I posted this a couple of years ago on my blog but some folks at the Authorial Intent panel expressed interest in seeing this, so I’m reposting it here. Caveat! It was a first draft, there are silly errors. It’ll most likely be the only draft. But it turned out how I wanted and that’s what mattered to me :)
DANIEL: Most Goa’uld that we’ve encountered that have enslaved ancient human populations have taken on the roles of those cultures’ deities. Ra, Apophis, Hathor from the Egyptian pantheon…
JACK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we got it.
DANIEL: Well, if these people were already Christians when they were taken from Earth, that suggests this Goa’uld is…is playing…
JACK: God? As in God God? It’s a bit of a stretch, don’t you think?
From “Demons“, Season 3
2000 Years Ago
Joshua heard Simon’s footsteps long before he burst into the room. Through it all he kept eating, talking, smiling, acting as if anything and everything that happened was fine. Even foretold. He had a certain image to project, after all.
“Rocky, you look as if you’ve brought us bad news,” Joshua said while the man at the door caught his breath. Humans were so weak — and weak-willed. That’s what he loved about them. “It was no use running here if it’s going to take you all night to find the air to talk.”
The others’ laughter added the rose of embarrassment to Rocky’s problems, but he rallied tolerably. He always did.
“Master, the agents of the Hidden One decided to move against you. Tonight.”
“Tonight.” He didn’t express it in his voice, but the timing did surprise him. Joshua had figured on several more months, if not years, before they finally got themselves together to deal with him. Contingency plans were in place, but did he have time to set them in motion?
“Yes, Master. The one called Saul met with them. And now…”
Anger rose up in him so quickly he almost let slip a flash of the eyes. It wouldn’t be prudent to pull that little trick with the group so keyed up by this news. He didn’t need any more crap right now, especially with ‘Saul’ now in the mix. Damn that Set, he should have killed him when he had the chance.
“Now, Rocky? Now we eat. And then I will pray. And my Father’s will be done.” He gestured for Rocky to sit and resumed his calm demeanor. The rest of the group returned to eating, still on edge, yet mostly silent. They had learned long ago when to be quiet and do what they were told.
Slowly, the conversation returned to normal. They ate bread and drank wine. It was just like any other night.
After a long enough time, Joshua leaned close to Judas and whispered something to him. Then he leaned back and said loud enough for everyone to hear, “Now go and do what you need to do.”
Judas nodded and left with no hesitation. Not for the first time Joshua was grateful to his brother Thoth for devising the genetic manipulation that gave birth to the Jaffa race.
Gen. Hammond looked over the group that had just come through the gate. “What happened? Where are Mayfield and Elliot?”
“The Tok’ra base was attacked, sir.” O’Neill said as he helped Jacob down the ramp. “Mayfeild died in the tunnels and… Elliot gave the rest of us a chance to escape.”
Hammond called for a medical team, then followed as Col. O’Neill filled him in on what happened on Revanna. “Who’s responsible for the attack?”
Jacob grunted as Dr. Frasier began her exam. “A Goa’uld named Anubis.”
“As far as the System Lords knew, Anubis was dead. Killed 1,000 years ago.”
Jacob, now recovered, brought up the Goa’uld ‘family tree’ hologram.(8) It floated above the briefing room table in full for a second, then highlighted three symbols.
“After the rebellion on Earth the Goa’uld were prepared to return in ships and regain control. For whatever reason the Stargate you found in the Antarctic wasn’t activating when they dialed. Anubis, along with Goa’ulds Amon and Min, convinced the System Lords that Earth wasn’t worth the trouble. After all, there’s no naquadaa here, and by this time there were plenty of other planets seeded with human life.”
“Amon and Min?(2)” Carter asked. “We’ve never encountered them.”
“In Egyptian mythology Amon was a supreme god in the pantheon,” said Daniel. “At around the Middle Kingdom Ra loses prominence and Amon becomes the King of the Gods.”
Jacob shook his head. “He was never a very powerful System Lord, though. Anubis was the alpha dog – pardon the pun – of the three. But they were all distinctive for being very clever. Moreso than most of the Goa’uld. They had a penchant for complex, convoluted plans that sometimes took years to come to fruition.
“Amon died a long time ago – or so everyone thought. Anubis is alive, so maybe he is, too.”
