For Voldemort Snape was useful in any myriad of roles. Snape would never possess the raw power the Dark Lord had been born with, and certainly lacked charisma but he had other skills to be certain. He was keenly placed to keep track of Dumbledore's movements, and the knowledge that the old man had delved such obscure hearts was mildly impressive. It was easy to accuse Dumbledore of having gone senile, but that wasn't true... no Dumbledore might not have been the same as when he'd taught transfiguration at Hogwarts, but that same sharpness was there.
How must he, the old man, have felt knowing that even amongst the stars that Wizards still killed one another... the Jedi and Sith were tiny fragments of the population out there, integrated to the extent that there was no seperate wizarding world out there.
The wizarding world had enchanted ships... but ultimately they were seafaring ones. They were the products of artisans that were few and far between in their world. Still Potter's memories are a best only partial answers, and stir up more questions than they really answer. It was enough of a prompt to bolster Rabastan's own divination efforts though. "you're sure?" Lucius queried, for the umpteenth time, again.
Truthfully the blonde pureblood's skepticism was beginning to grate, but it was not entirely unfounded given what they were doing. Of course Lucius was also complaining, because he didn't like the heat of the Egyptian desert. Lucius had visited Alexandria in an official capacity, and hadn't immediately had a problem, so he'd gotten a rude surprise upon visiting sites further south of the country, and had not been the same since.
"Enough Lucius," Voldemort warned, "We will go into the Valley," The Weasley boy was certain that this was the key, and that was enough to encourage Voldemort to make this kind of move before Bill had finally undone the last of the defenses. If he, and Rabastan for that matter, were correct there should be a golden pyramid there, and it could very well contain the answers they needed. A part of Voldemort, a small voice in the back of his head, wanted to crow on about how at the height of their power the wizards of Egyptian had been the finest example of their kind. Thousands of years ago when Egypt had been at its height the civilization had been running what were considered to be the first organized schools in the world. After the collapse of the greeks western wizards had largely migrated back to master-apprenticeship roles until the founders had established Hogwarts. It was why curse breakers were still finding things in Egypt, and throughout Mesopotamia. Whatever had happened in between those periods had been enough to an end such traditions. Truthfully Voldemort supposed it mattered little there could be centuries worth of knowledge still lost to the desert sands, but there much greater pressures on the shoulders... the current generation of purebloods was lacking in what Voldemort expected from them... "We will penetrate through the remaining defenses, and once the pyramid is secure we will examine it in depth." A handful of loyal pureblood scions had been involved with the new post graduate studies, but the work needed required a greater grasp of the dark arts than they were suited for.
The lackluster generation Voldemort blamed on the indolence that had been tolerated during his period as a spectre... for those who had escaped Azkaban like Lucius they had been keen on keeping their heads down rather than preparing for his return. It had been irritating , but it was a reality he accepted... for the most part.
The latest reports from home had been delivered... and in truth he was already dreading his inevitable return to Kuat to sort out another round of issues with SSD procurement. Some fool in the lesser admiralty had opined about how it would be great to have entire squadrons of Super Star Destroyers to protect the Core Worlds of the Empire... never mind the logistical committment, and sheer waste of employing such ships in that matter... unfortunately Kuat was looking at the credits and drooling. "It would be signficantly easier to construct the warships in orbit," Kratos remarked, reiterating once again one of his more frequent issues over the construction of spaceships by the Earth. Constructing starfighters inside the gravity well of a planet was one thing. Building a starship on the surface of a planet was one of those things that seriously restricted your options. For Earth to even consider building a capital ship without an orbital dock was ludicrous.
Waller grimaced, "If you can strong arm Bruce into building us one, that would be good," Right now though the Watchtower network was the only substantial piece of orbital infrastructure in the solar system, and its construction still raised questions from various powers.
Kratos elected to change topics rather than address the issue, and sipped at the glass of water resting on the windowsill, "What about Blood's escape?"
Apparently whatever they had been using to keep him sedated hadn't been quite as effective as they had hoped, and when the attack on the transport had happened Blood had merely been feigning sleep rather than actually being out cold. "His escape doesn't change the fact he's injured; any prosethesis fitting will take time, and that should keep him sidelined. I have my doubts on the validity of that evaluation."
"Indeed," Kratos muttered in agreement, "It does not preclude him from making a nuisance of himself in other ways," Blood didn't need to take the field for him to be a pain. There were other problems to deal with, even with him on the lose. The goa'uld continued to badger each other with their fleets... now doubt expending thousands of lives per engagement for little in the way of tangible gains.
