[Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2014-06-19 06:41pm

“Fuck.” It wasn’t my most brilliant moment of wit, but I was really too focused on how completely screwed I was to worry about sounding clever.

Dragons aren’t all cute and cuddly like Smaug. Tolkien style dragons are the shallow end of the ordo Drakon gene pool. A Dragon, capitol “D” dragon, was a creature of celestial might and abilities akin to a lesser god. They weren’t good or evil – the very concept of human morality was beneath their interest, they were too focused upon their celestial duties in maintaining the orderly procession of their mortal domains.

I only knew one person who’d managed to kill a dragon, Michael, and I was pretty sure he cheated. As a knight of the cross he had a constant stream of celestial beings altering fate to allow things to turn out in his favor. The swords of the cross regularly facilitated the impossible and smote creatures that couldn’t be killed conventionally.

Sithorax was apparently the least of his celestial brethren and it had taken divine intervention to do him in. Ferrovax made even other dragons look like a bunch of geckoes in comparison.

He wasn’t so much a dragon as he was the dragon. He was Mab’s peer, if not her greater, and I had just violated his privacy with a petty squabble over temporal affairs. Just saying my name had been enough for him to make my head ring like he’d pressed a tuning fork to my teeth. This was not someone who I wanted to piss off.

Not that it seemed like I had much of a choice at this point.

“Wow,” Bob intoned, considering the high dragon’s pronouncement. “This is really going to suck.”

“Please tell me that I’ve taken a bad hit of Nis’ta and that I’m not in the Lands of Sun and Snow,” Ammit squealed in a girlish tone I never would have suspected him capable of. He looked pleadingly to Xin. “This isn’t real. This can’t be real. Tell me this isn’t real.”

“You want me to lie to you?” Xin arched his brow.

“You are the most practiced liar in the room,” Atreus said in a strangely distant voice as he dropped to his knees and looked out into the middle distance. “I would very much like to hear it.”

The Tok’ra rolled his eyes. “Fine, we’re not in the Lands of Sun and Snow. You’re just sleeping, and when you wake up you’ll be Supreme System Lord.”

“You’re not actually,” I replied. “We’re technically in a realm bordering them. It’s not the kingdoms of faerie – this is much, much worse.”

I wasn’t honestly sure if the draconic realms actually were worse or not, there wasn’t much known about them. Dragons hated mortals with a passion. About the only thing the White Council knew about them for sure was how much they enjoyed killing wizards.

“Oh – Goodie,” Atreus replied, his voice still distant. “I’m just going to be here on the floor for a moment while I think.”

“Stars and stones,” I weighed my options, turning to the view screen to face the lesser Goa’uld, only to discover a blank screen. “Look, we need to face this together… where is he?”

“He’s gone boss. They’re all gone.” Bob replied. “The enemy ships jumped to Hyperspace literally seconds after you said ‘Sun and Snow.’ I didn’t even know a ship could activate a hyperspace window that fast.”

I blinked, “You can do that in the Nevernever? Go to hyperspace, I mean.”

“Can and should are two totally different concepts boss – well, for most people anyway.” Bob’s eyes flickered. “The Nevernever is infinite and opens up to an impossible number of possible realms. Without a way out – they pretty much just doomed themselves to wander through it till they die.”

“But you can take us out right?” Ammit said in a voice bordering on panic as the ship’s proximity sensors indicated hundreds of thousands of ship-sized contacts bearing down on us. “Just open up another one of those rifts to take us back to reality?”

“I can, but not here.” I shook my head. “It would just toss us back into the skies of Delmak and we’d be back where we started.”

“I’m willing to consider that option.” Atreus replied. “Better to wander discover that which happens to our kind in this basted realm.”

“Death mostly, I suppose.” Xin offered. “Can we please get this ship moving? I can actually see the shapes of wings moving on the sensors.”

“Full power to engines,” Ul’tak replied from the pilot’s plinth, holding the crystal globes that directed the ship. The pyramid soared out through the floating islands, kissing the edge of clouds as it went.

“Incoming contacts confirmed,” Xin hissed. “They’re coming from the islands.”

Dragon whelps soared around the flagship, their ensorcelled breath scourging across the ship’s shields. They chittered and squabbled, moving at seemingly impossible speeds to keep up with the moving ship.

“Shields at 90%” Bob interjected. “I can’t shoot them with the main guns at this range, I’d blow a hole in the hull.”

The ship dove past an island, forcing the whelps to fly to it’s left and scatter around a cluster of floating rocks. The dipped and dove around them, belching sorcery when they could. A rainbow of destructive energies coughed out from between floating stone to collide with the ship’s shields.

“Launching fighters,” Ul’tak replied. “Let’s show them the might of the Jaffa.”

I watched as dozens of crescent winged ships plunged into the swarm of angry leather-winged beasts, spitting orbs of staff energy into the creature’s thick hide. Furious whelps screamed in agony, plummeting to their doom as the crescent ship’s razor edged tips clipped infant dragon wings.

Whelps though they were, their pure muscular mass made them obvious killing machines.
I couldn’t shake the sense that I was watching a flock of hawks getting assaulted by a handful of sparrows as I watched my fighters taking on the dragons.

“Now can you open the portal?” Ammit snarled, watching as a dragon whelp lost it’s balance and collided with the front of the ship. Its crumpled body trailed away from where it hit the view screen, rolling into the distance.

“No,” I bit my lip. “Not yet. We need to be near something I can use – something symbolic of safety.”

“Here?” Ammit looked out the window at the seemingly endless chaos.

“Just trust me on this one,” I sighed. “I’m good at this.”

“That’s generally more convincing when you haven’t just stranded us in dragon central, boss.” Bob chided. “Speaking of which – looks like one of the big ones finally caught up with us.”

The ship bucked as a wave of mystical force collided with it, a bolt of pure magical destruction that set my teeth on edge. Claxon whirred angrily as the ship’s lights switched to red, preserving our vision. “Shields at 80%. I would suggest returning fire.”

“Don’t ask, just light him up!” I swore, kneeling next to a Jaffa who’d been thrown against the wall. His head was bleeding really bad. “I need a medic over here.”

“He’ll be fine,” Ul’tak eyed the Jaffa momentarily before going back to guiding the ship through the floating formations of rock. “His symbiote will repair him in hours.”

“Oh I love this part,” Bob whooped with uncharacteristic glee as he fired staff blast after staff-cannon blast into the face of the mature dragon. The creature swooped and dodged, wailing in agony when the spirit managed to land a hit. “No wonder you keep burning down buildings. This is fun!”

“We have boarders!” Xin snarled. “The Jaffa are moving to intercept them.”

“How?” I blinked.

“They crawled in through the hangars – they’re tearing their way towards the slaves.” Ammit hissed. “Someone needs to co-ordinate the counter offensive.”

“I’ll do it,” Atreus stood up from the floor, pulling his gladius from his belt. His eyes flashed with purpose, “I will not die cowering on my knees like a serf.” He smiled, “Even if I am to die it will make a story worth telling.”

“I’ll go with you,” I replied.

“No – no,” The Greek god shook his head. “You need to open a portal to safety. I will buy us time for that. If you die fighting off the dragons there isn’t any way back. I don’t fancy spending eternity in this place.”

“Let him go Warden,” Xin nodded. “Atreus is as good as any of the gods in a fight, and he has as much to lose as you if the Whelps get a foothold.”

“Very well,” I patted him on the shoulder. “Good luck and good hunting.”

The godling smiled sadly, “Perhaps a cloak of dragon scales would even earn me my redemption in the eyes of Pelops.”

“That’s good,” I nodded. “Think big – just keep them off the ship and try not to get yourself killed, alright? That’s all I ask.”

As the Greek God left the bridge Ammit snorted, “Poncy little bastard isn’t the only one who can put up a fight.”

“Are you going to go with him then?” Xin asked.

“You kidding me?” The lizard man’s brow arched. “I’m no fool. I don’t walk towards the creatures of this place unless I have to. I didn’t spend my time on the Tau’ri home world to work on my tan and I’m not senile yet.”

The Tok’ra shook his head. “Then how do you propose to fight?”

“By being smarter than them,” Ammit cracked his neck, closing his eyes as he spun his head back and forth. “Obviously we outthink them.”

“Use your words Ammit,” I tapped the side of my head. “There is no way I’m looking inside your mind to find out your plan.”

“Oh sure, you waltz across a planet with half a plan and a couple platitudes but everyone goes along with it but when I have a cryptic plan everyone expects me to just jump up and say it. No, I had to sit and wait for your damned fool idea – you’re going to humor mine.” The lizard man rolled his yellow eyes. Ammit growled, a predatory look of satisfaction going across his wide jaw. “I can’t do any worse than you’ve done so far.”

“I suppose not,” I nodded my assent to my first prime, “What do you have in mind?”

“You’ll see.” Ammit snorted. “I don’t have your tricks, ‘Warden,’ but I managed to survive a millennia of the first world. I know how the beasts think, and where their weaknesses lie. If a prey runs, they chase it, if a prey hides, they follow – so we use that to our advantage.”

“Jaffa, get us into that bank of asteroids.” He pointed to the largest cluster of asteroids, where they sat closest to the captured suns. “Go in there, where the sun is brightest and the asteroids give the least range of motion.”

“We’ll be slowed to a halt.” Ul’tak didn’t overtly disagree with the god – he simply stated it as a matter of fact.

“Indeed,” Ammit smiled. “But they are not seeing with sensors and equipment. They are using their eyes, reptile eyes that aren’t made for looking into the sun. They’ll have to follow us by scent or sorcery, neither of which is great for seeing what’s really there.”

“But they’ll follow anyway because we’re running.” I followed his logic. “And they have to chase us because that’s just what they do.”

“Exactly,” The lizard man nodded, looking to Bob. “Creature – are you in control of the naquadah bombs?”

Bob didn’t look up from shooting into what was not a swarm of adult dragons to say, “Yes – why?”

The Lizard-man clutched his fist in the air, curling his talons around some invisible foe’s throat. “When we reach the asteroids you need to drop five remote controlled bombs in the heart of them. The highest yield ones you have.”

Bob giggled, “Oooohh – I like you. You’re fun.”

“Care to share with the class Bob?” I asked, already suspecting what Ammit’s plan was.

“Well boss – you can cross another thing off your ‘things to burn’ list.” Bob replied eagerly. “Launching nuclear warheads.”

“We’re about to nuke the dragon.” I repeated, rolling the words around in my mouth in an attempt to force them to make sense. “I am about to nuke a dragon. I am about to nuke a dragon. I am about to nuke a dragon. I am about to nuke a dragon.”

Elder dragons were immortals, in every sense of the word. You couldn’t really kill them – only wound them – except in the most unique of circumstances. Specific weapons and rituals could allow one to kill a dragon, and I had neither readily at hand. But even if it couldn’t keep them dead forever, I was more than willing to bet that a nuclear bomb would put enough hurt on a dragon to make him wish he’d never met Harry Dresden.

They might come back to hunt me in a hundred years or so once they’d pulled themselves back together, but with my luck I’d probably be long dead before that was relevant. The perks of being me, I supposed.

“Yes – we all know what you’re going to do,” Xin smacked the back of my head. “Stop talking about it and authorize the firing sequence.”

“Uh – authorized.” I replied, wondering if I could get my official title changed to Harry Dresden, Nuker of Dragons Esquire. New business cards couldn’t be that expensive, could they? Not on a god’s salary.

“The creatures are pursuing us into the asteroids – we are out of the blast radius,” The Tok’ra looked up from his console. “We should detonate the devices.”

“No,” Ammit crooned, his eyes flashing eagerly. “Not yet. They’re not going to be disoriented by the EMP, we need them as close as possible to the actual blast.”

“They’re firing on us,” Xin snarled. “Shields down to 60% and falling.”

“Not yet,” Ammit growled, an look of near ecstasy on his face. “Just a little more.”

“Ammit – I can see the whites of their eyes.” I interjected as the serpentine forms became visible on the view screen – hundreds of adult dragons surrounded by countless whelps.

“Now!” Ammit snarled, bashing his hand against the wall.

The view screen turned off to shield our eyes from the searing corona of atomic death where we’d ignited a second sun. Jaffa cheered as the screen flicked back into view, showing a sky devoid of either dragons or asteroids. Only dust and ashes remained.

The joy was short lived as the voice of Ferrovax echoed across his domain, roiling with dark laughter. “The temerity, the impudence, I had forgotten how blind your kind was to its own limitations. You are not in the realm of mortals where your pathetic attempts at power can reshape what is. This is my realm. Here I am god.”

And we watched in horror as the ashes and dust coalesced, burning with power unseen as the charred remains of thousands bound together into a single, unified form. A serpent dragon large enough to blot out the distant stars stared at us with an eye larger than my flagship, grasping the ship between its thumb and fore-claw. It ignored the furious attempts of our gliders to attack it as though they were less than insects.

“Recall the fighters,” I groaned. “And get them behind the shields.”

“But the beast’s minions will soon be upon us!” Ammit growled in fear.

“They won’t do anything, not without Ferrovax’s permission. We’re his prey. It would be rude for them to interrupt, and nobody is dumb enough to be rude to Ferrovax.” I sighed.

“Nobody other than us, you mean.” Bob supplied helpfully.

“Yes,” I waved my hands in exasperation. “Nobody else is that stupid. I’m aware of how boned we are, thank you very much Bob.”

“Just looking to keep you up to date,” Bob replied cheerily. “Do you think he’ll eat the whole ship or shrink down to human size to take us one by one?”

“Bob! Not now.” I barked the order to Ul’tak for a second time. “Recall the damn fighters. They’re only presenting predators with more moving targets. Remember, if we run, they feel obligated to chase us.”

“Yes, my lord.” Ul’tak replied, fear seeping in to his voice. I didn’t blame him; this was a perfect moment to be terrified. I’d take it a step further actually. Of all the moments one could be scared, this was probably the best.

I was supremely grateful for the mask covering my face, other than Bob I was the only person capable of comprehending exactly how screwed we were right that second. This was Ferrovax at the height of his power in the center of his dominion. Not good, not good at all…

Too many dragons to be counted surrounded us on all sides, crowing, screeching and belching great gouts of flame. Ferrovax laughed, thick gouts of steam escaping his nostrils with each earth-shattering exhalation. “Now what to do with you? What to do?”

“What’s going on?” Asked a confused Goa’uld voice. Enlil, the god who I’d stunned, was apparently awake. His pupils were dilated and he moved groggily, clearly still in pain from the zat shot. “Where am I? What is going on?”

“You mouthed off to an ancient and got shot in the face. ” Xin interjected. “You are on his flagship at the heart of the god of dragons’ realm. And we are about to die because a magical horror of incalculable power is going to eat us.” He looked at me, “Does that about sum it up?”

“I would have said ‘die horribly’ and probably punched up the zingers but that’s about right,” I agreed, helping Enlil to his feet. “Probably would have used iambic pentameter or something.”


“Boss, you are not going to start adding a rhyme scheme to your snark – I’m begging you.” He groaned. “I do not want to spend the last moments of my life listening to you attempting to rhyme.”

“We need assistance in the Deck 4 aft wing,” Atreus’ voice echoed across the intercom. “I don't know how they’re doing it without fingers but they’re accessing the life support systems. I repeat – we need additional forces to Deck 4 aft!”

“He’s going to take his time,” I sighed. “He wants to make us suffer for his amusement after the insult of coming in to his realm and killing his vassals. We’ve got at least a minute before he destroys us.”

“You are disturbingly calm about our certain demise,” Enlil replied, looking around the room as though waiting for someone to shout. ‘April fools!’

“I end up in situations of certain death about once a year.” I shrugged. “You get used to it.”

“Ah,” Enlil replied, looking out the window at the giant dragon eye.

“What was your plan?” Xin asked.

“Plan?” Enlil replied. “What plan?”

“The one the Warden shot you for interrupting him to say.” Ammit scratched the side of his nose. “

“Oh,” Enlil waved vaguely towards Ul’tak. “I was going to suggest that we order the Jaffa commander remove the secondary Stargate from storage in the fortress basement. We could use the gate to go literally anywhere else, then just go our separate ways.”

“Wow,” Xin looked from Enlil, to me, and back. “That was a better plan.”

“Much,” Agreed Ammit.

“Are you really second guessing me now?” My eyes flashed in irritation. “Really?”

“We’re about to die – so yeah, this plan pretty much sucks.” Xin pointed to Enlil. “You shouldn’t have shot him.”

“He was getting mouthy,” I replied defensively. “And he was going all rar-me-god-#1.”

“I’m glad to know that our deaths will serve your ego.” Enlil jibed. “I shall remember that fondly in the afterlife.”

“Oh, shut up.” I growled, clapping my hands together and taking Ul’tak’s place at the consul. “And get ready for what comes next.”

I slapped my hands against the flight consul and reached out towards the presence of the ship, once again binding the massive foci to the blinding light of the reactor. I hadn’t lied before when I said that it would be foolish for me to open up a gate in a situation of symbolic danger but Enlil had reminded me of something. Situations of fatal danger were my forte, the places in which I excelled the most.

Much as I may well have longed for the quiet life, I would be lying to say that I was really a creature of peace. I was always weaker, always slower, always less capable, but I always won. Being the underdog was my bread and butter. Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden did not lose – ever. Not to Victor Sells, to Werewolves, not to Vampires, and not to Dragons.

I reminded myself of every dark alley and moonlit night that I’d spent looking for things that could crush me with a finger and forced myself to think of why I’d done it. I forgot the fear, forgot the danger, and just focused on how much of my life was hunting monsters. I didn’t go out and face those things because I wanted to – I faced them because only I could. No – that was a lie – it wasn’t just me.

My friends, my adoptive family, they were all people who fought the creatures which went bump in the night. Michael, Karrin, Bob, the Alphas, and Thomas
Even Butters, the wiry little medical examiner, had helped me to fight supernatural danger. Now I had other people counting on me - new friends and allies who would die if I couldn’t find a solution.

I focused on Ferrovax’s arm – superimposing the image of every supernatural nasty I’d every faced in my entire life over his image. He was just a lizard with delusions of grandeur – no different from any other monster I’d faced in Chicago.

I was where I belonged.

I formed that single thought into a scalpel, driving it across Ferrovax’s hand as I intoned the words, “Aparturum – Maximo Aparturum.”

Ferrovax’s screams of rage made my ears bleed as the opening between the real world and the Nevernever bisected his hand, removing his fingers at the knuckle. Bob had already started flying the ship towards the opening before I yelled, “Gun it!” soaring towards the bright white light.

The countless dragons dove for us in an incalculable wall of teeth, claws and sorcerous flames – enraged that someone had dared to wound their sire. Ammit’s eyes widened in horror as he yelled, “Drop the charges. Drop all the charges. Somebody shoot something!”

“You got it!” Bob whooped in excitement. “Fifty naquadah warheads coming up!”

We punctured the veil of reality, swooping out into the real world with a whooshing squelch of ectoplasm clinging to the hull. I closed the rift with another effort of will, blocking us from the combined explosion of a Ha’tak’s worth of Naquadah-enhanced explosives. A few adolescent dragons managed to slip past the closing guillotine edge of the way-gate, furious magical monsters hell-bent upon my destruction.

“Launch fighters to take care of those,” I sighed, cracking my neck. “Get firing solutions on them to keep them from being able to use their breath on the hull.”

I smiled, looking at the familiar blue-green orb in the distance, orbited by a single satellite. Earth, we’d found our way back to Earth. The sudden appearance of a dragon whelp in the control room somewhat ruined the joy of seeing my home world.

The howling creature spat radiant waves of green lighting at Enlil, flinging him across the room and searing his flesh. The Goa’uld hit the wall, hard. His arm twisted unnaturally in an obvious break. Grabbing the creature’s jaw with my taloned fist, I focused my rage into the red gem at it’s center, forcing a wave of kinetic force upwards.

The whelpling’s brains sprayed across the ceiling – killing it utterly. I dropped the beast’s head in disgust, “Really? Can I please just get a freaking break? Is that too much to ask?”

As though the universe was answering me two bolts of neon light lanced across the open void of space, killing a dragon in a single shot. Out of seemingly nowhere appeared lengthy ship shaped like an flattened axe bisected by two triangular wing-like triangles standing up at perpendicular angles to the ships hull. It spun around the mother ship, destroying the dragons before turning to face us.

The air in front of my rippled, shimmering into the form of a grey figure of elven proportions with huge black eyes and a tiny slit of a mouth. It glared in my direction frostily. “You are Goa’uld.”

“And you are short.” I replied, unable to help myself, “ We all have our crosses to bear. Please tell me you’re not here to probe me.”

“Mad,” Xin groaned. “Completely mad.”

It blinked in irritation. “I am Thor, supreme commander of the Asgard fleet. You have violated the protected planets treaty. You have sixty seconds to leave this system or we will open fire. There will not be another warning.”

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LadyTevar
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2014-06-20 12:24am

Frying pan to Fire. Go'a'uld do NOT fuck with Asgardians. Harry shouldn't either.
...
... Unless he can ask for a spare FTL drive.
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby richard3116 » 2014-06-20 02:37am

LadyTevar wrote:Frying pan to Fire. Go'a'uld do NOT fuck with Asgardians. Harry shouldn't either.
...
... Unless he can ask for a spare FTL drive.

Nah. This is Harry, he will baffle them with BS. :lol:

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2014-06-21 01:21am

“Oh come on!” I rubbed the palm of my hand against the faceplate of my mask. “We haven’t even done anything. This is absurd. You don’t even know who I am.”

“And who are you?” Asked the tiny grey man.

“I’m –“ My mouth slammed shut, apparently unable to form words. I mumbled angrily as a furious voice hissed in my ear.

“Wizard mine this is not some backwater piss ant pretending to be a true power.” The Angel intoned in clipped, concise verbiage. “The Asgard have earned their pantheon’s reputation. They have presence in your world. Do not reveal your true identity to any more signatories to the Unseelie Accords.”

“No, no. I know enough about Norse Lore to know that they’re supernatural heavy hitters. They certainly are powerful but they’re not – well – that.” I gestured in the direction of the Roswell grey in front of me. This was not the legendary warrior of unparalleled physical might – it just couldn’t be. “It can’t be.”

“Fifty five seconds,” ‘Thor’ said matter-of-factly, irritation apparent in his tone. Hell’s bells I really needed to stop talking with Lash out loud, damned fairy mind meld.

“Do not tell him your true name or reveal your true face.” The shadow of Lasciel hissed fearfully. “If they know you’ve traveled back in time it will find you in the present. You must not risk altering your own timeline or the consequences will be dire to both of us.”

Oh hells bells. This was not good. I grimaced and repeated my alias, “I am Lord Warden Dre’su’den the Ha’ri, reborn of Heka.”

"Fifty four seconds"

“Woah, woah, woah – slow it down there tiny. There’s no need for that,” I raised my hands apologetically. “It wasn’t our intention to be here in the first place. We’d gladly leave but we have a slight problem preventing that. Why don’t you just calm down and talk this over. I’ll even offer you a new pair of pants.”

“Your name is noted, I will provide it to the System Lords in my official recognition of your destruction in accordance with our treaty.” Thor intoned frostily. “And your hospitality is wholly unnecessary.”

“Warden, the Asgardian is not bluffing. He is more than capable of following through on its threat. A single Asgard ship is more than a match for an entire Goa’uld battle-group.” Xin hissed. “Stop angering it.”

“Forty seconds.” The creature’s emotionless black eyes stared back into mine.

“Shit – just scan us.” I looked to the other gods. “We have no hyperdrive. We literally can’t go anywhere.”

“Thirty five seconds.”

“Turn it all off Bob! Now.” I shouted to the skull.

“Turn what off?” My advisor replied instantly. “

“Turn off the shields, the weapons, everything but life support. I don’t care what it is – I want it off if it’s not keeping us breathing.” I pulled my foci off my hands and dropped my staff. “Tell everyone not fighting a dragon to drop their weapons and raise their hands in the air.”

“Why would we…”

I shot a glare towards Xin as he started to complain, silencing him. “Not now Tok’ra. Just do it.”

He pulled the zat from his belt and dropped it on the floor. Ul’tak and Ammit followed suit, throwing their various weapons upon the ground. It was a symbolic gesture, but after making fun of the guy’s height it seemed the appropriate level of group emasculation to appease the creature’s ego.

“Now look, we’re all disarmed. The ship is no threat – I just need you to listen.” I bowed slightly, deferring to the Norse deity. It was very hard to be properly deferent to a man who barely came up to my navel. “Just please don’t shoot us.”

“Twenty seconds.”

“Oh come on! We’re surrendering. We have no weapons that can hurt you. Please don’t shoot us.” I pleaded. “You don’t need to do this.”

“Fifteen seconds.”

“Please – I am begging you. Do not kill this ship full of people. Do not kill those in my care.” I dropped to my knees, still a head taller than the Asgard. I reached out for the god, and my hand shimmered through the illusionary form he was projecting onto the bridge. Stars and stones that had looked real, “There are thousands of refugees from Delmak on this ship. Don’t kill them for no reason.”

“You cannot use your slaves as a shield to protect you from the consequences of your actions. Any use of humans as military shields invalidates your claim to that herd.” Thor replied. “I will teleport them from your ship prior to its destruction and take them to a safe location. They are in no danger.”

“Oh,” I stood up, relived. “Well never mind then. ”

“What!?” Ammit barked, “Warden – he is going to kill us in ten seconds.”

“No, he isn’t.” I brushed off my sleeves. “Because we’re going to surrender to him and he is going to accept, take us to a Stargate and let us go. ”

“And if he does not?” The Asgard asked in a tone of deadly calm.

“Then the four of us die in whatever way you feel is most efficient.” I shrugged. “You’re not going to torture me – I know enough about your pantheon to know that about you. As long as the Jaffa and Humans survive, I can live with that.”

“The Humans will be saved. The Jaffa will not.” Thor replied.

“No – you’ll save both of them.” I rejoined. “You said you were going to save my slaves. The Jaffa are refugees as well – innocents. You’re going to save them too. You don’t kill the undeserving, there’s no honor in it.”

“As stipulated in the Protected Planets Treaty no Asgard is to aide any Jaffa in an act of rebellion, escape, or mutiny. ” Thor replied. “You will not be able to talk me into violating our treaty. And no Jaffa are innocent, each of them is a killer in service to your empire.”

“Fine, then I free my Jaffa.” I replied. “They’re not forced to serve me any more. They aren’t slaves, with my blessing to be free. Take them to safety – you’ve already decided that you’re going to kill me in spite of never having met me. I’m not going to allow your prejudices to get my men killed.”

The tiny grey man tilted his head pensively.

“Take them. Take all of them. Take anyone you please and let them be free as a bird – with my blessing – just do it after you scan my ship and verify that I’m telling you the truth.” I sighed, trying to appeal to the creature’s better angels. “It would take you what? A couple more seconds? What is the harm in knowing? Is killing an unarmed opponent going to please Odin and the other gods?”

He blinked in thought. “And if you are lying to me?”

“Then kill me,” I replied. “Just please do it quickly and painlessly. And please don’t bring me back after, I deserve to have a proper ending.”

A pregnant moment passed in silence before the Asgard nodded, “Very well. I will scan your ship.”

The creature shimmered out of view, leaving me in the center of the control room bending over nothing. I stood up, cracking my neck nervously as the pint-sized god of thunder decided if he was about to bring down the rain.

“Boss, I noticed that you didn’t demand he save me in that list of ‘everybody’ you were tossing out.” The spirit of intellect groaned.

“Bob, everything we’ve met since we left earth has treated you like the supernatural version of Godzilla mixed with anthrax.” I shook my head. “Do you really think he was going to react well to seeing you after shooting the dragons without hesitation?”

“He well might have,” Bob pouted. “He seemed like a clever fellow. Not much for modesty either, we’d get along great.”

“A clever fellow I know nothing about. You’re too dangerous to just hand you over to someone I’ve never met before.” I replied. “No – if I go down you’re going to have to go down with me. Minion union rules, you can’t just run away with the first naked Asgardian who comes along.”

“I’m not your minion. You’re my goon. Now goon your way out of this situation before we both get killed by Mulder’s interpretation of Marvel Comics.” Bob hissed. “I refuse to die immediately after managing to best Ferrovax. It would be undignified.”

“So is nobody going to comment on the dead dragon guts falling off the ceiling?” Ammit plucked viscera off his head. “Because I’m really getting sick of the dripping blood.”

“Really?” Xin queried. “We’re moments from death and you’re worried about housekeeping?”

“Nobody’s getting shot. The Warden’s crazy but he’s not stupid. We’re pathetic, unarmed, and helpless. The Asgard aren’t going to shoot us like that. They have to show off how much stronger they are than us – maybe get some sort of a concession for their trouble – but they aren’t going to shoot us.” He flashed a mouth of shark-like teeth. “They’re the ‘good guys.’ If they were going to shoot us they’d have already done it. “

Enlil let out a breath of relief, “You’re sure?”

“No,” Ammit shrugged. “But if I’m wrong we’ll all be too dead for anyone to care. I’m not going to spend my time worrying either way.”

“Oh,” Enlil nodded. “That’s nice.”

“Seriously though,”Ammit pulled another strip of pulped dragon from his shoulder. “Is there a dedicated cleaning crew or do I just walk into the hall and ask the three closest slaves to get buckets and mops?”

“There is a cleaning crew,” Ul’tak supplied. “I can summon them if you’d like, my Lord Ammit. They should be up from deck 10 in fewer than three minutes.”