“What about Min?” Hammond said.
The third symbol lit up. “A Goa’uld in Amon’s service. He was only ever prominent when Amon and Anubis were, and hasn’t been heard from since they… disappeared.”
2000 years ago
It had only been a few hours since they came for him. To say it felt more like days was a vast understatement. Set made sure they tortured him soundly and replaced his ‘guards’ every few hours. That way they couldn’t see how much damage was inflicted, and how he really should have been dead by now. Slowly, he was healing. But not too much.
Footsteps. Just one set this time. And a certain smell. Set was coming himself. No doubt to gloat. Bastard.
“Still alive,” he stated.
Joshua didn’t bother to answer.
“I’ve been talking to the Romans. They’re almost convinced that it would be a good idea to crucify you. And, after they do, I’m going to make sure your body is properly dealt with. This time you’ll be well and truly dead.” Set’s tone was a little too sickly sweet. That meant he was lying about something.
“And what did Amon promise you for this?” Joshua almost used The Voice, but could barely summon the strength to wet his vocal cords enough to talk in the first place. He was going to kill Set for this one.
“The great and holy hidden one, Yahweh, offered me passage off of this rock and back to civilization.”
“So you can serve him the way I did?” He would have laughed if it didn’t hurt so much. “Good luck with that.”
The one eye that wasn’t sealed shut by blood and swelling registered a faint flash of light. He’d gotten to Set a little. Not that this was hard to do.
“I serve no one. Unlike you, I’m not content to waste my talents gathering small groups of these pathetic humans for petty worship. I’m a System Lord, a God. And I intend to resume my place as one as soon as you are dead.”
It took effort, but Joshua forced himself to raise his head. Faint traces of anger and arrogance flitted across Set’s face, but nothing deeper. He allowed a little laughter. It was just all too funny. “You have no idea what this is about.”
“You think that what I’m doing–what Amon is doing–is about worship? Do you actually take this being God crap seriously? I knew you were pretty far gone since they abandoned you here, but now you’re actually buying into–”
Set punched him, predictably. It didn’t matter. He wasn’t going to be a real problem. For a while, Joshua was afraid that Amon had told Set what they had been trying to do. As always, Set was just a pawn. A stupid one.
“You die in the morning.”
Joshua hung his head and listened as Set walked away and out of the building. “Well,” he said to the dark, “this just became a lot easier.”
“Josh!!” Maggie darted through the house calling his name. She checked every room up top; no one knew here he was. She tried the house comm. but he wasn’t answering. “Damnit, this is not the time.”
The Wildwind estate was ridiculously large and opulent. It would have taken hours to search if she wasn’t able to determine which rooms were empty with the security sensors. Of course, this wouldn’t be necessary if Josh weren’t being such a prick by not answering her in the first place.
The next place to look was the garden. That could take hours what with his silly hedge labyrinth. “Josh!” she yelled into the foliage. “This Is Urgent.”
“He’s in the chapel, miss,” one of the gardeners said. “Meditating.”
Maggie muttered and took off running. Meditating in the chapel meant there was a huge implied Do Not Disturb sign surrounding him for 30 feet. He could be in there for hours. And they did not have that kind of time.
Urgency aside, Maggie slowed down and entered the chapel almost reverently. The calm, quiet aura of the place reached beyond its walls. Even the bees toned down the buzzing when they went by. Josh sat cross-legged on a meditation cushion right in front of the altar. The morbidity of this practice puzzled her immensely. It was interesting that, though they were in essence the same person, she could not stand to look at crucifixes, much less sit in front of one for hours.
“Josh, you need to snap out of it.”
He sighed. “Magdalena, I thought we had an understanding about this.”
“Yes, whatever. I wouldn’t disturb your precious quiet time if it wasn’t important. This is. Daniel Jackson found an artifact in Honduras. They’re calling it Telchak’s. He found the last piece.”
“Someone please explain to me why we didn’t find this first!”
Joshua’s little explosion might have unsettled a room full of managers or deacons or whoever else he was use to dealing with. In this crowd, the yelling just pissed everyone off. Yet he continued to do it.
