*Temple of Ra, Abydos*
Bra’tac was worried. According to the intelligence they had received from their spies in Ra’s army, the Supreme Lord of the Goa’uld would be coming to Abydos in a matter of days. He had been given only a small task force by Apophis to set this trap, and he feared with half his men gone he would fail his god. Goa’uld sensors would detect any explosive devices in the ring system, so he and his men were supposed to conceal explosives within the walls of the temple and then he would detonate it when they landed. Unfortunately, the work was slow going. “Del’nor!” he called to one of the Jaffa “How is the work progressing!”
“It is difficult, Master Bra’tac.” The Jaffa put down a cutting implement and sighed. “We must hide hundreds of small devices, and we simply do not have the time. We could try to concentrate them in one part of the temple…” He suggested hopefully.
“No,” Bra’tac shook his head. “Unless we have total coverage, there is no way to guarantee the total destruction of Lord Ra’s Ha’tak.”
“Then, with respect, perhaps it is best to continue to work and get as much coverage as possible.”
A grim determination settled on the men. They would spend their lives trying to fulfil an impossible task. One of the jaffa ad an inspiration. “How close is the city, Master Bra’tac? Ra placed a large human settlement here for mining naquadah.”
Bra’tac smiled as he followed the warrior’s reasoning. “Yes, thousands of skilled stoneworkers. And if they are caught, he will believe the people are disloyal and discipline them, which may MAKE them disloyal.”
“But Master Bra’tac,” another jaffa spoke “we are not Horus guards, we would appear different.”
Bra’tac activated his helmet and the armor deployed around him. “Do you think it matters to humans which god is commanding them?”
*Nagada, Unknown Planet*
Major Puller was up with the dawn, but some of the youths had still beaten him to rising. Already they were laying out plates of bread and dried meat, and clay pans of water were set to one side. He moved quickly to get to the pans, they were communal and God help the man who was the last of twenty to wash. He nodded to the marines on guard duty, who were both alert and enjoying their breakfast. The sky was an odd color of gold, the traces of the sandstorm still in the upper atmosphere.
“Any word from base camp, Littlefield?” He asked Ernest, who was working with the radio.
“No Sir.” He shook his head. “It’s damn spooky; There’s no interference from weather, they just aren’t radioing back.”
Puller frowned. “Maybe their set got caught in the storm and shot to hell. At any rate, we’ll get Jones and hoof it back to the pyramid.” He checked his watch, still on Mountain Time. “We’ve got another four hours until they dial us, and I don’t want to miss it.”
“Oh… Mein GOTT but my back is sore.” A cacophony of creaks and pops echoed through the room, all originating in the joints of a very stiff Albert Einstein. Clearly, a thin matt on a stone floor did not agree with him. One of the youths said something to Kasuf and mimed breaking a stick, which made Kasuf laugh loudly and then look embarrassed. “I don’t suppose there’s any coffee?” The bleary-eyed Austrian shuffled towards the clay pan rubbing his stubbly jaw.
“I’m afraid not, Professor.” Puller smirked. Compared to some of his other deployments, this was almost as good as a stateside barracks. “But eat up, we’ve got to find Doctor Jones. I’m guessing he didn’t get much sleep last night.”
“Kasuf!” He called. The young man came in quickly, appreciating the honor that having hosted Ra’s servants in his home would bring. “We need to find Doctor Jones.” The boy stared at him blankly. “Right, no English. Ok, he’s the guy who was with us.” He motioned to all of them. “He had a weird hat,” he mimed a fedora on his head. “And a whip on his belt.” He watched as Kasuf and his friends imitated him. He looked to Einstein, pleadingly. “Any ideas, Professor?”
“Ah… hmmm…” Einstein frowned, and then got an idea. He picked up a length of leather cord, and hung it around his neck. With one hand he made a circle with his thumb and middle finger, and let the tip of his index finger sit in the middle, imitating an eye, and then rested his hand against the cord. The boys laughed and nodded, and motioned for them to follow him.
“Good work, Professor.” Puller patted him on the back as the marines gathered their gear.
He shrugged. “It was easier than explaining wormholes to Major Hanneken.”
Outside one of the boys was opening the Mastadge corral, and another was urging one out. Kasuf produced Indiana’s shirt from some pouch, and held it under the beast’s nose.
Puller laughed, disbelieving. “You’ve gotta be shi-” The creature bellowed and took off like a shot, with Kasuf and his friends chasing after it and waving for them to follow him.
