Daniel looked anxiously at the hourglass, the sand poured through the narrow neck like water. He usually loved riddles, in many ways every translation he'd ever done was a riddle in its own right. However, the hungry eyes of the Sphinx made it very difficult to concentrate. He opened his mouth to ask the Sphinx to repeat her question.
"I hope that breath of yours has an Answer for me." The Sphinx interrupted. "Once I have spoken my Riddle the next thing you say must be the Answer."
"I take it he only gets one guess." Jack asked.
"Yes." The Sphinx replied.
"Can we help?"
"Right." Jack muttered as he unlatched the safety on his P90.
"As I told the Jaffa," the Sphinx said calmly "kill me and you will all die, it is my life force that keeps this temple from crumbling."
"Right." Jack sighed. "How do I know that's not a lie to save your furry hide?"
"Sphinx can not lie."
"Ah, but how do I know that's not a lie in and of itself?" Jack retorted. "It's a bit of a paradox."
"Silence!" The Sphinx snapped. She turned her attention back to Daniel. "If I am to be allowed to Rest again the Rules say my Waker must Answer...or die."
"Well, it wouldn't be the first time." Jack grumbled under his breath. "Since I've known him Daniel's had more funerals than birthdays."
Daniel glowered silently at Jack. Jack gave him a 'what-it's-true' look in return. Sam tried her best to ignore the conversation and concentrated on repeating the riddle in her mind. Suddenly believing she had the answer she then struggled to think of a way to get it to Daniel.
Sam slowly reached into her vest pocket, hoping that she wouldn't be noticed by the Sphinx. She found was she was looking for and pulled it out. Sam tried just holding the object in her hand for Daniel to see. However, he either did not see the hint she was trying to give him, or he simply didn't understand it.
Carter looked over at the hourglass nervously and found that the sand had nearly run out. Unsure of what to do she nudged Jack. Sam had to motion toward the small object in her hand twice before Jack took notice of it.
Jack took the offering and turned it over in his hand before looking at Carter with his brow furrowed in confusion. Sam sighed silently and hung her head in exaggerated frustration. Daniel noticed the pantomime scene but didn't understand it until Jack shrugged and flicked open the lighter Carter had given him. A tiny yellow flame flickered brightly in the gloom of the tomb.
"Fire!" Daniel exclaimed. "The answer's fire."
The Sphinx looked vexed for a moment. She turned to look at the others. Jack quickly hid the lighter behind his back. The hot metal burnt his hand, but he managed to turn his grimace of pain into a smile of feigned innocence.
The Sphinx studied Jack suspiciously. She turned her attention to the hourglass as the last grain of sand dropped through the neck of the dusty relic. With lightning speed she jumped up and landed her heavy paws on her captive's chest. Daniel cringed at the slippery contact of the Sphinx's tongue against his cheek.
"Such a shame...I bet you would have tasted good."