Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter or Stargate, I make no money off of either and am simply writing this for my own enjoyment.
Author's Note: And here we have one for the SG-1 fans, with brief appearances from Sam and Daniel and a mention of a certain Jaffa. Concerning the ending of this chapter I'll just say this, this ain't SG-1 and Harry isn't Jack O'Neill. Keep that in mind.
Gateway of Mysteries
2002 A.D. – September 30
Base Camp, Science & Archaeological Expedition
"Right," said a completely confused Harry Potter. "So it blows stuff up then, yeah?"
"Well, yes," the muggle archaeologist, Dr. Daniel Jackson, admitted. "But I don't think we should go around trying to blow anything up until we know more about what blew this planet up."
"I'm not sure we should even be trying to use it then," said the head of the scientific team, a former NASA scientist named Samantha Carter. "At least not until we can come up with a safer way to transfer power from the Naquadah Generator to the device."
"Otherwise it explodes?" Harry asked.
"Honestly Dr. Carter, you really don't need to call me 'Sir', this isn't the air force," he reminded the blonde muggle once again. With the exception of the various heads of departments and such, things were pretty laid back in the SEDP. Nobody on Harry's team called him 'Sir' despite him being the leader, and he didn't really want any of them to do so. Especially Ron and Hermione, which would have just been weird.
Besides, Harry and his team were only there babysitting the muggle science expedition on this planet as part of their punishment for screwing things up in Egypt.
"Right, sorry si...Potter," apparently some old habits were hard to break.
"Harry's fine. The only people who call me Potter are my superiors and people who don't like me." At the annoyed look from Hermione however, Harry decided to get things going back in their original direction. "So you and our little Orbanian friends want more time to create a safer way of transferring power to the device?" The little Orbanians in question scowled at Harry, obviously not liking being called little.
"Yes, uh, Harry. If we try to do it now we risk damaging the device as well as potentially harming anybody working on it. Furthermore Sir, Harry, if we powered it right now the device would be required to release that power."
"So we'd have to use it?" asked Hermione.
"Exactly. We can't experiment with powering the device until we're absolutely certain that we're ready to test it, and I don't think we should do that until we know more about what it will do." Harry nodded, that made a whole lot of sense to him.
"Okay. Do you think you can figure out what happened here Daniel?" The archaeological team had been on the planet for the past week with SET-One babysitting them. During that time Harry and Daniel Jackson had become friends. He was a good guy who sometimes reminded Harry of Hermione, though perhaps slightly less quarrelsome than his bushy haired friend.
He'd also met Jackson's wife, Sha're, whom Daniel had met while on a similar expedition on the first planet that they ever visited, Abydos. In fact, Sha're had been a gift of sorts to Daniel from the leader of the small mining village on the planet. A fact that had set Hermione off on one of her never ending rants until Niklas finally grew tired of listening and stupefied her. Now she gave both Daniel and Niklas a dirty glare everytime she saw them.
The fact that Sha're was more than happy with her husband didn't seem to register with Hermione, which to Harry was one of the bigger differences between Hermione and Daniel.
"Well," said Daniel, "that's what we've been trying to do for the last week."
"Right, of course. Any leads at all?" Harry asked hopefully. He really wanted to discover an awesome alien space gun of some sort, as every technological discovery he and his team had made so far had been rather mundane.
"Well, no, not really," admittedly the archaeologist. "I mean we know that they used it to defeat an enemy from the sky, I assume that means the Goa'uld. The ones who used it were hailed as heroes but then something happened."
"It's possible that the manner in which the device worked had some sort of unforeseen side effect," Carter theorized.
"Or maybe the Goa'uld came back in greater numbers and bloody pissed?" offered Ron.
"Right, well look around some more Daniel. I'm sure there must be something around here that gives some clue. Dr. Carter, see if you can decipher just what caused all this destruction. You should be able to tell if it was natural or not, at least." Both scientists nodded and went on their way, taking the other members of their teams with them.
"This is boring," Ron stated matter of factly as soon as they were all gone.
"Yeah, well, it won't be so boring if we find some super weapon that can protect Earth from any potential alien invasion, will it?"
"No," the redhead admitted. "I bloody hope we can use it. It'd be nice to find something interesting for once."
Harry nodded in agreement, "Yeah, it's annoying that everybody else finds the cools stuff."
"What?" asked Hermione. "Would you like to find a device that changes your gender like Neville did?"
"You know, that could have been kind of cool," said Ron somewhat wistfully.
"What?" asked Harry as everybody stared at Ron. "Is there something we ought to know about you Ron?"
"What? No, no! I'm just saying, you know, for like day it could be kind of cool. I mean, it wasn't permanent, Neville's back to normal and all. I just, you know, I thought it could be interesting."
"You're an idiot," Imhotep stated bluntly before getting up and leaving the tent that they were in.
"Wanker," grumbled Ron.
"Why would you want to be a woman?" Hermione asked, still confused. Ron just shrugged, looking immensely embarrassed by the whole thing now.
Deciding to get off the subject of Ron's secret fetishes Harry brought up the subject of another encounter Neville had. "What about those robot clones Neville and his team ran across? What did Neville name his clone again?"
"Meville," Hermione supplied. "He named his android clone Meville."
Ron snorted, "Meville, honestly. Meville?"
"It's Nev mate, he's never been the most creative bloke. I'm surprised he didn't name it Trevor," said Harry.
"Anyway," said Hermione who obviously wanted to steer the conversation in another direction. "You two could at least make an effort to appear as though you're listening to Dr. Carter's explanations."
"Why? We won't understand any of it anyway," Ron said honestly.
"Yeah, she's even worse than you when she gets going," stated Harry, to which Ron could only nod in agreement.
"You could at least try not to look like you're daydreaming," Hermione said bossily, giving them both disapproving looks. With that Hermione got up and left the tent haughtily, off to do whatever Hermione does for fun.