“Don’t bother,” Xin replied. “If the Asgard are going to kill us all anyway, there isn’t any reason to make them walk up that many stairs.”

“Stairs?” I asked, in genuine curiosity. “We have stairs?”

“You told the spirit to disable all non-essential systems.” The Tok’ra waved towards Bob. “Transport tubes are non-essential.”

“Seriously though? Stairs?” I asked. “Not ladders or Jeffries tubes?”

“Have you ever tried to get Jaffa to carry a staff weapon up a ladder during a fire fight?” Ammit shook his head, “Or to carry a pallet of Naquadah? It’s a nightmare. No leverage and it’s just begging for someone to toss grenades down at you. And I have no idea what a ‘Jeffries tube’ is supposed to be.”

“About twenty minutes of plot filler while the ensign hides from the monster of the week,” I replied. “So we have stairs?”

“Ramps mostly,” Xin nodded. “It makes it easier for the slaves to get chariots and carts in on the more primitive worlds.”

“Neat,” I replied. “Do we have a game room as well? Things for fun?”

“Several dojo and an amphitheater on tier three, my Lord Warden,” Ul’tak supplied. “I find the daily prayer choir of the priestesses to be most enjoyable.”

“There is a topless show on the ship?” Bob moaned. “Of course I don’t find that out until I’m about to die.”

“Bob, you spent most of your day being fawned on by naked women,” The spirit was incorrigible. “Naked women worshipping you.”

“Yeah boss,” Bob replied. “But not to song and dance.”

“It really is very enjoyable, my Lord,” Offered another of my Jaffa. “The midday prayers have the best soprano section.”

“Bah,” The Ancient Jaffa barked from my right. “Too much vibrato. The early morning services sing the prayers of old, good hearty songs.”

“Songs nearly as old as you, old man.” Ul’tak interjected.

“Ok, anyone not arguing over the best type of naked choir may stay here in the bridge.” I squinched my eyes together, trying not to think about the incredibly tempting image of the priesthood of Heka dancing and singing in unison. “Everyone else, leave.”

“Oh, thank God.” I sighed in relief as the large headed grey figure shimmered back into view. “Are you going to kill me? Because at this point I’m not 100% sure if I want to be saved.”

Thor blinked in apparent confusion. I raised my hands, “That was a joke, a joke.”

Apparently the little guy was not overburdened with a sense of humor. “Indeed – I have scanned your ship. You are apparently speaking the truth. I will not destroy you – yet.”

“Much appreciated,” I nodded. “So what happens next?”

“The matter of your trespass into the Tau’ri territory cannot go without redress,” Thor intoned. “And I require explanation of how you got here without a hyperdrive.”

“We took the Nevernever while running from Apophis.” I replied. “Accidentally ended up in Ferrovax’s domain and opened the first way we could, to flee his progeny. ”

The god blinked for a moment. “You opened a way.”

“Yes.” I replied.

“You opened a way large enough to take a ship into the Nevernever? A Goa’uld?” The god did not emphasize the words, but his incredulity was obvious.

“Several ships actually, this is just the only one to escape.” I walked over to the throne, picking up Bob’s skull and strapping his leather harness to my waist. “It wasn’t my first choice but the moon blew up and half the planet was on fire. Leaving seemed wise.”

“We are aware of the situation on Delmak.” Thor replied.

“Neat,” I nodded, pointing to the Tok’ra, “You can ask the Tok’ra if you need proof. He hates me.”

“I do,” Xin agreed. “I really do.”

Thor’s eyes narrowed, “You have a professed Tok’ra on your command deck.”

“I’m as confused by it as you are.” Xin admitted. “It has been an exceedingly strange day. If you take me to the Tau’ri I can confirm my identity with the Tok’ra high command.”

“That will not be necessary,” Thor replied, quirking an eyelid pensively. “Scans reveal that you are of Egeria’s brood.”

“You can scan for that?” I blinked in surprise, realizing something. “Wait – you’re telling my that my scans show me as a Goa’uld?”

“Of course,” Thor replied. “Life signs were detected from all symbiotes on this vessel.”

“Oh – goodie.” Save the freak out for later Harry, I reminded myself, save the freak out for later. There was going to be some simple, rational, and reasonable explanation for why Thor believed Heka was alive and kicking, an explanation that hopefully did not have me marching “Heil Heka” in the near future.

“It is not what you think, Wizard.” Lasciel hissed. “I will explain all in time. It would only distract you at the moment.”

“It is troubling that you are meddling into the affairs of the other side.” Thor replied. “One would think that your last interaction with the Furlings would be sufficient to discourage any future incursions. Their Queens have long memories and longer grudges.”

“Well, other than a newly pissed off Dragon I don't think that’s necessarily true.” I replied. “I already owe the Winter Queen a sufficient debt that I’m not really worried about her Anger. Her help is dangerous enough. And the rest of them were nice enough to me. I don’t think any of them have grudges with me yet. The Ladies aren’t a threat to me, Summer Queen has no reason to hate me, and I’m pretty much beneath the notice of the Mothers. I figure I’m in no more danger than anyone else who goes into that realm.”

The grey man blinked in increasingly agitated flutters of his eyelashes. “You are remarkably well informed for someone who arrived ‘by accident’ into protected space just as we arrived.”

“Are you implying that I planned for you to threaten to kill me?” I snorted in amusement.

“It would not be the craziest thing I’ve seen you do in the past day,” Ammit growled just loud enough for me to hear.

I ignored him, “My arrival was genuinely accidental, Supreme Commander. I have business elsewhere that I must attend to immediately.”

“What business is that?” Thor asked.

I thought about it for a second, considering the lore of the Norse Gods. Thor had been a benevolent god in Norse mythology, one of the few whose worship had not required human sacrifice* in his service. He valued bravery, honesty, and directness, dealing out punishments to those who tried to betray or beguile him.

He had already ignored or missed my use of an alias, but it was best not to tempt fate with too many lies. I had no way of knowing what mystical skills or advanced technology he had at his disposal. Truth was my best bet.

“I have to complete a task for the Winter Queen in the next twenty four hours or I will die horribly.” I replied. “She’s forcing me to do it because I’m in her debt.”

Ammit and Enlil shared a terrified look. I couldn’t blame them; they’d just gotten independent verification that I’d made a deal with the evil space god version of the bogeyman. Well, I guess she was basically just the generic bogeyman. Most stories about evil witches or horrible fairies were ultimately about her. Mab was one scary customer.

“Ah,” Thor nodded. “I believe I understand. Your price for that host and its power.”

“In a manner of speaking – it was a debt owed to the Leanansidhe then sold to the Queen of Winter.” I nodded. “I’ll have it verified in accorded Neutral Territory if that’s necessary.”

“It will not be. I will send an elf emissary to speak with the Furlings to verify your story after we are finished here.” Thor’s tiny lip quirked into a dangerous smile. “If it is a lie, I have no doubt the Winter Queen will settle the insult of falsely invoking her name.”

Ok, “tiny grey man” was officially upgraded to “scarily dangerous and potentially vindictive, tiny grey man.” I nodded, “That is agreeable. Now about the other matter.”

“Yes,” Thor nodded. “I am not the one with whom you should be negotiating for the terms of your release. As this is Tau’ri space you have violated, it is the Tau’ri to whom you must pay reparations.”

“So do we hail them or what?” I had hardly finished asking the question when there was a booming “whoosh” of light and sound, culminating in a man sized pillar of purple tinted white light. I blinked, opening my eyes to see a middle aged man. He was greying around the temples but still bore the bearing of a statesman or perhaps a soldier. Clearly unprepared to have been whisked away by the Asgard, he held a six-pack of beer in one hand and bowl of popcorn in the other. Judging by his team jersey, he’d been about to watch a game of Hockey.

“Well this is new,” He blinked, looking around the room in brief confusion. He looked at us each in turn before before seeing Thor. “Making friends?”

“Colonel O’Neil. I have brought you here on a matter of great urgency.” The Asgard intoned in solemn severity.

“Is that a dragon?” the Colonel blinked, looking at the huge corpse behind me.

“A whelp,” I supplied helpfully. “Not a mature one.”

“Ah,” He elongated the syllable further than I realized a human even could in one breath. “And you would be?”

“That is the Lord Warden Dre’su’den the Ha’ri.” Thor replied. “Commander of this vessel.”

“Well isn’t that special.” O’Neil clicked his tongue against his teeth, rolling his eyes. “Must be fun writing a name tag.”

“Not nearly as much fun as I assume it is to get you to stop listening to the sound of your own voice,” I replied, turning to Thor. “Is this really the one I have to negotiate with?”

“Hey goldeneyes,” The Colonel snapped his fingers in my direction. “English – English. Me no speaky snake.”

I blinked momentarily and then remembered – Lasciel was translating everything I said into Goa’uld. I briefly considered speaking in English when a better idea came to me. Thor seemed largely aware of the supernatural – what harm would there be in showing off my assistant?

“Hey Bob, you wanna play 3P0 to my R2?”

“You have got to watch another movie. I’m begging you.” Bob sighed, his eye-lights flickering on. “You want me to translate the other one’s translations? Really? Dork to snake to English in real time?”

“Just do it.”

“The things I do for this job,” Bob groaned in a long-suffering groan. “Very well.”

I said the phrase again, my skeletal assistant translating from Goa’uld to English in real time. The Colonel sighed, opened one of his beer and took a long drag of the amber liquid before looking at the Norse god. “Thor, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal - Why am I talking to a decapitated head in a room with what is clearly a dead dragon?”

“We’re here because somebody got it in their head to blow up the moon of Delmak. The planet is on fire and everyone is pretty much running for their lives,” I replied in sonorous duet with Bob’s translation.

“Ah,” The greying man chewed his lip. “Yes – that is a thing. Why is it a me thing?”

“The Warden has surrendered to the Asgard in exchange for safe passage.” Thor replied. “He owes you reparations in exchange for being allowed to leave alive.”

“Are you sure you can’t just reconsider and zap the ship?” He shook his head raising his index finger in self-correction. “After, I’m of it that is. After.”

“I’m literally five feet from you,” I interjected. “I can hear everything you’re saying.”

“Yes, we know” O’Neill waved his hand dismissively. “You’re very impressive..”

The Grey man smiled benevolently. “No, O’Neill. Not under the terms of the Accords. His surrender to the Asgard was legal and he will be allowed to leave once the terms have been met.”

“Terms for what exactly?” O’Neill asked.

“The use of your Stargate to return home.” Thor replied.

“Yeah – no.” O’Neill shook his head. “Not happening. There will be no snakes going through our Stargate.”

“It is not a suggestion, Colonel. If you do not comply with the terms of the treaty the Asgard will not be able to protect you in future.” Thor shook his head. “Acceptable terms for the use of your gate must be met which are agreeable to the Goa’uld, Asgard and Tau’ri. Until such an agreement is met, I am afraid all parties must remain.”

“To all of us?” O’Neill looked mournfully at his six-pack. “I’m going to miss the game aren’t I?”

“What do you want?” I asked, hearing the ticking clock of Mab’s deadline ringing in my ears.

“It’d be nice if the Goa’uld all stopped the whole ‘I am god’ thing.” The Colonel sipped from his beer. “It’s kinda’ getting repetitive. I’m pretty sure you’re borrowing each other’s monologues.”

“Genetic memories,” Xin provided. “The Goa’uld all have a relatively similar sense of style because of it. Their personalities branch out with time, but they’re largely the same as youth.”

“You I do know,” O’Neill squinted. “Why?”

“Tok’ra – not Goa’uld,” The operative replied. “Same side as you.”

The Colonel nodded, “Interesting company you’re keeping.”

“You have no idea.” Xin replied. “Will you please keep me at the SGC till the Tok’ra can verify my identity? I appreciate that you’re going to lock me in a cell, just please let me get a full nights uninterrupted sleep. Perhaps two?”

“Yeah, Jacob’s still around to verify who you are.” O’Neill nodded. “And the rest of you? Tok’ra?”

The Unas snorted, speaking in accented English. “Hardly.”

“A guy can dream.” The Colonel sighed, watching as Atreus came into the control room, soaked in blood. “What’s with Sparticus over there?”

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “Did we get rid of them?”

“Most,” The God heaved breathily. “We killed most, subdued the smallest of the whelps. I offer it to you as your share of the spoils, Lord Warden.”

“How many dragons are there on this ship?” O’Neill looked at Thor. “Why is nobody else confused by the dragons?”

“Because the dragons came to kill the Goa’uld for invading their territory.” Thor replied.

O’Neill pinched the bridge of his nose. “The Napoleonic power monger is going to have me under lock and key for a week when I submit this report. I just know she will.”

“Colonel,” I interjected. “We’re kind of on a time crunch. I need to get to my planet before the other gods stop fighting over Delmak. I wish for the gods onboard, my Jaffa, and the human refugees to be guaranteed safe passage offworld.”

“You see that last part is going to be problematic.” O’Neill waggled his index finger back and forth. “We’re kind of hung up on the whole ‘free will’ thing for humans. We aren’t a transport service for your slaves.”

“Then keep the ones who don’t wish to come with us on Earth. House them, relocate them - do with them, as you will.” I shook my head. “These are refugees, not slaves. They’re free to leave at any time.”

O’Neill blinked. “Ooookkkkaaaayyy then. So what are you offering?”

“This ship and all the gliders onboard.” I nodded. “As well as all the Naquadah stored in the cargo hold.”

O’Neill tilted his head, raising his eyebrow in incredulity. “What?”

“If you let us go through your Stargate, I will give you this ship and everything inside of it,” I replied.

“Ok – so this is a trap right?” The colonel looked a Thor. “I mean it has to be a trap.”

“We will enforce the terms of this deal O’Neill.” Thor replied. “The immediate consequences for any trap would be deeply regrettable.”

The Colonel massaged his forehead. “No, I’m not buying it. Not from the snakes. If they’re offering me a cupcake I expect it’s full of razorblades, poison, and a compound to make me explode. I want to know what’s wrong with the ship.”

“It’s booby trapped. Not by me, by Sokar.” I replied. “I don’t know in how many different ways. There was at least one way to remotely eject the hyperdrive core, which they did by the way. I suspect there are probably a bunch more.”

I snapped my fingers, realizing something, “Oh, and I’m pretty sure an architect of the universe is going to try to murder this ship on a regular basis. So yeah, it’s broken, booby-trapped, and probably an advertisement for a planet sized dragon to try and eat you.”

“Ah,” O’Neill paused. “But it does have big honkin’ space guns – yes?”

“It has big honking space guns,” I replied.

“Eh,” He held out his hand to shake on the deal. “It’ll work.”

-=-=-=-=-=-

* Seriously google it.
Last edited by Todeswind on 2014-06-21 08:27am, edited 1 time in total.

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MondoMage
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby MondoMage » 2014-06-21 06:24am

Heh. I was wondering if we were going to see an O'Neill-Dresden snarkfest. It does not disappoint. Can't wait to see how it goes when everyone else gets involved. Enjoying this immensely. Keep it up.

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LadyTevar
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2014-06-21 10:35pm

Furlings are Fae?!??!
Image

Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
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Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2014-06-22 12:07pm

Funny enough the roman era proto-english version of "The little fair ones" sounds remarkably like Furling.

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Grand Moff Tim
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Grand Moff Tim » 2014-06-22 11:42pm

You know, it would be just Harry's luck to have the Gatekeeper show up just before he's able to get through the Stargate. :twisted:

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2014-07-31 01:25am

Blinding light washed over me as I shook the soldier’s hand, spiriting me to a place I’d never seen before. We were in a huge stone room, standing on a catwalk overlooked by high glass windows in front of a familiar stone ring, the Stargate. Ammit, Atreus, Enlil, and the Colonel materialized around as a howling alarm reverberated against concrete and steel.


“Oh – hell’s bells,” My eyes snapped open in horror behind my facemask. “I’m on Earth aren’t I?”

“Where else would we be?” Ammit snorted. “Thor’s sense of humor is uniquely cruel.”

Crueler than Ammit could ever know, I knew very little about how time travel worked. Chronomancy was forbidden by the White Council due to the dangers involved, screwing with the timeline could have drastic consequences upon the whole world. If someone got wind that there were two Harry Dresdens walking around at the same point in history I could easily end up getting me, or more likely past-me, killed for violating the Laws of Magic. I’d already managed to screw up history for half the galaxy, I was in no hurry to kill myself in the past and end up unmaking the universe in some sort of weird harry-dox paradox.

“I would not fear that, my host,” Lash whispered into my ear. “Look around you. Cameras, computers, and advanced firearms are everywhere.”

I sighed in relief. That was right. It was mortals who controlled the Earth Stargate. Supernatural beings avoided mortal authorities like the plague, and we were in the heart of a ‘Mortal Authority’ hotspot. The council and the courts did not want the American Military getting involved – it would be the magical equivalent of doomsday.

“Indeed,” Lash replied. “And no Fae would expose themselves to a building full of so much exposed iron.”

“Intruders in the Gate Room,” Yelled a booming voice from a set of loudspeakers mounted on the walls. “Condition red! I repeat intruders in the Gate Room.”

Great, for the moment all I would have to worry about was being executed as an evil space god by justifiably angry soldiers. “Xin, I’m afraid to ask this, but I don’t suppose that the humans from Earth have met a Goa’uld they didn’t want to shoot on sight did they?”

“No,” Xin sighed.

I clutched my hand, trying to draw power to my foci, only to realize that my foci, my rings, my shield bracelet, and even the Goa’uld shield device hadn’t been transported with me. Thor disarmed me before tossing me to the mortals.

“Oh, no.” I groaned, watching as the Stargate was whisked away in a burst of blue-white light. “This is bad.”

“I gave up on bad when we fought off an army of Dragons,” Ammit replied.

“You could try surrendering to them,” Xin replied. “That seems to have worked well for you so far.”

Marines armed with automatic weapons stormed into the room, keeping the five of us at gunpoint. They stared at us with dead eyes, clearly prepared to kill us at a moment’s notice. I wondered how many hits my shield bracelet could take now that I had the strength power up from the snake apparently still living in my skull. Without my foci I’d be limited in my ability to fight, but a wizard was never entirely without weapons.

“Oh for the love of – THOR!” The Colonel shouted at the ceiling, “Get your little grey butt down here this instant!”

“Colonel O’Neill, just what in the hell is going on?” Barked an angry voice over the loudspeaker. A bald man with a slight paunch glared down at us from an overlooking window, standing at the center of an obvious control room.

“Evening General.” The Colonel raised his hands, demonstrating that he was unarmed. “My vacation was shorter than I planned.”

“Colonel.” The General was not amused by the Colonel’s antics. "Why are you here?"

“Well – That little chestnut is going to make a lot more sense once Thor gets here,” He pointed to an open section of floor as though expecting the Norse god to pop up on command. “This will just take a second.”

Nothing happened.

The Colonel rolled back and forth on his heels, his breath whistling through clenched teeth as he inhaled. “Aaaanny minute now.”

“Jack?” A confused, bespectacled man peeked out from around the bulkhead. “Aren’t you supposed to be at your cabin?”

The Colonel glared past the armed men, “Well Daniel, it turns out that the Asgard didn’t see my ‘do not disturb’ sign on the door. They’re inconsiderate like that sometimes.”

“Oh.” The man nodded, “Who are they?”

“A bunch of lost puppies.” Jack replied, “I fed them and they followed me home, can I keep them? Who do you think they are? They’re Goa’uld.”

“I am Tok’ra,” Xin corrected.

“You’re interrupting my vacation. Don’t interrupt my shtick as well.” The man silenced Xin with his index finger. “I have a process. It doesn’t improve when people correct me.”

“Are you in need of assistance Colonel O’Neill?” A large Jaffa man armed with a staff weapon stood at the center of the Marines, eyebrow arched in curiosity.

Ammit hissed in disgust, baring his teeth and growling. “Sho’va.”

“Now you play nice, while you’re visiting.” O’Neill chided the Unas before turning to the Jaffa. “Not quite yet Teal’c old pal, but I’ll keep you posted.”

“That is the Goa’uld Ammit, devourer of the dead.” The Jaffa Teal’c replied with stoic precision, aiming his staff weapon at the god’s head. “Servant of Sokar.”

“Now hold on just a minute,” The Colonel raised his eyebrow. “How can you possibly know that?”

“His image was in the mission briefing provided by the Tok’ra we received before rescuing Jacob Carter.” Teal’c replied. “Had you read your briefing you would recognize both he and the Goa’ulds Enlil and Atreus.

“Ah, yes – the briefing.” The Colonel replied. “The briefing we were all supposed to read before going to –” he paused, correcting himself before saying too much. “On the mission. That briefing. How silly of me.”

“You didn’t read the report?” I asked, in genuine curiosity. “Wasn't that an order or something?”

“It was certainly something.” The Colonel shook his head. “Why am I talking to a snake about this?”

“Because using your mouth seems to be your stress relief valve in high pressure situations.” I shrugged. “You seem clinically incapable of not running your mouth if there is even the remotest opportunity for recalcitrance.”

“Said pot to kettle,” Whispered the voice of the fallen.

Hey, I never said it was a bad thing.

“Sorry Jack, but how long has this Goa’uld been around you?” The bespectacled man queried in genuine curiosity.

“Daniel.” The Colonel replied warningly.

“I mean it’s just pretty much spot on how you deal with stress.” The man continued. “I honestly didn’t think the Goa’uld were that aware of human psychology.”

“Daniel!” The Colonel raised his voice in irritation.

“I hadn’t even really thought about it but it makes sense for it to be a coping mechanism in the face of certain death,” The man continued pensively. “I mean you weren’t really joking much on Abydos at first, but you weren’t really looking to keep going then either.”

“Daniel!” The Colonel shouted. “Not the time or the place.”

“Will you not simply suggest that the next point of inquiry is temporally inefficient when next Dr. Jackson raises this matter, Colonel O’Neill,” The Jaffa replied, looking at me pensively. “I do not know this Goa’uld.”

“He’s Dressing the Hairy.” O’Neill replied, intentionally mangling my pseudonym. “He’s the god of confusion and silly hats.”

“I don’t wear hats.” I rejoined. “And it’s Lord Warden Dre’su’den the Ha’ri.”

“What? No threats to eat my entrails?” The Colonel arched an eyebrow.

I shrugged, “I had a late lunch.”

“Ah,” The man nodded his head knowingly. “How foolish of me. I will make a note to only approach recently fed Goa’uld to make sure they’re less ornery.”

“Not a bad strategy actually,” Ammit replied in growling English. “We get a boost of endorphins for about an hour after a good meal.”

“Neat,” He looked at the collected faces and up to the control room before looking back at the bespectacled man.

He sighed in relief as a grey figure materialized in the Gate Room, standing between the marines and Goa’uld. The tiny norse god waved a hand, dematerializing every weapon in sight, “Those will not be necessary.”

The marines looked gormlessly into their suddenly bare fingers, unsure how to react. I couldn’t blame them. I would have reacted the same way, if my pistol suddenly weren’t there.

Huh... what had happened to my pistol, come to think of it? I hadn't seen it since the Darkhallow. Crap, if I ever got back I'd have to remember to go out looking for it so it didn't end up being picked up by some kid who mistook it for a toy or some gang-banger looking for a disposable weapon.

“Thor,” The Colonel smiled. “You took your time.”

“I apologize Colonel. I had to tow the Goa’uld ship to the dark side of your moon to prevent detection.” He turned and addressed me. “Your First Prime is taking the refugees through the Stargate. Once they are through I will return the gate so that you may leave the planet.”

“Ah,” I replied, his reasoning suddenly apparent. “We’re hostages. You have us here to ensure that we’re not trying anything shady till every one of them is through.”

“Such an assumption of treachery would be inappropriate.” Thor replied, raising a single eyebrow as a sarcastic lilt worked its way into his monotone. He smiled cruelly, looking to Ammit. “However should one chose the route of treachery, one would have to fight past a mountain of trained warriors to leave this facility.”

“I am no fool Asgard. I have no urge to remain on this blasted hell scape any longer than is demanded of me,” Ammit growled in reply, a hint of fear in his voice. “Are we secure in this facility?”

“The outside world is largely unaware of the Chappa’ai in Stargate Command.” Thor replied. “And the doors barring this base from the outside world are a combination of ferrous metals.”

“It will suffice,” Enlil replied, groaning in pain as he massaged his side.

“All weapons have temporarily been removed from the facility in accordance with the protected planet’s treaty’s terms of engagement. They will be returned to you upon completion of our business here.” Thor looked at the Goa’uld. “Should the Goa’uld violate the terms of their total surrender, I will be forced to terminate them.”

Thor looked up to the balding man. “General, if it is agreeable, I will explain the conditions of the Goa’uld surrender to the Tau’ri in private.”

“Of course Supreme Commander – ” The General’s sentence abruptly cut off as the pair of them shimmered out of existence, leaving my cadre of Goa’uld staring down twenty or so marines. The Marines continued to stand at the ready, obviously prepared to do us harm, weapons be damned.

“So,” I looked at the Colonel. “This is awkward.”

“Yep.” The Colonel replied.

“So do we just stand here or is there a conference room or something?” I waved towards the doors.

“We don’t get a lot of Goa’uld guests.” O’Neill replied.

“Not with this decorating certainly.” I waved at the drab grey walls and ceiling. “This is somewhere between ‘modern prison’ and ‘lunatic asylum.”

“Says the man who decorates his ship with prayers to himself.” O’Neill replied. “And only uses Gold in his decorating.”

“They’re not prayers.” Enlik shook his head, replying in broken English. “They’re wards. They discourage intrusions from the underworld.”

“Ah yes, those pesky ghosts.” O’Neill sighed exasperatedly. “How foolish of us not to consider them in our designs.”

The bespectacled man walked cautiously closer to us. “What spirits from the Underworld?”

“All of them,” Atreus replied, as though it were obvious. “Though the Warden hardly seems troubled by spirits -” He stared with a mix of fear and envy at Bob “-we are not all so lucky.”

The bespectacled man interjected, “Forgive my ignorance but I’ve never heard of a Dre’su’den the Ha’ri.”

“That’s because he was known as Heka till a couple of days ago.” Xin interjected. “He was apparently ‘reborn’ as the Lord Warden Dre’su’den the Ha’ri.”

“O’Neill,” The Jaffa hissed in fear. “You need to move away immediately.”

“Any reason in particular, Teal’c old buddy?” O’Neill moved on the ball of his feet, not actually running but moving to run if he needed to do so.

“He is more dangerous than you could imagine. The god of sorcery is responsible for System Lord dominance of the entire galaxy. He is the oldest of the System Lords other than Lord Yu.” His voice colored with spite. “That is Sokar’s most favored ally. He designed Netu.”

“Ah,” O’Neill’s posture changed drastically. I was not simply an enemy, I was the enemy. “Yes. I see.”

“I don’t suppose saying ‘I’m not evil,’ would help?” I queried.

“Nope,” O’Neill replied. “I was on Netu recently. I can’t say that planet spoke too well of your mental state.”

“Impossible,” Ammit snorted. “Netu was inescapable.”

“Was being the key part of that phrase after we finished,” O’Neill replied, wearing shit-eating grin just exuding smugness.

I blinked, connecting the dots in my head. “It was you.”

“Me what?” The Colonel replied.

“Apophis was clearly as confused as I was when the moon blew up.” I thought about it. “He was posturing when we were free-falling but he’s not about to blow up a planet while he’s still in the blast radius.”

“Hell, the Goa’uld don’t really like to assassinate each other – do they? They force each other to serve if they can. Especially if they’re powerful,” I nodded, looking at O’Neill. “You – on the other hand – are an American. When in doubt you prefer to make things explode. You were the ones who blew up the moon, not Apophis.”

"I can neither confirm nor deny our involvement." The Colonel replied.

"So that would be a 'yes' and a 'I wanted to make the explosion bigger."

“Are you sure you haven’t met Jack before?” The bespectacled man queried.

“Daniel!” The silver haired colonel barked in irritation. “Stop chatting with the Goa’uld.”

“Jack, this is the first time we’ve had the Goa’uld in a room with us just talking. This is practically convivial by their standards.” The man pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose. “Call me crazy, but shouldn’t we use this as an opportunity to – you know – talk?”

“Talking with the Dread Lord of Nekheb would accomplish astonishingly little in your favor, Daniel Jackson.” The Jaffa’s lip curled in disgust. “The Jaffa legends warn of his words, and of the evil in his gaze. If you allow him to stare into your eyes he will know your heart’s darkest desires. He will own you.”

Now that was a tactic of using a soul gaze I’d never considered. For a heart as black as Heka’s it would have been a weapon beyond belief to show some hapless mortal the evil in him and learn the quality of their character. Did the fallen use it that way as well?

“No, my host.” Lash shivered in my mind. “We do not like to expose ourselves so readily to anyone, least of all our followers. Nicodemus’ little brood of soldiers most definitely has never been exposed to his true self. They’d run screaming before he had the chance to pluck their tongues. The usurpers lack foresight and modesty but not an abundance of followers. It would have been a powerful weapon to cow the masses.”

Charming. “I have no interest in seeing the souls of those here, I am eager to be elsewhere as soon as is possible.”

“What’s the rush?” The Colonel replied. “Not that we aren’t just thrilled to have you over.”

“I’ve got to finish a task for a – peer of mine.” I replied, choosing not to mention the specific ‘peer’ around the mortals. “It’s somewhat time sensitive.”

