A/N If you haven't read this story in a while you should read the end of the previous chapter to catch up. Thanks.
Pelops Home World
As Pelops revelled in the crowd's adulation and thunderous applause he failed to notice how some of them weren't cheering in support or even clapping. Nor did he or any of his Jaffa notice when they all left the cheering crowd and walked off in the same direction.
The small group walked in silence as they left the main square of the palace and headed into the city centre. The city was of typical Greek architecture lots of lime stonework with the coliseum and Parthenon the largest structures in the city after the palace.
Most of the city's streets were practically deserted except for the odd person or two walking to the main event.
The group continued to walk in silence until they reached a house just on the outskirts of the city. They were greeted at the door by a diminutive elderly woman who just nodded at the group and let them in. The residence was a typical two-story house built out of stone and wood, the kind of house you would see on many goa'uld worlds. The group went to the staircase that led up to the second level.
However instead of going up the stairs they went to the side of it where the storage compartment would be, instead it was just a solid wood panelling with a few coat hooks on it. One of the group stepped forward and pulled down on the coat hooks in a random fashion, as soon as he finished there was crack in the panelling as a previously hidden door was revealed.
As the group entered the hidden passage they descended 'down' stairs to a hidden basement. Inside the basement was what could be politely described as a full-on armoury. Plasma staffs, zat guns, explosives, and various other devices, everything you would need to fight a small war. The group converged around a large square crate that was in the middle of the room, one of the group pressed down on the top of the crate then stepped back and waited.
The crate opened and a goa'uld communication device emerged from it floating in the air. The device activated, however instead of a clear picture being transmitted all the group could see was a swirling black mist before a voice spoke.
"Authenticate." The voice commanded in hard tone.
One of the group stepped forward.
"Let all true servants kneel before the glory that is Cadmus." He said.
The leader of the group began to speak.
"Pelops has just made a speech to this people announcing his intentions. Estimated time of offensive within the next two rotations." The leader said in a serious tone.
"Acknowledged. Return to your assignments and gather any further information the offensive. Next date of report within one rotation. Arche out." The voice replied before the communication device cut off.
Without a word the group left the basement and exited the house going their separate ways and back into the city that held the main population that hid them without their knowledge. When this was all over Pelops would never know, what hit him.
Thebes, Knights of Cadmus Base
In one of the training areas of the base, Cadmus was being circled by one of his knights. He was currently going through his weekly exercise. While most goa'uld preferred to leave the fighting up to there under lords and Jaffa, Cadmus knew that no matter how powerful your forces may be or what technology you may possess, fate had a way of changing the tables on you at the most inconvenient times and usually in a way you didn't even consider. Imhotep was a prime example of that.
To that end, Cadmus always stayed in top condition in hand to hand combat and made time to visit the weapons range to practice whenever he had the time.
The two circled each other before the knight suddenly attacked, Cadmus instinctively brought his arms up and blocked the incoming kick from the knight and responded with a kick of his own to the back of the knight's thigh forcing him to his knee before he rolled out of the way.
The two continued to trade punches and blows against each other with neither gaining the upper hand. Out of the corner of his eye he noticed a legionnaire running up to his aides and whispering in their ears. One of the aides made a slight nod in his direction alerting Cadmus that he was needed.
'Okay, time to wrap this up.' Cadmus thought.
He then lunged at the knight with lightning speed punches, some were being blocked but most weren't. Cadmus eventually broke the knight's defence and flipped him onto the ground. The knight sensing defeat was imminent tried one last offence and tried to wrap his legs around Cadmus's neck in a sleeper hold.
Unfortunately, he simply didn't have the strength left to hold him and Cadmus was able to slip from it. Cadmus thought the knight was valiant to keep fighting even when he knew he was going to lose. The knight finally yielded and was helped up from the ground by Cadmus.
"You fought well and you even managed to land a few hits on me. You should be proud." Cadmus complimented the knight.
Even though the knight was beaten badly, the thought that his lord was proud of him made all the injuries worth it.
Cadmus walked back to his personal guard and aides as they handed him his regular attire.
"I saw the legionnaire earlier, What's wrong?" Cadmus asked as he got dressed.
"We've received intelligence from the analegein. Pelops has completed the final stages of his preparation." The aide reported.
Cadmus was quiet and had a contemplative look on his face as processed what he had been told.
"Very well. Assemble the cabinet and wait for me in the war room." Cadmus ordered.
"It will be done my lord." The aide responded.
The war room was an underground bunker beneath the Knights of Cadmus barracks. It was here that all the major officials of Cadmus's empire met to discuss strategy's. In a conference room Cadmus, his cabinet and various generals were discussing the intelligence received from the analegein.
The analegein was Cadmus's intelligence organisation. Formed fifteen years ago in secret, to provide in depth intelligence on the various goa'uld and any other potential threat to the empire. Their name meant 'to gather' in ancient Greek, and in this case to gather information. To ensure its success, Cadmus had sent out sleeper operatives to various goa'uld worlds. They were selected from all walks of Theban society, selected for their intelligence, lateral thinking, ability to adapt and overcome along with other aspects.
Once selected for recruitment they were then sent through the legionnaire basic course to learn valuable skills such as hand to hand combat, edged weapons and how to use various goa'uld weapons and technology. Those that had passed were then formed into individual cells with no more than three members and sent to a goa'ulds planet in a cloaked scout ship with orders to slowly infiltrate that goa'ulds society and to cultivate sources of information. They would work in semi-autonomous cells, meaning each cell would have no information on other cells therefore keeping the overall organisation and everything else safe and secure.
"Be seated." Cadmus said as he entered the room.
Once everyone sat down, the meeting began.
"Right then what do we know?" Cadmus asked the cabinet.
"My lord, 30 minutes ago, the cell operating on Pelops home world transmitted a report about a speech Pelops had made to his people. The outline of the speech indicated he was in the final stages of preparation for his offensive. We have a recording of the speech here." The leader of the analegein reported.
The speech was played for Cadmus via speakers in the wall as his cabinet sat in silence, contemplating what was being said.
"Well, that clear's things up." One of the members said grimly after the speech finished.
"This speech also coincides with Jaffa infantry movements reported within Pelops domain. As far as we can tell Pelops has mobilised nearly 4000 Jaffa to his home world in preparation for the offensive. The cell operating within his domain managed to capture several images that should prove illuminating." The leader responded as images appeared on the screen at the front of the conference table.
The images showed numerous Jaffa marching in formation into a what appeared to be a temporary camp set up. Other images showed Jaffa training in hand to hand and or practising with their staff weapons on makeshift weapons range. The most eye-catching aspect of the images was that there were two Ha'taks on landing platforms in the middle of the temporary camp with a pair of death gliders patrolling the skies around it.
"We also have reports of large amounts of food and supplies being loaded onto the vessels. These reports along with the speech Pelops has made indicates that he intends to attack within the next 24 to 72 hours." The leader finished as he sat down.
The room was silent as the cabinet digested what had just been reported.
"Alright then. We've been preparing for this day and all possible scenarios related to it. With the information, we sent him all those years ago, we know what his most probable targets are, therefore we can initiate our plans"
Ten years ago, when the ha'tak that came to Thebes was captured, strategic information was found on the vessel's databanks. The intelligence that was contained on the data banks was information on multiple minor goa'uld under lords and their domains such as planetary scans, disposition of Jaffa forces, major population centre information and everything else necessary to plan a pre-emptive attack. This information was copied and then sent to Pelops via subspace along with the message that the ha'tak had come under attack by a rival system lord and was heavily damaged, and was preparing to self-destruct to prevent capture by rival forces. The message was also embellished with statements like 'it was an honour to die for their god' or 'they died knowing their god was sending them to heaven' etc., etc. Everything necessary to make the message more believable and considering they never saw or heard from Pelops since, it seemed like he had bought it.
The information was sent in the hope it would keep Pelops from investigating to deeply into the 'destruction' of his ha'tak and as it contained no information on Thebes or anything else related to Cadmus, so it was a win – win. Cadmus got valuable information on his future targets along with a mothership without placing himself in danger.
"Alert the cells on the targeted planets to prepare themselves for imminent attack. Also order them to begin assembling their uplinks, I want real time intelligence coming in." Cadmus ordered.
"Yes, my Lord." The cabinet responded.
Pelops Home world.
Pelops was sitting in his throne room listening to his first prime who was reporting to him about the preparations about the attack. For over 100 years Pelops had been planning this, increasing his Jaffa forces, constructing new Ha'taks and observing his rivals looking for potential targets. Ten years ago, he been dealt a potentially crippling blow to his plans. One of his Ha'taks had been destroyed after being discovered by a rival system lord.
Thankfully his first prime had thought to sacrifice himself to prevent his rivals from finding out his plans, he even had the good sense to send through what information he had gathered before self-destructing.
'Ah Jaffa, such loyal servants.'
It had been hard for Pelops to find a suitable replacement for Alexander. He had gone through several candidates before finally settling on Agathon.
He was the best candidate chosen from several other candidates having survived a brutal culling ceremony for the position, the other candidates had not survived.
"So, in summation I believe we should be able to attack within the next 48 hours." Agathon finished reporting.
"Well done Agathon. Have the Jaffa ready on standby for when I give the order." Pelops ordered.
"It shall be done my lord." Agathon said with a bow and left the throne room.
