DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Stargate (II) Productions, Sci-Fi Originals, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. This story is for entertainment purposes only and no money has changed hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations and story are the property of the author. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
Author's Notes: To those of you who are experts in Egyptian Mythology: I am not sure of the gender of the god Sia because my research material does not specify one way or the other. I have presumed her to be female for the purposes of this story. If I am wrong I apologize in advance.
The Return of Ra: "Mirror, Mirror"
by Darrin Colbourne
The Stargate sat alone in the wide, dark chamber, as it had for centuries since it had been abandoned by its owners. The room was caked with dust and cobwebs, disturbed only once and only slightly in recent weeks by the first travelers to walk through in a millennium. When their work was done, the device was left alone again, keeping a silent vigil, waiting for the time when it would again bring forth visitors from far away.
It didn't take long at all. One day, the stillness was again broken by a loud kachung, a sound that echoed through the empty space. Again and again the noise sounded, until the styluses that ringed the Stargate were all lit up. A second later, energy rushed out of the 'Gate with a loud whoosh, then collapsed back in, leaving a shimmering wall of light that resembled the surface of a clear pool reflecting the light of the sun. Soon that light was eclipsed as an automated signal in the 'Gate's circuitry closed an iris of titanium and trinium in front of the event horizon. Thus enclosed, nothing could get through the Stargate and into the chamber. This became self-evident when something impacted on the shield with a loud thump.
Had the original users of the Stargate been there to witness this, they might have written off the object as destroyed, yet they would have been surprised to suddenly be assaulted by a deafening boom, accompanied by the flight of the iris's segments, propelled headlong into the room to crash against and embed themselves in the walls. If they had survived such fury, they would have noted that the pool of light shone a bright crimson for a second before settling back to its original hue.
Then, these witnesses would have seen the return of the visitors who had last used the device, five figures in strong armor and carrying weapons that functioned as both staffs and firearms. They would have noted the oddity of these strangers being female when most of their contemporaries were male, and might have felt dread as their cold eyes swept through the dust of the chamber, set flying with the shock of the explosion.
But there was no one to witness any of this, which was important to the plan. The events that had taken place here had to remain secret for as long as possible. The leader of the visitors realized this, and would not stay a second longer than necessary to assess the results of the assault, but what she saw pleased her greatly.
Pieces of the iris had been driven at least five feet into the far wall, while others were bent and twisted by less direct impact with other walls. The dust had been completely blown off the ramp that led into the 'Gate, and most of what dust had been in the blast radius had been thrown into the air and was gathering in the far corners and edges of the floor. The Stargate itself was not damaged, and could still be used to transport people and things to and from this world. Most important of all, had anyone been in the chamber when the iris was destroyed, that and the events that followed would have been the last they ever witnessed.
She smiled with pride. It was a shame to destroy the iris, of course, since they had put so much time and effort into constructing it exactly as the Tau'Ri had constructed theirs, but that was the point of this experiment. Now they knew the Earth Stargate could be breached, without sending an army into the mountain complex that housed it. The ancient Stargate on this dead world had been chosen well, situated as it was in a chamber similar in size and shape to the Humans' "'Gate Room". With the success of this test, one phase of the ultimate plan was ready to be implemented.
"We must report our triumph to the Goddess." She said. "Open the Chapaa'aii."
The dialing device had been moved out of the expected blast area and had thus survived. One of the female Jaffa went to it and dialed the return address. The Stargate opened a final time, and the group went through.
With them gone, the chamber was abandoned once more, and the Stargate within resumed its lonely vigil.
Meanwhile, a galaxy away, Cytorrak of Kanos yelled "Tok'Ra, Kree!" to his fellow warriors. They were in a race, one that they were on the verge of losing. Cytorrak had finally gotten them to their destination, an ancient temple on a long abandoned world, but at a heavy cost. Four in number now, they had been twenty when they entered the Stargate near the newest Tok'Ra home base. Their mission had been a simple one, but so important that their leaders had taken no chances, sending a large force to accomplish it. Cytorrak had been thankful for their foresight. Though he had lost most of his force, had the usual small team been sent they would not have gotten this far.
No one could have foreseen that they would be ambushed at the 'Gate on the other side, by Jaffa Cytorrak had heard of but never fought in battle. Selket Guards: tall, strong women in modified Jaffa armor, with headdresses that looked like scorpions were resting on their heads, their foreclaws forming chinstraps around the women's visible faces. Ten of them had formed a perimeter around the opening to the 'Gate, and fired their staff weapons as each Tok'Ra emerged. Cytorrak was hit first, but had managed to dodge so that only his side was burned, but by the time the entire group had come through twelve were dead and all the rest were wounded. Four more were killed in the ensuing escape as the Tok'Ra fought through the line.
