SEKMET'S LEGACY Dana Bell
"Forgive me, Great One." The Jaffe' lay prostrate on the metal floor. He did not dare look up into his god's glowing eyes. "Three sorceresses cast a curse and devoured Sekhmet with fire."

"Yet you live." His god's voice boomed throughout the golden chamber.

"We were overcome by mighty warriors. I managed to escape because I awoke before we reached the Tairi Fortress."

Clicking metal. No doubt he would feel the full fury of his god. He would die in dishonor. Yet, he would face death with dignity.

"Tell me of them." ################################################################

"I still don't understand why you didn't let me bake the cake," Piper complained as she and Phoebe shared the bathroom mirror.

"Because," her sister replied, "first you needed to rest after Harry's birth and second, he's been keeping up with midnight feedings. I figured it would be easier if I just ordered one."

"I would have found time," she replied. "It's not everyday I get to throw a bridal shower for one of my sisters." She applied her lipstick. "What excuse did you use to get Paige to the club?"

"Just that we needed some sister time away from the men in our lives and our current houseguests." Phoebe stepped back to examine her appearance. She looked great in her black pants and matching white and ebony top.

"We should be thankful for our guests. Kwai Chang and Laura are going to baby sit."

The priest and his wife were fast becoming like family. No doubt they would be adoptive grandparents to Piper and Leo's son, plus whatever children Peter and Paige ended up having.

"At least Paige finally set a date." Piper approved of the mid- summer wedding Paige and Peter were planning.

"Let's hope some demon doesn't try to crash her wedding. Haliwell weddings don't seem to ever happen right the first time."

Piper laughed. She and Leo had had to make three attempts to wed and Phoebe, despite the fact she was now divorced, had taken two. Events kept unfolding to prevent the nuptials of the women.

"Did you get a look at the wedding guest list?" Piper asked. "A vampire champion, the slayer, a very powerful witch, I doubt any self respecting demon would even dare show during Paige's wedding. He'd be vanquished like that!" Piper snapped her fingers.

"I hope for Paige's sake it goes smoothly. She and Peter have waited for so long."

Piper glanced at her watch and then checked her attire. She hadn't gotten rid of the excess baby weight yet, but she had to admit she looked very nice in the simple blue cotton dress she'd selected. "What time did you tell Paige to arrive?"

"Around three. What time is it?"

"Two."

"We'd better get moving." Phoebe dashed out of the bathroom.

Piper followed and the two women grabbed their purses and met downstairs. She'd talked with her babysitters earlier and issued last minute instructions. They swiftly walked out the double stained glass door, careful to lock it against unwanted guests, got into the suburban and headed for P3. ################################################################

"And just how do the Jaffe' say that Sekhmet was killed?" General Hammond demanded. He glared at SG1 seated around the large oval conference table. His commanding presence dominated the room.

"They keep insisting the sorceresses killed her," Daniel told him. He sat back in the hard chair. His loose clothes and dark glasses hid his intellect. "We know from personal experience what they're saying is not wild speculation."

Everyone in the room shifted uncomfortably. No one had forgotten how close they'd come to loosing Daniel Jackson. After he had exposed himself to radiation trying to save another world, he'd been on the brink of death when a 'witch' had saved his life. She'd been an aid to a member of the Triumvirate who had been visiting the SGC at the time.

"If the Gao'uld can be stopped in any way, I want to know about it." Hammond swept his eyes around the table, making sure to make direct contact with O'Neil, Carter, Jackson and Te'ac. "Give me the details."

"That's hard to do. Most of them were unconscious at the time. Some man with great fighting abilities took them down." O'Neil's mocking tones told the general just how much of the story the colonel believed.

"I want details. And I want the names of those sorceresses." ################################################################

Paige parked her car in front of the club. The large P3 sign overhead. It was about three twenty and she hoped her sisters wouldn't be too unhappy with her lateness. She'd had an emergency at the clinic and it had taken a lot longer than she'd anticipated.

She got out of her car and stretched. Her tight jeans complemented her figure and she hoped Peter liked her new white top decorated with an orange and brown embroidery pattern. Paige couldn't wait for their date later that evening.

Glancing around the street, a practice she'd gotten into so not to be taken by surprise, she noted the TV repair van, the older lady waiting to cross the street, and handsome black man in sweater and jeans walking toward her. Odd, he was wearing a cap pulled down over his forehead. He strolled on past and she shrugged it off. People wore strange attire in the city.