Agathon left the throne room with his mind buzzing with all the tasks that needed to be completed before the invasion. He had to make sure that the invasion force was properly armed and supplied with enough rations to last several days. Even though current projections put the invasion done and dusted at 24 to 48 hours, you could never know for complete certainty what might happen so it was best to prepare for anything and everything.
Agathon had coveted the position for first prime ever since he had entered his gods service. He naively thought that being the first prime of his god would entitle him to riches and fame throughout the galaxy.
'One day everyone will know my name. Agathon first prime of the great god Pelops.' Agathon had told himself when he was younger. It was this thought along with his determination and fortitude that eventually allowed him to rise to the position of first prime.
He imagined he would be vanquishing his god's enemies and putting the fear of death into the hearts of his opponents, and while he had accomplished some of that, he never for one second considered how much administration work that went with it.
"I need a drink." Agathon muttered to himself tiredly.
With that decision, he made his way into the city. As he walked by, the people would either bow slightly in respect or averted their gaze in fear, either way he liked it.
He finally arrived at his destination with a smile.
The building was about the size of a large house and had a sign in Greek hanging off the roof saying tavern.
He entered the building and noticed that it was rather empty except for a few early patrons. The tavern had chairs and tables scattered around the area with the main bar on one side of the room. It also had a large stone fire pit in the middle of the room to heat the place during winter but to also cook various types of meat over.
The business was started over five years ago, by an enterprising human who saw the need for a communal drinking establishment. In exchange for setting up the business, Alexandros the owner, had to pay a large tribute to Pelops. Alexandros was happy paying it, saying that the privilege of serving his god was more than worth it.
Alexandros was behind the bar washing a Kylix when he looked up at who walked in.
"Master Agathon, what an honour it is to have you here. Would you like your usual?" Alexandros asked in a welcoming voice.
"Please." Agathon responded dully.
Alexandros brought over a wooden mug and placed it on front of the bar in front of him.
"There you go, a mug of my finest mead. If it's not to forward of me master, you look a tad exhausted." Alexandros commented.
Agathon sighed in pleasure as he took a large and eager gulp of mead before replying.
"I did not think it was possible for a Jaffa to feel exhaustion but it does seem to be true that we can feel exhaustion. I did not understand all the duties associated with being the first prime of our god." Agathon said tiredly taking another gulp of mead.
"How so?" Alexandros asked curiously.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to mobilise 4000 Jaffa?" Agathon asked wearily while finishing his mead.
"I can't say I do. Then again, I don't have the honour of being first prime to our god. What is it about this task that you are finding difficult?" Alexandros asked while refilling Agathon's mug.
"Just getting everyone in one position is hard enough, let alone making sure there all supplied properly. I'll probably have to Kel'No'Reem for several days after this. It's a good thing we're taking that Ha'taks with us, I can at least get some down time before the invasion." Agathon replied taking another grateful sip.
"Ha'taks? I would have thought you would attack through the chappa'ai?" Alexandros asked curiously.
"That was the plan but our god wanted us to send a message to all who defy him, that he can attack anytime, anyplace. So, we're loading the forces onto the two ha'tak and attacking their planets directly." Alexandros replied nonchalantly.
"Are you not worried that the false gods might try to escape through there chappa'ai?"
"Hmm? Oh, don't worry about that, we've taken two chappa'ai from our resource worlds for the time being. When we enter, the false gods orbit we'll dial the chappa'ai on the surface and prevent their escape."
"A genius plan my lord, those false gods won't see it coming."
"Yes, well that will only happen if I can somehow manage to bring all aspects of the operation together."
Taking another swig of the mug of mead, grateful for the distraction from all the preparations that were required but even though he was relaxing for the moment he couldn't help but run through his head everything that needed to be done, then checked and then re-checked.
Seeing the consternation on his customers face, Alexandros refilled his mug and decided to impart a few encouraging words.
"Master Agathon, if you've done everything that can be done, then everything will be okay. However, if you feel this weary then relax. Stay here and rest for a couple of hours, I think Catia will be dropping by tonight then maybe she can cheer you up but until she arrives, have another drink." Agathon chuckled as his mug was refilled again.
"You know for a human, your pretty easy to talk to." Alexandros commented.
"Talking is not that hard. Listening is, but in this profession, all some people want is nice drink and someone who lends an ear. You'd be surprised how many people come in looking for someone just to talk to, even Jaffa sometimes need to let it out."
"Uh huh, and does it work?" Agathon asked sceptically.
"I don't know but they do seem to leave a little happier and more relaxed after talking about it, either way you'll never know if you don't try"
"Fine, I'll humour you for the moment. What should we talk about?" Agathon asked.
"I don't know we've already talked about important issues. What else have you done today?"
Agathon than went on to tell Alexandros everything about his day that had happened up to that point without a second thought. If he did have second thoughts he would have wondered why he was so open with a human, but he didn't. What a mistake it would turn out to be.
Thebes, Underground Command Bunker
Cadmus was sitting at the head of conference table discussing the events concerning Pelops with his various military advisors as people bustled about the room carrying out their tasks.
"As I was saying before my lord, If Pelops follows standard goa'uld tactics than the invasion of Ramius's and Tilgath's domains should be over rather quickly with the amount of forces Pelops is bringing to bare. However, if Tilgath and Ramius also follow standard goa'uld tactics and command their people to resist to the last man, then it will expectedly become a very bloody and destructive battle." One of the advisors reported.
That was concerning to say the least. Cadmus fully intended to take those planets once he defeated Pelops, then use those resources for himself but if Ramius and Tilgath decided to fight to the last person than chances are everything and everyone would be irreparably damaged. There was a reason most battles between rival goa'ulds were conducted in space.
The basic reason was that whenever a goa'uld went on the offensive it was in most cases to capture another goa'ulds resources, sure there may also be a personal aspect as some goa'uld might hate another goa'uld more than others but for the most part it was always about resources. Naquadah, slaves, precious metals, scientific information, and various other potential resources were up for grabs and the last thing the attacking goa'uld wants is for any of those potential gains to be destroyed in a crossfire during a ground battle.
"Then we must hope that Pelops is the military strategist he thinks he is and that he will try and limit the collateral damage he may cause." Cadmus commented as tried to think of the potential consequences if both planets were damaged beyond repair.
'Hopefully Pelops will try and repair any damages he may cause.' Cadmus thought.
Cadmus was broken out of his thinking when he saw an aide enter the room and pass the leader of the analegein a message.
"My lord we've had report come in from one of our operatives on Pelops home world, he reports that Pelops intends to load his Jaffa onto his ha'tak's and transport them to Ramius's and Tilgath's territory while using the two stargate's from his own domain to prevent escape on the ground." The leader reported.
"How accurate is the intelligence?" Cadmus asked.
"Every report we've received from him so far has been accurate. The operative in question is placed in a highly advantageous position allowing him to gather sensitive intelligence."
'So much for limiting collateral damage.'
"Very well then. This report confirms that Pelops intends to launch a ground invasion regardless of the potential damage he may sustain."
"But why my lord? If what we've learned about goa'uld combat tactics is true, why is Pelops so intent on launching an invasion? Surely he knows he may lose a great amount of resources." One of the officials asked.
"Resources play only a small role in this, For Pelops this is personal. If my memories are correct Pelops was the one who created the first Jaffa. At the time the goa'uld primarily used the Unas as it's frontline soldiers, but for all their strengths and durability the Unas were too brutish and animalistic to ever be controlled properly without a symbiote possessing them. Pelops was and potentially still is, a gifted geneticist. It was him who experimented on the first human slaves altering their DNA to carry the symbiote goa'uld while at the same time increasing their strength and extending their life. He planned to use these new 'Jaffa' as he called them to secure his position as a system lord and expand his domain. However, before he could strike, his new soldiers were discovered and reported to Ra who was understandably upset. In exchange for keeping his life and a mere sliver of his domain, Pelops had to release the secret to the creation of the Jaffa to the other system lords ruining him and any potential rise to power." Cadmus finished concluding another sordid tale of the goa'uld.
The conference room was silent as the cabinet digested the story. Just when they thought they got used to the goa'uld and their abominable actions, another piece of information would come up making them revise their previous opinions. They were glad that their lord was much different to the goa'uld and that when he ascended to system lord status they could finally start to change the galaxy.
"My lord, if it was Ra who originally stripped Pelops of his power than, why is he going after Ramius and Tilgath?" A member asked.
"Well this is the part of the story where no one except the one's involved know exactly what happened. There's a version of the story where Ramius, Tilgath and Pelops were working together and at the last moment betrayed Pelops to Ra. There's also another where Ramius or Tilgath, one or the other discovered what Pelops was up to and told Ra hoping to curry favour with him. Either way Pelops lost most his domain and Ramius and Tilgath gained it which was then split between them. I guess Pelops is still upset about it." Cadmus answered.
"So, for the past several centuries he has been this invasion all for simple revenge?" One of the advisors asked in disbelief.
All those lives and resources that Pelops had sunk into the venture and it was all over an incident that happen centuries ago.
"Yes. Never underestimate the pettiness of the goa'uld. If there is one enduring aspect of their personality that will never change no matter their age, it's their ability to hold a grudge, and Pelops has been holding onto one for very long time." Cadmus replied.
