Going home through a starry mirror
Disclaimer: All characters portrayed in the television series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", "Stargate", "Stargate: SG-1", "Stargate: Atlantis" and "Angel" are the exclusive property of their creators and is used here without their approval. No infringement is intended by the following work. The story in the following work is the exclusive property of the author indicated in the byline above and this work may not be posted, reproduced or edited without the express approval of the author as named above. No direct commercial gain may come from any reproduction of this work.
Summary: Crossover with the Stargate universe. Set after season 7 of Buffy and just after season 4 episode 4 of Stargate SG-1. Someone has been attacking the Slayers, disappearing a few then returning their mutilated corpses. Meanwhile, SGC has to react to some rather alarming Tok'ra reports: a group of minor Goa'uld, the offspring of Thoth the banished follower of Anubis, whom they have yet to meet, are reportedly close to perfecting the ultimate host body. And from those events the ripples just spread.
Author's Notes: My first attempt at a crossover and I hope this will not disappoint too much. I will do my utmost to maintain somewhat the integrity of the characters however be forewarned this is based in the Stargate universe and expect no easy fixes or characters jumps back and forth. I follow the Stargate plotlines as best I can but expect jumps and starts as nothing big happens that involves Buffy until the middle of this story.Prologue:
In the unfathomable depth that existed between universes, two forces of great power and goodness faced each other. "Could you spare her the death you have planned in her future?" it said, and they immediately knew who.
"Why her?" the other replied, curious but not angry.
"I like her, and with us she could find as much peace as war. She would have people looking out for her rather than up to her. And we feel that our Champions need a symbol, something to have faith in, as well. She'll give them a unique perspective and she could be exactly what we need in the future to come," it replied.
"We knew something was coming for her. If not this, we shall have to watch her either die or become truly tainted by darkness. Rather this than her dying again. We give her to you, but know that we will be requiring you to take good care of her," the other agreed.
"We have always been gentle masters," it said.
"True, gentler than us, but your universe is safer than ours," the other said.
"Also true. This will, however, require that the last bridge be broken. Your hands in the mortal realm cannot be allowed to steal her," it said.
"We've wanted that bridge gone for a long time, and this way our dark counterparts cannot say a suitable sacrifice wasn't made," the other said with relief.
"How will you use her? She is a good girl, a warrior, but she is not fully suited for your realm," the other asked.
"We will adapt her as much as we can without damaging what makes her unique," it said.
"It is all agreed, then?" the other asked. It nodded and both went back to set the events in motion.
The smell alone was enough to tell her what the faces of everyone she passed on her way down the hall showed. She could see it in the angry, almost threatening looks. The faces all said the same, each in their different way. Inside was another victim. She walked up, noticing that two police officers were slumped on a bed in the room she passed. She stopped, then saw one of the other Slayers looking guilty. "Why?" she inquired.
"They were about to report it in. I... This is our problem. If the police get involved, then they would just slow us down," the teenager reported, looking a bit sheepish. Buffy sighed, but didn't reprimand her. She knew that the girl's watcher would deal with that after hearing about it or reading it in another watcher's report. Speaking of which, she stepped up next to her own current Watcher, although he was more of a personal assistant than any actual help or authority figure.
"Andrew?" she asked the pale and unhappy-looking guy. He had been her housekeeper, handyman and weapon carrier since Sunnydale. Basically, he was still pathetic but he never judged her and mostly never was around enough to annoy her, although he had bugged the crap out of Dawn when her sister had still lived with her in Rome... Dawn was now in her first semester at Oxford under the watchful eyes of several Council members and roomed with a Slayer, whom Dawn was corrupting thoroughly, according to the phone calls she had gotten from the girl's annoyed watcher. Dutiful sister as she was, she had not relayed a single word to Dawn about that.
Andrew finally stirred and turned to her: "Hi Buffy... Uh, it is another one... This time, she at least still looks mostly intact instead of all those... protrusions and stuff on the last two," he commented.
"Andrew... Let me through," she said, hoping he caught the hint this time. He was blocking her way. She was carrying the device, Willow's little surprise for their new enemy, a potion that would show Buffy what the girl had seen this last week.
"Oh," he realized and stepped aside. She walked by and saw the corpse. It was Michelle, a lovely French Slayer she and Dawn had recruited not long after arriving in Europe. Michelle just lay there naked and dead, apparently killed by something that had gotten to nine other slayers all around the world by now. The Council was in an uproar -- enough of an uproar to pull her out of her semi-retirement of taking a few courses at the university in Rome while trying to find a human inside of all her Slayerness.
