Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

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Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2015-03-08 03:10am

This story is a companion piece to my other story, God's Eye. It will not make sense without having read that first.

Continuing End of God's Eye chapter 18


God help him, Jack had kind of liked the Warden and his retinue. Sure they were arrogant, sure they were planning to kill him or turn him into their personal finger-puppet, but they’d been kinda’ nice to spend time with. He’d never consent to it without the protection of an Asgard warship behind him but the experience had not been entirely unpleasant. Without the anxiety of weapons or warfare, it felt a bit like dealing with the Russians back in the Cold War. Just a good old-fashioned stare down with a dangerous SOB who wanted you dead.

And like the Cold War, as much as he’d enjoyed it while it lasted, he was glad to have seen it end before it came to blows. He let out a breath that he didn’t realize he’d been holding as the event horizon of the Stargate closed with a wirr-hoosh of de-energized plasma as the last of their unwelcome guests left the premises. Those servants and slaves who’d chosen to defect where shepherded into temporary accommodations by marines as the Asgard ally of Earth said his goodbyes.

“A third party?” Jack asked, inquiring into the what had inspired such fear Ammit. Goa’uld with Unas hosts weren’t exactly the sort of thing one expected to run and hide. Skulk, prowl, charge – perhaps even stalk, but never flee, one never expected them to flee.

“Ammit’s Ailurphobic nature is not without cause – though I doubt the Furling would be able to penetrate this base’s defenses.” Thor tilted his head. “Though for the Köttr such barriers may prove insufficient - he is quite determined to see the Soul Eater undone.”

“You mean there are Furlings on Earth?” Daniel asked eagerly. “For how long? Where?”

“The Furlings are everywhere, provided that you know what to look for.” Thor replied. “The wise do not look.”

Daniel muttered to himself about possible explanations for supernatural phenomenon as Jack knelt down to get eye to eye with the little Norse god. “Ok buddy – you think it’s a bad idea to look for them? Then it’s a bad idea. I’ll take your word for it.”

“It is no accident that my people value your achievements.” The tiny man smiled. “It was good to have been of service, friend O’Neill. It pleases me to have been able to serve the terms of our treaty, if only this once.”

Thor’s black eyes stared up at the Colonel, reflecting the dim florescent lights. Naked and frail, the man looked nothing like one would expect from the ruler who’d inspired the Norse pantheon. The man looked more likely to appear on a lunch pail from Roswell than on the carvings of a Norse warship.

“Yeah, about that.” Jack scratched the back of his head. “I thought the whole ‘protected planets’ treaty was a bluff – something you can’t actually enforce.”

“It is – mostly.” Thor admitted. “At least while the war in my home galaxy continues. Our resources continue to be necessary for preserving our own survival.”

It was not the first time that Thor had referred to the domestic threat keeping him from helping Earth in their fight with the Goa’uld. The Asgard were fighting something scarier than the Goa’uld and, judging by Thor’s reticence to talk about it, the war was not going in their favor. An enemy capable of going toe to toe with the Asgard - that was a thing of nightmares.

“Then what were you doing in our neck of the woods?” O’Neill queried, pointing at his chest. “Because as much as I love your visits, and I do, you only tend to pop by to tell us that something is – well – going to hell. And things going to hell just make me all ornery. And you know how much I hate getting all ornery.”

“I was resolving… a family matter.” The tiny grey man replied. “My father requested my presence.”

“Your, father?” The Colonel replied, trying to imagine a younger Thor and failing miserably – though not nearly as much as he struggled to comprehend how one would actually produce an infant Asgard. The Norse gods worried little for their own modesty, and he could see no visible orifices or genitals that might result in baby Asgardians. He elected not to ask the questions burning in the forefront of his mind.

Thankfully Daniel had some more practical questions for the Norse deity. He was always good at asking questions. “In Norse lore Thor was the son of Odin the All-father of the Asgard,” Daniel interjected. “He was the king of the Norse pantheon.”

“In a matter of speaking.” The grey man replied, choosing his words with even more care than usual. “The term father is applicable though we do not share genetic kinship. An explanation beyond that would prove… problematic. Certain details are not mine to share.”

“I’m sorry, Supreme Commander, but I was under the impression that you lead the Asgard,” Daniel queried.

“I do, as does he.” Thor replied. “As I said, there are details that are not mine to share.”

Translation: State secrets stupid – stop asking. Jack sighed as Daniel opened his mouth to ask the same question in a slightly different way. Danny boy was the nicest guy on the planet, but there were some things he just didn’t get. Need to know information? Top of the list of things Daniel could never quite get his head around.

It was easy to keep your idealism in the Stargate program. Things were pretty black and white against the snakes. Kill the slithery goons so they don’t make the planet go ‘boom’ or turn us all into slaves, it had a way of keeping soldiers on the side of the angels. Jack was happy to be living on the right side of black and white for SG-1 but his job hadn’t always been so generous. One did not get to the rank of Colonel without being forced to wear a black hat in the name of his nation – one did not serve through a prolonged tour of Vietnam without making choices they would later come to regret.

Thor was a man who had clearly lived his entire life making ‘least worst’ choices and deserved to have his privacy respected, Daniel’s curiosity about his family dynamics be damned.

“Keep it in the family, I guess.” The Colonel spoke over his bespectacled companion. “Trust me, difficult families I get. I’ve got cousin that always causes hell at family gatherings and never pays for his share of the beer. We rag on him behind his back, but none of us would bring it up around someone who wasn’t invited to the reunion.”

Thor blinked twice.

“Sooo,” Jack clapped his hands together, changing the subject. “What about our big, honkin’ space-ship.”

A space ship, earth finally had a space ship. Three years of going around the galaxy trying to secure weapons for the defense of the planet and it had finally resulted in something that even those infuriating bean counters back in D.C. were going to have to accept as a reasonable justification for the expense of the program. No more memos about ‘considering more practical alternatives to extra planetary expenditures.’ The look of frustration on Senator Kinsey’s face would warm the cockles of his heart for years to come. Nothing was going to please him more than taking that smug, opportunistic slime-ball down a peg. Head of the appropriations committee – more like head up his ass.

The Warden’s flagship… no they couldn’t keep calling it that. The old girl deserved a new name for her new purpose. And Jack knew just the right one to call her.

Enterprise – come hell or high water he was going to re-name that ship the Enterprise. The higher ups had to know that he had the right to do that, didn’t they? After all he had been the one to secure its surrender. It would be a sin not to name the ship after the Enterprise.

“The ship is in orbit behind your moon. I have teleported a cargo ship to the Earth’s surface in the base above us so that you may use the ships rings to reach it.” Thor rose a finger, waggling it in warning. “But know this O’Neill. The terms of the protected planets treaty do not allow me to search it for dangers beyond those that I’ve already disabled or remove that which I have not. Tread lightly, O’Neill - I do not trust the machinations of Dre’su’den.”

“He’s a snake.” O’Neill chuffed in amusement. “What’s to trust?”

“Indeed.” Thor nodded. “I wish you luck, O’Neill. ”

“See-ya,” O’Neill waved at the disappearing form of the Asguardian his body was subsumed by a pillar of light. “Drop by any time.”

He hated it when the Asgard left – having the little guy around was like a guarantee that Earth was safe. Every second the Norse nugget was around would be one more that Jack knew without a doubt in his mind that the world would keep on spinning without somebody coming by to blow it to hell.

A thought popped into the Colonel’s head. “I’m not a GI.”

“Huh?” Daniel looked over.

“GI’s are in the Army.” Colonel O’Neil said the thought that had been nagging at the back of his mind for the past three hours. “I’m Airforce.”

“I do not understand. What is the point of that line of inquiry O’Neill?” Replied his ever-stoic Jaffa companion.

“The skull, it called me a geriatric GI Joe in fluent English. Hell, it told him that he should ‘watch another movie’ when we were back on the ship.” The Colonel replied, looking to Daniel Jackson for confirmation. “The Warden kept cussing it out as though he’d understood that was being said. Hell, he wasn’t even waiting for the skull to say things back to him in Snake when we spoke – he just replied as quick as if he’d been carrying on a conversation in his native tongue.”

“Should that be a surprise?” Daniel Jackson asked. “We’ve run into Goa’uld who’ve learned English before. They have a talent for emulating our language.”

“They do not, however, pretend to be unaware of the vernacular.” Teal’c replied, raising his brow in consternation. “He appeared wholly unaware of the flaw in his pretense and equally capable of understanding the totality of the Colonel’s intentional use of vernacular speech.”

Hell, Teal’c regularly struggled with idiomatic turns of phrase and he’d been living with native speakers for more than two years. For some border world Goa’uld to have mastered the English language enough to understand English without difficulty stretched the boundaries of credibility. The other Gods in his retinue had been nothing but broken sentences and misspoken words.

“He’s been here,” O’Neill replied. “The arrogant son of a bitch has been on Earth – recently. ‘Tell me about this pizza’ - my butt.”

“He never took off his mask, either.” The doctor replied, agreeing with the colonel. “Even after he made such a big deal about sharing a meal with us. He wasn’t hiding it from us, he was dangling in front of our faces to show off how much he knew.”

“Do you think it was an intentional threat, O’Neill? An implicit show of how much he knew and how little his surrender matters to him in the long run?” The Jaffa considered the matter.

“One of the other SG teams? You think he took them as host?” O’Neill shuddered.

“Not unless you have a Hok’tar on your staff.” The self-professed Tok’ra replied. “You’d remember him, he’d be the one who could breathe fire without the aid of technology.”

“Yyyyeeeeessss – one would tend to remember that.” O’Neill clicked his teeth on the “t”s of “that,” popping air out of his mouth. None of the MIA SG operatives had that specific talent listed on their dossiers.

“I’m sorry, I don’t think I caught your name.” Dr. Jackson held out his hand. “Dr. Daniel Jackson.”

The Tok’ra reached out and shook it. “Kanan – a pleasure to meet you all, though I wish it were under less complicated circumstances.”

“Hok’tar…” Daniel repeated the word slowly. “I’m not familiar with that word. Advanced… human?”

“It is a word that has not been used in centuries.” Teal’c replied. “The thing of Jaffa legends before the fall of the Great Nightmare. A human host capable of wielding great power – I had assumed them things of myth.”

“I thought the same about Dragons, this morning.” Jack replied.

“What?” Daniel blinked.

“Didn’t I mention the Dragons?” The Colonel cleared his throat.

“No – I would have remembered that.” The scholar replied in a voice of concern. “Why are we talking about Dragons?”

“There were like ten of them on the bridge – dead. I mean the ship was just lousy with dead Dragons.” Jack shrugged.

“Dragons? Big, scaly, fire-breathing lizards?” Daniel replied.

“I don’t know about breathing fire, but yeah to the rest.” The Colonel said, realizing precisely how stupid it sounded as he turned to the Tok’ra. “Back me up here.”

“We were forced to take a detour through the realm of the Great Dragon in order to escape Apophis. We were boarded in the escape.” The Tok’ra shuddered in unpleasant memory. “It is not something I about which I prefer to think.”

“Dragons?” The scholar repeated in continuing incredulity.

“They are a predatory species which live within the realm of the Furlings.” The Tok’ra replied. “They do not commonly choose to leave their home dimension.”

“So they’re extra dimensional dragons.” Daniel replied in a voice of confusion as he turned to Jack. “Is it bad that that sounds less crazy to me than about half the things we do in this job?”

“Considering that both of us have died before, I keep my skepticism to a minimum.” Jack replied in a voice of biting sarcasm. “You know me, Mr. Open-minded.”

“How does a Goa’uld ship end up in a dimension of Dragons?” Daniel looked to the Tok’ra.

“They do not.” Replied the creature. “It’s suicidal to even try to do so. The Furlings forbade us entry and they are the kindest kingdoms of those who dwell in the lands of Sun and Snow. No sane Goa’uld would even consider entering the beyond.”

“Then how – ” Daniel started.

“He’s insane.” The Tok’ra replied. “Dre’su’den – he’s totally and completely insane. You see it in the oldest of the Goa’uld. There comes a point when even the healing effects of a sarcophagus cannot sufficiently undo the ravages of time – and Heka is older than any living Goa’uld other than perhaps Lord Yu. His mind is crumbling, he doesn’t even remember how he’s supposed to act and is clearly using host memories to supplant those which are missing.”

“You’re telling me that one of the most dangerous powers of the galaxy is going senile?” Jack jibed. “So what – we just wait for him to keel over?”

“Goa’uld do not die of old age.” Replied the Tok’ra. “It’s not in their nature. A weak System Lord is quickly on the wrong side of a staff weapon.”

“I’m not really seeing the down side of old age making the crazy coot put his life in danger.” Jack shrugged. “What with the ‘giving us a ship’ and being downright decent about it.”

“Do not mistake madness for kindness.” The Tok’ra replied. “Heka was the keeper of forbidden knowledge for the Goa’uld, responsible for keeping track of that knowledge which the Supreme System Lord Ra decided was too dangerous to allow in lesser hands. All of it – and he has gone weak enough in the head that he’s actually using it. I watched him violate every known strategic arms limitation treaty in the space of six hours, he’s willing to invoke pacts with horrific consequences in a matter of moments just because he can.”

“How much worse could he be than Sokar?” Jack snorted, thinking back to Netu.

“Much.” The Tok’ra let loose a harsh laugh. “If you think the System Lords are bad now, wait till a substantial portion of the galaxy has been conquered by a man who carries on prolonged conversations with the voices in his head.”

“You think that he is planning to become Supreme System Lord with the forbidden knowledge from before the Fall?” Teal’c replied in a voice trembling with dark implication.

“At this point I wouldn’t put anything past that man.” The Tok’ra shuddered. “Ancestors help us – he’s insane. He doesn’t plan anything he just sort of stumbles his way through fatal danger as though it was all some sort of amusing game. He takes gambles that make no sense. He fights when he should talk, runs when he should fight, and talks when any sane man would start shooting. It was like traveling with a point of quantum improbability. He is utterly and irredeemably mad.”

“He’s a snake.” The Colonel replied. “They’re all nuttier than a fruitcake.”

“The System Lords are greedy, arrogant, bitter, and cruel – but practical. The Warden is none of these things, at least not visibly so. In passing he is actually quite pleasant, but do not mistake that for genuine kindness.” The Tok’ra replied. “In the entire history of the Goa’uld Empire, I’ve never met someone more cunning or dangerous.”

“Not a fan, I take it.” Jack replied caustically.

“I think that it is in the collective interest of all sentient beings in the universe to see to it that the warden is killed before he can do any more damage than he already has.” Kanan shuddered.

“You two seemed pretty ‘buddy-buddy’ when he was here.” Jack replied.

“He decided that I was useful – freeing me from captivity on a whim to get that spirit access to Sokar’s database. In the aftermath of Netu’s destruction, he publically declared that I was his personal Tok’ra to his entire court.” Kanan’s face scrunched up in apparent confusion as he struggled to work through that memory. “Once his army surrounded me on all sides, it wasn’t as though I could just kill him. I had to live long enough to get word back to the Tok’ra – appeasing the madman was simply the most practical means to that end.”

“Well isn’t that just special.” The Colonel replied.

Kanan’s next rant about the dangers of the Lord Warden was silenced by a loud yawn. “Pardon me, Colonel, but I haven’t slept in far too long. There is only so long a man can live in a mix of panic and adrenaline before it becomes necessary to rest and recuperate. I believe there was talk of a cell somewhere with a bed and blankets?”

“Yes, by all means.” Jack smiled back at the alien. “Please enjoy the hospitality of our brig. I’ll bring the old man by to verify that you are whom you claim once he’s done with the munchkins in that cut rate house of mouse.”

“Big honking space guns, Danny boy.” Jack said to his squad mate as marines led the alien away. “Big honking space guns. Today is going to be one heck of a day.”

“Indeed,” Echoed the Jaffa. “Major Carter will be most pleased by the arrival of so much Goa’uld technology.”

Jack clapped his hands together, grinning ear to ear. “Well, come on boys – time to get permission from the General to pick up our prize.”

Unbeknownst to Jack, a shadowy shape slinking through the bases' ventilation shafts grinned back - stalking it's long anticipated prey, smacking it's chops in the hunger of millennia.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by drakensis » 2015-03-08 03:59am

It's good to see that the Tok'ra appreciate Dresden's finer qualities.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2015-03-08 10:34pm

......................... Shit, the Köttr found something.
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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2015-03-10 01:39am

It was no accident that Sam was a workaholic, she’d always found it easier to focus on fixing the problems she could than to deal with the feeling she couldn’t. When it came to her own family, things were just too messy for her liking. There were too many old feuds and feelings to sort through.

Samantha Carter loved her family very much – though it would be an outright lie to say that dealing with them had ever been easy for her. She’d considered her father, Jacob, to be an outright antagonist for the better part of two decades for his role in the death of her mother. Too busy to pick her up from the airport, Deb carter’s fatal car accident in the Taxi had been a wedge between the Major General and his children.

It had been a point of unity between Samantha and Mark, even after she joined the Air Force – a decision that Mark hadn’t ever been able to wrap his head around. For her brother, the Air Force and the Major General were one and the same. Her choice to forgive Jacob after his blending with the Tok’ra Selmac had not been well received by her sibling, nor could she really blame him for it.

“I’m not at liberty to disclose that.” Isn’t exactly something that goes a long way to convincing ones brother that it was time to move past the death of their mother. Words were exchanged in the heat of anger – words that she regretted.

It had taken the mutual apologies of both Sam and her father to re-open a dialogue with her younger brother, who’d consented to try and make their relationship work for the benefit of her nephew David and niece Lisa. It hadn’t really been fair for her to let Jacob pull the “They should know their grandfather” card but it had worked.

The three of them had thus opted for the neutral territory of “make the kids happy” in which to operate. So long as they kept choosing activities that kept David and Lisa happy, they were just too busy to get on each other’s nerves with old arguments. Samantha hadn’t been thrilled about spending an afternoon at Chuck E. Cheese, but it had been one of the places the Air Force was able to secure covertly for Selmak’s safety.

It was uncomfortable for the three of them, but they were talking – that’s more than could be said in years. Things were better in the Carter family. The family gatherings still made Carter uncomfortable, but now her discomfort was rooted in something altogether more frustrating than the clear-cut morality of blaming her father ever had been.

Carter loved her niece and nephew, and they loved her back. She loved their little nonsense stories, their strange games with no obvious rules to speak of, and the genuine wonder in their eyes every time she explained how some simple machine worked. They watched her shine a flashlight through a glass prism as though she were some sort of sorcerer, marveling in the way the light had shone over their tiny fingers.

When she was with them, when she was Auntie Sammie, Samantha Carter felt the doors opening on a whole mess of thoughts and feelings she’d kept buried since joining the Air Force. Joining the Military as a woman is a difficult road to tread. Sam’s entire career had been one long exercise in having to prove that she deserved to be ‘one of the guys’ – it hadn’t been enough to just be as good as her peers, she’d needed to be better. Any sign of weakness, any overt display of femininity, and she knew that it would be used against her.

Even her chosen nickname, ‘Sam,’ had been a conscious choice to separate herself from her gender. Samantha Carter was an Officer first and a woman second – if at all. But when she was with her niece and nephew, the image of a little girl with her mommy Samantha’s eyes or her Daddy’s nose couldn’t help but crop up in her mind.

The child she would probably never have.

It wasn’t that Sam wanted to be a mom, but there was something painful about knowing that her option to be one was effectively mutually exclusive from her duties at the Stargate program. Even if she found a guy she wanted to have a kid with, the effectively two years she’d be unfit for combat duty on an SG team would cripple her ability to serve the program. And after growing up with Jacob’s style of parenting, she didn’t think she’d be able to put a child through being raised by a parent who’d never be around.

So every time she met them she had a wonderful time with Mark’s kids for the time it lasted, then spent a silent ride away reminding herself of all the good she was doing through the Stargate program. She was doing work that needed to be done, work that nobody else could do.

The melancholy never lasted long. Samantha Carter’s reputation for brilliance had been well earned. Though she’d never admit it, she was perfectly aware that the number of astrophysicists cleverer than she was could be counted on one hand. Fewer still who would be able or even willing to operate under the conditions that she regularly worked within.

There were millions of capable mothers in the world. There would only ever be one Samantha Carter. As long as she made sure that the third rock from the sun kept on spinning, there were plenty of great mothers who’d make sure that their kids grew up strong.

She slowed her car at the gates to NORAD, letting the car idle. “I’m glad we did this.” Sam smiled, turning to her father after handing her ID to the base guard. “After what happened on Netu, I needed to see them.”

“Yeah,” Jacob replied, snorting. “But god are those kids just little balls of energy, even with Selmak giving me a boost I have trouble keeping up with them. They were just off the walls.”

“It’s your own fault.” Sam smiled as the guard handed her back the laminate and waved her through. “Mark told you not to give them all that sugar.”

Jacob lowered his head momentarily, indicating that he was allowing his symbiote to speak.

“That was my fault,” Ground out the silibant tones of Selmak. “I’m afraid that I just can’t resist the urge to spoil grandchildren. A parent’s duty is to teach their child, a grandparents duty is to spoil them.”

The major snorted, looking back at the Tok’ra. “And what is the duty of an Aunt?”

“To corrupt the child, of course” The Tok’ra lowered his head, showing that it was back to Jacob. “Selmak is really very convincing when it comes to parenting, and considering how many centuries the old man has got on me – I find it hard to argue.”

His head lowered again, “Hard but not impossible, I assure you. Your father is a stubborn man when he gets it into his head that he ought to be.”

The major laughed.

Her route to the motor pool, however, was blocked by a group of MP’s and what appeared to be a van from Animal Control. Sam rolled down her window, addressing the square jawed man who approached her. “What’s going on?”

He peered into her car, saluting them both upon realizing whom he was addressing. “There’s been an animal attack ma’am – mountain lion or something. Airman First Class Andrews must have startled it while it was rooting around for food. He didn’t make it. The poor bastard looks like someone ran him through a food processor. ”

“Is it common for a Mountain Lion to stray this close to humans?” Sam looked to her father in confusion. “I thought they mostly chose prey out in the wild.”

“It only takes one ma’am.” The MP shrugged. “The guys from animal control are figuring that it’s rabid. We’re advising everyone on base to keep their eyes peeled and their side arms loaded till we put a bullet in fucking bastard… err… pardon my language ma’am.”

“I’ll overlook it this time Airman.” Sam replied, nodding conciliatorily. When someone killed a member of the Air Force, it hurt them all. He could have dropped an f-bomb every third word and Sam wouldn't have even pretended to care. The Lion was going to die at the hands of an entire base worth of pissed off airmen using weapons declared “necessary” by the armory.

She almost felt sorry for the Lion – almost.

“Any worry that it got into the base?” Jacob asked, pointing to the open grate next to the corpse.”

“No Sir, not unless its lighter than air.” The MP replied. “The whole reason Andrews was in there was to install pressure sensors – you know, the ceramic tiles they use to tell if anything bigger than a rat is walking around. There’s a margin of error on those things, but not enough for a Mountian Lion.”

“Can we get by?” Sam asked, pointing to the Animal Control van blocking her path.

“Yes ma’am.” The MP replied, yelling to his subordinates. “Davis – get that thing out of the way. We’re blocking traffic.”

“Strange.” Selmak muttered after they’d passed the temporary obstruction of the Van. “I am continually amazed that you choose to live on a planet so rife with predators.”

“It’s home.” Sam replied. “And Lion attacks aren’t that common.”

“Child, do you realize how dangerous your world really is in the scheme of the universe?” Selmak laughed, a sing-song sound that echoed with the vocal distortion of his species. “There are more alpha-level predators on this little rock than on any other planet colonized. Even before the rebellions, many Goa’uld simply chose to leave the planet with their slaves in tow rather than deal with the constant irritation of protecting their herds.”

“Seriously?” Sam asked, shifting the car into park after coasting to a stop next to fifteen identical model cars to the one she’d borrowed. “Which Goa’uld?”

“Olukun and Kai come to mind, but they were far from the only ones.” Selmak laughed again. “Basically any of the pantheon that tried to set up in Australia. Dirawong and Birrahgnoolo spend too much time just trying to keep their share of the humans from dying of thirst and snake bites that they ended up just giving up in disgust to leave things in the hands of Julunggul… who actually did a pretty decent job of it with the help of Mangar-kunjer-kunja.”

“The Goa’uld were in Australia?” It really ought to have been obvious to her, but there was something just wrong about imagining some would be god trying to establish their divinity in the outback.

“They were everywhere Sammie.” Jacob tousled his daughter’s hair. “Actually the ones in Australia were downright decent, as Goa’uld go. There aren’t many of them left though – they died in The War.”

“Which war?” Sam signed her name into the motor pool’s log book, making sure to write down the mileage next to her signature. The last thing she needed was to end up with the next guy expensing his miles on her account.

“There is only one war as far as the Goa’uld are concerned.” Jacob replied. “The war with – ”

Jacob’s eyes flashed once and he stopped speaking.

“Dad?” Sam asked as her father continued to stare at the wall.

The general cleared his throat. “Sorry Sammie, my room mate wanted to have a private word with me.”


“Discretion. Sometimes its hard for me to remember which memories are mine to share and which are his.” Her father scratched the back of his neck apologetically. “I was getting too close to sharing Selmak’s private thoughts without his permission. If that story is going to be told, it is his to say.”

Sam nodded, “And is he going to explain what you were talking about?”

Jacob lowered his head. “He is not.”

His head bobbed again, “Sorry Sammie.”

This wasn’t over – Sam thought to herself – she would find out to what war her father had been alluding. “Another time then.”

“Perhaps.” Selmak replied in a tone suggesting a definite never as they walked out from the motor pool and across the tarmac of Norad’s helicopter landing pads. “Thought I suspect we will have more pressing matters to deal with... Imminently.”

“Like what?” Sam asked.

“Well… that for one.” Jacob replied as a goa’uld cargo ship shimmered into view on one of the empty landing pads, shimmering in a comfortingly familiar glow of teleportation energy.