"Barmy." Ron looked over at Harry, "So what were you thinking?"
"Hmm? Oh, nothing, nothing."
"Right," he snorted in disbelief, "I was thinking of her and Hermione debating the merits of science and magic."
Harry stared at Ron, even Niklas opened his eyes from his seat on the other side of the room and looked at him dubiously.
"What? Well, there may have been a pit of Jell-O and a lack of clothes involved."
"Jell-O?" asked Harry.
"Yeah!" Ron said enthusiastically. "I heard some muggles talking about it, sounds wicked."
"Right mate, I think I can do without hearing about Hermione and Jell-O," to which Ron just sat back and grinned. "Honestly mate, what are you and Hermione up to, anyway?"
"I mean are you or are you not a couple? It's getting bloody confusing." Nobody was really sure anymore if the two were together or not, even the rest of the Weasley's were unsure.
Ron shrugged. "You know Hermione, she's mental. She doesn't want to be too serious or anything until we're older. I told her, I said 'Blimey Hermione, it's not like I'm saying we ought to get married right now!' but she just says that there is too much else going on to be in a serious relationship."
"Too much going on?" Harry asked incredulously.
"Yeah, I know right? First it was the House Elves and other magical creatures, and now it's this." Ron shook his head bemusedly, "I honestly have no idea how her brain works."
"Does anybody?" Harry asked, to which they both simply shrugged. Deciding that some fresh air would be good Harry got up and said, "Hey mate, I'm gonna go check out Carter, see you later yeah?"
Ron grinned, "Yeah, check out Carter, got you." Harry just rolled his eyes at Ron as the redhead pulled out a magazine of some sort to entertain himself with.
The tent that Harry and his team stayed in was not too far from where the strange device was located. Daniel and his wife Sha're were not too far away, they were examining some odd writings.
When Harry entered the building that housed the device he immediately did three things. He first called out for Daniel and sent out a Patronus to Ron before raising up a detection ward. The reason he did all of that was the fact that Samantha Carter was laying on the ground unconscious. Harry quickly used a diagnoses spell to determine that she was simply unconscious.
"Harry? What happened?" asked Daniel when he came in. "Is she okay?"
"Yeah, just knocked out." Harry looked around suspiciously but didn't see anybody, and the detection spell he had called up before had not detected any life forms and he knew that the building only had one way in or out. "Daniel, did you see anybody?"
"No, there has been nobody but Sha're and myself since we got here. Except for Dr. Carter," he amended.
"Right, then we're either dealing with an invisible person or something else," Harry didn't like either, especially if whomever did it can avoid magical detection.
"Or maybe they haven't left?" said Daniel.
"Harry what's going on?"
"Ron? Dunno, did you get...Hermione, come here I need you to see if you can figure out what happened to Dr. Carter." Hermione had just come rushing into the room with Niklas right behind her. The lone witch of the group was the best trained in medical spells and Harry hoped that she'd be able to find something that his very basic diagnoses charm hadn't found.
"It looks like, like she received some sort of...shock," Hermione frowned in thought. "But that can't be can it? The device has no power."
"No, it doesn't. What kind of shock?" Harry asked.
"Hmmm," Hermione ran a few more spells over the unconscious blonde who was glowing blue from the spells. "I don't know Harry, it doesn't seem to be a physical shock or anything. More of an emotional and mental shock."
"Like she saw something that scared her half to death?" asked Ron.
"No, not that kind of shock. She doesn't show any signs of distress, at least not of the nature of being highly frightened."
"So..." Harry was trying to piece it together, "it's like something caused her brain to go into overload? But it wasn't anything physical or anything...what? Perhaps nothing she saw at all but maybe a spell or something?"
"No, it's definitely not magic or any other sort of weapon. It wasn't any sort of gas or toxin either. If I had to hazard a guess I'd say she was never aware of whatever caused it. Maybe we should wake her up?" Harry nodded and cast a spell, immediately Dr. Carter awoke and looked around in bewilderment.
"What happened?" she asked in surprise.
"We were hoping you could tell us Dr. Carter," said Harry.
"I don't know. One minute I was working on my laptop and the next I'm waking up here." Harry frowned at that and looked back to Niklas who shook his head. An idea popped into Harry's head and with a swirl of his wand he cast a charm to detect any sort of energy related anomaly.
"There's something here," Harry noted to the others. "Some sort of energy. Like, a huge bundle of energy hovering over there," he nodded towards the far side of the room.
"Energy?" asked Sam. "Magical or...?"
"No, mundane, though I don't know what it is exactly," he said.
"Is it intelligent?" Hermione asked. "I mean, did it attack Dr. Carter or was it just, I don't know, released somehow?" That was the million galleon question in Harry's mind.
"Dunno," Harry admitted, "maybe we should ask it if it wants to talk?"
"Hello?" Ron called out uncertainly.
"Brilliant Ron," Harry commented sarcastically. "Nick? Any way to, uh, catch this...thing?" The large warding expert looked deep in thought but eventually shook his head.
"Dr. Carter are you sure you were doing nothing that would release any form of energy?"
"Certain Sir," she said.
"Alright then, and we didn't notice anything at any other time we've been here, right?" The others all nodded. "So then we've got to assume that whatever this is was likely already here, yeah?"
"But why would it attack Dr. Carter? Now?" Hermione asked.
"Don't know? Did it even attack her?" the others didn't have an answer for that. "Is there no way to get it to, I don't know, show it's self?" His question was answered by the energy thing itself.
All of the the sudden the area where Harry had detected the energy anomaly began glowing bright white. It seemed to have a human face amongst all the glowiness and eventually seemed to morph into the body of a human.
"I'm sorry if I had scared you," said the being, looking at Carter. "It was not my intention."
"That's alright mate," said Harry, glancing towards Carter who gave a nod and a reassuring smile towards the 'man'. "What's your name?" he asked, instead of 'what are you' like he very much wanted.