She suppressed the surge of violent rage shared by both parts of her soul as she knelt down, while uncorking the potion bottle, which smelled noxious. She put her hand on Michelle's still slimy head and brought the bottle to her lips. Soon she would finally learn the identities of the enemies that neither spell, slayer, nor watcher had caught even a glimpse of until now.
She hadn't noticed. She never did. It wasn't arrogance, no matter what the younger slayers or the other watchers thought. She walked through them like an alpha wolf moved unchallenged through their pack. He knew it was the same with Faith. There was something mythic about Buffy and Faith. Unconsciously, even the other slayers knew that. Faith and Buffy were superior to them – not just in experience and skill, but somehow also in rank and maybe even power.
The researchers told the same story. At the first glance there was no difference between Buffy and Kennedy, or between Faith and Rona, but there had been fights which had proven otherwise, as when Kennedy had been rude yet again to Faith and gotten her ass kicked. Or like now, with a crowd of Slayers moving aside from a person they had only heard of in their training and never before met. It was interesting, but mostly only to the Watchers. The Slayers functioned, they fought, and for the first time since the ancient times with its powerful magic the sides of good and evil actually felt balanced.
He watched as Buffy started shaking and then with a gasp of pain broke contact with the dead Slayer. He realized he had forgotten the dead girl's name and decided it was probably better not to mention that. Buffy was very adamant about respecting the dead, especially slayers.
She stood up, her eyes haunted, and said, "I know where the demons are at the moment."
In another universe, deep within a mountain, a group of people – heroes of their own and many other worlds throughout their galaxy-- watched as two humans dressed in off-white walked out of their Stargate. "See, I could have told you they'd send Dad after the last fiasco," Jack commented.
Samantha Carter just smiled as the older but very healthy-looking man waved to her. "Sir," she said, directed at the General, "permission to greet the Tok'ra delegation."
"Granted," General Hammond agreed, attempting to sound formal but his smile betrayed him. She nodded, dashed down the metal stairs, and headed for the corridor. It had been a while since she had last seen her dad and as he was not easily reachable any longer she felt she had to use every moment available with him.
"Hey, Kiddo," he said as she rushed into his arms. She noted the slightly subdued tone of his voice. This wasn't a side-trip, she realized. This was a mission, and there wouldn't be much time for family. She felt a bit sad at that thought. She had been feeling really lonely lately but she was unsure as to why.
"So you want to see the general right away?" she asked as they were guided towards the outside traveler reception area, where the Tok'ra were checked and weighed, mostly to insure against accidental losses of equipment and the like.
"Yeah... I am sorry, Sam, but this is not good news. I have to see the general right away. We might need some of that SGC quick military action you're so fond of," he commented. She winced at the still prevalent tone of considering them too immature in their battle against the Goa'uld. It had been apparent in her father before, but never like this.
She must have made an expression, because he immediately looked apologetic and said, "Oh, no, it's not like that. It was an actual request. We... The Tok'ra need your help with something," he said.
A half hour later, SG-1, Major Hayden the CO of SG-7, Major Webb the CO of SG-8, the general, her dad and the other Tok'ra sat around the conference table. "The Tok'ra, here, have come to ask for our help. They've discovered something very troubling. Jacob?" General Hammond nodded to her father.
"A recent Tok'ra operation allowed us to plant a device... a camera, if you will, at the base of the Brotherhood of Thoth. Teal'c, you may be familiar with them." Her father looked over at the ever-calm giant Jaffa.
Teal'c nodded, apparently glad to be asked, and said, "Indeed. The Brotherhood of Thoth is a group of minor Goa'uld led by descendants of Thoth, a very intelligent but long banished System Lord. The Brotherhood is very secretive and small. They have only a small retinue of Jaffa, because a force loyal to Ra drove them from their home world several decades ago. They are known, as was their father, as some of the best thinkers and technologists of the Goa'uld. Many believe that they were involved in his creation of the Deathglider. They're also fervent researchers into the possibility of making advanced human hosts, much like Nirrti."
Her dad nodded, "we had discounted them as being a priority for much more than silent assassinations until we heard a rumor from a recruiter that they suddenly had a lot of resources again. We investigated and discovered that not only are they attracting old followers of their father but they have somehow come into possession of a lot of valuable technology -- some of it definitely not of Goa'uld origin. Even worse, they've been trading a lot with Nirrti's remaining Jaffa and Apophis, which worries us even more. So when we heard that all three of the Brotherhood were gathered at their latest base, it took a great deal of careful manipulation, but we managed to sneak in the device I spoke of, carried by an unknowing Jaffa recently recruited. And here is what we received aboard our ship."
