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Cross Purposes

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This story is No. 2 in the series "A Brane of Extraordinary Women". You may wish to read the series introduction and the preceeding stories first.

Summary: After “The League of Extraordinary Women”, some of the characters take the next steps in their own worlds, with sometimes surprising results.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Multiple Crossings > GeneralDianeCastleFR1337114,0074275089,06027 Jul 1221 Jul 14No

SG-1 and That Brit, part 3

A/N: This is a sequel to “The League of Extraordinary Women”. It will make a lot more sense if you read that first. Also, this chapter is a follow-up to the first and previous chapters in this story, so go back and read them if you haven’t done so.
Disclaimer: None of these characters belong to me. If you want details on ownership and all that jazz, you’ll want to read the appropriate intros in “The League of Extraordinary Women”.



Rupert Giles gunned his motorcycle and shot forward recklessly, pulling well ahead of the vehicles off to his right. He needed enough lead time to cut over and intercept them. He had to dodge a couple people walking down the alley, but he was better with motorcycles than most people expected.

He just wanted enough lead time that he could cut over and then slice in behind the lead vehicle. He planned on trying a no-hands sprint across the street into the alleyway on the other side, so he could use the machine pistol in his left hand to take out the first driver, and maybe use the Walther in his right hand to drop both motorcyclists. He doubted he’d be able to manage that kind of aim, but at a minimum he ought to be able to introduce a great deal of confusion, and hopefully induce a crash. A multi-vehicle pile-up that would abort the pursuit would be excellent. Unlikely, but excellent.

He thought he was far enough ahead of the convoy, so he cut to his right at the intersection and gunned it. And, to his astonishment, there was the perfect set-up for him. On the right side of the alley was a ramp leading up to a small wooden landing without a railing. He gave it even more gas and headed for the ramp.

He grabbed the machine pistol with his right hand and hung on tightly to the motorcycle handgrip with his left. The cycle leapt off the edge of the ramp and flew out across the street at roughly six feet above the roadway. The lead car was so close he could almost have touched it. He put a quick burst into the driver and then emptied the clip at the terrorists behind the car.

The car rushed onward under him, and the back wheel of his bike clipped the roof of the car as he passed by. That was enough to knock the back wheel off to the side and tilt the bike as he tried to stick the landing. His front wheel touched down cleanly, but he was already falling over.

He pushed off the bike so it landed ahead of him. It skidded down the alleyway, while he hit and rolled. The Kevlar weave in his ‘tweed’ blazer took the brunt of the fall as he landed on one shoulder and rolled diagonally in a parkour move.

Behind him, the first car crashed into something, and the two motorcycles behind it struggled to stop without smashing into the car. The tires of the car behind them were screeching as its driver slammed on the brakes and tried not to smash into the cyclists.

He took the tumble, ignoring the pains from the assorted impacts. Everywhere he had hit the street as he rolled was aching. The back of his head. His left shoulder. His back. His right hip. His right leg. He ignored them as best he could and reached for his Walther.

The rear car slid past his landing place in the alley and plowed onward, slowly twisting to one side so it was skidding awkwardly. He could hear it crashing into something, and then another crash.

He limped to his feet and righted the motorcycle. He started it. Or at least he tried. He tried again. In the silence that followed, he heard two motorcycles gunning their engines as they worked their way toward him. They were probably working their way around or over the second car. There certainly wasn’t the sound of a car backing up.

He ignored his protesting back and pushed his motorbike down the alleyway and around the first corner. Then he leaned it against the wall and crouched down behind it.

The two motorcyclists reached the intersection and split up, one continuing on down the alleyway and the other turning into his branch. The second cyclist went for the AK-47 slung over his shoulder as soon as he spotted the motorcycle.

Rupert leaned out just enough to get a clear shot and double-tapped the man. One in the head, one in the heart. The man fell backward as the motorcycle rumbled out from under him.

Rupert stopped the bike and quickly checked that the man was dead. He took the AK-47 and the four spare clips the man had. Well, a cheap AK-47 knockoff. It looked like a cheap Cambodian version of a Chinese Type 56, so it was a knockoff of a knockoff. Frankly, he was surprised it wasn’t a Pakistani PK10. The things were relatively reliable, with a precision that could only be classified as ‘good enough if you’re not that far away’ in his opinion. The only thing he really liked about the weapons was the curved ammo clip that let you quickly slap in a new clip and know that it would feed properly into the chamber. He checked that the clip was full, and then he slung the assault rifle over his shoulder so it hung down his back. He shoved the spare clips into his jacket pockets, and he roared off down the alley.