Orbit Above Ramius Home World
Pelops watched the view screen as his ha'tak emerged from hyperspace over a very familiar planet. This planet had once been a part of his domain hundreds of years ago before it was stripped away leaving him humiliated and vengeful.
Now however he was ready to take everything he lost back and then some. All those years of living in virtual exile, slowly building up his forces, observing his enemies, waiting for that perfect moment to strike.
It wasn't all smooth sailing though. This ha'tak he was travelling in was brand new. After losing a previous ha'tak to a rival he had to rush this one into production and then service. Hundreds of slaves died constructing it day and night just to finish it in time for the invasion, but the sacrifices were worth it.
"My lord scans have only detected two Al'kesh in the orbit of the planet." One of the Jaffa standing at a console reported.
Sitting upon a throne in the bridge, Pelops looked at the scans and confirmed that there were only two Al'kesh in orbit. Reports said that Ramius had three.
"Scan the surface perhaps the third Al'kesh is on the ground." Pelops ordered.
The Jaffa at the console moved his hands along the console as HUD provided him with the results.
"My lord I've scanned the surface and the third Al'kesh is not there however I have detected a squadron of death gliders."
"Ramius's death gliders are inconsequential as is the third Al'kesh. Prepare our ground forces for invasion." Pelops ordered.
"My lord we're receiving communication from master Agathon." The other Jaffa reported.
Agathon was leading the invasion on Tilgath's world and frequently sent updates on his progress. The view screen changed from the planet to an image of Agathon in his armour.
"My lord, I have arrived at Tilgath's planet and engaged his force's in space, I will be leading the ground invasion once I'm done here." Agathon reported.
"Keep me updated." Pelops replied.
"Yes, my lord." Agathon replied before the transmission ended.
"My lord the Al'kesh are powering their engines and moving into attack positions."
"Send out our gliders to intercept, then raise shields and charge weapons."
On the view screen, he could see the two Al'kesh off at the distance but slowly and surely getting closer.
"My lord we're receiving a communication from the surface."
"Put it through" Pelops ordered quietly.
The screen changed to one of his most hated enemies. Ramius the man who betrayed him and cost him everything. It looked like he changed hosts since he last saw him. When Pelops had last saw, him he had the appearance of older man with a greying beard and hair, now however he was in a much younger host. This one had short cropped black hair and a clean-shaven face with beady black eyes that were currently narrowed at him in anger.
"Ahh Ramius, how nice it is to see you again old friend. You've changed host's I see, I heard you had to after a particularly nasty battle with another system lord. I do hope it wasn't too painful." Pelops said pleasantly as if they were discussing the weather, although he said the last word with sarcastic sneer.
"Pelops?" Ramius asked disbelievingly, eyes widened in surprise.
"Yes, my old friend, I've come to reclaim what was mine." Pelops said menacingly as leaned forward in his throne.
"Really? I should warn you that I now serve Cronus. Attacking me is just as surely as attacking him personally. You may have the forces to defeat me but do you truly have the strength to go up against Cronus? I think not. Leave now and I won't inform him of what has happened today" Ramius replied.
If Ramius was expecting Pelops to fear the power of Cronus than he was going to be disappointed. Instead of fleeing like he wanted Pelops merely laughed loudly at him in a contemptuous manner.
"Thank you Ramius it has been some time since I have laughed like that. Do you really think I would attack you without knowing every single detail about you? I know you serve Cronus, more importantly I know just how little you matter to him. Your tribute to him is completely inconsequential to him when compared to his other vassals. I have no doubt that if you were to stop paying tribute, he wouldn't even notice. But on the off chance he would notice your disappearance and send his forces here, he would find a much more efficient under-lord in charge. You see Ramius, I intend repay what you did to me a thousand-fold and when I'm finished, all that will remain of you will be nothing more than a distant memory. But enough talking, I have planets to conquer, enemies to defeat and you have a date with death. I'm afraid my old friend that this will be the last time we shall speak. I would wish you well with your future endeavours but we both know that you won't be around to see them" Pelops finished calmly.
"We shall see." Ramius replied curtly before he cut the transmission.
"My lord, the enemy Al'kesh are closing in." the Jaffa reported.
As the enemy Al'kesh approached his ship, Pelops ran through all his plans and contingencies he had come up with for this very moment. He took a deep breath and stood up and gave his orders to his Jaffa to commence the attack. Once that was done he sat back down on his throne and steepled his fingers underneath his chin and observed the view screen as his death gliders went to intercept the Al'kesh.
"So, it begins." He whispered to himself.
Ramius Home World
The people of Ramius's home world or slaves depending on who you ask, had no idea what was happening in space. As far as they were concerned the sky and everything above was the domain of the gods and those who were granted the honour to spend eternity in the heavens with them.
The first inkling they had that something might be wrong was when Jaffa started streaming out of the barracks and pyramid complex and into the city. About one hundred Jaffa took up firing positions around the chappa'ai and the surrounding area, while the rest of the Jaffa broke off and took up positions throughout the city.
Then a sound that echoed throughout the entire city sent fear down the backs of all who heard it, the 'Horn of Ramius'. At the top of a five-story tower a Jaffa was blowing into a horn the size of a person with all his might. The deep baritone sound was heard throughout the city and the surrounding area warning all those who heard it that the planet was under attack.
As the civilians of the city ran to their homes screaming in panic, squadrons of death gliders soared above the city, their engines drowning out the screams of the people before flying upwards into space to battle Pelops's forces.
While that was happening, Ramius was inside his pyramid hastily coming up a battle plan with his first prime to combat Pelops or at the very least buy more time.
'I'll be damned if Pelops take's my domain without a fight.' Ramius thought to himself furiously.
"We must get word to Lord Cronus so he can send reinforcements." Ramius's first prime said frantically.
"Order the Jaffa sent to the gate to contact Lord Cronus's home world and inform him what's happening." Ramius ordered his first prime.
With a quick bow the first prime left the room to carry out his orders.
Ramius stood at his desk pouring over a map of the city trying to determine which places would be best for setting up a defensive position. While most goa'uld would probably try to escape, and abandon everything and everyone just to ensure their own survival, Ramius refused to do that. He had worked and fought hard for what he had, while not much compared to other goa'uld, it was his and his alone and if Pelops wanted it, he was going to have to take it from his cold dead hands.
Ramius was broken out of his planning when he heard a quick rap on his door before a Jaffa rushed in.
"My lord, the chappa'ai is activating." The Jaffa quickly told him.
Striding to his balcony that overlooked the city centre, Ramius could see the chappa'ai in the city square surrounded by his many Jaffa pointing their staff weapons at the chappa'ai, even on the balcony Ramius heard the tell-tell sound of a hundred staff blasters being armed.
He knew it wasn't an outgoing wormhole because he could see the Jaffa he had commanded to call for reinforcements still running from the pyramid to the chappa'ai to carry out his order.
The final symbol locked the familiar 'WHOOSH' was heard as the chappa'ai opened and the steady blue event horizon appeared. Everyone from the Jaffa in the city square and the ones on the surrounding rooftops overlooking the chappa'ai to everyone in the pyramid complex including Ramius held their breath as they waited for what was ever coming through.
Tilgath Home World
Agathon's approach to the conquest of Tilgath's world was vastly different to Pelops. Whereas Pelops plan was to degrade Ramius's defences to the point of them being ineffective and therefore no longer a large threat, Agathon was going to use surprise and overwhelming force to achieve his objectives.
Appearing out of hyperspace a mere five kilometres from the two Al'kesh hovering in orbit assigned to protect the world, he immediately raised his shields and powered his weapons.
"As soon as you have a lock on those two Al'kesh, open fire." He ordered the Jaffa. Agathon didn't have to wait long before he got his first kill's off the day.
"Firing now." The Jaffa operating the weapons control exclaimed.
Agathon saw the massive yellow plasma blasts rocket towards the Al'kesh on the right before impacting and exploding in shower of flames and debris that was visible even to Agathon from that distance.
The Al'kesh on the left came to life and tried to escape its fate before a plasma blast from Agathon's Ha'tak hit the vessel knocking it off its trajectory leaving it damaged and helpless as two more blast tore into the vessel destroying it.
"We must have caught them off guard, they didn't have time to escape let alone raise their shields." The Jaffa said excitedly.
What was even more important to Agathon was that if the enemy Al'kesh didn't have time to raise their shields, than chances are they didn't have time to send a communication to the surface warning Tilgath what was happening above his planet.
"Send out our death gliders to attack the planet and begin landing the ha'tak." Agathon ordered.
"Land the ha'tak…now?" The Jaffa manning the console asked astonished at the sheer audacity.
"Yes, right on top of Tilgath's pyramid." His eyes positively glowing in excitement and anticipation with his mouth twisted into a triumphant smirk.
The people in the city below were going about their business as usual during on what was considered a warm and fine day when the it suddenly clouded without warning causing them to gaze up in curiosity at was happening the sky. The clouds were behaving most oddly, it seemed to be rolling out from the centre of the storm, the same way water would form into a wave before crashing upon a shore.
The storm than started producing thunder that echoed loudly across the sky like the crack of a whip, startling the people in the city below out of there stupor causing them to back away in fear and in some cases causing others to start fleeing from the storm in fear.