Her dad put a small device on the table which projected a 2D image into the space above the table, showing a movie. She rather wanted to take that little projector apart to see how it violated the physical laws as she understood them, but she knew she should rather focus on the images shown. Someone was walking through a series of corridors, it seemed. He saluted as he entered a large room. There were other Jaffa around him. They looked ready for something. He looked around a little. The room was large, with tables and slaves examining a great variety of items. Along the wall was a series of glass tanks filled with some sort of bluish liquid, each with some sort of large reddish glowing device in front.
Her dad reached forward as the images panned towards the centre of the room, where a familiar object stood. He pressed a stud on the projector and said, "I don't know what that is, but we recognized a lot of other things in the room. The tanks and devices we saw earlier are something called DNA resequencers, and the tanks are for the subjects that are modified by it. The resequencers are an old invention of another race, outlawed by Ra and the System Lords, and those look almost original. They've since been rumoured in the possession of Nirrti and were supposedly modified by her especially to work faster and without the tanks, although the successes have been very far between. We're not sure about this central device, but..."
"But we do, Dad. It's a Quantum Mirror. An access way to alternate realities. We found one once, but it had to be destroyed. If you touch it and it's active, you move to an alternate reality. A universe like this one, only different in some way. Theoretically, there is an infinite number of possibilities," she explained.
Her dad blinked once, then leaned his head down and allowed Selmak to speak. "I am afraid that clinches the matter. The Tok'ra Council have other reasons to want to stop the Brotherhood – mostly because of their very sudden increase in power and resources, as well as their apparent biological research. However, if it is as you call it a Quantum Mirror then we must ask... no, beg you to help us stop them. They could very well plunder defenseless worlds with impunity using that device," the symbiont declared.
"Err, but the Quantum Mirror doesn't move you in space like the Stargate, so at least they're limited to the world they're on. That is at least a small ray of light," Daniel explained.
Selmak gave him an unhappy stare. "It is not a ray of hope Dr. Jackson. The other reason Jacob and I came is simply out of decency. You see, the Brotherhood is hiding here on your world. In a modified cloaked Ha'tak mothership. It is an ancient vessel but highly modified. They're here in violation of the treaty but also because of it. They're hiding even from us, but there is a regular supply run of cloaked transport ships every few days coming from Kadara, a planet once under the dominion of Nirrti and now ruled by Apophis but not under any strict control. We can arrange for you to take control of one of these transports. We will give you an up-to-date map of the mothership. All we ask in return is that we get to keep the Ha'tak. Oh, and I guess we have to insist on having that mirror destroyed," it explained and lowered her father's head to let him speak.
Jack lunged up from his chair. "What! Give you the mothership. Damn it, we need that! We need it to protect ourselves," he yelled.
"I am sorry, Jack," her dad said, "but the Tok'ra need it too. We would have gone ourselves, but I insisted it should be you guys. It is here, after all."
"Jack, please," the general said and turned towards her dad, "Jack, Jacob informed me about the position of the ship earlier as well as the Tok'ra demand. This is why I asked you, Major Hayden and Major Webb here. I want you to take SG-1, SG-7 and SG-8 and go take that ship."
Her dad nodded, seemingly a bit pleased, while Jack looked like he had swallowed something really disgusting and muttered, "Great! Days aboard yet another bloody transport ship, just to get back here." Then he said aloud, "Yes, sir, we will get ready to move out immediately."
"All right, everyone get ready. Before Michelle remembered only pain and strange lights she remembered being dragged into this building. I want you all to be prepared. The goons we are looking for can make themselves invisible and have some sort of magic mojo that will knock you out if it hits you a few times. So if you see anything flying towards you looking all blue and glowy, then duck," Buffy whispered.
They had spent all of the last day getting ready and gathering what people they could without weakening the different teams around the world or the defenses of the currently fortified Council HQ or the slayer school in Cleveland. Clustered around him were 8 Slayers from all over Southern Europe and France as well as their watchers, him and Buffy. They had hoped for some magical support -- maybe even Willow, but she was unreachable, away on some sort of astral quest looking for more clues on their enemies. He noticed the girls nodding at Buffy's suggestion, while glancing at the blueprint of the Parisian suburban mansion they were attacking.