Paige hurried into the club. The chance to spend some time with her sisters after the hectic past few months was a rare opportunity. She hoped there would be no interruptions. She pushed open the unlocked door and frowned. The lights were off and the place was pitch dark.

"Piper? Phoebe?" she called.

The lights blared on. The room revealed bright streamers, balloons floating near the ceiling, and several women, many of which Paige recognized as patients from the clinic, Laura's coven, and her two sisters smiling happily.

"Surprise!" they all shouted. ################################################################

Peter unlocked the door of the manor and let himself in. He carefully balanced all the paperwork he'd gotten from the college and managed to get it all to the kitchen table without dropping any of it on the hardwood floor. He grabbed a mug and threw it in the microwave. Peter didn't really like instant coffee. He'd just have to add a lot of sugar and creamer.

He hadn't seen any of the cars out front so he assumed the gals were out. Leo had left earlier to help another of his charges. He guessed his father and Laura were still here, unless they had made another trip to China Town to find a place to live. The older Caine had decided against returning to Sloan City. He'd talked with the San Fransisco Chinese elders and they made it very plain they would welcome the healer into their community.

"Just as the girls have me," Peter muttered as he made his coffee and sat down at the table to tackle the admissions and financial information.

"I didn't hear you come in, Peter," Laura's soft voice addressed him.

He nearly choked on his coffee. He hadn't been listening with his extra 'sense'. "Just got in," he managed.

She smiled at him. She wore her auburn hair up. She didn't have any makeup on and her dress fit loosely. "Kwai Chang and I are babysitting. Piper had to go out for awhile."

Peter vaguely remembered Phoebe and Piper mentioning something about a bridal shower for Paige. They had been speaking in whispers and giggles for several days.

"They should be back soon though," Laura continued. She opened the fridge and removed a bottle of water. "Harry's asleep. I figured I'd take a break."

"Where's dad?" Peter pulled out the first sheet he had to fill out.

"Meditating in the attic." Laura drank some water and set it on the table and sat down. "What are you working on?"

"I went to the college today. I have to make some plans for the rest of my life if I want to provide for Paige and hopefully our future family."

"You mean, I get to be a grandmother?" His mother's brown eyes sparkled at him.

"We're still discussing it." He still hadn't shared Lorien's vision of their future with his bride to be.

"So you don't really know how Paige feels about having children," Laura observed. "Maybe you two should decide that before you get married."

"We will," Peter responded. He grabbed the identity stuff he'd gotten from Paul. He needed that info to fill out the college papers.

"Any idea what you want to do?" Laura took another swallow.

"No." Truth was, he had no idea what to do outside being a cop. He had no desire to follow his father's footsteps as the local healer. He'd just figured to take his general studies courses and hope something hit a chord.

"You'll figure out, I'm sure." Laura rose. She grabbed her water and left the very yellow kitchen.

Peter sighed in relief. He'd finally gotten used to the idea of his mother being alive, yet he still didn't feel at ease around her. Maybe that would come with time. He spread the papers all over the table and set to work. ############################################################## Ptah bathed in a golden tub. His slave girls lathered him and rinsed his firm body with water scented with lavender. His son entered and one of the women served him a glass of wine.

"We're headed for Earth," Nefertem informed his father.

The god rose out of the water and was quickly wrapped in towels. He was quickly dried and then dressed in his loincloth. He joined his son. A woman gave him a goblet and hovered in the background awaiting his next whim.

"We will find the three responsible for your mother's death and slowly kill them. I will have them suffer for their inpertenience."

"Maybe," his son suggested, "they could be slaves."

"No!" Ptah roared. "I will display their heads for all to see! No one dares kill a god!" ############################################################# Jacob knocked on the back of the van. Jack O'Neil opened the door and Carter's father joined him and Daniel taking up more of the cramped space.

:"I just got a message from the Tok'ra council. Ptah and his son are coming to avenge Sekhmet's death. Seems one of her Jaffe' escaped and reported her fiery end to her husband."

"Oh, great. More snakes," Jack groused. "Guess we'll just have to take 'em out like we have the rest."

Jacob shook his head. The colonel was in such a hurry. The Tok'ra plan was better. Might take longer, but it didn't upset the balance of power. The older man looked around. Dials flashed and a TV monitor displayed the entrance of a club called P3. "Our sorceresses are here?"

Jack shrugged. "We followed a suburban from an old Victorian house to here. Descriptions match the ones we got from our reluctant Jaffe' prisoners." He shifted around.

Jacob noticed O'Neil's hair was even grayer then when they'd last met. The toll of fighting this silent war seemed to be showing. The colonel glanced at him with tired blue eyes. No army fatigues though, a good sign, just jeans and a cotton shirt.