He made the best time that he could. He worked his way over to a decent-sized street and sped off in the general direction of the airport and Krykov’s supposed safehouse, while avoiding the main road to the airport. As he went, he kept an eye out for the last motorcycle, along with any more of Khatami’s troops. All he needed was for someone to open fire on him from behind with another Kalash. Or an RPG. He didn’t think anyone could hit a moving target one-handed with an AK-47 from over a hundred yards out while also driving a motorcycle, but you never knew when someone would get really lucky.

He assumed that his big advantage was information. Unless the Iranians had some idea about Krykov’s safehouse, they would have no idea where to go. They probably had another dozen vehicles, but they couldn’t blanket the entire city with numbers like that. They would have to try to cover the public airport, several small commercial and private airports outside of Damascus, most of the major roads leaving the city, and also the trains, hoping that one of them could spot Krykov and summon enough help to take him out.

He kept an eye out for the last remaining motorcycle, but he was deliberately taking some alternative roads to stay out of sight, and he didn’t see any trace of the bike. He was hoping it was racing to some emergency secondary site to get more terrorists for support, but he was expecting it could show up at some inconvenient moment.

He raced up to the safehouse that he had seen on a map. Granted, he had seen it on satellite imagery as well, so he knew which building it was. The Humvee was parked just outside the front door, and the driver was letting Krykov into the house. Krykov had one arm around his bodyguard, who was limping heavily. Rupert assumed from the amount of blood seeping through the bodyguard’s pants legs that the man wasn’t going to survive long without some prompt emergency medical assistance. And Krykov was injured too. If the bodyguard needed help from an already-injured employer, he was quite far gone.

As soon as Krykov saw the motorcycle, he dropped the bodyguard and scrabbled for a weapon. The bodyguard fell to the ground, but still tried to pull up a machine pistol. The driver who was inside would undoubtedly pull out a weapon and move away from the doorway, probably going to the large window twenty feet to the right of the door. There was also some sort of open shed like a newspaper kiosk, facing toward the house with a sturdy wooden pole holding it up, that would provide cover for the bodyguard if he just rolled over several times. That would mean that Krykov and both his people would have adequate cover, while Rupert would have none. Damn.

He reached over his shoulder and grabbed the AK one-handed. He was closing the distance with every moment, but an AK was not a marksmanship weapon, and riding a motorcycle just exacerbated that problem, while trying to fire it one-handed made everything worse.

He aimed for the base of the pole supporting the kiosk, and emptied the clip. He was hoping to shatter the pole, but his aim wasn’t that good. Still, one bullet hit the pole and sent it flying, causing the kiosk to topple over toward the house.

Just about the time that the driver appeared in the large window with a machine gun, Rupert gunned the bike and charged. The kiosk was now tilted badly, turning it into a makeshift ramp, and he ran the bike up the ramp. He bailed out before the bike crashed through the window, smashing the extremely-surprised driver backward.

Krykov and the bodyguard both tried to shoot him, but neither was in good shape, and neither had a reliable rest to use for their weapons. Rupert hit the ground hard, and rolled to take as much of the impact as he could. Then he kept rolling as he pulled out his Walther and fired four times: Krykov’s chest, then the bodyguard’s torso, then a headshot on Krykov, and finally a headshot on the bodyguard.

Rupert scrambled to his feet, ignoring the brutal pain in his back and leg. He was getting too old to be diving off motorcycles without full body armor. He ran past the corpses of Krykov and the bodyguard, glancing down to make sure they were definitely dead. Then he dove through the doorway, Walther at the ready, in case the driver was still a threat.

The driver wasn’t a threat any longer. The man hadn’t gotten out of the way when the motorcycle crashed through the window, and he was lying underneath the crashed bike, bleeding from a dozen different injuries, and feebly scrabbling to reach his weapon, which was two yards out of his reach. Rupert put him out of his misery with a mercy shot to the head.

It looked like Krykov had no other backup. All Rupert had to do was leave the tablets in their protective cases inside the Humvee and drive it to a safehouse. Without attracting the attention of Khatami’s forces.

He tucked his Walther away. He quickly patted down the driver’s corpse for a keyring, and then moved out of the house. He made an effort to walk casually as he limped toward the vehicle. He was quite surprised to hear a strange, mechanical hiss from the corner of the building.

He turned his head just in time to see that El Kedwany was there. The man was already firing a strange, snake-shaped weapon at him. He went for his Walther, which was in its back holster instead of his hand. He saw what looked like a lightning bolt, and…

* * * * *

Rupert woke up. He felt like he had been hit with an economy-sized taser. He had a headache like he had been bludgeoned with a cricket bat. He made an effort not to move. Not to groan at the pain in his head, or the pain in his wrists.

He appeared to be in an underground room. He was propped up on a tall, thin stool so he was nearly standing, while his hands had been zipcuffed together over his head with the zipcuffs going over a two-inch steel pipe. Since he hadn’t been killed already, he had to assume his captor wanted information, or wanted to gloat excessively. He had seen both often enough.