They had been running ever since. If the Selket Guards were here, that meant that one of the most powerful and dangerous System Lords there were had a use for the device the Tok'Ra had come for, and that made Cytorrak's mission all the more important.
He led his hurting force inside the crumbling ruin, recalling the layout from memory as they traversed the corridors within. The Selket Guards were hot on their heels, not firing their staff weapons to prevent the walls from caving in on them. Both sides were now down to zat'n'ktels for the close quarters battle. The two Tok'Ra in the rear were firing indiscriminately behind them, trying to bring down some of their pursuers with perseverance and luck.
There! He could see the room that the device was in, expecting it to be closed and locked by ancient but secure measures.
He was shocked to see that the doors to the chamber were wide open. They were too late.
Bringing up his staff weapon, past caring if the whole building fell and killed them all, Cytorrak charged into the room screaming, aiming his weapon at the device they had come to retrieve, now with the desperate goal of destroying it. The Jaffa standing near the device stood still, allowing the unseen Jaffa by the door to handle the attackers. Zat'n'ktel blasts felled three of the Tok'Ra. Cytorrak fought the effects of the first shot, trying with all his might to stay conscious, but unable to prevent the effects on the rest of his body. His staff weapon fell from his useless arms, and he collapsed to his knees as the Jaffa by the device approached. She wore a different headdress from the others, a full helmet with the head of a black cat. The helmet's eyes glowed red as the Jaffa stood right in front of Cytorrak. With a powerful thrust the Jaffa drove the claws of her gauntlet into his chest, and Cytorrak of Kanos screamed a last wail of agony as they slashed through his heart. Then she walked away, as multiple zat'n'ktel blasts rained down on the prone bodies of the Tok'Ra, making sure they were all dead.
With the enemy vanquished, the Jaffa resumed their mission. They gathered up the artifact and brought it back to the Stargate, intent on bringing it back to their Goddess.
Another phase of the great plan was ready.
"Incoming Traveler!" The technician in the control room announced. "Unscheduled Offworld Activation!"
General George Hammond was in the briefing room with SG-12 when he heard the announcement. He immediately went to the intercom and ordered: "Close the iris."
Eaves of powerful metal converged and closed tight just as the wormhole opened. Now no one could come through without identifying themselves.
"Incoming signal," the techie announced. "It's the Tok'Ra."
Hammond sighed, tempted not to let them through. Though the Tok'Ra had been good friends to the human race, they rarely seemed to pay social calls. More likely, they would step through the 'Gate and bring more bad news about the war with the Goa'uld.
Oh, well, he thought, no one said this job would be easy. "Open it up."
The iris retracted, leaving the event horizon open. Soon two figures emerged. George was pleased to see that one was his old friend Jacob Carter, father to Major Samantha Carter and current host to the symbiote Selmak. He was also shocked to see that he had come with Garshaw of Belote, the woman who was the principle leader of the Tok'Ra. If she had come personally to the SGC, then whatever bad news there was had to be horrendous indeed.
He went to the 'Gate Room and met them at the bottom of the ramp. "Jacob! Its good to see you again." He offered his hand and Jacob/Selmak took it with a smile.
"Good to see you, too, George. How is Sam doing?" The part of him that was Jacob would never stop worrying about his daughter, no matter how busy his current role in the cosmic scheme of things kept him.
"She's fine. SG-1 is on leave right now, so she and the others are off base."
"You may wish to recall them," came the reply, and George could tell that Selmak had asserted control. The change had become more fluid. Had he not been paying close attention the General might have missed it. It had been subtle, no glowing eyes or obscured voice, just a swift change of bearing.
"I see." Hammond said. He didn't really, but he knew an explanation would come in time. He turned to his other visitor. "A pleasure to see you again, Garshaw."
"A pleasure to see you as well, General Hammond." Garshaw said with a smile, then her demeanor changed as well. "Are your people far from the base?"
Hammond thought about it for a moment. SGC team members had to be available for recall at all times, so he knew where the members of SG-1 were. Teal'c hadn't left the base, and was probably meditating in his quarters or something. Colonel Jack O'Neill, Daniel Jackson and Samantha Carter had not had any special plans, so could probably be reached at their homes off-base. "No, I don't think so. I can get them back. How important is this?"