"Look," Daniel observed, "they're getting ready to leave."

Three pairs of eyes concentrated on the screen. Several women were leaving some carrying balloons, streamers and various other party favors. They congregated around the entrance and then scattered to various cars. Three women were left standing together.

"The two on the left are the two we followed here," Daniel informed him.

Jacob was glad to see Dr. Jackson's near brush with death didn't seem to have left any residual effects. The linguist still wore sloppy clothes, his glasses, and his brown hair and eyes were unchanged.

"Red head must be the third," Jack commented.

"They're very young." His observation made him uneasy. Jacob wasn't certain exactly what the SGC intended for these three women.

"We're just watching them." Jack picked up his com unit. "Te'ac, come on back. Our ladies are leaving." He didn't wait for an acknowledgement. He crawled into the driver's seat.

The women got into their cars and headed out. A few minutes later the Jaffe' returned, climbed in and took a seat, making the crowded back even smaller.

"We know where they're going. Let's hope Carter got her job finished." Jack started the van and rolled into traffic.

Exasperated, Peter went to answer the door. He yanked it open and snapped, "What do you want?" Immediately, he wanted to apologize, the pretty blonde standing there looked startled, and almost uncomfortable in her red dress, like she wasn't used to wearing it.

"Hi. I just move in down the block and wanted to introduce myself."

Who was she kidding? Peter's instincts kicked in. Something about her just didn't feel right. "I didn't know anyone did that type of thing anymore," he stalled, trying to get a sense of the truth.

She laughed nervously. "I come from a very small town."

Her blue eyes were hiding something. Peter stepped out on the porch. The woman retreated a step. He casually surveyed the street. Not seeing anything out of the ordinary, he returned his attention to the woman. "Look, my nephew is asleep and I doubt anyone would appreciate you waking him up."

"I'm sorry. I didn't realize."

"I also suggest you don't go knocking on all the doors here. Some of neighbors are very private and don't like intrusions." He hoped she'd take the hint and leave.

"People warned me about the big city. Guess it's true what I heard." She flashed him another smile and walked down the stairs to the street.

Peter watched her departing back with a concerned frown. His senses screamed. He went back inside and locked the door. He debated on whether or not to observe from the window or go back to his college papers. His decision was made for him when the phone rang. He picked it up.

"Hello," he said a bit coldly.

"You must be Peter," a French accented voice smiled, "I'm your sister Celeste. Can I speak with mother?" ################################################################

"I couldn't get in the house," Carter reported when she joined the rest of the team in the rented accommodations about a block away. "A young man answered and I think there's a child there."

"I HATE incomplete information," Jack complained. He paced the warped wooden floor. "Don't we have any intelligence on these people?"

Major Carter sat down at the computer. She'd set it up in the empty dining room on a card table. "I'll check the local police records. Maybe there's something there."

"They may not want to be known," Daniel put in. "Very few witches make their identities known, even now."

"They killed a Gao'uld," Jack reminded them. "We're suppose to find out how. Hell, I'd like to congratulate them. Takes a lot to kill one of those snakes."

"We really should warn them," Jacob commented as he entered from the kitchen, a glass of water in his hand. He flashed Carter a smile, "Hi, Sam."

"Hi, dad." She returned his smile. "Warn them about what?"

"Seems Sekhmet's hubby and kid are real unhappy about her death. They're planning a revenge party." Jack sat down on the metal folding chair on the other side of the table.

At her questioning glance, Jacob nodded.

"Do we have an ETA?" Concern colored her voice.

Jacob shook his head. "No. We're not exactly sure where they are."

"What? No Tok'ra spies to inform you of their every move?" O'Neil inquired mockingly.

"Sekhmet and Ptah haven't been much of a threat. My information comes more through the grapevine."

"Then we'd better keep an eye out for them," Sam said. Data started flashing across the computer screen. "Interesting," she mused as she read the information. ################################################################

Laura took the phone from Peter. "Hi Celeste, honey. How's Maine?"

Peter stepped back and took a seat on the couch. He'd heard his mother talk about his sister, but he hadn't really expected to talk with his younger sibling.

"Oh, you are? All three of them? What's going on?" His mother frowned.

Odd. Peter had more and more started thinking of her as his mother not just Laura. He wondered when the change had taken place.

"Yes. Their Whitelighter is very concerned. Do you know anything?"

He sat up and paid closer attention. He sent a questioning look at his mother. She shook her head.