"When I was in physical form, I was known as Orlin," the being said.
"When you were in physical form? So you weren't always...you know," Harry gestured vaguely to the spot in the air where it had been hovering.
"No. I once looked liked this," he gestured to his body. "That was before I ascended."
"Ascended?" Harry repeated. "Er, well, congratulations? Uh, what is ascending?"
The being seemed to study Harry and the others for a few moments before answering. "My kind were once very much like you, however we eventually evolved to the point where we could shed our physical bodies and live as pure energy on a higher plane of existence."
"Oh, well, that's...yeah, that's interesting mate," Harry looked around to make sure that everybody else was as lost as he was.
"Your people?" Hermione asked. "Did you live on this planet?"
"No, I'm not from Velona," said Orlin. Harry had to think for a moment to realise that Velona was the planet they were currently on. "My people came from elsewhere."
"Well, what were you doing here?" Hermione persisted. "If you don't mind my asking, I mean," she added hastily when Harry shot her a 'do-not-insult-the-glowy-energy-being' look.
"I was banished here by the Others as a form of punishment," Orlin stated perfectly calmly. Harry and the others looked slightly apprehensive at that but it seemed Daniel had a light bulb go off.
"You helped them build this weapon, didn't you?" he half asked and half stated.
Orlin nodded in reply. "One of the foremost laws of our kind is that we must not interfere with the lower planes of existence."
"But what happened?" Harry asked curiously.
"Velona was being attacked by the Goa'uld, I helped them build this weapon to defend themselves," he stated.
"And it worked, didn't it?" asked Daniel. "But what happened after that? The Goa'uld didn't return." The last part was stated as if it were a well known fact.
"No, they did not," Orlin agreed. "Soon after their victory the Velonans made plans to use the weapon again."
Even Harry could tell where that was going. "For offensive purposes instead of defensive?" he asked.
"Yes, and that is when the Others stepped in."
Harry didn't like that, because if he was right then these glowy energy folks were extremely powerful. "They did all of this?" he asked, gesturing outside to the destruction that was once a city.
"Yes." Everybody shared a glance at that piece of information.
"Oh!" said Hermione excitedly. "Did they somehow use a powerful storm to cause destruction?" Harry and the others looked at her in confusion, but Orlin seemed to understand.
"I suppose you could put it like that, yes."
"Hermione?" asked Harry questioningly.
"Er, sorry Harry. When we were trying to figure out what happened earlier the data seemed to suggest that there was some sort of very powerful electrical storm that did significant damage." Harry nodded and gestured for her to continue, wondering why he hadn't been informed. "Well, of course we weren't sure when it occurred exactly or if it was in any way related to the destruction of the world. We were trying to figure that out."
"Right," said Harry. "Okay, uh, Orlin. So these 'others', they destroyed an entire civilization just because you gave them information on how to build this weapon?"
"Yes," said Orlin, looking over at the device sadly.
"Right, and then they banished you here?" Orlin gave the affirmative again. "But why did you, er, attack Dr. Carter?"
Orlin again turned towards the muggle scientist, this time with an apologetic expression. "I'm sorry if I hurt you, that was not my intention." Turning to the room at large he explained, "We have a way to communicate at a higher level, a sort of sharing of essence." Orlin again turned again to Carter, "I'm sorry you passed out, I believe it was because you were not prepared for the experience. But I did learn much about you."
Harry cut in here before he could continue any further, "Uh, don't you think that was a bit...invasive?" he asked.
"Yes," Orlin agreed. "I've been alone here on Velona for hundreds of years," he explained, "you're the first living beings I've seen in all of that time and I was curious." Harry supposed he could understand Orlin a bit, it would get insanely lonely living like that.
"Why Dr. Carter?" he asked. "Why not me or one of the others."
"I was not sure how your, I think you call it magic?" Harry nodded at the question. "I was not sure how your magic would react to the attempt. Also I was intrigued by Dr. Carter and wished to learn more about her."
"And what did you learn?" asked Carter.
"That your spirit is pure, that you are a good person and as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside," replied Orlin. Harry had to give the guy credit, he was good.
Ron, who was standing just behind Harry at this point, whispered "Competition mate?"
Orlin continued on however, "I believe that a human can handle the experience, I think you just need to be... receptive."
Orlin eventually managed to convince them to allow him to try again, with Sam's permission. It apparently worked too, though Dr. Carter seemed hard pressed to accurately describe the experience. They talked with Orlin some more about his people, merely learning that they had evolved both physically and mentally to the point where they chose to ascend thousands of years ago.
Orlin did mention that his race were once part of a great alliance of four races along with the Furlings, the Nox and the Asgard. When he mentioned the race called Furlings he sent a most perplexing look towards Harry and the other wizards and witch in the room, though he did not go into detail on any of the races.
The following day Harry and his team were called back to Hermes Base by command.
"...and we would like for you to try and communicate with the symbiote," said the man in charge of organizing missions through Hermes. Viktor Kolarov was from the Ukraine and was in charge of making sure that teams gated to the right address for their mission as well as had the correct supplies when they left Hermes Base. If a team gated back in need of something then it was up to him to come up with a way of supplying it.
"Haven't we acquired other symbiotes before?" asked Harry.
"Yes, but they were either in no condition to be used as such, were deemed to dangerous to attempt, or were no longer alive. We also believe that this symbiote, a Goa'uld Queen, may be purposely tampering with her offspring which is causing the current problems for the Pangarans."
"So you want me to ask her nicely how to fix it?" Harry asked dubiously.
Kolarov shrugged, "If she is willing to divulge such information then that would be welcome, but we are not overly concerned with it."
"Um, okay," said Harry, "so then what do you want?"
"First and foremost, to see if a Parseltongue can indeed speak with a symbiote. Secondly to learn all that we can from the symbiote."
"And you think the Goa'uld Queen would be willing to help us in some way?" asked Hermione.
