Rating: G

Teal'c would like to say it was deserved, but he knows that's a lie. More importantly, so does Bra'tac, because Bra'tac was there, and so it is impossible to recast the story in a way that paints Teal'c in a more positive light. Bra'tac would say that he should prove himself by his deeds now, and of course that is true, but Teal'c is not one to ignore the benefits of storytelling. For instance, he knows now that not everything the priests told him when he was a child was true, and he wonders about that, from time to time.

If he could tell the story as he wishes it happened, it would be about how Bra'tac heard of Teal'c's prowess, and searched him out, and was so impressed that he plucked him out of the dormitory full of boys meant for common soldiering to be the apprentice of the First Prime. That would be a good start, triumph over adversity by dint of skill and effort, and Teal'c would be proud of it.

In reality, though, Bra'tac was thirsty. He had been away for some time, and had been missing the sweet, fizzy drink called shelmal that was a specialty on Chulak. So when he reached the dormitory, ready to select a few of the oldest boys for special training, he pointed at one of the youngest and sent Teal'c running. He kept the boy by him to run errands for two days, and at the end, said only "You will accompany us as well."

He gave Teal'c one hour to prepare. He had to beg an instructor to tell his mother he was going through the chappa'ai; he could not even leave a note, since she could not read.

Many years later, after Teal'c had proved himself by dint of skill and effort-for he had those, in quantity-he asked Bra'tac why he'd been selected out of the crowd, thinking that Bra'tac would say that he had looked bright, or eager, or quick. Bra'tac, after some thought, said that it had been Teal'c's yellow shirt that had done it. It was eyecatching, and so when he pointed, it had been Teal'c he'd pointed at.

Teal'c wishes there were a different answer. Humility is not something that comes naturally to him-a quality for which Bra'tac praises him often, save in his dealings with their God. He wants to have earned everything he has, so that when people say his name, they will feel as much admiration as envy.

All the same, he thinks that should he ever have a son, he will have to consider the importance of dressing him in bright colors.

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