This time Garshaw's symbiote fully asserted itself. Her voice distorted to a low, serious tone as she said: "It could mean the end of us all."
"Dad!" Sam Carter exclaimed as she walked into the briefing and saw him sitting at the conference table. He stood and approached and they hugged each other close with smiles on their faces. When they broke up, Carter noticed her father's traveling companion. "Garshaw. I'm surprised to see you. Where's Martouf?"
"He is overseeing the evacuation of our base." She responded. "It's annoying really. We had barely set up there, but we could not take the chance of remaining after what we have learned."
"We are apparently facing a new threat, Major Carter." Teal'c said in his usual deadpan.
"One that may require the resources of this entire command," General Hammond elaborated. "I've also recalled Colonel O'Neill and Dr. Jackson. They should be here momentarily."
Carter sighed and looked at her father. "Couldn't you bring good news for once?"
Jacob smiled and said: "What? My handsome face and witty charm not enough for you?"
The Carters chuckled as O'Neill and Jackson walked into the room. "Uh-oh," O'Neill said as he spotted their two guests. Jackson was a little slower on the uptake.
"Garshaw? Jacob? What are you doing here?"
"They were just about to tell us." Hammond said, bringing the meeting to order. "If everyone will be seated, we can begin."
Everyone took seats around the table and Garshaw began the briefing. "Two days ago we sent a force of Tok'Ra to an abandoned world to recover a device our intelligence network had reason to believe had been left there. The target world was not thought to be a danger and was not known to be a Goa'uld stronghold, but the force never returned, and now it appears our assessments of its disposition were wrong."
Jacob continued, removing a holographic projection device from a pocket in his clothes. "When we lost contact and the team failed to return we sent a probe through the Stargate and it recorded these images." He set the device on the table and turned it on. In the air in front of them there was a moving image of the ground by an ancient ramp, looking as if they were hovering over the entrance to a Stargate. Soon the view shifted to several bodies on the ground, then zoomed in on a few of them, some Tok'Ra, the others strange-looking Jaffa. After looking closely, O'Neill figured out what the problem was.
"Are those women?" He asked. "And are they wearing lobsters on their heads?"
"Scorpions." Teal'c answered, with a hint of scorn in his voice. "They are Selket Guards." Jacob and Garshaw nodded in confirmation.
"Selket?" Carter said.
"Egyptian funerary goddess." Jackson explained. "A burial icon. One of the goddesses depicted as watching over King Tut's grave."
"Selket Guards are not typical Jaffa." Teal'c said, bringing a contemporary note to the explanation. "Their System Lord values stealth and guile over open battle. They are experts in unconventional combat tactics, what you would call guerilla warfare. If they risk revealing themselves in battle, then their Lord must be planning to conduct some major offensive."
"So we're dealing with a new Gould threat." Hammond said. "Who is it?"
"It is the Goa'uld Sia." Jacob answered.
"Sia?" Jackson said.
"Know her, Daniel?" O'Neill asked.
"Well, she's supposed to be the personification of the mind and intelligence in general. She's the closest thing to a god of wisdom that the Egyptians had in their various myths."
"In a sense Daniel Jackson is correct." Garshaw said. "Sia is probably the most brilliant of the System Lords, a scientist as well as a dictator. She is known for executing complex plans to destroy her enemies or bring them under her heel. It is nearly impossible to discern her motivations or plans before she begins to enact them. Every spy the Tok'Ra have tried to insinuate into her order has disappeared without a trace. There are other System Lords who genuinely fear her sheer genius."
"So basically we're dealing with the Gould version of Major Carter?"
Carter looked at O'Neill and raised an eyebrow, not knowing whether to feel flattered or insulted. He must have read her mind.
"I mean that as a compliment, of course." He said.
Jacob saved him from his daughter's wrath. "Teal'c's right as well. We suspect that Sia is ready to make a major play for power. She's been a non-factor in the power struggle among the System Lords up until now, but once she gets into it you can be sure that Goa'uld will fall in her path, and the resulting power vacuum will draw the others straight into her clutches."
"Then I guess that whatever it was that she beat you to, it's probably a bad thing that she has it, and we'll probably have to find a way to get it back from her. So...what did she get?"
"Perhaps you've heard of it in your travels," Garshaw said. "It is known as a Quantum Mirror."
Jackson, Carter and Hammond looked shocked. Teal'c remained impassive. O'Neill just looked exasperated.
"Aw, Damn," He said. "You mean there's another one of those out there? We just got rid of the last one!"
