The Nile River Valley
A blazing light from the sky turns midnight into midday. The humans of the tiny, primitive village flee in terror from the behemoth hovering above them. That is, all except one.
The boy, strangely unafraid, approaches, holding up one hand to shield his eyes from the light. The roar of the wind intensifies, and the light takes him.
The creature from the stars is pleased as he takes the boy as his host. After years of searching, he has found a new body, easy to repair and rejuvenate. He presents himself to the inhabitants of the world he has found, glorying as they bow down to worship him. He is the ruler of this world. He is the Sun God.
He is Ra.
Others of his kind followed, for Earth has become a prime place to find new hosts.
They take on the names and personalities of gods, each one worshipped by a different group of people. They are many, and they are powerful. The humans of Earth are but slave to them- a source of labor and bodies to inhabit.
One of these alien overlords- the Goa'uld- is not content with the bodies of the humans she takes. She wants something more, so that she may gain power and prestige among her own race. Her name is Hecate, Greek goddess of mystery, magic, and the night. She selects a group of humans and begins to change them in her search for a superior host. Her creations are stronger than humans, longer lived, immune to the many diseases that afflict humankind. They were faster and hardier. But her creations were given more than that.
Throughout many years of experiments, Hecate learned how to give her creations powers unlike any seen on Earth before. She called them Tau'ka, or Spirit Humans, in honor of these abilities. Some could see the future. Others could communicate via silent telepathic speech or read minds. A few had control of elements, and others could bend light around them to make themselves invisible. Many could move objects with their thoughts. Three had the power to change their shape, becoming animals.
Hecate had designed her Tau'ka to be utterly loyal to her and her alone. She dreamed of using them as her personal guards, her champion warriors, and her hosts. But there were problems.
One was the low birthrate. The Tau'ka had only small numbers of offspring, and they were not mature until they were between thirty and forty years of age. This trait was not conducive to building an army of superior warriors.
The second difficulty was entirely unforeseen by Hecate. Her creations were smart. Much smarter than she had intended. It wasn't long before they saw through their "goddess's" sham. About the time of the Great Rebellion on Earth, when the local humans evicted their alien overlords and buried the Stargate, the mysterious device that allowed for near-instantaneous interplanetary travel, the Tau'ka also revolted. One of them, assassin-trained by Hecate herself, stole into the Goa'uld's palace and killed the creator of the Tau'ka race.
The Tau'ka suddenly found themselves at loose ends. They were free of their overlord, free to make their own way in the galaxy. Full of the memories of the barbaric Goa'uld 'gods', they dedicated themselves to wiping the Goa'uld from the galaxy. While they were not the only ones with this goal, the Tau'ka chose to work alone. They distrusted the rebels among the Goa'uld ranks, the faction calling themselves the Tok'Ra. The Jaffa were no help either- they still fervently worshipped the Goa'uld as the gods who gave them life. And few Tau'ka even considered allying themselves with humans. Among the Tau'ka, the prevailing attitude was that since they were created to be superior to humans, they WERE superior to humans. As it was, humans looked upon their genetically altered brethren as being as alien as the Goa'uld themselves.
So the Tau'ka worked alone, forming a close-knit society. Their lack of numbers still remained a problem. At length, they discovered that they could successfully interbreed with true humans. The hybrids matured faster than pure-blooded Tau'ka, but did not share their full immunity, lifespan, or power. Indeed, several of the Tau'ka abilities, most notably the power of shapeshifting, only appeared in individuals of pure Tau'ka ancestry. But it was better to sacrifice some purity of blood to stave off extinction.
The Tau'ka did not forget Earth entirely. Over the centuries, the precognitives among them were beset with visions of their ancient home. They told their leaders that by the dawn of the second millennium AD, the humans of Earth would be a vital and necessary key to bringing down the Goa'uld for good. The leaders of the Tau'ka heeded these warnings, and ensured that at any given time, there were several undercover agents on Earth to prevent events that would keep the humans from reaching their full potential by the appointed time.
The Tau'ka were not as united as one might think. Like any nation, there were political factions with different beliefs. One of the greatest points of dissension was the attitude towards true humans- were they potential allies, a lesser people to be pitied and guided, or were they so 'inferior' to Tau'ka that they needed to be wiped out entirely?
This last view was that of a small, militant faction. The faction was led by a pair of pure-blooded twin brothers known as the Black Hawk brothers, and their followers took their name from their leaders. They fervently believed that they were superior to humans in every way, and took it upon themselves to extinguish the so-called 'lesser' race.
Fast forward to the year 1898.
The end of the nineteenth century fast approaches. Humans on Earth have made huge advances in science and technology, especially after slogging through the centuries known as the Dark Ages.
With new technologies and advances come new conflicts. Countries are expanding rapidly in the throes of the age of Imperialism. Peoples previously separated from one another by distance and time are starting to clash. Crime is on the rise, organized by some of the most brilliant and deadly masterminds the world has seen. Foremost among the masterminds is a name that will be made famous by the writings of one Dr. Watson: Professor James Moriarty. His web of organized crime has spread throughout Europe, and perhaps beyond. A hero stands against him, and they fall. Undeterred, a new menace rises in his place, to be faced by a team of the extraordinary.
But what happens when the criminals have help from people from another world?
Author's Note: 'Queen of Spades' is set directly before 'LXG', but I promise, it will lead right into those events. Please be patient.