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Title: D is for Doubt
Rating: G
Fandom: Stargate SG-1
Characters: Bra'tac
Word Count: 658
Categories: character study
Spoilers/Warnings: None.
Summary: Bra'tac knows doubt all too well.

Written for Gen Fic Day's Bra'tac (and Jaffa) Alphabet Soup.

Doubt did not take him all at once.

Doubt and belief lived side by side in Bra’tac for many years before one emerged victorious. His belief was strong, an inheritance and a birthright. Whispered to him in his mother’s womb, taught to him from birth, expected of him for life – his faith in the Goa’uld ran deeper than the deepest naquadah mines. He felt it in every breath, in every heartbeat.

Had he been able to foresee it, Bra’tac would have expected the loss of his belief to be a catastrophic event. It would have rivaled the explosion of a planet or the tearing apart of a ha’tak. Like hot steel struck with a hammer, his belief would have shattered from its own strength. It was a bond he once thought only death would be able to break. Instead, he watched it slip away from him a little at a time, like sand trickling through fingers.

The battle was long and bitter. His belief did not go easily or quietly. But doubt was persistent, and took hold wherever it could.

It stuck to him like a burr under armor, a tiny irritation that grew with every movement, working its way into his skin. It burned there, just beneath the surface, a steady pulse of what if. Every time he stared across a field of battle, every time he received impossible orders, every time he knelt before his lord, doubt itched up and down his spine, a question unvoiced and deadly.

Bra’tac tried to ignore the stirrings of uncertainty, sure that they were signs of weakness. He feared such a weakness would show and strove to hide it under a hardened resolve, a firmer dedication. But it was nothing more than a façade, a lie he told himself. From the time doubt took hold of him, there was no way to make it let go. Doubt was patient. It waited.

It fluttered in his chest like a wounded bird, and he hesitated. Every Jaffa that died became a personal wound, his failure not that of a warrior for his god, but of a leader for his people. The petty requests and foolish orders built one upon another, and his heart stuttered. Why became its beat, ticking away in him like a bomb.

Doubt coiled inside him like a second symbiote, writhing in his belly until he was sick with it. It whispered in his mind until he could not hear past the sound. Doubt crept through him slowly, expanding like a living thing, feeling its way along through the cracks in his resolve. It stretched inside him like a tree growing toward the light. Its roots ran deep, far into places within him he had not known existed. Bra’tac questioned, and began to find answers for himself.

Doubt filled him like a stream taking on flood waters. He fought against it in the beginning, clinging to his first truth like a rock amidst rapids. But doubt washed over his beliefs, wearing them down until there was nothing left.

Though it began to seem like a constant companion, doubt did not keep him forever. Doubt was not the destination, but the path from belief to belief, and one day Bra’tac found his belief was whole again.

He believed that the Goa’uld were not gods. He felt it in every heartbeat, in every breath. Doubt was quiet in him, and he knew he had found the truth.

From that day forward, doubt was something new. It was the specific light he recognized in the eyes of fellow Jaffa. It was tone of voice with which he reached out to them. It was a gauge by which he knew friend from foe. It was the grain of sand that tipped the scales. Doubt was no longer a feared weakness, but an old friend. It was the fuel of the rebellion that would one day bring all Jaffa to freedom.

Doubt was hope.


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October 2015

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