"Well, surely you didn't think that a race capable of building such a thing would stop at building just one? What good would one Stargate be? So, you've had experience with a Quantum Mirror?"
"A couple of experiences, actually." Hammond said. "Our last encounter led us to an Earth conquered by the Gould. I ordered ours destroyed to prevent any potential threats from coming through."
"Our plan was to study this one," Jacob said, "to see if we could find a way to control it more thoroughly, to prevent inbound threats from coming through while still on this side. If we were unsuccessful we were going to destroy it, and make sure any others in existence were found and destroyed as well."
"Probably a big job." Jackson said.
"And one we may not get a chance to finish. If Sia can use the Mirror to bring through some weapon or person capable of giving her an upper hand, or find a way to toss her enemies through it, then her rise to power will be unstoppable, and she'll be sure to wipe out any resistance. That means all of us."
"But what could she bring through?" Carter asked. "With all a System Lord has in his or her arsenal, what else could she need?"
Garshaw and Jacob looked at each other, each afraid to voice what they thought. Fortunately, Jackson came to the same conclusion. "Oh my god..." he muttered. "Sam, do you know the mechanics of the bomb we used to destroy Ra?"
Carter thought about it for a moment, remembering the reports from the original Stargate mission and the materiel procured for it, including the tactical thermonuclear weapon O'Neill was to use in the event the first Stargate team encountered a major threat. "Yes, I do, Daniel."
"Including how much damage it could do, it's--what's the word?--yield?"
"And how much more damage it could do if the bomb materials were combined with the mineral that was mined on Abydos?"
Carter had to think harder about that one. "Well, not exactly, but I have a pretty good idea..."
"What's your point, Daniel?" O'Neill asked. Jackson ignored him.
"Could Ra have survived the detonation of that bomb in his pyramid?"
"Of course not." Carter chuckled. "The entire structure would have been vaporized. His only chance would be if someone had a cosmic dustbuster powerful enough to gather up his molecules and dump them in a sarcophagus."
"So there's no way?" Jackson pressed.
"No way, not as long as it was working prop..." Her voice trailed off. She suddenly got it.
"What did we just learn?" O'Neill asked, not enjoying being left out of the loop.
"I'd just remembered something else about Sia." Jackson said. "In Egyptian mythology she's thought to have been extremely loyal to Ra, something like his right-hand, or his girl-Friday. She accompanied his entourage into the land of the dead each night, standing by him as he faced death when he encountered Apophis. If the Gould Sia is anything like the myth, then she's not going to try to garner power for herself, at least not directly. Her ultimate power comes from her service to Ra, and with a Quantum Mirror..."
"It's possible for her to bring him back from the dead." Garshaw said. "We had hoped you might come to a different conclusion. Sia is like the Tau'Ri myths, Daniel Jackson. No one was more loyal to Ra in his glory than she was. We were shocked that she didn't try to kill you all immediately after you destroyed him, but now it seems that she had simply been waiting to get all the pieces of her plan in place."
"Point of order," O'Neill said, "you heard what Carter said. Ra is dead, 'Cosmic dustbuster' and all..."
"Only if the bomb worked properly, Jack." Jackson said. "Suppose that in another reality the bomb was a dud, or the transport rings malfunctioned and it never reached the pyramid ship, or Ra got away from the ship in a glider or something. If Sia could get to any of those realities, she could pluck Ra out of it and bring him to this one."
"If she brings him here," Jacob continued, "and manages to reinstate him as the chief System Lord, then it will mean the end of the Goa'uld infighting. After that, nothing will stop a united Goa'uld front from crushing all of us under their heels. The Alliance of Races arrayed against them may stop them eventually, but not before the Tok'Ra and the Tau'Ri are stopped cold."
Carter tried to inject a positive note. "Well, even if all that's true, we wouldn't have to put up with him for long. If that alternate Ra stayed in this reality long enough, he'd suffer from Entropic Cascade Failure. My own counterpart almost died from it."
"Remember, Major Carter," Teal'c said, "your counterpart survived for more than two days before the effects of travel through the Mirror caught up with her, and you said yourself that your presence in this reality exacerbated the problem."
"Besides," O'Neill said, "the Ra from this reality did a lot of damage in two days."
"Okay." Hammond said. "So this Sia might be trying to bring Ra back to our universe. What do you need us to do?"