“We have thousands of years of experience and knowledge at our fingertips. There’s one of us in every branch of government, every church, every lodge, and every temple. So how is it that Jackson can just pull a book off his shelf and find something that we’ve been looking for since before the Liberation?”
Everyone in the room was a senior member of the organization and didn’t need this little lecture. Maggie was especially tired of it. Being who she was already gave her a quick temper. Add red hair and Irish blood and she was thisclose to taking Josh’s head off with her pinky finger. Unfortunately, he was important, much as she hated to admit it.
“Do you want the short answer or the long answer,” Thomas said. “Or are you going to yell at us some more?”
“Don’t get cute with me, Tom.”
Thomas was almost 70 and therefore truly didn’t have the patience to deal with a young punk, even if Joshua was an alpha-child and he was only a gamma. Still, the primefather would want to know and he would talk to Josh before anyone else.
“The short answer is that we had no reason to go looking for it where Dr. Jackson found it. The Ajawaxel (4) guarded that entire continent from Goa’uld influence from the start. That Telchak was even able to worm his way into Maya consciousness was a miracle. Especially as there’s no evidence he was ever punished for it.”
“Anubis punished him enough,” Maggie said.
“But Anubis never found the device, either,” said Thomas. “For the same reason we didn’t. Jackson got lucky. It was really his grandfather who gave him the connection.”
Maggie put herself between the two men before the derailment got even worse. “May I suggest we concentrate less on the blame and more on the urgent matter, here? How are we going to get the device out of the SGC before the blasted Tok’ra take it away to ‘study’?”
“Simon?” Josh nodded to the dark-haired Air Force Colonel at the end of the table.
“The operation to liberate the artifact is already underway. Since the US has possession we’ve been able to tie up its release to Jacob Carter.” Simon grinned. “Bureaucracy saves the day. Again.”
“Only if the plan works.” Though he had confidence in their network of insiders, Josh had learned never to underestimate SG-1 or anyone in the SGC. If only they’d found the damn thing themselves!
“It will,” Simon said, almost defensively. “Once Lt. Bartholomew has his hands on the item we’ll use the Asgard beaming technology to get him out of the SGC.”
“The beaming technology from what ship?”
“The Primefather’s, of course. He’s on his way and Bartholomew knows not to make his move until we know he’s in orbit.”
Josh was quiet for a long time, staring at Simon as if he intended to remember his face for all time. And not for any reason but a malevolent one. “You contacted the Primefather without my permission?”
It took a lot of effort for everyone in that room not to groan in annoyance. Maggie had had enough.
“Josh, sometimes I think you forget that we are a reflection of the Primes just as much as you are. We’re not your employees. Simon, or any of us, has every right to contact the Primefather. We were created to serve him, not you.”
If Josh could flash his eyes in anger, he would have. The red blotches forming on his cheeks would have to do. “I am him.”
“So are we all,” Maggie said, unimpressed. “And, more to the point, I am the only Harcesis (5) of both Yeshua and Miryam alive in this generation. Think about why that might be before you come at us with this shit again.”
Turning her back on him was a gamble. One she had to take. There was no way for him to know what kind of trouble he’d be in if he killed her. The hint she just dropped was probably enough to keep him in line. Probably.
“Simon, keep close tabs on Bartholomew and tell me the second this is about to go down. This is our only chance.”
“ETA is 22 hours,” Simon said. “I’ll be in the tech room at Wildwind.”
Maggie nodded and walked out, indicating that the meeting was over. The other two filed past the seething red statue that was Josh as they left. Simon looked slightly apologetic, but Thomas was radiating smugness. Anger is a violent, consuming emotion, but only if you let it get the best of you. A few minutes of deep breathing and light meditation allowed him to think clearly again. He would save that anger for another time. Specifically when he and the primefather were joined and all of his emotions would find their greatest expression – through the gem of a hand device.
“Does it hurt?” Dr. Frasier asked.
Carter shook her head. “No, feels fine. Except when I hit my elbow or something.”
Janet made a completely unnecessary adjustment to Sam’s sling so that she could lean in a little closer. “So, you just came in for a visit, then?”
“Something like that.” A quick look over Janet’s shoulder confirmed that they were alone, so she snuck in a quick, but satisfying, kiss.
“I could tell General Hammond that you need at least a week of rest to recover from this.”
