Disclaimer: The characters of Stargate belong to MGM. The characters of the Four Orders are entirely my own.
Day One - Introduction
"Time is perceived as a continuous, uninterrupted line of fixed points but it isn't. It is more complicated than that. It is actually more flexible and any pebble can alter its course sending ripples that shift it to a different fork. This is how parallel realities were born."
A great pyramidal ship stood in orbit of a lush world. It was surrounded by a dozen smaller versions. Small ships patrolled the entirety of the space between constantly. Some of them went down into the atmosphere and straight to the surface. The active scans have revealed the presence of a small group of people headed for the strange, oval and ring shaped, little device, called a Stargate.
"Daniel, dial the gate!" – O'Neill commanded directing his P90 straight at the sky where emerged four death gliders.
The gliders opened fire and blast explosions hit the ground shaking it. Another set of smaller blasts were produced by Teal'c's staff but ineffectively. Daniel had reached the DHD and started dialing quickly.
He had reached the forth symbol when a bluish charge engulfed briefly his body rendering him unconscious. The others turned around to the new threat – a squadron of Jaffa bearing the symbol of Anubis. And before they could resist they were all surrounded – there was no escape this time.
"Lay down your weapons!" – A Jaffa commanded. "You're surrounded."
O'Neill looked around. The damn Jaffa was right. How have they missed the nearby landed Alk'esh was beyond him. This round was lost.
"Carter, Teal'c!" – O'Neill said and lowered his P90.
Major Carter and Teal'c put down their weapons and raised hands. The Jaffa collected the weapons and surrounded the three. Daniel was picked up as well. They stood close one to another and the rings activated.
The rings deposited them on the grand pyramid ship in orbit. They were taken to the throne room.
"Kneel before Anubis!" – Anubis First Prime commanded but since none of them obeyed they were made. "My lord, I've captured them – SG-1 as ordered."
On the throne sat Anubis wrapped in his black robes. His face was not visible instead there was a mask or something like it as it changed shades every time he moved.
"You have done well." – A deep throated voice said although it was more of a whisper than a normal voice but it was filled with hatred and darkness. "Take them to their cells and prepare them for questioning."
"There shall be no escape this time SG-1. No one can help you now, not even your precious Asgard." – Anubis chuckled evilly.
"We'll see." – O'Neill answered back. He regretted it immediately as the First Prime knocked him down with his staff weapon. Anubis did not react at this show of force. Actually he rather enjoyed it.
The others tried to resist but staff weapons were pointed at them and they calmed down at once. The Jaffa took them to their cells. SG-1 was used being in cells like these. They always manage to capture them and they always manage to escape, somehow.
"Sir, are you alright?" – Carter asked.
"I've been better. Thank you, Carter." – O'Neill replied getting up on his feet. "Back here again, eh?"
"O'Neill and I have been in this cell before." – Teal'c shed some light into the major's question.
"Oh, yes, when they had Thor, I remember." – Carter said.
"We do not have the support of Thor this time." – Teal'c stated the obvious.
"We've been in cells before. We'll get out." – O'Neill commented. "Somehow…"
"Indeed." – Teal'c said.
"How?" – Daniel asked. He came around just a moment before O'Neill.
"I don't know, Daniel, not yet anyway, but we'll figure it out."
"What do you think they'll do?"
"Oh, the usual," – O'Neill sighed. "Stick, torture, pain, gloating, lots of it, and then some more…"
"Pain, stick…that kind of thing."
"Or maybe they are going to use the memory probe of Anubis?" – Carter suggested.
"Ouch, or maybe that." – O'Neill agreed.
"In that case, we'll give up everything." – Carter remarked. "We could resist for a while but in the end…"
"I don't to hear it and…"
"But you know it is true, sir, not even Thor could resist it and his brain…"
"Yes, yes, Carter, we know. But we'll find a way..."
"There is always a way." – Another voice said.