The possibility of even derelict alien spaceships being on earth was enough to catch the attention of various governmets... and where Daniel Jackson was largely occupied deciphering texts from the antartic outpost there other lesser Stargate Command researchers who were available. Technically shapeships were beyond Cadmus purview, but it didn't prevent Waller from involving herself in things given the situation. The threat of the Goa'uld was a relief to the Joint Chiefs, because they could at least pretend it was a conventional military threat, unlike metahumans. It was very much an issue of boys and their toys.
"Well?" Kratos prompted interupting the space of silence.
Waller grimaced, "To be honest the current policy of detention makes is difficult to hold metahumans, much less ones on Sebastian Blood's level. Its not like the Justice League operates a prison for supervillians either." It was an unsubtle jab born in part out of irritation for Strange's failure to produce a solution thus far to deal with things. The whole suicide squad idea was working but that had always been a gamble. They were useful, but dangerous. "Galatea may be more useful for the Ultimen, and titans."
"Yes, Raven remains sequestered in her room... whatever power Blood claimed to take orders from had alarmed the young witch... " and even if that wasn't the case the titans, and the Ultimen remained... abrassive over the teamwork issue. It was unfortunate that there was little that could be done. "I have other obligations to attend to," The Sith Lord could hardly spare the time to chase down some force sensitive criminal... even the Emperor didn't ask that of him. "Your space forces," As fledgling as they were frequently interacted with Imperial advisors, as the highest ranking officer of the Imperial Fleet, and the Imperial State for that matter, Kratos's time involved a not insubstantial time spent dealing with other political matters related to those advisory roles.
"Well if would prefer to be stuck in Washington..." Waller trailed off.
The Sith Lord's face twitched in a brief concession, "I suppose that Cadmus contributes extensively to the defense of the planet, and it would be worthwhile to spend additional time in an observational role." He acquiesed stiffly. The regional capital... nation state whatever... was tiny, and quite frankly offered little in the way of distraction, while finding itself significantly abundant in the way of self aggrandizing arrogance.
Galatea surpressed the urge to laugh as Waller cracked a smile.
Jack missed the rest of SG 1. He missed going on missions. Still Daniel was stuck in Antartica, which better him than Jack. Unfortunately the Ancient station buried under the ice was prickly subject for the various allied nations... almost as prickly as the situation of Area 51's space ship building... or the spaceships themselves for that matter. "So Kratos did the 'I can't believe you people are building spaceships on the ground, on my planet we build our ships in space.' routine again?"
"More or less." Colonel Davis replied, unfortunately beside the spacelift issue... i.e. Getting raw, and refined material up into orbit to put together, Earth's technical experts still weren't quite certain how it was supposed actually build a yard to assemble ships in orbit. It wasn't even a new question, as the subject had been discussed during the Cold War. NASA could talk about things like 'Oneill cylinders' all day long, but building them was impossible in the here and now. The ISS had been constructed by assemblying various pods for lack of a better description.
Take away the sand and at least the bays at Area 51 sort of resemembled the shipyards that build sea faring ships, and there was no need to worry about things like gravity, micrometeorites, or the vacuum. Still everytime it got brought up people further up the food chain asked why they weren't any closer to being able to build in space... even if it had been only a few months, and there hadn't been any major change in funding since then. Even if funding wasn't an issue it wasn't like they could truly modify the international space station to turn it into a spacedock.
In all honesty though it was still the future. Most of the SGC's funding had been redirected to spaceships, and the new mission parameters meant going back and cataloging worlds for investigation with the intent to acquire and back engineer things for Earth. That in itself was on paper a massive step away from what they were doing, but there were only a few worlds where Earth could expect to get anything of value... and humanitarian missions were subject to the tight budget as well. "So how are our primitive shipyards doing?" It was expected that by the end of the year the Earth would in name at least be operating four distinct terrestrially built warship classes.
"Well the Russians think they can bring another yard online, but none of our European allieshave been able to determine a site to build a shipyard."
Russia had its own version of the Prometheus design, and the USAF had been working on its own subclass of the original Earth Warship, but the focus now was on the Daedalus-class, or was so long as the politicians didn't change things up... "IS Congress going to shove another design down our throats?"
"With our budget?" Davis laughed from his chair, "Its the budget, there isn't any funding available right, and without briefing all of congress there won't be." If the several hundred strong US Congress was brought into the loop it wouldn't be long until they went public with disclosure anyway.