“Huh – that’s new.” Sam watched an utterly bemused Master Sergeant actually spit out half a cup of coffee. He shouted to every airman in sight, demanding that one of them tell him just what the hell was going on as he tried to mop up the mess of brown liquid off the front of his BDUs.

“That’s Asgard tech,” Jacob replied in confusion. “Why would the Asgard be leaving you a Goa’uld cargo ship?”

“This is why I don’t like leaving the base.” Sam waved at the cargo ship. “Something like this happens and I have to rush to get back into the loop.”

She grabbed a passing airman. “I need your radio.”

The confused mechanic nodded, reflexively reacting to her tone of command in spite of her not being in uniform. “Yes Ma’am.”

“Put your fingers in your ears.” She said, taking his radio from him and tuning it to the gate room frequency. “If you don’t you’re going to have to be detained and debriefed, which might take a couple days.”

The airman sighed, plugging his ears and starting to hum as Sam spoke over the secure radio. “This is Major Carter. Can someone please tell me why I’m staring at a cargo ship on one of our landing pads?”

“Uh, yes ma’am.” Replied the voice of Master Sergeant Siler. “At least I think I can. It was part of the terms of surrender to Colonel O’Neill from the System Lord Dre’su’den. We got a mothership and everything inside”

Sam looked from the radio, to her father, and back. “I’m sorry Master Sergeant – did you just say Colonel O’Neill won us a mother ship?”

“Yes Ma’am.” Siler replied.

“I thought he was in Minnesota – at that cabin he’s always going on about?” Jacob asked. “Shouldn’t he be somewhere drinking heavily and yelling a at a Canadian for not hitting the puck hard enough?”

“Apparently not any more.” Sam replied before pressing down to activate the radio. “To clarify, the cargo ship is ours?”

“Uh, yes Ma’am – to the best of my knowledge.” Siler replied. “General Hammond says to assist on behalf of the Stargate program, SG-3 is en-route.”

“Rodger.” Major Carter replied. “I can see Colonel Makepeace.”

The four-man team was decked out in full combat gear, Major Castleman, Lt. Johnson and Lt. Stevens following close behind.

The Master Sergeant, apparently having received orders from in the base, was bellowing as only a Master Sergeant could. “Clear out! The general wants everyone to out – all you boys to the mess hall for debrief. None of you are to say a thing to each other till you get there and have permission from the Colonel to have an opinion.”

As the enlisted men cleared out from the landing pads, Sam saluted the Colonel, snapping her heels together smartly. She might not be in BDUs but she was still an Officer. “Colonel, sir – It appears the Asgard left us a present.”

The angular jawed Colonel smiled. “So it would seem Major Carter. Am I to assume you’re our backup?” He nodded to her Tok’ra father.

“It would be wise to have me check for sabotage. The Goa’uld are averse to sharing.” Selmak replied.

“I’m not about to look a gift horse in the mouth.” The Colonel replied, nodding respectfully to her father. Jacob Carter may no longer have been considered a member of the US armed forces due to his status as a Tok’ra – but once you had two stars on your lapel you never stopped being a General to servicemen who’d been under you. “Good to see you again sir.”

“Good to see you too Colonel.” Jacob replied pleasantly. “After you Colonel.”

“Ok boys, bag it and tag it. This ought to be a boring mission but ought to hasn’t ever worked out before.” He pointed to the cargo ship’s doors. “Standard breaching positions. Castelman I want you on the door controls. Johnson, you aim high while Stevens goes low. No grenades, we need it intact. Carters I want the two of you behind us till we know that the area is safe – neither of you are in body armor, but just in case something goes wrong...” He pointed to he Lieutenants “… give them your side arms.”

Sam took the baretta M-9, checking that it was loaded as she thanked Lt. Johnson. The two Carters moved into cover, watching SG-3 move into position.

The door, apparently unlocked, proved no barrier to Major Castleman. The team entered the cargo ship one by one, checking the corners before declaring. “Room 1 clear for entry, no hostiles.”

Another five minutes passed as SG-3 fiddled with the controls to the cargo room, then another. Ten turned to fifteen, fifteen turned to twenty, and a furious Colonel Makepeace stuck his head out of the cargo ship. “Major Carter – Castleman could use a hand. Apparently the control crystal fractured and we can’t get into the back room.”

“Roger Colonel.” Sam replied, making her way into the cockpit of the cargo ship, Jacob close in tow. It was larger than the ships she was used to, though it followed the same footprint of all cargo ships – cockpit in the front, cargo hold in the rear behind a single door.

“Geeze,” Carter whistled when she got through the door and had a look at the exposed control crystals. “You weren’t kidding. That’s a master control crystal.”

Goa’uld technology ran on a mix of crystalline command systems and interlaced naquadah circuitry that emulated most of the functions one would expect from a modern microprocessor. “Most” because there were some odd irregularities to how crystals functioned, they were more a collection of self-contained computers than a single continuous device. Each gem was mono-tasked with a specific function for the ship and capable of operating independently provided that it had power. It provided Goa’uld ships with the ability to conduct rapid repairs, switching out defective crystals damaged in battle rather than having to put their ships in dry dock to fix malfunctioning systems.

It also meant that Goa’uld ships were heavily reliant upon accessing the crystalline computers made only by the Goa’uld System Lords, preventing underlings and Jaffa from rebelling against their masters. So when a master control crystal broke – it was a huge problem.

“Can you fix it, Major?” Colonel Makepeace asked.

“No.” Selmak replied. “But she doesn’t need to. Not while we’re on the ground.”

The Tok’ra reached around the control panel of the main airlock, unlatching it and pulling a long, purple crystal from it. Jacob smiled, “Just remember to plug it back in if you’re planning on leaving the atmosphere.”

Sam accepted the crystal from her father, slipping it into place and twisting clockwise. It glowed bright, activating the command panel once she slammed the plate back into place. She tapped the “open” rune, activating the inner airlock.

The hatch opened, exposing the lightless interior of he cargo bay. Sam pulled a pen-light from her pocket, shining it into the darkness. When shape moved, startled by the light the Major shouted in equal surprise, “Holy Hannah!”

The Major raised his MP-5 in response, startled by the piercing blue eyes in the dark. “What the hell is that?”

Carter reached out and shoved his gun downward. “Colonel! You’re scaring her.”

“Huh?” The Colonel squinted into the darkness as the shape registered in his mind. “Oh Jesus… I nearly shot her…”

“Get back,” Major carter waved the soldiers away. “Just get back.”

The lights in the cargo bay flickered, revealing its occupant – a little girl. She looked to about fourteen, developed but not quite fully grown. Poking her head out from around a cargo container, she was about as non-threatening as someone could get.

“Come here,” Carter crouched down, getting eye to eye with the little girl. “Come on, we won’t hurt you. You’re safe.”

The humanoid sniffed the air, licking her lips nervously.

“My name is Sam – Sam Carter.” She smiled, tapping her chest above her heart. “Come on, sweetie, you’ll be fine. Come here.”

The girl inched slowly walking in Sam’s direction. It was a whispering mess of growls and clicks, clearly a language but not one Sam understood. Sam kept on speaking softly to her, “You’re safe. I mean you no harm. Just come on, come with me.”

Once she got in arms reach of Sam, she reached out and grabbed her – holding her arms with surprising strength for someone of her slight frame. The girl leaned in, sniffing heavily at Sam’s hair and face.

Colonel Makepeace pulled off his jacket and reached over to cover the naked girl with it, stopping when the girl lashed out at him – hissing angrily. The Colonel stared her in the eyes. “I’m not your enemy. I’m just trying to give you my coat.”

The girl relaxed somewhat, responding more to the man’s tone than his words. She continued to make chuffing noises to assert her dominance, but consented to having the coat draped over her. It was more of a dress than a coat on her – the arms hung down to the floor.

Sam helped her fasten the buttons, continuing to talk to her softly, “It’s ok sweetie. You’re ok. You’re with friends,” as she rolled up the sleeves to let her move her arms.

“Someone needs to call Dr. Fraiser,” Colonel Makepeace activated her radio. “I’ve got a new patient for her.”

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2015-03-10 07:58am

The girl inched slowly walking in Sam’s direction. It was a whispering mess of growls and clicks clearly a language but not one Sam understood. Sam kept on speaking softly to her, “You’re safe. I mean you no harm. Just come on, come with me.”
The bolded part needs to be edited, the way it's written is nonsensical.
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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2015-03-26 10:20pm

Teal’c found himself unable to reach a state of Kelno’reem. He’d been sitting in his quarters, inhaling incense and basking in the warmth of candlelight, as a creeping terror gnawed at the back of his mind. Were the legends true?

Apophis’ trip to the first world had been a daring one – the first hunt for a potential Hok’tar host on the first world in millennia. It was dangerous – if Hok’tar or one of the fiend races were to stumble upon them it could mean their undoing. Such a failure had been Bra’tac’s suggested plan– take Apophis far enough from the gate that when the monsters of the first world grew agitated, they would be able to slay the entire retinue - freeing the universe of his tainted master.

Apophis hadn’t dared linger for more than a few minutes once he realized the gate was within a military structure, choosing to gamble that the honor of bringing back any host from the first world would outweigh the potential losses of staying.

That being said – the plan did ultimately bring the wrath of the Tau’ri upon Apophis, just not as Teal’c had expected. When Teal’c realized that O’Neill was a warrior of the first world, he thought it was an answer to his prayers. He freed the Tau’ri warriors and pledged himself to their cause, hoping beyond hope that he’d just secured himself the hordes of Hok’tar he knew had been sitting in wait on the nightmarish abyss of the Tau’ri home world.

It was why he'd abandoned his wife and son. It seemed kinder to leave them absent his company than it would to bring them to their probable doom along with him. All things considered, he'd expected to die at the hands of the fabled Hok'tar warriors dedicated to the eradication of Jaffa. It was the most desperate of gambles.

He’d secured powerful allies to be sure but the first world’s might had not been what Teal’c was expecting. After growing up listening to the tales of battle and adventure on the planet of monsters and Hok’tar, he’d been grossly disappointed to discover that there were no monsters and mages to be found. The Tau’ri did not believe in powers beyond their ken. In spite of the mysteries and wonders of the galaxy they’d seen so far – mysteries that left them in awe and confusion – they insisted upon dismissing the spiritual elements of reality in favor of more temporal explanations.

He’d resigned himself to the fact that the horrors of the first world, like so many other tales of the Goa’uld, were just another in a litany of lies they told their followers to cow them into submission. The Tau’ri told each other the same tales of monsters and sorcery that the Goa’uld fed their slaves, but laughed them off as the barbarism and foolish superstitions of the uneducated. Whatever truth there had once been to the horrors of the Tau’ri seemed to have long since passed into the distant annuls of history.

Or so he’d thought.

The Sidhe were real. Perhaps not as the beasts of true nightmare described to him as a child, but there really were Kingdoms of Sun and Snow. What else had been true among the lies of the Goa’uld? Had the betrayal been true as well? Had the pantheons truly been tossed from grace? Could one truly summon the demons of Summer and winter with whispers and will?

Not for the first time a creeping sliver of doubt entered his mind, a fear that he'd hoped quelled half a century ago. The fear that betraying Apophis had been a mistake was not one that Teal'c regularly allowed to take root. His former master had been a monster - all Goa'uld were monstrous and unworthy of worship. They were utterly evil - but were they a necessary evil? According to the System Lords the only thing standing between creation and oblivion was their helping hand. Was the only thing standing between the Jaffa and a horrible death beneath the boots of Sidhe warriors the protection of their Goa'uld overlords?

The Goa'uld were meager and petty gods, but had Apophis actually fulfilled at least part of his claims to be protecting the souls of his slaves? He knew that his doubts would sound insane to the Tau'ri warriors, striking fear in their hearts that he'd gone mad or would chose to defect to his former masters. An unfortunate byproduct of their monotheistic histories, he'd learned to accommodate their oddities.

He shivered, rubbing at his shoulder with his hand as he exhaled deeply through his nostrils. “Peace” – he told himself – “There is no cause for alarm. Not yet.”

Teal'c was a Jaffa - a born polytheist. Rejecting the a single Goa'uld or the entire pantheon was not a statement of atheism, it was a choice to abandon specific gods. To men who'd grown up with a single power in the universe, the idea that one might disobey a god without rejecting his place as a god was impossible. But Teal'c knew the truth - goodhood was a measure of power and worth. The worthy could ascend and the unworthy could be torn from atop the mountain.

"The Goa'uld are false gods." Teal'c mumbled. "I will not allow myself to fall into doubt - not after undoing the divinity of so many."

There was a soft tap at the door, the familiar sound of two soft knocks followed by a hard rap soon after. Teal’c spoke. “You may enter Daniel Jackson.”

“How did you know it was me?” Asked the bespectacled man as he cracked open the door and looked around at the candles. “Oh! I’m sorry – I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“You interrupt nothing, Daniel Jackson.” Teal’c replied, standing up and bowing to his friend. “Kelno’reem is beyond me at the moment. Your presence is welcome.”

“Ah – good. Well, not good that you’re having trouble finding Kelno’reem, but I was hoping to pick your brain a little bit.” The man stumbled over his words. He had a frustrating habit of meandering around in his speech before actually reaching his point. “Because I’m a bit confused – when I was researching into the Furlings and their potential connections to Heliopolis you neglected to mention that the Goa’uld had actually met them.”

“Indeed I did not, Daniel Jackson.” Teal’c replied, leaning over to blow out the circle of candles one by one. “Your memory does not fail you.”

“Well – no – that much I got.” The Doctor snorted in amusement. “What I was wondering had more to do with why you chose not to mention that you knew about them.”

“We’ve never spoken of them because you were too terrified to admit they could be real,” the uncharitable voice of Teal’c’s subconscious said in his head even as he spoke the words. “I knew of the Furlings and the Kingdoms of Sun and Snow – I did not know that the two were the same.

“But you know, don’t you? What that skull thing was that the Lord Warden had translating for him – you know what it is.” Daniel held up a photo of the System Lord, tapping where he’d circled part of it with a red felt-tipped marker.

“I have my suspicions.” Teal’c replied, feeling distinctly absurd for saying what he was about to say. “Jaffa legends speak of such a beast - spirits from a land beyond our own. I thought them just the ramblings of old men, tales to instill proper behaviour in the young through fear."

"Really?" The Doctor's interest peaked at the mention of Jaffa legend. "I'd be interested to hear them."

"I know not what manner of creature that was - but believe I know the true name of it's species. It is a forbidden word, taught only to those well versed enough in their dangers not to actually use it. The Goa'uld fear them above all else - more than the Asgard or any other enemy of their kind." Teal'c leaned in close to his team mate, whispering the word he feared too greatly to speak it at more than a whisper. "Aes Shíde - the Fair Folk of Winter and Summer."

Daniel Jackson paused for a moment before repeating the word in utter incredulity. "Aes Shíde?"

"Do not say it so loud!" Teal'c hissed through clenched teeth, looking around the room in fear - half expecting eyes to stare back at them from the shadows.

"Teal'c... do the words Daoine Shíde and Daoine Síth mean something to you?" Daniel replied, apparently biting his lower lip to hold back a fit of laughter.

"I fail to see what is so amusing Daniel Jackson." Teal'c replied, frustrated at his companion's inability to grasp the severity of the situation. "Dre'su'den has found a way to ally himself with the ancient enemy of the Goa'uld."

Daniel Jackson cleared his throat, squelching his laughter somewhat as he spoke. "Teal'c - are you telling me that the Goa'uld are afraid of fairies?"

"The fair folk are no laughing matter Daniel Jackson." Teal'c replied. "They are powerful, strong enough that they were able to defeat the Goa'uld utterly in the Great War."

"I'm sorry - I realize this is very serious." Doctor Jackson took off his glasses to wipe tears of mirth from his eyes. "But fairies? It's just - oh God - I was not ready for that one."

Another man knocked at the frame of Teal'c's door before the head of Colonel O'Neill poked it's way into the room. His commanding officer looked from Daniel's continuing giggles to Teal'c's severe expression before saying, "Well - I came by to tell you that SG-3 and SG-4 were nearly done with their sweep of our new toy and that Sam seems to have picked up a stray but it seems that I'm interrupting something far more fun than whatever I was hoping to talk about. Am I interrupting something?"

"Doctor Jackson was asking me about my knowledge of the beast traveling with the Goa'uld." The Jaffa replied, shaking his head at Dr. Jackson's continuing laughter. "It was perhaps in error to inform him."

"Daniel? Would you like to share with the class?" O'Neill queried.

"Fairies Jack - they're fairies." Daniel replied once he was able to speak between giggles.

"As in wings, sparkly trails, and wands?" The Colonel replied in incredulity.

"As in the Goa'uld's greatest fear is fairies!" Daniel replied, taking altogether too much pleasure in the situation.

"Huh... " O'Neill replied, apparently unsure what to say to that revelation. "Neat."

"It makes sense actually. Grimm's fairy tales and the old legends of Fairies are a lot nastier than their modern interpretations. They were a lot less Tinkerbell and a lot more terror." The Archeologist tapped his finger on his arm. "I'd assumed they were just stories but then again I wouldn't have believed that Aliens built the pyramids not that long ago."

"They are a cruel and bloodthirsty race," Teal'c interjected. "Nightmares given flesh."

"You know, just once I would like to find out that a nice legend about powerful creatures was true." Colonel O'Neill lamented. "It's always 'kill this' or 'enslave that."

"But this is good right? There is something out there that is capable of going toe to toe with the Goa'uld." The doctor replied.

"Indeed not, Daniel Jackson." Teal'c shivered. "If the legends are true then we are all in very great danger."

"Oh good," The Colonel replied dryly. "I was worried we might be out of a job for a minute there. So tell us, what new danger lies ahead."

"The Queens of Summer and Winter command an Empire that spans the entire Galaxy, a secret place that can open up into the material world wherever they wish for it to do so." Teal'c swallowed, looking around the room to make doubly sure that they were alone. "They are possessed of powerful sorcery and weapons greater than even then Asgard - but are willing to raze entire planets on a whim."

"So - not the sort that we should try to send an ambassador to speak with?" Asked the Colonel.

Teal'c shook his head emphatically. "Even talking with one of their ilk is potentially fatal. They wield words as a warrior might brandish a blade. One cannot win a battle of words with the Children of Sun and Snow"

"Sorry, Teal'c - do you mean that the Furlings have a way of going between planets other than the Stargate?" The doctor asked.

"Indeed." Replied Teal'c. "Goa'uld ships and cities are covered in wards to prevent incursion from unfriendly armies to prevent a warrior of Sun or Snow from sinking a blade in the Goa'uld Lord's back while he sleeps."

"Wait - you're telling me that there's a reason for the Snakehead ships to have all that damn writing on the walls beyond stroking the ego of whichever jerk is in charge?" O'Neill squinted his eyes, opening his jaw slightly in incredulity. "Seriously? They're anti-fairy force-fields?"

"The concept of protective wards are hardly new, Jack." Daniel replied. "Presumably there is some sort of underlying technology in play beyond the words themselves - I mean it's not really magic, but I could see them incorporating some special precaution against an enemy with a technology they can't replicate but can thwart."

"It is with that aim that all Jaffa armies are trained, Doctor Jackson." Teal'c nodded. "It is no accident that we continue to wear the ceremonial armor and wield the staff weapons of our forefathers. A strike from a Goa'uld staff is enough to unmake a warrior of the Demon Queens - or so they say."

"Humm." The Colonel chewed his lip in thought, nodding his head once. "The snakes are smarter than I gave them credit."

"Jack?" Daniel Jackson queried.

"We've been operating under the assumption that the Jaffa haven't adopted the tactics of modern warfare because the Goa'uld choose to keep their slaves unsophisticated enough that they don't have to modernize. It's one of the reasons we've been able to win as much as we have, the only time Jaffa normally see a modern army on the battlefield is after they've pulverized it into submission with orbital bombardment. A staff weapon is basically useless against a sniper rifle." Jack clicked his tongue against his teeth. "But if the SOB you're fighting can just appear in front of you, he doesn't need to use a sniper rifle. Heck, I don't even know if a rifle would be particularly useful."

"Indeed." Teal'c replied. "If the legends are true, the creatures of Sun and Snow are especially fond of using their own teeth and claws to seek a man's heart's blood."

Daniel gagged a bit. "Well, that's a special kind of awful."

"Fear not Daniel Jackson, for though I know little of their true nature, the weaknesses of the monsters are known by even the youngest of Jaffa children. We carry their bane with us at all times," Teal'c pulled an ingot from his pocket and handed it to the Doctor. "We will not be caught unaware."

The doctor rolled the ingot between his fingers for a moment before it clicked in his head. "You're kidding me right?"

"I make no attempt at Humor, Daniel Jackson. To even touch the demonbane causes their ilk great pain - a wound from it will cause a horrible death." Teal'c's grin grew predatory, thousands of years of Jaffa instinct thundering in his ears at the prospect of unmaking the ancient foe of the Jaffa. As much as the Jaffa feared the Shide, any Jaffa warrior worth his salt dreamed of killing the beasts.

"Daniel?" The Colonel prompted.

"Jack." The doctor replied.

The Colonel stared at the doctor for a moment, waiting for an explanation. Daniel Jackson, realizing the meaning of his superior officer's crossed arms and sigh of exasperation, spoke. "Oh, uh - it's iron. The old Germanic and Celtic legends about fairies said that they're especially weak to iron - which I guess explains a lot about Goa'uld technology. Basically everything is made out of a ferrous combination of Naquadah."

"... Are you seriously telling me that the kryptonite to this new big bad is cheap, easily accessible and already weaponized?" The Colonel smirked. "Why can't all our enemies be this considerate?"

"Do not be lulled into complacency. Individual warriors of Demon Queens can fell entire armies." Teal'c did his best to impress upon his compatriots just how serious the situation was. "Their involvement was instrumental in repelling the Goa'uld from your world."

"Do tell." The Colonel turned to Teal'c, arching his brow in curiosity.

"O'Neill, did you not think it strange that a world of primitives was able to repel an entire armada of Goa'uld warships united beneath a Supreme System Lord?" Teal'c was once again reminded of how little his allies really knew of the history of their world - of how much they'd lost. "You have seen the havoc that a single System Lord may unleash upon a planet with but one Ha'tak. Ra had access to millions."

"I'd assumed that the infighting of the Goa'uld was what kept them away." Dr. Jackson replied.

"For a planet that shamed the King of Gods by defeating him in battle? Hardly." Teal'c shook his head. "No, Daniel Jackson, the Goa'uld abandoned Tau'ri for one reason and one reason alone - they did not believe they could win another conflict with the planet."

"They didn't believe that they could beat warriors using bronze age weaponry?" Daniel replied, apparently realizing how absurd that sounded. "Oh! The didn't believe that they could beat their allies."

"In part - Earth was once home to a number of apparently now extinct species who had been a thorn in the System Lord's side for millennia before that." Teal'c shrugged. "Though I see no sign that they've continued to survive into modernity."

"Species such as?" O'Neill queried.

"The Hok'tar - wizards in the modern tongue. Powerful humans possessed of abilities beyond those of a normal man." Teal'c replied. "And various near-human creatures which the Jaffa did their best to purge."

"Wizards..." The Colonel sighed deeply. "Well sure why the heck not - we're already dealing with fairy armies, why not add in Merlin for kicks."

"There are certainly plenty of historic accounts to support the possibility that someone with unusual powers might have existed in the past, Jack." Daniel cleaned his glasses with the front of his shirt. "It's not that impossible to believe that someone with abilities beyond a bronze age person's ability to explain would have been explained away as magic."

"Daniel, do not make me go in to the General and tell him that the only reason we haven't been bombed into the stone age is that the Snakes have an overwhelming fear of an ancient agreement between Wizards and Fairies to kick them in the balls." The Colonel pleaded.

"If it makes you feel any better I could be the one to do it." The Archeologist proposed.

The Colonel shook his head, gritting his teeth and squinting his eyes. "No, Daniel, it has to be me - it's my job. But you two are coming with me so I don't end up getting looked over by Doctor Frasier once this is all over."

Daniel's reply was cut off with the sound of an alert klaxon, "Warning, intruder in the infirmary. Warning intruder in the infirmary..." The voice of Siler shouted over the intercom.

"Are not the former slaves of Dre'su'den undergoing medical examinations?" Teal'c queried as he reached for the staff weapon laying on his bed.

"Sam!" Colonel O'Neill barked in alarm as he looked over his shoulder. "She took the girl to to Dr. Fraiser!"

The three said nary a word as they rushed towards the infirmary, determined to protect the fourth member of SG-1.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2015-03-30 06:10pm

This is getting good. :)
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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2015-04-01 11:38pm

As the Chief Medical Officer of Stargate Command, Dr. Fraiser was, for all intents and purposes, the one and only person who could reasonably claim to the the planet’s greatest expert on xenobiology, offworld maladies and extraterrestrial triage. In three years she’d seen a range of infections, viruses, and injures that would probably make her famous once her case files were declassified and disseminated to her peers.

For all her attempts to run a sophisticated surgery, the truth was that so much of what she encountered in her practice was either undocumented or impossible to properly treat within as short a time frame as she was allowed to operate within. Try as she might to keep the SG teams isolated by quarantine procedures and inoculations, there would always be situations beyond her ability to properly prepare.

The sudden and unexpected arrival of fifty emancipated Goa’uld slaves, for example, was not something she was immediately ready to handle. She was understaffed at the moment, with only SG-6 offworld running an extremely low risk mission on P3X-118 it hadn’t seemed especially pressing to have the full contingent of doctors and nurses on call for a Sunday morning.

She should really know better by now. Stargate Command always found a way to keep a doctor busy.

“No, no we do not drink that!” Janet pulled the glass of bright blue liquid from the woman’s hands. “That’s for sterilizing surgical instruments.”

The young woman pouted, crossing her arms over an extremely bare, tattoo covered chest. Janet wished her command of the Goa’uld language was better - so far all she’d managed to suss out of the girl was that she had no intention of putting on the surgical robe she’d been provided. Well, that and the fact that she was utterly disgusted at those refugees who’d chosen to leave the protection of their “god.”

