Series: Teal'c 101
Summary: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it
Author's Note: Written for the tealc_fic challenge. Thanks to deani_bean for the beta and hsapiens for the gorgeous icon.
I sit here among the Tau'ri's best: strategists, specialists, technicians--all reputed experts in the art of war. They are developing plans for a battle to be fought among the stars. The Tau'ri have committed the combined forces of five nations to the campaign. Their best warriors prepare to do battle, among them those whom I value as friends. General O'Neill answers technical questions about deployment of materiel. Colonel Mitchell will head the squadron of X-302s that will open the assault. Colonel Carter is supervising the installation of new technology the squadron will employ. Daniel Jackson has translated a tablet that he hopes will be the key to Tau'ri victory.
No one has sought my opinion. As they all focus on the daunting task that lies ahead, no one takes note of my disdain. Perhaps they interpret my silence as assent. They are mistaken. The Tau'ri are developing plans to engage an enemy about which they know nothing. They have chosen to do so without the benefit of my knowledge, though I have more experience than the rest of my team combined. I was apprenticed to Bra'tac before Jack O'Neill was old enough to walk. Long before Samantha Carter drew her first breath I was a young Jaffa in the army of Apophis. I became first prime to Apophis before General Landry entered the military academy from which he graduated with honors. As my eyes survey the room, they encompass military officers can who boast of decades of experience. They are children, all of them.
As first prime to Apophis, I fought countless battles to establish his dominance in our galaxy. Under my leadership, his armies defeated hundreds of adversaries. I personally led the escalade that ended the siege of Hera's fortress and absorbed her legions when she fell. Under my command, the armies of Heru'ur were repelled time and again as he foolishly tested the might of the Serpent Guard. We stormed the fortifications of the Rigera and deposed their leaders, enslaving two million of their people while the Tau'ri in this room sat in classrooms and studied the "art" of war.
War is not an art. War is a skill. War is experience. These people, who have spent the entirety of their history fighting among themselves, know nothing of war. All of their technology, their personnel, their vaunted superiority will mean nothing in the face of a far more formidable enemy.
For more than a hundred years I bore witness to the might of the Goa'uld. I saw the wonders wrought by the Ancients, the Furlings and other noble races. I saw what great minds could accomplish, the arts and sciences those great civilizations created. And I saw firsthand the purposes to which such knowledge could be distorted by those who would use it to destroy. I saw countless planets fall, planets inhabited by people whose intelligence far exceeded that of the Goa'uld.
But the Goa'uld grew complacent. In their arrogance, they forgot the lessons they taught their own armies, which rose up to defeat them. The Tau'ri claimed credit for the victory, but it took the combined wisdom of all the combatants to bring them to their knees. The fall of the Goa'uld has made the Tau'ri overconfident. In their youthful arrogance, they think they will prevail against any who challenge them. They will not. They must learn the lesson of the Goa'uld if they wish to avoid the same fate.
Ten years ago, the Tau'ri stumbled upon a chappa'ai and unwittingly entered into a universe beyond their imagining. They have taken the first few steps, but they still have much to learn. When they have walked among the stars for one hundred years, perhaps they will understand my anger.