Sam grinned. “I don’t think he would buy it. Besides, I really should finish the preliminary analysis of Telchak’s device so that we can release it to the Tok’ra.”
“And then maybe a week off…”
They were able to go in for one more before the sound of impending company cut the moment short. Jacob proved to be the source.
“Hey, kid. How’s the arm?” he asked.
“It’ll be fine. Thanks, Janet.”
The doctor helped Sam off the table. “Just let me know if you need anything.”
Jacob didn’t catch the conspiratorial smiles they gave each other as he and Sam walked out of the medical bay.
“Any idea when I can take the device? The rest of the Tok’ra are anxious to get started with it.”
“I guess as soon as I get my data to Area 51. Honestly, I don’t know why you didn’t get the go-ahead to transport it in the first place.”
Daniel met them outside of the lab where the device was stored, but he seemed hesitant to hobble in. “You’re… not going to turn it on or anything, right?”
“Not if I don’t have to, I promise,” said Sam. “Just a standard scan.”
Lt. Bartholomew watched the three at the door nervously. The Primefather’s ship was supposed to have arrived 30 minutes ago, but he had no confirmation. And now Major Carter was going to start her analysis and he didn’t know if he’d be able to keep things under his control.
Finally, a pulse message came through his shoe. The ship was ready. A slight twitching of fingers sent a message back that he was not alone. A pause. Then orders that he should give the signal to beam when the three were close. He got ready.
“All right, let’s get started.” Carter motioned for Bartholomew to bring the box to the exam table. It only took a couple of seconds, and it might have been long enough for her to register that something wasn’t quite right if he hadn’t bumped her elbow causing a blossom of pain down through the fingertips. She didn’t have time to cry out before the room went white and dissolved.
When her atoms reassembled, Carter took quick stock of the situation. Daniel as here with her, as was Bartholomew and the box with telchak’s device. That was definitely an Asgard beam, but they weren’t on an Asgard ship nor one of their own. In fact, it looked like a Goa’uld ship. And they had at least three zats pointed at them.
“I thought you said Jacob Carter was with you,” Maggie said.
Daniel and Carter exchanged looks, wondering who she was talking to.
Bartholomew stepped out from behind them, handing the box over to a Jaffa. “He was, but he wasn’t as close as I thought when you activated the beam.”
“Lieutenant!” The woman holding the zat forced Carter to step back to where she was.
“No matter. Two is better than none – stroke of luck in our favor.” Maggie clapped Bartholomew on the shoulder. “Well done. Joshua is with the Primefather. Report to them.”
“I’m sorry,” Daniel said. “But, who are you?”
“The Primefather?” Sam added.
“My name’s Magdalena. You are Major Samantha Carter and Doctor Daniel Jackson. I’ve heard a lot about you.” The last was directed more at Daniel. He was quite as cute as his pictures, and she wasn’t above making that clear in the way she ogled him.
Daniel hopped back. Twice.
“You didn’t exactly answer the question,” Sam said.
“I know. Jaffa, make sure they’re comfortable but do not, under any circumstances, give them any possible way to leave this room. They’re SG-1. Well, half, anyway.” She turned to leave. “Oh, and make sure Dr. Jackson is shirtless and his wrists bound by the time I see him next. Just for shits and giggles.”
2,000 Years Ago
A very wise man once said that Life is Suffering. He was right. Joshua knew that he was not the first person to be crucified, nor would he be the last. And there were, of course, worse tortures. But it was hard to appreciate relativity when there were nails in his flesh.
Up until this point he’d endured the pain because, if he hadn’t, he wouldn’t have had the strength to get through this part. Now he focused his mind, centering himself. Pain was just another sensation, like breeze blowing across the skin or a kiss from his beloved. He was not his pain. Soon, it became a distant thing.
The symbiote started the process of protecting itself from going down in death with the host. He drew all of his resources into his own, snake-like body, disassociating himself. The only senses he kept were sight and hearing. He wanted to be able to know when the time was right to activate the final plan.
For the first time in many years, the consciousness of Joshua, son of Joseph, came to the fore. He didn’t understand what was going on. Didn’t know why he was here and not somewhere safe. Min had promised to keep him safe.