"Get ready," Buffy said. "Go," she whispered and like a pack of lionesses the Slayers attacked as a single group. They rushed for the wall and leapt it without breaking their stride much. One of the girls ran along the wall, it seemed, and pushed open the heavy iron gate while the others headed for the building. Buffy was almost in front. He followed the other Watchers in, while fighting to remember the exact wording of the name of the very angry earth elemental he had bound to his service last night. There was no way he'd let any one of those metal-headed demons capture him and do to him what they had done to the slayers.
He headed for the house, but he couldn't keep running. Apparently all those field Watchers were in good shape, because they were already inside, when he -- wheezing and with a stinging throb in his side – made his way up the stairs. He hoped no one would laugh at him later.
Suddenly there was a loud whine and a flash. There were yells. Then with a desperate cry of fear one of those metal-heads flew out of a window two stories up, clutching some sort of weapon. He hammered into the ground nose first. There was a gruesome snap and his cry stopped. Scared but unwilling to run away again, Andrew peeked inside, seeing several of the Watchers dead... no... they were breathing... out cold on the cold marble floor. He slipped inside and saw down the long hall, through the door underneath the stairs leading up into a room filled with a raging battle. More of the creatures were fighting the Slayers but it looked like a strange battle. When a slayer went into hand-to-hand their victory seemed guaranteed here, but the demons -- no, rather, they looked like humans with ray-guns and Egyptian metallic fantasy costumes -- were superior in their range. He saw a slayer get hit by a beam and kneel to the floor in great pain. She slowly rose, then another beam hit, and she fell over onto her hands; then another, and she collapsed.
Then he saw her enter the scene in front of his eyes. Even here, amongst the other slayers, she stood out to him... maybe he had a little crush again. He hated when that happened. But still, Buffy in battle was notable. She took a guy's head off with her axe -- a non-magical, all-metal copy of the Scythe currently in the hands of Faith as she guarded the Cleveland hellmouth. She kicked another one so hard that he flew out of sight, and then it happened. She was separate, alone in front, when she got hit by one of those blue rays. She staggered and fell but got up and fought on; then they all turned their weapons towards her. One, two, three -- she was hit and went down, their second loss. He gasped as did all the slayers. He realized his mouth was calling for his elemental. Then something big, round, and glowing flew towards where the remaining slayers had hidden, and a single word stopped his summoning: "Bomb!"
He vacillated for a second; then suddenly, he heard and saw it. The slayers applied the first rule of slaying: Don't die. One, he didn't know her, ran past him, then returned and literally dragged him behind her into cover, out of sight of the room. There was another massive white flash and that strange noise. They got out of hiding. The battle was looking like a loss, but he had an ace. He muttered the name of the elemental and felt its power approach. "Destroy my enemy," he intoned as he felt its presence. Suddenly, the building shook and trembled. There was a wail, then a snap.
He and the slayer left their cover, and he saw his elemental manifest and holding two dead metal-heads, their upper bodies crushed by its huge hands. It wandered in, shrugging off the bluish beams that barely took chunks out of its skin. The Slayer at his side dashed back into the battle as more of their enemy came down from upstairs.
From somewhere out of sight the few remaining of their enemy counterattacked. Reddish blasts -- this time from a staff -- hammered large pieces off the elemental, while two of the enemies, carrying Buffy and another downed slayer body, dashed for a freaky grey mirror that stood up against the back wall. They disappeared. The elemental in its rage hammered its hand through it as they slipped away, when there was a even louder noise from their enemies' corner. He was hit by something that felt almost like a wall and passed out.
It was a good while later, when someone shook him awake. "Andrew, wake up, dumbass," a voice said coldly.
He opened his eyes and saw he was in some sort of hospital room. He was surrounded by glowering faces. Faces worn by Xander Harris and, worst of all, Rupert Giles.
"I see you survived again," Xander commented coldly.
"Uh, who died?" he asked.
Giles gave him a stare, then said, "You've been unconscious for two days. The part of the house you and the Slayers were in exploded, and you got hit by flying bricks. There were many casualties that day. But it seems at least the attack served its purpose."
He could clearly hear the seething anger beneath Giles' tone. "What do you mean?" he asked.
"It seems the device that was destroyed in the attack was the source of the invasion. Willow has verified that it was some sort of artifact that allowed passage between the dimensions. We've also learned that it was moved from place to place all around Earth and used as a travel device by the invaders," Giles explained, when Andrew suddenly remembered something. The images of Buffy getting pounded by the death rays of the demons and then later carried off by their enemy.