They’d been forced to isolate her from the other refugees upon discovering that she wasn’t “defecting” so much as she’d decided to become Earth’s first “pro-goa’uld missionary.” Nothing good would come of letting her guilt trip the defectors or interfere with the already herculean task of administering medical treatment to people who still believed that disease was caused by foul odors.

On the bright side, the concept of indoor plumbing was not totally alien to this group of refugees. Stargate Command hadn’t always been so lucky when it came to picking up strays. On a particularly bad week, she’d been forced to teach some remarkably primitive humans about why the bedpan was preferable to the corner via mime.

“Ok, just sit down on the bed for me.” Janet coaxed the woman into a sitting position. “Kree mok. Just wait, ok? Wait.” The Doctor held up her gloved hands placatingly. “Your tests are negative for anything invasive and I gave you the inoculation, but I can’t just have you wandering around the base like that.”

The dark skinned woman replied in her native tongue, smiling in a relatively friendly manner as she let loose the incomprehensible string of syllables. She shifted on the bed, crossing her legs in such a way that made the silver bells jingle from where they hung on an elaborate lacework of gold chains looped through scandalous piercings.

“Just, please, put on the dress.” Janet sighed, pulling the privacy curtain in front of her bed. “It’s too early and too cold to be dealing with this malarkey.”

She’d have to see about having an airwoman assigned to escort the priestess around base. The staff of the SGC had extensive background checks and psychological tests to ensure that their servicemen behaved themselves, but men were still men, the military was still an old boy’s club and a naked woman wandering around a military base would soon be the focus of unwanted attention.

She put the priestess’ chart on her desk and sat down to compose an email to Dr. Jackson about putting together some sort of generic primer that they could use for these sorts of situations, when a knock came at the door.

“Come in.” Janet looked over her shoulder as the door opened, revealing Major Carter and a teenage girl Janet had never seen before. The teenager was wearing a coat much too large for her, with “Colonel Makepeace” velcroed upon it’s front.

“Captain Frasier,” Sam beamed at her. “Sorry to bother you, but apparently Thor left us one more for you to have a look at.”

“Yes, of course - the one you found on the cargo ship.” Janet nodded, standing up and concealing her yawn behind the back of her hand. “Oh, excuse me. It’s been a long day.” She waved the pair over to an open bed. “We can take care of this in a moment.”

Samantha led the teenage girl over to the bed. It took a bit of effort to coax the alien into letting go of the Major, and even more to climb up onto the bed. She hissed and howled in a language even stranger than the Goa’uld tongue, examining her with cat-like golden eyes.

“That is interesting.” Janet said, watching the way her penlight flared off the girl’s eyes. The girl hissed in irritation, baring a mouth with highly pronounced canines. “There are a number of distinctly non-human biological oddities to her.”

“But is she ok?” The Major asked in a voice of sincere concern.

“I don’t know. I need her to take off the jacket so that I can examine her.” Janet reached for the girl’s buttons, flinching back as the snarling girl growled at her - baring her fangs. “Woah!”

Sam reached out to hold the girl’s hand, whispering soothing noises at her. “It’s ok sweetie, she wants to help. She just wants to help.”

The girl’s growl reduced to a low purr, as she eyed Janet suspiciously - clutching her coat shut with the hand not linked with the Major. She spoke again in her guttural tongue, clearly pleading with Sam not to be here talking with Janet.

“Major, could you please remove your shirt.” Janet asked on an impulse.

“What?” Sam looked up in confusion.

“She clearly trusts you. Perhaps if you demonstrate that there’s nothing to fear, then I’ll be able to proceed.” Janet clarified. “She doesn’t seem to speak Goa’uld, so I’m not sure how else we’re going to get her to understand what we’re doing.”

The Major looked at the clearly terrified girl, exhaled sharply from her nostrils and nodded. She let go of the girl’s hand and undid the buttons of her shirt - exposing the floral print bra underneath. She put the shirt down on the bed and smiled at the girl as Janet pretended to examine Sam, putting the stethoscope up to her chest and gently pressing on the majors torso to check for injuries.

Sam kept eye contact with the girl as Janet completed her examination, continuing to speak with her. “See - nothing to worry about. Janet is a friend.”

The teenager, wary but apparently placated, allowed Janet to remove the coat and examine her body. The doctor gasped in horror at the mess of cruel scars and burns across the young girl’s body. Having been beaten and likely tortured at some point left a haphazard pattern of scars up and down her entire body, some old enough that they’d probably been done to her as an infant.

Tears welled in Janet’s eyes as she reached out to the two most recent injuries, a pair of nasty looking gashes along the girl’s back. Some sick son of a bitch had actually flensed a teenage girl then cauterized the wounds to prevent her from bleeding out. “Oh sweetheart… who did this to you?”

“I had no idea it was this bad,” Sam blanched, clearly horrified. “I didn’t get a good look at her in the ship. If I’d realized her injuries were recent enough not to have totally healed over…”

“Then you’d have done the same thing and taken her straight to me.” Janet cut in over Sam’s worried voice, plastering a fake smile across her face and talking in the happiest voice she could manage. “For now the best thing you can do for her is to not get her agitated. We don’t want her to reopen those wounds.”

“Why are you talking like that?” Sam queried.

“Because she can’t understand what we’re saying but she can understand how we say it. So, for the moment you and I are just thrilled and not worried in the slightest about these clearly infected sections of skin. If I’m going to treat her I need her to be calm.” Janet continued her chipper tone. “So get happy. That’s an order Major.”

“It’s very hard to be happy while I’m this angry Captain.” Sam said through a forced smile.

“Just imagine that you’re shooting the one who did this to her.” Janet replied. “That perks me up whenever I think about Nirrti.”

The wounds were bad. Not bad enough that they’d need to be debrided, but bad enough that she’d want to get the girl on a cycle of topical antibiotics - assuming, of course, that she was human. “I’m going to need to take a blood sample so that I can determine the best course of treatment and decide if both she, and you, need to be kept in quarantine.”

“Me?” Sam replied.

“Yes, you.” Dr. Fraiser answered. “If she’s carrying anything infectious, you’ve almost certianly been exposed by now. So both of you need to get tested.”

Janet pulled a hypodermic needle from the table but froze at the horrible growl from the teenage girl at the sight of the surgical tool. Electing to go with what had worked so far, she looked at the Major. “You first, Major.”

Sam winced slightly as the needle pierced her skin, crimson liquid filling the glass phial. The teenager watched this with rapt attention, sniffing at the air. Janet held up the blood sample for the girl to see as she marked it with a felt tipped marker. After tossing the needle into a biohazard disposal and getting sterile one from the cabinet, she then took a sample from her own arm and, once again, marked it with a felt-tipped marker in plain view of the teenager. Once again she disposed of the needle and found a sterile one.

The girl was fascinated, tilting her head left and right to watch the phails as Janet held them out to her. “See, there’s nothing to it.”

She let the girl hold the phials, distracting her as she drew blood from her arm. The teenager hardly seemed to notice as she filled a container with her vial fluids. Surprisingly warm to the touch, the glass container of the girl’s blood slipped easily into Janet’s centrifuge as she disposed of the needle.
It was when Sam shouted “Doctor!” that Janet realized something was wrong, but by the time she turned on her heel it was already too late. The teenager had removed the rubber stoppers from both phials and drank their contents in a single gulp.

Janet swore, rooting around in her cabinet for a monogastric as something impossible happened. The girl changed before her very eyes. Convulsing upon the table, the teenager’s leg’s lengthened, her hair grew fairer, and her features grew kinder. Whereas she’d been exotic looking and wild only moments ago, she took on an all too familiar aspect. By the time Janet got over to the bed to check her vitals, her eyes had shifted from golden to blue and her fangs had become pearly white teeth.

“What was that?” Sam, asked, looking from the teenager, to Janet, and back.

“I have no idea.” Janet replied, shining her pen-light into an all too human set of blue eyes. “If I had to guess, I’d say that she used our blood to affect some sort of metamorphosis.”

“Holy Hannah,” Sam’s eyes bugged. “I - I don’t even - “

The priestess of Dre’su’den moved from where she’d apparently been peeking around the curtain as the teenager’s eyes closed. The process apparently causing the girl to pass out in exhaustion. Paying no heed to Janet’s cry of, “Wait!” the priestess rushed over to the girl and chatted animatedly in Goa’uld.

“Get out of here,” Janet fumed, walking around the table to forcibly eject the priestess if need be - only to have Sam reach out her arm and stop her.

“Captain, she claims to know what’s happening.” Sam interjected.

“Don’t tell me. It’s the will of Dre’su’den?” Janet asked.

“No.” Sam bit her lip. “Ugh - my Goa’uld is nowhere near as good as Daniel’s. I think she’s calling it ‘blood sorcery.”

Janet arched an eyebrow incredulously.

“No, hear me out on this Janet.” Sam said. “The Goa’uld always call their technology sorcery or magic. Something clearly just happened. I want to know what she knows about this.”

“I’m not having some voodoo bimbo doll out new age nonsense.” Janet replied angrily as she took another sample of Sams’ blood.

“She seems to think that the girl just offered us some sort of really important thing.” Sam shook her head. “I don’t know what but she’s convinced that it’s a good omen - ” the major paused, her shock wearing off enough for her to actually break eye contact examine the priestess’ garb rather than her words, “Janet who is this woman?”

“A priestess of one of the Goa’uld who surrendered to us,” Janet replied, somewhat enjoying the look of utter bafflement on the Major’s face.

“Why is she naked?” Sam asked.

“Because the Lord Warden is an insecure man-child, I’d suppose.” Janet replied. “Clothing is apparently against the rules for his clergy.”
The Major’s lip curled in disgust as she turned to Janet. “That’s barbaric.”

The priestess jingled with the twilkining song of silver bells as she shifted on her feet, stretching out the pattern of tattoos and piercings as she said some sort of sing-song prayer in celebration of the event. It felt distinctly less holy and distinctly more burlesque than that for which Janet would have cared.

Sam, suddenly ashamed of her own state of relative disrobe, grabbed her shirt off the bed and hurriedly buttoned it back up. “I swear - no matter what I do, where I go in the galaxy, there is always some male jerk in power determined to turn women into objects.”

“I’m right there with you,” Janet raised her hands placatingly before covering the naked teen with a blanket to keep her warm.

The priestess just smiled at the two of them, apparently happy to just be part of things. Just as Janet was considering the possibility of asking Sam to broach the subject of pants to her patient, the voice of Siler came over the intercom repeating the phrase “Warning, intruder in the Infirmary.” over and over again as klaxon wailed.

Janet, suddenly aware that neither she nor Major carter was currently armed, looked over in horror as an utterly unfamiliar face burst through the door. The massive man grabbed a book stack full of medical reference books, toppling it over to serve as a barricade. Dark skinned and furious, he swore angrily in Russian as he fitted a magazine into his Kalashnikov.

He stopped his vulgar tirade upon realizing that he wasn’t alone in the room, raising a hand from the trigger of his gun in a gesture of good-will. He spoke calmly, his deep voice flavored with the oddities of a Soviet educated speaker of English. “I mean you no harm, da? I’m just here to help with your problem - then I can go.”

The Marines would be here soon, Janet told herself. Just stay calm and the marines would be here to save them.

“I am not your enemy,” He over pronounced the final world, adding an “eh” sound where none belonged as he looked around the room, searching for another exit. He would find none, Janet knew all too well that the only exit would be through the door behind him. “But I find myself very much interested in becoming your friend.”

He arched an eyebrow in interest at the Goa’uld priestess, asking “Is this some sort of Air Force thing I’m not aware of? Because if it is, I now understand how you won the Cold War. The Russian military does not have even half as entertaining a set of uniforms.”

Janet’s eye twitched in irritation but she said nothing.

“You didn’t have that gun loaded when you came in, did you?” Sam asked, addressing the invader.

“Nyet.” The man admitted. “I did not think guns would be necessary or that I would be discovered. I’m not usually noticed while doing my job.”

“I don’t know who you are or why you’re here, but your only hope is to surrender.” Major Carter moved, putting herself between the Russian and the bedridden teen. “Your best case scenario at this point is to surrender before this escalates and someone dies.”

“Da, perhaps.” The man smiled roguishly. “Perhaps I die - but I think not. Things have a way of working out in my favor.”

The Russian man’s infectious optimism about facing the entirety of Cheyenne Mountain's security forces was deeply unnerving. Was the man actually unhinged? “Please don’t hurt my patients. They’ve done nothing to you.”

The man waved it off as though he weren’t a gun toting madman who’d snuck into a secure facility. “I do not harm the innocent. It is not my mission.”

“What is your mission?” Janet asked, slowly edging towards her desk. Perhaps if she got a sedative out of the top drawer she’d be able to disable him?

“I am obeying the will of the one true God, if you believe in such things. Angels and the like...” The man chewed his lip nervously as the sound of boots thundered down the hallway. The Marines were breaching wards of the infirmary one by one, looking for the intruder. “I felt the call, so here I am.”

Janet froze as he shot her a look and spat out a forceful string of commands, “You will stay away from that cabinet, da? I do not want to hurt you, but I can not let myself be allowed to fail. It is too important that I accomplish my mission. So stop.”
The Priestess stopped smiling, apparently realising the very real danger she was in. She couldn’t possibly recognize the kalashnikov, but the saber strapped to the man’s back was all too familiar. She said something distinctly uncharitable, shifting her posture slightly into a fighting stance.

“I don’t suppose you’re going to tell us what God wants you to do?” Sam queried acerbically.

“I would, but he is not so clear as to outright say.” He chambered a round as the sounds of Marines grew ever closer. “It’s more of a ‘be here till it becomes obvious why I sent you’ sort of thing. All things considered, I find his methods unnecessarily obtuse.”

“You don’t have to do this.” Sam said, as the door shook behind the man’s book-shelf blockade from the force of Marines hitting it with a battering ram. “Surrender to me and I promise that you’ll be well treated.”

The man lowered his rifle and started to say, “Da, I do not wish to spill the blood of the innocent. I surr-” when the priestess, seeing that the surrendering man’s guard was down, sprung across the room with alarming speed - lashing out at the man’s face with her fists. The astonished Russian batted away the woman’s punches, only to have her grab his arm by the wrist and use it as a fulcrum to spun up and over the man’s shoulders - wrapping her legs around his head.

Entirely unprepared for the naked woman’s furious assault, the man hardly had time to yell “Chto?” before the woman smacked beneath his ears with the blade of her palms hard enough to render him unconscious. He collapsed into a heap as she rolled back, landing with cat-like grace. She’d lost a couple piercings in the process, leaving the spots where she’d previously had them to bleed freely.

The marines broke through the door, storming into the room as the priestess kicked the unconscious russian for good measure.

Janet sighed, wiping her brow with her sleeve as she turned to the priestess. “Thanks.”

The priestess said something in Goa’uld that sounded like it might have been “you’re welcome,” as Sam pulled the Kalashnikov and Saber from the man’s unconscious body - ordering the Marines to take him to the brig. She pulled the magazine from the gun and removed the remaining bullet from the chamber, whistling softly. “That was a close one.”

“Carter!” Shouted Colonel O’Neill as he squeezed past the Marines and their prisoner. “Are you ok?”

“Yes sir.” The Major replied, nodding to her other two team-mates as they entered. “The priestess dealt with the Russian.”

“Russian?” The Colonel said the word like the foulest of epithets. “That guy was a Russian?”

“Is not Russia one of the major powers of this planet O’Neill?” Teal’c queried. “One the SGC goes to great pains to ensure remains unaware of the Stargate?”

“Ohhh yeah.” Colonel O’Neill snarled in fury. “And when I find who let the cat out of the bag, I’m gonna have words with them. Strong words. Am I right Daniel?”

He looked over when his companion did not reply, “Daniel?”

“Uh huh…” Doctor Jackson replied, eyes focused upon the sword casing in Sam’s hands. “Sure Jack.”

“Daniel?” The Colonel sighed.

“Yes Jack?” Daniel Jackson looked up.

“You’re doing it again.” The Colonel shook his head in exasperation.

“Doing what?” The archeologist asked.

“Leaving the world of the living to enter the land of all things dusty and long dead. It’s that thing you always do before talking my ear off about some ancient doodad.” The Colonel rolled his eyes.

“Oh,” Daniel blushed. “It’s just - that sword is very interesting. May I see it?”

“Sure.” Sam handed it over. “It was his.”

“Fascinating.” Daniel examined the elaborate sword case, tugging experimentally at the hilt. The blade stayed firmly in place. “Huh - it’s stuck shut. I wonder why he’d bother bringing a sword that he couldn’t use?”

The Colonel snorted. “He’s Russian, Daniel, who the hell knows why they do anything?”

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2015-04-02 02:50pm


You brought a Knight of the Cross into it. In fact, you brought Sanya into this. Which means there's probably a damned Denariian there somewhere, probably the girl you just rescued
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.
"A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" -- Leonard Nimoy, last Tweet

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2016-08-28 04:13pm

"You're brooding," Commented Kanan's host Ban as Kanan idly tapped their finger upon the desk.

"I'm thinking," Kanan replied. "There's a difference."

"We're in a room that's easily nicer than any house I've ever lived in, and you're wasting our time sitting on this chair, staring at the wall." Ban snorted. "And they called this place a prison."

Kanan actually doubted that the room they'd led him to was actually part of the building's prison structure. He knew enough of the Tau'ri's language to recognize the words "Distinguished Visitor" on the placard next to the door. More likely the Tau'ri had decided that it was as easy to confine him to a comfortable room as it would have been to confine him to any cell.

Most cells he'd seen did not include a refrigerated machine full of drinks.

"Don't grow complacent Ban. We're not staying." Kanan pulled a glass bottle from the machine and fiddled with the metal fastening over the top. It's crinkling metal stood fast against his thumb, digging in to the flesh before popping off. He suspected that there was a simpler way of removing the bit of metal, unagumented humans would not be able to negotiate that particular feat of strength.

Ban whistled their lips in enjoyment after taking a swig of the beverage. It was sweet, with a bit of fizz to it that Kanan usually associated with alcohol – though it had neither the bite or burn of anything alcoholic. "You sure about that?"

"Most decidedly." Kanan was not overly fond of the people of the First World. He had nothing against them, to be sure – not like some Tok'ra, but he found them so infuriatingly hurried in their thinking. Humans were short lived compared to the other species of the galaxy – even among the slave races of the Goa'uld. They would, at best, live some four score and ten years before expiring. Little more than a blip upon history and yet they insisted upon seeing the work of generations happen in mere moments.

He did not resent them for that – he pitied them. They were so limited in their vision of what could be that they limited their choices to what would bring them the greatest benefit in their life time, often at the sacrifice of a greater benefit beyond their simple person.

Perspective was one of the burdens one bore as a host to a Tok'ra. You were shown the memories of dozens, perhaps hundreds of lives before your own. You felt their struggles and passions as though they were your own, and you learned caution from their failings. The Tok'ra would have to incrementally introduce their host to such memories, of course. It could be overwhelming to be exposed to one's insignificance.

This was not to say that the Tok'ra were greater than their hosts, merely more seasoned. The oldest and wisest of mankind would be a child in the eyes of a Tok'ra. The youngest of their number could comfortably measure their age in centuries. Supposedly the Hok'tar had greater wisdom than their moral compatriots, but he only knew of the Hok'tar in the vaugest of terms. The Mother of All did not split away from her bloodline to form the Tok'ra till long after the Goa'uld abandoned the first world to the monsters and she'd been stingy in sharing the memories of the Great War.

The humans of the First World lacked perspective even by the standards of their own world. They were a primitive empire at the height of their power, conquerors of all enemies who'd been put in front of them. But they were young, so very young. They charged headlong into situations they knew nothing about and simply forced their way through them because it wouldn't even begin to occur to them to do it any other way. That they were possessed of a near religious conviction in their own moral obligation to involve themselves in ensuring the free will of the other races in the galaxy did little to ameliorate that gung-ho attitude.

The very room they were in exemplified the problems of the First World. It was an ugly gray space, boxy and utilitarian. The furniture was all mass produced, interchangeable blocks of processed wood and metal fastened together as cheaply as could be managed. It fulfilled its function, but would likely only last a few years before basic use destroyed it and forced them to make a replacement. It was a temporary solution to a permanent problem, solved with the simplest and most readily available items rather than taking the time and resources to resolve the matter properly.

They were allies in a war of which they only understood the surface. The Goa'uld were not gods, not true gods like some of the powers in the universe, but they did fulfill various necessary functions that could not easily be replaced without prior planning. One could not simply destroy the bureaucracy of the System Lords without leaving some duty of the System Lords unattended and risk unleashing one of the Unspeakable.

It had been a nightmare locating and controlling the strongholds of Ra after his demise. They'd been forced to leak the locations of numerous fortress worlds and cache of forbidden knowledge to the System Lords simply to avoid risking that they end up monitored and unguarded in his absence. Ra had been wise enough to bind the unspeakable in magics that would persist after his death, but Kanan doubted all the Goa'uld shared his wisdom.

Planning for the destruction of a System Lord required centuries of planning just to locate his secret places and hidden runes, let alone to be able to bind those creatures who he kept in submission. One did not just kill a Goa'uld else they risked dooming entire planets to those whose names should never be spoken.

Every choice, every action, every single moment of a Tok'ra's life from birth till death was taken with the utter and absolute conviction that they would never speak aloud of the Unspeakable. There was no need. Egeria had gifted them with the knowledge in their genetic memory so that nothing ever need be spoke aloud.

It was infuriating. The destruction of the Goa'uld and the consignment of the Unspeakable to oblivion was the sincere goal of the Tok'ra, but their allies in the former were entirely oblivious to the latter. And there was no way to explain the specific dangers of the Unspeakable without risking that the humans of the First World might actually summon one of them. The very purpose of the Tok'ra's hidden war upon the Unspeakable was to leave them unspeakable. Forgotten monsters could only exert a limited degree of power upon the galaxy.

He couldn't even blame their haste. Absent the knowledge of the Unspeakable, the glacial pace of the Tok'ra would seem like pointless dithering. But the Unspeakable were very real, very dangerous, and a hazard to all life in the galaxy if allowed to run free. If the people of the First World were allowed to continue their pattern of haphazardly slaying the pantheons they might well doom all life in the process.

"Come on, they're not that bad." Ban laughed. "All you need to do is direct them to better targets. Ba'al, Quetesh – the ones who don't have a cache of …" Ban choked as Kanan forced his vocal chords to restrict.

"Don't you dare. Not here, not while someone might be listening." Kanan thought at his host. "If you must refer to them, do so without words. Even speaking about them gives them greater hold in the material realms. The Unspeakable cannot be killed, but they can be forgotten."

"I hate it when you do that." Ban replied in irritation. "It doesn't exactly scream 'free will' to me."

"Better to harm you than to destroy the secret." Kanan shuddered. "We must never relive the folly of Thoth."

Kanan put the spent bottle on the room's modest table, turning idly to the door as it opened. He was expecting the dark-skinned man in the uniform of the first world's military who'd visited twice since he arrived with a plate of satisfying, if uninventive, food and a large bottle of water. He was instead greeted instead by the balding figure of Selmak's most recent host – a first world native if memory served. He would have been indistinguishable from any native of the First World if not for the sword strapped to his waist.

"Kanan I presume," Spoke Selmak in the language of the Tok'ra. "Have you spoken to mother recently?"

"I have the pleasure." Replied Kanan in kind, recognizing the password. "Only in my dreams."

"It is good to see you Kanan. I thought your part of the plan was to kill Heka and take his place when he got to Delmak." Selmak queried, "How did he elude you?"

"He deviated from the route, taking a ring transport rather than the supplicant's path." Kanan replied sourly. "My team was ready to stun him and slay the Jaffa when we got the message that he'd already made it to the throne room. I could not allow their meeting to continue and risk Sokar gaining spellwork from Heka. I sent my team back off world and attempted to end their pact."

"A shame, after the upheval of Sokar's death none of the System Lords would have questioned Heka's self-imposed exile. We could easily have raided his libraries to find the knowledge we lack." Access to the private library of Heka wouldn't have been a boon – it would have been a coup. The god of magic had, for all intents and purposes, invented the sorcery of the Goa'uld back in the times before Thoth's Folly and the Great War. The Rw within the library reportedly contained all number of forbidden and impossible things, not the least of which was a supposed map of all the fortress worlds upon which the Unspeakable were trapped. They were not easily located or reached – invariably they would be placed upon worlds without easy access to either the gate network or the intricate paths of the Furling Empire. "He does not seem to have been overly offended by your attempt on his life though."

"The Corruption has taken hold of his mind." Kanan replied. "We have no way of knowing how old Heka even is and he's been practically living out of his Sarcophagus for the better part of a Millennium. The man has actively started dealing with the Queen of Winter."

"Heka?" Selmak replied, incredulous.

"It seems impossible but I assure you it is true." Kanan replied. "He who forcibly took the Winter Lady at the Battle of Djer's Lament has been not only seen in her mother's company, but her employ."

"And the Furling Queen's Offspring tolerates this?" Selmak queried.

"She would not openly defy her Queen. Not while he's useful." Kanan shook his head. "No – there is some greater plan in the works. And I like it not one bit."

A loud klaxon sounded, echoing though the hollowed mountain as a voice spoke monotonously in the language of the first world. Kanan flinched, "What is that?"

"It's nothing," Replied Selmak's host. "SG-6 is going on a mission ahead of schedule. Their time table got moved up in light of today's events. The General wants to finish all planned missions for this week so that next week's schedule can focus around their new ship."

"That ship is doubtlessly a trap." Kanan sighed. "You know as well as I that the Goa'uld do not provide anything out of the good of their hearts."

"Obviously, but I can not guess what game he is playing at. He legally provided them with the ship under the term of the Protected Planets Treaty in such a way that it can't be a ploy to force war with the Asgard." Selmak mused, "It just leaves too many unanswered questions."

"Questions like, 'when are we getting out of the room you've had us in for hours?' and 'Why the hell did it take you so long to visit?" Jibed Ban. "I mean, I understand the need for deliberation but how long can it take to confer with the High Council?"