That part made him proud. Only a very few times in the history of the Goa’uld’s bonding with humans was a host not merely a fleshy puppet. Most Goa’uld didn’t care about their host’s minds. They were something to be suppressed or accessed if necessary. Min prided himself on being able to take hosts that freely accepted him. Those who worshipped him like the god he pretended to be. They loved him, aided him, worked in concert with him. So they thought.
The human Joshua began to sob. It wasn’t just the pain; he would have stopped if it was. It hurt to breathe, much less heave the way he was.
“My God, why? Why have you abandoned me?” he cried.
Out of the eyes Min saw one person standing beneath the cross. It was Miryam, and she was beautiful. He imagined that if he looked hard enough he could discern a glimmer of his queen looking out at him from those eyes.
Judas walked up behind her. She was safe with him. He would protect her and the secret she carried inside from Set and Amon. They would never even suspect.
Min exerted one last burst of energy. “Take care of her until I return,” he said, his eyes glowing just long enough to let Judas know who was talking. And then, he died.
All across the globe men and women of all kinds, from all cultures and societies, politely excused themselves from whatever they were doing and took messages from the Goa’uld ship in orbit. Some of them received instructions to retrieve certain objects placed in their care. Others were given instructions on where to travel and who to speak to. The time of the Second Coming was at hand.
In the Vatican, a high-ranking cardinal removes the real Spear of Longinus from its hiding place with the full knowledge and consent of the Pope. In Scotland, Thomas Plantard sets off to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from a secret chamber underneath Rosslyn chapel. In Egypt, a young man named Hakim sneaks into the Great Pyramid, then opens a door to a passage no Egyptologist knows exists. When he reaches the ancient temple underneath the Sphinx, he takes a golden wedjat from the altar and holds it up in the light of his torch. Its unique gem flashes back at him, as if winking.
One by one the another three artifacts are brought out of the places where they had been carefully hidden. In some cases for millennia. All six arrive on the ship with their bearers. And though they are separated by age, race, culture, distance, and even time, they all have one thing in common. They are all Yeshua ben Yosef. They are all Harcesis.
The guards brought Sam and a limping Daniel up to the pel’tak where they found Magdalena waiting for them along with several others. It wasn’t hard to pick out which one was the Goa’uld in charge. Like all the others of his kind, he was the flashiest dresser and sat on the center throne. Daniel was trying to guess at who he might be by the ethnicity of the host. A trick harder to do, lately.
He was brown-skinned, shorter than most Goa’uld they’d met, and stockier. He had thick dredlocks that went down almost to his knees and ran wild over the throne.
“Major Carter, Dr. Jackson…” Yeshua raised a brow. “Is there a reason you don’t have a shirt on?”
Maggie smiled a smile so innocent only a truly evil person could smile it.
Carter tightened her jaw and shielded Daniel a little. “And you are?”
“In my time on Earth I was called Yeshua. But you might know me by my later title, Jesus Christ.”
“You… are Jesus Christ.” Daniel huffed out a laugh. “You’ve got to be kidding.”
“I assure you, Daniel, he is not.”
“Dr. Raybourne?” If the Goa’uld didn’t shock him, this certainly did. He hadn’t seen Thomas Raybourne since his parents’ funeral. He’d been a good friend of Nick’s before the crazy house. In this context it was almost comical for him to show up.
“Good to see you again. Though I’m probably seeing more of you than either of us truly wants.” Thomas smiled in a fatherly sort of way, making him ten times creepier. “Major Carter, do you consider yourself Christian?”
“33 percent of humans on Earth do. They, of course, are divided by denomination – Catholic, Baptist, Anglican, Petecostal. Hundreds of different ideas, different beliefs. But they do share the one. That Jesus is their Lord and savior.”
“So you’re telling me that Jesus – turn the other cheek, blessed are the meek Jesus – is a Goa’uld?” Daniel made his disbelieving face and Sam followed suit.
“The text has been massaged a little,” said Maggie. “And the backstory – how would you put it? Retconned?”
Yeshua stepped down from the central throne to approach the prisoners. “Much of what has been written about what I did or said is a deliberate construct, meant to achieve a specific result. Essentially what you see in Christianity. Of course, I much preferred the church of old. They had such a fine way on interpreting ‘scripture’.”
