revolve in a quadruple overlapping curvilinear triangle pattern.”
Sam gave a defeatist sigh. Yup, this must be how the colonel feels.
“You’re right,” she conceded. “I do not understand even a fraction of what you’ve said. Do you think I could take one of those things back to Earth and take a look at the inside? I might be able to make more sense of it if I was allowed to pick it apart and reverse engineer it.”
“That is a substantial request that I cannot personally grant, but I will convey it to Nuha-Kuyu and Lulyeta, our leaders.”
Sam grinned with gratitude.
“Thank you. And thank you for trying to explain. Do you know if the things you’ve told me about are included in the data base that we received on Youva?”
“I do not know specifically what was recorded in the ‘data base’, as you call it, but I have learned that it was made to contain everything known to the Jihnnsai at the time that our people abandoned Youva. The synthesizer and the Inansh, as well as their components, are old knowledge to us – from before Jihnnsai became settled. Therefore I would suppose, yes, that it is most likely that they were included.”
“That’s great. Then I can study them more when I get back home. Meanwhile, can you tell me about any other technologies your people have? You don’t have to explain, just tell me about them. For example, how is it that you can make things appear and disappear in puffs of smoke?”
“That is the Indreyal, a different transportation device.”
“What does that mean?” Her question made Batbayar smile mischievously.
“In one of our daughter tongues it has come to mean ‘magic’. It is however not magic as you would define it, that is simply the way it was perceived by the primitive humans of Earth.”
Despite the certainty that she wouldn’t understand much of his response Sam couldn’t resist asking, “How does it work?” She noticed that Batbayar did his best to avoid ‘techno-babble’ as he explained.
“Indreyal is connected to the mind and controlled by the force of thought. With it a person can transport oneself or any object by the command of will. The connection to the mind is established by irade which in the same way as goerme is a technique used in many devices, particularly in those that require to be carried on one’s person. The smoke is what you might call a ‘side effect’ of irade’s deep connection to our very being, as it uses the life force of a person to facilitate interaction with the physical world. In Jihnnsai the us-hayat is the physical representation of our life force and so it is visibly extended onto the object manipulated by irade. Another tool where irade is applied is Hediye – the Gifting. Have you experienced Hediye yet?”
“Gifting…I think Pembi-Keran mentioned that. Something about granting our wishes before we leave…”
“In fact, Hediye is what our people use to grant the wishes of our friends. It alters the physical world in accordance with spoken commands phrased as a wish.”
“That is amazing! What can it do? Pembi-Keran said she couldn’t give us anything, so where is the line?”
“Hediye cannot change the past or the future, nor can it successfully reanimate the dead. It can give desires and alter the mind, but it cannot truly imbue feelings. The limitations of Hediye have been the subject for much scientific inquiry by Jihnnsai researchers, and interestingly the results point to the existence of a component in life forms that goes beyond the physical.”
“Like a soul?” Sam was stunned, her mind halting on the precipice of the idea that these people might have proven the existence of such a spiritual thing.
“That is one way to name it. Our scientists have yet to conclusively identify the immaterial component, but it has been speculated that it is the very thing that governs the true identity of a living feeling being.”
“Wow, that is…incredible. Tell me more…”