Tilgath watched all this happen from balcony off his pyramid complex. What started out as just a routine day of planning and scheming for more power along with torturing and executing a few slaves for disobedience and failure to work was rapidly changing to a day of fear, for Tilgath knew exactly what that storm was and more importantly what was coming with it.
He scrambled from the balcony and began barking out orders to his Jaffa to prepare for battle but he knew it would all be for naught, if what was coming with that storm was any indication all the Jaffa he had on the planet will be completely powerless against what was coming, at the very least their sacrifice can buy him some time to escape.
Tilgath raced out of his throne room and ran for the communication suite, hopefully he could get a message out requesting help from his liege lord before he made his escape. As he approached the room he heard the familiar whine of a death glider soar over his pyramid meaning the enemy ha'tak must be close to the surface.
As he entered the suite to send his message he suddenly felt the entire complex start to shake as all the light coming in through the windows was slowly replaced by a descending darkness.
"Place Jaffa at all the ring transporters within the complex and prepare for imminent attack." Tilgath ordered his first prime.
Tilgath grabbed his golden Kara Kesh and placed on his hand before making his way out of the suite and toward his secret escape tunnel, hopeful that he could make it there before encountering any of this enemy's Jaffa.
Outside the people were running around in panic and terror over what was unfolding in front of them.
When the eye of the storm appeared, people thought that the storm was finally abating only to see small bird shape objects come down through the sky. As the objects got closer they heard a loud whining sound coming from them before the bird like object swooped over their heads flying so low they could've sworn that they could have reached up and touched it with their hands, but one of the more stranger things about it was that this bird appeared to be made out metal.
The metal 'bird' was joined by several others as they flew over the city few times putting on an aerobatic display before flying straight up into the sky and then doing a barrel roll and then heading towards the ground in a nose dive.
The people began to flee when they got closer and closer which was a good idea because not five seconds later golden blasts of fire erupted out of the birds and hit the ground exploding on impact killing dozens as well as damaging multiple buildings.
The people ran through the streets of the city screaming in horror searching for any and all cover too protect them from those 'fire birds' as they continued to strafe the city raining death and destruction on all those below.
As one man was crouched in the doorway of a building trying to avoid being spotted by the 'fire birds' he cast his gaze upwards to the storm still developing above the city and saw something emerging out of the eye of the storm that would forever be seared in his memory.
A massive floating golden pyramid was descending towards the ground with a low roar that reverberated throughout the city, the storm parting away from the pyramid in such a way that it seemed to fear it. There was a strange onyx coloured structure that was wrapped around the pyramid and jutted out of it like a claw.
The floating pyramid slowly descended onto his god's covering it completely from his view and landed with a dull thud that he felt it even though he was hundreds of metres away. He now knew why everything happened today, this was a battle between gods and he knew better than too stick around and watch, with that decision made he quickly checked the skies to see if there were any of those 'fire birds' close by and noticing there weren't he quickly bolted out of the doorway and ran for all his life towards the city outskirts. One way or another he just knew the city was not going to survive in one piece throughout this battle.
Thebes, Command Bunker
Cadmus was in a deep discussion with his generals and advisors when an aide came into the room and whispered into his ear.
"The attack has begun. Is the uplink to Tilgath's and Ramius's worlds operational yet?" He asked one of the technicians manning a computer console in the room.
"The uplink should be coming through in a second my lord." The technician replied.
"Director is everything in position on the target's worlds?" Cadmus asked.
"Yes, my lord. The package has already been inserted and is awaiting pickup by the enemy and our teams are ready to intercept the targets."
"Are we sure the targets will act as predicted? We are risking exposure should the missions fail." One of the generals commented.
"Our operatives have been on the worlds for many years now having infiltrated every facet of that society via the cultivation of sources, from the Jaffa warrior class and higher privileged civilian echelons all the way down to the slave class. Through that level of embedding we have carefully gathered intelligence that our allows us to analyse our targets not just on a militarily or strategic level but also on a psychological level. This kind of in depth analysis allows us to predict there moves before our enemies even decide what moves to make. We are confident in our analysis that our targets will act in a manner consistent with our profile of them, and on the remote chance they don't, we have contingencies in place to neutralise them should that become necessary." The director concluded, finishing his speech to the war cabinet.
Cadmus sat quietly through the speech because he agreed with the director, he knew that to defeat an enemy you had to know them through and through. He could see his war cabinet slowly coming around to the concept and he could understand why some of them were nervous though they hid it behind a face professional discipline.
They were going to conduct their first inter-planetary tactical operation and if it were to go wrong then not only could the intelligence operation be exposed but also Cadmus, Thebes itself and all it's inhabitants.
"My lord the uplink is ready." The technician reported.
The wall at the head of the table was dominated by a massive display screen that was transmitting information from all over the empire but now it was replaced by what appeared to be grainy fuzzy birds eye view image of a city. The image was being sent from a drone deployed by the operatives embedded on Ramius's world. This live video and all intelligence gained so far was all possible because of 'The Link'.
The Link was a top-secret communications network that allowed operatives hidden on enemy worlds to transmit information and intelligence to Thebes with a low risk of exposure or enemy interception. The image of Ramius's city was being transmitted via an uplink on Ramius's home-world, from there it was then routed through a communication array hidden on a deserted planet, once there it was encrypted to prevent anyone from knowing the information contained and then sent to Thebes where it was deciphered and analysed for intelligence.
This was the culmination of ten years of research and development from the science academy and gave Cadmus an incredible weapon to be used against his current and future enemies.
"What planet are we looking at?" Cadmus asked.
"This transmission is coming in from the operatives on Ramius's world my lord." The technician replied.
"What about the one from Tilgath's world?"
"We're having trouble trying to get a safe connection. The operatives deployed there haven't set up the transmission device on their end."
"Very well. Get an update on their status." Cadmus ordered before turning his attention back to what was being transmitted on the screen.
The city appeared to be relatively intact but he could see people running through the city's streets in panic.
"Tell them to zoom in on that street intersection south of the stargate." Cadmus ordered.
The technician transmitted the order over his communication device and the image on the screen then zoomed in too an intersection that had stone houses on all sides about 500 metres from the stargate. The image wasn't perfect, all that was displayed was a black and white sometimes grainy image but Cadmus could make out the basic details of what appeared to be squad of Jaffa setting up a barricade with what looked like plasma cannon set up in the middle pointing towards the stargate.
"It looks like their setting up a second line of defence throughout the city. That barricade appears to be one of several set up throughout it." One of Cadmus's generals commented.
"The psychological profile did indicate that Ramius was the more tactical minded of the targets. It makes sense that he would know how to defend his domain better than Tilgath." Cadmus replied.
"Does that mean Ramius may yet prevail against Pelops, my lord?" One of the civilian advisors asked.
"Doubtful. Pelops simply has too many Jaffa for Ramius to defeat not to mention Pelops's Mothership in orbit. Though if he's smart enough he may be able to hold off defeat long enough until reinforcements arrive from his liege lord, assuming of course he was able to get a distress call out before the attack began." Cadmus replied.
"My lord the stargate is activating." The technician announced.
The image on the screen showed the birds eye view of the stargate along with what appeared to be roughly one hundred Jaffa surrounding it ready to open fire.
Everyone in the room was utterly silent as they watched the black and white image of the stargate activating with the large wave appearing out of it then rescinding back into it. For all of them except Cadmus, this was the first time seeing a stargate in action as they themselves did not possess one.
For Cadmus, this was… interesting. He of course had his 'mothers' memories to go on, so in a way he had seen a stargate many times but not by himself and not even in person…yet. No, the most interesting part of this was the fact that he was watching a war that he in a way instigated, if he hadn't sent along that information to Pelops than he probably wouldn't be attacking Ramius and Tilgath right now.
This offensive was going to cost many lives and cause untold destruction, bring pain and misery to hundreds if not thousands and here he was, the one who allowed it to happen watching it all from the safety and comfort of his bunker.
He supposed he should feel something like regret or even guilt over what he had done but if he was being perfectly honest… he didn't.
These three goa'uld were all potential obstacles to his rise that needed to be eliminated and if it is done over a mountain of corpses and cities of ashes, then so be it.
For Cadmus, all that mattered to him was the rise of his empire and the continued prosperity of his people. In his mind, everything else was secondary to those objectives.
He focused his thoughts back onto the live feed and watched and waited.
Ramius Home World
The chappa'ai had been active for a few minutes now and nothing came through. The Jaffa closest to it were perplexed that nothing came thought the moment it was open and had cautiously approached it to determine what was happening.
The six Jaffa were slowly walking up the steps that led to the chappa'ai weapons at the ready when something small and metallic came through the water like liquid bouncing on the ground before rolling down the steps.
The six Jaffa approached the object curiously to inspect it, as they converged on it together they noticed that it was a metallic ball the size of a babe's head. One of them picked it up to inspect it when the captain of the Jaffa stationed at the chappa'ai noticed what was happening.
"NOOO!" The captain screamed out but it was too late.
The Jaffa holding it looked at the captain and then back to the object and noticed a red light blinking before he realised what he was holding, eyes widening in panic he tried to drop it but it was too late.
The six Jaffa were consumed in blinding white light that rendered them instantly unconscious and distorted the vision of every other Jaffa that had been watching.
The Jaffa that had been watching were rubbing their eyes in discomfort trying to get the white spots that had invaded their vision out, when they heard plasma fire cry out.