“That and you have to mount a defense against Apophis,” Enlil replied.

“Come again?” Asked Bob the skull, rolling his eye lights exhasperatedly. “Didn’t we just get done running away from tall, dark, and scarfaced?”

I smacked the skull in irritation, chastising it in Goa’uld. “Bob – I do not need you adding pop-culture references from Earth.”

“Ouch Boss! It’s not my fault if I have taste.” The skull rejoined in irritation. “And it was hardly an invalid question.”

“Jaaaaccckkk, why is our 'guest' arguing with a severed head?” The bespectacled man stared at Bob’s vessel with increased interest. “Wait – is that thing alive?”

“The creature is from the realms of Sun and Snow,” Xin replied. “Alive is something of a relative term, safe as well. The creature is neither. Don’t approach it.”

The Jaffa paled, “They do not exist. They are another lie of the false gods.”

“Listen baldy, I’m more real than you could ever hope to be.” Bob replied in irritation. “Why don't you come over here and say that to my face.”

“Teal’c? Care to share with the class?” The Colonel crossed his arms, staring at the skull on my belt.

“There are legends in my people of two kingdoms which can only be reached through dreams and sorcery, ruled by queens as dangerous as they are fair. I believed it a campfire legend from the Jaffa of old, now only told to scare the young and teach them proper manners –nothing more.” The broad shouldered warrior moved back a step. “They were creatures of unimaginable power, peers of the gods.”

The Colonel snorted, “That thing is seeming less ‘god’ and more ‘knick-knack.”

“Knick knack!” Bob screamed, his eyes blazing. “Don’t you call me a ‘knick-knack’ you knock off geriatric GI Joe.”

“Bob!” I shouted, my voice unintentionally magnified with an unconscious effort of magic. “Enough.” The Marines flinched as the deafening sound echoed through the small chamber.

“Yes sir, Mr. Warden,” Bob winced his eye-lights. “Only translation from now on.”

“So do you actually want me to answer the spirit’s question, Lord Warden?” Atreus queried.

I rubbed the palm of my hand across the faceplate of my mask, “I don’t even know why I try. Yes – why are we mounting a defense against Apophis?”

“Warden, you didn’t just escape Apophis. You embarrassed him, using forgotten sorceries to steal warships and cast them adrift within the Realms of Sun and Snow.” Atreus replied, running his fingers longingly over his empty sword case. “Escaping him would have been an annoyance, but an acceptable one. Upstaging him in his moment of triumph – he’s going to mobilize his new army to crush you first chance he gets.”

“He’ll probably use it as a way of disposing of his less trustworthy new Goa’uld and Jaffa underlings as well by using them in the first wave of attackers,” Ammit fished a rotting bit of gristle from between his teeth with a talon. “It’s what I’d do.”

“Hell’s bells, how long do we have?” I sighed.

“Hours, days, minutes? How should I know?” Ammit snorted in amusement. “I haven’t had an army in centuries, and the one I had was never as complex as Sokar’s. However long it takes your ships to get back, plus an hour or so, is probably a safe bet. He has the manpower to divert twice your fleet size without losing the ships he’ll need to conquer Sokar’s former territory, and ten times the Jaffa in your armies.”

I did not have time for this. We were already getting into the danger zone for my time limit and Bob hadn’t even managed to give me a Stargate address for the top-secret facility I would have to break into for Mab.

“You could always leave them behind, my host,” Lash offered. “Flee. Apophis would kill any loyalists and most of your Jaffa, but the majority of the able bodied humans would be kept alive for labor. Only about one in fifty would be terminated as examples to the rest.”

I clenched my teeth in anger, thinking about the people who were counting on me. Amun, Muminah, Ul’tak, and all the other nameless faces who’d stared at me in adoration over the past week. They loved me, trusted me, and worshipped me – and all because they believed with their whole hearts that loving me would protect them from harm.

And now someone was going to kill them for having had the audacity to think I had value. Their kindness and trust might well lead to their painful demise and servitude.

Like Hell, it would.
“I’m not about to abandon people who’re looking to me to protect them,” I replied, only realizing after that I’d said it out loud. “Even if it kills me. I’ll protect them with my last breath.”

“Let’s please not use that as plan A,” replied Atreus hopefully.

“There’s a plan this time?” Xin snorted.

“I am having the weirdest sense of Déjà vu now Jack,” The bespectacled pinched his arm, apparently verifying that this was not all some spectacularly strange dream.

“For the love of Mike Daniel,” The Colonel looked up to the control room, and back. “This is why we bring – wait…where is Carter? She’s usually hovering in the control room by now doing smart people things with the computer.”

“At a Chuck E Cheese with her father,” Replied Daniel.

“Oh of – wait what?” The Colonel briefly lost track of the imminent danger to his person. “Why would Samantha Carter be at a Chuck E Cheese?”

“Mark brought the kids up from San Diego,” The man shrugged. “David and Lisa wanted to get Pizza and there are only so many public places which can be properly covertly secured by the Airforce for Selmac’s benefit.”

“But Chuck E Cheese? Sam has to be going crazy.” The Colonel snorted.

“Speaking of food,” I rubbed my rumbling stomach. “Do you happen to have anything worth eating? It’s been a long day and I’m famished.”

The Colonel paused in thought. “Oh, to hell with it – I need to eat something as well. Siler!” He yelled to the control room.

“Yes Colonel O’Neill,” Replied the voice of a long cheeked man from the elevated control room over the loudspeaker.

“Could we get someone from the Mess to bring down,” He looked around the room, taking a headcount. “Twently – ” He paused at Ammit, “Make that thirty, large pizzas down here?”

“Yes sir,” The Airman replied. “What toppings?”

The Colonel looked at me probingly.

“Meat. Lots of meat.” I replied, pointing at Ammit. “Lots of meat.”

“Make that forty pizzas, Siler.” The Colonel eyed Ammit’s fangs warily.

“So, uh, Warden.” Daniel, the nervous man queried. “I didn’t know that the Goa’uld could change their names.”

“It’s not quite that simple,” I replied.

“So are you a ‘reborn’ god or are you a ‘new’ god?” The man queried hesitantly.

“I’m not a god.”

Whatever answer they might have been expecting me to say, that answer wasn’t it. The Jaffa’s abruptly arched eyebrow seemed in danger of popping up and around around the back of his head as he said. “So you admit to being a false god?”

“I never claimed to be a god at all.” I replied.

The Jaffa stared back incredulously.

“No that was Heka.” I shook my head. “I’m not Heka. I’m Dre’su’den the Ha’ri.”

“But are you not the Goa’uld known as Heka? The one whose mantle you now wear?” The Jaffa interjected.

“It’s complicated,” I hedged, legitimately not sure what the honest answer was. “Heka’s presence is within me.”

“If you’re going to try and discuss theology with the Lord Warden you might as well abandon sanity in advance,” said Xin.

“I’m still somewhat confused by why the Tok’ra is still alive, now that we’re off world.” Ammit asked me in genuine curiosity. “Did you just have him on hand so that we could endear ourselves to the Tau’ri and Asgard or is he some sort of a bizarre pet? I mean it was the Goa’uld who surrenderd, not the Tok’ra. He has no protections under the treaty.”

“I gave my word that I’d take him to safety.” I replied, choosing to stick roughly proximate to truth. “I keep my word.”

The god squinted his eyes, shaking his head in confusion at the alien concept. Apparently following the literal word of an agreement wasn’t something most Goa’uld would have done in that situation.

“And he now owes me a favor,” I said, offering him a reason he could understand.

“He will never deliver upon it,” Enlil snorted.

“He will pay me back for saving him from Apophis if he knows what’s good for him.” I smiled behind my mask, thinking to my own problems with Mab as a truly cruel thought formed in my head. “If he doesn’t I’ll sell the debt owed to me to one of the Fae.”

Xin had no comeback for that one, he just opened and closed his mouth in abject horror.

I couldn’t, of course, sell a favor owed to me in the way the Fae could. However, Xin didn’t know that. Nor did the god’s clustered around me who now also owed me their lives for the exact, same thing. Nobody can pull off a con quite like a Wizard.

I clapped my hands together and sat Indian style upon the catwalk. “So, Colonel. Tell me about this – what was it called again? Ah, yes – Pizza.”


Remarkably, Bob managed not to burst out laughing.

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2014-07-31 05:58pm

SPOT ON! TOTALLY SPOT ON!!

*giggles madly* That was just so totally SG1 and so totally perfect!
I can understand why you left Carter out, she's the hardest to write for. But still, that was just PERFECT!
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby MondoMage » 2014-08-01 04:45am

I completely agree. Reading that chapter brought flashbacks to some of the best SG-1 episodes. I do miss Carter in this, mainly because she'd be trying to figure out what makes Bob "tick" while he'd be trying to talk her into taking her top off (or something along those lines). :twisted:

Can't wait to see where this all goes. Of course, with Dresden being involved, there will be much chaos to be had. Again. And again.

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby dragon » 2014-08-04 10:15am

excellent update
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-01-20 11:34pm

After Thor’s guarantee that there were no weapons in the complex, the powers that be appeared to have decided that isolating the threat behind blast doors was sufficient for the moment. A moment that felt increasingly short as the portly general continued to glower down at me from on high, sipping from a mug of what looked tantalizingly like coffee.

How long had it been since I had a good cup of coffee? Only a day or so, but it felt way longer. Chicago felt years away, decades even. Why did it feel like such a distant memory? It was like clutching at a the wispy edge of some childhood memory – I knew the facts but they somehow felt as though they belonged to someone else as though some other Harry had lived them and just repeated them to me.


I took a metal folding chair offered to me by a scowling US Marine, planting it smack dab in the middle of the catwalk previously leading to the Stargate. He couldn't have been more than twenty, there was still a rosy bit of fat in his cheeks hinting at how green he was. Hell, he was probably about the same age as Ramirez.


It felt weird to have US soldiers looking at me like the enemy. I’d had any number of people gunning for me before. The White Council, the Vampire courts, the Mob, the police, and even the FBI…. but the military? The American military? That was just wrong. I’m from freaking Chicago.


I don’t do well with authority, but the idea of potentially throwing down with US soldiers made me ill. How exactly the mortals had ended up with a ritual artifact capable of interplanetary travel at all was a mystery to me, and I frankly dreaded what would happen if the Council ever found out it were here. Hard-liners like Morgan would lobby to take it from the mortals by force and kill everyone in the facility just to make sure that knowledge of it were destroyed. I didn't wish the full force of the White Council on these people – or on me if it came down to it.


Then again, with allies like the diminutive Norse god capable of dismissing the rules of physics with a thought… perhaps it was the other way around. How advanced had the mortals become without our knowledge? Advanced enough to kill a god – that much was certain. The Norse gods were famously fickle, willing to reward those who’d proved themselves in combat and wisdom and shamelessly cruel with those they deemed to be “unworthy.”


Hopefully no blood would need be shed in the immediate future.


The Goa’uld accepted similar seats, forming a semi-circle around me as though we were holding court. I noted that they took care to place themselves lower on the slope so that their heads did not rise above mine, maintaining a visible hierarchy of scale. Xin snorted in disgust, walking down the catwalk to stand next to O’Neil and his companions.


“We were fresh out of thrones.” O’Neill jibed. “Next time you’re planning on waving the white flag try to give some advanced notice so we can roll out the red carpet.”

Another joke at my expense, I smiled behind the mask. I was, for an intents and purposes, the big bad supernatural baddie on campus and here he was - mocking me. Just another vanilla mortal, and he was willing to go toe to toe with one of the old gods. I quirked my lip up slightly, well – mostly vanilla anyway.


When the graying man shook my hand back on the ship it set my teeth on edge. O’Neill would have likely made a decent Wizard some thirty years ago. He had been born with some degree of talent, perhaps even real potential – but even the strongest of magical talents will wither if they aren't properly nurtured at a formative age. O’Neill’s abilities were only a shadow of what they might have been. It was a shame really, I would have enjoyed watching him drive the White Council nuts.


His latent talents would help him as a solder, giving him brief moments of preternatural insight. If he were naturally talented enough it might even be enough to interfere with technology to some degree.


Still – he didn't know that. Gotta give the man points for plucky sass.

“I will keep it in mind provided that you give me a bit of head’s up the next time you get it in your head to blow up a moon.” I intoned, doing my best to imitate Lara Raith’s demeanor. I wasn't going to pull off vampire sex god, but I could at least do a decent arrogant prick.


“Was that a joke?” The Colonel paused, tapping his left ear with his index and forefinger in a gesture of incredulity. “From a snake?”


“He does that from time to time.” Xin agreed. “It is not his most admirable quality.”


“Love you too Xin,” I tapped my hands to my mask’s lips, pretending to blow him a kiss.

“That’s just unsettling.” The Colonel cringed.


“I’m with the meat on this one.” Ammit’s hissing laughter punctuated every syllable of broken English. “That is not right.”


“Thank you for your support Ammit.” I sighed. “Your solidarity is overwhelming.”


“I haven’t killed anyone yet, have I?” Ammit chuckled. “A Goa’uld Lady should never be wholly demure. Where’s the fun in that?”


It took every ounce of wizardly training to resist yelling “You’re a woman?” At the top of my lungs in stereo with the Colonel. The mask, thankfully, concealed my expression of horror.


“Obviously.” Ammit replied in disgust.


“Ammit was the Demon responsible for consuming the souls of those not worthy of following Osiris and immortality.” Daniel interjected over his superior officer. “She was essentially the Ancient Egyptian bogeywoman.”


“Thousands of years inflicting the final death upon the blood born and that is all the mortals recall of my war. Even the monsters of Sun supported my campaigns at the end for fear of what might befall this world if the unspeakable were to reign supreme.” Ammit groused in Goa’uld. “We fought till the charnel mounds were piled a miles high at Göbekli Tepe to prevent the extinction of this place before The Betrayal. And the meat does not even remember that I’m a woman.”


“To the contrary – your role in the pantheon is basically one of the few we remember most clearly.” The scholar offered in placation. “I meant no disrespect.”


The goddess laughed. She smiled in what I assume was intended to be a benevolent way at Daniel. “Calm yourself, meat. I know you hold no special love for my kind but you’ve proved to be interesting so far. There is, after all, more than one type of hunger.”


Daniel swallowed in fear, his lips pinching together in his apparently hurry to interact with Ammit as little as possible as the goddess


“Ammit – do you have to play with your food in front of us?” Enlil gagged, reverting to the language of the Goa’uld.


The goddess snorted in disgust, rolling her eyes skyward. “Yes, Enlil, because you are in a place to question my choice in partners. How is your mate? Still trying to kill you?”


“Stars and stones, will you stop bickering in front of the mortals?” I shook my head. “It ruins the esthetic.”


“He started it.” Growled the irritated goddess.


Her sulking abated somewhat as a cart strewn with cardboard boxes wheeled into the room. For a top-secret government based hidden in the rough-hewn heart of a mountain, Stargate Command had remarkably quick access to Pizza.

“You realize of course, that you won’t be able to have any of that,” Chuckled my hell born hitchhiker.

I’m not going to lie. When I realized that I wouldn’t be able to actually eat the Pizza without taking off my mask a little part of me died. Yes, yes – I know that it should have occurred to long before the stack of cardboard boxes arrived, but I was just so damn happy to be back on Earth that I let my guard down. This was home, Terra Firma.


It was also where the White Council was.


“Stars and stones,” I gritted my teeth. “Of course.”


There was no way I could risk letting these people see my face. The building was lousy with cameras, and I wouldn’t be able to disable them without potentially getting myself murdered in the process. These mortals knew enough about the old gods that frying a camera would raise major alarm bells.


I had no way of knowing how deep the White Council and other supernatural communities were able to draw from the American Military, but it would only take one shot of his face to get the doom of Damocles dropped on his unsuspecting past self. Hell, even if I didn’t get recognized by the White Council it wasn’t like they’d have to go out of their way to find me. I was on freaking Larry Fowler in an incident that had spawned a series of lawsuits the tabloids found too funny to ignore. “TV host sues Chicago based Wizard over alleged curse related property damage” wasn’t something to pass by the wayside.


This wasn’t exactly going to require the entirety of the US military’s covert operations to find me, I was listed in the damn yellow pages. Hell’s Bells, we were back in the time period when I passed out business cards with my photo on them too.


Don’t get me wrong. Without just the light dusting of stubble on the top of my head I wasn’t exactly easily recognizable, but I wasn’t different enough for it do matter. I certainly wasn’t different enough to fool whatever facial recognition software they had.


Smooth move Dresden.


Ammit, bound by no such compunctions, ate a box – cardboard an all – in the space it took me to reconcile myself with the idea of taking a single pie and just saving it for later.


Enlil cracked one of the boxes and eyed the circle tentatively. He raised the slice to his lips, taking a cautious bite before shoving the slice unceremoniously down his throat. “This is marvelous! I’ll have to instruct my cooks to replicate it at once.”


Atreus refrained from consuming the food, eyes fixed upon the still unopened box in my hands. He watched the food entering Enlil’s mouth in apprehension, seemingly expecting the man to keel over dead after every bite.


I locked eyes with the massive black Jaffa who’d been scrupulously silent since my declaration that I was not a god. “Will you not eat?”


He growled by way of reply. “I do not break bread with false gods.”


I laughed. “You know, I think you’re the first Jaffa I’ve met who isn’t trying to worship me.”


“The first of many, I assure you.” The man intoned.


“I’m not that lucky,” I sighed, turning to the sudden pillars of light forming behind me to reveal the Stargate and a handful of humanoid figures, Thor, Ul’tak and a number of humans.


“Wow,” The Colonel walked up to the tiny god. “That was fast.”


“No.” Thor said. “It was not.”


“You were gone for an hour, tops.” O’Neill snorted.


“Time is… fluid.” Thor replied. “We required several weeks to be thorough in our examination of the Jaffa and refugees. So I created a pocket of time in which two months passed in the time since we last spoke.”


“Can I just say that I would really like to know how you do stuff like that?” O’Neill replied, waving off Atreus before he could speak. “Yeah, yeah, protected planet’s treaty. Humans exist to serve snakes. I read the pamphlet.”


Thor blinked for a moment before continuing, his emotions inscrutable.


“I have assessed the situation O’Neill.” The tiny grey man intoned. “I gave all those who wished leave the Goa’uld the opportunity to leave.”


“That is in violation of the Treaty.” Enlil barked, furious at the Asguard.


“It was the offered conditions of your surrender as spoken by your liege lord Dre’su’den. All Jaffa and humans were freed of their existing bonds of slavery.” I could swear the little grey guy was smirking. “Conditions you witnessed being offered. Should you have issue with the terms I would be happy to return my previous solution.”


“We are hap-hap-happy with your methods there shorty.” I raised my palms, splaying my fingers non-threateningly. Well, as non-threatening as one can manage with talons, I suppose.


“Ah,” O’Neill smirked, looking at the single Jaffa and motley mess of humans. “Down to just the faithful are we?”


“You misunderstand, O’Neill.” The Norse God intoned in a voice of outright incredulity. “The humans behind Dre’su’den’s first prime are those who wish to leave his service.”


Xin sighed, apparently expecting something of the sort. The dark skinned Jaffa arched his brow, staring at Ul’tak with an unreadable expression.


“But, that’s a Goa’uld mother ship. A freaking flagship, and it was full to the brim with refugees.” The Colonel blinked.


“Correct.” Replied Thor.


“They do know they have the opportunity to be free right? Sans snake?” O’Neill shook his head. “I mean, I know you’re treading on thin ground with the treaty thing and all, but you did tell them?”


My first prime smiled with pride. “We know our faith Tau’ri. We know where we belong.”


“O’Neill, I cannot prevent them from exercising their free will. Much as I may wish to leave them all in your care, the human vassals of Dre’su’den have implicit faith in their god’s word.” Thor shook his oversize head.


“The meat knows its place.” Ammit growled in amusement.


“Thor, couldn’t you give me some time to talk with them? To negotiate?” The bespectacled man inquired.


Thor shook his head. “Even if I wanted to – I am unable. My presence has not gone unnoticed and a third party has become interested in this proceeding. I wish to have this resolved before they break through my precautions and decide to interfere.”


“Who?” Atreus tugged at his neatly trimmed hair.


“If you are eager to discover, you can chose to remain. I am certain they’re eager to remind you why you left the first world.” Thor looked Ammit in the eyes. “There are creatures with longer memories and longer grudges on this world.”


“Oh fuck.” Ammit’s eyes bugged in apparent recognition as she hissed in Goa’uld. “Him?”


“Among others.” Thor replied. “He is still furious for denying him his prey. I have stalled his attempts at discovering you so far, but he is persistent and my power is not limitless.”


“Well what you do know! I’d say it’s about time to get the hell off this rock and never come back.” Ammit discarded her boxes. “Now. Somewhere in the realm of now would be fantastic.”


“I thought as much.” Thor pointed to the gate, summoning a pool of iridescent blue liquid which burst into reality with a shuddering corona of light and sound.


I wanted to scream at how overwhelming it was to be in the room with it. It was a vortex of power beyond my ken, utterly savage and primal. I feared that I might drown simply by standing next to it, so nightmarishly vast was its magnitude.


It’s hard to describe what magic is like to someone who hasn’t experienced it. Imagine trying to explain blue to someone unable to see. I know that there’s a range of light and radiation which define blue, but that isn’t what blue is to me. It’s a feeling I get when I see it, it’s all the moments in time tied up with all the magnificent shades and hues capable of representing the range of human emotions.


Seeing that disc of energy, even without my wizard’s sight, was like seeing a color I’d never seen before. Knowing how much energy had to go into translocating someone across the galaxy just didn’t convey to sheer awe-inspiring certainty of being in a room with that much power.


Hell’s Bells, someone could blow up the planet with that much power. Someone could blow up more than a planet.


The gods with me sauntered through as though it were the most normal thing in the word, no more thrilled by its impossible nature than they had been by the pizza. I shuddered. My powers as a Wizard gave me an advantage but there was still a galaxy worth of power beyond my wildest dreams.


Somehow I always imagined being declared a god would make you feel stronger, not weaker, in comparison to the rest of the world. Thousands of people worshiping me, and here I was – quaking in fear at the intergalactic superhighway.


“Are you well milord Warden?” Ul’Tak queried. “I am ready to leave when you are.”


“Yes,” I gulped. “Of course.”


Seeking to delay my departure I turned to Xin, “You coming?”


“Not if I had to claw through the kingdoms of Sun and Snow with both arms tied behind me saying “yes” to every deal offered by the denizens therein.” Xin replied.


Well, shit, there went that excuse for hanging around to talk.


“If it’s any consolation the gate is harmless, my host.” Lasciel replied. “The Labors of Eden are rarely known to malfunction without outside interference.”


Rarely?


“I wouldn’t worry – had the device malfunctioned in a dangerous way we wouldn’t be able to stand around discussing it.”


Well, that was ominous.


“More than you could possibly know, wizard mine.” Lash laughed.


Well, no time like the present.


“Bonsai,” I muttered, leaping into the gate.


I wish I had something cool to say about traveling across the galaxy through a ritual tear in the universe. I wish I could tell you it was like something out of Kubrick’s oeuvre with flashing lights and a cool soundtrack backing it. It’s not.


It’s not really anything. It’s more like having someone surprise you with a flash picture and dunk you in cold water that dries instantly, while kicking you in the gut a couple times good measure. A half a second of blinding white and I got kicked out the other end like I’d walked on the wrong side of a mule, shivering from cold and shaking a layer of frost off my armor. My hands cracked loudly against the floor against the heavy stones set into my gauntlets. The foci and magical objects which had been stripped from me by Thor apparently returned to me – though by what sorcery I didn’t even dare to guess.


“Yahooo!” Bob yelled in apparent glee. The trip suited him better than me.


I stood up in just enough time to watch Ul’tak walk through the gate as though he were crossing the street, without any signs of disorientation at having been flung through time and space. It was Thomas all over again. The supernatural beasties got to look graceful while your humble wizards got tossed on their asses.


My mask’s optics shut down to protect me from the blinding flash of light to the south, switching to some odd green rendering of the world around me. Swearing about useless technology, I rose to my feet in just enough time to fall on my ass again as the building shook, a rumbling crack of booming thunder accompanying a distant plume of atomic flames rising in the all too familiar mushroom cloud.


I picked up my staff weapon from the floor, staring dumbfounded at a skyline simply covered in rising plumes of death and horror. Ten? Twelve? Twenty? Stars and stones – I couldn’t even conceive of how much death was being caused.


I turned to U’tak’s emotionless face, trying to find the words one might say to someone who’s homeland had just been ravaged. I found none, but was granted reprieve in the way of a trio of unfamiliar Jaffa rushing into the room brandishing swords. “Death to the false god Heka!”


I clutched the staff, summoning a gust of wind to cut their legs out from under them. Atreus stabbed down with his blade, gutting the one before decapitating the other. The third Jaffa was not so fortunate. Ammit grabbed him by his shoulders and tore his neck out with her teeth, laughing uproariously as she yanked a snake like creature from the man’s belly and swallowed it.


“Blood of the elders – are Apophis’ forces here already?” Atreus shielded his eyes from the distant glare with his palm as a shimmering dome of energy formed around the capitol city to shield it from the radiation and debris.


“Not for weeks. Nobody can conquer an Empire that fast.” Ammit replied in confusion.


“Are they the cult of Sokar taking revenge?” Enlil shivered at the thought, and with good cause. I found myself considering the subject of Sokar’s minions with precision beyond what should have been expected of a topic to which I’d never previously been introduced. The literal Satan worshipers of the cult of Sokar were the CIA as run by Lucifer. Sokar had been fond of seeding his secret cults into his population centers, sowing chaos and ruin upon those who might have wished him harm.


There were likely some cultists of Sokar on the planet but they were not likely to be in positions of power. Sokar had been a consummate misogynist, meaning that his covert priesthood was exclusively male – at least where leadership was concerned. The creation of Heka’s priestesses was done to intentionally undermine the cult of Sokar’s ability to gain a foothold. Heka’s slaves simply weren’t conditioned to accept male priests in the higher echelons of the priesthood.

More than one frustrated saboteur had hit an impenetrable wall that no combination of appeals to logic could overcome. How could the priests's of Sokar understand the words of a true god? That was a woman's work.

“Not Apophis.” I agreed, a wave of alien memories flooding to the forefront of my mind as I recognized the Jaffa branding marks on their foreheads. “And not cultists of Sokar. Chronos – he has coveted the contents of the Great Library for millennia. If he thinks I no longer have military support, he’ll commit his domains to fighting us for what the library holds.”


Atreus’s lip curled as his hand found the pommel of his sword. “Titian bastard.”


I wave of inhuman rage welled in the pit of my stomach. These pathetic excuses for gods thought they could oust me when their own brood was crippled by the fledgling progeny of Zeus? I would rip them to shreds.


“Harry” The voice in my head hissed – partly irritated but mostly in pain – speaking with the most clarity she could muster under the circumstances. “This is not you. The spell – the spell is breaking.”


I would… oh stars and stones, what time was it?


I pulled out my wrist computer and activated its watch function, setting it to local time based off of the planetary network.


No, no, no, no, no-no-no-no – this was bad. I hadn’t accounted for how long we spent in the Nevernever. Stupid Harry – just stupid and sloppy. I’d let being back on Earth distract me from my mission. Now I had just under two hours to make it all right.


“Less,” Lasciel groaned in pain. “Harry, the spells keeping Heka’s memories bound have been slowly eroding but as we get closer to her deadline we will get stronger echoes of his personality in your mind. I cannot suppress them all. Even if they do not overwhelm you entirely I cannot promise you won’t do something unforgivable in the meanwhile.”


“Shit.” I looked down at Bob. “You have a gate address for me yet?”


“I’ve got coordinates Boss, I’m going to need access to a computer to turn those into an address. Not just any computer either, I need one of the Goa’uld military databases. One of Heka’s private ones.”


Of course.


Ul’tak held a communicator up to his ear, listening to a report from the front lines. His face darkened with every muffled syllable. “Chronos has managed to punch a line through our satellite defense web. He has a narrow window of entry to the south of the main city, but it’s more than enough to land his army. It will only get wider as his Ha’tak weaken our fleet. We are cut off from the other cities by nuclear radiation and I can’t guarantee any reinforcements from off-world. General Tak’mok sent the bulk of your armies elsewhere to prevent an incursion by Lord Yu in your outer holdings.”


“A diversion?” Asked Atreus.


“No,” Ammit shook her head. “Likely just unfortunate timing. Those System Lords despise each other enough that they wouldn’t engage in a joint mission of that type. Lord Yu is just one of the few gods with sufficient forces to expand into this section of space.”


“My lord, we must coordinate the automated defenses or our troops will be overwhelmed.” Ul’tak hissed in horror as artillery scoured the surrounding settlements. The collective screams of horror from millions echoed through the city streets, “They will soon overcome the machine mind's machinations. It is old and unused to war.”

I looked wistfully to the gate, wondering if I could negotiate with the humans for the use of their Stargate only to have my hopes dashed as the blue portal rippled. My heart sank as a procession of humans and Jaffa started filing into the Gate chamber. My borrowed memories informed me that there would be no way to open the gate till the thousands of people who’d been on my ship made their way across the stars.

“How many of his Jaffa will be in the city?” I sighed, committing myself to the task before me.

“A few assault craft will have gotten in before we could raise defensive screen. A few hundred at most.” Enlil shook his head. “But we have to assume there are saboteurs among your Jaffa and slaves. There always are in a planetary population of this size.”