"Oh, god, Buffy," he stammered and started crying. It was a good while later when he realized only Xander was left in the room.
"You really cared," Xander whispered while he stared out the window.
"I've lived with her for two years now. She's family, somehow. I saw her die," he explained.
"We know how it happened. The Slayers who survived explained it all. They hadn't expected weaponry like that. Slayers are meant for hand-to-hand, not ranged combat. In fact, it seems the other side has taken to cheating," Xander said from his position.
"Oh, poor Dawn," he said to himself. He was equally close with the lanky girl.
"Andrew, do you know what happened to her body? The explosion wasn't strong enough to evaporate bodies, but there are two missing. Buffy and Irene, the Austrian Slayer," Xander asked.
"No..." he thought for a moment, then realized something. "I did see those guys run for the portal thing with them slung over their shoulders. Maybe they took the bodies... Maybe they aren't dead," he said and felt a wonderful shimmer of hope appear on the horizon.
"Doesn't matter, Willow and the entire Coven have been over the site all night. They have no trace or energy signature of the dimension they'd have to reach, and the device is really not helping. So even if they didn't make off with corpses, we can't reach them," Xander explained, sounding utterly desolate.
"Are we going to give up on them?" he asked.
Xander showed him a face with sorrow etched across it and said in a cold voice, "We've consulted with our seers; they all say the same. According to all oracles and the powers themselves, Buffy and Irene are forever beyond us and we should let them rest in peace this time."
"Oh," Andrew whispered. Maybe it was time for her to rest in heaven again. He hoped he would one day get to see her there, at least, if he kept making amends.
"Are we there yet?" Jack said in his best child-voice, causing the usually so unflappable Teal'c to give him a withering stare. Maybe because Jack had been repeating that sentence as a joke for almost the entire ride.
She had rather enjoyed the trip, to be honest. Spending time with her dad, just talking about life -- especially life amongst the stars -- and finally getting Selmak to promise that they both wanted to show up for Christmas at Mark's place in San Diego later in the year. She had an idea about what was wrong with her lately, while talking about life, duty and career with her father during his turns at the wheel. She often felt lonely, and she had no love in her life except for her family and workmates. Maybe she needed someone all of her own to love, and her feelings for Jack were the reason why she hadn't done anything in the dating scene since arriving at the SGC. She was at a loss about how to reconcile all the parts of her professional life with a home life, though.
"All right, all right," Jack said, when he realized what Teal'c's look meant, and walked back towards the crowded cargo room, where they were gathering their weapons. Earth was in sight and in a few minutes they'd be able to land on the Ha'tak, which according to her dad, currently seated a few feet from her, was barely manned with as many Jaffa as they had brought men. Still, they were planning to be as stealthy as possible. They didn't want the Goa'uld to self-destruct or de-cloak the mothership when they had learned it was in orbit barely 20 kilometers over Paris.
"Everything ready?" Jack asked her.
"Yes, sir," she replied and took out the protective glasses. They were only carrying weapons, ammo and demo for their task. They didn't plan on any kind of stay. She heard Teal'c speaking in Goa'uld for a while; then he rose and walked into the room. "There seems to have been a change of plans. The Ha'tak has moved to a high orbit and has just relayed us the new location," he explained.
Jack nodded, "Let's hope it has nothing to do with us." He didn't seem convinced, though, and added another grenade to his vest. She rose, swept her hair back and put on her cap, then slipped on her glasses. Everyone huddled around the airlock and waited, while Teal'c piloted them in.
They set down, and she watched as the dock pressurized. They could see the two guards at the door looking expectantly at the transport. "Get ready," Jack commented and pushed the open switch. The outer door slid open. The two guards barely saw their weapons before two of the SG-7 guys put silenced slugs in their faces. They dropped with a minimum of noise made.
"All right, move out according to plan. SG-1 takes the mirror chamber. SG-7, you're on the barracks deck; SG-8, you're on the engineering section. Jacob and Rafe will be taking the bridge. Secure all room before moving on people," he said as Teal'c joined them, his staff in hand.
They headed out down the empty corridor. Quickly they followed the map given to them by her father and memorized by them all. Daniel looked uncomfortable, but then again missions like these were a bit too bloody for him in general. She hefted her assault rifle and headed out in front. A stray thought in her mind reminded her that she originally hadn't liked the fighting much either. She had joined the Air Force to get a chance at going up into space and do serious science.