"From the ruins that the Pangarans found we have been able to discover that the Queen in question, Egeria, had betrayed the Goa'uld in some way and was imprisoned."
"So you're hoping she might be willing to help us? For retribution?" guessed Harry.
2002 A.D. – October 2
Tretonin Production Facility
The Goa'uld Queen, Egeria, had been taken from the tank that the Pangarans had put her in and secured by a number of spells to prevent her from attacking any of them. Harry could hear faint words coming from the Goa'uld but they were not clear enough for him to understand.
"Alright, here goes nothing," said Harry.
"Hello Egeria, can you understand me?" Harry asked as he focused his complete attention on the Goa'uld. The symbiote, which had been having around looking for an escape suddenly stopped and stared directly at Harry.
"You...can speak?" it said weakly.
"Yes. I am Harry Potter of the...Tau'ri," Harry informed the symbiote. "You are Egeria?"
"Yes, I am Egeria, former consort of Ra and mother of the Tok'ra," the symbiote informed him. Now that certainly got his attention.
"Uh, guys? This Egeria says she was the mother of the Tok'ra and consort of Ra," Harry told the others in the room.
"The Tok'ra!" exclaimed Hermione. "Well that would explain how she betrayed the Goa'uld, since they're supposed to be the opposite of the Goa'uld. If what they told us is to be believed."
Harry nodded and turned back to the symbiote. "Mother of the Tok'ra? What do you mean by that?" Harry asked.
The Goa'uld almost seemed sad when she spoke to Harry. "Long ago I came to the realisation that enslaving another sentient species and forcefully using them as hosts was wrong. I then spawned a great many young with a new philosophy, one of co-existence with their willing host. I had hoped that they would defy the Goa'uld and free the humans and Jaffa."
Harry nodded, "We met a few Tok'ra not long back..." he admitted. "But uh, we didn't really hit it off to be honest," he said apologetically.
"So the Tok'ra still live?" Egeria asked with a hint of hope in her weakened voice.
"Err, yeah, they're still out there, you know, defying Ra and whatever it is you lot do."
"That pleases me," said the Tok'ra Queen.
"Uh, if you don't mind my asking, how did you get, you know, here?" Harry asked.
"After I spawned the Tok'ra I knew that ultimately if they were to be successful they would need some military might. I had none, as Ra allowed me only a few smaller vessels and a few dozen Jaffa to protect me. I needed to find another that had the military strength to help us stand against the System Lords," explained Egeria. Harry supposed he could understand that, there was only so much that could be done without some sort of force behind them.
"I eventually chose to sound out my sister, Bastet," she said. Harry's eyes went wide at hearing that little tidbit of information.
"Bastet?" he asked, "going by our interactions with her I'm going to guess that she turned you down?"
"Yes. I had hoped that Bastet would understand, that her compassionate nature would allow for her to see the Goa'uld Empire as I did. With the Claws of Bast and the immense resources of her core worlds the Tok'ra could have made serious headway in defeating the Goa'uld." Harry wasn't sure what she was talking about with regards to Bastet's compassionate nature. She seemed to him to be the same as any other Goa'uld System Lord.
"At that time Bastet was embroiled in a war with Sekhmet who had usurped her position amongst the System Lords. I had hoped that her dissatisfaction with Ra and the System Lords along with her natural compassion would make her an ally." Harry could sort of see her point. "Alas, when she said no I then feared that she meant to use this knowledge as a means of gaining favour amongst the System Lords." Harry figured that was probably the sort of thing Bastet, or any Goa'uld, would do.
"Instead I chose to openly defy Ra myself, declaring myself the Queen Mother of the Tok'ra. Ra had the Ashrak hunt me down afterwards, and imprisoned me here." Harry nodded in understanding, she wanted to control the time and place of the big reveal instead of being surprised by Bastet.
"Right, which brings us to when the Pangarans found you..." Harry trailed off at the end to allow the Egeria to finish.
"Indeed," stated the Goa'uld Queen. "When first they found me I was unaware of how much time had passed, I did not know who these people were or if they were friend or foe. When I realised what they were attempting to use me for I tried to create a flaw in my young in the hopes that they would prove useless to the Pangarans. Sadly it did not, they only increased production to compensate."
Harry nodded, despite hissing in parseltongue he thought that he could hear a trace of sadness when she spoke of that. "And now you're dying, yeah?"
"Is it at all possible that you could help us cure the Pangarans? If you created the flaw then surely you know how to fix it. Right?" Harry wasn't sure if she'd be willing to help the Pangarans or not after what they did to her. He knew that he'd probably not be too willing.
"I will help them Harry Potter, it shall be my final act." Harry was pleasantly surprised by the Goa'uld Queen and was beginning to think that maybe these Tok'ra weren't so bad, if they were anything like their old Queen.
"Okay, Egeria is willing to help find an antidote. She created a flaw in her offspring hoping that the Pangarans would stop their experimentation. She is willing to help us correct it though, as her final act she said." Hermione's eyes lit up at that and she had an expression that Harry associated with her having some crazy plan that'll set everything right.
"Harry, you're going to need to stay so that you can translate for the scientists right?" Harry nodded, being the only one who could speak with Egeria he sort of had to.
"I need to go back to Earth!" she said.
"I have an idea but I don't know if it's possible. I mean, I think it might be, hopefully it is, and if it is then it could be huge. But I need to speak with on Earth," she rambled on excitedly before exclaiming, "Oh no!" The rest of the team looked at the bushy haired woman in complete bewilderment.
"Uh, Hermione?" Ron asked uncertainly.
"I just realised, I need to go to Coeus! I think that's where they are, they were supposed to have moved there this month I mean," Harry had no idea who she was talking about, but by this point he was used to her antics.
"Right right, fine. Go ahead and go Hermione. Take Ron with you?" Harry looked at Ron who gave a nod and had to run to follow Hermione back to the gate.