"The Council was using more relay stations that they usually do. They've apparently enacted full containment protocols on data flows." Selmak's host replied. "The Goa'uld have gone into all-out civil war. We've lost even general S.A. into the galaxy at large. By all accounts Heka's system has just disappeared."

"Disappeared?" Kanan blinked. "How does a system disappear?"

"The gates no longer connect to anything, our probes aren't transmitting, and the ship we tried to send to that sector of space somehow finds itself light-years off course whenever it attempts to exit hyperspace within one of Heka's holdings." The host replied. "I don't mean a little bit off course either, I mean that the laws of physics have just decided not to apply to his system."

"What could do that?" Asked Kanan, his mind racing to the obvious choice. "The Queens have great power over the immaterial but their ability to act in our world is limited by their bargains. That is the rule. What could Dre'su'den offer them that would be valuable enough to merit protecting an entire star system?"

"I dare not guess." Selmak replied. "If he has, in truth, acquired a Hok'tar with the consent of the Furlings to use it as they were once used, we have really no way of knowing what he can offer her."

"That's absurd – he most decidedly has a Hok'tar host but there is no way that the Queens would ever consent to removing the limitations upon our kind. They do not forgive." Nor should they, not for the crime of aiding the Unspeakable. "The Winter Queen has found a new toy, nothing more. He is as trapped by their curse as any."

"I would not presume to know the mind of a Furling." Selmak politely disagreed. "But I know that they do not easily abandon power and they are prone to cruel jokes that tear the galaxy asunder. Or have you forgotten mother's mistake?"

Kanan chewed his lip in irritation. Periodically a Goa'uld was foolish or desperate enough to summon a Furling in an effort to forge a bargain. It never ended well for the Goa'uld.

Egeria has been one such fool. She'd summoned the Lady of Summer and bargained with her for the "knowledge most dangerous for a Goa'uld to gain" in exchange for artifacts of the Gate Builders. The Summer Lady took the artifacts and granted her knowledge both great and terrible to behold. Egeria had been hoping to get spells or weapons, she was given a knowledge altogether more terrible. Introspection, the Summer Lady forced the Goa'uld Queen to behold the sum total of her life's action in concert with with the suffering she inflicted upon the world around her. Forced to absorb the magnitude of her own cruelty, Egeria formed the Tok'ra.

Suffice it to say, the Tok'ra's feelings about the Furlings were mixed at best. Their very existence was the byproduct of a Furling curse upon their mother, and none of them were ever entirely convinced that a Furling wasn't about to swoop down and rob them all of their introspection in some equally capricious joke. Better to just avoid them entirely.

Selmak opened his mouth as though he were about to say something, stopping to look at a patch of shadow behind Kanan. "Kanan. Is there a lamp behind me?"

"No." Replied Kanan, pointing up at the ceiling. "Only the overhead lamp."

"That's very bad."Selmak replied in a voice of forced calm. "We need to run. We need to run now."

"Why?" Kanan asked his elder in confusion.

"Because that shadow isn't being cast by anything in this room." Selmak replied, reaching for the door handle.

He shouted as the shadow detached from the wall, rocketing across the room with a feline roar. The light fixture flickered with the expenditure of ambient magic as the predator smacked Selmak over the bed with back-handed swipe of its massive paw. He fell to the ground, knocked unconscious. Kanan screamed as he caught a glimpse of golden eyes and a white patch across the creature's belly as the Malk's shadow spread out across the room, seeming to consume every surface within it.

The guards at the door burst in at Kanan's scream, only to have the beast grab them in its claws and toss them to the ground, savaging them with his great, fanged maw. The door slammed shut, moved by some unseen power – trapping Kanan in the room with the leonine monster.

His eyes darted to the solder's waist, hoping beyond hope that he would be able to reach the man's steel blade before the Furling managed to gut him. An act that amused the creature greatly. It spoke, its voice forming words in the language of the Tok'ra with an abrupt harshness incongruous with its feline continence, "You are welcome to try, child of the Fool Queen, but I assure you I am faster. And it would be a shame to force me to kill you before I have learned what I wish to know of you."

"Cat Sith." Kanan spoke the predator's name with almost reverent fear. The Furling Cat Sith was why Goa'uld feared the dark, a fear that nature alone had never granted them.

"I am he," Purred the nightmare. "And you are one who reeks of my ancient prey."

"I was with the Devourer for a time, yes. But I am no ally of the monster." The feud between Ammit and Cat Sith was beyond legendary. The great Malk had killed whole armies for a chance to kill the goddess only to find himself bested by the woman's guile, time and time again. "How are you even here? I thought the Furlings could not enter a place uninvited."

"This is no residence. It has no threshold to bar me." Cat Sith smiled a Cheshire grin. "Tell me child. And answer truthfully. I will kill you if you do not. Do you fear me?"

"Yes." Replied Kanan.

"Good." Replied the Malk, turning amused golden eyes to the door as soldiers of the first world beat against it – trying to force their way in to the room. "Do you know why I am here in this room?"

"To kill me." Kanan replied.

"No." Replied the Malk.

"You're not here to kill me?" Kanan blinked. "Then why?"

"I am here to protect you." Replied the Malk.

"What?" Kanan blinked in confusion.

"The Lord Warden has bargained with the Queen for protection for his people. I am here to ensure that preventable harm does not befall those who he has deemed to be under his protection." Cat Sith snarled. "As he has publicly claimed you as one of his own, you are now under my protection. And a very lucky thing that is, dear prey that you are that you will have my help."

"Why?" Kanan's voice cracked in fear.

"Because someone is coming to kill you all." Cat Sith purred. "And he'll very likely succeed even with me helping you."

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2016-08-30 01:28am


Fuck. You're really not fucking around here -- first a Knight of the Sword, now Cat Sith HIMSELF? If it's not a Dragon, then it's something about as big, to need that kind of magical firepower to beat it.
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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2016-12-02 10:43pm

Daniel Jackson was something at a loss when it came to the blade in front of him. He’d done everything in his arsenal of archeologist’s bag of tricks to cajole the sword from its scabbard and he was no closer to dislodging the blade than when he’d started the process. It was old – ancient even by the standards of the artefacts and trinkets to which he was accustomed to encountering in his line of work. That wasn’t strange in and of itself. No, what was odd was that the blade had no logical reason for being that old. It was a cavalry saber that seemed more in keeping with the early days of the French Legion’s early operations in Algeria, but what few tests he’d run on the sliver of exposed metal peeking up from the scabbard seemed more in keeping with early roman iron.

Stranger still were the obvious signs of continued use. The leather of the handle was worn and cured with oil to make it pliable beneath a man’s fingers. There were nicks and scrapes along the scabbard and hilt which seemed to be the result of battle. This was not some historical curio taken with its bearer for sentimental reasons, it was a functional weapon.

Why was a black Russian with a Colonial French North-African cavalry saber forged from pre-Christian iron keeping it in such good repair if the damn thing couldn’t be extricated from its hilt? There wasn’t a trick lever or button keeping it in place, he’d checked. And it wasn’t a simple matter of lubricating the blade either, he’d tried. A few hours of gently applying oil to the scabbard’s edge had left him with a doubtlessly well-oiled blade that had no logical reason for refusing be pulled from its sword-case.
He'd seen trick blades before of virtually every type conceivable. No Archeologist worth his salt didn’t go through an adolescent period of fixation upon ancient arms and armories – actively tracking down the strangest and most exotic tips and tricks the old world used to conceal deadly secrets. But even with his voluminous knowledge of weapons, Daniel Jackson was utterly flummoxed.

“Try tapping it on the edge of the table.” Chimed an amused voice from the door of Daniel’s office. “It always seems to work when I do it with a jar.”

Daniel rolled his eyes in exasperation and pulled off the plastic gloves he’d been using to handle the blade. “Jack, this is a historical treasure, not some disobedient condiment.”

“Your historical treasure was carried around by a man who tripped every flag when we ran his fingerprints.” Jack tapped his finger on the blade’s hilt twice before rubbing his thumb over its leather. “There are at least fifty active investigations going on in Colorado alone where his prints showed up on the scenes of unsolved crimes and he’s been a person of interest in at least two federal cases. The FBI and DOJ are already calling us up to demand we give this guy over to them – not to mention the library of Congress for God alone knows what reason. And that’s just what we’ve found in the past two hours.”

“What is he accused of?” Daniel blinked.

“I have no idea, and frankly they don’t seem to know either. This guy has no name, no passport, no social security number, no driver’s license, no money, and near as we can tell just got on the base by just wandering in.” The Colonel scowled, a muscle twitching above his left eye in near apoplectic rage. “Five hundred cameras, at least thirty check points, two doors requiring key cards, an entire mountain worth of security and yet a Russian built like a linebacker kitted out in the best weaponry the former USSR has to offer manages to just walk right in to the “most secure” base on the planet earth.”

“I’m sure it was more complex than – “ Daniel flinched as Jack cut him off.

“It was exactly as simple as that.” He slapped the table in frustration, knocking a stack of papers to the ground. Daniel swore and reached down to collect his notes, glaring at Jack as the man just continued into his tirade oblivious to the archeologist’s frustration. “I watched the tapes. Two hours it took him to walk in, walk across base, enter NORAD, and navigate his way into our infirmary. Somehow whenever he walked into that room was the exact moment where nobody was paying attention to what he was doing or was actively engaged in something that would prevent them from stopping him. It’s like we got invaded by Mr. Magoo. He wasn’t noticed till he started trying to get into the gate room, and even then only because he asked permission for someone to let him into the gate-room. Fourty SFs missed him. I counted. They were all so busy looking for that god damn lion that an armed Russian might as well have been invisible.”

“Jack-“ Daniel made a second attempt only to be bull rushed by the Colonel as his rant started picking up steam.

“It’s insanity.” He tossed his hands to the sky, curling his fingers before pulling at his greying hair. “Basically the only thing we train these kids to do is keep out the Russians. It’s like rule one of day one before all the other days. Don’t give anything to the Russians. Don’t tell them where you live. Don’t tell them what hours you work. Don’t let them in to what is supposedly the most secure facility in the entire world.”

“Jack!” Daniel pushed a clay artifact to the side of his desk as the Colonel punched the corner, pulverizing the point where it had been only moments ago.

“It just chaps my ass that when he says that ‘god guided his hand’ in that ridiculous ‘Moose unt Squirrel” voice like he’s spouting off a company line that even he has trouble believing that I can’t even find a hole in it without making us look like idiots. He didn’t even break stride, just kept walking through like he owned the place right up till he walked into Hammond’s office and asked what the big ring was.”

“So he’s just crazy?” Daniel queried, tapping the stack against the table edge to even out the corners. “Just some lunatic who got lucky?”

Jack scoffed. “Daniel, the day I believe that a Russian who found his way into NORAD just “got lucky” is the day you take my butt to a home to spend the rest of my days eating Jell-O and discussing the finer points of Matlock.”

“Didn’t you spend an hour eating Jell-O yesterday in the DFAC?” Daniel picked up the blade, wrapping it in brown paper to ensure it didn’t get scuffed. “Specifically because they had “more blue” out there than usual and someone had to make sure it didn’t go to waste?”

“Missing the point Daniel.” The Colonel shook his head. “You mark my words, that Russian is here for a reason to do with the Stargate. And I don’t think that even he believes that line he is spouting about being here on a mission from God. Get this – he’s an avowed atheist on a divine mission.”

Daniel pinched the bridge of his nose, pushing his wide glasses up on to his forehead as he massaged his eyelids. His lips scrunched up involuntarily as he tried to process the sheer absurdity of the situation. “He’s on a mission for a god he doesn’t believe in?”

“And we have a winner!” Colonel O’Neill sighed heavily. “I mean really. If you’re going to go with a cover story, go with a cover story that we’re going to believe for cripes sake.”

“Jack… not to put too fine of a point on it, but what if he is here on a mission from God.” Daniel raised his open palm placating as Jack inhaled in preparation of another tirade. “No, Jack – hear me out. We’ve seen extraterrestrial origins for basically every pantheon on Earth. We just found out that Dragons and Fairies have some basis in real world phenomenon. Is it so absurd that someone might be given a mission from “god” that sends them to find the Stargate?”

“What? You think there is a snake somewhere in Russia?” The Colonel blinked a couple of times. “I mean – I think we’d have noticed a Goa’uld setting up shop in St. Petersburg by now. The eyes would be a hint.”

“It wouldn’t have to be a Goa’uld. There well may be other beings who’ve interacted with the planet that we don’t know about.” Daniel offered. “We know that we’ve been visited by at least the Asgard, Goa’uld, and Furlings. Who’s to say that there haven’t been others?”

“I thought the Asgard were supposed to be stopping that from happening?” Jack whined, crossing his arms in frustration.

“Not exactly Jack. It’s a specific treaty to prevent Goa’uld incursion. And they don’t even have the manpower to enforce that.” Daniel put the wrapped blade into a steel safe, closed the door, and spun the lock – checking the handle twice to make sure the lock actuated. “The Furlings weren’t, and as far as we know have never been, stopped from coming to Earth. They may be dozens of extraterrestrial races on Earth masquerading as Gods even as we speak and we’d have no way of knowing they were even here.”

“And what? They’re going full on Men In Black on us? Hiding in plain sight?” Jack snorted. “I think we’d have noticed by now.”

“Then your lack of attention to your own people’s history is regrettable Colonel O’Neill – for they have never pretended to be anything other than what they are.” The gravely rumble of the Jaffa Teal’c was tinted with the merest hint of disapproval. “For your people’s legends on their presence and actions are most extensive.”

“Teal’c!” Daniel smiled, glad to see his team mate. “I wasn’t expecting you for another twenty minutes.”

“My apologies Doctor Jackson. My duties in securing the Priestess of Heka within her quarters were terminated early.” The dark skinned man’s lip curled in obvious disgust. “I found myself unable to be in her presence for more than was strictly mandatory.”

“Not a fan?” Colonel O’Neill said in an approving tone that was anything but a question.

“No.” The curt syllable was nearly a growl. “The woman is most disagreeable. She had the audacity to tell me that her god would approve of my decision to turn my back on Apophis.”

The Colonel paused, blinking a few times before squinting in confusion. “Run that one by me again.”

“The Warden has apparently forbidden his priesthood from interfering in the worship – or lack of worship – from his followers. There are no Shol’va in the realms of Heka.” Teal’c sighed. “The Jaffa are only judged by right and righteous action. Apophis was an unworthy god against whom Jaffa should rebel. Thus, I am validated in my crusade. She is… pleased by my worship of the Lord Warden.”

“Worship my butt.” Jack snorted. “I’ve never met anyone more dedicated to the downfall of the Goa’uld than you are.”

“My intentions seem only of peripheral relevance to her interpretation of scripture.” Teal’c sighed. “I have spoken with her god. She has not. She is quite determined to transcribe my account of our meeting to ensure that it is added to their holy scriptures. It is most annoying.”

“You got added to her religion?” Jack snorted, a bit too amused at Teal’c’s frustration than was strictly necessary.

“No, Colonel O’Neill – we all are now important figures within the faith of Nekheb.” Teal’c replied in one of the most amusing examples of “turnabout being fair play” that Daniel could remember. “Witnesses to the coming of the Trickster God.”

“But how?” Jack sputtered, obviously horrified at being added to Goa’uld scripture.

Daniel sighed, Jack wasn’t dumb by any measure but he sometimes lacked perspective. “Jack – As far as she is concerned the Lord Warden is a god. The Goa’uld with him are his pantheon. The Tok’ra are demons. We are a legendary race of mortals who strike out into the stars to literally kill gods. You and I are the mortal men who killed the King of all Gods. It stands to reason that we’d work our way into some part of the mythology.”

“Well, when you put it that way.” Jack’s chest puffed out a bit. “We have done some pretty neat stuff for a story. I’d have paid a lot more attention in Sunday school if there were passages on nuking a spaceship over Abydos.”

“It is illogical. The Goa’uld do not develop their histories to make their rivals look powerful, only those who they consider to be within their sphere of influence.” The Jaffa shook his head. “There is more at play than we are aware. Of that I am certain.”

Daniel held his tongue, it wouldn’t do any good to disagree with the Jaffa. Teal’c was likely correct that the Warden had some greater design on the priestess’ presence, but Daniel suspected that their guest’s motivations were likely as advertised. A meal between gods and demons had taken place under the watchful eyes of a rival pantheon in the fortress of mortal god-slayers. Entire religions had been formed around mythologies less founded in fact.

What few interactions he’d been privy to with the people of Nekheb indicated a complex theology and mythology that was only in its early nascence. Heka had re-invented himself within the past three days as a new member of the Goa’uld pantheon, a protector and warrior figure rather than his previous image of the Sorceror King sequestered within his tower. It was an almost entire rejection of his previous personality and motivations, up to and including the wholesale destruction of millennia of previous scripture. The priesthood of the “Lord Warden” likely didn’t know what they were supposed to do in order to please their newborn god. They had to be recording his every word for posterity in the hopes of generating holy books and guiding their flock – a fact exacerbated by the god’s apparently schizophrenic personality and wholesale disregard of apparently lethal danger.

“I liked it better when our biggest worry was tracking down that narcissus child.” Jack pinched the bridge of his nose tightly. “Find kid. Save kid. Maybe kill some snakes along the way. You know – simple.”

“Tracking down the location to which the Harsesis Child of Amonet has been spirited has proved to be anything but simple, Colonel O’Neill. Keb is most well-hidden.” Replied the Jaffa warrior.

“Yeah, yeah.” Jack pouted. “And you just know whatever it was that the Narcissus – “

“ – Harsesis –“ Corrected Daniel.

“ – Harsesis, Narcissus it’s all snake to me.” Jack shot back before continuing. “And we’re talking about a Baby right? How much of a change could a baby make?”

“A baby with all the knowledge of the Goa’uld, Jack.” Daniel sighed, tired of having the same conversation over and over again. At least once a week since they’d started seeking out the child of Sha’re they’d had to have this same talk. “It could mean the first real breakthrough we’ve had since going through the Stargate. A human who can give us everything they know, insight into how they think, why they act as they act, he may only be a baby now but as he grows up he could be vital to how we defeat the Goa’uld.”

“Daniel wont….” Jack trailed off, looking at the wall.

“Colonel O’Neill. Is all well?” Queried Teal’c.

“I could have sworn… “ The colonel looked at the lights around the room, counting them off on his fingers.

“Jaaccckk?” Daniel elongated the syllables of the Colonel’s name, the implied question of “what are you doing right now?” implied in his tone.

“It’s nothing – I just. Don’t worry about it.” The Colonel shook his head. “I’m just on edge.”

“You seemed most perplexed only moments ago Colonel O’Neill.” The Jaffa looked around the room.

“It’s nothing, really. Just a shadow.” Jack replied, shaking his head and pointing at a flickering lamp in the corner of the room. “That lamp over there must have done something to our shadows. One of Daniel’s African statues or something, it gave me the creeps. I thought there was someone else in here for a second.”

“There are only two other occupants of this room other than yourself Colonel.” He paused as a fourth person poked their head in the door. “A correction – “

“Yes, Teal’c – I can see that.” Replied the Colonel in exasperation. Teal’c could be frustratingly literal at times. “Major?”

“Sir,” Replied Samantha Carter as she entered Daniel’s office. “Am I interrupting anything?”

“Not at all Major – we were just… ruminating on our most recent Russian visitor. “ Jack replied sarcastically. “Any word on our new ship?”

“We sent up a team of Marines with the rings on the cargo ship. They’re conducting a room to room search of the vessel but it looks like the Lord Warden kept his word.” Sam replied, smiling. “And you’ll be pleased to know they did find the dragons you were talking about.”

“I told you. Big honking space guns, lots of dead dragons.” The Colonel replied. “It’s going to take some bleach and a whole lot of elbow grease to get rid of that rotting dragon smell.”

“Yes sir.” Sam smiled, placing a set of glossy 6 by 8 photos of dead dragons on Daniel’s desk. The mutilated monster’s bodies were disgorged and rent to shreds, huge hunks cut out of their bodies with a blade. But even mutilated, the corpses managed to look intimidating.

“Yeesh,” Jack whistled. “I do not envy old Dressing for having to fight off a horde of these suckers. Those claws have to be eight inches long.”

“Huh.” Daniel replied reaching in to his pocket. He pulled a handful of crumpled up bills out, counted them and handed them over to the Major. “I guess Captain Smith isn’t walking away with this one after all.”

“You bet on if I was lying or not about dragons?” Jack replied, scandalized, chewing his lip as he estimated the value of the stack. “Are those twenties?”

“No, Colonel O’Neill. The existence of Dragons was most convincingly satisfied by Asgard Thor.” Teal’c bowed conciliatorily. “The bet was, in fact, over the number of dragon corpses to be discovered on the ship.”

“Ah – well… that’s better then.” Jack replied, somewhat mollified. “How many were found?”

“Four.” Replied Sam. “Badly mutilated, but clearly Dragons.”

“Only Four?” Replied Jack in confusion. “No…. no, no, no-ho-ho! There were more than four just in line of sight to me.”

“Sir. The Marines were exhaustive in their search. There are only four dragon corpses on that ship.” Sam replied. “Maybe Thor did some house cleaning? Took most of the bodies? He seems to have taken all the human corpses.”

“And what? Leave four corpses just for laughs?” Jack replied.

“Maybe he wanted us to believe you.” Replied Daniel, shrugging his shoulders. “I mean … dragons are real isn’t exactly the easiest sell for us to make.”

“Your leadership seems most disinclined to accept the dangers presented by the Furlings.” Teal’c replied. “Physical evidence of another such power may well have been his intent.”

“Sir, are you worried that the Asgard are deceiving us? They’ve been straightforward in their dealings with us thus far.” Sam arched an eyebrow.

“No,” Jack waved away the implication. “No, I trust Thor. It’s the Warden that bugs me. He outright stated that the ship was a trap. I just haven’t figured out how it ends up being a trap.”

“We’ll be careful sir, but we won’t know what we can learn from it till we let our people examine its systems. Even if it’s been booby trapped so that we can’t use them, we could gain valuable insights into their technology.” Sam replied. “With your permission, I would like to take a team of scientists onboard to examine their systems.”

“Oh! Me too.” Daniel pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose.

“Daniel?” Jack replied, the “why” implicit in his tone.

“Jack, it’s an intact mother ship with all its internal databases. They’re doubtlessly encrypted but there have to be millennia worth of Goa’uld historical records in there.” Daniel was practically salivating at the prospect. A single Goa’uld data crystal was capable of containing hundreds of Exabytes – more than any historian could comb over in their entire lifetime. They’d only been able to obtain incomplete or damaged records thus far. An undamaged database was of incalculable value.

“Very well, Daniel – go forth and nerd at your leisure.” Jack nodded to Carter. “You have a go Major. Make sure to take SG-4 with you when you go. Marines or no Marines, something about this is bugging me.”

“Yes sir.” Sam replied.

As Daniel started packing his bag of reference materials to take with him on the ship Jack leaned across the desk and asked, “Out of curiosity – what was your bet?”

“Mine?” Daniel looked up from the moleskin notebook he was flipping through. “I decided to go with the bet nobody else was willing to take.”

“Which was?” Jack inquired.

“Dr. Jackson bet that we would encounter living dragons on the ship.” Teal’c replied. “Several of them.”

“I was wrong.” Daniel replied, as he picked up a photo and rubbed his thumb along the curve of a dragon’s fang. “And for once Jack, I am very, very pleased to be wrong.”

Jack smiled and lead Teal’c out of Daniel’s office. Had Daniel been looking up from the photo, he just might have caught the sight of a tall shadow leaning out where no shadow had a right to be. Daniel might have noticed its greedy glowing eyes. And Daniel might have noticed the faint glow around his safe that burned the shadow as it tried to touch the dial, sending the hissing shape back from whence it came.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2016-12-03 11:58pm

SHIT. Living Dragon. Yeah, CaitSith isn't going to be much help there.
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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2016-12-21 09:43pm

Janet couldn’t fathom why anyone would ever hurt a child. Every time she saw it, and she’d seen it far too often in her line of work than she cared to, it made her blood boil. She didn’t see it as often now that she was in the military as she had when she’d been doing her residency – the underground SGC complex beneath NORAD had a different clientele than the Emergency Room. Airmen returning from an off world mission were more likely to have broken a bone or taken a staff blast than they were to be bringing back an injured child.

But it still happened. Cassandra had been the first. A little girl, Janet’s adoptive daughter – one of the Goa’uld had killed her entire planet and turned the child into a weapon. Turning a child into a bomb, was there no depth to Goa’uld depravity? They’d been able to save the girl but she would never be able to travel though the Stargate. She would have to live out her life as a child on Earth.

Janet had adopted the girl almost by default. They’d done some early inquiries into giving her to a married couple after they’d saved Cassie, but those potential parents with the required clearance lacked the resources to raise a child and those with the resources locally lacked the appropriate clearances. Given that Cassandra was intimately aware of the most well-kept secret on the planet Earth, the latter was entirely inacceptable to the SGC. Given that Janet and SG-1 had become the de-facto adoptive family, they weren’t about to stand for the former.

So it was that Cassandra had, in effect, gained not two but five parents. Well, four parents and an incorrigible Uncle. Colonel O’Neill seemed quite determined to ‘corrupt’ the child with candy, soda, bad television, and video games. He had at least demonstrated the common sense to ask Janet for permission prior to giving a puppy to Casandra and telling her that it was mandatory for Earth children to have a dog but she suspected that Daniel might have played a hand in that query. She loved Cassandra like one of her own and was loved in kind by her.

Suffice it to say, when it came to abandoned children finding their way to Earth – Janet was predisposed to the maternal. It was a pity Cassie couldn’t come too close to the Stargate; she might have had better luck in communicating with their shape-shifting guest.

For lack of a better name, Janet had taken to calling the girl “Jane” as in “Jane Doe.” Jane was not one of the Refugees. Jane was not even capable of speaking their language. Jane, as it transpired, was not strictly human.