The Jaffa on the surrounding rooftops were fortunately far enough away to not be affected by the Tok'Kal grenade unlike the ones nearby so they were the only ones who responded when Jaffa started streaming out of the chappa'ai and firing.
The Jaffa who were close to the explosion were disorientated by the stun grenade didn't have the capability to fire back at the enemy Jaffa and were therefore cut down before they even fired a shot. Some of the more experienced ones hit the ground immediately and managed to avoid the initial salvo and started crawling along the ground back towards friendly forces all the while trying not to get noticed by the enemy Jaffa.
Ramius watched what was happening unfold stoically not showing any outward reaction. He knew just by the numbers of the enemy Jaffa alone streaming out of the chappa'ai that he would lose control of it. On the plus side, it seemed that his idea to place Jaffa on surrounding rooftops was a good idea as they were picking off the enemy one by one without incurring any casualties so far. The same couldn't be said for the Jaffa surrounding the gate, the ones that had survived the initial blast had been picked off by the first wave of enemy while the ones that had survived were slowly making their way towards the any semblance of cover to protect themselves.
As the ground battle raged on with what was becoming a veritable wall of plasma fire being exchanged by the combating Jaffa and with an increasing amount of enemy Jaffa bodies starting pile up around the chappa'ai and no clear victor in sight so far, Ramius left the balcony and went to his war room to get an update on the battle in space, hoping his precautionary gambit had payed off.
Orbit Above Ramius Home World
The battle in space was going well so far, Pelops observed. The beginning of the battle was somewhat disconcerting as one of the Ramius's Al'kesh performed a suicide run straight into Pelops's Death Glider squadron using its superior size and firepower as an advantage causing the squadron to scatter to protect themselves, the run destroyed five out of his thirty strong squadron before being destroyed itself.
Thanks to the sacrifice of the first Al'kesh that scattered Pelops's Death Gliders, the second Al'kesh was now free to attack Pelops's Ha'tak without harassment for a short time. The Al'kesh immediately began a bombing run using its manoeuvrability and speed to its advantage.
Pelops watched the Al'kesh circle his Ha'tak on one of the heads-up display, the Al'kesh than turned around and began a second bombing run.
"Target the Al'kesh's engines when he begins his second run." Pelops ordered the Jaffa manning the weapons console.
"My lord, Ramius's death gliders are entering orbit and are taking up attack positions."
"Re-route our death gliders to intercept and prepare our reserve squadron for deployment." Pelops replied.
Turning back to the attacking Al'kesh, Pelops watched as it approached for a second bombing run. The plasma cannons on the ha'tak shot massive blasts of golden energy at the space craft but thanks to its speed and manoeuvrability and in many ways the skill of the pilot, it was able to dodge and weave through the heavy fire and only received a few glancing blows before it dropped its payload onto the Ha'taks shields.
Pelops felt the ship shake and groan under the bombardment but he was otherwise unfazed as he knew the shields could take a lot punishment before failing however he was beginning to get annoyed by this Al'kesh.
"Shields down to 94% my lord." A Jaffa reported.
'94%...hmm, that's still within an acceptable margin of damage' Pelops thought but it was time to finish this fight.
The plasma cannons were still firing but still missing.
"Deploy our reserve squadron to destroy the craft." Pelops commanded.
As the Jaffa relayed his instructions Pelops turned to the other battle happening in space. Off at the distance he could see small bright flashes in section of space and every now and then a much larger flash would occur.
"My lord, our reserve squadron is deploying." The Jaffa reported.
Pelops watched as his reserve squadron of thirty aircraft left the ship and headed towards the prowling Al'kesh.
The Al'kesh upon noticing the approaching squadron turned around and headed towards the surface at full speed.
The reserve squadron took off after it in full pursuit using their lighter weight and faster engines they quickly caught up with Al'kesh and started hammering it with plasma fire. While the Al'kesh does have heavy armour, it is particularly vulnerable at the rear end of the ship where the engines are, and after being hit by a dozen shots in the engines, the Al'kesh exploded showering the pursuing death gliders with debris.
'Two down, one to go.' Pelops thought to himself.
"My lord the enemy death gliders are breaking off their attacks and retreating back towards the surface."
Pelops noticed on the head's up display how the enemy death gliders who were just a few seconds ago were fighting with everything they had, were now turning around, and fleeing back towards the surface.
"They must have noticed the reserve squadron approaching. Have the first and reserve squadron form up and await my instructions. What were our losses?"
"The initial Al'kesh attack destroyed five. The attack and ensuring battle with the enemy death gliders destroyed a further six and damaged four, my lord."
'Hmm could be worse.' Pelops thought to himself.
"Very well. It's time to begin the second phase, alert the ground forces to begin preparations for departure." He ordered before leaving the Pel'tak and walking towards a ring transporter, various Jaffa were in the corridor and the immediately parted and bowed to him as made his way through.
Pelops appeared in one of the largest rooms on the ship after the hangar, it was large enough that it could easily fit in an Al'kesh if needed but it was completely empty all except for one thing, Pelops's chappa'ai. He walked to what would hopefully be the crushing blow to Ramius and his forces.
At the other side of the room, a massive door opened and in came his Jaffa invasion force. Walking shoulder to shoulder in perfect synchronisation with their staff weapons held tightly against them, they were the perfect picture of discipline. First came in five then ten then fifteen, more increasingly came in until over five hundred Jaffa were standing in position in front of the chappa'ai ready to attack with another fifteen hundred in reserve.
Pelops dialled the address to Ramius's chappa'ai and waited as it activated, lighting the whole room in a blueish-white glow.
Pelops allowed the chappa'ai to remain active for a few minutes before doing anything. He wanted the Jaffa on the other side to become nervous and anxious allowing their fear of the unknown to take over and inhibit their abilities.
Pelops held out his hand out in silent request as the Tok'Kal grenade was placed in his hands by a Jaffa. He activated the countdown on the grenade and watched as the blinking lights started counting down before he tossed it through the chappa'ai.
The entire room was silent as Pelops waited out the countdown, turning back towards the Jaffa he issued one simple command.
The Jaffa than marched through the chappa'ai as Pelops stood in front of it with his hands clasped behind his back, his face giving nothing away except supreme confidence.
Tilgath Home world
There was only one word that could be used to accurately describe what was happening on Tilgath's home world, chaos. Pure unadulterated chaos. People ran through the city screaming in terror as various Jaffa battled one another in brutal close quarters battle.
Agathon had orders to take the planet and its inhabitants in relatively one piece but once he got a taste of the destruction and chaos he was causing, all thoughts of preservation disappeared replaced with a blood lust that was replicated in his fellow Jaffa.
When the ha'tak had landed on the pyramid, Agathon ordered his Jaffa to immediately beam into the nearest ring transporters in the pyramid. Thankfully for him Tilgath's Jaffa were only just beginning to set up their defences when Agathon and his men beamed in, quickly defeating them, and securing the transporter rings for their own use.
Once Agathon had transported enough Jaffa to him he then sent them out in squads to secure the pyramid complex and surrounding areas. Because Tilgath had been caught surprise by the attack he didn't have enough time to give orders to his Jaffa to set up a proper defence, that failure led to various pockets of Jaffa scattered throughout the complex without any semblance of cohesion and most had hidden in the various rooms of the complex, so Agathon and his Jaffa had to conduct a level by level, room by room search of the entire pyramid complex to clear out the enemy Jaffa.
While Agathon had a numerical advantage over Tilgath's forces, they had a working knowledge of the complex and its many rooms, using that to their advantage they were able to set up several ambushes that took out several of Agathon's Jaffa, though he had many more back on the ship to replace them.
The lower levels of the complex contained mainly storage rooms and other rooms of non-importance. However, there was one room that was of relative importance, the dungeons. A squad of Jaffa was currently searching the lower levels when they reached the dungeons. The stone door slid out of the way revealing a stone staircase that descended below. They walked down the staircase cautiously arriving at a corridor with prison cells on both sides. The dungeons were a dismal place with the majority of it being stone and iron, the lighting was bad with only fire torches on the walls providing any light. There was also what appeared to be water leaking from the roof with water falling from several places into growing puddles on the floor, overall not that different from their own god's dungeons.
The Jaffa checked each individual cell, finding them all empty until the last one.
"Over here." One of the Jaffa called out to his squad.
The Jaffa walked over to the cell and looked in through the barred view hole on the otherwise solid iron door.
In the cell, they saw what appeared to be a man. They said appeared to be because the man looked to have been in here for years, he had long black hair that fell to his shoulders with grey hairs periodically streaking through it that would have given him a distinguished look if it wasn't so matted and frayed with what looked like dirt and mud mixed into it.
He also had a beard that matched it with a fuzzy greyish look that was large enough to probably have a small bird live in it with no problems.
"Probably some slave Tilgath was torturing. Might as well put him out of his misery." One of the Jaffa said with others nodding in agreement.
He opened the cell and readied his staff weapon to end this person's life when the man suddenly looked up at his forehead and barked out words that stopped them dead.
The squad of Jaffa all stopped what they were doing and turned their gazes to the man that gave them an order of all things.
The person himself though he appeared to be broken shell of a man at least physically was staring at them with fierce unblinking stare that slightly unnerved them for some reason.