On his right were the limp bodies of Daniel Jackson and the presumed Jack O’Neill, both of them similarly arranged, propped up on these tall stools and zipcuffed to the overhead pipe. In front of him was a corpse. The short accountant-like gentleman who had been sitting with Moustafa El Kedwany. The man had a ferocious, round burn in the center of his forehead. Rupert tried to figure out what could have caused that, and how that could have killed the man. Unfortunately, extreme mechanisms of torture sometimes induced coronaries or strokes, so perhaps the poor individual had simply been unable to endure.

Dr. Jackson stirred. “Ugh. I hate getting zatted.”

Rupert didn’t say anything, but it was rather indicative that Dr. Jackson knew what had been used on them, and had a name for it. It was also suggestive that Jackson ‘hated’ getting ‘zatted’, which meant that it had happened to him more than once in the past.

O’Neill muttered, “This doesn’t look good.” Then he noticed that they had company. He turned his head uncomfortably to face Rupert and smirked, “Come here often?”

Oh yes, that sounded very much like the man that the American general had complained about. Rupert blithely said, “Oh no, but I heard that the cover was waived for the evening, and they had a two-for-one special on martinis.”

O’Neill grinned at him, and started to say something. Then they both heard footsteps coming their way. O’Neill’s face instantly changed to a blank mask. Yes, the man definitely had ops training of one sort or another.

El Kedwany walked into the room. Rupert noted that he was moving utterly unlike the Moustafa El Kedwany that he knew. This man was arrogant and cocksure.

This man wasn’t a man. The hair stood up on the back of Rupert’s neck as the man’s eyes glowed from within with an utterly unnatural white light. The man spoke with a voice so deep and resonant it couldn’t possibly come from a human larynx. “I… am Camulus.”

Rupert’s first thought had been someone impersonating El Kedwany, but that had changed as soon as he saw the glowing eyes. His next idea was some manner of cyborg implants, or even something like a Terminator. Possibly even some sort of nanotechnology. But the man introduced himself as Camulus, and expected O’Neill and Jackson to know the name. That had to be some sort of codename, because Rupert knew Camulus was the ancient Celtic god of war, which the Romans had connected with their god Mars through the classical interpretatio Romana.

“Camel what?” smirked O’Neill.

The not-quite-human smirked cruelly, “Ah, colonel, I’m so glad you’re conscious. I wouldn’t want this next part to occur without your full awareness.” He stepped over to the other side of the room and yanked a new-looking tarp off a dais.

There were three canopic jars there. All three were in quite remarkable condition. In fact, under ordinary circumstances Rupert would have assumed the jars were in too good a condition to be legitimate archaeological finds.

Rupert quite distinctly heard O’Neill whisper, “Oh crap.”

He could also hear the fear in Dr. Jackson’s voice as the man said, “This is not good.”

Rupert didn’t know why the two men were so worried, but he had to assume they knew something he didn’t. Something that would get them all killed, or worse. He suddenly remembered how edgy Jackson had become when they were discussing Egyptian funerary rites and canopic jars, back in the British museum. This was something O’Neill and Jackson had encountered before, and were frightened about.

The being who looked like El Kedwany smiled cruelly. “O’Neill. Doctor Jackson. Rather than torture you for information, I believe I’ll have my children procure it for me. And since you were so kind as to bring along another Egyptologist, he can become my third new underling here. Perhaps he knows something useful as well.”

El Kedwany pressed a spot on each of the three canopic jars, and then swaggered out, slamming the iron door behind him.

O’Neill muttered, “Damn snakes.”

Rupert watched as the first jar moved slightly. The lid was pushed aside, to fall to the dais and break. A writhing, wet thing slithered out of what appeared to be water. It had a snake-like body, but it also had fins, and what looked rather like small reptilian wings.

It opened its mouth, and Rupert winced. He muttered, “That is most definitely not a snake.” Rather than a snakelike head, or anything the least bit normal, it had four piercing jawparts rather like those of a gigantic antlion.

O’Neill said, “Yeah. Let me perform the introductions. Rupert Giles? Evil parasite alien from outer space. Evil parasite alien? Rupert Giles.”

Aliens? Was that possible? Was it even conceivable? Rupert thought about the unnatural design of the snake-like thing. He thought about the being who only looked like El Kedwany. And he thought about why an Egyptologist like Daniel Jackson would have teamed up with a Spec Ops expert like Colonel Jack O’Neill.

The creature hissed and focused its attention on him.

The lids on the other two jars were pushed off, to crack on the hard dais. Two more of the ‘aliens’ emerged. The three creatures made for him and his fellow captives.


to be continued
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