"Yes. I'd love to see you. Let me know when you can arrange it."

Celeste was coming here maybe before the wedding. Peter didn't know if he should feel delighted or scared to death.

"I love you too, dear. Yes, give me call. Bye." Laura hung up the phone. "The Triumvirate are having an emergency meeting. Something about the Charmed Ones, but Celeste didn't know any details."

"Are they in danger?" Peter was worried about Paige. He didn't want anything to happen to her.

"She didn't know." His mother smiled reassuringly. "Why don't you go finish your college stuff. I'm sure Celeste will call back if there's cause for concern." She touched his shoulder. "It will be alright, Peter."

Peter hoped she was right. ###############################################################

Leo orbed in and frantically looked around. "Where are the girls?"

Peter rubbed his eyes. Between the paperwork and the constant coming and going of people, he didn't have much done. "Probably at Paige's bridal shower. I don't know when it was going to be over."

The front door opened and the girls' voices drifted back to the kitchen. Leo sighed in relief and met Piper as the door swung open.

"Hi," she greeted as she kissed her Whitelighter husband.

"Remember vanquishing Sekhmet?" All three nodded. "It seems there's going to be some consequences. The elders are very worried."

"Did they say what kind?" Piper asked. Her tone suggested she doubted they would tell them anything. Not an uncommon occurrence Peter remembered.

"They're scared you've been exposed."

"Oh, I hope not," Phoebe breathed. "I remember what happened the last time we were."

Peter had heard the girls talk about it. All of them had been killed in the altered reality. In spite of the changes they'd managed, they'd still lost their older sister Pru. He got out of his chair and put an arm around Paige. She leaned against him.

"Let's hope we don't have the same result." Peter knew Leo was trying to reassure his charges.

"What do we do?" He wanted to protect Paige and her sisters.

"I don't know. All we can do is be cautious and watchful." ##############################################################

Ptah stood in all his golden brown glory. He wore only a loincloth of leopard skin. His kohl painted eyes glared out at the cold glittering stars. All his well laid plans of revenge were dust. His pyramid ship stood dead, the engines refusing to take him to Earth.

His son, Nefertem joined him. "No progress on repairs. The crystals are all smashed and our spares are missing."

"Sabatoge," Ptah growled.

"No doubt a Tok'ra spy. We will find the traitor and execute him before you," his son promised.

Ptah pivoted and went to his private quarters. His son accompanied him. "Your mother's death will be avenged. This I promise."

"I know." The young man stood proud. He had grown into a tall, muscular man from the scrawny child he'd chosen as a host.

The older man sat in a skin covered chair, his true throne of power. "I executed the Jaffe'," he absently told his offspring.

"Good. He proved himself unworthy." The young man took an offered drink from a slave. He didn't notice her, there were so many to serve his whims.

His father lazily examined his son's attire. The youth wore a loose garment of gold and had spun his long black hair into a braid with a small lion head crown adorning it. Eyes of coal burned at Nefertem's anger.

Ptah's first entered. Behind him, another Jaffe' dragged a woman. "You're traitor." He presented his gift to his god throwing the offal to the rug covered floor.

The god rose to examine the slave. She glared up at him defiantly. "Tok'ra," he spat.

"And proud to bring you down."

Her words were the last he heard when explosions rocked his ship and vacuum took his life. ################################################################

The phone rang in the rented house. Jack stretched and answered the annoying thing. "Hello? Yeah. He's here." He handed the phone to Jacob. The older man looked surprised.

"Hello. What happened?" His blue eyes took on an amazed look. "I didn't think we had anyone.really? I thought she was dead."

"Any idea what's going on?" O'Neil asked Carter.

She shook her head. "No. We'll just have to wait until he's off the phone." She returned her attention to the computer. "Sir, there are numerous reports of strange cases, all marked closed, but with no real solutions or arrests."

"Maybe they have a friend on the police force," Daniel suggested as he glanced up from the book he'd been reading.

"Maybe." Carter hit another key and brought up a record. "I also have a birth certificate here for a Harry Leo-Victor Wyatt, born a few weeks ago. Must be the child in the house."

"Do we know exactly how many people are in the house, Carter?" Jack's impatience could be heard in his voice.

"Three sisters, Paige, Phoebe and Piper. Leo Wyatt, Piper's husband. The baby." She changed documents. "Peter Caine, and from what I can tell, his father and mother as well."

"All in one house?" Daniel seemed doubtful. He left his chair by the bay window.

Jacob hung up the phone. "Ptah and Nefertem are dead. Seems we had a Tok'ra agent after all. She blew up their ship."