"Who are you to order a Jaffa, slave?" The executioner asked in a tone that showed just how angry the Jaffa was at this slave giving them an order.
"Who am I? I'm the one who turned you sorry excuses for Jaffa into the fighting force you are today. I'm the one who took the pathetic rabble that was called an army and turned them into the highly trained soldiers that their god demanded of them." The man replied in a raspy voice as if he hadn't been speaking for years, although the authoritative tone was still easy to hear.
"I'm the one who our god turns to when he problems he needs to solve. I'm the one who you bow to above everyone else except our god." As the man angrily ranted, the squad slowly approached the man staring at him in bewilderment at what he was saying and wondering why this sounded familiar.
One of them realised who was talking and kneeled in subservient.
"What are you doing?" One of the standing Jaffa hissed.
"He's doing what is expected of him as should the rest of you." The 'slave' answered cutting off whatever answer the kneeling Jaffa was going to say.
"Who are you?" The Jaffa asked whipping up his staff weapon and arming it with the familiar sound followed by the rest of the squad doing the same.
"I'm the one who came before whatever master you serve now." The 'slave' replied standing up with a grimace as his bones cracked into place.
As it dawned on them just who they were conversing with, they all kneeled in subservience as one of them finally asked the question they all had.
"You're supposed to be dead." One of them whispered.
"Apparently not. Now help me out of here and take me to our god." The man ordered.
The squad of Jaffa scrambled to follow his order and placed the man's arms around their shoulders as they helped him walk.
"Where is your master now?" The man asked.
"He's on the upper levels clearing out the enemy pockets of resistance." A Jaffa answered.
"Then take me there now."
"Yes, Master Alexander."
Ramius Home World
The battle over the chappa'ai was slowly being dominated by the numerically superior forces of Pelops. The square itself was covered in dead Jaffa some still smouldering from plasma wounds with not a single centre meter spared of either a dead body or blood.
The Jaffa on the surrounding rooftops had slaughtered the incoming enemy Jaffa using their height advantage to devastating effect, however overwhelming numbers is an advantage by itself and soon the rooftop Jaffa were retreating as the incoming fire was getting increasingly accurate already having lost half their number.
They retreated to the second lines of defence that were set up throughout the city. All through the city barricades were in place being staffed with the reserve Jaffa who were ready to bleed the enemy Jaffa every step of the way.
Ten Jaffa were at one barricade with their weapons ready aiming up the small narrow street awaiting the enemy Jaffa.
When they got the first sight of the enemy they opened fire with a massive salvo of plasma cutting down at least a dozen of them as the rest sought cover in the doorways as they tried to return fire. The ones armed with zat'nik'tels had the best chance of hitting the Jaffa at the barricades as they could fire with one hand and use the doorways as cover providing them protection, the others who were armed with just staff weapons… well they could try and fire back but because the weapons were so long and required two hands to properly use them, they ended up missing often.
"Covering fire" One of the squad leaders called out.
All at once the Jaffa who carried zat'nik'tels opened fire at the barricade bathing it in blue fire. The defenders had to take cover quickly or risk being hit, that allowed the attacking Jaffa with staff weapons to finally leave cover and bring their weapons to bare.
Soon enough the barricade was disintegrating under the withering rate of fire and the defenders had to decide whether to flee or keep on fighting.
"Fall Back" One of the defenders cried out, as they fled the barricade and ran down the street.
The squad leader saw the defenders flee and ordered his Jaffa to hold fire. He turned around and saw the dozen or so Jaffa killed on the ground and noticed that there were no casualties on the other side of the barricade.
"A dozen dead just to take this barricade." He muttered to himself shaking his head at the futility of it.
"Move out." He ordered as thought about what else might be lying in wait for them.
All through the city the advancing Jaffa were stopped by these barricades that required time and blood to bypass.
Pelops Jaffa quickly caught on to what Ramius and his Jaffa were doing. If their god wanted this domain he was going to have to pay for it in a legion of blood.
Slowly but surely Pelops Jaffa overcame the barricades though not without losing a significant amount of their numbers, their dead having been left in the streets where they died sometimes on top of each other.
As one they all converged on the most heavily protected area of the city, the pyramid complex.
Because the pyramid complex was so heavily protected Pelops Jaffa bypassed it completely when they had secured the chappa'ai in favour of taking and controlling the city. Now they surrounded the pyramid on all sides.
Ramius observed the position he was in from the command centre in his pyramid as he overlooked a monitor and saw his secondary defences had been overcome. The only positive aspect he had was that Pelops had lost a large portion of his forces securing the city.
"My Lord it's ready." His first prime said to him.
"Good. What's the status of the Death Gliders?"
"Pelops gliders are holding position in orbit for now. As for our forces, out of the initial 30 we deployed we lost 18."
"Mark the enemy firing positions and send their location to our death gliders. Tell them to initiate an end run." Ramius ordered.
"Yes, my lord."
Ramius was left alone in the command centre as his first prime went off to carry out his order leaving him to plan his final move against this old enemy. He walked over to a panel in the wall and pressed his palm to it, as he did that a crack in the wall appeared as the once hidden door now revealed itself.
"Let's see how handle this my old friend." Ramius muttered as he entered the room.
Tilgath Home World
The Jaffa begged for his life pitifully before Agathon executed him, his torso smouldering from the plasma blast that had killed him. Agathon and his squad of Jaffa had been working their way to the top of the pyramid complex, encountering resistance along the way the higher they went, the heavier the resistance. Agathon had taken losses but nothing that wasn't easily replaced with more from the Ha'tak.
Agathon had been searching the complex for Tilgath but it seemed the false god had slipped away in the chaos.
"Order half our death gliders into orbit to take up defensive positions then tell the other half to start patrolling the skies, that should prevent Tilgath from trying to escape by ship." He ordered.
"It will be done master." One of the Jaffa replied before leaving.
Agathon and his men carried out searching the upper levels encountering no resistance along the way.
"The rest of Tilgath's Jaffa must be in the city, master." One of the Jaffa commented.
"It seems so. Contact the ha'tak tell them deploy the rest of our forces into the city and hunt down Tilgath's remaining Jaffa." He ordered.
As Agathon searched the rooms looking for any information he heard a commotion out in the hallway and went to investigate.
When he arrived in the hallway he saw a group of Jaffa arguing with another group who were holding up another…person, though calling this thing a person was being generous in his honest opinion.
"What is the meaning of this?" He snapped out, instantly quieting the arguing Jaffa as they turned their attention to him.
"Master, these Jaffa here say they have an urgent matter they have to tell you. They insist that you have to listen to what this person has to say."
"The person you are talking about is right here and can talk for himself Jaffa." The man grounded out with a gravel like voice that sounded like it hadn't been used in years.
"Oh? So, what does this person have to say." Agathon asked curiously as he approached the figure to look him in the eyes to intimidate him.
The figure looked up at Agathon with a ferocity that it had slightly unnerved him and curiously seemed familiar but from where?
"Out of all the candidates that our god could have picked to replace me, why in all that is holy did he choose you?" The figure sneered out.
"I mean you weren't the worst but you certainly weren't the best, then again it would be tough to find a replacement that could live up to the standards I set, but still." The figure continued, looked him silently evaluating and found him wanting.
As for Agathon he was experiencing a myriad of emotions from complete and utter bewilderment from the words that were being spoken to him from a slave of all people than onto silent all-encompassing rage that left him quivering from head to toe as the slave finished insulting and berating him as if he was a misbehaving child.
"What did you say?" Agathon hissed out, standing nose to nose with the man, his rage evident in his voice to all who heard it.
The figure took his arms off the Jaffa shoulders that were helping him walk and stood up with a determination that belied his haggard and wounded appearance.
"What I'm saying Agathon is this. I did not waste all those years training these Jaffa just for you to throw their lives away like they are common slaves and with that our god's victory and triumph. So, you will have to forgive my impertinence but I'm here to take charge of this operation and I now command you to stand aside."
Agathon was stunned speechless, his left eye twitching in fury. Snarling he brought his staff weapon up intending to execute this person where he stood, when the person in question grabbed the staff weapon and yanked it toward himself pulling Agathon off balance than thrusted the butt end of the weapon back into Agathon's stomach winding him while relieving him of his weapon, another strike from the weapon to the back of Agathon's knee forced him to kneel before the person who had soundly defeated him in five moves like he was an amateur not a first prime.
The strike to his gut was strong and he was still getting his breath back when he looked up into the eyes of his defeater.
"Who…who are you?" Agathon gasped out between breaths.
"Why Agathon I'm insulted. How can you not remember your old master?" The figure asked as if he was gravely hurt as he aimed the staff weapon at Agathon's head.
The Jaffa who were with Agathon were snapped out their stunned stupor and all readied their weapons to kill when the Jaffa who had come with the figure quickly put themselves in front of Agathon and his defeater as they quickly whispered what was unfolding before them, their eyes widening the more they heard.
As for Agathon he was still coming to terms with the fact that his master was alive after all this time and was now standing before him ready to kill him.
'No that's not possible' He thought furiously.
"You can't be alive. Your dead!" Agathon shrilled out near hysterical at what had befallen him today on what was supposed to be his moment of triumph and victory.
"Then I guess you can call this a rebirth. Perhaps you yourself will experience a rebirth" Alexander moved his head closer to Agathon to whisper his final words to him. "Though between you and me, I doubt it."