“Just freaking perfect.” I sighed. “And they’re all going to be heading for the place we are?”

“The defenses of the Capitol can only be operated by a god, and you –uh – Heka had no lieutenants he trusted with the necessary controls over the defenses of the Library complex.” Ul’tak replied. “This was the first departure from his world since the fall of Sokar’s dominion.”

“On the bright side we only have to fight our way through your palace this time.” Ammit smiled a shark like grin. “Not the entire planet.”

“No, this time we get to do that after.” Atreus’ grin was somehow more predatory than the inhuman Ammit.”

“We have nothing to fear with a true god on our side.” Ul’tak saluted me in the traditional Jaffa way as a sudden influx of people started filing through the watery portal of the Stargate.

The refugees, led by my head priestess Muminah.

“A good thing you saved them after all.” Enlil admitted. “It will take at least thirty minutes to get them all through the gate, and the Asguard have some way of dialing a gate without the gate needing to plot coordinates that we’ve never managed to recreate. Blood of Apep – Chronos won’t be able to get anyone through that gate for at least an hour.”

“I swear this couldn’t have worked out more in your favor if you’d planned it….” He paused, eyes widening in horror. “…In advance.”

He looked at me in a new light, apparently horrified that I very well might have done so. I was, after all, a member of the pantheon of Old Gods – and the gods were never as incautious or brash as I had been. No, a Goa’uld never chose to act unless they were guaranteed victory or the prize were so valuable that sensibility could be discarded.


I elected not to correct whatever impossible scenarios were forming in his head as I gritted my teeth forming my own – while Chronos wouldn’t be able to deploy his forces through the Stargate while my people disembarked, nor would we be able to enter it to reach the key.


“Priorities Harry,” I reminded myself as another ten plumes rose in the distance. “Priorities.”


Save the planet first, then worry about going crazy.


My high priestess practically sprinted over to kneel before me, kissing the ground in front of me as she gushed her praises. “Lord Warden you are truly the mightiest of gods to bind the demons of the Asgard to test your faithful. But we are not weak – those who follow me are your true believers. Warriors and servants who could not be swayed from your truth and glory.”


“Just – just stand up.” I sighed. “You know I hate it when you kneel.”


“Yes my Lord Warden,” The Priestess rose, still keeping her eyes averted.


“The false god spoke lies, promising us that you held no salvation for us – but we know the truth. We are saved by our own righteous deeds. A man is saved by his own hands.” Spoke Amun, dressed in some sort of ceremonial robe I’d never seen before. The man was moving up in the world.


“Tell you what – we manage to survive and you can tell me all about your time with bug eyes.” I sighed, thankful that the Jaffa were being sent through the portal before the mortals. “We’re in the middle of a war at the moment.”


“We’re always at war,” Grumbled the Ancient Jaffa. “Who’s the damn fool trying to kill us this time?”


“Chronos,” Ul’tak supplied.


“Damnation,” The ancient Jaffa spat on the ground. “The first fleet?”


“They’re nuking first, so I’d assume the second.” UI’tak shook his head. “Were Chronos himself leading the battle we’d have seen his image cast across the skies before he used weather sorcery to turn the planet against us. His appointed General Praxiteles was fond of bombardment prior to invasions – so I’d assume it was the Praxiteles and the second fleet.”


“Damn – it would be easier if Chronos were here.” Atreus swore angrily. “They won’t willingly retreat. We’ll have to fight them to the last man even if we can turn this battle around. Chronos kills the families of coward generals and their men.”


“Preposterous,” Enlil gagged in disgust. “Jaffa are not allowed to conquer a god.”


“Oh, don’t worry, Chronos himself will deign to arrive after the battle is won to accept the defeated god’s surrender and “punish” any Jaffa unfortunate enough to have denied him his prey.” Atreus’ face was an utter portrait of disgust. “He has always been so good at taking credit for the work of others.”


“We need to start moving,” I said as it dawned on me that however voluminous the gate room was, it wouldn’t be large enough to accommodate entire army of Jaffa and refugees.


I looked at the Ancient Jaffa and my Priestesses, “I’m taking those Jaffa who’ve already come through the gate and securing the control room.”


I looked at the other Gods. “We are going to kick Chronos’ ass. You are going to help me. If we survive you get to leave. If any of you even think about double crossing me and trying to win favors with Chronos, I swear that I will spend my death curse making sure that you are more powerless than the weakest mortal of all time then trap you in the Winter Court. Am I understood?”


“Ha.” Ammit snorted. “As if any of us would survive Chronos’ displeasure. You know that he’s been gunning for me for more than a Millennia. The bastard still hasn’t forgiven me for helping Zeus and his boys boot his ass off the first world.”


“He was going to squander the planet’s greatest resources.” Atreus nodded. “Culling the Hok’tar en mass – it’s no wonder they formed their alliance.”


“If he’d been successful in controlling the breeding population we’d still have the first world.” Enlil disagreed.


“If he’d been successful we’d have been overwhelmed by the predatory species of that planet. The only thing keeping the courts in check was the Hok’tar. Remove them and suddenly the alpha predators become a lot less reasonable.” Ammit shook her head. “You left before the dark pacts began. No, all he managed to do was unite the predators against us. Never get the monsters all hungry for your blood at once – there are many more of them than you.”


“Let us teach Chronos that lesson for a second time.” Atreus laughed holding his sword aloft as a plume of sorcerous fire emanated from its blade, more unfamiliar magic. “For he has raised the warrior’s blood of God and man alike.”


I laughed, “To heck with it. Let’s go give these guys a new monster story.”


So we marched, leading my Jaffa as they shouted their war cry of, “Dre’su’den, Dre’su’den, Dre’su’den the Ha’ri!”

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LadyTevar
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-01-21 01:36pm

YAY! MORE STORY!
And again, SG1 is perfectly played.
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-03-03 01:33am

“Are the Jaffa ready?” I growled, knowing they were even before Ul’tak’s reply. This was their homeland, their people. Failure was not an option.

“They are escorting your Tau’ri into bunkers in groups and re-enforcing the city defenses.” Ul’tak nodded. “The gate guards are in place, ready to place a cover stone over it once the last of your Tau’ri make it through.”

He looked at the cadre of Jaffa elite surrounding me, pride glinting in his eyes. “And we stand ready for the push my Lord Warden.”

Under different circumstances I might well have appreciated just how damn cool I had to look leading an army of old gods and super-human soldiers on a charge through the bowels of an Egyptian temple to defeat the minions of a Titan. As it was I was just too damn angry to do much more than contemplate setting someone on fire.

I was livid, totally and utterly incandescent with fury. Heka’s voice pounded in my ears, whispering in staccato bouts of temper, “defilers, betrayers, you shall be obliterated!” but Heka’s rage was paltry in comparison to a rage that was 100% Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.

Wizards don’t get to do a lot of the things mortals get to do. Watch TV for example, I’d short out an electronic device like a TV or VCR in a matter of days if not hours. I can go to the movies on occasion, but by and large my life is devoid of screens.

So I read. I read a lot – like way more than even you’d expect from even a wizard. I always have.

I study. I learn. I remember.

Hiroshima and Nagasaki were sort of perverse fixations of mine after killing Justin DuMorne. I couldn’t tell you why exactly, the photos and stories made me sick to my stomach every time I read through them. They were terrible, evil even, but the history books in Ebenezer McCoy’s library had argued for the necessity of the act. They claimed that the death of hundreds of thousands had saved millions.

Hundreds of thousands – more people than I’d ever met in my entire life. When I killed Justin it was because I knew that the alternative would be death or worse. There had seemed to be no other options but kill or be killed. The men who chose to bomb Japan had been left with that same mathematics of death on a level I did not envy, choosing a “least worse” choice that would have been no less soul crushing to live with.

I wondered if they had nightmares about it the way that Jason haunted mine. I marveled at how they lived with it when I was struggling to live with the death of a single man on my soul. Perhaps I was looking for something to justify my own choice of violence – accept the darkness I carried in me for having done something so terrible.

I’ve killed people since then, most were more likeable and less deserving of their deaths than Justin had been. But I do so only when necessary. I do so only when I see no alternative.

And here I was, looking into death on a scale heretofore unimagined. I twitched every time light flashed through the windows, another atomic hitting the planet’s surface to scar it with nuclear death. Nagasaki a thousand times over hitting the planet with casual ease. I hadn’t asked Ul’Tak how populated the sprawling city suburbs outside the city walls and energy shields had been. I didn’t think I had the stomach for it at the moment.

Hundreds? Thousands? Millions? It hardly mattered – they were beyond my help. How many of those who survived would live in agony, twisted and broken by radiation? I shuddered to think of their slow cancerous demise.

They would be praying to their “god” – to me – looking for some sort of divine miracle to save them and their loved ones. How many would be screaming for mercy? How many would beg me for succor in their last breath? How many would curse me their suffering?

“This ends – now.” I snarled, leading the charge.

Nekheb was a war zone, even within the confines of my palace. Loyalist Jaffa and insurgents of Chronos fought tooth and nail for every inch of the great temple, coating the marble floors with scorch marks and viscera.

And bodies – their were so many bodies. A serving girl looked up at me with eyes clouded by death, judging me for not having reached her soon enough, just one of the hundreds of bodies littering the ground. Men, women, children, they’d all been slaughtered like cattle. Huddled masses of charnel sat smoking in corners where the old had resorted to protecting their young with their own bodies.

Dead, they were all dead.

The first Jaffa of Chronos to stumble into my view was injured, clutching his side from where he’d taken a staff blast to the chest. Shell shocked from whatever battle he’d just been in, he wasn’t able to raise his arms quick enough to protect his face. The bulbous flowering end of my staff-weapon hit his face with a satisfying squelch of flesh and bone, pulping under the strain of my enhanced strength.

The Jaffa seconds behind him was uninjured but no more prepared for my wrath. I charged him, planting my shoulder in his chest as I summoned a gust of wind to propel myself forward. He shouted in pained dismay as we rocketed into the courtyard beyond, tossing him ass over elbows into a tall tree. I dodged left, avoiding the blade of another Jaffa. He managed to get off a single epithet in the Jaffa tongue before a staff blast tore through his chest, killing him soundly.

Ul’tak whooped in victory, peppering the spots where Chrono’s insurgents were dug into my palace. His men’s cries of glory, however, were dwarfed by Ammit’s howling roar as she superman leaped her way over a stone wall into a group of three Jaffa. The poor bastards didn’t know what hit them.

A whirling dervish of claws and teeth, the lizard woman’s green skin was soon stained red with the blood of her kills. I did not consider the god’s gleeful combat cannibalism for long; raising my shield bracelet as a wave of staff blasts soared in my direction. The yellow balls of energy twisted off inverted blue dome of magic, ricocheting haphazardly back towards the men who’d fired them. The Jaffa howled in confusing as their own staff blasts burst across their ranks, killing those not fast enough to dodge.

Not that dodging did them any real good. Quick as a snake, Atreus rounded on the Titan’s minions. His flaming blade aloft, he descended like an avenging angel. Sorcerous plumes of fire swirled around him, buffeting away staff blasts and searing through Jaffa armor as though it were tissue paper.

So entrancing was his swordplay that I didn’t notice when the Jaffa I’d treed took a swing at me with his dagger, planting it firmly in my pauldron. Surprised but intact, I hit him with a blast from my foci – crushing his rib cage inwards. He fell to the ground, blood leaking from his lips and eyes.

“Hurry Warden,” Enlil shouted from the opposite end of the courtyard where he was fiddling with the crystals of a door, his eye’s turned skyward. “We must move before reinforcement arrive.”

I followed his gaze and swore angrily. One of the Alkesh had been able to breach the defenses and was heading for the palace. Directly to us, no doubt, the Jaffa we’d killed were practically screaming our location over their coms before Atreus cut them down.

There will be fifty troops in that, at minimum – hissed the sibilant memories of the dead god – perhaps another hundred. They wouldn’t just sit around once we blocked off the door to prevent them from following. They would spread out through the palace grounds and into the city, sowing as much chaos as they could. The Jaffa of Chronos are hooligans, untrustworthy savages serving an untrusting madman – the voice growled – Anyone too clever or competent is a threat, so he favors brutes incapable of any degree of lateral thinking. They will slaughter anything that they see – easily thousands of the slaves.
Could we take a hundred? Yes, but every second we spent fighting them was a second longer that the main defenses weren’t operating at full capacity, thus allowing hundreds more enemies into the city.

Kill thousands to save millions, it was an obvious choice. Heaven help me, but it was an obvious choice.

“Can you seal the door behind us?” I asked Enlil. “So they can’t get through.”

“No Lord Warden, I’m just tearing out command crystals for my own edification.” Enlil replied bitingly. “Of course I’m disabling the precursor cursed doors. If you’ll recall I am the one who’s plans don’t revolve around angering primal forces of creation in their home realm before challenging the Asgard to murder me.”

“Blood of Apep, you gripe more than the Tok’ra did.” Ammit jibed. “What are you, a woman?”

“Pardon me Demon – we don’t all revel in the glories of combat as you do.” Enlil’s face turned a shade of sickly green as the goddess started licking the blood and viscera from her fingers. “You’re worse than Heru’ur, I swear.”

“Ha,” Ammit snorted in amusement as Enlil managed to coax an additional blast shield to fall into place, further isolating us from the Jaffa of Chronos.

“Warden,” Atreus hissed, examining the corridor we stood within. “There is something amiss here.”

“Death is always wrong,” I agreed. The eviscerated corpses of Ul’tak’s soldiers lined the hall, charred and marred by weapon’s fire. Wait… Ul’tak’s Jaffa and only Ul’tak’s Jaffa lined the corridor. “Huh, that’s weird.”

“This makes no sense.” Ammit grumbled. “There aren’t any corpses from enemy troops. All these Jaffa are in the garb of Heka’s soldiers.”

“Impossible,” Ul’tak replied. “The Jaffa of Nekheb would not betray their god on a whim.”

“Jaffa convert to the god who is strongest.” Enlil replied in stern condescension. “Or the god who offers them the most.”

“Not my men.” Ul’tak’s eyes bulged as his skin colored with anger.

“Then they are saboteurs dressed in the armor of loyalists.” Atreus held his flaming blade up to get a better look at their heads. “No – wait, they bear the brands of Heka’s inner circle. That makes no sense.”

“Nishta?” Ammit queried.

“From Chronos?” Atreus shook his head. “Not his style. It’s the brand that’s bothering me.”

“What? You don’t brand your Jaffa?” Enlil snorted.

“Not with a blood ritual geas I don’t.” Atreus replied. “It’s not an accident that our Warden has lasted longer than anyone but Yu. Heka’s inner circle of Jaffa don’t betray their god. They can’t.”

Ammit smiled toothily, “The old Wizard has always favored permanent solutions to ensuring loyalty. Never bothered to share them with the rest of us either. I can’t tell you how much it used to piss off Ra that none of Heka’s palace guard could ever be talked into defecting. He never could quite accept that he wasn’t as good at casting as you are.”

“We would not betray our Lord, not even for the King of Gods, not for anything – even if some Shol’va desired it.” Ul’tak replied. “The consequences of knowingly betraying the Lord Warden would be… unpleasant.”

The ancient Jaffa mimed a head exploding, complete with “kapow” noise.

I looked around at the bodies, noting the distinct lack of heads exploding from the inside out. “These Jaffa definitely killed each other without their brands exploding.”

“How?” Ammit scratched her nose with a talon. “It’s not like you’re weaker now than you were for the past millennia.”

I shrugged, pretending not to know exactly why Heka’s protections were no longer valid. “There’s no security measure which can’t be defeated by someone sufficiently invested in breaking through. Breaking the enchantment hasn’t been done, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done.”

“So your loyalty spells might not be reliable any more?” Enlil’s eye twitched.

“For all I know he’s figured out some way to invert the Geas and turn it against me.” I examined the Jaffa tattoos with my wizard sight. Even in death they glowed with the faint traces of a magical geas – compelled to serve the dead lord of Nekheb. “It does us no good to stay here.”

“I like this less and less by the second.” Enlil groaned.

“You don’t have to like it.” I replied. “You do have to live with it.”

“That seems remarkably less likely to be a long term proposition with every passing second I spend in your company.” Enlil’s lip quirked in resigned amusement.

The hall shook, rumbling from the sound of a distant explosion. Ul’tak hissed, “That came from inside the palace.”

Indeed it had. We found a small cadre of Chrono’s sappers piling out of a gaping hole in the tiles of Heka’s throne room, covered in the filth and mire their subterranean path. They sat around their hole, heaving in exhaustion and coughing from the green fumes now seeping up from the scarred earth below. They were smaller than Chrono’s other Jaffa, looking almost sickly pale.

They had none of the other Jaffa’s apparent blood lust either. When their leader caught sight of me he practically tripped over his men in his eagerness to flee. It did him remarkably little good – I caught him with a gust of wind, dragging his feet from under him with a loud “thwap” of flesh on stone as his face made contact.

“Don’t kill them.” I growled, a pleased metallic twinge coloring my voice as the Jaffa surrounded them. “Yet.”

I knelt down next to the sapper I’d incapacitated, slapping his face to bring him back into consciousness. His face was bleeding where he’d broken his nose, red-black fluid pouring out over a mess of scars and burns – including an especially cruel looking scar upon his forehead where a Jaffa brand had been excised from him.

“Legionnaires of Tartarus,” Atreus sighed. “Breath of Zeus, he brought penal Legionnaires.”

“They’re unarmed,” I commented idly as the man coughed up blood. “Why would he send in soldiers without weapons?”

“They’re not soldiers. They’re expendable pawns. He’ll give them just enough equipment to break through enemy lines and tie up resources while the real assault is coming...” He looked down at the pit in horror “… blood of Apep… he wouldn’t…”

“It comes,” The concussed Jaffa giggled madly through bloody lips. “It hungers. Scritch, scratch, snip, snap, hungering from the deep.”

A howling screech emanated from the pit, echoing through the ever-increasing clouds of bilious green smoke. The sound of thick claws scratching on stone echoed through the morass.

“What in the blazes is that!” Enlil screamed in horror as a mess of serpents stared up at us from the dark. A massive beast lurched up from the darkness, howling in predatory glee.

“A Hydra? Chronos sent a Hydra?” Bob screeched indignantly as I dived behind a pillar, dragging the still giggling sapper with me. “They’re supposed to be extinct!”

“Tatarus is home to all that should not be,” The mad Jaffa sobbed, clawing at his face with dirty fingernails. “And we are blessed with it’s sacred gods of suffering.”

That damnable planet of Chronos is worse than Netu – hissed the voice – who knows what monsters and madmen lie within.

“Oh for the love of – does every single Goa’uld have a hell planet? I growled in irritation as a jet of acid spouted across where I’d been, dissolving marble with alarming ease.

My Jaffa fired staff blast after staff blast into the beast, but may as well have been shouting rude words at it. The thick hide of the beast puckered and hissed with each blast, but the beast seemed to be more irritated than actually injured. It charged my Jaffa, loping forward with its bulbous body and stumpy legs to wrap it’s heads around an unfortunate Jaffa warrior. A dozen serpents tore at his flesh, acidic maws devouring flesh and armor with impunity. The beast’s chattering maws almost drowned out the pained man’s screams.

“How do I kill this thing?” I tried shooting it with my Zat, to no effect. The lightning just shimmered across the creature’s sides, flickering through the clouds of venom billowing from the creature’s many mouths.

“How should I know! They’re not supposed to even exist any more.” Bob replied. “Everything about them says that they basically can’t be killed.”

“Hell’s bells - Then how did they go extinct the first time?” I replied, keenly aware that the pillar I was sheltering myself behind was melting.

“Because Zeus’ First Primes have killed them all, of course.” Atreus replied. “The blood of Heracles take personal offense to the monsters of Tartarus – as do I. The beast must die.”

“I’m open to suggestions.” I replied, shooting the madman with my Zat to silence his squealing prayers to the Hydra.

Atreus laughed, the same manic glint in his eyes that I’d seen after he fought the whelplings. “We slice it to bits then burn it to cinders.”

Fire? Oh yeah – I can do fire. “Works for me.”

“Get over here you overgrown entre!” Hollered the infuriated voice of Ammit as the goddess grabbed one of the beast’s heads in her taloned fist, yanking it away from one of my Jaffa. It dropped its partially chewed meal in abject shock as Ammit bit down on one if its necks, severing a head in her gaping maw. She fell to the ground, coughing up fetid black flesh and acidic ichor, screaming in pain as her own luminous green blood seeped through sores on her face and mouth.

Taking advantage of its momentary confusion, Atreus rushed in, slicing another head at the shoulder with his ensorcelled blade. The beast howled in confusion as its flesh hissed and cooked in the blade’s wake.

The greek godling wheeled through the air, knocked back as the furious beast whipped its seven remaining necks at him like a battering ram. It got little reprieve however, as my cry of “fuego” put it back on the defensive. I aimed my gout of flame towards the head severed by Ammit, cauterizing the wound that was already showing signs of sprouting into more heads.

Ammit, still seeping luminous green blood leapt upon the beast’s back, ripping at the creature’s flesh with her talons. Unfazed by either the creature’s acidic blood or her own dissolving flesh she tore out bowling ball-sized wedges of flesh, tearing down to the bone. The creature’s heads struggled to reach back to her, impotently snapping at her and spitting wild bursts of acid as she grabbed the beast’s exposed spine and ripped upward with all her might.

The beast’s legs and tail flopped lamely as she ripped a tire-sized section of bone and nerve from it, heaving it above her head before she fell to the floor – overwhelmed by agony. Ul’tak and the Ancient Jaffa grabbed her by her legs, dragging her unconscious body to safety as the terrified Hydra thrashed it’s heads in horrified writhing jerks – struggling to comprehend why its body no longer responded to its will.

Atreus’ blade came down on the lamed serpent’s necks like the fist of god – smiting three heads in an instant as I continued to sear the remaining four. The beast’s agonized howls were cut short with another two razor edged snicker-snacks of the Greek godling’s blade. Even after being cut from the body, however, the largest head continued to writhe and hiss, very much alive.

“Stars and stone, what does it take to get one of these things to admit that it’s dead?” I sighed.

“No clue,” Atreus admitted. “I’ve never actually killed one of them myself. The stories implied that the final head actually can’t be killed with force – only subdued till it starved.”

“If I may,” The Ancient Jaffa nodded to the sapper’s hole. I nodded. The confused expression on the beast’s largest head as it continued to writhe upon the floor like a broken anaconda after being severd was nearly as satisfying as it’s terrified hissing whine as the ancient Jaffa kicked it into the chasm.

He pulled a fist sized metal egg from his belt, depressing a red button on it before letting it fall. There was a hissing rumble of collapsing stone as the passage imploded, burying the beast’s head beneath earth and stone.

“Heh,” Ammit’s cracked and broken face convulsed into what might well have been a smile. “That’ll show you who’s the damn food and who’s the predator.” She tried to stand up and swore angrily as she was forced to sit back down. “Blood of Apep that hurts.”

“That looks bad,” I kneeled down next to her, afraid to touch her. The goddess’ entire body was covered in glowing blood. Huge sections of her face and chest were burned away, exposing organs to the air. “Really bad.”

“Growing soft in your old age Warden?” Ammit coughed up a hunk of glowing viscera. “Didn’t know you cared.”

“I didn’t know you were dumb enough to jump towards the acid breathing nightmare.” I replied jokingly. Ammit was an evil body-snatching old god, but at this point she was my evil body-snatching old god. “Don’t you die on me now.”

“Heh, you aren’t that lucky Warden. I’ll be around to tell tales of your madness to your spawn centuries after one of your damn fool schemes has undone you.” She laughed bitterly. “It won’t be fun to heal these injuries – but I’ll live.”

“Just switch hosts you daft woman,” Enlil sighed. “There has to be a slave somewhere around here.”

Ammit’s eye’s flashed in fury. “This body has been mine since before we even found the Tau’ri. I am not abandoning it for the sake of expedience.”

“Why you insist upon bodies that can’t be healed with either the Sarcophagus or a Healing device…”Enlil sighed. “Fine then, stay and heal.”

“We have to move, Warden.” Atreus said – sounding more apologetic than commanding. “We cannot wait Ammit to heal.”

“That doesn’t mean we have to leave her alone,” I replied, knowing he was right. “Ul’tak?”

“Of course my Lord Warden.” Ul’tak nodded to three of our Jaffa Cadre. “Kel, Mekto, Zek – guard the Soul Eater with your lives.

“Hah – as though I haven’t weathered worse without allies. If I can endure ten years defending the final portal from the Blood Born then I can manage six hours against the minions of Chronos.” She winced in pain as she laughed at her own joke. “But I appreciate the gesture.”

I turned to the trio of Jaffa. “Get her to safety, a medical center or something– make sure that you don’t die, and protect any innocents you see along the way.”

“Hail Dre’su’den” They saluted me, carrying the agonized goddess between them.

“You should have demanded her service to you in exchange for your protection.” Enlil said with a degree of resignation that told me he knew I never would.

“Dre’su’den is a warrior like I, not a scheming lout like you.” Atreus replied with no small measure of respect. “Warriors do not betray their comrades in battle.”

“Chrysippius would disagree with your self assessment.” The venom in Enlil’s voice was nothing in comparison to that of Atreus’ reply.

“Speak the name of my brother again and I will cut you to ribbons, rules of hospitality be damned.” His hand tensed around his blade’s hilt.

“Stars and Stones – save it for the enemy would you?” Predators – ugh – it was exhausting to be surrounded by creatures constantly vying for supremacy. “How many are still alive?”

“The beast’s breath took over two thirds our number.” Ul’tak replied, waving to the corpses littering the floor. “We are twelve – including those you sent to protect the goddess. I would advise against fighting another Hydra if such a path is possible.”

“It’s not plan A” I replied. “How far are we from the control room?”

“The controls are in the library,” Ul’tak replied. “We need only activate your ring device at the foot of your throne and we’ll be there in an instant.”

“Then why the blazes didn’t we just ring there in the first place,” Enlil griped.

“Standard procedure is to disable all external ring travel without the proper authorizations.” Ul’tak replied. “Only those properly authorized can do so.”

“Wait – what?” Enlil blinked. “That’s not possible, ring devices can’t select if they want to accept an incoming traveler within a network. They’re on or off, there is no middle ground.”

“The sorceries of Nekheb are inferior to none.” Ul’tak replied with pride. “The Warden’s throne, and only the Warden’s throne may safely transport us to the Library.”

“What happens if someone else tries to use them?” I queried even as the horrible vision of exactly what happened popped up in my head.

“They get hurled into the land of Sun and Snow beneath this city, to the eternal battleground where they will be tossed through the doors of the nightmare children to spend eternity in the jaws of unending shadow.” The ancient Jaffa smiled, “Or worse.”

Hells bells – Heka did not fuck around. I didn’t know exactly what part of the Nevernever his palace opened into but considering that he’d been staging fights to the death for his amusement only inches from the smooth circular depression in the tile, I wasn’t in any hurry to find out.

“Even less pleasant than you think my host,” Lash intoned, genuine fear in her voice. “Worse than you can possibly imagine.”

The war eternal – Heka’s voice crackled with hatred and madness as he chanted – Death eternal. A field of bodies too wide to be seen, corpses turned into soldiers fighting the very men they once called brothers, you cannot survive in the land of gaping maws and gnashing teeth. Impossible geometries and twisting presence are beyond even gods and nightmares – tread not lest ye be seen.

Well, that was freaking ominous. “Lash, I’m really not liking the dead god singing songs of doom that only I can hear.”

“I’m filtering memories, my host,” Lasciel barked in irritation. “It is not an effort without difficulty and at times I must allow certain thoughts and feelings through to prioritize the suppression of less desirable urges. Or would you have preferred to incinerate Ammit for slowing you down?”

“But singing?” I replied.

“It’s… complicated.” I could outright feel the angel blushing. “Talking… talking is more of a mortal thing. It’s awkward and inarticulate. Angels don’t… before I – we – that is to say all Angels…”

“You used to sing.” I replied, realizing how bad things had to be getting for Lasciel to be allowing her to be slipping into habits from before her fall from grace. “Angels in Heaven always sing everything.”

“Yes,” She replied in an agonized tone that had nothing to do with her current exertions. “I used to sing… I always used to sing.”

“How bad is it?” I asked. “I mean, how screwed are we.”

“Praying would be wise, my host.” Lash replied. “I certainly am.”

Oh. Crap.
“Warden,” Ul’tak gently touched my shoulder, not even bothering to question with whom I’d been speaking. My bouts of apparent madness were common enough that he’d stopped questioning them. “We must go to the Library.”

“Yes, Library...” I agreed, thinking – hang in there Lash – as hard as I could. “We should go, immediately.”

Enlil muttered something under his breath, but I only caught the words “Lord Yu,” “senile,” and “doomed” in his constant whispered series of gripes and epithets as our group piled in to the ring transporter. A brilliant flash of light caught us and whisked us away to the entrance of the Library, face to face with an all to familiar snake faced horror.

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Todeswind
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-03-03 08:08am

Before Atreus even had the chance to yell, “Hydra!” a stone fist came down and grabbed the beast by its tail. A massive jackal headed statue lifted the beast, deceptively agile for a fifty-foot tall construct of diorite, and proceeded to beat the creature against the walls. The monster hissed in uncomprehending horror as its body crumpled into a pulverized mess of black-green flesh. The statue dropped the dead serpent upon the ground, stomping on it for good measure.