A few minutes later and it was clear what her dad had meant by undermanned. They had met one Jaffa guard and two slaves so far. Both slaves were locked away, but the guard had died in combat. The ship showed clear signs of neglect here and there, but there were also a few rooms filled with what was probably plunder from alternate Earths. They arrived at the central chamber entrance. The door was open and the activity inside clearly audible. A firefight would be dicey.
"Bangs," Jack whispered. "Daniel, cover us," he said while drawing a flashbang from his belt. She did the same. They pulled the pins. Jack tossed first. She waited a moment then did the same. There was an enormous racket and flash, then another. They dashed inside and shot at everything that moved. There were several guards inside. One jumped up as she was firing in another direction. She could see him aiming at her and getting ready to fire, when he took a staff blast to the face from Teal'c.
She walked her fire, while crouching and trying to put down a hail of fire allowing the rest of her team to get to some sort of cover. Jack hid behind a console and started his own covering fire. He waved her forward just as she took down another Jaffa, his armor throwing sparks from the bullet rain.
She dashed forward, moving for cover while changing mags, as Jack opened up to cover her. A staff blast impacted next to her; she rolled backwards and ended up against one of the tanks and its control console. She fired a burst into the legs of a Jaffa charging towards her. He fell and slid forward. Daniel zapped him to unconsciousness with a zat.
He saw one of his fellow Jaffa, enslaved in mind and body, aim to fire his staff at Jack O'Neill. Easily, he slid his staff slightly to the left and fired. The blast hit the warrior in the arm, destroying his aim. The warrior turned and ran for the Quantum Mirror, as the Tau'ri called it. He knew well the many and varied problems an escapee in another universe, especially a Jaffa, could cause there. With sadness over the loss of the beautiful but dangerous piece of history, he fired into the mirror, destroying it. The warrior slid to a stop and tried to turn and fire at him and his allies again. He chose to not give his enemy the chance. Teal'c watched his shot hit the Jaffa just as the warrior was facing him, making him glad that he had not been forced to shoot his enemy in the back.
She looked around, seeing a group huddled around a figure behind a tipped-over table. She quickly scrambled to her feet, took a frag grenade from her vest, pulled the pin and tossed it behind the group. The ensuing explosion tore into the group like a murderous storm, and a single figure staggered out, wounded but alive inside his force field.
A Goa'uld, she guessed. She remembered Jack's instructions about what to do with shields like that. She took another grenade out, pulled the pin and ran forward with her rifle firing randomly towards the shield. As she got really close, she released the grenade and let it roll quickly along the floor into the shield, while tossing herself the other way. There was another flash, but the boom was muffled. She turned and looked up just as a zat fired somewhere to the left of her. The Goa'uld was very dead. There was another zat shot, then the room fell silent.
"Everything okay, Carter?" Jack asked, as she got back up from the floor again and leaned against the tank behind her, exhausted and well aware she had just turned a guy into very small bits. She nodded.
"That was an interesting method, Major Carter," Teal'c commented with a look towards the burned spot surrounded by Goa'uld host pieces. Daniel was looking at the gathered artifacts, which seemed to include a strange-looking axe.
Jack pressed his radio on and asked, "Can I get a sitrep?"
"SG-7, engineering decks cleared. Met minor resistance, sir. A goa'uld with a small retinue was doing something on a computer of some sort," Major Hayden reported.
"SG-8 sweeping the last upper decks, sir. Minor resistance by the slaves, but we have confined them," Major Webb said.
"Jack, we have the bridge," her dad said. She walked over and examined the mirror, smoldering as it was from a staff blast probably suffered during the battle. It looked completely fried.
"Alright, people, we have at least one snake unaccounted for," Jack said over the radio, then looked around.
"Uh, Jack," Daniel said with some urgency. He stood with one of the Goa'uld text pads in his hands.
"Yes, Daniel?" Jack asked, sounding a bit bored, almost like he was preparing for some long boring sentence.
"This is a research diary, of a sort. It seems one of the Brotherhood -- or all of them, maybe -- found that device a few years ago. After a lot of testing they set out for Earth, hoping to capture slaves and information with their cloaked ship, as well as looking for subjects for their research into making Hok'taur... super hosts. It was as a continuation of their father's research. Their subjects all died. They thought they found a solution on another Earth. Some sort of superior human subjects perfect for experimentation, but so far even with them they haven't had much luck," Daniel said and looked up.
"Jack, they have two subjects here right now," he said.
They all looked around. The DNA resequencers were all powered down. "Not in here, it seems," Jack said.
