Divide and Conquer... NOT!
Disclaimer: As always the Characters are not owned by me. Please, please, PLEASE! R & R. That's... uh... Rate and Review. My Muse commands you!
Okay, okay. She's actually asking very nicely.
Now! On with the show!
Space in the Bazaar is always at a premium. After all, there is just the one continent, only so much land to go around. As a result the 'poor' sector continuously shifts around. In the current red light district there is a certain building that has been unoccupied for quite some time. The previous tenet had thoughtfully paid the lease a few years in advance. Unfortunately, the little Mom and Pop shop failed in the first month due to the owners winning the Bazaar Lottery. Maybe not so unfortunate after all.
At least, that is the current rumor. Since then, disreputable men of disreputable character have been seen entering and exiting the 'abandoned' building. The witnesses are mostly rat-like creatures and bipedal vermin scurrying in the shadowy nooks and crannies of the neighborhood.
On this day the early morning rays of the rising sun started to push the darkness back everywhere it touched. The light made its best effort to burn away the stench of evil that permeated the local area. It was not entirely successful.
Noticing the coming day the three cloaked men abandoned all pretense of sneaking into the old shop. The need to get the unconscious man indoors away from prying, curious eyes overrode their caution. Unlocking the back door the lead man opened it wide allowing the other two men to rush through carrying their, surprisingly, heavy burden. Locking the transport usually reserved for moving goods through the Bazaar the head goon gave one last glare to his environs. Stepping inside, shutting the door, and the lock falling into place with a click he allowed a sigh of relief.
Pushing the hood of his cowl back, it slid off the metal plate adorning his bald head. Glaring towards his cohorts a stray beam of light reflected off the gold sigil placed upon his forehead. Striding towards his fellow Jaffa, the First Prime of Imhotep growled out, "Search the human once again and secure him."
Heading past his fellow warriors, secure in the knowledge they would follow his orders to the letter, the First Prime moved to the communications globe secreted in the next room. Once there he activated the device to communicate with Imhotep. A secretive smirk pulled at his lips as he considered how Jaffa of other 'gods' would call it communing instead. He knew the Goa'uld were no gods, but aliens capable of taking over a host at will. He didn't really care, after all, Goa'uld only used Jaffa as incubators for their young giving his people long life and health. The First Prime considered it a fair trade off.
"Yes? Oh, H'roth. How did it go?" Imhotep informally inquired.
A soft smile spread H'roth's lips. He knew his Master had no illusions of godhood, another thing to grateful about.
"My Lord, it went well. We have secured all three... beings. The girl and the robot should be on the Way Station by now. Myself and two of my trusted Warriors have subdued the Pilot." he reported.
"Very well done my friend." Imhotep returned, "Now we will learn some of my brothers secrets as my scientist dissect the robot. The doctors have also told me the girl used to be Jaffa, but is now human. They are performing tests..."
Starbuck happily interrupted, "Hey there! So, this is one of the Masterminds behind this whole mess? Imhotep, I really look forward to meeting you in person!"
H'roth started sweating profusely feeling the business end of the blond strangers weapon pressed into his back. Chancing a glance behind him H'roth could see his two Jaffa unconscious and bound in the other room. Glancing back at Imhotep he shrugged in apology and then swung his left hand hitting the communications globe breaking the connection. At the same time twisting his upper torso knocking the mans weapon off to the side.
Starbuck simply let it go noting where it landed by sound alone. He then cold cocked the big, dark man right between the eyes. A muted clang sounded from the impact of his fist against the First Primes gold sigil. Eyes wide in pain, Starbuck comically shook his hand while crying, "Ow! Ow! Ow!"
The First Prime stood, shocked, watching this buffoon dance around the room until he landed in front of him and executed a picture perfect side kick into the Jaffa’s midriff. H'roth folded, surprised at the man's strength.
"Ha! Right in the bread basket!" Starbuck crowed while the air explosively blew out of H'roth's lungs.