"Ya know, that chick's a few fries short of a happy meal," noted one of the members from SET-Four, an American wizard named Jake Belk if Harry remembered correctly.
"You don't know the half of it man," said Imhotep.
Harry spent the rest of the afternoon translating what Egeria said for the scientists and healers so that they could come up with a way to save the Pangarans. They all seemed optimistic that a cure could be found in time to save everybody.
Hermione didn't return until the following morning, with Ron and several healers in tow.
"Hermione?" he asked when she came up to where he and the others were enjoying a Pangaran breakfast.
"We think we might be able to save her!" she said happily.
"Uh, okay. Who?"
"What?" he asked in surprise. He hadn't really given that much thought and wondered why they would want to save Egeria. He could understand Hermione, she was always trying to save various creatures, but what reasoning did the people in charge have?
"Think about it Harry, Egeria is a very old Goa'uld, she must have loads of knowledge that could help us," Hermione explained. Harry supposed he could see her point. "Plus, she's already defied the System Lords once so she'd probably be willing to help us if we just asked." Harry pondered that and decided that there was a very good chance that she would help them if asked.
"Then, if we can save her, if we can find the Tok'ra again then we could form an alliance with them. I'm sure they'd be willing to help us if we saved their Queen. We'd finally have an ally that really knows the Goa'uld and has fought against them for centuries." Harry had to give her credit for the idea, if it worked then the Tok'ra could be a very big help in protecting Earth.
"Not to mention Egeria's aid could be invaluable to developing a synthetic form of this Tretonin," said one of the muggle scientists. Harry raised an eyebrow in surprise, he didn't know why they'd want to make a synthetic form of a drug that destroys their immune system. He could understand the benefits but the fact that you have to take it so regularly far outweighed them in his opinion.
"What is this?" demanded one of the Pangarans. "You want to take her so that you can make the drug for yourselves?" he asked looking scandalized.
"So that we may work on developing a synthetic form of the drug, yes. It would not be for us, however."
"Then who for?" the Pangaran demanded forcefully.
"This drug offers us a way to further cripple the Goa'uld's power, by taking away their Jaffa. Without their Jaffa armies they would be significantly weaker." Harry thought he understood the thinking behind that. As it was right now any Jaffa who left the Goa'uld was a dead man as they needed a symbiote in order to survive. The only way to get symbiotes was of course from the Goa'uld or from killing other Jaffa.
With Tretonin the alliance would be able to offer Jaffa their freedom from the Goa'uld, complete with not having to rely on a symbiote. He thought he recalled hearing something about SET-Two being caught by a Goa'uld, Apophis if he remembered right, and escaping with the help of a renegade Jaffa.
Once the muggle scientist was able to convince the Pangarans that they weren't simply trying to steal their cure-all drug they were able to head back home. As soon as they arrived on Hermes Base one of the guides greeted them.
"Dr. Jørgensen, your team will be held here temporarily so that we may ensure that the specimen is not dangerous. You will then be allowed to return to Coeus Base." The guide led them through the usual bizarre series or corridors before stopping at a door and ushering the muggle scientists inside. He then led Harry's team back to the Stargate so that they could gate home.
"I am to inform you that your team is to report to Director Gilmour immediately, Mr. Potter."
"Why?" Harry asked curiously. Surely they hadn't screwed anything up yet.
"I do not know, I suggest you report to Director Gilmour and find out," he said as he led them into the Embarkation Room.
"I don't care how many times we go through it, that place will always be completely mental to me," Ron said as they exited the Stargate.
"Yeah," Harry agreed. "Notice everybody who works there is barmy too? Can't say I'm surprised though." Ron shook his head in firm agreement with Harry's assessment as they made their way to meet with the director.
"Oh, Mr. Potter," said Director Gilmour's secretary, "if you'd go to Conference Room Two the Director will be with you shortly."
As soon as Gilmour entered the room fifteen minutes later Harry knew this wasn't going to be a good day.
"Potter, I'm sorry that you had to go to Pangar so quickly after returning from Velona, but I'm afraid I can't give you a rest now either."
"What is it Sir?" he asked, sharing a look with his companions. They were all wondering what was wrong now that they didn't get at least a week off as was normal.
"You guys are our experts," he paused briefly to reconsider that statement, "or as close as we've got anyway, on the Goa'uld Bastet." Harry wasn't at all sure what qualified him and his team for being anything close to experts on Bastet except that they're the only ones who have seen her.
Gilmour waved his wand and several images appeared on the wall behind him. They weren't the best quality but they appeared to show Bastet's court on Bubastis and what looked like images of Bastet, though it was difficult to tell as you could mainly only see the top of her head. What was surprising to Harry and the others was Bastet's condition.
"We've had a team on Bubastis scouting Bastet for the past six weeks, however recently they noticed her acting strangely. Usually she would hold court in the middle of the afternoon and almost always kept her Sphinx palace opened up to the outside. Recently however she has become very recluse, and now we believe we know why," he gestured to the pregnant Bastet behind him.
"So Bastet is...pregnant?" Ron observed cleverly.
"So it would seem Mr. Weasley. The team were lucky to get this picture of her about three weeks ago, and it seems that something is afoot. What we want you to do is infiltrate and observe Bastet, find out what she is up to."
"But sir," Hermione interjected, "How can that be? When we saw Bastet last she most certainly did not look pregnant, but in that picture it looks like she's about ready to give birth."
"We believe that she is using the technology taken from Argos to accelerate the process."
"Oh, of course! That would be why she invaded using the cover of Pelops attacking one of her ships, she wanted to get that technology to speed up her pregnancy," Hermione theorized enthusiastically.
"Yes Ms. Granger, that is what we believe as well. It is also likely that she intends to grow the child more quickly using the same means. At this time we don't know if this is because she wants the child for a new host or if she simply wants another witch or wizard to do her bidding." Harry wasn't personally sure which option would be worse for them.