Or rather, she hadn’t been strictly human.

It was baffling actually. The initial phial of blood taken from the girl was as inhuman as one could imagine. Genetic structure, cellular make up, protein strands, and even the basic structure of her genetic code - none of them was even the ball park of how human biology ought to work. She didn’t even have DNA; she had a triple helix that seemed to have a metallic element to it. Tests done post metamorphoses, however, were almost indistinguishable from any human wandering the base. She appeared to be a normal, healthy human child with few – if any deviations from what one might expect from a girl of her age.

If Janet hadn’t taken the girl’s blood and watched her transformation, she would have said it was impossible to accomplish. People didn’t just change species at a whim. Then again, the girl hadn’t been people – not in the strictest sense – when this had all started.

Jane still largely spoke in that strange, guttural language of snarls and screeches, but she seemed to understand have a basic understanding of English words and phrases. She’d gotten as far as “yes,” “no,” and “Janet” at least. She was clearly very smart and eager to learn. And, much to Janet’s relief, Jane had proved much more cooperative with regards to clothing herself than the priestess had been. She'd outright refused to wear shoes – but at least had consented to placing thick wool socks over her feet.

The USAF T-shirt was a bit too large, and the sweat-pants a bit baggy but they were would be more than adequate till Janet had time to get the girl proper clothing. She’d put in a requisition with supply to order Jane outfits when they got clothing for the rest of the refugees. Janet would probably be able to find some clothing at the Base’s second hand shop on her way home, come to think of it. She’d been meaning to check it for a new coat for her dress uniform and to buy rank insignia for a member of her staff who was due to promote that week.

Jane sat cross legged on her bunk, rubbing a thin length of gold chain between her fingers with apparent glee. “It must have fallen off the priestess when she’d taken down the Russian intruder,” Janet mused to herself, sighing heavily. “I suppose I’ll have to take it back to her at some point.”

“Mine.” Replied Jane in her staccato English, clutching the chain to her breast defensively.

“No, sweetheart. You just found it.” Janet replied patiently. “It belongs to – actually I don’t know the name of the woman it belongs to. The refugees just kept calling her ‘the anointed.’ But I know that isn’t yours. It has to go back to the person who owns it.”

“She leave. It stay.” The girl replied firmly. “Mine.”

Why did it not surprise the doctor in the slightest that the most complex phrase that a teenage girl managed to muster in a language she didn’t speak were in defiance of an authority figure telling her to do something she didn’t want to do? Language barriers be damned, teenagers managed to be teenagers.

“I tell you what. I’ll trade you.” Janet replied, rolling her eyes. “I’ll give you something better.”

“Better?” The girl tilted her head to the side, chewing the side of her lip before looking down at the chain. “Have better?”

“Yes,” Janet reached into her desk and pulled out a foil wrapped package. Jane watched the doctor unwrap the brown bar in curiosity, flinching in surprise as Janet broke off a hunk of it with a loud snap. Janet held up the chunk beneath her nostrils, inhaling the scent and making noises of obvious enjoyment. She then placed the piece of chocolate in her mouth and bit down with a satisfying crunch.

Jane lowered her hands slightly, still running the chain between her fingers, but clearly interested in whatever it was that Janet derived such great pleasure from doing. “What?”

“Chocolate.” Janet replied, breaking off another piece and offering it. “Here, try a bite.”

The girl hesitated, looking at the chocolate and back at the necklace. Janet placed the chocolate in the girl’s other hand. “Not a trade. Just try – ok? Then we trade if you want. Only if you want.”

“If want…” Jane replied, sniffing at the chocolate tentatively before putting it in her mouth. She chewed for a few moments, her face scrunched up in obvious enjoyment, before virtually thrusting the length of gold chain into Janet’s hands and pulling the bar of dark chocolate to her chest protectively.

Janet snorted with laughter as Jane declared, “Mine,” with as much, if not more, ferocity as she had for the golden chain. “I thought you might trade me,” Janet replied, pocketing the chain. “Call it a hunch.”

“Am I interrupting anything?” Asked Samantha Carter, as she entered the room.

“Not at all major.” Janet smiled. “Just introducing our guest to the joys of chocolate.”

Sam smiled, flashing pearly white teeth between pink lips, “I can think of worse ways to introduce her to Earth cuisine. Any word on what she did when she drank our blood?”

“Well, I’ll have to wait for the final results of the full DNA test a few days from now but based off of her blood type and physical characteristics – but my preliminary tests give me a working hypothesis.” Janet replied, not quite entirely sure how to broach the subject. How exactly does one broach the subject to a coworker that there is a very real possibility that they have just accidentally conceived a teenage child as a result of an alien mishap – with a member of the same sex no less? “She seems to have combined the two samples of genetic material to form a single genetically viable model for how to become one of our species.”

“So she’s what? Part you and part me?” Sam blinked. “Holy Hannah.”

“Yes – that was my thought as well.” Janet smiled morosely.

It was painfully obvious to the casual observer that Jane was a relative of both Samantha Carter and Janet Frasier. She had Sam's lean form and blue eyes, with the caramel touch to her skin and the strong cheek bones of Janet. She still had the same sinewy muscle as before the change, not an ounce of excess fat to her, but now there were curves to her form which hadn't previously been part of her – an extra bit of awkward hip that Janet recognized for her own adolescence. She would break hearts when she got older, Janet was sure of that.

“How is this even possible?” Sam’s eyes bulged in shock. “I didn’t think children could just choose to have a different set of parents.”

“I didn’t think that choosing a species was an option either.” Janet replied. “We know literally nothing about how her species works. This could be how they actually raise their young, abandoning them for another species to bond with and raise. Some birds will actually lay eggs in the nests of other species for that reason. Until we teach her more English we won’t know.”

“It could just as easily be a defensive tactic. Something to make her more empathetic to us so that we won’t do her harm.” Sam shook her head. “We’re making too many leaps of logic.”

“Regardless, she seems harmless.” Janet replied. “And she no longer needs to remain under medical observation, assuming that her quarters are ready?”

“We got her a room separate from the other refugees. I’d imagine that she’s eager to sleep in a real bed by now.” Sam flashed a smile of pearly white teeth at Jane, who replied with her own grin. A miniature imitation of the major's own, Jane was a picture of teenage glee at being in Sam's presence. She took the major's outstretched hand and hopped from her perch on the bed.

“Go home? Go Sam home?” Jane asked eagerly, pocketing the foil wrapper briefly before realizing what she had done and offering the paper to Janet. The girl had an insufferable habit of hoarding the shiny paper her food was wrapped in.

“Sorry. Forgot.” She replied bashfully as Janet took the wrapper. “Pretty.”

“You can have pretty things that aren't garbage.” Janet affirmed, gently. “Things that you're allowed to keep. Things that are yours.”

“Mine?” Jane smiled. The girl had learned that word all too well.

“Yes,” Janet sighed. “All yours.”

“Good.” Jane replied.

“I'm sure that I've got it from here Doc.” Sam laughed as the girl tugged at her arm, eager to leave the room she'd been trapped in for the past day. “I've got a meal waiting for her.”

“Nothing too adventurous. We don't know what affect a change in diet is going to have on her from whatever it was she was previously eating. Rice, chicken, bananas – don't go crazy with it.” Janet chided.

“Says the woman feeding her chocolate by the pound.” Sam jibed as she walked out the door.

“I'll have you know that Chocolate was medicinal!” Janet cupped her hands around her mouth in an intentionally exaggerated display of making herself heard as the door clicked shut behind the two departing females.

“Never a dull moment,” Janet sighed as a klaxon sounded over the base PA system. An unexpected activation of the gate so soon after SG-6 departed? Janet had been working for the SGC for far too long to think it was a coincidence.

She didn't wait for her suspicions to be confirmed when she before she left the observation room and made way for the medical isolation chamber next to the gate room. Her instincts proved correct as a second message sounded, “SG-6 incoming. Casualties reported. Medical to the gate-room.”

The walk to the gate room would take her five minutes, meaning that she'd likely be there a full two minutes after the on-call medics. She knew they were entirely capable of operating in her absence, but she disliked the idea of even a minute passing where she was not able to administer care to the wounded.

By the time she reached the isolation chamber, the medics had already strapped two members of SG-6 onto gurneys with thick bits of foam in place to prevent their heads from excess motion. Janet felt her heart stop at the sight of them. Something had savaged these Airmen. They were missing thick chunks of their chest and arms. Still sizzling circular patches were burned into their faces in a strange pattern of concentric circles as though someone had hit them with a branding iron only moments ago, the puss filled puckers continuously boiling as though a flame were burning beneath the skin.

She took charge immediately, yelling directions to her staff for the proper medical care of SG-6 once they got them into surgery. She was already running through the checklist of necessary care for the litany of injuries inflicted on them as she went – trying to figure out which of the two airmen she'd be able to save. Sergeant Miller seemed the most far gone. She was just barely managing to stay conscious as they wheeled her along. Major Peterson was in clear agony, but his wounds seemed to have largely stopped bleeding. He would have to be her second priority in terms of care. His wounds would be agonizing and likely scar badly if not given immediate care, but he would live.

“What happened? What did this to these people?” Janet asked Colonel Callan. The man's normally smiling face was ashen, a sunken quality to his eyes that Janet had never seen before. His skin was waxy, sweat beading down his chin. From the way he was favoring his right side Janet supposed that he had a couple of cracked ribs that he was ignoring till he was sure his people would be healed.

He wiped the sweat on his face, smearing it with the dirt and dried blood on the back of his hand. “The natives from P3X-118 waited till we got far enough from the gate that we couldn't radio back then they struck. They came down on us with overwhelming force.”

He shuddered as they reached the infirmary, shepherded in by the base SFs. His eyes were glassier than she remembered them, unfocused – clearly looking at something other than the grey backdrop of the base surgery. “There were too many of them. Thousands, legions of them – there was an unstoppable army of screeching nightmares riding creatures too terrible to describe. Fleshy beasts with lidless eyes and too many limbs, only the weakest of them died when we shot them. There was no way to stop them from killing us.”

“How did you get away?” Janet asked softly, aware that the man was in shock as the infirmary doors closed behind them.

“Get away?” The man blinked in confusion, looking Janet in the eyes with his own – the hollow glassy texture to them finally registering in Janet's voluminous memory of medical conditions. They were the eyes of a corpse. “Doc – you don't get away what lives on the other side. SG-6, all of us, we’ve been dead for quite some time now.”

“Security!” Janet shouted, turning to see the fourth member of SG-6, Lt Harper, looming over the immobile bodies of the infirmary's SFs. She held a device of obvious alien origins in her left hand, an organic looking pistol that pulsed with green energy. It emanated an odor that left a greasy taste at the back of Janet's throat as though she'd recently been sick.

Callan pointed his own pistol at Janet, pulling the trigger and hitting the Doctor with a direct blast of rippling energy. He was as surprised as Janet when her attempt to block the blast by raising her arms in an x over her face actually managed to deflect the blast.

“Run!” Janet screamed to her staff, making a break for the alarm on the wall next to the door. If she could just warn the base they'd send more SFs and Marines. They were on high-alert thanks to the Russian, their response time would be even better than usual.

“Take them all – emulating corpses will only get us so far.” The not-colonel grabbed Janet by the arm as she tried to muscle past him, shooting two medics with his own pulsing organic pistol. Shuddering pulses of rippling air struck them, dropping them to the ground as their bodies just ceased to operate. His grip was resolute, steadfast against her best attempts to free herself from him.

“Help!” Janet screamed as Callan clamped his hand over her mouth, muffling her screams. “Somebody! Anybody!”

“Why is she able to resist?” The not-harper asked the not-colonel.

“There are old protections on this world.” The not-colonel winced as Janet bit his hand, but did not let her go even after Janet took a chunk out of his palm. He pulled something from his belt and stabbed her in the shoulder with it. Janet swore as she felt her body going limp – a sedative of some sort. Not enough to knock her out, but more than enough to paralyze her. “It is to be expected. No matter – once we have established a beachhead the others may come.”

The not-Peterson reached into a pocket of his BDUs, removing a fleshy mass from it. Janet screamed behind the not-colonel's grip at the sight of it.

It was a horrid thing, a putrid, purple, shimmering bit of carapace with teeth and eyes in places that nothing should have either. It smelled of rotting eggs and hummed a discordant note that raised the hair on the back of Janet's neck. Janet didn't know what the hell it was, but it needed to be killed – immediately.

She prayed for the thing to drown as the not-Peterson filled a tall tub, one of the ones they used to treat hypothermia, with water from a wall spigot and tossed the mewling nightmare into it. The water foamed and frothed with a bubbling, poisonous mass of colors and shapes as the thing scream-sang in languages too terrible to repeat.

Shapes began to emerge from the water. First one, then two, then more – man sized masses of chitin and muscle rising from the fetid waters. They were awful things, hunched and inhuman. How many were there? Twenty? Thirty? How many more had been secreted into the base waiting to be unleashed from other pocket sized nightmares?

The not-colonel looked up at the clock. “We don't have much time – their leaders will suspect something is amiss if we do not act quickly. Start with the guards.”

“And what do we do with her?” Asked Sergeant Miller as she stood up from the gurney, mustering an ease that no woman should have been able to muster with a bit of intestine hanging out from her side. Though her injuries were real, she had apparently feigned any pain.

“Her protections are weak. I can touch her without pain. The treatment will work on her as well as it should for the rest.” He chuckled darkly. “Though I do not envy her for having to be awake for it.”

They all laughed. Dark purpose in every inch of their mirth as a towering spire of carapace and bone rose from the tub, shimmering purple under the flickering lights of the infirmary.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2016-12-22 03:04pm

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2017-01-20 01:42am

Colonel Makepeace was deeply regretting the actions leading up to SG-3 having been assigned to sweeping the newly acquired Goa’uld mothership now sitting on the dark side of the moon. Not because of the potential perils associated with being the initial boarding party on a possibly dangerous and hostile vessel, he was entirely comfortable with danger, but because upon completing their room to room search of the ship he was now essentially trapped onboard the Goa’uld vessel until further notice. He was part of one of me most elite and dangerous marine units on Earth, and he’d been relegated to babysitting duty.

There wasn’t much to do other than sit and wait around white the eggheads busied themselves with god alone knew what. Robert Makepeace hated waiting. He’d hated it when he’d been in OCS, he’d hated it when he’d been on his first “deployment” – a period of six months spent on an LPD without so much as a port call – and he would still hate it till the day he died. Desert storm had provided a brief respite to the endless waiting that had plagued his career up to this point, but by and large his job as a marine thus far had been to be the most dangerous man available to wait.

At least on an LPD you could work out or watch ship’s TV in the interim. On the mothership? They were essentially trapped standing within shouting distance of the scientists just in case one of them did some damn fool thing. And if there was anything you could be sure about the civilians attached to the SGC, it was that one of them was going to do some damn fool thing. For some of the smartest people on the planet they consistently managed to do some of the dumbest things a human being could achieve.

“Sir, do you know exactly what Dr. Rothman is doing with that probe he keeps plugging in to the wall?” Major Warren asked, sincerely baffled by the bespectacled man’s antics. The doctor had spent the past four hours trying to troubleshoot his equipment. Nothing seemed to work on the ship, at least nothing of any note. “Because at this point I think he owes it dinner and a movie at the very least.”

“Son – I don’t even want to guess as to what these people are doing.” Robert shrugged, waving vaguely at the deck above him. “I’m sure that Lt. Johnson would be willing to trade places with you if you’re too bored.”

“Sir, respectfully request that you never suggest that again.” Major Warren shuddered, shaking his head emphatically before rubbing the dark flesh of his head with the lighter skin of his palm. “I don’t think I can handle quite that much – Felger. I don’t think I’m every going to stop hearing that high pitched noise he started making once he saw the dragons.”

Robert sighed. He wasn’t overly familiar with the scientists attached to Stargate command, the operational and research elements of the SGC were largely divorced from each other, but the duo of Coombs and Felger were quickly become his least favorite two. They had an unfortunate combination of verbal diarrhea, bizarre references and over educated absence of basic social skills that just left him feeling a near uncontrollable urge to punch one or both of them in the mouth. That they had just unleashed two men who he sincerely believed to be concealing felt wizard’s capes within their packs onto a ship where there were actual dragons had done nothing to make either of them less irritating.

He pulled a cigar out of his pocket and sliced off the tip with his knife, placing it between his lips and taking a long drag before blowing out a stream of smoke. He rolled his eyes as Dr. Rothman turned on him, sputtering in disgust at the man smoking next to him.

“You can’t do that! We’re in a space ship, what if it sets off the oxygen or the internal fire systems or something!” The doctor whinged. “There are any one of a hundred things that could go wrong by introducing something like that into a pressurized environment.”

The colonel raised an eyebrow, pulling the cigar from between his lips and pointing with the hand holding it to a burning brazier full of smoldering coals not ten feet down the hall.

“You still shouldn’t do that, it’s bad for your lungs and who knows what it will do to my asthma.” The doctor continued in irritation, still poking his probe into the wall.

“Don’t worry doc, I go smokeless.” Replied Major Warren as he pulled a round metal container of chew from his pocket, whipping the tin several times in a well-practiced gesture to pack the tobacco in the front. The doctor made a series of scandalized noises of protest as the Major placed a generous portion at the front of his lip, masticating the material with obvious joy.

Robert excused himself on the pretense of checking the corridor for any new dangers as the doctor’s shrill protests hit fever pitch. The academic’s scandalized screeching faded away as the bulkhead doors closed with a hissing clang of metal on metal. He massaged at the bridge of this nose, exhaling a long stream of smoke to calm his nerves and re-center.

A Saudi man deeply intoxicated for likely the first time in his life had once blown complex shapes for Roberts amusement when he’d been on a port call in Bahrain. The colonel hadn’t understood a word the Saudi had said, but the man’s skill for blowing rings of smoke had always stuck with him. He’d been envious of the man’s capacity to make shapes and forms with the gases. Over the years he’d tried to make the smoke from his cigar turn into a ring, but the best he’d been able to manage was a slightly more wide plume of smoke.

“Don’t know why I bother,” Robert muttered as he let loose another plume of smoke, chewing at the end of his cigar. The wide beam of his flashlight shone down the darkened corridor, casting strange shadows along the hieroglyphs and dark green stone statues lining the halls. There were dark pockets in the walls where staff blasts had burst stone and thick pools of gold where intense heat must have scourged the precious metals and jewels from the walls. The colonel chuckled when it occurred to him that it may well have been dragon fire which burned it away. Absurd, but no less real for its absurdity.

Yet another danger of legend turning out to be all too real – just perfect.

Earth wasn’t ready for this – all of this. They were mere mortals tossed into a galaxy of predators and threats that weren’t just beyond their power to defeat, more and more they seemed beyond their ability to even remotely anticipate. Even the diseases of the far reaches of the Galaxy carried impossible capacity for destruction.

He scratched the back of his hand, rubbing at a bit of flesh on the back of his right hand. It was a nervous twitch, a coping mechanism as the base Chaplain referred to it. He was subconsciously checking his knuckles for the tiny bony spurs he’d felt growing the first time he’d gone to the Land of Light and been exposed to the Touched. It was normal, the chaplain had assured him, for someone who’d been exposed to a debilitating illness to be afraid of catching it again.

But the Chaplain didn’t really understand, not truly. The illness that had taken them in the Land of Darkness – the monsters it had reshaped them into – wasn’t a reality of modern medicine on Earth. It certainly wasn’t the brain parasite he’d claimed to have temporarily contracted to explain away the near-magical effects by which one reverted to a primordial state in the Land of Darkness. He’d been reformed into something more base, more primitive – a snap shot of the brutal creatures that men had been before the times of fire and the wheel.

He got memories of it sometimes, flashes of his time as one of the Touched. They weren’t distinct, flashes of color, feeling, and sounds would occasionally play in his mind – blissfully vague. But there were some memories that stayed with a man, even as flashes of color and flavor. He’d been made into something violent, something terrible. And he wasn’t ever sure if it was something that hadn’t just been living inside of him the entire time just waiting to surface. He wasn’t ever quite convinced that it couldn’t come to consume him all over again.

And that was just the start of it. Hathor had managed to compromise the security of an entire base with little more than a pretty face and a few whispers, bending all men on base, to her whims. He’d disappeared entirely from his home. They’d all disappeared, serving the Goa’uld unquestioningly as she’d prepared to turn them all into Jaffa slaves. He’d walked away from the woman who loved him and the children he bore with her. Hathor could have asked him to kill this entire family to prove his loyalty to her and he would have done so without so much as a whisper of protest.

How the base had even been allowed to stay open months after the Hathor incident was astonishing to him. They’d set the base to auto-destruct two times as a precautionary measure in the last month prior to the arrival of Senator Kinsey. It was standard procedure for the SGC to set a bomb to destroy NORAD. Any oversight agency worth its salt should have been questioning that. The program was prohibitively expensive, near guaranteed to be lethal to its participants, and repeatedly put the planet in danger of invasion or plagues.

When the Senator had come to shut down the program and bury the gate it had almost been a relief. But it was just a band-aid, the illusion of safety rather than actually having it. They’d met not one race capable of snuffing out the tiny blue ball the human race lived on, but several. The Asgard, the Tollan, the Nox, the Tok’ra, the Ohnes, the you could call them what you liked but they all represented the same thing – physical proof of the pathetically inadequate military power that the US could bring to bear in galaxy. America had fired the most dangerous weapons in their arsenal at the invasion force sent by Apophis and they hadn’t managed to even inconvenience them. It was sheer dumb luck that SG-1’s decision to go AWOL managed to intercept and defeat the invading Goa’uld motherships. Dumb luck that saved both the planet and the Stargate Command, but dumb luck none the less.

Humanity needed something more tangible than the luck of SG-1 if they were going survive as a species. This ship was a decent start – provided they could manage to cannibalize enough of it to start producing their own ships.

“Penny for your thoughts, sir?” Asked a woman’s voice from behind him, startling him. The cigar fell from Robert’s mouth to the ground as he spun round, pointing the flashlight on the end of his weapon at a BDU clad female. The Major from SG-1, Samatha Carter.

“Major Carter, I see you’ve found your way to our new clubhouse. Am I to assume that Doctor Jackson is here as well?” Queried the Colonel.

“Yes sir. He’s with SG-4 on the bridge. But as you’re the ranking officer on the ship I wanted to check in with you before we start turning things on.” She tapped her radio. “I would have messaged you but there seems to be something interfering with our comms, some sort of electrical disturbance that’s making them go haywire.”

“Yeah, the geeks – err, no offense Major.” Robert stuttered, feeling awkward for having potentially slighted the astrophysicist.

“None taken,” Major Carter replied, her eyes twinkling with mirth. “I’ve met Felger, after all.”

“Heh,” Robert replied. “But they’ve all been complaining about the same thing. The computers and other instruments we’ve brought on this ship start acting screwy the moment they start trying to use them and it’s only been getting worse.”

He held up his digital watch. It was a nice one, a diver’s watch with a digital display. “Even my damn watch is going screwy. I don’t know what time it is supposed to be, but I’m willing to wager that we’re not at 84:50 on FEB 30 1749.”

“I wonder.” The major rummaged in her pack, pulling out a strange looking box with various dials and buttons. It warbled as she manipulate them, pointing the device around the corridor. Her face scrunched up in confusion as she poked its tip towards the walls, waving it in the air. “That – that doesn’t make any sense.”

“What?” Queried the Colonel, peering at the seemingly alien series of numbers on the box.

She pulled a compass out from her pack and showed it to the colonel. The little red arrow spun in a frenzy, hopping about as though attempting to flee the tiny plastic dome. “There are pockets of electromagnetic activity in this ship, but they don’t seem to be emanating from anything in particular. Every system onboard other than basic life support and the ring transporters is operating on minimal power, there shouldn’t be anything causing this sort of anomalous field variance. It definitely shouldn’t be causing the sorts of irregularities with our equipment.”

“Goa’uld booby trap?” The Colonel grunted in irritation.

“The Warden basically bragged that the ship was a trap – so it’s likely.” Major Carter shrugged. “I really won’t be able to get you an answer on why the radios aren’t working properly till we can examine the ship in greater detail. I’m sure my father would be willing to help when he gets finished with debriefing the other Tok’ra.”

“Good,” Replied Robert with feigned sincerity. Jacob carter gave him the creeps. The man shared his body with a Tok’ra, one of the supposedly good Goa’uld they’d aligned themselves with. For all their talk of being better than their genetic cousins, the Tok’ra had been more than happy to capture SG-1 and SG-3 for an indefinite period because they were “security risks.” The general’s decision to blend with Selmak had been essentially the bargaining chip for their freedom when they’d been taken as prisoners of war by the aliens.

He remained skeptical of their claims that they “shared” the host body. How could you possibly know if they were telling the truth or just substantially kinder liars than the Goa’uld? They had access to all the memories and experience of their hosts, after all. It would be simple enough for such a creature to take those memories and use them to manipulate the relatives of their host to their own ends.

And fundamentally, it sat wrong with the Colonel that a General was suddenly a member of another nation’s military – let alone another species’ military. The knowledge that Jacob Carter must have been privy to over the years was terrifying. Weapons, tactics, secret programs, lord alone knew how many of the defenses of America had been compromised. Jacob hadn’t been out of his active duty role for more than a few months due to the cancer. Christ, did the man know where the nukes were?

The major, oblivious to the Colonel’s internal disputes, continued to ramble about how the ionic variances in something or other were causing some sort of polarity – it all blended together for him into an incoherent patois of technical jargon. He might well have been better of back in the room with Dr. Rothman and the Major listening to the finer points on why one shouldn’t chew tobacco when the Major said a sentence that gave him pause. “Repeat that again major, I don’t think I heard you correctly.”

Major Carter nodded, rubbing the back of her hand on her BDUs to wipe away a bit of oil that was leaking from her instrument. The device was sputtering and sparking from where something had gone wrong inside of it. “I said that whatever is causing the interference is probably what is dissolving the dragon corpses.”

