All About Janus
I don't own Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Stargate SG-1. They belong to Joss Whedon and MGM respectively.
~~November 8th, 1997
Holding Room I, Stargate Command
“So you know the Nox, then?”
Janus shook his head. “It would be more appropriate to say that I know of the Nox. No modern Nox would ever recognise me. It has been too long for even the eldest of their race.”
Daniel mentally acknowledged the point. The eldest Nox they had ever met was Ohper, who had been 432 years old. While that was ancient by human standards, it was paltry compared to the 5,000 odd years that Janus had apparently been out of circulation.
General Hammond stared at the so-called Tok’ra for a long moment, attempting to formulate a question that might help this situation. “We require an explanation of how you came to Earth, Mr. Janus. We also wish to know how you came to know how you came to gain so much information on this command. I’m sure you understand what a security breach that is.”
Janus smirked. “Yes, I thought I might ruffle a few feathers. Tell me, Master Teal’c, what do you know of me? It will help me if I can skip what you already know.”
O’Neill interrupted before the Jaffa could speak up. “I’d actually like to hear this version without you knowing what Teal’c knows. Spotting inconsistencies and all that. I’m sure you’ll understand.”
The Tok’ra offered a smirk of respect. “I do indeed. I only ask for the opportunity to discuss any inconsistencies that do pop up. Master Teal’c is reliant on 5,000 year old Jaffa legends for his facts. There are some things that might have blurred with time.”
Daniel nodded in agreement. “That’s fair, Jack. Legends do have a tendency to shift and change over long periods.”
Hammond acknowledged the points his subordinates were making. “I agree. You will give your tale without accompaniment, Mr. Janus, and then you will have an opportunity to defend any inconsistencies in your story.”
Janus tilted his head in agreement. “I have already told you of how the Tok’ra were first spawned. With the rise of the Tok’ra, the Goa’uld were faced with a deadly threat. War broke out across the galaxy. The Tok’ra were having much success at first, because we did not fight amongst ourselves as much as the Goa’uld. Unfortunately, Ra proved cannier than anyone gave him credit for. Realizing that as long as the Tok’ra could replenish their numbers they would be a significant threat, Ra captured and imprisoned our beloved Queen Egeria. It is believed by modern Tok’ra that she was killed, but I have since learned that she was captured.
“With the fall of Queen Egeria, things became more desperate. I myself went to my chosen world of Kheb with all those Jaffa that were loyal to me. I then lured Ra into a trap that should have broken him. Unfortunately for me, I underestimated the strength of Ra’s might and my people were defeated. I was brought before Ra and then executed before him and his court. Before I died, I spoke the words ‘Shal’kek nem’ron’, which means ‘I die free’. That is the last the world knew of me for millennia.”
Teal’c nodded silently. The story was largely consistent with what was largely known, though the fact that Janus was alive again somehow made little sense.
Sam blinked slowly and then shook her head. “All well and good, but how do you explain that you are alive now? You just stated that you had died 5,000 years ago. How is that even remotely possible?”
Janus smiled patiently. “Tell me, Captain Carter, has anyone amongst your people heard of the Ancients?”
All five of Janus’ audience shook their heads.
Janus nodded in acknowledgement. “It is a little known fact that the Goa’uld have suppressed, but which all Goa’uld and Tok’ra know due to our genetic memory. The Ancients were the builders of the Stargates. They are a race that preceded the Goa’uld by many millennia. What is not known to any save me is what became of the Gate-Builders. Long ago, the Ancients learned the path to ascension. This is a way of moving beyond one’s physical form and existing as an energy being. That day on Kheb, I made the momentous achievement of becoming the first non-Ancient to achieve ascension without the help of others.”
Jack offered up a sneer of contempt. “So you’re saying you became a god? Is that it?”
Janus shrugged faintly. “I could argue that the ascended have god-like powers, but they are not actual gods. In fact, there are strict rules of non-interference which prevent us from truly acting like gods in the sense that you mean.
“But back to my story. Upon my ascension, I chose to pretend that I was truly gone and I laid in wait for a moment when the Goa’uld displayed weakness once more. My time came when you, Jack O’Neill, killed Ra. With Ra’s death, the system lords no longer had firm leadership and civil war began. I began to carefully investigate things I felt that I needed to know before regaining mortal form, the location of Queen Egeria being foremost among them. And then I waited for my opportunity to regain mortal form.”
Daniel shook his head in confusion. “I’m sorry but why did you have to wait? Is there a long procedure in taking mortal form again?”
Janus smiled benignly. “Taking mortal form is not difficult, no. However it is not something that is done lightly. By taking mortal form, I gave up the powers of the ascended, including 80% of my knowledge and power. Still worse, I have been informed that I will not be allowed to ascend again. This is my last chance. For an ascended symbiote, like me, the problems are dire. My host had not ascended with me, and so I needed to regain mortal form in such a way that offered me a host immediately. I’m sure you can imagine how irritated I would have been to retake mortal form and then be stuck helpless in a pool of water for my whole life.”
Jack snorted. “Yeah, that’d be a bummer.”
The Tokra offered up the evil eye. “Yes… A bummer indeed. It took me the better part of two years to plan an advantageous descent and then I came to Xander.”
Janus’ head tilted and the yellow glow faded. Xander raised his head again. “Which is where I come into the story. Janus had to take a non-standard approach to blending with me. He couldn’t just ask my permission, after all. He had no way of doing so. Instead he decided it was better to ask permission after blending and, given the circumstances, I can’t really think of a better way for him to have done so. In the end, though, I chose to submit to the blending.”
Hammond nodded slightly. “And your intelligence on our base. Am I to understand that…?”
Xander nodded agreeably. “Yes, Janus gathered whatever information he felt would be useful to him. Since he picked me as a host, he realised it would be important for him to know things like the Antarctic Gate and the names and faces of the key players at the SGC. An ascended can easily get such information, you see.”
Jack tilted his head, considering something else. “Why give up what you say was essentially godhood?”
Xander’s eyes flashed gold again, and Janus spoke. “As I put it to one my friends amongst the ascended, what good is ultimate power if you’re never allowed to wield it?”
“I quite agree.” The members of SG-1 turned to find an Air Force colonel standing behind them. “And I’d very much like to see what we can get from you about this power…”
Hammond puffed up in irritation. “And you would be, Colonel
The colonel offered a smarmy smile. “Colonel Harry Maybourne, sir, of the NID. I’m here to take this alien into custody.”