O'Neill stood still, attentive and apprehensive.
"Out, you meant." – Carter finished his sentence and looking at him added. "Sir?"
"Is everything alright?" – Carter eyed him.
"Yeah, I think so." – O'Neill replied cautiously, still listening and hoping he was imaging things.
"What is it?" – Daniel asked looking concerned for O'Neill.
"When one asks the universe provides."
Daniel stood up at once and took O'Neill's stance. O'Neill looked at Daniel.
"You heard it too, didn't you?" – He asked. Daniel only nodded.
"Heard what?" – Carter looked at both of them with growing concern.
"That voice." – O'Neill replied.
"It said 'when one asks the un…"
"…universe provides…" – Teal'c added. "I heard it too."
"Heard who, what?" – Carter asked.
"The voice seems to be coming from the room we are in." – Teal'c replied.
"But there is no one here but us." – Carter objected looking around as though to give prove.
Daniel gave O'Neill a weird look but he shook his head.
"It could be…"
"No, Daniel, that's not possible." – O'Neill shook his head more energetically.
"But it could be…"
"NO! It can't."
"What can't?" – Carter almost shouted.
"Don't tell…sir, did you just call me…S…"
"No, it wasn't me." – O'Neill shook head.
"It was the voice." – Daniel added.
"Listen. They are coming. Be brave!"
"Who's coming?" – O'Neill couldn't resist asking.
He didn't have to wait long for the answer. The rhythmic sound of Jaffa's steps filled the corridor and it stopped before their cell door.
"The Shova Teal'c. Take him."
"What could you possibly want to achieve by holding us?" – O'Neill said trying to get the first prime talking.
"You'll give up everything, human. Everything you know about the SGC will soon be ours."
"You're dreaming. We'll not divulge anything."
"You can resist but the power of Anubis is irresistible."
"Power of Anubis, are you kidding me? He is not a god, he is a false one and soon to die."
"Gods cannot die. Anubis will deal with you shortly. Take the traitor."
The Jaffa guard stepped in and took Teal'c away. The doors closed behind him.
"You'll be next, O'Neill." – The First Prime said and walked away with the others.
"This is bad." – Carter said.
"Yeah," – O'Neill nodded then made an angry outburst. "Nothing to say you pathetic voice, now, have you?"
Daniel and Carter looked at each concerned hoping their leader isn't cracking despite the fact that they have all heard the voice.
Several hours passed and the guards returned Teal'c's body. He was obviously tortured and meticulously.
"Oh, my god, Teal'c!" – Carter exclaimed and rushed to him.
"Get away!" – O'Neill snapped at the guards. They were going anyway and did not pay any attention to his words.
"Teal'c, can you hear me?" – Daniel was hovering above his friend but Teal'c was not moving. "He's got pulse."
"Junior will heal him." – O'Neill said trying to sound more encouraging.
Inside his mind, Teal'c was tired and beaten. They haven't tried to implant him with the mind probe but instead enjoyed torturing the hell out of him. And to a point, he knew he deserved it as atonement to all the pain he had caused.
"Time can heal almost every wound except the one we remember."
"Who said that?" – Teal'c asked in his mind.
"Some things can never be forgotten or forgiven but there is more to life than wounds unhealed. There is darkness in every light corner and that's one, the one true goal to pursue. Only you can grant forgiveness for all unhealed wounds that stain your soul."
The voice's last words faded but its meaning was deep that much Teal'c felt and then opened eyes to the conscious world. Above him greatly concerned his friends – Carter, Daniel and O'Neill stood.
"Oh, thank God, here he comes again." – O'Neill sighed. "Teal'c, buddy, we've missed you."
"I'm fine, O'Neill."
"You sound fine but you look like shit."
"My symbiot will heal me."
"That's the Teal'c we know." – Daniel observed cheerfully.
"Although," – O'Neill said.
"O'Neill?" – Teal'c raised an eyebrow.