“The corpses are dissolving?” That didn’t bode well. Any disease or contagion capable of dissolving a six hundred pound lizard would do terrible things to a man, and they hadn’t exactly been maintaining full biohazard containment procedures since getting onboard the ship.

“Yes sir.” Carter nodded in affirmation, her demeanor too calm for the declaration that something was dissolving flesh. “But I don’t think that it is anything to worry about. My father warned me that it would happen. It’s apparently just the natural decomposition cycle from the creatures that live in the Furling’s pocket of subspace.”

“Furlings?” Yet another race for Robert to worry about – this one complete with dragons.

“They were apparently the contemporaries of the race who built the Stargate. According to Selmak they live in pockets of subspace separate from hyperspace and almost never leave subspace to enter the physical world.” The major powered down the instrument as its display started showing randomly flashing symbols, seemingly having given up the machine as a lost cause. She eyed her other instruments before shaking her head slowly, seemingly having thought better of testing her luck with the strange energies floating round the ship. “It takes a lot for them to maintain a physical form, both power and concentration. It’s just a matter of time before there is no indication that they ever existed. They apparently cease to exist on even a subatomic level.”

They both jumped as the voice of Daniel Jackson echoed out from seemingly all sides. “It’s quite fascinating really. It’s probably why nobody has been able to prove that they exist in spite of generations worth of lore on their deeds.”

“Did… did he just reply to you?” Robert blinked, looking up and down the corridor for where the doctor might be hiding.

“Don’t bother Colonel, I’m nowhere near you.” The doctor chuckled, obviously enjoying the spectacle. “Apparently our friend the Lord Warden was a fan of micro-managing his subjects. The whole ship is kitted out with secret cameras and listening devices that get near total coverage of every space on the ship.”

“Why?” Asked the Colonel. If there was one thing he knew for sure about ship life, it was that one did not want total situation awareness of the private lives of your subordinates. You learned more than you would care to know.

“I’d imagine it was part of the whole ‘pretending to be a god’ thing.” The doctor went quiet for a moment. “Yeah, I just checked the usage logs. He pretty much just listened to the prayers of his followers and replied to those which met his interests best.”

“Thus maintaining the illusion of omniscience.” Replied the Major, letting out a long whistle. “That’s almost elegant in how manipulative it is.”

“Dre’su’den has been around for millennia, and it wasn’t by being stupid.” Daniel replied, “He had the presence of mind to delete large sections of the database on this ship before he left it. It’s like someone went through it line by line and redacted all the important parts from it with a sharpie.”

“Do you want me to try to recover it?” Queried the Major, perking up at the idea of a task she could complete without her now useless bag of devices.

“No – well, actually, yes but not right now. Right now, there is something more, well, weird for us to deal with that I think both of you should see.” One of the dark green stone statues stood up, turning on its hind legs and moving with a sinewy grace that no statue ought to have been able to manage. It opened its robes, showing a thin piece of glass in its abdomen that flickered twice before displaying an image of the moon’s surface.

The moon, stark, dark, and pockmarked with a galaxy’s worth of craters, glowed with a holographic orange hue around a dark green shape of a pyramid jutting out from the barren landscape. Dr. Jackson interjected eagerly, “See what I’m talking about?”

The Colonel most decidedly did not and said as much, frustration apparent in each syllable. “Does this have a point, Doctor Jackson.”

“Oh.. Oh!” Major Carter exclaimed in surprise, “But – that’s not possible!”

“Does one of you want to start speaking in plain English already?” Sighed the Colonel.

“Daniel, can you zoom in on them for us?” Major Carter pointed her finger at a tiny blotch of terrain at the pyramid’s base.

“Give me just a second,” The doctor replied, pausing between each word in apparent concentration. The sound of the chiming keystrokes of a Goa’uld computer echoing across the PA. “That should just about… yes – there!”

With the doctor’s exclamation the map zoomed in to the tiny red blotches, revealing the shapes of men standing around the outside of the ship. They stood six inches tall on the monitor, their monochrome holographic renderings displaying them with astonishing detail. They were men, broad in shoulder and wearing some sort of skirted armor covered in thick studs. They each were wrapped in thick capes and plumed helmets as they congregated around the ship’s primary entry bulkhead, attempting to pry it open with their bare hands. More alarmingly, they seemed to be succeeding. The doors were already parted by an inch and seemed to be giving way with every passing moment.

Colonel Makepeace’s stomach dropped as the absurdity of what he was looking at hit him. “Are those… Roman Legionnaires?”

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2017-01-22 07:42pm

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2017-03-18 09:21pm

The Colonel had elected not to be with the first wave of nerds heading to the pyramid on the moon after hearing that Dr Felger was already on the ship. He would have to head up there eventually, but there was no rush for him to go there right now. For the moment, he was occupying himself with the task of caring for the child who’d come from the Goa’uld transport. The child suffered from an apparently severe case of separation anxiety, and had only stopped having a tantrum when Carter left her company because he stayed to keep her occupied in the Major’s absence.

He didn’t mind saying with her till she felt more comfortable being on her own. The kid, by all accounts had been through some serious shit in the past day. He’d been in enough war zones to get a sense for when people shouldn’t be left alone, and the kid really shouldn’t be left alone. She was possessive in the extreme, devouring her food as though she weren’t sure if there would ever be another opportunity to eat. In the time since Carter left she’d taken every item that had any sort of glass or metal and put them together in a pile on her bed, wrapping them in the blankets and shoving them under the bed frame before sitting atop the bare mattress, cross legged.

Jack just played along, handing her things she pointed at and suggesting that they double wrap the more fragile items in towels. The kid wasn’t hurting anything, and if bundling her world up and pushing it under the bed helped the kid feel more in control of the world she was living in – then who was he to judge? There wasn't any one best way to cope with trauma.

And really, as troubling as this behavior was, it was only really a minor aberration from kids just being kids. Which, in part, was why Jack had excused himself to the restroom to center himself. Because for a moment, if only just for a moment, Jack had felt like he was back in his old life playing with Charlie.

“Snap out of it Jack.” The Colonel looked at his own reflection in the bathroom mirror, taking deep breaths and counting to three. “You’re fine – this is just a feeling and it will pass.”

Jack O’Neill had always wanted to be a father as far back as he could remember. It hadn’t always been a conscious thought at the forefront of his mind, but the white picket fence and 2.5 children had just sort of been a foregone conclusion in his life. Even before he’d joined the military it hadn’t even really been a consideration for him that he wouldn’t have kids at some point.

Sara had wanted kids as much as he. She was a good woman, a good partner, and a good mother. Jack, for all his faults, had been a good father as well. He hadn’t been present as much as he would have liked, but between his salary as an officer and the benefits the military paid for dependents, Sara and he had been able to carve out their little niche of Winter Park Colorado and make a proper hope to raise a child.

He’d missed most of Sara’s pregnancy while he was in turkey. He was simultaneously ashamed and deeply relieved was how events had played out. Ashamed that he had not been able to be present for his ex-wife’s time of need and deeply grateful that he’d not had to deal with the more confusing and hormonal aspects of a pregnancy. A deployment was about the only socially acceptable way for a man to leave for seven months and just show up for the birth and end up looking like a hero. They’d been seven months’ worth of back-breaking labor, but it had been of the physical rather than emotional variety.

He was better equipped for the latter. Perhaps if he’d been a bit more comfortable in dealing with that sort of work Sara wouldn’t have left him after their child died playing with Jack’s gun.

To this day, he still wasn’t 100% sure how Charlie got ahold of the firearm. Perhaps he had been careless with the weapon and forgotten to put it back in the safe. Perhaps Charlie had just watched his father input the code so many times that he knew it by memory. All he knew for certain was that Charlie had pulled the gun from his closet and decided that he should play with it.

Jack didn’t think about using that same gun on himself as much as he had three years ago when he’d agreed to join the suicide mission to Abydos, but he still had his moments when the darkness felt like it might overtake him. It was weird how the idea of pointing that gun at the back of his head and just pulling the trigger didn’t alarm him in those moments, instead it comforted him. It felt good to know that if it truly became too much to bear, he would be able to just make it all go away.

He wouldn’t though. Not even in the moments where it felt like the best option, his team would never forgive him for abandoning them. He had a role in life, a purpose that was greater than who he had been doing things on a grand scale. It was the sort of job that nobody who valued their life would ever actually choose to do, fighting enemies who were near guaranteed to kill entire population of Earth someday. Jack didn’t have a death wish – not most days any more – but he was at peace with the idea of dying in service to something greater than himself.

Charlie wouldn’t have wanted his old man to die doing something as foolish as committing suicide for no reason. Heroes only got to die when they took out the bad guy as well – and even then, they were supposed to come back at the end. He splashed cold water over his face, exhaling and turning around to come face to face with the strange little girl.

“Oh, uh hi there.” Jack was relieved that he hadn’t needed to use the bathroom for anything more serious than a moment of privacy. Wherever she came from must not have had the same social taboos for using the toilet – assuming that she had even the remotest ideal what the washroom even was. Oh hell – was he going to have to teach this kid where to pee?

“You left.” The girl stated in a staccato statement of fact, her thin arms crossed over the air force logo of her shirt. “No play.”

“I just needed a moment kiddo.” Jack ruffled her hair affectionately. “Nothing to worry about.”

The child pouted, batting his hand away from her head and pushing her long blonde hair back from her eyes. She made a growling noise that was more of a squeak than a proper growl, and said something in a guttural language that Jack didn’t understand.

“Sorry kiddo. No offense meant.” Jack lifted his hands, palms up. “I can leave if you want me to.”

She shook her head, grabbing Jack about the waist. “No leave.”

“Calm down kiddo. I’m not going anywhere.” Jack walked the girl back into the main room, her arms still firmly attached to his waist as they moved. She was surprisingly strong, he would likely have had trouble removing her without her cooperation. “You’re getting good at English.”

“I listen.” The little girl replied, curling up on the sofa next to him and nuzzling her cheek into his chest – cat like. “Not hard.”

“Most people take more than a day to learn a language.” Jack pulled a remote from the table in front of them, instinctively lifting his left arm as the girl blurred into motion. He held the black plastic rectangle at arms-length as the girl tried to reach past him, eager to add whatever it was to her collection.

“Mine!” The girl smiled, greedily eying the multicolored buttons and shiny sony sticker.

“Woah there, kiddo, I need this.” Jack chuckled.

“Need more.” The girl replied, a stern look on her young features.

“But with this I can do a magic trick.” Jack replied, wiggling the fingers on his left hand as he made a “woo-ooh-ooh” noise.

The girl flinched, unsure. “Magic?”

She tilted her head, seemingly a little nervous as she sniffed the air around Jack. Her eyes bulged in recognition, “You… you wizard?”

“No but I play one on TV.” Jack replied.

She narrowed her eyes in confusion. The joke was apparently lost on her. She actually sounded afraid as she said. “You magic?”

“Magic.” Jack replied, adopting a tone of stone faced seriousness as he pointed the remote to the TV. “With this I can make entire worlds appear on that little box.”

She inhaled in shock, staring as the television turned on watching the changing colors and sounds in amazement. He pointed to the remote and talked her through the process of changing channels, how to turn the volume up, how to turn the volume down and how to turn it on and off. The little girl was outright enthralled by the machine, and seemed astonished when he handed the remote over to her.

“Mine?” Jack was sure that it was a question rather than a statement. She actually seemed afraid to accept the item now that she knew what it did, as though the power of it might overwhelm her if she weren’t careful.

“Yours.” Jack replied.

“What want?” The girl replied, nervously looking at the bundle of items under her bed as though afraid of how much she’d have to part with.

“Nothing.” Jack replied, snorting in amusement.

The idea of not paying him for the arcane power being offered seemed more frightening to her than whatever payment she’d been planning to offer, her lip started to quiver and he thought she might be about to cry.

“Hey there – no, none of that.” Jack lifted her chin with his thumb and finger. “You’re a guest, right? It would be rude for me to ask for a guest to pay for hospitality.”

“Guest.” The word seemed to calm the girl even as she spoke it. “Jack wizard guest.”

“Jack Colonel guest. But you can just call me Jack seeing as how we’re friends.” Jack smiled at her and pointed to two buttons on the remote. “Now press the one and the three. I want to see what movie is playing.”

She pressed the buttons he pointed to, laughing excitedly as the “magic” box obeyed her command. Jack smiled, “You see? You can do it as well as I can.”

Jack bit back the stream of swear words that popped into his head when the movie in question turned out to be a film about Dennis Quaid’s character befriending an animated creature voiced by Sean Connery. A film in which Sean Connery played a creature not unlike the winged monsters who’d likely been responsible for the little girls injuries. The little girl’s eyes were nearly popping out of her skull as she watched Dennis Quaid sitting in a dragon’s mouth with a blade pressed upward, ready to slay the beast if it bit down.

“It’s ok!” Jack reached out to comfort the girl but she slapped his hand away, shaking in fear as she watched the knight fighting for his very life. “No, seriously – wait. Look, just wait. They’re friends.”

She replied in her guttural language with something that sounded incredulous.

“No really, wait and see.” Jack continued, pointing to the screen as Dennis Quaid got spat out from the beast’s mouth and started talking with the dragon. “They become friends and go on adventures together. They’re mean now, but they become friends. Good friends. Like you and Jack. We’re friends.”

“Friends.” The girl replied, watching as the dragon spat the man on the ground and chose to let the knight live. She watched with keen attention as the dragon and knight hatched a plan to fleece the kingdom for their wealth. “No fight dragon?”

“Friends don’t fight.” Jack made a crossing motion over his heart. “I swear. Cross my heart and hope to die.”

And just like that, she didn’t seem afraid anymore. Kids were like that though, they would be terrified of some bogeyman one second and determined to befriend it the next once they realized it was an option to have it on your side. As she continued to watch the movie, Jack realized that her reactions were not just in response to the tone of what was being said – she seemed to have a firm grasp of the actual words being used. She even laughed at a couple of puns that wouldn’t make sense on their own.

“You understand a lot more than you can say, can’t you Kiddo?” Jack queried politely.

“Yes.” The girl replied. “Took from Carter and Fraiser. Not speak well. Not used to talking. Words new.”

“You didn’t used to talk?” Jack replied, incredulously.

“Words have meaning. I used few, with much meaning. You use many with little meaning.” She shook her head. “Small words are difficult. Hard to pick right ones. Father better at little words.”

“Your father?” Jack asked. “Was he with you on the ship?”

“Father, brothers, sisters – all dead.” She shivered. “I followed when they went. We all did. When the bad ones came, I was too slow. They cut me, so I ran. I was scared. I hid.”

She grabbed Jack tightly, tears rolling down her eyes. “I waited for Grandfather. Grandfather is strong, but he screamed. The bad ones hurt Grandfather. Grandfather was big. I am small. I hid. I waited. Grandfather did not come. Carter came. Carter helped.”

“She’s good at that.” Jack agreed, mentally cursing the Lord Warden for taking a ship full of slaves into a section of space he doubtless had known was fraught with peril.

“Should have stayed – fought.” The girl hugged her knees to her chest as she put her head in Jack’s lap. Wet tears dripped onto Jack’s leg, staining his uniform. “Not run like coward.”

“Kid, what you did was smart. You don’t fight a battle that you can’t win.” Jack patted her arm gently. “I’ve run from more fights than I can count. I run so that I can live. You can’t beat the bad guy if you’re dead.”

She rubbed her nose with the back of her hand, sniffing loudly. “Still should have helped.”

“Your parents want you alive, kid. No parent is ever sad that their child survived.” Jack insisted, thinking of his own boy. “Trust me.”

“Grandfather will be angry.” The girl replied in a voice that was just above a whisper.

Jack very much doubted that “Grandfather” was even alive for it to be a problem, but elected not to voice that sentiment. “Your grandpa won’t be angry. And if he’s angry, then he’s a capital “J” jerk and not worth your time.”

“But he is very big, and I am very small.” She continued in that same quiet tone.

“Then he’s a very big jerk.” Jack replied. “I tell you what, your grandfather shows up here and has a problem with you living – I’ll protect you from him as long as you’re our guest.”

There was a long moment of silence from the girl as the only sounds in the room came from the movie on TV before she asked. “Promise?”

“Promise.” Jack replied.

“Swear on the magic?” She held up the remote in a grave tone that sounded comical coming from the child.

“I swear on all my magic that I won’t let your grandfather do anything to you that you won’t want him to.” Jack replied flippantly. “Scout’s honor.”

He felt an odd tingle running up his spine as he said that, the same tingle he’d felt every time he spoke the Commissioning Oath as an Officer. It was a promise that he knew he’d keep. Strange to feel such conviction for something that he was sure would never come to fruition, but he’d grown accustomed to trusting his gut. It hadn’t lead him astray so far.

He helped her clean her face with a tissue, wiping away the tears and snot. “Now. Seeing as how you understand me, I think we should have a proper introduction, don’t you?”

The girl nodded once, still rubbing at her face with her sleeves even though there weren’t any more tears to wipe away.

“Good.” Jack smiled. “So, how about this. I’ll give you my name if you give me yours? Does that sound fair?”

The girl hesitated for a moment before saying. “True name?”

“Sure – friends don’t lie.” Jack smiled. “I’ve already promised to protect you from your Grandfather, seems like we’re the sort of friend who get to know each other.”

“Like Bowen and Draco?” She pointed to the screen.

“Yeah – sure kiddo.” Jack replied.

There was a long moment before the girl lowered her head, and shook it. “Can’t.”

“Sure, you can.” Jack gave the girl a playful shove. “I’ll show you. My name is Colonel Jonathan J. O’Neill. That’s O’Neill with two “l’s but everyone calls me “Jack.” The “J” at the center doesn’t stand for anything, by the way, it got added to my birth certificate as a typo and I’ve just been running with it since then. Now you go.”

“Can’t.” She shook her head, seemingly scandalized.

“I thought we were friends? Like Bowen and Draco.” Jack chided her in a voice of mild reproof.

“Want to – but can’t.” She looked genuinely ashamed. “I am nīðing Sárkány. No true name.”

“You don’t have a name?” Jack replied. “What did your parents call you?”

“Not use names. Family is nīðing Sárkány. Have no true names.” She replied, in obvious embarrassment. “Unworthy.”

Well, that was downright chilling. Jack had encountered basically every combination of prejudice imaginable even before joining the Stargate program. The thought that an entire family could lose the right to even name their children because of some social faux pas committed by an ancestor sounded altogether too plausible.

“Well, you’re not kneey sarkiee here.” Jack replied even as the child said “nīðing Sárkány” in an effort to correct him. “Yeah, that – you’re not that here. Here, while you’re our guest, you’re considered an equal. And equals get to have names.”

“But I am nīðing Sárkány.” Insisted the girl, horrified at the idea. “I have not earned it. Grandfather will –”

“Kid, as far as I’m concerned your Grandfather and anyone else who has a problem with a kid having a name is more than welcome to hit the bricks.” Jack replied firmly. “So you’re leaving here with a name. You can use it, keep it, or toss it away forever when you leave here, but as long as you’re under our roof you’re an equal not this nīðing Sárkány that you’re ashamed of being. Consider it part of our hospitality.”

There was another long pause as she chewed her lower lip, clearly locked in deep thought. She cleared her throat before asking. “What name?”

“What name do you want?” Jack asked. “It’s your name after all.”

“Not sure…” Replied the girl, seemingly genuinely confused by the prospect. “Never considered. Kiddo?”

“Kiddo is more of a nickname than a real name.” Jack replied. “How about Mary.”

The girl make a gagging sound that got a chuckle out of Jack. “Not a fan of that one, eh? How about Emily?”

“Emily.” The girl spoke the name as though she were trying to taste its very meaning. “I like Emily.” She looked up hopefully. “Does Emily get three names like Jack?”

“Sure.” Jack replied. “Why not? Got any preferences?”

“Emily Bowen Draco.” She said without even a second’s pause.

“You’re naming yourself after the characters from the movie?” Jack replied in deadpan monotone. Give a pre-teen the chance to name themselves whatever they want and of course they picked the two coolest names they knew. If her pop-culture knowledge was greater than twenty minutes long she might have ended up being Neo Skywalker-Durden.

She nodded. “My name is Emily Bowen Draco.”

“Good for you.” Jack tousled her hair. Emily did not stop him this time, choosing instead to cuddle up to him so that they could finish watching the movie.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by InsaneTD » 2017-03-19 05:19am

She's one of the Dragons. This is gonna go great.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2017-04-13 01:53pm

Aisha was not sure what to make of this new world to which her god had brought her. It was as different from the Nekheb as one could hope to manage. The palace of the Tau’ri warriors was unassuming - there was little in the way of color or decoration. Those few ornamentations the Tau’ri allowed themselves were purely practical. Brightly colored lines along the walls and ceiling were maps from specific parts of the fortress to others, markers to allow one to traverse the otherwise identical tunnels. There were portraits along the walls in certain locations, showing the same five or six faces with a cluster of increasingly smaller portraits below them. Presumably the grey haired smiling man whose portrait was always the largest must be the most important, but exactly why he was important and why the smallest photos were different in each grouping of portraits eluded her. She would learn eventually, she would have no choice really. She couldn’t expect to convert them if she didn’t understand their culture.

She knew she was already making mistakes. It was obvious, for example, that these people had a taboo regarding nudity. They'd made several attempts to clothe her that she'd been forced to reject. Sure would gladly have covered herself, but how was she to express her own religious requirements for an appropriate garment without a proper command of their language.

A priestess of Nekheb was not permitted to wear any garment woven from cotton or wool, anything that combined fabrics of multiple types, or bear a mark other than the mark of her god. Everything they'd given her this far was saturated with the crest of the Tau’ri warrior classes or covered in their blocky script. Even were she permitted to wear their words she would not have done so for fear that it would interfere with the wards tattooed upon her flesh.

Her job as a priestess was to protect her flock from the predators that might try to drag them from the path to enlightenment. Usually this consisted of comforting the sick and the bereaved, counseling couples through marital spats, and guiding the young to good choices, but in the days before the fall, the clergy had a secondary - altogether more dangerous - role. It was the duty of the clergy to battle the evil spirits and monsters.

She ran a finger across her tattooed flesh, thinking of the legends that had spurred her to become a priestess. They had been warrior women of supreme regard. Though they had no magic of their own, it was said that spells rolled off them like water over an oilskin. Perhaps in this time of reborn legends she would get to earn a story of her own someday.

She ran a finger across pages they’d left her. The Tau’ri were extravagant hosts. They’d left her no fewer than two reams of paper in her room bound together with twisting metal binding. They were even marked with thin blue lines to guide one’s script. A minor fortune in paper, and they gave it freely to a guest.

She was trying to determine the best words to encapsulate the role of these curious warriors of the first world within her god’s master plan. Were they an example? Were they a test? The Lord Warden was a man who’d destroyed Netu and defied the King of Dragons. He would not come to the first world and break bread with the people of the first world if there was not purpose behind it. Her hand twitched, hovering over the still blank page.

When the Demon King Thor showed her the recording of her God’s surrender, he had believed it would shake her faith. He believed it would prove her god’s lack of divinity, but did nothing of the sort. The Asgard were powerful demons, they had slain gods before. The Lord Warden was willing to face his own death gladly, as long as his faithful were spared the Demon’s doom. The Demon King then became the instrument of her Lord’s safe passage and the inquisitor who tested the mettle of his faithful. Thor, serving the whims of a Goa’uld System Lord - how many other gods could claim to have twisted the Demon King’s laws on him as the Warden had done?

Perhaps that had even been the Warden’s plan from the start. He was a deity of impossible plots and curious twists, the twice born sorcerer king. Whatever came of giving his flagship to the Tau’ri, Aisha knew for certain it would come out in her lord’s favor. Perhaps the wild warriors of the Tau’ri could be tamed with time.

The Tau’ri warriors were quickly becoming the thing of legends. They were roaming wizard warriors who sought out the oppressed and slew their unworthy gods. Wild, impossible tales were told in secret of how they’d stolen the First Prime of Apophis from under his very nose and taken his tribute to their secret world. They were like ghosts, appearing on a world to slay Jaffa before disappearing back to their impossible address. It was said that no matter what weapon of the gods was thrown through the God’s Eye it would never touch Tau’ri soil. It was said that any warrior foolish enough to travel to the Tau’ri home world without permission would disappear in the space between worlds. It was even said that it was the Tau’ri, not Apophis, who slew Ra - King of the Gods.

Her god had engaged the Tau’ri as equals. He broke fast with them. The Lord Warden's actions were confusing, to be sure, but never had they been without some deeper plan at work. And it only made sense for a god who measured value not by worship but by great action to be drawn to the Tau’ri. But how to encapsulate that properly? Surely it would occur to her eventually?

She picked up the writing implement she’ been given and put down the writing implement frustratedly before she dared touch ink to paper. It had been hours and she still hadn’t been able even begin to tell all that she’d seen. How did one find the proper words to express a meeting between Gods and Demons on an impossible planet? This was work for a senior scribe - not a priestess. It was her role to recite her lord’s truth, not to record it. But someone needed to, and she was the only true believer on this world.

She sighed, giving up on the page entirely and walking the washroom. Yet another curious opulence of the Tau’ri, they were almost systematically wasteful with water. Her quarters included not one, but three distinct water sources. There was a wash basin at about waist height, a seat above a pool of water, and a cubicle with a spigot that sprayed out a fountain of water.

The chamber pot, at least, she recognized. An unassuming metal container lined with a non-porous fabric, she found the lever to open and close its top to be highly practical. She had not yet had a servant arrive to empty it, but given how recently she’d arrived it was to be expected that the Tau’ri nightsoil attendant had not yet added her to his route.

She bathed herself using the washbasin, a rag, and the bar of what seemed to be some sort of soap - though it smelled of no animal fat she’d yet encountered. It created a pleasing lather that smelled vaguely of lavender and mint. She was astonished by just how much filth and grime had accumulated in the past day. The white cloth was stained near black by the time she finished, her skin nearly a whole shade lighter. She marveled at her own reflection, she’d never had a mirror of her own. Those would have been against the vow of poverty she’d taken. She’d spent most of her adult life relying on her fellow priestesses to see to her grooming on her behalf. Other than the occasional distorted reflection in the palace’s gilded walls, she couldn’t recall having seen her own reflection. She’d certainly never had time to consider it.