Alexander stood back up and aimed the weapon at Agathon's head.
In that moment Agathon saw his entire life flash before his eyes, everything he had done, everything he had accomplished and all the things he still wanted to do.
"No wai— "The plasma blast cut Agathon off forever as the plasma blast blew his head right off showering the Jaffa standing behind him in blood and gore as Agathon's now headless kneeling corpse collapsed to the ground with a gentle thud.
The Jaffa that had witnessed this execution were all staring wide eyed unblinkingly at the corpse, their heavy breathing the only sounds in the corridor that could be heard before casting their petrified gaze on their resurrected master and quickly kneeled in subservience.
"Wh-what is yo-your command master?" One of the Jaffa asked managing to stutter out the question.
Their master was staring at the corpse when he heard the question and then turned his amused gaze at the Jaffa, merely providing them a smirk as his answer.
Tilgath was currently making his way down his escape tunnel. He knew that he had lost and had given his Jaffa orders to fight to the last man. He knew they would lose but hopefully their deaths would buy him enough time to make it to his escape ship.
He approached the end of the tunnel and came to a solid naquadah door that protected the entrance, he entered a code only known to him into a keypad allowing the door to open into a wooded area on the outskirts of his city.
From here he could see that his once prosperous city was now in the control of this unknown enemy. Plumes of black smoke from burning buildings billowing into the sky, as death gliders circled the city like hungry vultures over a dying animal. Even from here Tilgath could hear screams from the city below.
"Whoever did this will pay." He vowed to himself.
All he had to do was make it to his liege lord and request reinforcements to defeat this unseen enemy, then he would make the attacker pay dearly for attacking 'The Great Tilgath', ideas for how he would punish and torture the attackers flowed into his mind drowning out the destruction and horror that was happening in the city below.
He was so engrossed in his bloodlust that he failed to notice a figure creeping up behind him.
Tilgath was planning a new torture technique that had just popped into his mind, when he heard a whistle come from behind him, he turned around in curiosity not caution, not for one second questioning why there was a whistle all the way out here.
A flash of blue light overwhelmed his vision before blackness then unconsciousness took over as he collapsed to the ground all but dead to the world.
Ramius Home World
Pelops's Jaffa had surrounded the pyramid complex on all sides. Though taking heavy loses they had managed to defeat the various barricades that had been set up and now controlled the city. Ramius's remaining Jaffa had now barricaded themselves in the complex ready for a last stand, all ready to die in the name of their god.
The various Jaffa captains were gathered together in a house close to the complex making battle plans on how to take the complex when they heard a distinctive sound coming from above. They all went outside and looked up in to the skies above.
"About time the death gliders showed up. If they were here earlier they could have helped us take out those cursed barricades." One of the captains said aloud with the other captains nodding and murmuring in agreement.
They could see the squadron of death gliders diving towards them, their engines getting louder and louder the closer to the surface they got.
"Are they going to pull up?" A Captain asked.
No, they weren't but by the time the Jaffa on the ground noticed that, it was too late.
"They should have already done so unless…" A Captain muttered quietly, eyes widening in panic he realised what was happening.
"TAKE COVER! ALL SQUADS TAKE COVER NOW!" The captain cried out a few seconds too late as the first plasma blast's hit the Jaffa positions, men and equipment flying in various all directions as the ground exploded beneath them.
The Jaffa than abandoned their firing positions and took cover in wherever they could find doorways, buildings even craters in the ground that had been created in the initial ground battle.
The death gliders continued to fire relentlessly at the Jaffa positions not even slowing down to pull up. They continued to fire at the ground right up until they slammed into the ground in a fiery explosion larger than anything they had caused seconds before with their weapons.
Each death glider did the exact same thing, fire with wild abandon at the Jaffa on the ground and then use their gliders as a final weapon.
One by one each glider completed their final mission, one they had been taught to do since their birth, one they were happy to do because their god would reward them in the afterlife, and none of them hesitated as they each completed their 'end run'.
Dazed and confused, the Jaffa captains picked themselves off the ground and looked at the destruction that had just unfolded.
Massive fires had started in buildings and were raging away as the Jaffa on the ground tried to help their injured or dead comrades. The death gliders that committed what could only be described as an act of madness were crumpled and broken in debris that spread out all over the place as the cries and screams of any of the poor slaves that been caught in the attack reverberated across the city.
"That's it." One of the captains declared, his head bloodied from the attack. "I want all Jaffa to assault the complex now!"
The captains nodded in agreement as they went to bark out the orders to the surviving Jaffa.
About three hundred Jaffa that were still in fighting condition than stormed out of their positions and up the massive stone steps that led to the pyramid. As they made their way up the stairs, an explosion was heard from the top of the pyramid as stone and bricks rained below. Quickly dodging the falling debris, the Jaffa than stopped their assault and looked at what appeared to several implosions emanating from the top levels of the pyramid.
The explosions seemed to be coming from the inside on all sides of the pyramid and then they just abruptly stopped. The Jaffa on the ground were baffled as to what had caused these explosions, as far as they knew none of their forces were in there yet.
Before they could think further on what had happened, one massive explosion came from the top completely vaporising the top levels of the pyramid, debris rained all over the city as a dust cloud billowed out.
As the Jaffa rubbed the dust from their eyes they heard a low rumbling noise emitting from the pyramid and looked upwards and saw a sight they couldn't quite believe.
Emerging from the damaged pyramid like a rising phoenix was Ramius's third Al'kesh. Dust and small debris from the pyramid rolled off the Al'kesh as it rose higher and higher from the pyramid.
The Al'kesh came to a halt and hovered mid-air staring at the Jaffa on the ground like it was a god sitting in judgement of them, and as far as the Jaffa was concerned there really was a god in that ship, Ramius.
"Open Fire!" Someone called out.
The Jaffa all raised their staff weapons and fired at the hovering vessel but they were wasting their efforts as they couldn't hope to pierce the heavy armour of the Al'kesh. The Jaffa were so busy firing at the Al'kesh they didn't see Ramius's remaining Jaffa charging out of the pyramid until it they were right on top of them fighting them tooth and nail with any weapon they could find.
With the Jaffa on the ground distracted the Al'kesh powered up its engines and ascended into space preparing to escape the war-torn world.
Orbit Above Ramius Home World
Pelops was in the Pel'tak when he witnessed the suicide run Ramius's Jaffa performed on his view screen and he had to admit, to himself at least, that not even he considered Ramius crazy enough to destroy his own city and men to ensure his own escape.
Although he couldn't show it for fear of someone noticing he wasn't omnipotent, he was immensely surprised when he saw the Al'kesh emerge from the pyramid and cursed himself for not planning for every eventuality.
"Order the death gliders to intercept that Al'kesh." He could not allow Ramius to escape, not after all this time.
The orbiting death gliders immediately dived to the direction of the approaching Al'kesh and started firing.
Though the Al'kesh was a large ungainly looking vessel it was surprisingly agile and like the Al'kesh in the previous space battle it could perform some truly awe-inspiring manoeuvres to dodge the plasma blast coming its way and with Ramius at the helm hitting the Al'kesh, hitting the vessel and causing damage was going to be difficult.
'He knows he can't escape.' Pelops thought as he watched the moving vessel dodge his death gliders and turn towards him.
"Weapons control, Open fire on that vessel." He ordered to the Jaffa.
The vessel nimbly dodged the incoming fire and proceeded towards the ha'tak.
'Something's not right here.'
"My lord we're getting an incoming message from the vessel. Audio only."
"Put it on."
"If I lose than I'm going to make sure everyone loses. Goodbye Old Friend." Ramius's voice rumbled through out the pel'tak.
'That crazy fool is going to ram us.' Pelops thought in alarm
"My lord scans are indicating the Al'kesh's engine is set to overload."
"No!" He whispered.
"Divert all power to the shields!" He roared out to the crew.
The Al'kesh impacted the shields and crumpled within itself before the engine overloaded in massive explosion, so bright it was like the crew were witnessing an exploding sun. Thankfully for Pelops he had diverted enough power to his shields that he wasn't killed in the explosion, but it was large enough to knock the entire crew off their feet and blow out several instruments causing sparks and shrapnel to fly everywhere.
"He actually did it." Pelops muttered as picked himself of the ground.
"My lord, shield strength down to 48%, and our hyperdrive has been knocked offline, we only have sunlight engines.
'Could be worse' Pelops thought.
"Prepare for landing and begin repairs on the hyperdrive." Pelops ordered as viewed the wreckage of the Al'kesh and the final resting place of his foe through his view screen.
"Well done Ramius, you achieved nothing." Pelops whispered venomously.
Ramius Home World
"It appears your ploy worked my lord."
Observing the massive ha'tak vessel descending onto his city with smoke coming from it after it's encounter with his Al'kesh was the 'dead' man himself Ramius.
"So, it would seem." He replied.
Standing on a hill in the outskirts of the city, Ramius had engineered his own demise or in this case apparent demise. Years ago, when he encountered another rival goa'uld and who he subsequently fought a battle with, which caused him to change hosts, he realised that one day he may need an 'exit plan' so to speak, one that would buy him enough time to escape.