"We heard the voice and everything he said to you." – Carter answered instead.
"You know. It's starting to get on my nerves." – O'Neill remarked. "It sounds more and more like you know what, who."
"Yeah, I was afraid of the same thing," – Carter nodded in agreement.
"But it was removed." – Daniel interjected. "We, all, saw it and it hasn't bothered us ever since."
"Daniel, who says that someone did not implant us with it?" – O'Neill asked.
"Yes, but the last time we blacked out and remembered nothing. It is not the case."
"We could have still gone through that without knowing and it is showing just now."
"Another Urgo, dear Gods."
"URGO, now that's funny but no, unfortunately, for you that is." – The voice said again and faded away leaving a clear sense of outrage.
"Why is it unfortunately?" – Carter asked.
"Carter, who are you talking to?"
"To whoever or whatever it is talking to us. Why unfortunately, answer us, damn it."
"You are touchy today, Samantha, but you already know the answer of the question sought."
"Today? What the hell is the meaning of that?" – O'Neill snapped.
"How long have you been with us?" – Daniel asked.
Carter was pensive and not taking part of insulting their imaginary companion. 'I already know the answer, that's what it said.' And then it came to her the clear sense of outrage. 'So you're outraged by our behavior. Are you suggesting you can help out?'
"Maybe, but then again maybe not, after all I exist only in that imaginary beach, don't I, Jack?"
"Hey, this is private." – O'Neill snapped.
"Ah, Jack!" – Daniel said.
"Not now, Daniel. It is getting on my nerves."
"I was just going to say – they are here and observing us."
"What? Who?" – O'Neill turned around and saw the First Prime and the Jaffa looking at them strangely. "Oh, them. Good riddance, shall we go?" And he stepped out, his hands raised, passed by them and stood waiting. "Can we go now to the torture session?"
"Now." - The voice said.
Teal'c, Daniel and Carter did not move though. They were still mesmerized.
"Now will be a good time before they wake up."
Teal'c did not need to be told another time. He quickly attacked the Jaffa next to him but the Jaffa's resistance was simply non-existent. The others were disarmed and shoved into the cell.
"What the hell just happened?" – O'Neill asked.
"You wanted help, didn't you?" – The voice asked.
"You did say unfortunately?" – Carter reminded.
"Yeah, that I did but you'll pay another time."
"Carter, stop indulging him."
"A simple thank you will suffice."
"Thank you? I don't think so." – O'Neill replied. "Heck, what am I doing? Answering to God knows what."
"Now, this is hurtful but enjoy your freedom while it lasts. Oh and by the way there are Jaffa coming from every direction. I'm sure you'll do fine."
"Right, let's move."
O'Neill took point but ironically the voice was right. They were once more pinned down. There was no way out. The Jaffa haven't noticed them yet but the grid was tight with nowhere to run.
"Damn it!" – O'Neill exclaimed.
"Can you help, please?" – Carter asked.
"Carter, you are…"
"I was talking to…" – Carter replied. "To…you know…"
"It's what it wants so to get us into more trouble."
"But it did help us however it happened."
"Carter, it is like the damned URGO. It can't think on that level. We are on our own as usual and we don't need it." – O'Neill emphasized on the last words just as the alarm was raised. "Oh, crap." And he opened fire at the incoming Jaffa.
Four Jaffa fell down but more were coming forcing SG-1 to retreat. The chase continued until Teal'c found some room for them to hide in. The Jaffa spent some time looking for them after the last blast was fired but with no success.
"It is just a matter of time before they turn to the internal sensors and then…"
"You don't have to say it, Major." – O'Neill interrupted. "We know what happens then."
"Or you can listen to me." – The voice spoke again.
"To you?" – O'Neill snapped again. "Why…oh never mind. We are not listening. I hope you're happy now."
"What are you if you're not URGO? Are you something like it?" – Carter asked.
"In some aspects, yes, in others no."