"Teams of two. Carter, Teal'c, you go down the hall outside and head down through the decks. Me and Daniel will go up. And be careful: we have at least one more snake on the loose," Jack commanded.
She quickly ran to the door, and after a careful look around headed out after Teal'c, her P-90 at the ready.
They had searched two decks already. They both heard screaming before they saw anything. "No, get it out, get it out!" It was a high-pitched female voice.
Several orders were barked out in Goa'uld by a Goa'uld. She looked up at Teal'c. "He said 'hold her steady.' Then he called for another Jaffa to help," he whispered.
"If there is a hostage, we have to be careful going in," she replied.
There was another angry exchange in Goa'uld as she tried to figure how to get into the room. Teal'c drew in breath. "What?" she asked.
"They were putting a Goa'uld larva in someone. The false god just learned that it died inside the host. He is very angry," Teal'c explained when they heard the discharge of a hand device and a scream. The screams of a little girl.
She got up and charged. She tried to be as careful as possible, and so as she entered the room she saw two groups on either side of a table. She opened fire while advancing, wanting to keep them all off-balance. Several slaves and a Jaffa went down. Everything seemed to move in slow motion.
Her bullets hammered across a Goa'uld shield.
A tiny figure on the table tore itself loose.
Her P-90 emptied its clip.
A Jaffa lowered his staff to fire.
Then Teal'c began shooting his staff at the Jaffa.
She grabbed the tiny figure. Which turned out to be a pale little girl of maybe nine. Teal'c kept the Goa'uld and his -- by now, tiny – retinue hidden behind the shield. She was about to drag the girl towards Teal'c, still positioned at the door, when the Goa'uld yelled a command.
His two remaining Jaffa stepped forward out of his shield, firing at Teal'c.
She managed to jump forward, but not in time. The Goa'uld had unleashed his hand device on her. She felt the wave of force slam into her and send her flying along with her precious cargo. She twisted hoping to protect her precious cargo.
"Major Carter!," Teal'c yelled, but he couldn't get to her unless he wanted to get shot.
She saw the elderly looking man walk over in his robe and take the girl from her numb hands. She saw the girl with her hazel eyes pleading for help as they stared into hers. The Goa'uld turned and ran for a wall. He pressed a button and revealed a secret passage.
She fought to her feet, while fighting to make her fingers obey as they struggled to snap another clip into place on her rifle. Teal'c felled one of the Jaffa. She fired off a few distracting shots, making sure none of the slaves bothered him or her as she sent them cowering to the floor.
She rushed for the formerly secret door. Slowly, at first, but she managed to pick up speed as time passed and she went through the long shadowy passage. The Goa'uld had a headstart but she could still hear him as he dragged his still resisting captive away, yelling things in angry Goa'uld along the way.
She passed through another formerly secret door, into one of the Ha'tak's great number of hangars. It held a large vessel, bigger than a Goa'uld Tel'tak transport and better armed it seemed. It barely fit in the room. The Goa'uld was heading for it, clearly not willing to either wait for his brothers or try to retake his ship.
She ran after, mentally reviewing what she knew about Goa'uld doors.
The airlock door of the ship closed behind the Goa'uld. She followed, hoping the door wasn't locked. She tested the button. "Saved by Goa'uld arrogance," she thought.
The engines of the ship started as she put her foot inside. "Samantha Carter!" she heard Teal'c yell behind her as he entered the room. The door started automatically closing on launch. She barely managed to throw herself inside before it shut completely. Teal'c looked upset as he watched the ship take off from several meters away.
"Uh, not good," she thought, hoping that she could remember enough from the Deathgliders and transport ship to finagle control of the ship when she got that Goa'uld down. She edged over to the inner door and glanced inside, through the room beyond. Differently than a transport, this led into what looked like crew quarters with a few bunks. The girl from earlier was lying -- pale and breathing heavily-- on one. She guessed the cockpit was further out in front.
She pressed the inner door stud and edged inside, trying to make as little noise as possible. She carefully walked forward, keeping her rifle ready.
She could see the apparently single-seated cockpit. It was empty. She walked forward, seeing the stars and Earth through the cockpit. They were already free of the Ha'tak. Suddenly a weight hammered into her from above. She was pinned face down against the floor.
"Tau'ri, you will be my first vengeance for your kind sullying our family vessel with your presence," the Goa'uld yelled. She tried twisting around but she couldn't.