"Yes!" Jack moved his arm in a victory motion. "About time you Tok'ra did something assertive."

Jacobs expression begged askance. "She did it to protect Earth, Jack."

"Are we still going to talk with the witches?" Sam asked the colonel.

"They have a way to kill the snakes. I want to know and so does the General Hammond. They could help protect Earth. We have to find out." ###############################################################

Oscar's office seemed more like a tomb than a place of work with all the drapes pulled closed, Paul mused as he entered. At once, he noticed the three members of the Triumvirate and the alternate hidden in the darkest corner. From the shape, it had to be a woman.

"Glad you could join us," Oscar said, sitting back in his comfortable chair. Goldman always looked very professional in his navy blue suit, white shirt and matching tie, and black hair neatly in place.

"We have an emergency," Julian's soft voice stated. The vampire dressed professionally in a dark suit and his sable hair combed back. "The Charmed Ones security is at risk. We can't allow the military to interfere."

"He's right," the new member of the trio spoke up. The young man stepped away from the shadows dressed all in black. Paul started. He recognized Angel. He had no idea the vampire had even been one of the alternates.

Barnabas Collins agreed. Today, the Maine resident dressed in mahogany tweed complementing his brown hair. "We must call General Hammond and end SG1's mission." His eye's blazed.

"I thought stopping the Gao'uld was top priority?" Paul didn't like the idea of snakes inhabiting bodies and taking over the planet.

"There's more at stake," Angel stated. "A new destiny for magic."

A new destiny? Paul wondered. For magic? Just what the hell did that mean and how would it affect Peter's upcoming marriage? A marriage he wasn't really certain was in his son's best interests. The thought of a witch daughter-in-law made him very uncomfortable.

Julian picked up the phone and extended it to Goldman. "Call him."

Oscar dialed, "General Hammond, Oscar Goldman. I have orders directly from the Triumvirate. Recall SG1." He listened for a few minutes. "Really? So the immediate threat of retaliation is over. Good. Call O'Neil and pull in the team. Yes, I understand that. No. I can't explain." More listening. "I'm truly sorry. Now is just not the time. Thank you, general." He hung up. "He's recalling them and not very happy about it."

"Doesn't matter," the alternate said. The very attractive and seductive woman stepped beside Julian and gave him a smile. "Magic's future is more important." Her words caused the hair on the back of Paul's neck to stand straight up and he had a sinking feeling in his stomach. He had to find out what they meant. ################################################################

The phone rang again. O'Neil picked it up. "Say What?!" he yelled.

Carter and Jackson came running. They'd been making dinner for the group. Te'ac followed at a more sedate pace. Jacob looked up questioningly from the computer.

Jack slammed down the phone. "We have orders to pack up and leave. Seems someone higher up pulled the plug."

"After all the research we done?" Carter couldn't believe it. "We could have the answer to stopping the Goa'uld in our hands."

"Hammond was told to bring us in." Jack slammed his stuff in his backpack.

The rest of team gathered their stuff and prepared to leave. Orders were orders. Even if they didn't like them.

Days passed and nothing happened. Peter finished his college papers and mailed it all in with the fees. Luckily, Paul had sent him some money when he'd called and explained he wanted to go back to school.

"Hi, Peter," Paige greeted as she entered the bedroom. Sunlight streamed through the windows.

"Leo relaxed yet?" Peter sat on the bed.

She nodded sitting beside him. His future wife looked great in her short robe which rode up showing off her legs. Her hair was still damp from her shower. "Seems whatever threat that was about to overtake us abruptly went away. The elders didn't tell Leo the whole story and I doubt they ever will."

"Left it all a big mystery." One of the things Peter would have to get used to. Unexplained events.

"I can't believe our wedding is only a couple of weeks away." Paige changed the subject. "I still have so much to do."

"At least the wedding invitations went off on time." Peter ran his fingers up her leg. She shivered. " We're already getting the RSVP's."

"Your friend Angel coming?" She leaned toward him.

"Yeah, and Buffy and her friends." Peter lightly kissed her neck. "Nick sends his regrets and best wishes."

"Is Paul coming?" Something in her manner made him wonder if something was wrong.

"I haven't heard yet." He sighed. "I wish Annie could come."

"I know." She kissed him. "Come here," she invited, trying to pull him back on the bed.

He grabbed her and together they fell back on the mattress. Just for a second, Peter thought he saw the figure of dark haired woman laughing at them in the mirror. When he looked again, she was gone. He shook his head and kissed Paige with growing passion.