Like all goa'uld he had an escape craft nearby but he also knew that any attacking goa'uld would be on the lookout for an escape craft with a fleeing goa'uld unless they already thought you were dead. So, to ensure that his death would be believable he came up with an audacious plan that fool all but the most intelligent of goa'uld.
Burying his third Al'kesh inside his pyramid had not been easy but if done right it could provide an interesting surprise for any invading force, and today certainly proved that.
To ensure the secrecy of his third Al'kesh, he kicked out all non-essential persons out of the city while the project was underway, all those he removed lived in tents in the forest for several months while the pyramid was altered to fit the Al'kesh, once the renovations were completed Ramius executed all the builders and laborers with knowledge of the project to ensure its secrecy.
As for the Al'kesh itself, the vessel was modified to be remotely controlled from the surface allowing Ramius to fly the vessel without ever being in it. Using a pre-recorded message that was be broadcasted to the enemy ship before colliding with it so that it would fool whoever was attacking into believing that Ramius was on board the Al'kesh, once the vessel exploded the attacker would assume that Ramius was dead, allowing him to slip away off planet without anyone the wiser.
"Come we must escape while they still think I'm dead. Once we make it to Lord Cronus and get reinforcements, then I will return and I have my revenge." Ramius vowed.
As he walked to his escape ship he noticed his first prime wasn't following him.
"Hurry up! We haven't much time. The longer we stay here, the more risk we are in of being discovered. We have to make it off world so we can come back and deal with Pelops when we have reinforcements." Ramius snapped to his slow witted first prime.
The first prime in question merely continued to stand in one place, staring at Ramius with a smile.
"Unfortunately for you my lord, I've already made a deal." The first prime replied evenly.
Eyes narrowing suspiciously at the tone of his first prime, Ramius slowly turned around to face him.
"What do you mean?" he asked slowly.
The first prime stared at his god with a lazy smirk, before he whipped out his zat'nik'tel and fired at his god, his god crumpling to the ground in a heap. Walking over to the body on the ground he noticed that his god was still slightly conscious with his eyes opening and closing tiredly.
"What I mean is, Pelops contacted me several months ago with a better offer. You see he's the new rising power and I intend to be their every step of the way as his new first prime. However, to prove my loyalty I had to hand over you. It wasn't easy today, I had to wait for the perfect moment when you were alone and now here we are, ah look here comes Pelops's Jaffa to take you." The first prime said as a squad of Jaffa approached them on foot.
"Jaffa Kree!" The first prime called out waving them over, before turning his attention back to his 'former' god.
"Goodbye my lord, I fear this will be the final time we see each other." The first prime said finishing his betrayal with a firm kick to the side of Ramius's head knocking him out completely.
The first prime looked down at the unconscious form of his 'former' god with a sneer of disgust before turning his attention to the squad of Jaffa who had arrived.
"You are the spy?" one of the Jaffa asked the prime.
"I am and as discussed I have delivered my end of the bargain, presenting the 'god' Ramius." He said waving to downed god on the floor.
"Secure him." One of the Jaffa ordered as another began securing Ramius's hands in manacles.
"Now it's time for my reward, take to Pelops so I can pledge my allegiance." The first prime said with happiness.
The Jaffa looked at him with smiles, that for some reason unnerved him.
"Pelops…right. Well allow us to escort you their personally." The Jaffa in charge said as they began leaving the secluded area.
"Very well then. Tell me what is Pelops like, we have only talked via a communication device and if I'm to be his new first prime I will need to—aachk" The first prime hit the dirt dead thanks to a plasma blast to the back of his head.
The squad of 'Jaffa' barely blinked an eye at the execution as stood over the body that was now missing a massive chunk of his head.
"We're five minutes behind schedule. Grab the prisoner, we have twenty minutes to get to the escape ship and make it to the rendezvous point in space. Let's move."
A 'Jaffa' threw the unconscious Ramius over his shoulder and left with the rest of his squad as the rest started removing their silver armour as they walked revealing the black cloaks underneath.
Pelops Colony World (Former Ramius Home World)
Pelops was sitting on a marble throne in the audience chamber of his deceased foe and he had to admit that it was truly a chamber befitting for a god. Six massive marble columns wrapped in colourful fabric added some colour to the otherwise porcelain white chamber.
It had been several days since his conquest of his enemies and Pelops had been feeling rapturous ever since. He had defeated his betrayer and increased domain significantly. Ramius had this home world plus three resource worlds under his control and they along with Tilgath's four worlds all now belonged to him.
Pelops was currently receiving pledges of allegiance from Ramius's and Tilgath's defeated Jaffa, well the ones that had managed to survive. Whenever a goa'uld was defeated the Jaffa that had served the defeated goa'uld had a choice, swear fealty to the victor or die. Most chose to swear fealty.
Speaking of Jaffa, Pelops turned his head to the first prime standing next to him, Alexander. To say that his apparent survival was surprise would be an understatement. According to Alexander when he sacrificed the ship he was on to prevent the discovery of Pelops and his plans, he managed to make to an escape pod and left the doomed vessel.
However, before he could make it to the surface of the planet, he was picked up by the ha'tak that had found them earlier. For the next several months he was tortured for information and subject to horrific treatment. Alexander told that goa'uld all the information he knew…on Ramius. That goa'uld than attacked Ramius using the information given to him only to be defeated by Ramius, that saw Alexander being captured by Ramius where he been imprisoned since then.
When Pelops first saw Alexander again it took all his control not to show his utter surprise. Alexander had certainly looked like he had seen better days and ordered the Ramius's now Pelops's lo'taur to tend to him and help him recover.
A hot bath and some personal grooming had done wonders for Alexander. Where once his hair matted and covered in dirt and muck, it was now cropped short and had a distinguished look about. He had also shaved the gruesome beard had grown and now sported a smooth cleaned face. Overall, he looked about fifty years younger than he previously did.
Pelops was drawn out of his musing as the Jaffa before him finished their pledges of loyalty and every dying devotion.
Pelops stood up from his throne before he began his speech.
"Let all know that Pelops is a merciful god and accepts all who worships the one true god that is Pelops into his grasp and loving embrace. I hereby accept these Jaffa into my service, may their faith and loyalty never waiver." Pelops finished.
The five hundred people who were in the audience chamber all dropped to their knees and began chanting.
"All Hail Pelops"
"All Hail Pelops"
"All Hail Pelops"
"All Hail Pelops"
"All Hail Pelops"
Pelops looked before the crowd with a serene smile as he basked in their worship of him and his divinity.
Alexander was making his was to his temporary quarters, peoples bowing and moving out of his way as walked down the corridor.
As he entered his room he began thinking about his day. Pelops had spent most of the day in the audience chamber with his new subjects while also overseeing the repairs being made to his ha'tak. Alexander checked the door to his room was locked before he went to the bathroom.
He splashed some water over his face before he closed the bathroom door. Taking off his armour and chainmail until he was left in just his undershirt. He took off his shirt until he was topless and stared at his reflection in the mirror and more specifically the symbiote pouch in his torso before he took a deep breath.
He reached his hand into the pouch, grunting in discomfort as he felt the symbiote within it before he pushed his hand in further and then pulled out what he was looking for.
He washed the object in the basin cleaning off the pus and assorted gunk on it before he dried it off and opened his hand.
The hand-held communication device was now ready to use.
"Let all true servants kneel before the glory that is Cadmus."
Thebes, Private Laboratory
Cadmus was in one of his secret laboratories looking over his most recent acquisitions when his personal communicator signalled.
"My Lord, we've received a communication from operative TROJAN. He's in."
Now that bought a smile to his face.
"Well done director. Keep me informed of his progress."
"Yes, My Lord." The director replied.
Cadmus turned his attention back to two monitors that had been set up to observe his 'guests'. On the monitor's he saw Ramius and Tilgath still unconscious strapped to surgical examination tables in separate containment rooms.
Cadmus brought up some initial scans of their bodies he had taken and began examining them.
"Now let's see what makes you tick, shall we."
Holy shit 16000 words, I can honestly tell you that I am exhausted. First off let me apologise for taking so long to update. There's no excuse just good old laziness mixed with procrastination so once again I'm sorry. The only reason I've gotten this chapter out is because I'm on break and have been writing every day, in fact I've this is my last day off before I go back to college.
So a few things about this chapter:
1. I made the Jaffa reasonably effective here than what's shown on T.V. I know when compared to SG:1 and modern military tactics the Jaffa pretty much become the stormtroopers of the SG universe (completely pathetic) but when compared to other Jaffa they must have some skills, look at Teal'c and Bra'tac. Also I think it's makes the story more interesting.
2. If your looking for historical and scientific accuracy you should probably read a different story because this is none here. I said in a previous chapter that I will be taking the CSI approach to things like that, as in "If it sounds realistic it's good enough." So don't light me up if there's something in here that is not completely accurate.
3. In this chapter you've gotten a real glimpse at how Cadmus will be defeating his enemies. Instead of the shock and awe tactics that other goa'uld use, he will be using deception, infiltration, misdirection and tactical strikes to overcome his opponents. He will only use use all out military force where necessary.
4. I'm sure there are other things I should explain but I'm absolutely exhausted and if I see another word document soon, I'm going to lose it. So if you have any questions about something I haven't explained here just send a PM.
So leave your reviews about what you think so far and if you any ideas or directions you would like to see the story go in, send a message.
Until next time,