There was already a hint of stubble along her scalp. Black pin-pricks edging out from tattooed flesh. She patted it warily. While she had kept her head shaved bald in imitation of Heka since she was nine, she was letting it grow out for the first time in sixteen years. The Lord Warden had been furious that his head was shaved, rejecting the most striking aspect of his former incarnation. It stood to reason that he would expect for his priestesses to follow his example. She couldn’t help but feel self-conscious regardless.

Her baldness had been something she prided herself in having. It was a symbol of devotion reserved for those dedicated enough to maintain it or affluent enough to be able to keep a servant that could properly groom them. It felt unnatural to be growing hair. She felt ugly and scraggly with even this little bit protruding out from her like some commoner.

She shook away that thought. The Lord Warden wasn’t interested in class, or appearance - only action mattered. Good people were people who did good things.

But what was good anymore? The old rules were broken, discarded by the new covenant between men, Jaffa, the clergy, and the gods. How did one find guidance in a world where the gods marked mortal men as their equals? Aisha believed it was through a life of service to others. All those who were marked by the Warden were those who’d lived a life of service. Ul’tak lived a life as a warrior willing to die for his god and his people. Mummiah was the head priestess, one whose life was spent in poverty and service to the spiritual needs of his people. Amun, the man who the Lord Warden marked as his equal, was a slave - a eunuch - and he was rewarded for a life, and ultimately death, in the service of his master.

She poked her head out from the washroom at the sound of a door opening. The tiny woman wearing the white coat from earlier had entered her room, flanked by two tall women with dark skin. She was smiling jovially and speaking in what Aisha had come to recognize was a friendly tone. The woman was carrying a stack of shirts and pants that, disappointingly, were still covered in Tau’ri script.

Did these people have no clothing without writing on it?

She walked out from the washroom, replying to the woman’s calm tones with her own language. “No, these are not going to work either. They still have the same problem. I appreciate that you’re trying to make me presentable to your people, but I can not wear that.”

She walked closer to the woman, vaguely aware that her guard's bodies were tenser than they’d been a second ago. They weren’t quite poised to attack, but they were more on edge than made sense for his interaction. The short woman had never shown any discomfort at being in Aisha’s presence before, even after she’d disabled the dark-skinned man. She’d never called for additional guards to supervise her.

It was also apparent to her that one of the dark women was concealing something. She wasn’t sure precisely what, but the posture basically broadcast some sort of stabbing weapon. Aisha gave no immediate signs that she noticed the danger, choosing to reach for the clothing as a delaying tactic. It put the smaller woman between her and the person holding the weapon.

Her eyes bulged as she took the pile of the clothing from the smaller woman, inadvertently brushing the woman’s finger. As she touched the woman her skin and clothing rippled, peeling back around her and revealing a chitinous horror some two feet taller than the diminutive woman had been. It warbled out some sort of command to the dark skinned women, pulling back from Aisha in horror.

It batted at a circular disk on its chest, warbling angrily as the two women reached for her. She punched hard into the chin of the closest, breaking the woman’s Jaw and knocking her to the ground. She reverted into one of the purple armored things, clutching a distended purple maw. The second woman stabbed at Aisha, a long white tube tipped with a shiny metal needle in her hand. She dodged the blow, using the woman’s momentum to propel the weapon into her own leg and depressing the handle extending out from it to inject the vitriol therein. The second woman reverted into yet another horror, staggering drunkenly as whatever poison had been in its weapon took effect.

The horror that once had been the small woman tried to grab Aisha in a bear hug only to find itself upended with her feet in the small of its back and her hands twisting its arms at odd angles. Aisha pulled at the thing's wrists, attempting to break them, only for the creature’s arms to shatter. The hieroglyphs on her hands glowed a brilliant green as the mutilated horror screeched in agony, its vital fluids spraying across the floor.

She grabbed the drugged horror by the throat, marveling at the glowing symbols on her arm as she ripped out the creature’s larynx as easily as if she’d been kneading dough. The beast’s heavy chitin simply dissolved under the complex spell work weaved into her flesh.

The third creature stood up, screeching at her in its alien language with his broken maw, raising a weapon of the Tau’ri at her. It barked loudly, flashing as she tossed herself to the ground. Fragments of wall and furniture were tossed into the air as the Tau’ri sorcery ripped through the air. Aisha’s bare skin bled as she crawled across broken glass and stone, pulling herself from where the creature was aiming.

Nine times the weapon barked. Nine times before it gave a hollow click that Aisha guessed was her chance. She rushed the creature as it was trying to press a metal bar into the Tau’ri weapon, driving her fist through where she presumed the creature’s heart to be. It pierced one
side of the beast and exited the other, slaying it.

Called by either the beast’s screams or the weapon’s barking, warriors of the Tau’ri rushed into her room - jabbering in their curious tongue, this time in a tone Aisha did not mistake for friendly. Luckily they seemed to be mostly concerned about the chitinous horrors, not her. They spoke angrily into the grey boxes on their shoulders, shoving her out into the hallway in an effort to separate her from the corpses.

So it was that Aisha, naked, sweaty, still glowing slightly and covered in dark purple blood, came face to face with a bewildered an older Tau’ri man carrying a laundry basket. He blinked twice, looking her up and down before speaking a practiced phrase of exasperation.

“Oh for crying out loud.”

It was not, in retrospect, the first impression she’d hoped to make on the Tau’ri to whom her god surrendered.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2017-04-14 04:07am

Jacob Carter's head hurt. It hurt a lot. It hurt badly enough that it took him a second to realize that he wasn't in Stargate Command any more. He was in a wooded thicket at the edge of a crystal clear river leading to a wide, deep pool of water that danced with shimmering multicolored motes of light. Bright specks of red, green, blue and all the colors between flitted across a shimmering pool of crystal clear water.

He vaguely recognized the foliage as coniferous, the landscape more in keeping with the northern extremes of Canada than the area surrounding NORAD. Selmak was curiously silent, his presence dull at the back of his mind as though the Tok’ra were in a deep slumber. That was troubling- if the Tok’ra were so engrossed in the act of healing Jacobs’s body that he was not even able to direct an errant thought to his host, then something had been drastically injured when the creature tackled him.

“It” was a Furling. Jacob was certain of that much, though precisely what it being a Furling implied was not a matter that he entirely understood. Selmak seldom thought of them, and when he chose to it was with an ever present edge of anxiety. The Furlings apparently tolerated the Tok’ra because their very existence was part of a cruel prank inflicted upon the System Lords, but they were a galactic power - possibly even intergalactic - who’d been able to crush the System Lords at the height of their power. A fact that only became more terrifying in light of their macabre sense of humor, the Furlings were the unquestioned equals of the Gate Builders.

That alone troubled him. That the Furlings had a seemingly magical ability to travel between worlds at a whim troubled him far more - they had an ability to manipulate physical matter and energy fields that the Tok’ra were unable to understand, let alone match. They’d made some minor strides, of course. Their crystalline architecture served as a barrier and weapon against any would-be Furling aggressor. The crystal walls had curious properties, rendering the powers of Furling and Hok’tar near useless. The exclusive use of the Ring Transports as a point of entry allowed them to set up a constant scan for the natural camouflage of the Furlings. Any Furling attempting to sneak into a Tok’ra stronghold would quickly find themselves the victim of a Tok’ra staff blast in a space that naturally neutralized their otherworldly powers.

He paused his troubled musing, and took a moment to enjoy the brief privacy as Selmak tended to his wounds. He hadn't had much privacy since they'd merged. He'd shared moments that he'd never even considered when first agreeing to merge with the symbiote. He didn't regret the decision - not at all - but there were days he wished that pooping was not a group activity.

Jacob stood up and brushed the front of his Tok’ra uniform, uncomfortably aware of the fact that he was unarmed. There was something odd about how the lights grazed across the water. He could definitely hear the buzzing thrum of insect wings in the air, but they didn’t move the way that he would have expected a firefly to move. They were rhythmic in their movements - if he didn’t know any better, he could swear that they were dancing.

He edged closer to the lake, curious to get a better look. His eyebrows shot up in surprise when he realized that each mote contained a tiny person, with the vague outline of a naked humanoid visible in each mote of light. Stranger still, as he got within earshot of their tiny voices, it was apparent that they were singing in Gaelic. He couldn’t understand a word of it, but he was desperate to hear them better - irrationally so.

Inch by inch his feet dragged him closer to the song, muttering a poor imitation of the intoxicating words. He wanted to say something that beautiful, to be part of the dancing fairy lights. Even as it occurred to him that this was strange, that he hated dancing, he felt the need to dance with the little people along that cool water. They were happy things, they sang and chirped as they stayed just out of his reach. He couldn’t think of anything that seemed as happy and welcoming as the little people did.

He stepped into the pool and felt a cool rush of water in his boots, the thick leather of his shoes plodding through the thick clay beneath the pool. It was slow going though the muck, he had to struggle through the sodden earth to get closer to the lights. But as he got closer to the lights they seemed to twirl just out of reach, their voices echoing with miniscule laughter as they went. When their mocking felt almost too much to bear Jacob felt soft hands on his shoulders as a woman’s voice caressed his ear.

“They will not dance with you brother, but I will.” She spoke in a sultry whisper as fresh as a winter’s morning. “Dance with me.”

He turned to face the most beautiful woman he’d seen in years. She was as clearly not human as she was abundantly all woman. Shimmering dark-green hair festooned with pale blue and yellow flowers was tied into a thick braid down her back, contrasting to pale blue-green. Clad in only the illusion of clothing, the soaking-wet white cotton shirt only served to accentuate her womanly curves and dark-green areolas. She pressed her loveliness up to Jacob, hands wandering over his arms and chest.

She nibbled his earlobe whispering sweet nothings to him and his body reacted immediately. He wanted her in an immediate, primal and visceral way that he hadn’t wanted a woman before. Jacob hadn’t been with a woman, not in a long time. He hadn’t met the right one and he had always been a picky man even when his choices had been few. His philosophy was better no woman at all than the wrong one. He kept rejecting women as too fat, too thin, too young, too old, too foolish or for any number of other perceived failings but right now all of the reasons he’d given himself for not wanting to explore that aspect of himself felt distant and foolish.

Here there was a willing woman and a lonely man.

Her lips met his and his body felt on fire, lust thrumming through his very core. He was a man, she was a woman and he would have her. He didn’t feel old, he didn’t feel lonely, he didn’t feel regret - he just felt the woman wriggling beneath him.

It wasn't till the water had enveloped them both and his lungs were throbbing with pain than Jacob realized that he couldn't breathe. He fought to get his head above water but his body wasn’t responding right - as much as he was trying to pull himself to the surface he couldn’t bear to pull his lips away from hers. He was as certain pulling away from her would kill him as he was of the inevitability of suffocation.

Flecks of white danced across his vision as hypoxia began to set in, an irrational giddiness filling him as the inevitability of his demise hit him - matched only by the obvious elation in the woman’s eyes as she watched his struggles through the crystalline water. Her elation turned to panic, however, as a familiar presence returned to the forefront of Jacob's mind and an altogether familiar sensation washed over him. The illusionary lust purged itself from his body as his muscles responded to the Tok’ra’s will. His eyes were glowing pits of hatred as the symbiote wrapped Jacob’s hands around the woman’s throat, twisting hard to the left.

Selmak hated the woman. He hated her for what her people had done to his mother. He hated how the only reason for his birth was her guilt and shame. He hated that his purpose in life had been chosen for him before he’d even been born as part of some sort of cruel, cosmic joke. She and her kind were the reason that his existence was an eternity of fear and pain. She and her kind had created him to hunt his own blood - blood that he hated and refused to acknowledge, but blood of his blood regardless. These were the monsters who’d weaponized empathy and inflicted it upon the Tok’ra. Countless worlds, millions dead, thousands of friends, family, children and wives - all of them were dead, all were gone, all because the Furlings thought it was funny to start a civil war. Selmak and all the Tok’ra would spend their lives embroiled in an impossible, unwinnable war - because their death and suffering was funny.

Selmak wasn’t laughing.

The furling died in astonished horror as the Tok’ra snapped her neck. She sunk down into the mire, still looking up at Jacob with a glassy-eyed expression of terror and betrayal. Crimson red blood seeped out from her torn flesh, staining the perfect clarity of the pool.

Selmak stood up, gasping in a sharp hiss of air as they broke the surface. The tiny, glowing men who’d felt inescapable only moments ago buzzed across the water’s surface excitedly chittering in a gossipy little him, chirping in gleeful bloodlust. They cupped their hands to lap up the blood soaked water, glowing brighter with each sip. They were hateful, spiteful things. Jacob couldn’t imagine why he’d found them so intoxicating only moments ago.

“I was not awake to mitigate their effects upon us. Once I repaired the damage to your spine, I was able to resolve their illusions.” The Tok’ra replied sagely, the wrath that had subsumed his entire being apparently tucked back into whatever corner Selmak normally hid it in. “Their kind is not easily able to trick my own. Only the strongest among them can fool a Tok’ra.”

“So what was ‘it’ … ‘she’? Doing here?” Jacob plodded back to shore, trying to forget the woman’s dead eyes. They wouldn’t trouble him long. She wasn’t the first person he’d killed, though she was the first who he’d killed with his own bare hands.

“That predator was guarding this entry to Furling territory.” Selmak replied succinctly, an twinge of panic in his voice. “If we find another I will be able to mitigate the situation somewhat but I can only promise limited capacity inside of the Kingdoms of Sun and Snow.”

“The thing that attacked us tossed us into the other side?” Jacob groaned, realizing the gravity of it slowly as he sifted through Selmak’s memories. “You mean we can't get back - don't you?”

The Kingdoms of Sun and Snow were near impossible to reach. Opening a way between the planes of reality required either specialized tools or the genetic predisposition to be able to manipulate the barrier between the physical world and the pocket of reality that the Furlings occupied. Jacob had neither and Selmak’s working knowledge of how to achieve a hole in the barrier was little better.

“Damn it.” Jacob shivered as he reached the shore, the cool forest air piercing how wet clothing. “Why do that? Why not just kill us?”

“He likely wasn't allowed. NORAD has an insanely powerful threshold and wards, applied by someone who was clearly an expert in their craft. A Furling would not be able to enter if he intended to do any harm.” Selmak considered the matter. “He would be able to defend himself but wouldn't be able to injure anyone who didn't try to do him bodily harm- at least not directly.”

“But he's within his rights to just toss us to a freaking siren?” Jacob took off his boot to pour out the water inside.

“A nymph actually. But essentially yes. I suspect that in his mind this was a fair way of disabling us without ‘harming’ us.” Selmak gave Jacob the mental impression of a shrug. “Stranding us in unforgiving wilderness is probably the best possible outcome of being at a Furling’s mercy.”

“That’s insane.” Jacob griped, pulling river weeds out from the front of his shirt. A frog leapt out, chirruping frustratedly at being manhandled. “Even if he wasn’t ‘allowed’ who was there to witness it?”

“Furlings are physically unable to break their laws. They’re more conceptual beings than we are - they are unable to break their law, violate a promise given, or speak anything that they themselves do not believe to be factually accurate.” Selmak replied. “They’re consequently some of the most duplicitous, hateful, and vile creatures to ever exist.”

“Fantastic.” The General sighed. “Why wouldn’t they be.”

“Given their utter hatred of the Goa’uld do you not believe that we would have allied ourselves with the Furlings if such an outcome were remotely plausible?” Selmak chuckled. “Only a madman would ally themselves with the Furlings or the Nox.”

“The Nox?” Jacob queried, only vaguely familiar with the name of the race. “Another species from the lands of Sun and Snow?”

"No. The Nox are very much part of our Galaxy.” Jacob felt an odd shiver up his spine as Selmak adjusted himself within Jacob’s body - an evolutionary tick Jacob knew to be an extreme fear response. Selmak had reflexively released Jacob’s spinal column in instinctual preparation to flee to another host.

“We’re stranded in some godforsaken wilderness in another dimension and it’s something that isn’t even here that’s giving you the willies?” Carter blinked, realizing that when he tried to access the memories relating to the Nox Selmak put up a barrier between them. He just got a hazy feeling of absolute dread. “Selmak?”

“Jacob… there are certain questions that you must never ask me. I do not block the memories from you because I do not trust you but because there are some things that no man should ever be forced to witness. I ask you to trust my judgement and my character, do not ask of the Nox.” Selmak shivered again. “You do not want to see.”

Jacob gulped. The last time he’d forced Selmak to share one of his ‘worst’ memories, he’d been granted visions of one of Moloch’s great festivals. He’d watched women tossing their own screaming infant children into red-hot brass ovens, cheering as the mewling infants howled their last and the cavorting crowds were stained with the clouds of human ashes. Worshippers of rival gods were passed around the festival to sate the urges of Moloch’s faithful, used and abused till the crowd tired of them and they too found their way into the ovens. He watched the hateful faces of Moloch’s worshippers curved up into twisted smiles as they delighted in the way the roasting bodies danced - writhing on the hot coals as their flesh boiled away from the bone and added more grease to the fire.

As terrible as that had been, Selmak had not been terrified by it in the way the Nox terrified him. Jacob changed the subject as much to stop thinking about Moloch as anything else.

“What happened to Kanan and Ban?” Jacob put his still sodden boot back over his foot. “Are they getting drowned in some other pool?”

Selmak paused for a moment to consider it before continuing out loud. “No. We were just collateral damage. The Furling had to have been there for Kanan. There isn't another reason I can think of for it to have been lurking in that specific room.”

“I don’t understand. How would it have known where to find him? Even he seemed surprised to have ended up at the SGC.” Jacob shivered in the cool air of dull twilight. “It shouldn’t have been possible to pass security without being noticed.”

"It didn't if you recall - l noticed it.” Selmak replied in a dry sarcastic tone. The bitter feeling broadcasting from the Tok’ra was a mix of frustration and fear - Selmak wasn't sure what to do next.

Jacob probably should have found that terrifying but it was honestly refreshing to be on even footing with the Tok’ra for once. Selmak had lived a dozen lifetimes before Jacob had even been born. It gave the symbiote great knowledge to draw from, but could often leave the Tok’ra with a feeling of absolute seniority in all things.

It was foolish really, but Jacob was often irritated at just how young Selmak felt he was. Not because Jacob believed his short life was equivalent to Selmak’s innumerable experiences but because he was used to being the voice of wisdom in any exchange. He'd been a General - the man who thousands of Airmen considered the supreme authority at his command. And he was barely an infant to the mind sharing his body.

He knew Egeria hadn’t shared any more than the bare minimum required for the Tok’ra to accomplish their mission of destroying the Goa'uld. Though she had, by all accounts, been knowledgeable in the forbidden machines and sciences of the ancient Goa'uld Empire, the Tok’ra didn’t even know where her Throne world had been hidden after she started their war with Ra. Nor did they know how it still remained undiscovered.

“So what do we do now?” Jacob bit his lip, shivering only slightly. Selmak was suppressing the worst of the cold. He’d probably have suffered some minor frostbite without a symbiote, but as it stood the weather was only mildly irritating. “Staying put doesn’t feel like a great idea.”

“I agree, but moving is likely no less perilous. The physical geography of the Lands of Sun and Snow is inconstant. We know there is a path back to Stargate Command where we are. We know nothing of the lands surrounding us - certainly not if there is another point of entry for Earth, let alone the SGC.” Selmak replied. “If we depart this place before discovering a way to open the barrier, we risk never being able to return.”

Jacob flinched as a distant keening howl of something in the near distance growled, a half dozen closer hunting cries echoing after it. He looked back to the pool, once crystaline now seemingly boiling with dark red blood. “Selmak, something tells me that we’re not going to live long enough to make that mistake if we stay.”

Selmak didn’t disagree as Jacob took off running through the thick underbrush, his attention apparently focused - as Jacob’s was - on the dozens of angry howls echoing through the forest. Something hungry was on the hunt, and neither Jacob nor Selmak was going to make themselves easy prey for it.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2017-05-01 11:50pm

The Furling was furious. Not at Kanan, which was at least some comfort under the circumstances, but furious enough to make Kanan worry just how accurate his genetic memories of the Furlings were regarding their ability to lie. Cat Sith seemed likely to murder him on principle just for having seen the Furling Lord so vexed.

Exactly what had barred the Furling noble from accessing the Kingdoms of Sun and Snow after tossing Selmak through the portal was unclear, but the gateway slammed shut in violent bust of blue and purple sparks - frying the Furling’s whiskers as he tried to drag Kanan into the shutting portal. He screeched a meowling cry that couldn’t be mistaken for anything other than the vilest of curse words, clawing at the empty air with his talons. His claws ripped open shimmering pockets of air that allowed small glimpses into the other world, only for those pockets to sear shut with the same perverse lightning.

Kanan didn’t dare speak or move for fear that he would draw the creature’s ire upon him. He sat on the bed, trying not to allow the scent of fresh rot upon the dead bodies turn his stomach. The crimson of their blood stained most of the walls and ceiling, congealing with the vague touches of frost where the beast walked. Somehow, Cat Sith’s massive paws made no imprint though they ought to have tracked blood everywhere by now.

Curse the Warden - curse his black heart, would Kanan never be free of the man? The man had schemes upon schemes and Kanan felt like he was only now beginning to understand the degree of depth to which the Goa’uld Lord had invested into whatever endgame the Warden was building towards. He’d had no shortage of time to consider them while the Furling tried and failed to open a portal to the other side. It was time that he used to consider and reconsider the events of the past few days with his host.

There were too many convenient coincidences for the Warden’s actions to be mere chance. Every action the man had taken felt impossibly calculated in retrospect, regardless of how insane it felt while one was living through it. It was terrifying really, Kanan couldn’t be sure how much of the Warden’s plans were ad hoc and how many were pre-planned schemes but all seemed to be working in the Warden’s long term favor. So either he was abundantly lucky or had a frankly terrifying spy network and no will to live. Given that he was staring at a favored killer of the Winter Court, the latter seemed entirely plausible.

Had he known that Kanan was coming for him? It was oddly fortuitous that “Heka” had changed routes at the last minute rather than walking into Kanan’s ambush. He’d spent a long time working his way into Baal’s hierarchy to position himself properly to take out the ancient God of Magic. The Semitic deity was well positioned to prove a rival power for Sokar, especially with the acquisition of Heka’s repositories of knowledge. And with a little careful nudging, the Tok’ra could set things in motion to ensure that the armies of Baal, Sokar and Chronos would be embroiled in a war for control of Nekheb – weakening all of them.

But that implied a reliable intelligence source on the Tok’ra, meaning that either the Furlings had breached Tok’ra warding or that one of their own was a double agent on the Warden’s behalf. He wasn’t sure which possibility was less appealing. Especially given that any source capable of providing information on his plans to assassinate Heka would have plausibly been informed of the separate plan to destroy Netu. It was all speculation, but it was disturbingly plausible.

And, given the Warden’s apparent senility, it would be difficult to plan responses around him. Heka had always been a tinkerer. Even back in the early days of the Goa’uld Empire, before their prolonged use of the Sarcophagus started to rot their minds, he’d been at the edge of his sanity. If ever there was going to be a System Lord who would try something dangerous in order to restore their former powers, it would have been Heka. Well… him or Thoth.

He blinked in surprise when he realized that Cat Sith’s most recent comment had been directed at him. “Sorry,” He apologized. “I didn’t catch that.”

“We need to move – quickly.” Replied the Furling. “There are powers at play that were not supposed to be here.”

“Powers other than the ones who is coming to kill me?” Kanan replied, unintentionally allowing an edge of his caustic mood to seep into his speech.

“You would do well to keep a civil tongue in your lips child.” Snarled the massive feline as he lapped at the pooling blood on the floor, wetting his muzzle as he carved strange symbols in the dead guards faces with an outstretched talon. Frost stretched out from the symbols he carved, turning the flesh of the bodies blueish and cracking their flesh. Their wounds froze over as the corpses rose, crimson icicles hanging from their frostbitten skin. “Or I will gladly remind you of exactly why the race of mortal man fears what lurks in the shadows.”

“What have you done?” Ban asked, horrified as the eyes of the resurrected guards shattered - exposing glowing motes of blue light within the frozen orbs.

“The Slaugh Sidhe are never far from the restless dead, they flock to the scenes of mortal transgressions and carnage.” Cat Sith’s maw turned up in a terrifying feline grin. “We have an… understanding…”

The two possessed creatures stared at Cat Sith expectantly, a murderous edge to their barely relaxed posture.

“Friends, I have a task for you. There is someone who has placed wards and a threshold above those placed by the Summer Queen. You are to find those responsible and correct this arrogance.” The predatory creature’s tail swished irritatedly, slapping the now frozen pool of blood. “In exchange you may do whatever pleases you with those responsible.”

The Slaugh Sidhe hissed something close to language, making chittering gripes with their frozen tongues. Cat Sith’s eyes narrowed, “I am no fool. You will settle for the price I have offered - no more - or I shall cast you back to the nothing.”

The two Slaugh hissed in disappointed accession.

One of the Slaugh opened it’s lips, speaking in a voice of honeyed nightmares. Kanan couldn’t understand a word of what it said, but it made Cat Sith cackle in amusement. “No. Lamentably you may do no harm to those under mine own protection nor to the armies of this fortress, except to defend your own lives.”

The other Slaugh made a similar keening intonation. The Furling just continued to grin. “I leave that to your discretion. Suffice it to say, I expect you to leave an impression.”

The two possessed corpses grinned, their frozen faces cracking as their cheeks dimpled. Frozen shards of pinkish blue skin broke off and fell to the ground to melt in the still pooling blood. They picked up the weapons of the Tau’ri discarded by the men they were possessing and turned to the door. Their skin rippled with a translucent blue Aura as they simply walked through the door.

“Well that isn’t unsettling or anything.” Ban spoke in deadpan horror.