"So you want us to infiltrate and find out what she's up to and why?" Harry deduced.
"Yes, and eliminate the child and any other magical beings including Bastet if the opportunity presents itself and you believe it necessary." Harry stared at the Director for a few moments.
"You want us to assassinate Bastet if we get the chance?" he asked.
"A Goa'uld with magic is too dangerous for us to ignore, especially if she's attempting to spread that magic even more amongst the Goa'uld." Harry didn't know what to think of that. Hermione seemed to have been having similar thoughts as she voiced one of his primary concerns.
"You want us to kill a baby?" she exclaimed.
"We believe it highly likely that the child will have been aged significantly by the time you arrive," Gilmour assured.
"That doesn't matter," Hermione stated emphatically. "It's still a child no matter how much it's been artificially aged!"
Imhotep however agreed with the Director, "Granger this isn't just some child, it'll be a Goa'uld most likely and therefore with a long memory of murder, torture and domination of other species. Hardly an innocent little boy or girl." Next to Imhotep Harry could see Niklas nod in agreement.
"Mr. Neferankh is correct Ms. Granger, the nature of the child and what it is to be used for negates the fact that it may still be a child. Ultimately it is a weapon, a dangerous weapon that we cannot allow to continue to exist. Might I remind you that the fate of our whole world is on the line."
"Oh? The child is a weapon?" Hermione said hysterically. Harry exchanged a look with Ron, but neither knew what to say to calm their friend down. "Well that changes everything then doesn't it? I guess that means it was okay for Voldemort to try and kill Harry as a baby then? It was war after all and Harry was a threat to him!"
The Harry in question decided to intervene.
"Hermione! Calm down," if her death glare was anything to go by then she would not be calming down anytime soon. "Look, we'll go there and keep an eye on things and come up with a plan once we see what's going on, okay? He said only if we deem it necessary, right? Don't you trust my judgement Hermione?" She was still glaring at Director Gilmour, who looked completely nonplussed about the whole thing, but nodded nonetheless.
"Very well," said Gilmour, "you'll have three days to prepare Potter." Harry nodded and began making mental notes of everything they would need to do. "Ms. Granger, if you take that tone with me again the consequences will be most severe. Dismissed. Potter, I'd like to speak with you."
Harry hung back as the others filed out, hoping Hermione's behaviour hadn't gotten him into too much trouble.
"Mr. Potter, I did not approve of Ms. Granger's participation in this program and still do not. This is her last warning, if she ever defies me or any other members of this program including Mr. Neferankh she will be dismissed from the program and her memory wiped. Do I make myself clear?" Harry gulped and nodded, not wanting to see his brainy friend undergo such a major memory wipe as it would likely have harsh side effects. He'd certainly have to have a talk with her soon.
2002 A.D. – October 6
The Ring Temple
Planet: Bubastis – Homeworld of the Goa'uld Bastet
As Harry and his team stepped out of the Stargate and onto the planet Bubastis for the first time they found themselves in a dark and cool stone temple. There were a number of Jaffa peering about suspiciously but they seemed unable to find any signs of danger when the Stargate deactivated and likely assumed it was simply some sort of message.
SET-One quickly made their way to a secluded spot that the reconnaissance team had picked out for a rendezvous. They would speak with the team that had been keeping an eye on the Goa'uld before eventually making their way to Bastet's palace to keep an even closer eye on her.
Harry was somewhat taken aback by the coolness of the planet. The whole of the planet Bubastis was covered in desert and lacked even a small lake upon it's surface. The average high temperature for the planet was around one-hundred and twenty degrees Fahrenheit and though it did cool some at night it was still far too warm for Harry's tastes.
Bastet however seemed to have used some form of technology that kept the areas around the Stargate and her temples nice and cool. If he had to guess Harry would probably put the temperature in the mid seventies and with a slight breeze. All in all far nicer than he thought it would be, of course he should have expected that a Goa'uld like Bastet would not allow herself to suffer through such ghastly weather.
He somehow doubted that the slaves forced to work in the Naquadah mines were afforded such luxury.
Once they arrived at the rendezvous Mike Edwards – the team leader for SET-Nine – dropped the wards that continued to conceal them.
"Hey Potter," greeted the short American. "You might have noticed when you came in, but something serious is going on." Harry hadn't really noticed anything, though now that he thought about it there was a distinct lack of ships in the area.
"The ha'taks?" Harry asked.
"Left this morning," Edwards informed them. "Not only that but we've had appearances from nearly all of Bastet's underlords. Maahes was here but he seemed to have vanished again. Aker, Neith, Mekhit, Apedemak and Tefnut are all lounging around in Bastet's court. We've also seen Miuty, Mafdet and Asthartet make appearances but they've disappeared into Bastet's three new ha'taks that just finished construction last week."
"Wait," Hermione interrupted, "Miuty, Mafdet and Asthartet were all here at the same time?"
"Yep, saw all three of them ring up to separate ships 'bout three hours ago."
"That's odd," she observed. "Why would Bastet have all three of her caretakers on Bubastis?"
The triumvirate of Miuty, Mafdet and Asthartet governed Bastet's personal domains of Bubastis, Per-Bast and Tell Basta. From what they had learned over the years it was very rare for Bastet to call all three of them to one location as she generally would only use the one located on whatever planet she resided at that time. If she needed somebody for a more delicate mission she would use her 'son' Maahes.
As best anybody could figure the title of 'son' was more honorary than a sign of any affection towards the Underlord. Each of the Underlords that served Bastet was in fact the offspring of her symbiote and thus technically all were sons and daughters. Maahes however had been able to distinguish himself and become her most trusted Underlord.
"We think she's likely gearin' up for an attack," Edwards said. "We don't know where or why, that's what ya'll are for."
"Alright, how are we getting in?" Harry asked. Her Great Temple looked rather shut up from what Harry saw of it after arriving.