"What aspects are you like URGO?" – Daniel asked.
"It is much like it did. I'm here to explore and learn but I'm not like it. I'm not some piece of technology that suddenly was born inside your mind."
"Then you are a being?"
"Of what you understand by that yes."
"Daniel, it is a parasite." – O'Neill said.
"Well, the Tok'Ra are too but in a good way." – Daniel reminded.
"Well, something like it."
"So, you are a symbiotic being or just being possessing us?"
"The former in a way."
"You keep saying in way or like it. Why is that?"
"Your understanding about these matters is limited, very limited. Until the day you can understand at least something it will be 'in a way'."
"I had enough of you. Go away." – O'Neill said.
"As you wish."
"Oy, wait a second. You'll be gone as gone, gone or you will resurface again?"
"The latter, the former is no longer possible."
"What the hell is that suppose to mean? We can't get rid of you?"
"And what not ever? We've been down this road before."
"You misunderstand. Now, I can't leave without harming you in the process. So if I am to be killed you will go with me and no amount of technology or powers can prevent that. You could say we are stuck with each other and if you think being inside your mind is such a wonder you should really take a peek. Don't worry you'd want out too."
"Oh, great. It is good to know."
"Which is why, I prefer you'd stay alive. I mean I can exist perfectly when you're unconscious or mostly dead but completely isn't working for me. It is not fun being inside a dead body."
"So if we die, you will be gone?"
"And since you are thinking about the clinical death – oh, no, I still be here. You can't get rid of me that way, sorry."
"And even if someone purges you completely like a clean slate, I'll still be here."
"We'll find a way."
"Optimistic to the end, it is really touching but yet again you misunderstand."
"Tell us what are we missing then?"
"I have not come to harm you. I'm here to learn and explore and I can hardly do that when you're dead. It will be very inconvenient. And this why I'm going to help you get out."
"Oh, really, what you are suddenly going to develop us wings to escape?"
"Very funny, but no."
"Open the door."
"I meant now, open it now."
"This door? Are you insane?"
"Who's touchy now?" – O'Neill remarked. "Carter, what the hell you are doing?"
But it was too late she had opened the door.
"What now – invite them in?"
"Go – to the left, now."
"It seems clear, O'Neill." – Teal'c added.
"It can't be worse than waiting in here." – Daniel remarked.
"Oh, it can. Alright, move out."
They left their hiding spot and into the left corridor. They reached a fork.
"Go forward – the two next corridors."
They followed the voice's instructions. On the target fork, they saw two Jaffa guarding.
"Wait! Stand still! Do not move. Do not make a noise."
And so they waited but constantly looking back.
"Go now, right and make no noise."
They looked at each other but obeyed.
"Here, turn right now."
They did. There was no sign of pursuit or sense that the guards have even noticed them.
"Shush." – The voice interrupted. "Be silent as a grave. Take this corridor straight forward until you see a double door. Go now."
They followed once more. They did not run into any guards along the way and reached their destination without incident. They looked in both direction and saw Jaffa everywhere.
"Now what?" – O'Neill whispered.
"Now, we wait."
"For what – the second coming?"
"There are too many of them to slip unnoticed." – Daniel observed.
They noticed each of the Jaffa was given a corridor to guard. There were guards probably on the other side of the double door too.
"When I tell you to go you will. Do exactly as I tell you no matter how crazy or insane it sounds."
"That will be a relief."
"You got here so far, didn't you?"
"There is no such thing as luck."
"Oh, philosophical then, I'm sure you'll enjoy it with Daniel or Carter."
"Thanks!" – Daniel said.
"Go left, be stooped, reach ten meters forward then stop."
"You heard me, go, now."
"Ah, we are in trouble. Move out." – O'Neill ordered.
They reached the specified point hoping the guards will not turn to see them but that was inevitable given their open position.
"Move to the right side of the path, now."
And they did just as one of the guards was turning his head.