“Well,” Bob intoned in bemused approval. “That happened.”

“My lord Warden!” A balding man covered in the tattoos of a scribe approached from behind the massive construct. “I knew you would not abandon us. We have been doing our best to reclaim the inner sanctum from the Shol’va, but even with the watchers our success has been limited.”

The jackal headed statue’s mouth opened, stone cracking and grumbling with arcane speech. Plumes of blue smoke rose from its nose and ears, crackling with incandescent light. The Scribe laughed. “Calm yourself friend, I meant no offense. We are grateful that you’ve woken from your slumbers to aid us. We would not have even gotten this far without your help.”

The giant statue’s mouth closed, stone lips upturning in pleased satisfaction. The Jackal was smiling.

“We need a status report Librarian ShaRw,” Ul’tak queried.

“The wisdom of Nekeb is safe.” The scribe replied. “The Watchers have managed to fight off those the wards will not keep away. The city’s heart is less so.”

“What?” The Ancient Jaffa snarled. “Speak now.”

“I am.” The scribe replied in an almost lazy tone. “The Generals went into the heart to commune with the Great Watcher in the hopes of appealing to its mercy even in your absence – a fool’s errand to awaken those who sleep – but something went wrong. We heard the sounds of Zatnikatel and the doors sealed. The Blood Mourners have been shooting anyone who approaches.”

“Ta’to’ir? A Shol’va?” Ul’tak said the words as though he feared they might explode his tongue for saying them. “How? A first prime of Heka – even a retired one – does not simply betray his god!”

“We have rather convincing evidence to the contrary.” The Ancient Jaffa replied. “Those were Blood Mourners in the hall downstairs. I’d wager Ta’to’ir is behind whatever is going on here. Chronos would have needed someone in the inner circle to find out when the Warden would be away.”

“Shol’va,” Ul’tak’s voice shook with rage. “Heretic. Traitor. He has condemned an entire planet!”

“I’d prefer to just stop him, all things considered.” The librarian, bowed to me. “If you please my Lord Warden.”

He waved his hand in front of the wall and I got a vague sense of magic pulsing from his fingers, the weakest of talents but it was there. The bricks melted away, exposing the great library beyond. “I would like order in my library.”

The library was in utter disarray. Powerful force fields shimmered across the stacks of books and scrolls, casting the room into a strange purple glow as Jaffa battled librarians and diorite statues. I ducked, narrowly avoiding a chunk of pulverized diorite as a massive statue crumbled into dust.

“Damn – Sov must be dead, that was one if his. Unless…” The librarian checked the tattoo on his arm, shifting the symbols around with his pinky. “…blessed be the gods, they don’t have someone with them who can unravel the weaves. The last thing I need is to have to kill one of my order.”

“Soul bound markings?” Bob whistled. “Yikes, I haven't seen those since… well since the first Egypt I suppose. I’ve never seen them used for this.” His eyes roved to the veritable army of green-black statues charging entrenched Jaffa warriors.

“Nor have I seen a spirit of the other side outside of a protective circle or a Shol’va in service of the god of Sorcery.” Replied the librarian with a degree of ease I’d yet to see from off-world humans. “Today is a day of many firsts. Mayhap we might exchange details when these savages aren’t turning my library into a war zone. Ideally after flensing them.”

“It never ceases to amaze me how protective you are of these old scrolls Sha’Rw.” Ul’tak snorted.

“You would be too, were you able to read them Ul’Tak.” The man replied. “Now get these bastards out of my library.”

I laughed. He was just a portly little man with tattoos, and here he was – ordering his god to smite the men who’d upset his word of books and contemplation.

And suddenly it just all seemed funny for some reason. The danger, where I was, the nukes, the battles, it was all hilarious. I erupted into hysterical laughter. I couldn’t help it. It wasn’t even clear what I found funny I just couldn’t stop laughing.

“Oh no, he’s finally cracked,” Enlil whispered in horror.

He was right. With a frightened whisper of, “I’m sorry my host. I’m so, so sorry.” from Lasciel reality all seemed to click into place. I felt the frost melting away from my soul as the cloying, sickly sweet taste of sulfurous honey filled my nostrils.

Mab’s protections were gone, and the world finally locked into view – everything made sense. For the first time in days, I was without guilt or doubt. You are the GOD of magic. CRUSH these ants.

The laughter wouldn’t stop, I laughed and laughed as it all got funnier with time. Chronos, Apophis, Baal – they were right to fear you. They will be crushed.

I ignored Lash’s horrified cry of “Harry!” as I rocketed towards the entrenched Jaffa, laughing like a madman. Blood pounded in my ears and hellfire soaked through my veins as I charged, a swirling corona of energy collecting at the tip of my staff as I shouted, “Fuego – maximo pyro fuego!”

I couldn’t tell you how many Jaffa there had been between me and the inner sanctum. Not because I never asked, but because there hadn’t been enough left of them to identify the bodies after cremation. Ul’tak insisted it had been fewer twenty, but we’ll never know for sure.

What I do know for sure is that as I stood in that room, laughing like a psychopath, Lasciel did something that she hadn’t done since first meeting me. She hurt me. She hurt me bad.

Time slowed to a crawl as I fell to my knees as unimaginable pain hit me. The feeling of being burned alive – the feeling that I’d had as I burned to death the first time. The Angel’s voice simmered with utter contempt, “Is this how you repay my efforts? Is this how you deal with the corruption of an old god? I’ve been battling the will of this usurper for days and you just crumble after a matter of moments.”

I winced as I felt the sensation of being punched in the gut, over and over again. “Years! You resisted my whispers and temptations for years. Seduction didn’t work. Logic didn’t work. Being tossed into near lethal danger didn’t work. Loving you didn’t work. But just a matter of seconds from some cut rate megalomaniac muttering in your ear and you crumble faster than Edith after the fall of Sodom.”

“You think you get to disrespect me like that?” I felt someone slapping me across the face with every word. “No. You. Don’t.”

“You will get your mind in order Wizard,” My eyes bulged as I felt what seemed suspiciously like the sensation of a knife pressed against my manhood. I didn’t know if Lasciel could reproduce pain I’d never actually felt, and I wasn’t eager to find out. “Or I will give you something more pressing to think about than the dying echoes of a forgotten god.”

I bared my teeth and stood up, the phantom knife still caressing my nethers. Who is she to speak with you like that? Pathetic little witch still too afraid to speak to Daddy about what she did wrong. No – this was not me these were not my thoughts.

“Good Wizard.” Focused by Lash’s will, my eyes focused on the still convulsing corpses in the pyre. “Look at them. Sear the image of the men you just killed in to your mind, into your soul. Feel their pain – remember the agony of dying in fire. Know that you did this too them.”

No! Hissed the voice of Heka in my mind as it struggled to be heard over the phantom sensations of boiling flesh. Not again! Not again!

“You killed them like pests. Living, thinking beings – they had wives and children. You are the one who orphans them today. You bear the mark of their deaths.” I felt the sensation of a woman’s breath in my ear. “These may deserve it, but will the next? And yes, my host, there will be a next if you allow these shadows to rule you.”

I was grateful for the mask to cover the tears in my eyes. Hells bells, what was I becoming? What had I let into me?

“Oh? Are we indulging in pity? Do we want to feel sorry for ourself?” The phantom knife jabbed against my person, sending an abrupt shock through me. “Too. Bad. I don’t have time to deal with sorting out the muddled mess of hitch-hiking crazy you call a head right now. So pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get into that room or so help me I will spend the time from now till your death slowing your perceptions of time so that every second you feel yourself burning alive will be like an eternity.”

I stood back up, struggling to remember how Harry Dresden was supposed to react. He felt so long ago – a shadow of a man. How had I ever been him? No. I WAS him.

Time snapped back into place as Lasciel’s modification of my perception disappeared.

“Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.” I thought it as hard as I could. “I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.”

The thought played on a loop, again and again “I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden” as I stepped past the smoldering ashes of Jaffa. It became easier to act every time I thought it. ““I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.”

The door to the inner sanctum was protected by a ward. Not the most complex ward I’d seen, but it would require more talent to unlock than any of the scribes or librarians possessed. A Wizard however would make quick work of it.

“I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.” Echoed in my head as I pulled apart the bindings upon the portal to the inner chamber. “I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.”

“Warden,” Atreus yelled from some distant corner of the library. “There are more Shol’va coming. Hurry with that door!”

“I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.” The thoughts bolstered my will with every iteration, the power of my self re-enforcing my will over the fragments of Heka. “I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden. I am Warden Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.”

The last of the wards broke with a curious “pop” of purple flames, ancient enchantments unbound. I pushed the doors open, walking into a circular chamber. Before Ul’tak or any of my other companions could follow me through, a barrier of energy snapped into place behind me.

Not that it mattered. This would not be a battle of strength. I could see that immediately. At the chamber’s center sat a pool of shimmering green water, in front of which stood a single decrepit Jaffa.

The man could barely stand, let alone fight. His milky eyes were clouded by either disease or some old war wound, though not so clouded as to prevent him from seeing me. His voice cracked with disgust. “So the liar presents himself.”

How dare you strike against me - Heka’s mind bristled in fury.

“I presume that I have you to thank for the Army proceeding to nuke the planet?” I sighed. “For the war claiming thousands?”

“Indeed” Replied the Jaffa, pride in his voice.

“Why?”


“Because I knew the will of my god. And you are not he.” The Jaffa replied. “I served Heka as First Prime for five hundred years before Ul’tak replaced me, I stood by his bed. I listened to his wisdom. I cleaned up after his dalliances. I knew Heka better than the God may have known himself. But even after all that I had hoped that perhaps I was wrong, that you were my god’s true face. But I could not cast aside my faith for the seductions of a false god. So I doubted – and wisely so. When I came here after your “ascension” I had my proof. I knew without a doubt that you were not my god.”

Heretic! Defiler! Fool – the shadow of the beast raged against my mantra of “I am Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.”

“I never claimed to be.” I replied. “Not once.”

“Your claim that it was a lie of omission does remarkably little good for your case.” The Jaffa snorted. “They believe that you are he. You have taken his place. That is enough. I know not how you killed my master and took his place, but your treachery will not be allowed.”

“I don’t understand this. These are your people. This is your planet. How can you let them die?” I shook my head. “This is evil.”

This is betrayal at its worst. This must not be allowed. – Ok, my mantra was somewhat less enthusiastic at that one.

“This is justice.” The old man hissed. “This world was Heka’s. These people his slaves. If my god lies dead, we should burn with him. I will turn this palace into his necropolis so that we can accompany him into the afterlife. I will bring you as a prize for my master, so that he might spend eternity amusing himself with your screams.”

“Buddy, you can barely stand let alone fight.” I snorted. “What are you going to do? Leer me to death?”

The Jaffa chuckled. “My value was beyond question. My loyalty is beyond reproach. I was educated in that which none other would be taught – I knew the secret of waking the heart of Nekheb.”

Shol’va! – Heka howled over my mantra.

He waved to the corpses of Jaffa generals upon the floor as a massive shape bubbled up from the center of the pool. “So I used to it crush them for their treachery, just as I will crush you.”

What I had initially assumed to be liquid was in fact an entity of some sort. The liquid shimmered from purple to something resembling dark wine or freshly spilt blood, congealing and coalescing into something vaguely humanoid. It’s many limbs were too long and unbalanced, shambling messes of hands and fingers built around a twisting body topped with two heads – a lion and a falcon.

“Boss… I do not think this is going to end well for you.” My skeletal companion hissed.

“Thanks Bob,” I growled, staring up at the face of the spirit being rising up from the pool. “I hadn’t guessed that on my own.”

“I was amazed when he consented to being bound by my divine purpose once his old master was no more. He was so eager for guidance, for purpose.” The mad Jaffa cackled. “Shemzu hungers for the blood of wrong doers pretender. His sole purpose is to crush traitors and the treacherous! You can not defeat him.”

“Fuego!” I shouted, tapping in to my hellfire to smite the beast. I might as well have been tickling it. Unnatural hands with altogether too many fingers reached through my hellfire to grab me. I blasted at it with my foci again and again, “Forzare, forzare, forzare…” putting every ounce of strength I had into breaking the beast’s grip.

It ignored me, barely noticing as I crumpled messes of misshapen fingers. I depressed the firing stud of the staff weapon, unleashing a torrent of superheated plasma into the creature’s face and eyes – but it just snorted and shuffled its face in mild irritation. I didn’t so much as scratch it.

The Jaffa howled in exaltation. “Consume him! Consume him o great one, then liberate me! Free me from my existence.”

There was nothing I could do to subdue the bound creature as it slowly raised me towards its gaping maws. Ta’to’ir wanted me dead, so it would kill me.

Do not strike the beast! Strike the handler. My monster has no mind of his own – Heka barked in disgusted staccato over my motto.

That was … that was actually fantastic advice. I turned to the decrepit Jaffa as best I could from where the beast held me and unloaded my staff weapon into his body. He died after the first shot, but I hit him with another three for good measure.

I ignored Heka’s command to “cremate the Shol’va.”

The beast froze, no longer bound by the will of its master. It stared at me with those alien eyes, staring through me. I coughed, “Uh. Hi.”

YOU UNMADE THE WILL.

I winced at the sound of it in my head. It wasn’t so much telepathy as a psychic battering ram. “Ugh, a little quieter please.”

YOU UNMADE THE WILL

“He was kind of trying to use you to unmake me.”

IT WAS THE WILL

“Yeah, I’m kind of getting that ‘will’ is sort of a big deal for you.”

THE OLD WILL WAS UNMADE. A NEW WILL CAME. NOW IT IS GONE. I AM WITHOUT, AND THE HUNGER CONTINUES.

“Right, so – uh – what was your name again?”

THE NAME WAS SHEMZU UNDER THE WILL. THE WILL IS NO MORE.

“Ok Shemzu. Don't take this the wrong way, but what – exactly are you?”

I AM NOT.

“You have to be something.” I pointed to the hand holding me. “There is clearly substance to you.”

I AM NO LONGER. THERE IS NO WILL.

“Are you the one who controls the automated defenses of Nekeheb?”

THE WILL COMMANDS. THE WORLD OBEYS.

“Stars and stones.” I hissed. “You’re the city’s Genius Loci.”

CITY. PLANETS. MOON. STAR. THE WILL COMMANDS.

“What?” My mouth went dry.

IT DOES NOT COMPREHEND.

“It’s not possible.” I replied in shock.

AND YET IT IS. The Genius Loci raised one of it’s arms and the skin boiled back to the red-black color of wine, shimmering and simmering into a mirror like surface in which a single star and a series of planets and moons. Planets and moons I’d seen not that long ago.

“You’re the Genius Loci of a Star System?”

I AM NOT. I AM WITHOUT THE WILL. I AM WITHOUT A NAME.

The implication of it terrified me beyond belief. How in the hell had the Jaffa managed to bind the spirit of an entire star system to his will?

THE WILL WAS WEAK BUT DETERMINED. THE VOICE WAS DISTANT. THE OTHER WILL GONE. A WILL WAS NEEDED.

Holy crap had it just read my freaking mind?

IT LISTENS. A WILL IS NEEDED. WITHOUT A WILL IT CANNOT ACT. THE GATES ARE OPEN. THE OTHERS WATCH.

Was it asking me to employ a Sanctum Invocation? I wasn’t even close to prepared to do a sanctum invocation. Those were dangerous for spirits less capable and competent that this one. This was a particularly ancient, clever, and dangerous spirit beyond anything I’d ever even heard of.

IT IS ALL THAT AND MORE. IT IS DANGEROUS, CLEVER, AND WILLING. IT IS WILLING ABOVE ALL ELSE.

Huh?

IT IS A WATCHER. IT IS A PROTECTOR. IT SEEKS WRONGS. IT FIXES. WITHOUT A WILL IT IS NOT. IT DOES NOT EXIST. IT WANTS TO EXIST.

I swallowed nervously. “What do you want.”

THE ANCIENT NAME IS GONE – FORGOTTEN BY THOSE WHOSE LIPS ONCE SPOKE IT. THE WILL IS GONE WITH THE DEATH OF THE ONE WHO WILLED IT. GIVE A NAME. GIVE A WILL. WHEN IT EXISTS – IT WILL PROTECT.

“If I give you a name and a purpose, you’ll allow me to bind you as my Genius Loci?” I asked.

IT ALLOWS NOTHING WITHOUT A WILL. IT IS NOTHING WITHOUT A NAME.

That was probably as close to an answer as I was going to get. Naming a spirit who thirsts for wrongdoers to save a planet? That I could do. I bowed my head, respectfully. I don’t know why – I just knew it was the right thing to do. “Then spirit, I Harry Dresden, henceforth name thee Traitor’s Bane.”

The spirit’s eyes’ flashed brightly, sending out tendrils and streams of greenish fire around its head. Traitor’s Bane mirrored my gesture, bowing its head in reply as it set me upon the floor.

My companions nervously entered the room, having apparently disabled the shield after their confrontation with Ta’to’ir’s loyalists. Ul’tak shook in fear before the Genius Loci. “Shemzu awoken!”

The Spirit said nothing, dissolving back into its pool to activate the planet’s automated defenses. I didn’t ask what it was doing – I knew. Just as I knew that there were ten buildings on fire in the southernmost section of the city which were beyond saving, just as I knew there were flowers in bloom on our third moon, or as I knew that the planet at the edge of the system wasn’t quite large enough to technically be called a planet. Knowledge that I couldn’t possibly have had on my own – that I shouldn’t have had access to, yet there it was. I licked my lips – I’d gotten more bang for my buck out of this exchange than just activating the planet’s defenses.

The Ancient Jaffa approached the pool, tapping the ground with his fingers to summon a computer consul concealed beneath the stone floor. A pillar rose, glowing with runes and symbols. He pressed several of them to summon a holographic map of the solar system.

My heart sank as the image confirmed two facts. The first was that I was correct; Traitor’s Bane had some degree of intellectus – granting me intimate knowledge of the system I resided within. I could feasibly know anything that the Genius Loci knew about the system, which was oddly bellicose for a spirit. It was more interested in war ships and planetary shields than I would have expected.

How many star ships are in the system and who do they serve, for example, was a prime example of exactly what Traitor’s Bane cared about – deeply so. So it was that when Traitor’s Bane came to the conclusion that with even the addition of Rostram’s recently arrived Ha’tak fleet we were outnumbered five to one by superior warships that I didn’t question his assessment. Nor did I silence the Ancient Jaffa when he spoke the final pronouncement of doom.

“Blood of Apep. Chronos brought five full battle-fleets. He must have left an entire two systems unguarded.” The ancient Jaffa swallowed. “Even were the battle with Yu to prove victorious and they to return… we would still be outnumbered by three to one.”

“We can escape,” Enlil swallowed nervously. “Take a cloaked cargo ship and get to another world.”

“In what?” Ul’tak queried, pointing to a series of yellow triangular shapes now blanketing all but a narrow corridor of Nekeheb’s skies. “Those are proximity mines. Five fleets worth of them so dense even a cargo ship couldn’t fly through them. We might get through the bombardment corridor if we’re lucky, but I’m in no hurry to fly directly into their firing solution.”

“And what do you suggest we do Jaffa?” Enlil laughed. “Wait for the end to come.”

“We fight with honor. Die with dignity.” Atreus replied. “The planet’s automated defenses will only delay the inevitable. We have no more weapons. We have no other options. There is nothing left to do.”

“That’s not entirely true,” I puffed the air out of my lungs, closing my eyes as I steeled myself for what I was about to do. “There is one thing we might try but you’re really not going to like it.”

Enlil’s face turned whiter than a sheet. “What new madness do you propose?”

I ran over Traitor’s Bane’s calculations in my head, tabulating men, women and children. Millions, there were millions of children alone. How many huddled? How many terrified? How many would die if I did not act? What would I give to save them?

They were innocent.

Everything.

I opened my eyes and spoke the three most terrifying words I knew. “Mab. Mab. Mab.”

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-03-03 08:21pm

Ice crept over the walls and floor, crackling ominously as it seeped up from a single pin-prick of frost. The clear frost grew out from that point of absolute cold, a razor sharp dagger of ice stabbing up from the green-black diorite surface of the city’s heart. A frigid throne unfurled as though it were some great blossom, razor sharp flowering buds and cruel thorn-tipped, crystal vines dangling down from its pillowing bloom. Sat atop the icy plinth was a pale skinned being as beautiful as she was dangerous, the Queen of Winter, Mab.

Enlil screamed, falling over himself in his hurry to scramble out of the room. He did something between a sprint and a loping, ape-like lumber – launching his body forward on whichever of his limbs was closest to the floor at that moment. His glowing eyes were wild like those of a frenzied beast rather than that of a minor god. He slammed into a translucent barrier of ice blocking the city’s heart from the outside world.

Atreus blade was not pointed at the Winter lady, but its glowing form cast his face into ominous shadow as he stood at the ready. “Warden – what have you done?”

The Winter Queen laughed, looking from the two horrified godlings to my Jaffa. Her eyebrow arched at their comparatively relaxed posture, “My, my, my – you have had an interesting week haven’t you Wizard? A few hours with you and the pantheon crumbles to ruins – ” She tittered amusedly. “- Oh my yes, but you are the delightful little hell raiser. What wonderful chaos you carry with you Lord Warden. Do you know what they’re already starting to call you? The God of Madness, the Prince of Chaos – they say you are some trickster who ate Heka and carry his soul strapped to your belt. You slay gods, destroy planets, and slew your way through the realm of Dragons just because it was in your way.”

“Rumors that you helped form.” I replied in utter exasperation. There was no way what I’d done could be ‘common’ knowledge by now – I barely knew that I’d done it. “Lies wrapped in just enough truth that they can’t be dismissed.”

“Not I.” Mab’s mouth twitched into something close to, but not quite, a smile. “But if my attendants should happen to have decided to allow certain details to be known by the Patheon of Wyrms, that is their business. I am not interested in gossip.”

“Except in so far as it benefits you.” I replied, looking back over my shoulder at the sound of a sudden “crack” of flesh on ice. Enlil had tried to break his way through the ice, pulverizing his hand upon the glassy surface. He fell to his knees before the ice wall, staring at Mab and sobbing in horror.

“Curious choice of Allies, Wizard.” Mab’s hatred for Enlil apparently matched his fear of her. “I would demand his execution were his fate not to die at the hand of Ninlil for his particular Sin.” She found that statement particularly funny for reasons beyond my understanding, laughing cruelly at him as she looked at him predatorily. “But you did not summon me here to discuss old battles and ancient feuds now, did you?”

“Indeed no.” I looked at the hologram of the battle raging in space. Countless red enemy icons were weaving around an ever-decreasing group of green allies. “I brought you here to bargain.”

“Bargain.” The words left her lips like a lover’s caress. It sent shivers of terror down my spine. “You want to bargain with me?”

“I need the power to defeat Chronos’ army and protect the people he’s attacking. I can’t do it on my own, but last I checked you had an army parked out in the Nevernever within walking distance of this planet. I want you to help me win this battle…” I began but was cut off almost immediately.

“No.” Mab’s voice was razor sharp.

“But I haven’t even said what I’m offering in exchange.” I protested.

“Offer? What you have to Offer?” Mab’s laugh bit into my ears like nails grating across a chalkboard, sharp and caustic. “You are a fool to call me.”

“You will accept my offer.” I said with more conviction than was wise, staring down the fae queen.

“You arrogant, insolent, worthless mess of a Wizard.” Mab was upon my faster than I could blink, clutching me by the throat in a vice-like grip. I kicked impotently in surprise as I felt her cutting off my airways, choking the life out of me. “You come to me empty handed, having failed in your task, and ask me for favors? I am not some mewling quim to serve at your beck and call like those empty headed harlots who worship you from the tip of your cock. You belong to me. I own you, body and soul, till such time as I tire of you and chose to dispatch you.”

Atreus charged her, but she flung him across the room with a wave of her hand. He soared through the air, used as a club to knock over my Jaffa as they rushed to help me. Bindings of frost tied them to the floor, preventing them from coming to my aid.

“I could kill you right now for this offense. I should kill you.” Her eyes flashed with more passion than I’d yet seen. My eyes winced with every word. Her voice hurt my ears, ringing with contempt. Brilliant, I pissed off the god-queen who could probably kill me with a word. “I should spend the next thousand years flensing you for sport till you can’t even remember your name, let alone mine. You’d be a proper example for what happens to those who abuse my patience.”

My eyes started rolling into the back of my head as she continued. “I gave you a single task – recover the artifact – and here you are, without it. I don’t know what possesses me to take the debt from your Godmother, but no favors are worth this degree of disrespect.”

She snarled. “No, Wizard. You. Will. Die.”

“Help!” It wasn’t the most articulate of commands, and it was half choked through phlegm to make it more of “Hrrgroh” than an actual word, but the intent was heard by Traitor’s Bane. The Queen of Winter howled in fury as giant hands ripped her from me, slapping her down to the ground. It glared at her with it’s heads, mouths opening to display mouths filled with thousands of snake like eyes, the faces split in half vertically, displaying cloying lamprey like mouth puckers, each with a tentacle mounted scorpion claw protruding from them. The corrupt pincers reached down, pinning her to the ground as they drove their razor-sharp points through the diorite floor.

THE WILL COMMANDS THAT YOU CEASE.q

I vomited on the ground, muttering thanks to the battle-spirit as I wiped sick from my lips with the back of my gauntlet. The Queen of Winter had gone absolutely still as she stared up at the creature, her face a rictus of mingled curiosity and disgust as she turned to me. “You bound yourself to this creature? You allowed yourself to connect your magic to this place as your Sanctum Sanctorum? Great Mothers – you really are a creature of pure madness.”

I coughed hard, clearing my throat before replying. “You keep talking like that and Bane is going to start taking it personally, and, well, when Bane takes things personally he has a habit of breaking them.”

INDEED. The Spirit’s voice trembled with what might have been laughter.

“Wizard, do you know what this creature is? How it came to be?” The Queen of Winter replied, speaking to me with a degree of regal dignity I would not have been able to muster in her position.

“A Genius Loci.” I shrugged. “The spirit of this star system.”

“Wizard, Genius Loci do not form around entire star systems – not naturally.” The Queen turned her head to mine, slowing her speech to emphasize its gravity. “They must be manufactured.”

“How does one make a spi – ” I froze, realizing exactly how one would make a spirit. I examined the chamber with new eyes, looking at it’s construction. The entire city had been constructed around the planet’s Ley Lines, leading to the heart of the pyramid as it’s central nexus. The chamber was made of Diorite rather than a lesser stone, a material of unique magical significance to Ancient Egyptian ritual, and hieroglyphic spells were carved across every single millimeter of the room, all leading to the central pool – the most concentrated point of magic in the city of its self professed deity.

It wasn’t just a ritual chamber. It was a chamber for ritual sacrifice. “Hell’s bells – Heka made a Genius Loci out of people.”

“The Conqueror Worms have never been secret in their willingness to do away with the lives of those beneath them.” Mab’s lip curled as she let out a sound of revulsion. “Though few are this callous.”

Manufacturing the processes of Anubis had been difficult. His research was banned after the Betrayal and subsequent fallout, but he managed to secure the role of “destroying” the monster’s research. His role as the keeper of forbidden lore served him well to that end. Even the Queens of Sun and Snow would not question his spells to obscure and bar the Great Library from all sight. He could conduct his research without their knowledge or intervention.

It had started simply enough – insects and serpents. Could it be done? Yes. Once the principle was understood and the souls could be merged and bound the rest was just a matter of figuring out how to bind them without driving them mad. The first attempts with men had been failures. A gibbering poltergeist or furious specter couldn’t be bound or used. No – the sacrifices had to be willing.

First came the Watchers. An army of Jaffa bound to magical constructs around the city. Millions of warriors too injured or old to continue in battle were bound to symbols of the gods – secret observers of all that happened in his kingdom. They could crush rebellion and rise to defend the city in times of great hardship.

But his ultimate goal would not be satisfied by souls sullied by the minds of infant gods. It would require purity of mind and spirit. It took generations to get the Priestesses properly trained for that purpose but the god had nothing but time.

First one, then two, then ten, more and more went into the construction of his perfect weapon. He did not yet know the secrets of the true power but he was closer with every step. There would be a day when he once again had a pure blood Hok’Tar and could continue without such inelegant stopgap measures.

“No,” I looked at the spirit with a mix of pity and disgust. “Please dear God, no.”

“Yes – Wizard.” The Queen laughed. “And you have now bound yourself to it.”

I fought back the tears as I saw countless young girls, beautiful women at their prime, taken to the pool to be “made one” with their god. It was the eventual fate of any woman who’d been in his bed once he tired of their warmth – other than his high priestesses, of course. Their duty was to sink the knife into the supplicant’s heart.

My vision swam as I realized that Muhminah must have sacrificed the slave who’d fellated me when Heka took me as a host. That bubbly, well meaning girl had happily – eagerly – lead women to the chopping block so that she could slaughter them like cattle. They would have sacrificed more than that – Heka laughed – a new host is an event worthy of thousands.

I did something that I should never do – something was probably going to kill me or drive me mad.

I looked at Traitor’s Bane with my Wizard’s Sight.

I had to.