"Portkey," said the American as he produced a short bit of rope. "It's set up to drop you in the far left corner. We've used the stealth version of course so nobody will know you've arrived but you'd better get set up quick as that room is full of Goa'uld and they'll detect you in no time."
The stealth portkey was a recent development that aside from dropping people at a location like a normal portkey, was able to silence and cast a notice-me-not charm around the area where it deposited them. The charms only lasted for a couple of minutes however.
"Brilliant," Harry said as he took hold of the rope.
"Be on the lookout man, we don't know where Bastet has gone off to except that she's likely in the temple somewhere." Harry gave the man a nod as he offered the rope to all the others after making sure that they had all prepared for what to do immediately after landing. Once the others had taken hold and were ready to go Edwards said the activation phrase and Harry landed on his arse as usual.
Niklas quickly started setting up the various wards and enchantments to conceal their presence while Ron and Hermione set up everything else. Harry kept a keen eye on all the other occupants in the room to make sure that none of them noticed anything, which thankfully they did not. Imhotep studied the Goa'uld to make sure he knew who was who and that they didn't have any surprises.
"Good Nick?" Harry asked when he felt the final wards go into place. The silent Swede nodded.
"Ron, Hermione? Good? Great. Looks like the gang we were expecting Imhotep? Know who the Jaffa are?" he asked the Egyptian.
"Guarding the throne is Relana, it looks like all the other Goa'uld have their First Prime here as well," he observed, gesturing to the various Jaffa who proudly wore the golden symbol of their God or Goddess on their forehead.
"Sounds like this is some sort of war council or something," Harry stated.
"Most likely," Imhotep agreed. "Question is who is she going to war against and why?" Harry didn't have any answers for that. "If she is the one that has been attacking others then it would appear she's ready to show herself as the traitor."
"Or she's going to pounce on the bloke whose been attacking everybody," Ron interjected.
"Or that," Harry conceded. "Or she's just attacking somebody for no particular reason. She and Apophis didn't seem to get along."
Their discussion was cut short however by the arrival of several more Goa'uld. Aside from all three of Bastet's caretakers there was also Pakhet who was one of her more powerful underlings. The twins Bes and Beset arrived very shortly afterwards, both looking quite demented with their ceremonial masks in place.
"Who are we missing?" Harry asked.
"Hert-Ketit-s isn't here, she's Bastet's prison warden and chief torturer but that's not surprising. Our intelligence leads us to believe that she never leaves Hatet unless it's to torture somebody," Imhotep said as he reviewed his notes on everything they knew about Bastet.
"Sounds charming," Hermione said dryly.
"We're also missing Maahes and Bastet herself," Imhotep finished.
"That's all?" Harry asked, receiving an affirmative nod in reply. "Has to be a war council, surely? With the ha'taks missing as well."
Imhotep had just been about to reply when Bastet arrived. She strode out from the curtained area behind her throne with one of her cats in hand, one that reminded Harry strongly of Crookshanks, and seemed to gaze over her minions imperiously. It was hard to tell exactly as she was in full regalia today and thus he couldn't see her face.
Something in the back of Harry's mind tried to make it's self known, some little tidbit of information that seemed to slip away everytime he tried to think on it. He was sure he wasn't forgetting anything too important though, his team members were are well trained and knew exactly what they were supposed to do and would not hesitate to point out anything he'd forgotten.
For a brief moment the glowing eyes of her headdress seemed to peer in their direction before turning back to her assembled Underlords. He hoped she couldn't see them but didn't think it would be possible, they'd spent a lot of time developing all the spells that concealed them in this corner.
He didn't have time to dwell on it however as Bastet began her speech.
"My loving children," she said in a smooth and charming voice as she sat upon her throne. "You join me today on this most auspicious occasion, on this day in which I become the greatest being to ever live in this galaxy. On this day when the System Lords shall crumble before us, begging our mercy."
She paused then, seemingly letting her words sink in for her guests both known and unknown. When she next spoke Harry could almost see the sadistic smirk that undoubtedly covered her face.
"How lovely it is that we have additional guests with us today," Harry looked around with a frown as he wondered who else was there. "In this most important day in their history they are here to witness the birth of a true Goddess whose power will be unmatched by all."
Harry didn't even have a chance to react when suddenly she raised her right hand and sent a vicious torrent of magic right at them, sending the whole group flying back against the wall. Harry wasn't sure if she dispelled the wards and concealment charms at the same time or did it while they were all dazed, but either way there rose a great gasp from the rest of the rooms occupants as they were revealed. None of the team had a chance to get their bearings quick enough before their wands went flying through the air, landing at her feet.
Harry however had trick up his sleeve, unfortunately before he could get to it he felt himself flying through the air once again. This time, however, he was flying towards Bastet before landing in a conjured chair and being bound in gagged in one quick motion.
"Well, well, well," said Bastet. "What do we have here? Did you think that I would not be able to see through you pathetic attempts at concealment?" she asked. Harry had honestly hoped as she hadn't given away and sign that she'd noticed them while at Ra's court.
"This is good however," she said in an oddly happy voice. "It will make the proceedings much more entertaining."
As she finished speaking her great Lioness-like golden mask quickly disappeared back into her headdress, leaving nothing but a pair of cat-like black ears atop her head. She was smiling down at them with a malicious sort of glee dancing in her eyes and suddenly Harry recalled what had been nagging him.
Because she wasn't staring down at him, but instead staring directly into the eyes of Imhotep as she grinned most wickedly.
Though Imhotep was gagged like the rest Harry could almost make out his emotional screams as he alternated between shock at seeing his sister and hate of the Goa'uld who took her from him.