“We don’t have the luxury of “comfortable” allies. I am unable to open a path to the Nevernever while the wards are active.” The Furling griped. “We must rely upon those resources at easily at hand.”

“The warriors of the first world are going to slay those monstrosities on sight, you know.” Interjected Kanan.

“They’ll certainly try.” Grinned the Furling Lord in apparently gleeful anticipation of the carnage to come.

Kanan briefly found himself wondering if he might not have been better off staying with the Warden’s retinue. Kanan understood the Goa’uld.

“Come child, we must make our own way.” The Furling growled moving towards a wall in the exact opposite direction from the door. Kanan flinched, briefly considering his chances of making it out the door before the feline had the opportunity to catch him. If he could lock the door behind him perhaps it would delay the creature long enough to reach safety. But if the creature was to be believed, something far worse than the Hunter of Frost was coming to kill him.

Fighting every instinct in his body, Kanan stood up and followed the furling into the shadows in the corner of the room - taking care not to slip on the frozen blood. There was no reason for the shadows to cast on the space into which the Furling walked, there was no apparent source for them given their seeming direct exposure to light. Nor was there a logical reason for the shadows to continue far past where the room should have stopped. Kanan followed the Furling into the darkness, walking into the inky nothing that seeped out from the wall. His feet continued to find open ground long after he should have found nothing, one step after the other into impossible geometry.

By the time he mustered the courage to look behind him there was no room, only the shadows and the Furling ahead of him. Ban’s thoughts were troubled as he directed a question at Kanan, “I thought couldn’t take us to the lands of Sun and Snow.”

“He did,” Agreed Kanan mentally.

“Then where in the thirteen hells are we?” Ban asked, a twinge of fear in his voice as there was a rustling shiver of shadow that brushed past Kanan’s leg in the darkness. Kanan gasped in fear as the black tendril wrapped briefly around his leg before disappearing into the distant shadow. He yelped in shock as two pinpricks of orange light regarded him from the either.

“Do not linger!” Scolded Cat Sith, a furious roar in his throat as the pin pricks disappeared back into the shapeless nothing. “We do not want the attention of the others.”

“Others?” Kanan gulped.

“I am not the only creature who lurks in Shadow.” The Furling admitted as it turned on the spot, pointing a paw behind Kanan. “Now I need you to open the door.”

“What door?” Kanan replied in confusion as he turned around, only to find himself in yet another of the drab grey rooms of the Tau’ri base. A supply cupboard of some sort by the looks of it, there was as bright yellow bucket with a mop in it and a tall shelf covered in brightly colored cleaning solvents. “Egeria’s blood! How?”

“There are spaces between spaces if one knows where to look.” Replied the Furling. “Now, quickly, open the door. I would do it myself but … well.” It raised a taloned paw that looked poorly suited to twist the knob.

“Oh, yes.” Kanan replied, opening the door and standing to the side as the large cat walked out of the closet. It walked carefully, stepping over the metal strip along the floor that delineated where the corridor ended and the closet began.

It was suspiciously bereft of people. A fortress of this size, even as secure as that of the Tau’ri, ought to have had a multitude of people going about the day to day business of a military. The admittedly brief time that Kanan spent walking the spaces of the SGC had been typified by dozens of men and women in blue jumpsuits and camouflage fatigues wandering hither and thane piled high with papers and folders. There weren’t even apparent signs of guards in this corridor.

“Where is everyone?” Ban asked in confusion.

“Not here.” Cat Sith hissed, “Now stop drawing attention to us or they will gladly correct that error.”

Kanan’s eyes widened in horror as they rounded a corner and Cat Sith tackled him into an alcove, holding his massive paw over the Tok’ra’s mouth to keep him from yelling in surprise. The two of them disappeared from view, wrapped in the shadows extending from the Furling’s body.

A cadre of chitinous creatures strode down the hallway, holding the weapons of the Tau’ri as they pushed cart down the hall with a woman upon it. She was apparently unconscious and purple chitinous biotech was attached to her body at odd intervals. There was a greasy taste in the back of his throat as they passed him, their chitin clicking on the stone floor as they walked.

Cat Sith’s eyes widened in shock as the creatures passed him, but not nearly as wide as Kanan’s did. He recognized the creatures from Egeria's memories - Stragoth. They were one of the species Chronos reportedly had under lock and key on the prison planet of Pibotagilnasjo - a planet that had been removed from the gate network when the Goa’uld were forced to retreat after it fell to the Unspeakable in the early days of the ancient conflict before the Folly of Thoth. They were a lesser servitor race of the enemy, a byblow’s byblow in the hierarchy of the Unspeakables, condemned to the prison world by Chronos when he’d used one of Ra’s ancient weapons to destabilize subspace to prevent access to either the Kingdom of Sun and Snow, Hyperspace, or the Gate Network in the solar system of Pibotagilnasjo. For thousands of years the Titan had garrisoned a fleet of star ships above the planet to prevent anything from escaping and to ensure that the subspace weapon’s effects continued to isolate the planet.

Either by arcane sorcery of the Unspeakable or their own technological advancement, the inmates of Pibotagilnasjo had gained access to the gate network. The quarantine had failed. The inmates of Pibotagilnasjo were loose. Even Egeria had been unsure which of the ancient forces slumbered on the nightmare world of Pibotagilnasjo. He had to live through today - the Tok’ra needed to know of this danger to the galaxy.

The Furling let loose a growl that might have been a feline set of swear words once the Stragoth were out of earshot. “Bitch of a Leananside - she must have known. I thought that it was his presence that brought the Russian, not this. Very well. This changes nothing in the immediate but we must move quickly if we are to correct this issue before your escape. Mine own Queen would not approve of them gaining control of this edifice.”

“Where are you taking me?” Kanan’s footfalls, careful though they were, sounded thunderous to him in the otherwise silent corridor.

“Worm, we are 16 stories deep below the spine of the earth. One enemy is knocking at the gates as another festers within. I cannot take you outside this fortress’ wards else I expose you to the one who would see you dead. I cannot keep you here else you fall prey to whatever force the Stragoth have bound to them in order to subvert the will of the Summer Queen. Their sorceries are potent, and they are prepared for the forces of Summer and Winter. Look how they adopt the ferromantic weapons of the Tau'ri rather than using their own techologies!” Cat Sith shook his head. “No - I cannot reasonably say that I will be able to bring you to safety."

He paused for a moment, his lip curling in disgust at an admission of his own limitation. "Don't mistake my meaning. I would of course survive, even if you died. But I would fail in my bargain - and the consequences of your early death would be publicly embarrassing for me."

"Oh good." Kanan replied caustically. "I'm glad to know the only thing saving me from a painful death is your desire to save face."

"It is." Agreed Cat Sith. "Any sane person would call your situation a lost cause. So we are going to the patron saint of those with nowhere else to turn. The deal of last resort for fools and the desperate.”

“That is not an answer.” Kanan growled as they reached a broad set of unguarded double doors beneath a placard that said “Stockade” in the language of the Tau’ri.

“We are visiting a specialist in lost causes and impossible wars, Worm.” The feline purred, pushing the double doors inward in spite of an impressive array of locks that Kanan was convinced had been locked when the Furling’s paw met the wooden barrier. It swung inward, exposing a small room lined with cells.

They were simple things, utilitarian facilities equipped with a bed, washing facilities, a work station and monitoring cameras. Kanan noted that the red lights on each camera suspiciously turned off as soon as Cat Sith moved into their field of view. The cells were mostly unoccupied, though a disturbing number of them seemed to have signs that their occupants had been forcibly removed. Bedding was tossed asunder in several of the cells, with splatters of blood where someone’s face had met the bars of their cell. There were smudges of crimson where someone had been dragged out of the stockade.

In fact there was only a single occupant of the Tau’ri prison. A dark skinned figure wearing a slightly ripped T-Shirt and jeans. Kanan wasn’t sure why, but being in the man’s presence made him deeply uncomfortable - it was different from being in the presence of a Re’tu but still disturbing. The man’s brow quirked in surprise as he regarded the Furling. “I’ll admit, this I was not expecting.”

“Sir Knight.” Crowed the Furling Lord, obviously enjoying the man’s incarceration. “Have I come at a bad time?”

“Da.” Replied the man as he took several steps back to ensure the thick iron bars were protecting him from the Furling. “I find that any time that I cross paths with a Lord of Sidhe ends up being a bad time. But given that you are not a terrifying crab person who is here to drag a screaming and bleeding man to his presumptive doom I am willing to concede that this is an upgrade from my last visitor.”

“You wound me, Sir Knight.” Growled Cat Sith, smiling in a mocking Cheshire grin.

“Not yet, but give it time. I’m sure the moment will arise.” Replied the man in his thick accent. “Now, you have not yet murdered me so I assume you want something unreasonably difficult for a seemingly worthwhile price that will turn out to be a colossal nightmare for me and a giant boon for you, in the long run at least.”

The Cat’s tail twitched eagerly as the man sighed in exasperation. “Very well, what are you terms?”

“I am going to let you out of this cell then help you find your sword and in exchange you will continue your duties as a Knight of the Cross and protect the innocent.” Cat Sith continued his terrifying cheshire grin. “I will, in exchange, agree to a truce between us for the next twenty four hours - provided that you take no actions to harm those to whom I am sworn to give aid.”

“это пиздец” The man pinched the bridge of his nose. “This is going to be a remarkably bad day isn’t it?”

“Probably.” Conceded the Furling.

“Whose your friend?” He gestured to Kanan. As Kanan felt another ripple of discomfort run through his spine he wondered what manner of beast was this for the Furling to seek it out as a “deal of last resort.” He didn’t like being in the man’s gaze, it felt like he was an insect beneath a magnifying glass. At any moment the holder might change the focus and burn him to ash.

“You would consider him an innocent.” Replied Cat Sith. “Now, do you want out of this cell or do you intend to wait for a more ‘divine’ exit? Your ‘crab people’ are busying themselves while we bicker.”

The man nodded, grinning. “This will be fun. I am a big man with a sword, you are a large cat, we will kill monster people. It will be like cartoon with Castle Greyskull.”

“We have an accord?” Cat Sith’s eyes flashed eagerly.

“Da.” The man cracked his fingers. “We have an accord.”

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by LadyTevar » 2017-05-03 04:21pm

Yep, this is gonna be a remarkably bad day for anyone crossing these two.
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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by InsaneTD » 2017-05-06 07:25am

It's a bad day for anyone in the Sol system right now.

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Re: Shattering Occam's Razor (SG-1 / Dresden Files )

Post by Todeswind » 2017-05-29 07:19pm

Dr. Jay Felger freaking loved his job.

Seriously? How cool was this? He got to be on a spaceship designed by ancient alien gods hidden on the dark side of the moon as they literally looted dragon corpses. He was like living a movie! It was precisely the sort of stuff Coombs was always prattling on about in his repeated, flailed pitches to get Jay to join the weekly Dungeons and Dragons game in the SGC Cafeteria. The only difference was that that was real.

It baffled him that not everyone could see just how awesome their jobs were. Here they were on a spaceship and everyone was treating it like they were visiting their aunt in New Jersey. The Marine who’d accompanied him wore a glassy eyed look as Felger explained the various uses for the machines he was prodding and manipulating as he worked. Not that Jay was discouraged, he just needed to make sure to keep going and the Lieutenants would understand the importance of what they were looking at… well eventually anyway. LT Johnson seemed particularly dull even by Marine standards.

He was seemingly struggling to even keep his eyes open as Jay tried to explain just how exciting the power relay was. Well, at least till he explained exactly what it leads to.

“Run that last part by me again.” LT Johnson repeated. “It powers what?”

A whole sentence, with grammar even? Jay smiled. He knew he had the LT eating out of the palm of his hand. When in doubt, the prospect of some new and interesting method of making enemies go boom could catch a Jarhead’s attention. He would eventually have to pair it with an actual way of causing the degree of carnage Johnson was imagining. However, the militaristic nature of the Goa’uld essentially meant that weapons of great violence were a given.

“It powers the defenses to a vault of some sort. This room was the private chambers of the ‘Lord Warden.’ I’m pretty sure that it is an armory of some sort.” Jay repeated, moving the crystal in his palm to a socket in the now exposed wall. It shifted from red to green, shimmering with white light. “Well, that or some sort of treasure I suppose. They went to a lot of trouble to keep this room off any printed maps of diagrams of the ship. Even the ship’s main database doesn’t have any record of it.”

“There is a hidden room?” Asked LT Johnson. “Hell, shouldn’t Thor have found it?”

“The Goa’uld hid this room behind so many different types of jamming, dampening, and cloaking that I honestly don’t even think the Asgard were going to find it if they didn’t know what to look for.” Jay shrugged. Honestly it had just been dumb luck that he noticed the power drain, but he wasn’t about to admit that when the Marine asked, “How did you find it then?”

“Because my dear fellow, I am not just an explorer.” Jay smiled what he hoped was a roguish grin. “I am a man of science!”

The effect was less cinematic that he’d hoped. As he stood and tried to make an elaborate, and appropriately theatrical, gesticulation he tapped two crystals together that seemed to have been best left separated. He screamed in what he would insist later was most decidedly not a high pitched girly sound, hopping on one foot as he sucked the tips of his burned fingers.

The lights flickered in the room, before dying entirely. His marine companion sighed in exasperation as the furious voice of Simon Coombs echoed out of the darkness. “Felger! What did you do.”

“I didn’t do anything.” Jay protested.

“Really Felger?” Replied the grating voice of Coombs. “Because this feels like significantly more than ‘nothing.”

A beam of light cut across the shadows, followed by the portly shape of Dr. Simon Coombs. His stringy hair was disheveled, giving him a near ghoulish appearance in the semi-luminescence outside the cone of blinging white pointed into Jay’s face.

“Hey! Get that out of my face already.” Jay protested as Coombs addressed the marine.

“What did blockhead over here decide to do?” Coombs ignored Jay’s sputtering protestations.

“Dr Felger was attempting to open a secret room. It didn’t work.” Replied the Marine in unamused staccato.

“Felger!” Coombs screeched, flailing his flashlight in irritation. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done? You knocked out the power to this entire level of the ship. There are no doors. No lights. No more oxygen. If we don’t get this fixed, and fast, we’re going to asphyxiate.”

“What?” The Marine replied in a tone that sounded very much like he was weighting the relative cost benefit equation of how much oxygen it would cost him to fire a bullet directly at Jay versus the amount of oxygen Jay would breathe in the time it took for their collective rescue.

“Hold on! Hold on.” Jay raised his hands placatingly. “It’s not as bad as all that.”

“It’s exactly as bad as that!” Coombs screeched, tossing his hat on the ground and stomping on it. “It’s 100% that.”

“Ok, so yes, it sounds really bad – I’ll admit that. But this is a Goa’uld ship. They’re huge and designed for thousands of people. It would take us days to breathe all the oxygen on this level of the ship. By the time, it starts getting hard to breathe I will have already figured out how to open the room.” Jay smiled, a thought striking him as he thought of a dazzling smile. “And if all else fails, Major Carter will save us.”

“Oh. My. God. Felger! This is low, even for you.” Coombs poked his finger into Jay’s chest, punctuating what Simon seemed to believe was a biting point. “You did this in purpose, didn’t you? Just so that you could spend time with Major Carter.”

“I would never!” Protested Jay, even as he wondered if his subconscious might very well have done that very thing.

“Wouldn’t you? I can hardly recognize you from the shade of brown your nose turns anyone from SG-1 is around.” Coombs replied caustically, his voice turning into a mocking parrotlike imitation of Felger. “Oh, Colonel O’Neill, tell me about the time you defeated Ra. Major carter your work has had deep influence on my research and guided the course of my life.”

Jay grimaced. “Bite me Coombs – at least my heroes are real. Shouldn’t you be at a Star Wars convention somewhere dressed as a Klingon warrior?”

“It’s Star Trek. You know that it’s Star Trek – even a heathen like you should recognize the name of Roddenberry’s Altar to human advancement! How you can even begin to call yourself a scientist while rejecting one of its patron saints is beyond me.” Coombs unkempt hair waved as his body shook with nerdly rage. His rant was cut short, however, by the sudden ejaculation of static sound from the Marine’s radio. Someone was trying to reach him.

“Oh, thank god.” The lieutenant exclaimed reaching for his radio as the voice of Colonel Makepeace crackled out across Coombs’ rant. “Sir?”

“Johnson –” The voice crackled into the room. “We need you down here –“The recording cut out, loud static cutting of the Colonels sentence before dulling back to clarity. “- breached the ship. Re-enforcements are coming from the SGC but we’re getting hammered –“Another loud crackle of static. “– They won’t die! Get here now!”

There was the unmistakable sound of gunfire echoing as the Colonel spoke, mirrored by a distant sound of battle on the lower levels of the ship, gunfire and screams of incomprehensible rage.

“Oh no.” Felger swallowed nervously. “That’s, uh, bad – right?”

“No! You don’t say.” Coombs replied, shaking out his trodden hat and placing it back upon his head. “Someone shooting can have so many other meanings.”

“I need to back up my Fire Team.” The Marine’s teeth were gritted in a grimace of rage. “Get me down there now.”

“I – I can’t. I don’t even know what I did in the first place.” Jay swallowed.

“They’re losing without me Felger.” The lieutenant didn’t shout. Dangerous men managed to be terrifying without ever needing to raise their voice. “I will be getting to them.”

“W-what about the ring transporters? Even if I shut down the bulkheads here the rings should work down on the lower levels.” Jay smiled widely. “Yeah! We can just use the rings.”

“And how exactly is he going to do that without power, hum?” Coombs waggled his fingers exaggeratedly, making a silly voice as he said. “Shall you magic them like the warden.”

“I just knocked out power for this level.” Jay replied. “There is a hangar on this level with a personal transport ship for the Goa’uld Lord. It will have a ring transporter on it and the ship should have its own independent power supply.”

“Right,” The Marine nodded, accepting Jay’s substitute. “That’ll do.”

“Cool, so when do we get guns?” Jay queried.

The Marine paused, “We who?”

“Me – well Coombs and me. You’re going to need backup.” Jay smiled, eager to finally be part of the action for once in his life. This was his chance to stand up with his heroes and fight the bad guys.

“Backup? We haven’t even passed the pistol qualification.” Coombs exclaimed.

“I might as well have. I’ve practiced for this like a billion hours.” Jay interjected over the excited fellow doctor.

“Yeah, in Half Life not in real life.” Coombs shook his head furiously. “We are not backup.”

“There is no we.” Said the Marine in a tone that brokered no debate. “I’m going to go help my team stall till the SGC can send us some backup. Until they get here and we can get this under control, the two of you are going to stay here and wait for me to come back.”

“But –“Jay tried to say only for the Marine to fix him with a glare. He sighed, disappointed. “Ok… I get it…”

“Honestly Felger, what were you thinking?” Coombs chided as the Marine ran into the distance. “You were ready to commit suicide just to impress Major Carter. It’s time to accept your place in the whole order here man. You aren’t backup, you’re cannon fodder. You’re like a redshirt’s redshirt.”

“Not more Star Trek.” Felger groaned as he adjusted the lamp on his vest to give him a better view of the crystals he’d fried. “Next you’re going to be telling me that I have to reset the tachyon emitter or something to get this ship up and running. Or is it something about phase variance? It’s always one of those two things, isn’t it?”

“You mark my words Felger, there will come a day where you wish that you had my width and breadth of culture.” Coombs snorted derisively.

“Yeah, when hell freezes over.” Jay turned to Coombs to let off another biting retort, only for his fingers to bump yet another unwise combination of crystals. He swore loudly, shaking his hand in pain – briefly blinded as every light on the entire deck activated simultaneously. He looked angrily at Coombs. “You enjoyed that, didn’t you?”

“No.” Coombs replied in a tone that couldn’t help but seem insincere. “Well…Only a little.”

“Wait. Did you touch anything?” Jay pointed to a display along the wall that he hadn’t noticed before.

“No. Unlike some people I have the common sense not to just go prodding around willy nilly before I actually know that the system I’m screwing with actually does.” Coombs replied. “Why?”

“Because that display wasn’t here before.” Jay replied, practically giddy at the prospect. “Which means, my dear doctor, that I have succeeded in finding the way to open the Warden’s secret treasure room.”

“Indiana Jones, you are not.” Coombs replied, though his interest was obviously piqued. “It’s probably booby trapped.”

“It definitely was.” Jay agreed. “But I already found them.”

“Some of them or all of them.” Coombs asked in a voice of obvious doubt.

“All of them. I’m positive.” Jay replied. “At least 95% positive.”

“What about the other 5%?” Coombs queried. “You know, the percent where some Goa’uld mega-weapon worth of face melt makes us go kaboom?”

“I’m well over the acceptable margin of error here Coombs.” Honestly, Dr. Coombs could be such an insufferable worry wart sometimes. He was always convinced that Jay’s plans were going to turn out to be catastrophic failures before they’d even started. And it wasn’t like he was right that often for Pete’s sake. “You need to learn to just go with the adventure sometimes.”

“You’ll pardon me if my idea of “adventure” involves being on the receiving end of fewer alien made mega weapons than yours does.” Coombs put himself between Jay and the panel. “Now I’m putting my foot down here Felger. We are not touching anything else until the Lieutenant gets back.”

“Coombs for all we know there is a weapon behind that door that can save Earth. We have an obligation as men of science to find out all that we can.” Jay tried to push by Coombs only for the other doctor to push him away. “Come on Coombs! For science!”

“No, no, no, no. We are not going to do something else dumb.” Coombs held up his finger warningly. “I’m not saying never – but until we’re sure that whatever intruder is on the ship is dealt with we’re going to stay put.”

“Fine,” Jay replied in a feigned voice of defeat. “Do you have a deck of cards or something, you know, to pass the time.”

“Oh, yeah.” Simon looked down at his breast pocket. “I’m sure that I’ve got – oh, wait! No!”

His sentence ended abruptly as Jay used the split-second distraction to slip past him and press the holographic hieroglyph he knew meant “open.” Coombs screeched “Felger” in a tone that he was pretty sure should have only been audible to dogs. Jay wasn’t interested in the man’s vitriolic curses against his name and sanity. He was only interested in what was behind that door.

The gold inlaid obsidian surface of the wall shifted, opening inward and exposing a vault within. Hundreds of hieroglyphs along the walls and ceiling glowed a violent shade of deepest crimson. A fluid seeped out from them that Jay was sure was just condensation but couldn’t help but remind him of blood in the dull red light. At the center of the room, chained to a tall post of obsidian, was a woman. She was not a pretty woman. Her dark skin and unkempt hair was dirty and there were twigs and brambles caught in both her hair and shirt that had been there so long that they seemed to have taken root.

“Well don’t just stand there with your mouth open Coombs, man up!” Jay spoke authoritatively. “There is a woman who needs our help.”

“Jay, we don’t know anything about her.” Coombs hissed, though he did follow Felger into the room. It was surprisingly barren other than the post, the woman, and a tile pattern built around two wide interlaced silver circles with interlocking pentagrams between them. It looked like something straight out of a Jack Chick comic – the kind that he’d mocked in college. “She could be anyone.”

“She’s a prisoner of the Goa’uld – which makes freeing her our responsibility. We’re the good guys, remember? The Goa’uld are the bad guys. Why bother being good guys if you can’t free a damsel in the villain’s lair.” Jay waggled his eyebrows as he tried to pick the wrist bindings on the woman. They were rough things, made of iron with rows of cruel points sticking out from them and digging into the woman’s wrists. Dark blood stained the woman’s arms and dripped down to the floor. If Jay had been playing closer attention he might have noticed the symbols around him pulsing in time with each drip upon the stone floor.

It took a lot of effort, and ruined a couple of the thin dental tools he carried with him to manipulate fine crystal, but between the reluctant Simon Coombs and Jay Felger – the manacles were removed from the woman’s wrists. They shouldered the woman between them, dragging her limp form across the floor. She stirred back to life as they passed the first circle, taking short, shallow breaths. As they crossed the second circle her eyes opened and she regarded the two men with astonished curiosity. Once they’d left the strange, glowing room she seemed to be able to stand under her own power.

She staggered forward, testing her weight upon her legs uneasily. It didn’t seem like she’d been using them much lately. She teetered about like a newborn faun, unsure of herself.

“Hey, are you ok.” Jay reached out to catch the woman as she stumbled, bracing her against his arm to help her right herself. She replied to him in a language he didn’t recognize, speaking in harsh tones – though their harshness seemed directed in a different direction than at him.

Annoyed at his apparent incomprehension she rolled her eyes and continued to speak in her confusing language. Jay didn’t mind though, he was busy reeling at the implications of just who the woman was. “Coombs do you realize what this woman is?”

“Other than heavy?” Coombs wheezed, winded from the exertion of having lifted the woman into the room. “No Felger, I do not. I do not know the political importance of some random woman in a secret Goa’uld fallout bunker with twigs in her hair.”

“Coombs – this woman is a Nox.” Jay smiled brightly as the woman’s tirade broke, apparently recognizing the word “Nox” in his speech pattern. Jay pointed to her and said, “Yes, we know the nox. Nox are friends with us. We’re very friendly with the Nox – just love them to death. They’re really close with some good friends of ours.”

“Colonel O’Neill threatened to shoot you last week.” Coombs interjected.

“Only as a joke!” Jay replied hastily. “We have our little jokes, the Colonel and I. So many of them.”

“Oye.” Coombs rested his palm in his hand. “Fleger, stop lying to the woman who neither knows what SG-1 is nor cares. This is just embarrassing.”

Jay ingored Coombs, and pointed to his heart. “I’m Jay.”

“Jay” Repeated the woman.

“Good! Good.” Jay clapped excitedly, pointing to Coombs. “This is Coombs.”

“Coombs” Repeated the woman.

“Perfect. So, Jay, Coombs, and you are?” He pointed to each of them in turn, pointing to her and waiting.

“Jay. Coombs.” There was a pregnant pause before she spoke again her eyes flashing an all too familiar shade of glowing gold. “My name is Druana and I am your new God.”

Jay sighed, turning to his companion. “You’re going to lord this over me, aren’t you.”

“Forever.” Coombs agreed.

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