"So we have time then?" that was a relief, "thats good." O'neill kicked back, as much of a relief as O'neill felt being watched over by the big honking space guns of the Asgard battlecruisers in orbit it didn't change the fact that beyond the Solar system the Goa'uld were still out there duking it out. "If we're going to do something about Anubis, and there has to be something then Earth needs a fleet of its own." and that meant not changing up what they were building every eight months to try and one up what they had done last year. "If Danny is right and there are more alien ruins on Earth that could help us out." Not so much because they would be useful, but because it would get France off their backs.
"The debris in the outer solar system is enough to cobble together defensive stations." There were perfectly intact plasma cannons, that really just needed to be hooked up to a reactor, and targetting systems, but that still ran into the issue of available resources. "If we could move one of those down to the surface that would also give Europe something to do." Davis suggested. That wasn't really a question of could they physically move one, but could they get permission to give one to Europe to play with from the Joint Chiefs, and how much of a fit certain people in Congress would throw... and the less said about the Russian role the better.
This was precisely the tomfoolery that was the reason Jack had never dreamed about General's stars on his uniform. Political favors, and marks were one thing, but all of this... it sucked. The cannons weren't doing them any good right now just sitting out there, but they were still a strategic resource for an alleged rainy day... Politicians liked talking about doomsday... and then not doing anything practical to address the scenario. "So what do you suggest Colonel?"
"We don't have to move them to Earth though." He replied, in this case 'the surface' didn't have to mean 'Earth's', because the moon base... even in its current layout had the space to study a cannon, and the security to do it form. "The Lunar base is international, there are already Russian, and NATO Space Force," For all that that command actually existed, "personel stationed there, as such we wouldn't be turning it over to a foreign government."
There was a shimmering as the magical field gave way, and the distorion dissolved revealing the massive sloped sides. It was gigantic far larger than any pyramid that Voldemort had ever seen, and easily dwarfing the so called Great Pyramid. Thousands of years had allowed plants to run wild over parts of the settlement which surounded it, but it was intact... the golden pyramid sat surounded by a town, and the first thing Voldemort noticed were the ruined temples at the base of the vast pyramid. Everything else was seemingly intact, at least from what he could see from his vantage point atop the curving hillside.
At least Lucius had no room to complain about the heat. The Valley was rife with plantlife, and buildings, and abundant water. This was hardly the arduous expedition into the desert he had been expecting at all, but Weasley's research implied that when Ra had left Earth it had been a time of great calamity. Voldemort was expecting a necropolis... not necessarily an empty city, but then it wasn't a desert either...
If Voldemort had been able to read hieroglyphs he would have been able to translate the massive stone obelisk's writing erected at the entrances. It recounted the tale of the Revolt against Ra, of how the uprising against the Supreme System Lord's cruelty had progressed. It would have been information that Bill Weasley would have painstakingly copied down, translated and distributed before moving on. This place had been untouched for millenia.
Voldemort in his haphazzard method of battering through the ancient defenses had unravelled the ball of yarn. The Egyptian in their day had been wizards with few peers outside the two kingdoms, but that had been at their time. There were an abundance of magics which had been lost to the wizarding world, but at the same time there had been improvements. There had also been inventions of new spells... like the fidelus. What Voldemort had undone opened the valley to everyone.
When it had been described in Weasley's translations as a shining pyramid of gold this house of the Sun, Voldemort had expected it still be built of stone. Gold after all was a precious metal, though he wasn't quite certain that the Pyramid was actually pure gold... still the walls were certainly covered in it, and inlaid with more hieroglyphics than he'd ever seen. Still the symbols weren't something he intended to bother with.
They had scarcely made it through the entry chamber when Rabastan begun to have another one of his periodic fits, forcing the group of wizards to stop and take stock of the situation. Rabastan's ailment had always been strange, but the Dark Lord was used to the babbling on in ancient egypt, and the fits. Voldemort grimaced and restained the flailing pureblood, allowing Snape to stuff the man's mouth before he bit his tongue off. "We can wait here until Rabastan recovers." Voldemort declared... if only reluctantly. In hindsight as he looked around the massive chamber he knew he should have expected finally discovering this place would trigger one Rabastan's episodes. OF course the mad man was too useful with his visions to leave behind when they were so close. Waiting wasn't an option... Bill Weasley might not have battered down the wards like the Dark Lord was able to but he would have gotten through eventually with or without the tools available to Voldemort. It might have taken weeks, maybe months, but he would have gotten through. "We will set up here, Lucius go look around."
The blonde pureblood nodded, and set off down the gold laden halls, paying no heed to the hieroglyphs either.