"It seems only proper, after all, that my hosts only remaining family be here for this glorious day," the other Goa'uld in the room chuckled as Imhotep's screams increased. "Don't worry dear," she said in such a sweet and loving tone that one could almost be fooled that she was trying to comfort him, "I am not an unmerciful God. I will give you back your sister before the day is done, I shall have no need of her anymore." Bastet gently ran a finger down the man's cheek as she spoke in soft and reassuring tones. Imhotep didn't seem to care what tone she took as he glared hatefully at her though.
"Maahes!" she called out loudly. From behind the throne three figures soon emerged, one was most definitely Maahes as he guided to others into the room, a male and a female. The male had a very smug look on his face as if he were the most important man in the world and even managed to look down disdainfully upon Maahes, who simply smirked and joined the other Underlords. The young girl, probably only a couple of years younger than Harry, did nothing but stare blankly forward with unseeing eyes.
"Very good my Son," she said to Maahes, fixing him with what appeared to be an almost genuine smile of delight. "Do any of you by chance recognize this man?" Bastet asked of the four humans. None of them recognized him however.
"Hmmm, a shame, not a friend of yours?" she asked as if she would have greatly preferred him to have been known to them. Suddenly Harry had a suspicion of who the man might be. "My dear Miuty was so kind to bring this specimen back with him after his last trip to your world." Harry's suspicion turned out to be correct, the man was one of the Unspeakables that had been taken years ago.
"I kept the host around in the event that he may prove useful, though I had doubted he would with so much damage to his mind," she smiled kindly at the man whose smugness only seemed to increase. Harry didn't think he'd be looking so pleased with himself if he'd notice the wicked twinkled in Bastet's eyes. "How wrong I was though, how wrong I was. The host may have been lost, by my beloved lover here did not require him to be of sound mind." The man's eyes glowed as if to press home the point that he was a Goa'uld, and he managed to look even more insufferably smug at being called Bastet's lover.
Her Underlords however seemed to have had a better understanding of Bastet than this man however, as they all seemed to be looking on in eager anticipation. The reason became apparent very quickly as she silently pulled out a long dagger from her side as she stood behind the man.
"Unfortunately," she said in the same sweet and loving tone, "he has now outlived his usefulness."
The man didn't even have time to react as Bastet brought the long dagger against his neck and severed his head, cutting the symbiote in half as well. The body fell down to the floor at her feet but she paid it absolutely no attention.
"He was able to provide me with this before he was no longer required," she gestured to the girl that had remained standing as if nothing had happened. Harry doubted that she realised anything was happening. What Harry did find interesting was the series of gasps from the assembled Underlords at her proclamation.
Bastet smiled superiorly towards her audience before looking at her captive humans. "I suppose I shall explain for the less educated amongst us? A Harcesis, a human child of two Goa'uld hosts, inherits the full genetic memory of it's parents and is thus strictly forbidden. That however is insignificant to what else I've done." Bastet seemed quite proud of herself as she began to tell them what she's done. Harry couldn't help but wonder why evil people always had to go on and on about how clever they are. Voldemort did the same thing.
"Over the centuries I have spent a great deal of time studying genetics," she informed them all. "I also discovered a device left behind by the Gatebuilders that allowed me to manipulate the DNA of a person. I believe Nirrti also has one, though she is a fool and cannot understand such technology as I can." Harry really wasn't liking where this was heading, as it was bad enough for Bastet to have a magical host she didn't need to give it any further advantages.
"It took much time, effort and dedication but eventually I was able to forcefully evolve a human far beyond that of any to exist in this galaxy since the Gatebuilders. I mostly worked on improving the mind of my future host, as our miniature grey friends the Asgard have proven that physical prowess pales in comparison to the power of the mind." Harry didn't know what an Asgard was, but right now he didn't care either. He wanted desperately to get out of this but he was bound so tightly that he could hardly move at all.
"The result of all of this was my new host," she looked over at the still blank faced girl with an adoring expression. "Superior in every way to my current host, to any Goa'uld host. Soon the System Lords shall bow before me, the Asgard shall be destroyed and the secrets of the Gatebuilders uncovered. Today is the dawn of a new era my children."
Once she was done talking she stepped over to her genetically altered host and to Harry's surprise kissed her full on the lips. Harry wouldn't have minded watching that, they were both quite beautiful after all, if he hadn't known exactly what was happening.
The body of Isis Neferankh quickly fell to the floor as Bastet took residence inside of her new host. She kept her eyes closed and seemed to be checking to make certain that she was in full control before she opened them. Meanwhile Isis came to and looked around in panic before her eyes found her brother who was struggling valiantly against his bindings.
"Imhotep!" she called out weakly as she tried to crawl over towards him. Bastet's eyes shot open just as Isis had made it over to her brother and she smiled cruelly at the scene, which only made Harry struggle harder to get free of his own bindings. He feared Bastet wanted to make sure her magical powers were still functioning.
"Excellent," announced the Goa'uld. "Now you see? I gave you your sister back did I not? I am a kind and merciful Goddess am I not?" Imhotep simply glared up at her for a moment before turning his attention back to his sister. "Unfortunately now I must ensure that all is in good working order."
With that she raised her hand once again and Isis collapsed in tortured convulsions as if she was experiencing the Cruciatus Curse, which Harry expect she probably was. This simply made all the humans in the room struggle even harder to get free but it was useless.
"Very good, very good indeed," said Bastet in a pleased tone. She casually waved her hand in Isis' direction and a familiar blast of sickly green magic tore through the air ending Isis Neferankh's pained whimpering forever.
Sitting once more in her throne Bastet gazed out at her audience before locking eyes with Harry himself, a sadistic glee dancing in her jade eyes.
"Very well, it is time now for us to make our move," she addressed the assembled Goa'uld. Smiling cruelly she informed them, "Earth will be mine."
At that moment all the humans stopped struggling and simply stared up at Bastet in shock. Her Underlords all bowed and left to prepare for the invasion of Harry's home. All that Harry could think about was that he hoped that SET-Nine had been eavesdropping too so that somebody could warn Earth.