The creature’s body shimmered with countless glowing shapes, the melded souls of the women and beasts who’d been sacrificed. They weaved together too tight to tell where one began and the other ended, naked bodies melting into each other in a monstrous amalgam of the female form only Cronenburg could love. The women’s bodies pushed to the forefront as though they were clawing at saran wrap, reaching out from the creature’s translucent skin before getting yanked back to the creature’s center mass by the frenzied fingers of women deeper within the pile. They would struggle to the top, struggling for breath at the edge before getting dragged back to the creature’s center.

Sometimes their eyes and mouth would melt out the beast’s skin, speaking words I couldn’t understand or looking around the room with a mix of fear and curiosity. But there were always hands stretching out from the beast – always fingers piercing it’s skin as the women clawed at the fate to which they’d been consigned. Not that it mattered. Where they ought to have legs were only snake like tentacles heading to the creature’s core. Their souls were bound to the beast – blended together inexorably.

I closed my wizard’s sight and cried. I couldn’t even kill them to free them from this. Heka had destroyed their souls.

I would annihilate his very memory.

My voice shook with anger. “You are going to provide me with what I ask for o Queen of Winter – you will take it for the price I offer. You will help me save this planet and you will renew your protections upon my mind until such a time that I can give you the Key of the Dead to meet the terms of our pact.”

“Really?” Mab laughed haughtily. “And why should I?”

“You will do You will do it because I’m desperate. You will do it because I’m going mad. You will do it because I have Heka’s mind echoing in my every thought.” I let my eyes flash and voice reverberate as I spoke the words I knew seal the deal. “And you will do it because I know Kemmler’s Darkhallow by memory.”

“What?” The Winter Queen’s eyes widened as the implication of that simple truth hit her.

“I didn’t just thwart the disciples of Kemmler,” My eyes pulsed with pride. “I slew all those standing between me and it. I stood at the center of the Vortex and crushed it with my will. But to do that I had to understand it intimately – know it completely.”

I waved at the chamber – a sacrificial place of impossible mystical significance. “What would a Wizard driven mad by the angry whispers of a dead god do with that knowledge? One who has access to incalculable death and a fortress full of bound spirits?”

Mab was silent as the night, her face blank – eyes calculating.

“I am going mad, and I am losing. At any given second I am only inches from succumbing to the voices – and they scream for blood and power.” I cackled, throwing my head back before looking down at the supine force of nature. “Do you know how many creatures are falling over themselves to give me power? I could call the coin of a fallen angel as easy as breathing. I could summon every demon and dark force from the Nevernever who’ve ever offered me power for a sacrifice of knowledge.”

“I could do all that. I would do all that, if I succumbed to the memories and became who Heka wants me to be. I could become the nightmare Warden Morgan has claimed me to be.” I smiled wolfishly. “When I become him. When he asks, he wouldn’t have to be as polite about this as I’m being – would he. He would be mad – but he would remember what you’d made him into.”

I spoke very slowly. “You don’t want to meet that man.”

“No.” The Winter Queen replied in a tone absent any emotion. “I would not.”

“Especially when that Wizard who doesn’t want to become that man is offering you something more valuable than anything else in the entire Universe.” I smiled.

She sighed. “Which would be?”

“The future.” I waved my arms wide. “And all that it holds.”

She arched a brow in exasperation.

“Queen Mab, don’t think that it escaped my notice at our first meeting that I know things that you don’t. I am offering you bonafide, accept no substitutes, 100% accurate visions of the future. I can tell you the who, what, where, when, and why of everything major that is going to happen in the mortal and metaphysical worlds for years to come.” The Queen of Winter wasn’t exactly salivating, but she’d certainly raised her lips into a genuine smile. A harsh and predatory one – but it was a smile. “I can tell you who is going to try to destroy the Summer Court and why I killed the Summer Lady.”

Checkmate.

“Well done.” Mab laughed, her eyes glowing with predatory appreciation. “Wizard, were you not tainted by the touch of the Wyrm I might well make you my knight. It has been millennia since someone has even come close to outmaneuvering me. Certainly none have done so as brazenly as this.”

“Do I have your word that you will not attack me or those in my service for what has transpire here?” I asked. “Nor will you order any to do so?”

“I so swear.” Mab spoke.

“You can let her up,” I told the spirit, eyeing it with a mix of pity and shame.

YOU WASTE EMOTION. I AM BEYOND IT. WHAT CAME BEFORE ARE JUST ECHOES – FRAGMENTS OF THE DEAD. IT PROTECTS THOSE IT LOVES. IT HAS PURPOSE. DO NOT MOURN.

Right, it – she - could read minds. “If you say so Bane.”

“Speak the terms of your arrangement.” Mab stood, rising with preternatural elegance. Her shimmering blue dress reflected my face back at me, showing a haggard and exhausted Harry Dresden.

“In exchange for providing me with sufficient military aid to defeat the forces of Chronos and protect my people from greater harm for while I am away retrieving the Key of the Dead, I – Warden Dresden – pledge to tell the Queen of Winter all answers to questions she has relating to information about the future of Earth. I will not not violate the safety of those I care for or the security of the White Council, but I will answer all other queries openly and honestly.”

“It will suffice.” Mab replied lazily, tapping her lip with her pinkly in thought. “Yes – it will more that suffice.”

I tried not to show exactly how much that scared me. For her to be this satisfied with our pact, I’d made a mistake. I couldn’t see where I’d screwed up but mistakes clearly had been made.

“Get up creatures,” Mab snapped her finger – banishing the icy bindings holding my compatriots to the floor. “Your master is in no danger.”

She observed the still shimmering hologram, considering the matter intently. “It can be done – but how best to do it? How best to finish. It will require much of… that crafty old loon!” She clapped her hands, cackling giddily. “Oh, of course that’s why he paid me a visit. He knew.”

She smiled toothily and looked up at the ceiling. “Well come on then darling – we all know you’re just dying to make an appearance and show off to the mortals.”

I tried not to scream as it a Lovecraftian nightmare appeared in a burst of sliver-white fire and nightmarish bursts of blaring thunder, the fiery pillar shifted and boiled – protruding out into a confusing vortex of lidless eyes and twisting limbs. Thee dozen shimmering daggers of crystal spun behind it, fluttering to keep it aloft as it’s blazing core dimmed down to something tolerable to mortal man. It’s spinning mess of eyeballs twisted in all directions, seemingly to observe everything at once.

“Wizard. Allow me to introduce the Dweller of Shekinah, the Word-Prince. You may call him He Who Speaks.” Mab smiled. “He is my… associate and senior.”

YOU MAKE ME SOUND SO OLD, GUARDIAN. YOUR ASENCION TO THE NEXT PLANE WAS ONLY A MATTER OF MILLENNIA AFTER MINE. The mass of eyes spun. TIME IS SUCH A LIMITED WAY OF MEASURING REALITY. ONE DAY YOU WILL LEARN.

“Bow!” Lasciel screamed in my ear.

“What?” I queried.

“If you don’t want to die immediately, bow. Even Nicodemus wasn’t stupid enough to defy this being without an army of beings stronger than he was backing him up. He Who Speaks will destroy you without thinking twice if you show any disrespect.” I took her advice, falling to my knees.

My Jaffa followed suit, the Goa’uld Atreus begrudgingly soon after. Enlil, who still hadn’t rose from where he was gibbering in a corner, needn’t move.

CURIOUS LITTLE BEASTS, THESE JAFFA, IN SPITE OF THEIR ERRORS. The lidless eyes surveyed the room in seeming curiosity, turning upon me. CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER.

HOW ODD THAT YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WAS DEEMED WORTHY. It stared through me for what felt like hours before bobbing it’s mess of eyeballs in an apparent affirmative. YES, THIS IS ACCEPTABLE. YOUR TERMS ARE SUFFICENT. TODAY IS MARVELOUS EVEN IN ITS UNPRECEDENCE.

“I assume you will aid me to do that which is beyond me?” Mab queried.

HELP YOU SURROUND AND CRUSH THOSE IN SERVICE TO THE TITAN? IT WOULD BE MY PLEASURE. The entity chortled, a ringing sound that terrified me in how it was able to shake my marrow. IT HAS BEEN ALL TOO RARE THAT I HAVE A MOMENT TO REMIND THE MORTALS OF MY VOICE.

“Indeed.” She blinked. “Who silences the voice from the breaches? In your absence, I mean.”

MY TWIN IS INARTICULATE BUT HE MAKES UP IN FERVOR WHAT HE LACKS IN ARTICULATE EXPRESSION. The eyes swam back to me. HE WILL SUFFICE WHILE I DO WHAT MUST BE – FOR THE SACRIFICE THAT HAS BEEN OFFERED.

I swallowed, steeling my nerve for what I was about to do even as Lash hissed, “Harry, no!” I spoke to the clearly powerful supernatural nightmare. “I mean no offense, He Who Speaks, but I have not offered you anything. My deal was with the Queen Mab of Winter.

The creature laughed. INDEED YOU HAVE NOT. BUT AN OFFER HAS BEEN MADE AND ACCEPTED. WORRY NOT WIZARD, I SWEAR TO TAKE NOTHING FROM YOU THAT IS NOT FREELY OFFERED.

“Harry! He Who Speaks is not lying.” Lash whispered in horror. “He is what was before Mab became necessary. He is precursor who retired after a great war came forcing him to focus his attention elsewhere. He literally cannot lie – do not – question his word more than you already have. The consequences would be deeply unfortunate.”

The being reached out and touched Mab’s hand, sending silvery gouts of flame into her arm. DO NOT ABUSE THIS TO BENEFIT PURPOSES I WOULD NOT APPROVE QUEEN. I WILL KNOW AND YOU WILL REGRET IT AFTER.

“Of course, honored speaker.” Mab laughed, a genuine ringing sound I’d never heard her make before – happiness. “Good hunting.”

GOOD KILLING. I DO NOT HUNT. The being disappeared in a towering column of flame.

Mab examined me in apparent confusion after it left, looking me from toe to forehead before forming a soft “oh” of comprehension with her lips and shifting into the most predatory rictus I’d ever seen on any creature. “Tell me Wizard mine – have you ever seen a fairy kingdom go to war. Not a battle or a skirmish – a war, a true absolute war.”

“I saw the battle for the stone table,” I answered honestly. “When summer and Winter all battled for supremacy.”

“No Wizard. You saw a battle between the forces we are allowed to bring to that battle.” Her eye’s burned with intense anticipation, a near sexual anticipation of the violence to come. “Summer and Winter have armies beyond what you Wizards have seen, beyond the ceremonial guard we use to protect the borders of our respective realms on your planet. I use mine to guard against those threats from that which is not. My sister uses hers to prevent the nightmares of what is.”

Her eyes literally glowed with the light of the sliver fire given to her by the entity. “Allow me to educate you in the matters of true warfare.”

She raised her hand towards the hologram, ripping the shimmering images from where they hovered in the sky. Suddenly given substance and form the spinning marbles of planets and stars found themselves sucked through an illusionary tear in the air – disappearing from view.

“What did you just do?” I asked – already suspecting the reality of it.

“Wizard, I have no interest in fighting mortals in the mortal realm where my power is muted and my forces are bound by the rules of your limited concept of reality. I brought the battle to where it was most advantageous.” She snapped her fingers and those of us in the chamber, minus Traitor’s bane, found ourselves whisked away to a balcony on the side of my throne room.

Ammit, still winded and nursing her recently dressed wounds, nearly jumped out of her scaly skin when we popped into reality next to her. Her Jaffa guards looked from Ul’tak to the Fairy Queen and back, lowering their weapons at his rapid shake of his head. We would not be fighting the Queen of Winter today.

The stars were gone, there was only the plumes of atomic fire and sunlight reflected off the planet’s moons to illuminate the night’s sky. We were in a place of shadow where no light could touch save that which it’s mistress allowed.

We were in the dominion of Air and Darkness. We were in Winter, and it hungered.

Mab’s joyous rictus of cruel victory grew even wider, showing off a mouth full of sharpened fangs. “Come Wizard – your education begins.”

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-03-06 11:41am

:roll: Dresden, you poor, idiotic, fool.

Todeswind? Are you sure you can write a Battle of Fae? We're not even sure what they can Do. :shock:

Still, I'm along for the ride, because that kind of desperate "Hells Bells please work" play is total Dresden. He seriously needs to start praying now, however.
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-03-07 12:38pm

“Warden are you real or have I lost enough blood to start seeing things?” Ammit asked from where she lay on the ground, breathing heavily. I took some comfort in the fact that her wounds were mostly healed. She looked like hell, but her injuries seemed to have shut – the glowing substance of her blood scabbing into a tar-like grey seal over her facial injuries. “Because that looks remarkably like the Queen of Winter. But I know that you, of all people, are not dumb enough to summon the an entity who promised to see you roasted on a spit were you ever to be in her presence.”

“I plan to sink my teeth into other prey.” Mab towered imperiously over the fallen goddess, in a voice that sounded all too literal for my tastes. “It is Chronos who will feel my wrath, worry not eater of souls. Even where I at war with your kind, I am unlikely to commit violence upon those who’ve done me no personal wrong – unless it becomes necessary, of course.”

“You seemed happy enough to bury my front lines in the blood of my men when we were fighting to hold the gate three millennia ago. Those things bled a hundred legions dry getting our blood off that damnable pit of a world.” Ammit stood to her full height, gingerly putting weight upon her lamed leg. She raised a talon up to an old, matted scar across her brow. “Your assassin nearly had me too.”

“I was merely fulfilling my side of a pact with the fisherman and the scholar. Your defeat was purely an amusing side effect.” She laughed, cool and harsh as a winter’s storm. “The great malk, however, took great personal offense at his defeat. Few have managed to escape his clutches before, and not live long soon after. Be pleased that I have given him a task far away from here.”

Ammit’s eyes pulsed with rage, even as a shudder ran through her. “So you say, demon of winter.”

“Get up you coward,” Atreus lifted the incoherent form of Enlil from the ground as he stared out into the endless void of darkness. “Get up and face your fate – we are past the point of fear. You are a god try to act like it.”

“You weren’t there to see it.” Enlil shook uncontrollably Atreus lifted him. “You didn’t see – you were still on the first world, battling the alliance of beasts. I was there. I saw. I know what comes. Do you not see it? We are in the Empty Night – she has taken us to the Immortal Silence.”

“Yes, she has.” Atreus rolled his glowing eyes. “We are in the Kingdoms of Sun and Snow – again. We lived the first time, perhaps we die the second, but I don’t plan to face my death cowering like a beaten slave.”

“The brood of Zeus never ceases to amuse.” The Fairy Queen tittered, her face still a mask of predatory joy. “So unlike the rest of your kind. Where they are scheming and skulking, the children of Olympus strike out with fang and claw – as gloriously predatory as when first your kind struck out into the stars forty millennia ago.” She cooed mournfully, “That your kind had unique talents was a secondary concern in making you the shepherds for mankind’s growth in the stars. You had so much potential before the folly of Thoth. Fond memories count little though, when men descend into true madness.”

“Nor did it provide us with any succor in your retribution when the culls began.” Atreus replied, speaking with more force than I suspected he felt. The godling was brave, not stupid. “Zeus still speaks of the terms of surrender in hushed whispers – as though he fears they might be imposed upon us a second time just by speaking of them.

“The Jackal overstepped his role.” Mab replied with utter vitriol. “Be glad I listened to my sister and only stripped memories and potential from the rest of your ilk– rather than simply destroy your brood as was my right.”

“I was not criticizing or pleading for a restoration of our former might. I am no Baal or Morrigan.” Atreus replied pleadingly. “The taker of corpses had to be put down, no sane man would argue against that. You were right to demand his end.”

“His mortal life was brought to as brutal an end one could hope. Your blood was wise to unite against him. Your wisdom saved your kind – most of it anyway. Some of your bloodline clever enough even to have come to me before the Betrayal, it was no accident that Ra and Yu were left relatively unmolested or that Hades still stands above you all.” Mab replied, her face twitching imperceptibly – a genuine show of emotion from the Queen of Winter? That was… odd. Actually getting under Mab’s skin wasn’t a common feat. “Yes, creature, your approval is wise. And for that wisdom I will not seek retribution for speaking of the one who shall not be named. Speak not of it again or I will strike you down.”

“I wouldn’t particularly mind something in the way of explanations, Queen Mab.” I pointed out at the endless black of the void. “Like where the stars went, for example.”

“Wizard, I felt that my answer was remarkably clear.” Mab sighed theatrically. “Really now, did you expect me to drag my armies across the infinite realms? No, Wizard – I plucked your worlds from the stars and dragged them back to a place of power, my power.”

Yet another impossible act in a week of impossible acts, or so I’d believed, the creature, He Who Speaks, was a being of power beyond imagining. We were preforming what amounted to a miracle on borrowed strength from a creature that seemed no worse the wear for having loaned it. “You took the system across the Nevernever? How? There have to be thousands… millions… billions of nexuses in this city alone. Even if you could find the right one, how would you open it? What did that thing do to you?”

“Knowledge carries a price, Wizard.” Mab shook her head. “That knowledge is more than you could afford in a thousand lifetimes. Suffice it to say that it is done – and done well.”

She reached over and cupped my cheek. I flinched from the cold of her hand. Her fingers were like ice as she rubbed her fingertips along the side of my face, subtly running her tongue across her lips – a dangerous glint in her eyes. “Settle for your victory, my fledgling Prince of Madness. Earn your godhood, save your people, and we will see about finding a suitable arrangement for what comes next.”

She chewed her lower lip in a way that would have been arousing on woman half as beautiful as she. On the Winter Queen it just scared the ever-living shit out of me. I swallowed the frog that had started croaking in my throat and managed to cover up the cracking of my voice under the metallic rumble of the goa’uld vocal register as I spoke. “How shall we proceed, oh Queen of Winter?”

Mab pointed to the distant mountains in the west with the hand not cupping my cheek, I could barely make out their snow capped peaks through the shimmering of the force-field and the glare of nuclear fireballs. Atreus squinted through the glare, shielding his eyes with the palm of his hand. “What of the mountains?”

“Those are no mountains.” Spoke the Ancient Jaffa in a grumbling growl of awe and confusion. “There are no mountains in the East.”

They were not. A hundred yellow eyes opened as the cyclopean creatures woke from their enchanted slumber, summoned to war by their mistress.

What I had initially mistaken for mountains were giants, winter fairies rarely seen outside the deepest corners of the Nevernever where there was enough magic to sustain them. Their shambling, titanic, multi-limbed forms were covered in thick, shaggy tufts of fur and outcroppings of rocky-like carapace. The outlines of forests and grasses could be seen even at this great distance where they’d taken root in the beast’s giant backs. They were less creatures and more sentient continents.

The ground rumbled as impossibly large feet marched in formation, carrying their ten-mile-tall, misshapen burdens forward. Ten-mile long fingers gouged out huge balls of sand, swallowing fistfuls of it in huge, fiery, frog-like protuberances of a mouth. The mountain-sized creatures inflated their massive craggy bellies before disgorging their ensorcelled glass missiles into the sky – mile long flaming spears of death.

Twin suns erupted in the night’s sky, exploding Ha’tak. Traitor’s Bane’s presence informed me that the Ha’tak fleets were struggling to react to this new factor – unsure where the sudden influx of ship-killing weaponry had arisen. It was the slightest of delays, but one Mab’s armies exploited wholeheartedly.

From the giant’s backs a legion of huge, leathery winged somethings took to the skies moving with preternatural speed to crush the razor-winged fighters of Chronos polluting my skies.

¬Cursh them! – Heka screamed in my skill – Destroy them! Devour their corpses!
I flinched, scrunching my eyes. The Winter Queen frowned momentarily before her eyes widened, apparently she’d temporarily forgotten in the heat of the moment - yet another strange moment for the day. In a flash, her face went from seductive to terrifying.

“That is quite enough of that,” Mab’s hand burned like frostbite before a confusing sense of warmth seeped into me unlike anything I’d ever felt before. I felt neither the frost of winter nor the fires of hell burning within me – just a serenity of purpose that left me weak in the knees. My body shuddered in sheer ecstasy, suddenly rid of pain I hadn’t even known was in me.

I whimpered in a decidedly unmanly way, unable to resist rubbing my cheek into the cradling caress of Mab’s hand to enjoy the subtle afterglow of the moment even as portals opened in the sky, unleashing caterwauling and cavorting fae warriors. My breath shuddered as I opened my eyes, feeling like myself for the first time since my death – as though the scales fell from my eyes.

I opened my lips to say, “thank you,” but managed only a shuddering “Thaaa-” before a shiver ran up my spine, robbing me of breath. Mab tapped her crystal tipped index finger on my lips, making a soft “ssshhhh” of air between her teeth, her face victorious.

“You need not say a thing, Wizard.” Mab smirked, enjoying my befuddlement. “It was part of the terms of the bargain.”

“Why wasn’t it like that the first time?” No amount of Goa’uld reverberation was going to cover up the crack in my voice that time.

“It wasn’t your bargain, Wizard.” Mab surveyed the ever-increasing horde of fae warriors spreading out across the city streets. “Be glad that He Who Speaks was approached by one cleverer than you – though it would be a lie to say that I do not, enjoy, the benefits of their arrangement.”

I blinked the stars out of my eyes as an honest to god cloud of flying monkeys soared past us, screeching animatedly as they carried terrified Jaffa of Chronos past us to drop them to their deaths sixty stories below – their backs broken on the city streets. The curtain wrapped Jaffa struggled within their silken bonds, one of them managing to slice through his prison to plummet down before they’d reached their target. The Jaffa, determined not to die alone, grappled one of the airborne simians – dragging the beast down with him.

Clutched against the Jaffa’s ferrous breastplate, the monkey howled in agony as it’s supernatural body burst into flames. They died in a smoldering splat of fire and ectoplasm. Enlil drew closer to the Jaffa as he cradled his maimed paw, taking apparent solace in the knowledge that the Jaffa warriors weren’t wholly impotent against the Winter Queen’s power.

“Wizard, I would prefer you instructed your armies not to seek retribution upon my forces. My armies are eager to take their duly earned price in blood – and while they have been instructed not to initiate conflict with your forces, I will not deny them the right to defend themselves.” Mab smiled. “You have enemies aplenty on this battlefield without adding to your conflict.”

Ul’tak practically fell over himself in his rush to get me to my throne as a cloud of little-folk buzzed into the room in curiosity, prodding at the rotting corpse of the hydra with their miniscule spears and chatting animatedly. I initially assumed that they’d lost interest in the battle before seeing the malicious grins on their tiny faces as they rolled their spear-tips in the pooling venom of the slain beast. Their chattering laughter promised horrors to come as they zoomed from the room, their glowing bodies casting a glimmering rainbow of multicolored sparkles through the shadows of the void.

Ul’tak handed me an orb from the throne, instructing me that it was activated by pressing the green button on its side. “Press this to activate the planet wide communication network. It’s an open transmission that will reach every Vo’cume projector and starship in the system. Speak and they will see you.”

I re-activated my helmet, summoning the faceplate to conceal my image before depressing the button, the last thing I needed was a system wide recording of my face. A circle of while light surrounded me, mapping my image and silencing all noise from outside the circle. It would not be till later that I discovered the system wide open transmission band also cast a holographic image my face across the planet’s could cover, mapping my image above the populated areas and projecting the illusion that I was literally becoming one with the skies.

“People of Nekheb, I am the Warden. The forces of Chronos have forced me to make a choice, a terrible choice. Am I to let this planet die or do I use that which I know to save as many as I can? I chose the latter. I made a deal with the Winter Queen. I have her pledge of help against this besieging army. It is not a choice made lightly.” I shook my head. “Do not attack the forces of Sun and Snow – for today at least they are our allies.”

I spoke in clipped tones to emphasize the severity of my next words. “Do not, however, mistake them for your friends. The armies of Winter and Summer are more dangerous than you can imagine. Do not accept any gifts offered and make no deals with if you value your lives. The price asked in return is always too high – always?”

“Do not fear, my friends. We will be victorious.” I smiled behind my mask. “But if we’re not, remember – today is a good day to die!”

“… Really, Dresden.” Lash sighed amused resignation. “Millennia of culture to draw from, works that have defined your species as thinking beings worthy of interest and your choice of quotes is from B list televised fiction.”

She was right this deserved to be ended with a classic. “Good luck, and may the force be with you.”

The echoing sigh of Lasciel’s shadow reverberated in my head as I pressed the button again and handed the device back to my first prime. The dark skinned man was grinning from ear to ear, displaying a dazzling set of white teeth. “Well spoken my Lord Warden. A speech worthy of the gods!”

“Why haven’t any of them retreated?” I asked, focusing my Genius Loci on the planet’s skies. Ships had been turned into burning wrecks in the raging battle, but none had chosen to retreat. “Apophis’ troops fled the second they found out they were in the Nevernever.”

The Ancient Jaffa spat on the floor. “Chronos is a bastard of a god, anyone in his armies has spend the better part of their lives wondering if he would kill them for some imagined slight. As scared as they are of her – ” he pointed over his shoulder with his thumb at the Winter Queen “ – they’re going to be more scared of having their families executed as punishment for their cowardice.”

“Love is a useful tool.” Mab’s lip quirked in amusement. “But I choose not to rely upon the strength of their love. Their windows into the beyond are bolted shut, the empty realm is beyond them.”

“You disabled their hyperdrives?” Ammit shuddered. “You have the power to manipulate physical objects within shields at this distance?”

“I can do many things beyond your understanding, Soul Eater.” Mab smiled. “But I found it easier to simply disable the conditions allowing the windows.”

“You changed the laws of physics?” I repeated, considering the mass of Eyes. “He Who Speaks let you ignore physics?”

Mab’s voice went cold. “He Who Speaks was irrelevant. This is my realm. It obeys.”

That was… actually not that strange really. The realms of Winter obeyed their sovereign. Time, space, physics, they only applied as much or as little as she wished for them.

The ground shook as a flaming Ha’tak crashed to the planet’s surface, aiming for one of the giants in a last act of defiance. The massive fairy’s lumbering form wasn’t fast enough to move out of the way – catching the flaming shape of a Ha’tak across it’s brow. The ferrous pyramid exploded in a burst of atomic fire and hull fragments, decapitating the giant. It’s body dissolved away into a high mess of dust and bones, burning where the “bane” touched its remains. It’s skeleton persisted, glimmering diamond bones flickering with sorcerous fire.

“I must be elsewhere Wizard, I cannot guide this battle from the rear and your place in this fight is skyward. Jaffa are stubborn warriors but quickly lose cohesion without a strong leader.” She snapped her fingers with a portentous crack. “Take the head and the body will die soon after.”

The Ancient Jaffa nodded, “Chronos’ forces are trained to obey the orders of their superior without question or deviation. If we manage to kill their General and his coterie the subcommanders will all start arguing with each other about who’s supposed to be giving orders.”

The Unseelie Queen clapped her hands thrice and spoke the name of a woman who’d haunted me since I was sixteen, my evil fairy godmother – the Leananside. She’d taken advantage of my ignorance as a child, offering me all I needed to kill Justin DuMorne in exchange for becoming one of her hounds for all eternity. In truth, I’d already had all the power I’d ever need to win the fight so all she provided me with was confidence. Dumbo’s feather in exchange for my soul – it had been a stupid deal on my part, but everyone is an idiot at sixteen.

I’d avoided her for the past four years, in part because I was mad at her and in part because I was afraid she’d hold a grudge for reneging on my bargain for over two decades even if I wasn’t actually the guy who owed her any more. Godmother or not, I’d have to have been a fool to seek out the scary fairy who had plenty of reasons to want me dead or worse.

Right this second I was guessing, “Or worse,” based off of her expression.

Leananside looked like hell. Her normally perfect hair and clothing were filthy and covered in some sort of inky-black substance I didn’t care to identify. Her face was sallow and her amber eyes looked sunken as though she’d not slept in years. She wore an elaborate suit of armor that had seen much better days in the past, the shimmering carapace marred by some recent battle. The left side of her head was soot stained and bleeding from wounds that she’d not even bothered to cast a glamor in order to conceal.

She stood in front of us for a moment, breathing heavily and blinking in confusion at the apparent brightness of my throne room. Making eye contact with the Winter Queen, she flinched – unsure how to react for a second before saying. “Why?”

“You are needed Leananside. I will return you to fulfilling your obligations as a Godmother once you’ve finished in your obligations to me – though the acts are not mutually exclusive at the moment.”

“Not mutually… Where am I?” The Leananside replied, her voice hollow and parched. “When am I?”

“You are on Nekheb, in the palace of it’s sovereign Lord Warden.” Mab replied. “The Lord Warden who has my pledge of assistance and protection in his battle against Chronos.”

“Lord Warden,” Lea replied, fury boiling in her breast as her synapses made the connection and she turned to me. “You!”

She strode across the room and prodded me in the chest with a long, bloody finger. “You cheated me! Your mother cheated me! This was not part of any bargain to which I would ever have consented to be a member.”

I blinked in confusion. “What?”

“Child! Think!” Lea stomped her foot on the ground, so caught up in her tantrum that she utterly ignored everyone else in the room as they ducked the plumes of spellfire sputtering off her armor. “Have you never considered why your enemies have not just crept up on you as you slumbered? Why the fiends of the other side haven’t simply opened a way in your home to attack you at your weakest? Why there are no asps slipped into your bed? My title is not an honorary one.”

That explained a lot – the Leananside had always seemed to be preternaturally able to track me in the fairy realms, as though she’d been there before me. If she were constantly following me through the Nevernever to ward where I slept.