Joshua swaggered in, an extremely self-satisfied look on his face. “Father, the pieces are all in place and ready for you to assemble.”
“Good. Bring our guests. At least one of them will find this extremely interesting.”
As they traveled down to the cargo area, Sam was taking note of every aspect of the situation. She and Daniel were horrendously outnumbered. Even if her arm wasn’t in a sling and Daniel’s leg wasn’t broken an escape at this point wasn’t looking at all possible. If only they’d left them alone for just a few minutes.
In the cargo hold there was only a large table with several objects on it. In the center, Telchak’s device. Off, Daniel noted with relief. Then his brain lit up as he took note of the rest of it. He recognized the Spear of Longinus and the Ark of the Covenant right away. It took him a moment to recall that the wedjat was a legendary device that was supposed to see into one’s heart. Some sort of psychic crystal. He was familiar with the symbolism and stories behind most of the other things. These were all artifacts that were thought lost to time. Apparently not so lost.
Thomas patted his shoulder. “Yes, all of that is exactly what you think it is, Daniel. We’ve been collecting and hiding these things for millennia. Waiting for this day.”
Yeshua stood over the table for a long time, touching each object in turn. “And now the day has come.” He started to pick something up, then half turned to the others. “Joshua, come here.”
They stood, eyes locked in silence, for what seemed a long time.
“Why were you created?” Yeshua asked.
“To become your new host. A vehicle for your Second Coming.”
“Then fulfill your destiny. Assemble the device.”
Daniel looked to Thomas for an explanation despite himself.
“All of those objects are pieces of a device created by the Ancients. Each has a power of its own, as you’ve discovered with the bit Telchak found. Together, they create a formidable device capable of immense power. More powerful than any fleet of ships or army of Jaffa. The texts say that it gives and destroys life, controls the very clouds in the sky, and has the power to move mountains.”
“But in the hands of an ordinary human…”
“Joshua is no ordinary human, Daniel; haven’t you guessed? He’s Harcesis. We all are, to some degree.”
The Ark seemed to be the main housing for this device, whatever it was, and Joshua fit most of the artifacts into niches just under the gold casing. The Telchak device went inside, fitting into place with an audible click.
2,000 Years Ago
Miryam stood in front of the tomb where they buried him. This was the seventh day since he died. She was almost convinced that he wouldn’t be coming back. Almost.
Judas was behind her. She could sense him, even if she couldn’t see him. It was something to do with what he carried in his stomach and what she carried in her head. It allowed her to feel certain things, but not to understand them.
She wanted to run away. She didn’t want the baby inside her, but she also did. As long as she was with child, the other Miryam couldn’t control her body or her mind. It would kill the baby. (6) But if she did anything to harm the child, the terrible monster would return and punish her and they would force her to do it all over again.
Tears spilled down her cheek. This was not of God. No matter what Joshua said. These creatures were demons and he couldn’t see it. Maybe that was why the man – Saul, was his name? – why he insisted that they burn the body and not let Joseph take it. Maybe he knew.
“Are you crying for me?” A voice from her left. His voice. “Or are you crying for him?”
“No,” Miryam whispered. “No… you are dead.” She wouldn’t turn her head. She prayed so hard for it to be a trick of the mind, of her ears. If she didn’t look, he wouldn’t be there.
His rough hands caressed her cheek, then slid into her hair, gripping it at the scalp.
“I’m God, Miryam. I cannot die.”
She dissolved into sobs. This nightmare was far from over. Joshua grabbed her arm and made her face him.
“Pull yourself together, woman. You have work to do.”
He gripped her tighter. “Yes. You need to go to the others and tell them you’ve seen me. Alive. It will prepare them for when I arrive later. Then you will go with Judas and leave Jerusalem. He’ll take you someplace safe where you can have the baby. If you disobey me in any way you will not live past its birth. Do you understand?”
“I do.” she whimpered.
Before parting, he forced a kiss on her. It was thrilling to have such great power over this woman. His queen would punish him for it later. But then, he enjoyed her punishments.
There in the garden a seed had been planted. It would grow into a wild kind of plant with branches and vines all over the place. Even the wildest plants can be tamed. You just had to give them space and time. Time. Space. He had an abundance of both. The only thing to do now was to deal with Amon and Set. They would make excellent fertilizer.