"Stand ready." Garshaw said. "I doubt that it will be possible to recover the Mirror before she uses it, so if she brings Ra back we will have to stop them both before they can exercise power over the System Lords. This is the battle the Tok'Ra were created to fight. When the time comes, the Tok'Ra and Tau'Ri must stand together and defeat them once and for all."
Everyone was stunned. The Tok'Ra were no strangers to guerilla warfare themselves, existing and acting almost exclusively in secret against the System Lords. What Garshaw was talking about was taking part in open warfare against Sia and Ra, and the reservations she'd had about an alliance with the Human Race when they'd first met seemed to be completely forgotten. This was an amazing turnaround, one that lent credence to the urgency of the situation.
"We will," Hammond said, bringing the meeting to an end, "and in the meantime I suggest that we put our heads together to formulate a plan of attack for when Sia makes her move." Everyone stood at that point and handshakes were exchanged, as well as another hug between Sam and Jacob. They continued to discuss the situation as they walked out of the briefing room.
"If it's impossible to get a spy into her ranks then we really won't be able to anticipate what her first move will be." Carter said. "I mean, all we have is the assumption that she'll try to bring Ra back."
"But if that assumption is correct," Jackson said, "I think I have a pretty good idea what she'll have to do next. If we base our plans on countering that possibility, I don't think we'll be disappointed."
Jackson explained as Garshaw dialed in the address to the new Tok'Ra base, this time letting the technicians see it, another departure. She knew it would be important for the SGC to have the ability to contact them easily in this crisis. As Jackson spoke, the beginnings of a plan began to form in Carter's mind. It would require lots of disparate elements being brought together in one spot, and some parts of it would have to be executed immediately, but assuming Jackson was right, it might just work.
Four Selket Guards carried the Quantum Mirror through the corridors of the Goa'uld Mother Ship, making their way to the Pyramid Ship docked to the top. They were led by the Jaffa in the cat headdress, Sia's First Prime, walking at a brisk pace. She was eager to get the device to her Goddess, to build on the success of the Breach Weapon recently tested on the modified Krakus Stargate and thus further the Great Plan.
Their pace never slowed, until finally they were in the throne room of the Pyramid. The hall was immaculate and richly designed, decorated with the Eye of Ra and statues of the principle god, Sia's patron, as well as the other gods in Ra's entourage. The Jaffa approached the dais where the ornate couch that served as Sia's throne rested. The First Prime had the Jaffa set up the Mirror a few meters away, then they all kneeled and bowed their heads in wait.
A moment later, a coterie of servants entered from the far side of the dais, young girls in elaborate dresses ready to fulfill the Goddess's every need. They flanked the couch on the dais and stood and watched as the Goddess herself walked into the room. Dressed in a beautiful gown and adorned in sparkling jewelry, the tall, Nubian beauty approached her throne with a graceful stride, escorted by two more servants and a trio of Selket Guards. She sat down on the throne with leisurely finesse, stretching out her arms and laying back in an almost seductive pose. Once settled, her eyes bored into the First Prime.
"So, Bastet," she said, "what have you brought me?"
Bastet stood up and pressed a button on her headdress. It folded in on itself and retracted, revealing the First Prime's striking face. The others took the cue and stood as well, retracting their own simple headgear. Bastet was smiling with professional pride as she stood aside to reveal the Quantum Mirror.
Sia sat up straight, then stood, returning Bastet's smile. She glanced at one of her servants, and the girl left the dais and went to Bastet. The Jaffa handed her the control device, which she brought back to Sia. The Goa'uld took the device and walked down the steps of the dais to the lower level. She patted Bastet's shoulder as she went to the Mirror, eyeing its shiny surface. She touched it, running her dark, slender fingers along its frame.
A wide grin crept across her face and her eyes glowed with power. It was time to set the universe right.
"Excellent," she growled.
"That's a whole lot of puzzle pieces to put together in what will probably be a short amount of time, Major." O'Neill was saying in the briefing room. SG-1 and General Hammond had returned there to listen to Carter's ideas for stopping Ra and Sia. "First, the entire operation is based on a completely unconfirmable assumption--sorry, Daniel, but it is just a guess--but even if it turns out to be right you're pretty much talking about redoing Desert Storm and Desert Sabre on another planet. The logistics alone will be unbelievable."
"I realize that, sir," Carter said, "but nothing less than that will be able to spoil any plans that they may have of conquering the universe. They have to be tied to one spot, kept from roaming until we can find a permanent way to beat them. We'd need at least the entire SGC as it is to do that. Whatever else we can throw into the mix can only help."