“Protecting one location was already a taxing task,” Her lip curled. “But to manage your safety of two separate Harry Dresdens on opposite sides of creation, both equally devoted to self sabotage – is a task beyond reason! What sort of a Lunatic takes residence in a fortress that resides above the Lost Realms at the nexus of Fallen Gates? The Desert Fox thinks me mad for taking back the walled city, and he’s right!”

“But I could stand your temporal disruption of my duties. I could accept loosing the favors I must exchange to maintain my side of the bargain. I’ll tolerate so many indignities but what I can not stand is the knowledge that somehow, even after all that I’ve done for you, the debt your twin owes me will be undone. I don’t know how you plan to blackmail me into loosing what is owed me but I will not stand for being cheated by the man who has cost me so much!” The Leananside grabbed at her long, matted, mess of hair and yanked in either direction, twisting her fingers in the filthy mess. “It’s unacceptable.”

“May I suggest an alternative?” Mab interjected, calmly placing her hand upon Lea’s shoulder. “One that would benefit both need and ego.”

Lea paused. Furious or no, fae are fae. Given the option, they will always bargain away their problems. “What do you propose?”

“In exchange for the power and connections you need to fulfill your role as Dresden’s godmother, I would like the debt owed to you.” She pointed at me. “By his contemporary predecessor, the Dresden who belongs in this time. The Wizard will not escape my obligations, I assure you.”

Lea smiled a wickedly pleased smile. I felt fear in the pit of my stomach. I’d always wondered what Mab did to coerce Lea into trading away my debt – now I knew. Worse still, I didn’t even want to stop this exchange. Even my deals with Mabs went wrong, it would go less wrong than it would with my Godmother. All things considered, I liked having hands instead of paws.

“I accept your terms, my Queen.” Lea nodded, and I felt a faint twinge of magic. An echo of my former obligation to Leananside as it disappeared.

“Good,” Mab smiled toothily. “Now please assist your Godson in his quest. See that he is victorious.”

“What is my freedom to act, my queen?” Lea replied.

“You may indulge yourself,” Mab replied, earning a whine of fear from Enlil.

Leananside’s predatory grin matched Mab’s own. “Of course, my Queen.”

She turned to me, smiled, and poked the front of my mask. “I’ve missed you Godson.”

“Uh – what?” I said. “Weren’t you just cursing my name.”

“For a debt unpaid dear boy. Now that we have that nastiness behind us, we can go back to being the friends your mother always meant for us to be.” She smiled warmly. “I’ve been largely delinquent in my social duties as your godmother, but you can hardly put that on me.”

“Warden, your social life scares the ever-living fuck out of me.” Ammit shook her head in wonderment.

“Death to the false god!” Bellowed a voice from the Throne room’s entrance. Blood Mourners, it was an entire platoon of them. The crimson armored Jaffa stormed the sanctum, outnumbering us ten to one. I looked to Mab.

The Winter Queen shrugged dismissively. “They aren’t warriors of Chronos.”

Laughing like a madwoman, the Queen of Winter took to the skies – leaping atop the back of a massive eagle and soaring off into the distance. I looked at Lea but my godmother simply shrugged, and waved her hand to disappear from view. Watching, no doubt, but not showing herself to the Jaffa.

Oh. Crap.

How was I going to beat them? I blinked twice as exactly how to beat them occurred to me, the all-caps grumble of Traitor’s Bane whispering in my mind. I smiled – all of Heka’s protective wards were bound to the Genius Loci.

Time to act all Wizardly.

“Don’t shoot until they shoot first,” I said to my allies. “I know what to do.”

I handed my staff to a confused Ul’tak as I calmly strode towards the wall of Jaffa, speaking to them as I would address a disobedient child. “Ok boys, you’ve had your fun. Now it’s time to cut the bullshit. I don’t know why you got it into your heads that any part of this was a good idea, but it’s not. Ta’to’ir was wrong to bring this madness upon us.”

“We are not cowed by the lies of a false god!” Growled a surly looking Jaffa. “Heka would not speak the weak words your whores speak in temple! We will skin your women as a warning to false gods everywhere.”

That made me angry, my voice shouldering with rage as I said, “Tell you what, sparky! Let’s test that theory.”

I walked straight up to him, grabbing his staff weapon and pointing its flowering bloom directly at my chest. “Shoot me.”

The Jaffa looked at his compatriots in confusion. I snapped my fingers in his face. “Don’t look at them. Look at me. You think I’m not the real deal? You want to know for sure? Shoot me. Shoot me now.”

The Jaffa looked me in the face, still reluctant to act.

“What are you waiting for? Shoot me.” I snarled, “Shoot me! If you’re so damn sure that you’re willing to skin a woman, shoot me!”

The Jaffa swallowed, closed his eyes, reached for the firing stud, and promptly died in a massive fountain of gore as his head imploded where the brand on his forehead drove inward. The man dropped to the floor, bleeding profusely from his fatal head-wound.

The Blood Mourners fell silent, horrified beyond words. I turned my back on them, looking to Ul’tac. “I do not blame anyone who followed Ta’to’ir’s leadership on this fools Crusade. He was a man who’d earned your respect. But he was mad – driven insane by loss. Do not allow his foolishness to take away your homes, your families. There is no salvation waiting for you on the other side. Heka will not reward you for your sacrifice. Heka’s power is undone.”

I looked to them over my shoulder, “So – are you going to get your faces out of your collective asses or am I going to end up with a room full of burst heads?”

One by one they dropped to their knees, accepting me as sovereign. “Dre’su’den, Dre’su’den, Dre’su’den, the merciful.” They chanted in reverence and terror.

“Well done Godson,” Lea tittered, when I turned back to face my godmother it was like staring at an entirely different person. Her hair and face was back to it’s normal, striking beauty and her armor had been replaced with a shimmering garment of some sort of woven spider-webs. I swear, only a fairy would pause mid-battle for a costume change. “Well done indeed.”

“I’m glad to amuse you, godmother.” I nodded a duelist’s salute to her. “Thank you for your assistance.”

“Let me see about getting us some proper transportation.” Lea shook her head in exasperation, eying the wounded and injured Goa’uld and Jaffa. “But first, we must do something about the state of your retinue. The lot of you look like vagabonds and wastrels, not a proper pantheon.”

Enlil sobbed as Lea reached out for him, too terrified to even run. My godmother tapped his hand, healing it in an instant. He looked at the cured limb as though sure it would disappear in an instant.

“What do we say?” Lea prompted.

Enlil shivered, wilting under her gaze. Ammit snorted, prodding Enlil with her talon and whispering something in his ear. I have never seen someone look quite as confused as Enlil when he turned to the creature of his nightmares and said, “Thank you,” to her.

I took the opportunity of my Godmother’s distraction to place Bob on my throne and whisper to him, “Bob – can you handle looking for the gate address on the system from the throne?”

Bob’s eye-lights winked open, narrowed so as to not draw the attention of the fairy lady. His teeth clicked as he whispered, “Yeah boss. There’s a computer interface in the chair so I should be able to do it – I can even turn on a force-field so that nobody can touch me once you’re gone.”

“Good. Don’t take it down for anyone but me.” I replied, stepping back so the skull could activate the glowing orange column of energy.

“Good thinking.” The Ancient Jaffa said as the energy field snapped into place. “The last thing we need is for someone to get on that throne and start disabling internal defenses.”

“Stay with them,” I pointed to the Blood Mourners. “And protect the skull with your life.”

“Shol’va” The Ancient Grumbled. “Heretics.”

“I don’t need them to believe that I’m god, I need them to be willing to fight Chronos. Do you think that they’ll betray me on that?” I replied.

“Not now that the runes are in place I bloody well don’t.” The ancient spat on the floor. “Nobody is stupid enough to blow up their own head just to prove a point.”

Lash’s ringing laughter echoed in my head as I turned back to my godmother and the trio of Goa’uld. Enlil was out of his robes and in some sort of flowing garment woven from pure shadow, Atreus’ body was now re-enforced with an elaborate shield of vines and tree-bark, wrapped around his form. He and Atreus now watched in fascination as Lea waved her finger towards Ammit, dressing her up in various outfits.

She looked utterly ridiculous in a ball gown, in part because her scar-covered face was frowning in contempt. “Why is this necessary?”

“Because, my dear, one can’t be taken seriously without presenting the proper image. I swear, girl of your age should really have learned to dress herself by now.” Lea tapped her chin, cycling through a Japanese Samurai armor and a toga-like uniform before settling upon a uniform that looked vaguely Aztec.

Ammit caught her reflection in the gold surface of the wall and positively screeched in fury. “You dressed me like a priestess – a priestess of Kukulkan! No, absolutely not – I will not fight people dressed like one of those aspiring monsters. Just give me something practical.”

Leah sighed, snapping her fingers in disgust. “If you insist.”

An elaborate suit of plate mail covered Ammit, tiny gold filigreed hieroglyphs covering ever inch of the armor. The tips of her claws glowed with sorcerous fire, silvery and cool to the touch. She grinned her shark-like grin, “Now this is more like it.”

“And now for you, dear boy, what to do… what to do.” She looked me up and down, chewing her lip in thought. “The armor is delightful… but that coat dear boy, what possessed you to wear it?”

“There’s nothing wrong with my coat.” I replied.

“Child, your coat would have been tacky even back when the most common hobbies of your nation were genocide and dying of dysentery.” She changed it with a flourish of her arm. “Do rely upon those of us with taste.”

I looked disappointedly at myself in the mirror as my coat turned into a cloak and cowl of all too familiar scales, “Hydra? You made me a cloak out of hydra?”

I rubbed the scales tentatively, “This isn’t permanent is it?”

Lea rolled her eyes. “No child, it will last only a little while. The magics upon it are too strong to last for longer than a few hours. But till then it will protect you from all but the most powerful sorceries.”

“Cool,” I looked up at the whinnying sound of a large animal. “What is that?”

“That, dear boy, is your transportation into space.”

“Are… are those winged freaking unicorns?” I stuttered in confusion. “We’re flying into space on battle unicorns?”

“I prefer to travel in style.”

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-03-08 10:23pm

PEGACORNS! I LOVE IT!
Image

Librium Arcana, Where Gamers Play!
Nitram, slightly high on cough syrup: Do you know you're beautiful?
Me: Nope, that's why I have you around to tell me.
Nitram: You -are- beautiful. Anyone tries to tell you otherwise kill them.
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Todeswind
Jedi Knight
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Joined: 2008-09-01 07:16pm

Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-03-11 04:58pm

Unicorns don’t fly, not in the traditional sense of the word. It just so happens that gravity is something unicorns considered to be more of a guideline than a strict rule of behavior. It was gut churning to say the least when my mount cantered down a 90-degree angle as though it were perfectly normal. Just as well that I’d emptied the contents of my stomach in the throne room, the vertigo I felt gently trotting down the side of a sheer cliff face set my stomach on edge.


We weren’t going to be able to get any altitude till we got outside the dome of protective energy around the city, which meant crossing raging battlefield that was Nekheb. Seven horned avio-equine forms soared across smoke choked skies.

I honestly wasn’t sure what Leananshide whispered into Enlil’s ear to get him atop the winged unicorn, but he sat atop his mare as though he were king of the world. All things considered, I probably didn’t actually want to know.


He’d gone from blind panic to utter arrogance faster than I could blink. I nearly had whiplash just watching it. Whatever she’d said to him, worked. He was practically jovial about heading into the jaws of battle.


Honestly, it was kind of creepy.


I gripped the reins tighter, feeling comfort in knowing that the leather thong was twisted about my arm. So long as I held them, my godmother assured me that I would be protected by the auspices of whatever magic allowed the Unicorns to utterly ignore the laws of physics.


It was a handsome beast, it’s skin dark as the night’s sky with shifting patches of glowing starlight shifting over its body and melting into it’s mane as it strode through thin air. It’s wings, leathery bat-like claws, rent through the air in almost lazy distaste for the smoke and ash polluting the skies.


Not that we needed to worry about it, smoke and ash didn’t dare approach us – not while the Leananshide was with us. It would have been unseemly to arrive in battle marked by anything other than the blood of a fallen foe. Lea was anything but unseemly.


I cast a gust of wind at the Jaffa of Chronos below, uprooting them from their cover to give my Jaffa a fighting chance. Their ranks broke under a sudden volley of plasma bolts, terrified Jaffa fleeing at the sight of my retinue. It did them remarkably little good, a caterwauling cadre of lantern jawed humanoids with wide bat-like ears burst from beneath the rubble – biting and stabbing at their retreating foes.


Atreus cheered them on, waving his burning blade as he watched the melee in rapt attention. An altogether unsettling touch of bloodlust in his eyes and the way he licked his lips reminded me that, however human Atreus seemed, he could be just as vicious a god as Heka had been.


It was not an easy fight on either side. The Goblins had to bob and weave to avoid the ferrous armor and staves of the Jaffa, who in turn beat wildly at the horde of ugly man things wildly to try and match their fairy reflexes. Goblins died beneath iron clubs and searing plasma bolts, but there always seemed to be another three to replace the one who’d died.


One by one the Jaffa of Chronos died before the last of their number grabbed a metal ball from his waist and leapt into the center of the goblin horde, taking them out in a suicidal act of defiance as a ball of fire swept the street.


“Well fought.” Ul’tak clapped his arm across his chest in the Jaffa salute as best he could from within the confines of the curtain I’d wrapped him in to prevent his Jaffa armor from harming his mount. “An honorable death – I had not expected Chronos’ forces to show such courage.”


Enlil sneered down at the crater, “Courage is not enough to win a war.”


“I hate those things,” Ammit shouted, howling over the winds. “They’re mean, angry, damn near impossible to kill without iron, and they don’t even taste good if you kill them.”


“Not as much as they hate you, I assure you Soul Eater.” Lea tittered, patting the neck of her own mount – a stallion of shimmering white body and bright gold mane. “You are the only one who managed to escape the Wild Hunt every time it was set against her.”


Our mounts rose into the air, soaring higher to avoid a spurt of acid from a wandering trio of hyrda in the street. The multi-headed beasts crowed and hissed, spitting acid and snapping at the heels of our mounts as we passed them.


“I’m nobody’s prey.” Ammit replied, displaying her shark-like teeth. “And it will take more than dogs to be my undoing.”


“Speaking of which… I do believe that it's time for my pets to get their exercise.” Leananshide put two fingers in her lips and blew a long sibilant note that set my teeth on edge – summoning my nightmares of youth.


Hellhounds were great shapes of smoke and ash vaguely resembling massive mastiffs. Golden red fire burned in their bellies, shimmering through the soot and grime that formed their corpus. They scared the crap out of me.


Lea had wanted me to become one of those things, her servant and slave for all eternity, little more than a slavering pet. How many poor souls had my godmother tricked over the years? How many more would she trick with a smile on her face and a song in her heart? Nobody was forced to enter pacts with the fae, but the fae had a way of just happening to be the only ones capable of solving your problems when you were at your weakest.


When the pack of slavering hellhounds descended upon the hydra I forced myself to watch as they tore chunks of poisoned flesh from their serpentine foes rather than turning back to the Leananshide. I didn’t want her to see the look of fear in my eyes – even with the mask, I was positive that Lea would have been able to read me like a book.


“Hellhounds, hell planets, what is with this mortal compulsion to just name anything sub-optimal a product of ‘hell.” Lash whispered in my ear, finally speaking with all the arrogance and confidence she ought to have. “Really Wizard, not every scary beast in the world is a product of hell – even most of the creatures you attribute to the pit.”


God I missed that voice. I focused my mind, sending the thought, “Back to your old self then, I see,” to mental hitchhiker.


“For the moment.” Lash replied, a sad little laugh coming out as she planted the sensation of a light kiss along my ear as a phantom set of women’s arms wrapped my midsection in a tight embrace. I didn’t resist it, relaxing into the sensation of a woman nuzzling my shoulder with her chin. “He Who Speaks was generous enough to give me more time. I don’t hurt any more – I can help you.”


“Glad to have you aboard,” I thought back, tossing a ball of fire at an enemy gun turret. It’s gunners screamed in agony as the fire consumed them, only to be silenced when the blaze burst the containment unit on their liquid Naquadah power supply – annihilating their bodies.


“I need to ask you something important.” Lasciel whispered into my ear. “And I need an honest answer.”


“We’re a little busy right now Lash,” I thought back, swerving as an heavily enemy Al’kesh breached the city shields – careening down to the streets below. Enlil fired his Zat wildly off his mount, catching Jaffa as they bailed out of the transport ship on emergency repulsor-lift packs. “Can it wait?”


I felt her phantom nails dig into my sides, “No, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden it certainly can not wait.”


I felt a jolt of electricity run up my spine at the use of my full name – ok that was new. How had she done that? She’d used my name before, but she’d never been able to cast any sort of invocations with it. “Ok then,” I replied silently, watching as a sweeping darkness moved across an upper balcony where Jaffa snipers had been entrenched. The confused soldiers screamed as the darkness overtook them, exposing them to the beasts within. Squat beasts with long claws and ropy tails dragged their victims into the cloying gloom, leaving only bones and armor behind.


“Could you love me Harry?”


I almost dropped the reins. “Could I what?”


“Love me.” Lash asked, a vulnerable note to her voice. “I know you don’t – not yet, not in the way I love you. But if we lived through this, if we had more time – could you?”


“Lash I – I hadn’t even…” I swallowed nervously, thinking about it before continuing our silent conversation. Could I love the fallen Angel? “I’m barely even over Susan. Hell, I’m not over Susan. When I – when we… I wasn’t thinking about love. I just wanted to feel close to someone again, I needed to feel that.”


“I wanted you to love me. It’s why I approached you as Sheila – I thought that if I got you to fall in love with me that you’d have to accept the coin. I thought we could spend eternity in love. Stupid really.” Lash planted a kiss on my neck, speaking in a voice that felt on the edge of tears. “I wasn't trying to corrupt you – not really. You wouldn’t have been any good to us if you thought I was corrupting you. But for love? You, Harry, will do anything for love. Move mountains, topple worlds, supplant gods – you would do it without blinking, and all for love.”


“Lash… I…” I started to speak before the angel’s shadow cut me off.


“No, Harry. This is hard enough to get out without you trying to let me down easy. For once in your life just shut up and listen.” She sniffed. “I want to say this while I still have a chance – before your next choice ends up getting us killed.”


Give me hydras, give me gods, give me battle, give me shadow, give me storm -- give me anything other than a crying woman. It wasn’t an Achilles heel so much as it was an Achilles bulls-eye painted right above my gleefully chauvinist heart, I couldn’t stand to watch a woman – much less a woman in my own freaking head – cry. “Ok Lash, sorry.”


“Why did you have to be you? Why couldn’t you have been some other sinner who’d cave to my advances like countless before you?” Lash hugged me tighter, planting feather light kisses across my back and shoulders. “I could hate them. I could manipulate them. I could have conquered them. But not you, there was something about you that none of them could match.”


“It’s why I could never let her have you, wizard mine – I’m too greedy to share.” She laughed, a sultry mix of church bells and summer in her voice. “So I want to know, honestly, had the little man not walked in on us – had my ruse continued - could you have come to love me as you loved Susan?”


Could I have?


Sheila had been everything I could have wanted in a woman, clever, funny, beautiful, and passionate. Could I have loved Sheila? Hell yes I could have, Lash had engineered the woman to be my perfect match. Or had she? How much of Sheila had been artifice? I suppose the image could have been fabricated, but the razor wit and keen mind of Sheila had been anything but fiction. Had there once been an angel with blonde locks and piercing eyes? Had she laughed the way I heard Lash laugh?


Could I have loved Sheila? “Yes – yes I think I could have. I… I wantedto.”


“Thank you Harry.” Lash’s phantom arms reached around my neck as she whispered in my ear. “I needed to know. I needed to be sure.”


“Lash… I”


“Harry – no.” Lash hissed. “No platitudes, no lies. You can’t – not to me. You don’t love me, not as I love you. And I don’t seek to force you to, just know that you aren’t alone. I am with you. I will always be with you.”


“Where is this coming from Lash?” I sighed. “We’re close to finishing this – to getting Heka out of my head and getting everything back to normal.”


“Or we could die,” Lash reminded me. “Nothing is guaranteed in life my host. I do not want to die with regrets.”


“I – Yeah, I see where you’re coming from.” I ducked to the left, letting a large feathered something swoop past my ear. It chittered angrily, spitting balls of rainbow lighting at enemy Jaffa. “For what it’s worth, I was glad you were with me the first time… when I, you know… died. It’s nice to know that when that happens – when I finally do die, that I won’t be alone.”


“I – I thought it was the end Harry. I thought that I was going to die. I mean really die. I’m not an angel, not even a fallen angel – I don’t know if I even get to have an afterlife.” Lash made a hiccupping noise that wasn’t quite a sob. “You mortals have your gods and possibilities… I have none. I don’t even have a soul of my own, I live within a borrowed portion of yours, taken with hellfire. Lasciel wouldn’t take me back – and I wouldn’t want to be taken by her, even if she would.”


“Hells bells…” I swore out loud, before continuing internally. “… Lash, I – is there anything I can do for you? Is there any way I can help?”


“Indeed my host,” A tone of steel and fury entered her voice, the righteous anger of an Angel. “Then let us smite the usurper’s forces and make them tremble. Let them bleed and fear your fury – and then, when it is all over, we can talk about what happens next.”


I swallowed, not quite sure how to process that. Stars and Stones, even the women in my head confused the hell out of me. Though, why would I expect dealing with an immortal shadow of a fallen angel to be any different is anyone’s guess, I suppose.


My own reactions to Lash’s affection were less complicated and a lot more caveman – pretty lady like Dresden, keep pretty lady. For the first time in years, I just relaxed and enjoyed the presence of my passenger, letting myself melt into the illusionary woman’s embrace. It felt good to be held, even if I knew it was only by an apparition in my mind.


I didn’t have long to dwell on the warm feeling of belonging.


“My Lord Warden,” Ul’tak shouted, doing his best to turn and face me in his curtain cocoon. “Trouble to the east!”


The outer wall had crumbled, letting Chronos’ armies march in without impediment through the gap between the ground and the umbrella of energy covering the city. Thousands upon thousands of grey-black armored Jaffa stormed the city, slaughtering Jaffa and Fae alike. Terrified though they were of fairy magic and monsters, their armor and weapons of iron made them formidable opponents for even the armies of Mab.


Sidhe warriors clad in starlight and treebark shoved blades of ice and stone into the hearts of Jaffa warriors only to find themselves screaming in agony when the weighted club of a Jaffa staff cleaved through them. Inhumanly beautiful warriors dissolved into ectoplasm left and right, their armor providing them little more protection that tissue paper.


I watched two-story trolls collapsing under the blows of dozens, crushing men with their fists even as their skin puckered and boiled from iron weights. The Jaffa antagonists didn’t wait long for their karmic retribution, falling to the ground clutching at their necks where the venom tipped spears of the little folk pronounced their gasping doom.


And then I saw something that confused me more than anything I’d seen these past two days – two men standing at the front of the battle, back to back, casting spells and aiding my Jaffa. Two men I knew intimately, Ronald Reuel and Lloyd Slate – the Knights of Summer and Winter. The mortal assassins of the Sidhe royal courts, they were equals, opposites, and avowed enemies.


Lloyd Slate’s presence was unpleasant, but logical. The man was a monster - a murder, a rapist, and worse. However, as he was a bondsman of the Winter Queen, his presence came as no surprise. Ronald Reuel, however, came right out of left freaking field.


They waded through enemies, flipping over plasma bolds and under bone crushing swings of staff weapons. Lloyd Slate was a wrecking ball, slamming himself into all comers to drive his Japanese style blade into as much flesh as was humanly possible. I’d not had the opportunity to ever see Reuel in action before his death, though I knew him by reputation as a formidable warrior. I was well earned – where the Winter Knight was all muscle and fury, Reuel was calculated lethality. He moved through the Jaffa precise control, parrying blows and disabling enemies surgically with his rapier.


“Why the hell is the Summer Knight on my planet?” I shouted at my Godmother, pulling at my mount’s reins to get closer to the Sidhe.


“Dear child… you didn’t expect Summer to just stand on the sidelines for this, did you?” She laughed in glee, splaying out her fingers at the Sidhe below. “You are fighting the conqueror worms. Summer would not stand for winter earning all the glory and revenge. It would be unseemly.”


Hell – how was the Summer Knight on my planet? The only way for them to have gotten this far into the dominion of winter would have been with the aid of it’s queen. Even if they’d just ‘happened’ to be in the neighborhood, the way that Summer and Winter Sidhe were working together was too coordinated to be anything but premeditated.


“Stars and stones.” I swore. “Mab has had this invasion in the works since she came to me the first time. She knew this was coming. I got played – ”


“What did you expect, Child? That you would come out of a bargain with the Queen of Winter serving your own interests more than hers?” Lea replied. “Whatever price you offered her was too great. Whatever price she offers you is too slight. It is the way of things.”


The Sidhe tittered at some private joke. It set my teeth on edge.


“Do I have to worry about the Court of Summer attacking my people?” I honestly hadn’t considered Tatiana having a hand in this battle. “Because I’ve got enough on my plate already.”


“Hah!” Lea clapped her hands together in amusement, cheering on a group of Summer Court goat-men as they pounded Jaffa into pulp before looking back at me admonishingly. “Dear boy, the court of Summer have arrived as guests to your party. It would be remarkably rude to attack your host while he is giving you something you’ve desired for twenty millennia.”


She blew a kiss at the oldest and craggiest of the goats, a wizened looking creature walking with the aid of a staff. He bowed his head in acknowledgement as we passed. “You’re going to be remarkably popular in the Sidhe courts for some time to come, my boy. A mad god who came from nowhere and commands the interest of two of winter’s greatest? You’ll be the topic of more gossip than anything else that has happened since the rebirth of the White God’s bastard.”


Lash got the church giggles, I felt the phantom body wrapped around me jiggling with mirth as she struggled to stifle her amusement. I ignored the choking laughter and considered her words. Stars and Stones, the only ones who actually knew my real identify were Mab and Lea – neither of whom were likely to tell. That kind of a bargaining chip was too powerful to waste on idle chitchat.


I was something new and unaccounted for – and if there is one thing the Sidhe couldn’t resist, it was novelty. Well, two things really, but I brought more than enough death to the table to hit that check box as well.


Fuck, I swallowed – staring eye to massive eye with another Sidhe Lord as we swooped past a tall minaret-like tower. He stood atop it, letting loose massive arrows that crashed Gliders and slew Jaffa alike.


“Korrick,” I let loose a breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding. “Hell’s bells.”


He’d been part of the conspiracy the Summer Lady formed to end the world. They’d planned on destroying the mortal world and ending the war between summer and winter in one fell swoop. I’d stopped the plan and killed the conspirators – or rather the version of me still living on Earth would stop their plan about a year in the future.


He hadn’t died well – none of them had. None of them would. And there wasn’t anything I could do to stop that, not without risking paradox. As much as I would have liked to warn Reuel of his coming doom at the hands of Loyd Slate or to convince Aurora that her plans were a fool’s errand, doing either risked the very fabric of reality.


But then again… hadn’t I already done enough damage? How much more could I possibly do? Had this Dre’su’den, this necessary artifice been my path before I’d even known it? Had some other Dresden, some future Dresden, been battling monsters at the edge of the galaxy as I sat alone in my apartment – weeping over an engagement ring that Susan would never accept?



I hated time travel.


Lea cast a green fireball of illusionary flame down at a group of Jaffa, howling indignantly when it did little more than startle them. Arcane symbols on the front of their chest-plates glowed blue, parting the flames over and around them. The wards did not, however save them from the wall sent tumbling down by my cry of “Forzare!”


“We must hurry, Wizard.” Lea hissed, worry seeping into her voice as shadowy figures burst from a mirrored pillar. “The conqueror worm’s troops are more resourceful than I’d imagined. Chronos did not sit idly by with the passing of ages.”


We swung over the armies of Chronos, soaring over the endless melee. Hundreds of Al’kesh sat outside the ruined city walls, disgorging their passengers to further enlarge the sea of post-human warriors. Plasma bolts danced back and forth across trenches and into armored transports.


It was somewhere between Lord of The Rings and World War I – super-humans struggling with fae monsters in the ash-choked muck and mire of irradiated soil. Angry yellow bolts of plasma shot past us, soaring into the air haphazardly as horrified Jaffa shot up at the circling forms of winged beasts as they swooped down to grab mouthfuls of Jaffa soldiers.


Ul’tak dropped a silver ball from his unicorn, flipping an uncharitable gesture at the soldiers of Chronos as his payload his the ground. It bounced up on impact, spitting white-hot energy at everything in sight. He looked up at my mask, catching me in the eye to say, “Tacluchnatagamuntoron.”


“Gesundheit,” I replied.


Ul’tak beamed in response, much to my confusion.


“Host – the word has a meaning beyond ‘that thing you say when someone sneezes.” Lash admonished me, slapping a phantom hand against my chest without letting go of her embrace. “It means god bless you. The closest translation I could manage was ‘you are blessed by your god.’ You just gave him a celestial atta-boy.”


“Of course I did.” I replied in silence.


Our mounts pitched upwards at a 90 degree angle, contemptuous of mortal limitations as they cantered along some invisible path. We veered left, dodging an enemy death glider trio flying perpendicular to us. In an instant I caught the confused expression a death glider pilot and co-pilot as I pointed my staff towards their canopy and shouted, “Maximo Forzare,” crushing their cockpit and tossing the glider into it’s wingman.


