Malik Craynal

Ragnarok

Book One

Daniel is told he must save an alien world, but will he be able to save himself?



Part One: Enticement



"Slow down, Daniel."

Doctor Daniel Jackson didn't miss the exasperation in Jack's voice but he just couldn't slow down. Not with those ruins only a mile in front of them.

SG-12 had returned from PX1957 yesterday explaining that they had found no civilizations and only an abandoned city. Predictably, Daniel had jumped at the chance to explore it.

Jack sighed as he, Sam and Teal'c attempted to keep Daniel in their sights. Jack brushed the sweat from his brow, they were on another planet that appeared to be only sand. Except the for the city's walls in the distance the land was barren.

And hot.

It was very hot.

How had Daniel gotten so far ahead? The archeologist was speeding across the unstable sand and didn't even seem to realize they'd been walking in this heat for an hour already. Jack looked over at Sam and saw that she looked as beat as he did, Teal'c and Daniel were the only one's who looked unaffected by the sweltering conditions.

"Break!" O'Neill called and Sam fell gratefully to the ground. She groaned when she felt the ground. She groaned when she felt the heat already begin to seep through the thin protection of the blanket she had laid down.

Jack stepped forward and tried to get Daniel's attention, "Danny! Come back!"

Daniel sighed and turned back to join the others. He almost asked if he could go on a head but knew already what Jack would say to that…

No.

Daniel took out his own blanket from his back and sat in between Jack and Sam but he didn't stop moving. His fingers danced incessantly across his knees.

"Exactly how much coffee did you drink this morning?" Jack asked turning to the youngest member of his team.

"Only four," Jackson answered quickly.

"Only four?" Jack repeated incredulously.

"I believe you had five cups of coffee this morning DanielJackson," Teal'c stated and Jack rolled his eyes. No wonder he had so much energy.

As they sat Daniel pulled a 5th Avenue candy bar from his pocket, Jack grabbed it from him and exchanged it for an MRE.

"You eat too much candy, Daniel," Jack explained.

"I don't eat that much candy," Daniel protested reluctantly accepting the food.

Sam rolled her eyes, "Yea, and you don't drink that much coffee either."

They only rested another ten minutes before Daniel had convinced them to continue on. They reached the site in about an hour. Slowed down by the heat and sand though Jack was sure Daniel could have made the walk in fifteen minutes.

"Same old thing," Jack muttered. "Another Egyptian city."

Daniel seemed fascinated, "Actually, this isn't Egyptian, Jack," Daniel said hearing Jack's mumbled comment. "It's similar but I've never seen anything quite like this."

That meant they'd be here awhile. Jack groaned and dropped his pack to the ground.

Daniel's eyes grew wider by the minute, "These symbols are familiar, they are a lot like an old Egypt dialect…"

"I thought it wasn't Egyptian?" Jack said.

"It's not, exactly. I said it was similar."

Jack groaned again as Daniel began to list all of the differences and similarities between the two cultures and wished he was with Teal'c and Carter securing the perimeter.

Leaning against the wall he allowed his eyes to drift shut. He knew someone had to stay with Daniel and because of the archeologists penchant to find trouble Jack usually volunteered to be the one to keep an eye on him.

"Daniel, how long do you think this will take?"

No answer.

Jack's eyes flew open and he was instantly alert. Daniel wasn't in his sights.

"Daniel," he called.

"Jack?"

The voice that replied sounded muffled, it sounded like it was coming from the other side of the wall in front of him.

"Where the hell are you?" Jack snapped.

"I… I think I found a trap door."

Jack rolled his eyes, "Get back over here," he said.

"I can't," Daniel told him. "There isn't a release on this side."

"Okay, I'll open it from here, what do I do?"

"I pressed the hieroglyph with the eye,"

Looking at the numerous hieroglyphs inscribed on the wall Jack saw many that had eyes. Without wasting time he began to press them.

"Hey Jack, wait a minute, I think I found something…"

"Don't touch anything," Jack ordered his voice holding an edge of panic. "I mean it, Daniel." Jack continued to press the hieroglyphs that had eyes on them but still nothing happened.

On the other side of the wall, Daniel wasn't listening. The lever he had discovered was just too tempting not to pull.

Most likely it was a release to reopen the trap door, but even if it wasn't he wanted to know it's true purpose.

He walked to the lever like a moth to a flame and hesitated only an instant before pulling it down.

Jack cursed. There were too many damn eyes. Jack was about to move to the next one when he looked down. Near the bottom of the wall he saw a hieroglyph that was slightly larger than the others. It was an eye.

Jack knelt down and pushed it. He heard a slight click and a portion of the wall began to slide open.

A small room lay beyond the wall. A bare stone cell with no hallways.

And it was empty.

"Daniel?" Jack asked uncertainly.

This time he got no response. His eyes strayed to the lever on the far side.

"Dammit, Daniel. I told you not to touch anything."

* * * *

Daniel slowly felt himself regain consciousness.

When his eyes opened he saw a beautiful woman leaning over him. She had long black curly hair and the brightest green eyes he'd ever seen.

"Nu sut nik zar Malik Craynal," she whispered.

I know that dialect, Daniel realized and before he fell back into unconsciousness he realized the translation…

The woman had said, 'Welcome to the Forbidden City."

to be continued…