*Hidden Cave, Nagada*
As Kasuf led the marines down a narrow maze of twisting passages, even Major Puller was impressed by the antiquity of them. They were covered with ancient pictures and writings, seemingly telling a story. As they rounded a corner, they found Indy and Yasha’s daughter, Lishai. They were talking back and forth in halting sentences, in the local language.
“I thought you couldn’t speak their language, Doctor Jones.” Puller raised an eyebrow.
Indy shrugged. “I couldn’t. I had to hear it spoken; it hasn’t been a living language on earth in two thousand years, and with the writing here, Lishai-” he gestured to the woman, who bowed at hearing her name “taught me how to pronounce it.”
Ernest stepped forward, awestruck by the room. “So you understand all of this, Doctor?” His wave encompassed all the pictographs.
“Yeah, I think so.” Indy stood up and dusted his hands. He pointed to a section of the wall. “Now, thousands of years ago, some alien jerk named Ra, from ‘beyond the stars’ took a human boy from Earth and ‘joined’ with him, somehow.” He pointed to a picture of a figure on a throne. “He then ruled over earth for a few thousand years, forcing the people to worship and serve him. He had the secret of eternal life and taught us how to build the pyramids at Giza, and he took people from earth to here to work as slaves.”
“Everything we know about history will have to be changed.” Ernest shook his head, eyes shining as he studied the images.
“Probably.” Indy walked further down and gestured to another part. “Now it looks like here there was an uprising on Earth, and Ra couldn’t hang on or it wasn’t worth it, but they kicked him out and buried the stargate. Here, though, Ra kept ahold of things by outlawing reading and writing.”
“Hey Doc, look at this!” Corporal Wethers called. He was holding a torch and pointing to one of the alcoves that was secluded off the main room. Indy and the other marines crowded in, looking at what the torchlight revealed. Laying there was a stone tablet with symbols that Indy recognized immediately from the stargate in the pyramid.
“The people must’ve hid this here, in the hopes that one day the gate would be re-opened.” He inspected the tablet. The seventh symbol was worn almost completely off, but there was a faint imagine on a fragment there that should help him narrow it down to a handful of possibilities. “You know what this means? It means we can go home!”
Cheers (and a few rebel yells) went up from the men, but quickly more shouting could be heard back at the tunnel entrance. “Ah hell.” Indy sighed. “They say that more of my ‘servants’ are here, seriously injured and in a silver chariot.” He pushed his way through the marines and started trotting back through the corridors.
Puller sprinted to keep up with him, his rifle swaying rhythmically on his back. “You know, I was beginning to worry that this was going to be too easy.” He laughed easily, but he was worried about his men.
Back in the open, they emerged on the edge of a plaza that was filled with people milling around a badly battered Tucker car. Corporal Anders was attending to another marine, a Private Weylan, who was laying on the ground covered in the bloody remains of a field jacket while the other two marines stood numbly holding their rifles, their eyes looking haunted.
“Medic!” Puller called to his man, their one field medic who, thank God, had his gear with him. He reached Weylan at the same time as several healers from the city did. They began to work to stop the bleeding. “Corporal Anders, what the hell happened to you?” Puller was concerned. He had a sinking feeling that half of his force was now dead. Anders didn’t respond. “SKYMAN!”
“SIR!” His voice quavered. He hadn’t been deployed overseas, and his first taste of combat had been almost more than he could bear. “Sir, we were in the Pyramid, waiting out the storm, when it sounded like God Almighty came down on the building. Something in the ceiling opened, and it started dropping down these snake-men who had these ray guns and started shooting. We killed some of ‘em, Sir, but more kept coming. When most of the men were killed, Lieutenant Evans ordered us to retreat and try to contact you. He and Private Green held the Snakes off until we got out of there.” He ran a grubby hand across his forehead, pushing his helmet back. “It was a nightmare, sir. We had to run buttoned up, using a compass and blind luck until the storm cleared. Then we found our way here.”
“Good work, Corporal.” Puller put a hand on his shoulder and gave him a fatherly squeeze. The kid would be fine, a sharp blade tempered by fire. “Get washed up and then we’ll have someone take you guys to get some rest.” Skyman nodded weakly, and accepted a bowl of water handed to him.
“Dear God, what do we do now?” Einstein had joined the group and had heard the story. The medic and the women had finished cleaning Weylan’s wounds, but he was going to need a field transfusion. Fortunately, two marines were a match for him, and so they all retired to Kasuf’s home.
“What do we do?” Puller laughed. “We get our men in shape, head for that pyramid, kill a helluva lot of snake-martians, and go home. THAT’S what we do.”