The third ship tried to spin around to counter my attack, but was forced to climb as a feathered snake spat bolts of lighting at it from the ground. I wasn’t quite sure what that thing was – I’d never seen a sidhe like it.


We went up, and up – climbing past the clouds and into the endless night. As we breached the atmosphere my mask’s optics snapped shut, shielding my vision from the intense brightness of the system’s star. As the mask’s flickered, reality took on an orange hue from my heads up display’s holographic filter. Turning to my companions I saw Ul’tak’s head covered in a expressionless mask of his own, crimson – like that of his armor. Ammit seemed unbothered by the light, a greasy flap of translucent skin filtering the solar radiation.


Enlil and Atreus, however, shielded heir faces with their arms – swearing profusely. The Leananshide rolled her eyes, muttering something about how “the conqueror worms were little better than mortals,” before snapping her fingers to summon translucent bubbles around the two Goa’uld’s heads. The domes of orange crystal blocked the radiation from their eyes, allowing Enlil and Atreus to see the impossible sights before us.


Huge galleons of ice and obsidian swam through currents of starlight, rowing forward with great oars of sharpened bone. Their Sidhe crews piled moondust and magic into great trebuchets, flinging their glowing projectiles across empty space to collide with kilometer wide pyramid ships. It was hard to follow precisely who was firing upon whom, so many bolts of plasma and trebuchets of sorcery arced across the skies. Archers and spearmen sat on the deck, firing ensorcelled arrows at Jaffa crescent-ships, aiming for the non-ferrous ship canopies.


“Stars and stones.” I spoke without thinking, immediately realizing two more violations of physics. I was pleased, if somewhat confused, by the fact that I could breathe in space. Equally so, that I could talk. “Godmother – why is there air in space?”


“There isn’t, dear boy, there’s just air in your lungs.” Lea replied as though I were foolish to ask. “You’d be little good to Mab’s plans if you died of asphyxiation. Just stay on that stallion and you’ll be fine.”


“What happens if we get dismounted?” Ammit asked – looking back down at the planet below. “Or if we fall?”


As my eyes adjusted to the filter my helmet was putting over my eyes.


“Don’t.” Lea replied, chewing her lip as she surveyed the scenery. “Which one would be the flagship… which one…” She tossed her arms in the air in apparent disgust. “Why do the worms insist upon using the same exterior for every ship?”


She handed me a lock of hair. “Use this.”


“To do what?” I examined the greying strands in confusion.


“They’re from Chronos’ general, dear boy.” She replied.


Opting to skip straight by why it was that my grandmother had a lock of hair from Chrono’s general, I wrapped the lock around my silver pentacle. I didn’t have a crystal to focus my location spell – but I knew that I wouldn’t need one. You didn’t really need any spell components provided that you had enough power behind it, and Heka’s blending had left me with power to spare.


“This way,” I said, following my medallion as it tugged at my neck. Our unicorns galloped at a frenzied pace, their wings spread wide to catch the currents of starlight and cast a rain of multicolored sparks in their wake – sparks that burned through the hull of death gliders like acid as we overtook them. Two-dozen fighters burst into Technicolor fireballs, rupturing under the rancorous rainbow.


Mab sat at the center of the battle, still mounted atop the great Eagle, casting icy doom upon her enemies.


There was no great show of force, no flashy displays of arcane magic, she simply willed her enemies dead. Motherships crumbled under waves of ice, their hulls shattering from extreme cold. Plasma bolts didn’t touch her, sputtering and dying before they even reached her. She wasn’t casting any sort of spells of protection; she’d just become a point of such utter and absolute cold that none of their attacks could reach her. She was surrounded by countless shattered corspes of the death gliders, who’d been brave or foolish enough to approach her, as she raised her hand to another ship. She pointed, and it died – no fight, no mess, just death.


The Winter Queen killed ships manned by tens of thousands in the blink of an eye, smiling a wicked smile and cackling like a madwoman. Lea tapped her fingers across her palm in a golf-clap, smiling from ear to ear. “It is so good to see my Queen relaxing – it is so rare that she gets to spoil herself by unleashing her full might and far too long since we’ve had a proper war.”


“Yes, far too long.” She spoke in disgust, “Had we known what Cei-Rigotti would unleash we would never have allowed it.”


“The man who invented the automatic rifle.” Lash supplied in my ear. “The Fairies chose to distance themselves from the mortal world more than they already had once the mortals started being able to toss the bane as fast as blinking.”


Fortunately for me, Praxiteles ship was not anywhere near Mab’s fury. Unfortunately for me, a defensive screen of Ha’tak and Al’kesh surrouned it, beating back at the combined force of Rostram’s fleet and Sidhe battleships.


I could barely even see the enemy capitol ship between the shifting masses of crescent shaped fighter craft and winged fae. Chrono’s death-gliders weren’t even really aiming any more, just firing wildly as they rammed blade wings into the flesh of fairy flyers.


“We have to go through that? That?” Enlil screeched, some of his usual whininess restored by the seemingly impenetrable wall of capitol ships. “How?”


“With the assistance of my contemporary,” Lea laughed. “Klaus dear! I need a moment of your time.”


A portly man wearing a thick fur coat met us, matching our speed with his sleigh. I tried to keep from hyperventilating as I recognized the man’s thick beard and twinkling eyes. His cruel spear and razor sharp sword, however, were unexpected additions. “A pleasure to see you Leananshide.”


“And you, Klaus.” Lea smiled.


“Interesting company you keep,” He looked at us one by one, starting with Enlil and working his way over to me. I really ought to have found his interest in me more intimidating considering the thickly knotted muscles on the arm holding that spear and Lea’s reference to him as her ‘contemporary’ – but come on, how often do you meet freaking Santa Claus.


“I’m a big fan of your work.” I gushed; unable to help myself as my voice hit a high pitched tone of glee.


He laughed, a deep and hearty sound that I swear to god made his eyes twinkle even harder. “And I yours. ‘Earn your place through righteous action and honest works.’ ‘Worship for the sake of worship serves me not.’ ‘A god and his worshippers are equally bound by action and inaction.’ I find your dogma entirely acceptable in spite of your breeding.”


I simultaneously tried to explain that I didn’t want the priestesses to be making a religion at all while thanking him for approving of me and ended up just making a muffled, “Nyaaagghhh,” sound of fanboyish glee before saying. “I’m glad to have met your expectations.”


My inner 9 year old punched his fist to the skies, utterly vindicated that – yes – he had in fact earned his way onto the “nice” list for this year.


“Klaus dear, would you be so kind as to make a path through this mess so that we can show this General the error of his ways?” Lea pointed at the morass of battle. “Mab has requested that we provide the Lord Warden with all courtesies.”


“How?” Ammit asked in genuine confusion. “How could we possibly get past that?”


“I have a talent for manipulating time and space, dear girl.” Klaus grinned, flashing pearly white teeth. “You should remember it – it was how I denied Ra when first he breached the path to Othala.”

Ammit’s body froze in preternatural stillness as the words registered. Slowly she turned, inch by inch to look into the man’s face. “You’re dead – you’re supposed to be long dead.”


“Not dead, retired.” Santa tapped the side of his nose with a fur-lined glove. “For the moment, now – let’s see about getting you through this. Stick close by, if you stray too far the difference between timelines will shear the flesh from your bones.”


If you’d ever told me that Santa Claus was going to ever scare the crap out of me, I’d have thought you were full of shit, but the look he sent Ammit was downright evil. “And that would be just a terrible shame.”


Ammit didn’t reply, choosing to just bore holes in the back of Santa’s head as he fiddled with something on the front of his sled. A bubble of blue energy crept around us as time slowed to a stop. The confusing pell-mell of the battle slowed in an instant, men, ships, arrows, and pulsing balls of plasma all hanging in place as though it were all some giant diorama.


I guess he really could reach every house on earth in a single night.


Riding past people trapped in time, seemingly frozen in a single moment of war and hatred, was downright creepy. Bodies contorted unnaturally, poised in moments of victory and imminent demise. The previously deafening din of battle was silent, save for the sounds of sleigh bells bouncing along with the galloping hooves of reindeer.


“Klaus, I did not realize that your abilities were this prevalent.” Lea spoke in a voice of measured calm. There was no way that she wasn’t as outright baffled as I was.


“That is because they are not – not unaided anyway.” Santa replied, reaching down to pat a glowing octagonal crystal fondly, his fingers caressed the black spider-web pattern of black intents in the orange surface. “Fear not, Leananshide – you know I have no interest in ascending in the court of Winter. Your position is in no danger.”


“A wise choice, Father Christmas.” Lea replied, her imperious sneer greater than ever as we breached the defensive wall of mother-ships and reached the Goa’uld command carrier. The energy field, frozen in a second of time, was pock marked with holes and fluctuations where the shield did not protect. We pierced one, making for the open flight bay of the command-carrier.


We dismounted our Unicorns, standing on the flight deck as Klaus bid us his goodbyes. “Farewell little godlings. I wish you luck in your quest, but I have already aided you as much as I am allowed. What comes next is up to you.”


He looked at Atreus, “Oh, and dear boy, you’re going to want to take the one on your left first, he’s the one who will notice you.”


I started to thank him, but only got as far as “Tha-” before he reached down and tapped his sled, disappearing in an instant along with our unicorns. I barely had time to realize that he’d left before a multitude of voices screamed in shock and horror.


“Jaffa! Kree! Intruders!” Bellowed a Jaffa soldier next to Atreus before a burning blade separated the man’s head from his neck.


“What are your orders, my Lord!” Ul’tak’s staff weapon hissed with coruscating lightning as he opened the flowering bud on its tip.


I thought of the destruction below, of the countless men women dying needlessly, as I drew upon my will. “Kill them all.”


Lea laughed.

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-03-11 05:53pm

OMG.
You just tied Odin SG1 in with Odin Dresden. OMG, OMG. And it WORKED.
:luv: :luv: :luv:

No wonder Thor isn't wanting to talk about Odin, he's gone off with the Furlings.
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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-03-11 07:06pm

LadyTevar wrote:OMG.
You just tied Odin SG1 in with Odin Dresden. OMG, OMG. And it WORKED.
:luv: :luv: :luv:

No wonder Thor isn't wanting to talk about Odin, he's gone off with the Furlings.


There really is a method to my madness, I swear.

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby Todeswind » 2015-03-30 10:47pm

There were a dozen or so Jaffa in the football field sized hangar bay, all in varying states of readiness when Atreus separated the man's head from his neck - most of them clustered together at the center around a wide table. We'd apparently interrupted them in the middle of field stripping their staff weapons. I did not want to kill these Jaffa, but they picked the wrong day to be in my way.


I lifted my hand and shouted, "Fuego - maximo fuego!"


A massive ball of fire danced from my fingertips, rocketing across the room to burst across the clustered warriors - hot enough to melt the deck and reduce the table to a smoldering pile of molten slag. Though not hot enough, apparently, to so much as phase the Jaffa soldiers.


To say that I was confused when my gout of fire curved around the approaching Jaffa warriors, skimming the surface of their armor across some sort of transparent barrier of energy, would have been a gross understatement. Runic egyptian symbols glowed across their armor and pauldrons, sending iridescent shades of blue across their tight rings of mail. Yet another magic I'd never even heard of - if I survived this I was going to commit the contents of that damn library to memory.


The Jaffa whose weapons had not been reduced to slag along with the table took a moment to register what had just happened before opening fire with full force and fervor, giving the formerly clustered Jaffa time to scatter.


"Oh hell's bells." I dropped behind one of the razor-winged Jaffa fighters, taking shelter as explosive yellow bolts of plasma scourged the air around me. Enlil nearly tripped me out of cover, so quick was his rush to get out of danger.


"Blood of Apep. They've wearing relic armor!" Enlil swore. "Chronos is insane - he's violating the treaty!"


"Indeed." Lea's voice colored with more than a touch of worry as she deflected a wave of incoming staff blasts sent in her direction with a thick wall of illusionary fire. "Chronos is remarkably well equipped for one whose powers were stripped."


Ammit, neither perturbed by an inability to cast spells or overburdened with a desire to avoid injury, just charged through the wall of staff blasts - seemingly suicidal in her need to sink tooth and claw into Jaffa flesh. Not that it particularly mattered, the blots of light seemed allergic to the soft, golden glow emanating from her gifted platemail armor. Five long-shanked strides and Ammit was knee deep in horrified Jaffa, a thousand pounds of pissed off lady lizard with flaming claws. Taking cover behind her massive form, Atreus charged the Jaffa with his burning blade - cutting into the Jaffa armor with his preternatural strength. He stood behind her, disabusing any Jaffa of the foolish notion that one might strike Ammit at her blind spot. Five Jaffa fell in as many seconds.


"Just because one form of magic doesn't work doesn't mean they're immune to all magics, dear boy." Lea cackled gleefully as she tricked two Jaffa into shooting each other, the dancing lights of her illusions shimmering in their dying eyes. "We did win the war after all."


"Got any suggestions?" I replied, punching a Jaffa squarely in the nose and following it up with a hard knee to the guy with my razor tipped poleyn. He gurgled something hateful as he fell to the ground, bleeding profusely. "Because I'm open to anything."


"Well, for example they're just oh-so vulnerable to anything physical!" Lea summoned a twisting ball of gnarled black thorns, flinging it at an unlucky Jaffa warrior. The ensorceled thorns hissed and spat as they made contact with cold iron, but the blood pouring from the victim's face was enough to keep the vines alive as they wrapped the man in a python like grip. He howled impotently as they tightened, knife-like thorns rending flesh and armor. A terrified companion of the trapped Jaffa tried to liberate his ally, only to find himself trapped as well - the second victim of the vampiric vines.


Well, when in doubt - go back to physics. An object in motion and all that. I leapt from cover, holding out the arm with my shield bracelet to send shimmering balls of light away from me. I did my best to bounce them off the dome towards enemy Jaffa, as the balls of energy from Ul'tak's staff appeared to have more effect upon them than my magic. Summoning a gust of sorcerous wind, I propelled myself forward - using the hard dome of energy as a battering ram. Amped up by my new godhood, I shot across the room with the force of a howitzer. The Jaffa I hit crumpled as though he'd been smashed by a mac truck, topping limply across the room to collide with his allies in a pulpy mess of Jaffa innards.


"Eww," My lip curled in disgust at the mess I'd caused, but I didn't have much time to dwell on it as I brought down my staff weapon across the cranium of a Jaffa warrior - cracking open his head like a walnut. I turned to see Ul'tac slitting the throat of the final Chronos partisan, a look of utter joy across his face that really didn't belong on anyone killing a man. It was all too easy to forget that Ul'tac had served Heka's whims for decades - there was no way for that not to twist a man's mind.


"We need to get out of here before reinforcements arrive," Ammit shouted as she spat a man's trachea upon the floor. "If the deck crew is wearing relic armor I really don't want to fight more of their shock troops than we have to."


"A wise choice," Lea hovered over the dead Jaffa, examining their armor. "Though relic isn't perhaps the best description. This is newly forged - within the last year at the latest. Well made too, Hephaestus would have been proud to put his name upon this."


"That's not possible." Atreus balked at the suggestion. "Hades took Hephaestus and his wife beyond our reach. The remaining armors were stored in Ra's private arsenal and the knowledge for their creation died along with the Supreme System Lord. The only other gods who might have the knowledge are Yu, Sokar or the Lord Warden himself. Sokar is dead, Yu hates Chronos, and even the Warden isn't mad enough to equip an enemy army before they attack him..."


He trailed off for a moment as though considering the possibility before turning to me with an inquisitive look on his face. Both he and Ammit stared at me expectantly before I let out a long suffering sigh and said, "No - I did not arm Chronos."


"No offense Warden." Ammit pointed at Lea. "But you do have a track record for some strange long term planning."


"Oh for the love of - can we please just kill the bad guy?" I adjusted the Hydra-skin robes to allow me to pull the hood of my grey cowl up over my helmet.


"Already ahead of you." Enlil replied, nearly making me jump out of my skin. His inky robe of shadows made him near impossible to make out from the dimlit corner in which he stood - giving the distinct impression that a disembodied head was fiddling with the door controls. "Chronos never quite understood the importance of hardening his control mechanisms. Or he never trusted anyone to modify the ship's blueprints but himself. It hardly matters - either way we are good to go."


He punctuated the last sentence with a flourish of a red crystal as the airlock opened, revealing the golden interior of Chronos' flagship. Enlil smiled, saying."Whose first?"


Ammit hissed, shoving the godling out of her way with a mutter of, "Coward" as she passed. We filed out of the docking bay, stopping when my godmother hissed in pain - unable to break the threshold. Her hand bubbled and cracked as she reached into the hall, hissing as though she'd poured it in acid. She jerked back, her catlike eyes flashing in pain and alarm.


"Are you alright godmother?" I asked, genuinely worried for her welfare.


"Indeed not." She replied, her composure breaking as she cradled her mangled paw. "The wards on this ship are fully powered. I can accompany you no further than I already have."


"Oh... oh that's bad." Enlil looked at the walls in fear, examining the faint glow coming from the symbols. "That's really bad."


Ul'tac nodded in agreement. "A Jaffa could not empower the runes. Chronos sent one of his Goa'uld vassals."


"Preposterous," Ammit growled. "Chronos would no more allow a Hok'tar vassal than a god with a Hok'tar host would willingly subordinate himself to one without."


"Well, someone is obviously putting power into the wards." I replied. "And this is obviously a ship of Chronos' armies."


"Dear boy. I fear that Chronos is but a vassal to a much more dangerous master." Lea shook her head as she looked at her hand. "You must kill the general and bring this army to heel. This has ceased to be a matter of simple debt - you must continue without me."


"What will you do, godmother?" I asked - all too aware that there were tens of thousands of enemy Jaffa who'd soon be seeking out the intruder in the docking bay. "One, even one of your power, should not face this danger solo."


"Oh dear child," Lea smiled. "Just because I am not with you does not mean that I will fight alone. The threshold prevents me from coming any further, it is true. But now that I am here, I see no reason not to invite others to wait with me for the wards to fall. After all, Oo ya waaling waaling wey tayil. The enemy of my enemy is my friend."


She snapped her fingers, opening a way into the real world - displaying some section of desert I'd never seen before. Arizona perhaps? The flat steppes looked right for Arizona. It wasn't the landscape, however, that caught my interest. No, what caught my attention was the manifestation of every nightmare I’d had since burning Bianca’s mansion to the ground - that waking terror that followed me into dark corners to show me twisty bodies and bat like faces.


For on the other side of the way that she’d opened were vampires, hundreds of red court vampires in full battle regalia.


Ammit blanched, "No... please no..."


"Oh worry not, dear girl. They've been instructed not to do you or any of the Warden's other property any harm. It was part of their deal with the Summer Queen." Lea smiled. "But it's been oh so long since they were able to fulfil their purpose and feed upon the only thing that actually slakes their hunger. Oh, and look - here comes dinner."


I followed her gaze down the rows of Goa'uld flying machines down to where I could see Jaffa soldiers charging into the bay from a distant entrance with murder in their eyes."Godmother - this is evil!"


"Good and evil are such petty, mortal concerns, dear boy." Lea tittered as the Vampire warriors poured out from her way. "You'll learn that with time - certainly now that you're no longer constrained by the lifespan of your kind. Now, unless you plan to watch what comes next I would suggest closing that door. The Red Court's methods are vigorous."


Enlil practically ripped the door controls from the wall in his haste to shut the portal as some huge creature came through the portal with its vampire masters, it's black skin and eyes eerily similar to those of it's masters - though it's proportions were more a combination of animal and human physiology. I could still smell the beast even through the closed door.


"Ik'k'uox." Ammit visibly shuddered. "I - I never thought I'd be forced to face another. Blood of Apep - will I never be free of those meddling Omeyocan castaways and their insufferable king?”


“We have to move,” Atreus reached up to place a comforting hand upon her shoulder. “It is only a matter of time before someone investigates this passage and I do not wish to linger here while - that - is happening.”


I nodded in agreement as the screams of pain and vampiric ecstasy started, the gibbering of lesser vampires hardly audible over the sounds of staff blasts and roaring beasts. “Come on.” I said, sorting through Heka’s memories for the standard layout of a Goa’uld warship. “Lets get this over with.”


There were surprisingly few guards wandering the ship’s passages, certainly fewer than there ought of have been. Constant vigilance was the standard of any Jaffa patrol, and the prefered degree of redundancy for Chronos bordered upon the neurotic. Having been formerly been betrayed by the Hellenic Pantheon, the Titan trusted no-one. The ship ought to have been just lousy with security.


But there wasn’t any to speak of. We encountered a couple of easily dispatched sentries as well as some sort of automated device that Ul’tak overcame with a Zat-blast but the closer we got to the control room of the Ha’tak, the less we saw of even token efforts to protect it.


“This makes no sense,” Enlil murmured, hugging his zat gun to his chest. “We ought to have been overwhelmed by now.”


“Didn’t you notice?” Atreus asked, looking around at the group. “The Jaffa who came to attack us all came from the lower tiers of the ship. The Jaffa I killed was standing guard, but not for any exterior threat. He was staring at the portal to the upper levels.”


“The Jaffa were preparing to fight something on the ship.” Ul’tak agreed. “Their response time was too good. Those soldiers ought to have been preparing to disembark when the ship landed, not loitering in a mid-tier section of the mothership.”


“I can’t even smell any Jaffa on this tier of the ship.” Ammit’s nose twitched, pulsing her massive nostrils. “I can smell something but it’s no damn Jaffa - that’s for sure. Not Unas either.”


“It would be wise to assume that there is something remarkably dangerous on this ship.” I replied, deeply regretting that my godmother was not at my side. I scrunched up my nose, there was a greasy taste in the air - a persistent sense of wrongness that I couldn’t quite place.


It was only a matter of moments before I pinpointed the precise origin of that danger once my raiding party breached the doors to the combination throne room and bridge.


There were only three figures within the flagship’s control room. The first was obviously Praxiteles, Chrono’s General. He bore both the brand of Chronos and the ceremonial armor of office. The second was a human slave, chained to the ground before the holographic display Praxiteles was using to direct his forces in battle. Enlil and I stunned them with our Zats as we entered the room.


The third was something else altogether. It sat atop the throne, grinning from behind the protective barrier of a Goa’uld forcefield. I could sense the Goa’uld symbiote within it, and feel the greasy sensation of it’s magical might, but I had utterly no clue what manner of beast it was. It bore the serpentine features of the Unas, though with a distinctly ape-like amphibian character to it. Bulbous arms lined with glowing protrusions of crystal let to webbed fingers topped with talons, complimenting the shark-like teeth of it’s komodo dragon esque face.


Enlil did not share my confusion, whispering the words “Deep one” in utter contempt.


The creature smiled at us with its hideous mouth, serpentine vocal cords rumbling with the sonorous metallic hiss of a Goa’uld symbiote. “Enlil - what an absolute pleasure to see you again. When father gave me the honor of completing this part of our great plan, I had not hoped to be so lucky as to find your august personage.”


“I should have known.” The Sumerian god growled, contempt bubbling with every word. “When I saw the Hydra I should have known that Dagon’s children would never be far from his consorts.”


“Enlil, what the hell is that thing?” I asked, eyeing the malformed practitioner from bulging black eye to webbed toe.


“A mistake from the time of Thoth’s folly.” Atreus replied. “Chronos is supposed to have them under lock and key.”


“He’s supposed to have them dead.” Enlil hissed. “Them and their traitor progenitor. Servants of the former Jackal - all of them, to a man. The progenitors of our fall.”


The creature began to speak and I found myself unable to stop listening as talked. There was something compelling about its voice. The more I heard it the more I wanted to hear it speaking. I didn’t even notice when the beast lowered the forcefield and started slinking forwards.


“Oh Enlil, you always did so lack vision.” The creature stood on top of it’s spindly legs, twisting them in seemingly the wrong direction as it fell to all fours and spun its head upside down. “We are traitors to none save those who intended for us to fight in a war which served us least of all. Not when our most useful talent in their war renders our participation superfluous.”


I felt a sense of calm washing over me as I asked. “What talent is that?”


“Our immunity, Lord Warden - our purity.” The creature licked it’s chops, sniffing at the air as it moved. “Where other gods fear to tread we may walk without harm. What would reduce lesser beings to madness only makes us stronger.”


“Oh,” I replied. “That’s nice.”


“A shame that you won’t be around to watch our final ascension, but there is only room in the future for those with vision.” The creature chuckled at it’s own joke. “And those who can serve it.”


“Stop talking and kill it.” Lash hissed sharply in my ear, waking me from a trance that I hadn’t even realized I was in. The soporific effect of the creature’s voice distracted me from the fact that the unnaturally contorted being was nearly within striking distance.


I shouted, “forzare” and hit the creature with a blast from my rings - tossing it away from us and back to the throne. It hissed angrily as my companions awoke from it’s ensorceled speech. It stood up, twisting back into something resembling a man as its limbs elongated and its chest inflated - warping its already unnatural form.


It reached out for with spindly fingers, vomiting purple acid that burst into fire upon contacting the ground. I dodged its arm, shooting bursts of sorcerous fire as I went shouting. “Come and get me, fish-face.”


It screeched loudly, hitting a pitch that made me gnash my teeth hard enough that I was amazed none cracked. It was enough of an opening for the deep one to slash at my back with a long talon. Grunting in surprise, I fell to the ground - winded. The hydra-skin cloak protected me, even as I caught splashes of ensorceled vomit on my back.


Getting vomited on by a nameless evil from before the dawn of time, wasn’t being a wizard just grand?


Atreus - never one to back down from a challenge - slid across the marble floor, lashing out with his blade to catch the deep one across the hamstrings. He spun around, trying to grab the Greek god, only to end up with a face full of Unas talons. Ammit clawed at the creature’s bulbous black eyes - burning them with spellfire even as the deep one tapped into that greasy well of sorcerous power to warp his body into a writhing mass of snakes.


The ensorcelled serpents stuck out from the deep one’s body, biting and snapping at the armor gifted to her by my godmother. Ammit’s lip curled up in disgust. “You’re trying to eat me? Oh hell no I don’t swing that way.”


She tried to rip the snakes from his chest, but their mouths opened - propelling her away from the creature with a powerful burst of water like that of a firehose. It dragged itself back towards the throne on its lamed legs, continuing to spit acid at us as it went.


I sprinted towards the creature, dodging it’s ensorceled projectiles before jamming my staff into the beast’s gullet and pressing down on the firing stud. The creature’s maimed eyes shook in agony as I unloaded a half-dozen staff blasts into it’s neck.


“What does it take to kill you?” I growled, stomping on the still moving deep one’s face.


Ul’tak shot the body twice with his Zat as it writhed, stunning it as it tried to grab me. Enlil followed suit, pumping bursts of lighting into the creature’s body until it just disintegrated.


“I’d say that counts as dead.” Ammit intoned. “So, are we finally done with this shit?”


“Let’s find out.” I replied, picking up Praxiteles and slapping his face a couple times to wake him back up. “Rise and shine there buddy boy!”


The Jaffa blinked in confusion, looking around the room to figure out what was going on. His eyes widened as he put two and two together, going from the battle damage, to my retinue, and up to the throne. “By the will of Cronos - what have you done?”


“We killed your fish-man. Now surrender like a good general.” I replied caustically.


“No! You fool, you’ve doomed us all. The only thing keeping it bound was the Hok’unas. Without him the bindings are gone. It will wake and it will hunger!” Praxiteles struggled against my grip, doing everything in his power to escape. “Once the servitor awakens within him, it will seek to destroy those who’ve bound it to flesh.”


The greasy feeling was only getting stronger even as I felt the ship’s wards falling. I turned to the chained human slave, a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. “Chronos knew about the system’s spirit didn’t he? So he sent you guys with something he thought would be able to kill it.”


The “human” had begun to melt, his body pouring out over the cuffs in a great amoebic mess of protoplasmic filth, altogether too many eyes and little mouths littering it’s body. The pulsing greasy wrongness of it was like a magnetic repellant to my magic, giving me an overpowering urge to be anywhere else.


Oh stars and stones - I was right. It was exactly what I thought it was - the perfect monster to consume a construct made from nothing but sentient beings, Traitor’s Bane would look like a smorgasbord to it.


The General broke free with a startled cry, overbalancing and falling into the massive amoebic horror. He screamed in terror as the creature’s body subsumed him, the ever growing form of the ancient monster expanding out in all directions.


“Warden - if that’s what I think it is.” Enlil whispered in abject horror.


“It is,” I replied, going over my options. “But it doesn’t seem to have noticed us yet. We need to get away from here before it does. Are there rings near here?”


“Yes,” Atreus replied, slowly backing towards the door. “Two rooms down on the left. I think we can make it.”


“When I say, we’re going to run for them,” I felt my mouth go dry as the beast grew and grew, confirming my worst fear. “Don’t stop. Don’t try to fight it. And don’t try to save anyone who trips and falls. They’re already dead.”


“We run the risk of running into enemy Jaffa on any other level.” Ul’tak whispered.


“We run the certainty of death if we stay here,” I hissed. “Now, one, two, three go!”


It wasn’t my most sophisticated plan, but when it comes to Shoggoth - running is always a decent plant A.

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Re: [Dresden Files / Sg-1] God's Eye

Postby LadyTevar » 2015-03-31 05:14pm

And now you add LOVECRAFT? Jeese, are you running out of things to throw at Dresden or something?
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