Daniel knew what was coming. He could tell by the way Joshua was holding himself. He wasn’t going to let Yeshua run the device at all. Had he been planning this all along? Probably, Daniel surmised.
Josh placed four fingers on the Ark and pressed hard before anyone could move. A bright light exploded out of it. A light Daniel was, unfortunately, all too familiar with.
“Josh… Josh, stop it. Turn it off!” Maggie was having trouble seeing and breathing. In trying to get to Josh she discovered that she could not move.
No one could, judging by the stillness in the room. Only Josh was moving. Hovering, actually. The very evil look on his face highlighted by the bright light coming from inside the Ark. He looked about to say something when his expression rapidly changed from triumph to fear. He spoke, but the voice wasn’t his own. Nor were the words.
Maggie could hear it clearly, but had no idea what he was saying. It was rather like listening to someone speak in tongues – without the passion. There were only two people in the room who understood – Doctors Jackson and Raybourne. They both pegged it as a Maya language right away.
“He’s… he’s saying that those who seek power don’t deserve power,” Daniel said. (7)
A beam from the wedjat’s crystal swept the room, then pulsed, then both Daniel and Sam were temporarily blinded. The pain in Sam’s arm was gone. Not just faded. Gone. It was healed. The Jaffa next to her thumped to the floor along with several others in the room. That left one guard next to her and Thomas next to Daniel. She’d have to take the chance that his leg was healed, too. The blindness was staring to wear off and she only had one chance.
Sam shot her elbow out where the guard’s midsection should have been. Luckily, she calculated right. Her arm came up into his face and down on his neck. One down.
Without hesitation Daniel punched Thomas in the face, sending him to the ground.
Maggie panicked for all of three seconds. The Jaffa were all down and so was the Primefather. They might even be dead. Damn Josh! If he wasn’t dead she was going to kill him herself. Carter and Jackson made their play, but she wasn’t about to let them get the upper hand. In one swift move she knocked the wind out of Daniel and twisted Carter’s bad arm behind her back with all the intention in the world of snapping it. However, she fell prey to the exact resourcefulness she’d warned the others against earlier. Daniel had fallen on a Jaffa. And he was well-versed in the use of a zat gun.
“Thanks,” Sam said as she helped him up.
“We need to get the Telchak device.”
They ran over to where Josh was splayed on the ground under the Ark. It looked like several bones were broken.
“He must have fallen after the thing stopped working,” Daniel said. Reluctantly, he extracted the Telchek component. He also tried to get at some of the other things, but they wouldn’t budge from their places.
Alarms started going off. Someone finally noticed that all was not right.
“Leave them, Daniel. We’ve got that, at least.” Sam grabbed a couple of zats and led them carefully through the corridors.
“Think you can find the way to the room with the beam?” asked Daniel.
“Yeah, it was the ring room. This way.”
They had to zat a few Jaffa along the way, but eventually they got to where they were going.
“This looks like it was stolen from us,” Sam said, manipulating the controls. “It’s definitely Asgard and definitely from the Stargate program.”
“So Lt. Bartholomew wasn’t the only SGC person working for them?”
“I guess not. That makes this while thing about a hundred times more complicated.”
A troop of footsteps were coming toward them. Sam quickly memorized what she could, then beamed them off the ship and back to the SGC.
A Jaffa helped Maggie up as she came out of the zat-induced haze. She’d never experienced that in this body and she never, ever wanted to again.
“Let me guess, Carter and Jackson escaped.”
“They just beamed back to the surface,” the Jaffa confirmed.
“I’m sure there will be consequences for that later.” Whether she meant for him or for herself wasn’t clear. “In the meantime, get the ship out of orbit. Anywhere but here as fast as we can. I don’t want them figuring out a way to beam onboard.”
Once she got her legs back under her she took a look at Josh. He was still alive and in obvious pain. Good. As much as she wanted to do something to exacerbate that, there were more important things to worry about.
Yeshua was alive. No one dared approach him as he picked himself off of the floor. His eyes were glowing steadily. There would be no calming him anytime in the near future.
“The device did not work,” he said. “Joshua was too weak to control it. And now we’ve lost the last piece.”
Maggie started to be afraid that everyone would suffer for this one.