“But we’re probably outnumbered!”
“Then there’ll be enough for us all to shoot at.”
Suddenly the horn in the high tower sounded again, and the people suddenly began to scatter. Yasha spoke to Indy, who answered back quickly and turned to Puller. “He says that soldiers of the god Apophis approach the city. He wants to know if we intend to battle them or simply destroy them with our power.”
Major Puller thought for a moment, then smiled. “Well, let’s hear what they have to say.”
Bra’tac led his men confidently through the city. He walked ahead of eight Jaffa, all armed with staff weapons and in armor, which was more than a match for anything on this planet. The people gave way in deference to the ‘gods’ walking among them, in reality it was the terrible power of his Lord that these people feared. In the city square, the elders of Nagada waited to greet him. “We of Nagada are humbled to serve you, great one, in the hopes that you might show mercy.” Yasha bowed low.
“The Lord Apophis has sent me to gather workers for a great task in the temple. For the labor of thirty of your best stone-workers, you will be shown mercy.” Bra’tac was slightly troubled by the elders. They didn’t quite show the level of fear he was used to.
“I’ve got a better idea.” A strange voice called out behind him. Bra’tac whirled and opened his staff, then paused as he saw a strangely-dressed man holding what looked like half of a zat’nik’itel. “Why don’t you drop your weapons before you get shot?”
“I think not, human.” Bra’tac laughed. “Your men in the temple could not defeat us, and you will not harm me with your weapon.”
“You’re probably right, but those guys,” Indy pointed, and what had been a pile of baskets suddenly revealed itself to be the strange vehicle from last night, its unmistakable cannons pointing at him. “And those guys,” Indy gestured to the light machine gun squads who now stepped out of doorways. “They’ll harm the shit out of you.”
Bra’tac, First Prime of Apophis, knew when he was outmanoeuvred. “You have a point, human.” He saw the pendant around Indy’s neck. “I imagine Ra will be pleased with your service.”
Indy walked up to him and took the staff. “I hate to break it to you, but I’d just as soon kill you, Apophis, and Ra, and go home.”
“Then we have much to talk about, Human.” The First Prime sized up the human and his men.
“The name’s Indiana Jones.” Indy smiled back.
*Elizabeth, New Jersey*
Steve Badami had had a long day. As the head of the DeCavalcante family, he was an important man, even if the Five Families called them ‘The Farmers’. He owned half of Atlantic City, and half the judges in Jersey. They did ok bootlegging, running numbers, and protection, but lately he had been pushing his business interests into shipping and salvage. There was bread to be made doing honest work, and if that honest work got them to and from the rum line without the Feds spotting them, well so much the better.
He said goodnight to Guiseppe, his consigliere, and stepped into his private suite. He poured himself a drink, and sat down, flipping through the paper.
“Hey there, Big Man.” A sultry voice called from an open doorway. Christina Tortiona, a bombshell of a woman from one of Atlantic City’s speakeasies, had been better known as Misses Badami for almost eight years, but she still caught the eye as much as she had the day they laid eyes on each-other. She wore a barely covering silk robe, and crossed the room slowly, sitting in his lap. “How was work?”
“Ah… it was alright.” Steve waved a hand, and then settled it on her hip. “Its looking like the new setup we’ve got will get a crew down to four hundred feet.” He watched her smile broaden, it was what they’d been working towards for so long. “How about you, anything interesting happen?”
“Well, as a matter of fact,” She gracefully leaned over and grabbed a large envelope off the table. “I was down getting my nails done, and talking with some of the girls,” which was what she called her information contacts. “And guess what some spook was having smuggled to his superiors.”
Steve opened the envelope and pulled out the pictures. He did a double-take and dropped his drink. The glass shattered, but he didn’t care; he had people to clean that up. “Holy Toledo! They found it.”
“Don’t get too excited yet, darling.” She patted his face and climbed out of his lap. “Its also the only thing they found. Nobody’s talking about the big one.”
“Well, its something, and if we find that, we won’t need the salvage.” Steve stood up and pulled her close, kissing her passionately. “Now, my queen, what’s say we celebrate?” They headed for the bedroom, with Christina close behind. She took a moment to set the envelope on a bookshelf, next to two jars. They were Egyptian funerary jars, and quite out of place in a mobster’s house, unless you knew that Steve Badami was no ordinary made man.
The only problem is, I'm losing track of which universe I'm in.
You kinda look like Jesus. With a lightsaber.
- Peregrin Toker