Suddenly the weight lifted a little. The Goa'uld moved her forward and turned her over. He did, however, keep a hand on her rifle. She tried wrenching it free but was unable to do so. The Goa'uld let go with his other hand. The left one. The one with the hand device on. She let her hands slump to her sides.
The ship made a noise. She saw blue surrounding the ship through the windshield and felt the acceleration. It had jumped to hyperspeed, probably on autopilot. She was getting deeper in trouble by the minute. The hand device flashed.
Her world was excruciating pain. Everything seemed to be red. Her head felt like it was bursting. Her hand closed around her boot-mounted knife. She pulled it out and hammered it upwards, blindly but with all her strength.
The pain ended. She fell back, unable to move. Her head throbbed; all she could do was look as the Goa'uld gurgled with her knife run up through his throat into his neck. Only the hilt was visible. The Goa'uld lifted its hand towards her.
Fighting to find the strength, she managed to toss herself to the right. The pulse of energy still flung her along the floor, slamming her into a wall for the second time today. She nearly blacked out.
The Goa'uld crawled towards her, intent etched all over its face. It was probably seeking a host that would live. She fought against the strap of her sidearm holster. The Goa'uld was close. The figure reared up, and she thought she saw something moving in his mouth.
The gun came up. She fired. Again and again, she fired the 9mm straight into the face of the host and the Goa'uld peeking from his lips. It never managed to leave him. She kept firing, unable to stop before she ran out. The automatic froze, its clip empty. She rolled up to sit, suddenly aware of a throbbing pain in her leg. She felt up and down it. It wasn't broken, but badly sprained.
She forced herself to hobble over to the control console, planning to slip them out of hyperspace, turn around and head for Earth. What she found was depressing. The console was crushed. It didn't look repairable. She considered she had some knowledge of Goa'uld engines and technology, but not enough to either repair these consoles or manipulate the engines to do much other than stop them dead, which would only strand them.
"Uhhh," she heard from back in the crew area. She hobbled back there, finding the pale girl throwing up.
"I feel sick," the girl reported, and threw up for what looked to be the second time. She considered what Teal'c had told her. It seemed that this girl had somehow rejected a Goa'uld larva. If that was true, then it made sense she was sick. If it wasn't, then she had to be really careful. She would have to find out somehow. The girl was maybe nine, had blond hair although it came from a bottle of chemicals from the look of the darker hair roots. She looked really thin for her age. Sam felt sorry that this kid had gotten involved in their world. But hopefully, soon they'd both be back home safely.
First, though, she wanted to make absolutely sure she was rid of the other Goa'uld. She went slowly back to the cockpit and started dragging the corpse away. After, she promised herself she would take stock of the ship and look it over from top to bottom.
"Teal'c, you mean to say that Carter went aboard a Goa'uld ship alone to go after some Goa'uld?" he had to ask again, not believing his 2IC would do something so reckless.
"Yes, O'Neill; however, I do believe she was motivated to capture the Goa'uld, before he could get away with his captive. A small girl he obviously intended to insert a Goa'uld into," Teal'c explained.
"About that, Jack, we found only one other aboard who wasn't a Jaffa. A woman in a sarcophagus, barely being kept alive by its circuitry. We tried to remove her from that infernal device, but it seems something is killing her, so we had to leave her in it until we can get her to our doctors," Jacob explained.
"Jacob, aren't you worried about Sam?" Daniel asked, a bit surprised.
Jacob stared at them for a moment. "Daniel, of course I am upset. I am worried. I am her father... But I checked. The Al'kesh cloaked long before it went to hyperspeed I... and all this ship's sensors have no idea where she went. I hope to find her again or that she returns with it unscathed. But this Ha'tak can't stay here, either. If the Asgard detect it, they might cancel your treaty or even worse, it may make the System Lords think they have been beaten to the punch, and then even more will show up. I can't run off in a thousand directions, half-cocked, without some sort of clue," Jacob explained, looking pained.
"We'll send out feelers to our allies and spies amongst the Jaffa to see if they've heard from her," he said. Teal'c nodded resolutely.
"And the Tok'ra will do the same. We suggest you notify the Tollan, too. Once Samantha's SG-1 IDC runs out she might try to contact you through them or one of your other allies," Selmak replied for Jacob.
"Selmak?" Daniel asked, a bit surprised at the Tok'ra's sudden takeover.
"Jacob has been greatly disturbed as the implications of his daughter's disappearance become clear to him. He asked me to take control while he regains his calm. I can promise you, however, that the Tok'ra will do their utmost to find her. We feel a strong connection to her," Selmak explained.