"Retreat four steps."
Their hearts pounding they obeyed.
"Go forward another ten meters and stop."
Ten meters ahead they stopped again, still stooped.
"Stand up and slowly move to the left. Go on, now."
The set of such instructions continued for the next four corridors. They were near the ring platform. And every time it seemed they were going to be finally discovered they passed by like shadows.
"Stop, take the staff weapons in hand like a Jaffa on patrol. Whatever happens in the next minute do not move just stand still." – The voice said. "Samantha, stand behind Teal'c. Daniel, O'Neill, stand guard on the left."
They obeyed. The very next second, a patrol approached and it passed by them like they were part of the interior design.
"That's not possible." – Carter exclaimed silently. "They should have seen us. We don't exactly blend in."
"They did see you Samantha or at least some of it."
"Move across the corridor and straight to the other door."
They reached it again.
"Now, Samantha, take point. Daniel comes behind you, then O'Neill and Teal'c with the staff straight up like them. Then as you open the door, Teal'c, move your staff hand to the right and up. Samantha, duck while Daniel and O'Neill, fire their Zats one on the left and the right."
They looked at each other again but did it. And it happened exactly as instructed. There were two guards at the ring platform each standing on the left and on the right. The charges hit them and they fell.
"Now, activate the platform in the following order – first left, third right, second right, third left and first right."
Teal'c obeyed and moved to the platform. It activated and they were transported.
"Samantha, fire left twice."
Carter opened fire though nothing was visible in the first moment but a thud told her that something was hit. Turning around the arch, it happened to be a Jaffa.
"Teal'c, sit on the pilot chair." – The voice said. "O'Neill, there are two more guards. One is in the engine room and the other in the cargo bay. The former is four steps away from the door and two steps to his weapon. The latter is ten feet away from the door and a foot away from the staff. You have to be really quick."
O'Neill took the cargo bay. The moment he opened the door and the Jaffa saw him. He went for his weapon but did not reach it. He was shot.
Carter and Daniel went for the guard in the engine room.
"Daniel, open the door. The moment, the guard sees Samantha, shoot him. But you stay in the shadow, slightly behind Samantha. Samantha, the moment he sees you, duck."
Daniel opened the door standing behind Carter. The guard was holding his weapon at the ready and he was about to fire. Daniel reacted instinctively and fired the Zat stunning him though he did manage to fire and if Carter was still standing up she'd have gotten shot but she had ducked as instructed.
"Good shot, Danny boy. We can go back to the others after you put him somewhere safe."
All returned to the front of the ship. Teal'c has not moved the ship though as they were inside one of the ships.
"Oh, great, we are still stuck." – O'Neill commented.
"Not for long, just waiting for the moment." – The voice replied.
"They think now you've gone to the surface."
"No, they are going to know that we came here."
"There was a second beam at the time we transported. That beam headed to the surface. The pattern I told you to use creates this illusion. It is a glitch within the system."
"What?" – Carter exclaimed. "Teal'c, have you heard of such thing before?"
"How do you know of it?"
"I heard two of the guards talking about it."
"Ten minutes ago."
"Don't you think they'll figure it out?"
"Not until it is too late."
"O'Neill, they are opening the doors." – Teal'c said. "We are receiving orders to pursue the intruders to the surface."
"Let's go, out and straight into hyperspace as soon as we reach the atmosphere until then fly normally."
O'Neill shrugged and said. "Let's go."
They exited the ship and moved towards the atmosphere then just before reaching it the ship jumped into hyperspace. On the mother ship, Anubis was furious.
"Well, then straight for Earth." – O'Neill said visibly relaxed.
"Teal'c, in an hour, drop out of hyperspace."
"Care to share why?"
"This Alk'esh can be traced even in hyperspace. It is Anubis' personal one."
"WHAT?" – O'Neill exclaimed angry and stunned. "And you cared to tell us…why do I bother?"