“Primefather, the failure of the device wasn’t Joshua’s fault,” Thomas said. “He was an idiot for trying what he did, but I believe it would have done the same if you had tried it.”
“Right before it knocked you and the Jaffa out, a voice spoke through Josh. I think it was the voice of the Ajawaxel. It spoke Maya.”
Yeshua nodded slowly. “They tampered with the device.”
“I think so.”
Yeshua lifted Josh from underneath the Ark by the front of his shirt. There was considerable pain involved. The broken bones shifted and hung in ways that would not be conducive to healing. Then again, they weren’t destined to be healed.
“I can’t punish the Ajawaxel. I can punish you.”
Joshua called up every ounce of strength that he had to look Yeshua in the eye. “Pain is just a sensation.”
“True. And all life is suffering. Yours now more than others’.” Yeshua brought the hand-device up to his face and began the long, satisfying process of liquefying his brain.
“If the device can’t be used by a Goa’uld, then perhaps it won’t be safe for the Tok’ra to study after all.” Jacob walked rather closer to Sam than he normally would have. The panic he’d felt when she and Danny disappeared stayed with him all through the frantic search to gain some clue as to where they were. It was only a few hours. That was enough.
Sam appreciated her father’s over-protectiveness up to a point. At the moment it was impeding her from getting some alone time with Janet, which they both sorely needed. “I think the glitch was probably specific to it being used in combination with the other artifacts. Alone it can’t really be used as a weapon. Just in combination with the others.”
“Still, maybe I should set up camp here for a while. Let you and the Area 51 people take the lead.”
“It wouldn’t hurt.”
“Jacob, I need to give Sam a full examination and for that she needs to disrobe,” Janet said.
“Oh. I’ll uh, let Gen. Hammond know about our decision then.” He kissed his daughter on the forehead. “Glad you’re okay, Sam.”
“Thanks, dad.” Once he was gone she grinned at Janet. “I need to disrobe, huh?”
“Well, maybe we can save that for later.” She touched her forehead to Sam’s, grateful that she was okay. “So, a week off?”
“Make it two.”
2,000 Years Ago
Miryam’s condition was obvious by the time they stepped onto the shores of Gaul. She’d never been this far from Judea before. And she had no idea if she would ever see her homeland again.
As instructed, the others knew about the Master’s return from the dead by her own mouth. She’d tried to tell Simon that Judas wasn’t to be trusted. That he was evil. She had hoped they would protect her, knowing that she was the Master’s wife. Instead they had turned her over to Judas and told them both to leave forever. They had always been a petty, jealous bunch. Now they were rid of the two Joshua trusted and loved best.
Anger rose up in her like new. Almost like those times when the creature inside was in control. It was just that kind of feeling. She wondered if, when the baby was born, they would return and take revenge on Simon and the others. Lord help her, she was starting to think like these monsters.
“Why do you do this, Judas?”
They were alone at the docks, waiting for those who would take them in.
“Why are you here with me and not with Joshua? Can’t you just… you could say that I died on the journey.”
“I would never leave your side,” Judas said. “And if you died, I would die as well. For I had failed my god. I am here with you because that is my task. To protect you and the blood that flows through you. God’s blood. The God’s child.”
He put his hand on her stomach. The child inside moved a little. “You and I are the same. We both carry a God inside of us. Is that not the highest honor anyone can have?”
As a child, all she wanted was to be a good wife, a good mother, and to serve the Lord God faithfully. Maybe if she stopped fighting it, she could see her life as a fulfillment of that desire. She could speak the way Judas spoke and revere these creatures as he revered them. If she just let go it would be so much easier to cope with. An easier burden to bear.
2 – Yes, I made Amon and Min up. They were both real Egyptian Gods, but they’ve never been mentioned in Stargate, as far as I know. [Back Up]
4 – Ajawaxel is the name I came up with for the Giant Aliens that Daniel’s grandfather, Nick Ballard, discovered through the crystal skull from the episode Crystal Skull. The Giant Aliens are the basis of the Mayan gods, apparently, and they dislike the Goa’uld. Ajawaxel is the word for God in one of the Maya languages. [Back Up]
7 – Y’all, I really don’t have the energy to go look up how to say that in ancient Mayan dialect. You’ll just have to use your imaginations. [Back Up]