"And it's not just an 'unconfirmable assumption', Jack." Jackson said, a little peeved. "If we've learned nothing else since we started this job it's that there is some kind of historical, real-life basis for practically every major belief system of ancient times. I know all those myths, Jack, and the one common theme that runs through them is that except for a very few isolated nice guys, most of the gods were petty and spiteful, almost childish in their petulance. Even if I didn't know those stories I'd peg Ra as just that type. Without the symbiote he's just a young boy! You know as well as I do what he'll want to do as soon as Sia fills him in on current events. He'll head straight there, Sia will trail right along, and we have to be ready to stop them both there!"
"Okay, Daniel, okay! Geez, you sound almost as bad as me! Okay, it's not 'unconfirmable', but until it happens it is a guess, right? Suppose you're wrong? Suppose we have all this stuff set up and they go to, I don't know, the planet with the singing plants or something?"
"He doesn't know about that planet, and if he did he wouldn't care. It's not the planet that belongs to him! It's people are not the ones that belong to him! His conceit will lead him right into our hands. I'd bet my life on that!"
"That's just the point. It's not just your life you're betting. The same goes for you, Carter. This operation will have to go like clockwork, and you've got a lot of details to work out."
"Which she will," Hammond said, before Carter could respond, "but for now we can't work in a vacuum, so what we're going to do first is get everybody up to speed on what we're thinking of doing. I'm going to recall all the SG teams as soon as possible, then brief the President. Colonel O'Neill will stay here and brief the SG team commanders on the situation. Major Carter, when the Tok'Ra get settled in their new base you'll have to go there and let them know your ideas, then I want you back here immediately to turn them into a real operations plan. Teal'c, I'll need you to go to Chulak and gather Bra'tac and your people as soon as possible. Dr. Jackson, I'm sure you know where you have to go."
Jackson nodded, a grim look on his face. "Abydos."
Sia watched in reverent silence as the stars floated past her viewscreen, watching, searching for the right combination of stars. "Here!" She called out suddenly.
Bastet's hands flew to the stationkeeping controls, stopping the ship before it overshot the position by even a micron. Most Goa'uld would kill as punishment for a blatant error, but Sia was known for punishing lesser beings for a lack of precision. One could be right, yet not be right enough to suit her.
Sia glanced back at her First Prime, then resumed her scanning of the stars. Bastet let out a quiet breath, grateful that she had succeeded once again. The Goddess was a hard mistress, but a fair one.
The Goa'uld then walked away from the control station by her sarcophagus and walked the length of the throne room to the Quantum Mirror, servants and Jaffa in her wake. She stood about a meter away from the alien device, then held the controller in her hand. Memories flooded her mind, of the time centuries ago when she'd discovered the first Mirror, discerned its purpose and made a present of it to Ra. He'd scoffed at it, wondering why he would need such a thing. When she'd told him he could conquer a multitude of universes with it, he'd laughed, saying he was content to rule this universe, and the others were inconsequential. But he'd kept the device, being polite, she supposed, and probably removed it to some long forgotten storage chamber.
That was what Sia was hoping for, that in some other universe out there another Sia had given another Ra the same present, leaving a doorway into the Pyramid Ship and allowing her to rescue him. For a moment, the image of a thousand Sias thinking the same thing at the same moment came to her. Had one of them attempted to do the same thing she was about to try? Had she succeeded? If she had done it properly, no one in this universe would ever know. She made a mental note to calculate the possibilities of such an event at a later time. For now, it was time to search.
Sia's hand brushed the master control on the device, and the Mirror activated. Sia's reflection disappeared and was replaced by...an empty starfield.
She recognized the stars in the field. The Mirror in this reality must have been the only thing to survive the explosion of Ra's Pyramid. Interesting circumstance, but not what she was looking for. She touched the channel controller.
A brief burst of static, and this time the Mirror showed a nearly empty room. This Ra had had a similar regard for her gift. Sia looked at the walls carefully. They were intact, as if nothing had happened. She was curious about that for a moment, then a flash of blinding light filled the scene, and nothing but static remained in view. The Goddess concluded that Ra had met his tragic end in the same manner, only years later, since time was matched in the alternate realities. She switched the channel again.
This time the Mirror showed her a jagged, bleak landscape. On closer inspection she saw that it was filled with debris. This Mirror was in a garbage dump!
She sighed, reminding herself that this would be a difficult task in the best of circumstances, especially considering that her target was a reality with specific requirements pertaining to Ra's last moments.
With new resolve, she changed the channel again...
NEXT: "PLANS OF ACTION"