"Don't worry, I have a plan."
"I gathered we're not going to like it." – Daniel interjected.
"No, you're not."
"Why do we care?" – O'Neill said. "He knows where we are going to take it."
"No, he thinks he knows but he doesn't."
"Care to elaborate that thought?"
"I overheard again Jaffa talking. This way will be even better, trust me."
"Explain." – Teal'c said.
"Anubis is having trouble with Lord Baal. Dropping where I tell you will be inside Baal's territories and as crazy as it would seem…"
"It will look like we've delivered it to Baal." – Daniel finished that thought.
"But we will be found too."
"No, we won't. We'll be long gone."
"How?" – Carter asked.
"Oh, well, you will have to use the escape pods."
"And go where with them?"
"Oh, well, this is the complicated part."
"Go on." – O'Neill said. He was at the end of his rope of patience.
"Alright, there is a space gate where we'll drop. You will get into the pods and straight into the gate. The ship will be set on autopilot to land on the nearby planet after Samantha rigs the engines to emit radiation. Oh, and I guess it will be better if you go to some other planet than Earth otherwise it will be even more complicated."
"How do you suppose we navigate the pods into the gate?"
"That's easy, Colonel." – Carter said.
"You can do it?"
"Yes, if we turn the ship and position the pods to launch one of after the other, each pod will pass through the gate."
"Teal'c, can it be done?"
"I believe so, O'Neill."
"Alright, then do it."
Sometime later, they dropped out of hyperspace and it was as the voice had said. There was a space gate in orbit. Teal'c and Carter positioned the ship and then they got into the pods, and one after the other crossed through the event horizon. They emerged on the other side some distance away from the gate as the pods did carry momentum.
"And we are free although it is the craziest plan ever." – Daniel remarked as he got out of the pod.
"Speaking of which, what are we going to tell General Hammond?" – Carter asked.
"The truth." – O'Neill replied.
"Sir, we can't." – Carter objected.
"Major, we are telling the truth."
"And the moment you do, SG-1 will be suspended and then you will never see or set foot again in the galaxy, not to mention I'll deny I exist but anyway you will seem crazy, yet again."
"Then what?" – Daniel asked.
"All I ask is so small. I'm going to be stuck with you for some time and then I can leave without harming you. If you weren't in danger in first place as you were this time around, I would not have revealed my presence."
"We're in danger constantly." – O'Neill remarked sarcastically.
"Yes, but this time was different."
"It's right, sir. Anubis was about to download our minds." – Carter agreed.
"Look, I will not bother you unless you need my help. The rest of the time I will lay low. You will not hear even a beep. You have my word."
"And we should take it?" – O'Neill asked. "You came to us without asking in the first place. Why should we trust you now?"
"You're right; I did though it was not by choice. It was a matter of survival and I took it. But I think helping you escape through the labyrinth of the pyramid scores some points. I could have easily directed you back into trouble."
"You wanted to survive. You needed us alive. You said so yourself."
"Then you haven't been paying attention. I needed a body. It doesn't really matter whether it is dead or alive. I just said I prefer it is alive. There is a difference."
"Ok, that part escaped me."
"Like most things in life."
"There is no need to be snappy about it."
"Jack is right. We thought you need us alive."
"Well I do. It is no fun being inside a dead body."
"You misunderstand I meant…"
"I know what you meant, Daniel, and I also said that you still do not understand. In time, maybe you will."
"We have the wrong idea about this being." – Carter helped out.
"So to clarify, you will come only when and if we need you?" – O'Neill asked.
"And the rest of the time, there will be no buzzing?"
"Alright by me, Daniel, dial Earth!"
"And what do we tell?"
"The truth, without it in it." – O'Neill replied. "Just by the way, do you happen to have a name? I mean we have to call you something."
"I guess you can stick with it for the moment. I don't have a name for I haven't selected one yet."
"Well, then it, it is."
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