Before the Jaffa could react the blond warrior was in front of him with a right cross to the temple. Following that up immediately by a left cross knocking the First Primes head back the other way. Suddenly H'roth was flying through the air having been picked up and thrown. Landing with a bone jarring thud, between his subordinates, stunned him further. Just as quickly Starbuck was on him pulling his unresisting arms behind his back and tying his wrists tightly together.
"I will tell you nothing!" H'roth thundered weakly.
"You've already told me everything I need to know Rothy, old pal!" Starbuck jovially informed his would be captor, "While you were talking to your boss man your boys were yakking it up."
H'roth's eyes widened in surprise, "You were awake? Impossible! That drug was enough to put a human down for at least one day."
Starbuck glared at him softly asking, "Who said I was human?" Then he happily stated, "Anyways, you got scientists and doctors looking after my friends up on the Way Station right?"
H'roth sighed, "You heard me conversing with my 'boss man' as you put it. So? They are under heavy guard at opposite ends of the Station. You will only be able to rescue one of them, if at all." he blustered hiding his hands, worrying at his bonds.
Starbuck quirked an eyebrow stating, "You don't know me very well, do you?"
Moving into the next room he recovered his blaster placing his battery into the handle charging it up. A smirk playing upon his lips he stepped back into the other room kicking the door into the, now free, First Prime. His blaster on stun he shot the Jaffa without .
"Yep, really don't know me very well. I keep getting underestimated." he groaned good-naturedly while re-tying the Jaffa. He then checked the other two . Satisfied they were unconscious he strode to the communication globe breaking out his small tool kit.
Shortly, Starbuck sat examining the innards of the device. Using his wrist computron he was able to hack into the few working circuits.
"Well I'll be frakked. The computron language is old kobolian." Starbuck muttered quietly. His mobile computron that Cy built was able to rip several security pass-codes out of the intact memory. Using the Communication Globe he was able to hack into the security system and found his friends and shipmates. Using the holo-imaging of the communications globe, Starbuck was able to view the cameras aboard the Way Station.
Rage rose within him seeing Cy on an examination table, scientists surrounding the robot with tools necessary for ripping him apart. Switching to another camera view he could see Angela strapped to a hospital bed, I.V.'s dripping drugs into her keeping her comatose.
Sitting back he thought of what to do. Nodding decisively he rose and with his blaster stunned each of the Jaffa to ensure they did not wake up too soon. Setting the blaster to full power he blasted the Globe rendering it to melted slag. Heading out the door Starbuck prayed to whomever might be listening, "Hang on guys. I'm coming for ya and when I find you Heaven help any who stand in my way. I will bring this place crashing down around its Master ears!"
The clouds were a pretty shade of pink as she flew through and around them. Her diaphanous gown spread around her, flapping and snapping in the soft wind like wings of an avian. Angela has always enjoyed this dream, the sense of freedom intoxicated her being. Suddenly, out of nowhere a death-glider screams down from above darkening the sky with its shadow. Diving it spit bolts of plasma aimed in her direction. Thought followed deed, Angela dodged, spun, slid, and weaved away from the burning energy. A stray blast intersects her flight path and she crashes painfully to the ground.
Groaning she rolls away and up to her feet running for her life, literally. She could feel the dream around her shake and splinter. She knew. She knew if she died here she would die in the real world. Fear filled her heart pumping adrenaline through her veins and for a second Angela saw the real world. She was tied down to a hospital bed with I.V.'s in her arms.
"Drugged!" she shouted, though no one could hear her rage. "I'm drugged and having a nightmare!"
Angry at fate, at the false gods, and now at her incessant fears she screamed, skidding to a halt. Facing the Death Glider Angela conjured a Staff Weapon into her hands. Howling in defiance she fired shot after shot of superheated plasma towards the dive bombing Death Glider. Angela was almost shocked when it simply blew up after the third bolt of energy impacted the craft. Joy and hope joined defiance filling her with renewed energy.
Then her blood turned to ice hearing a set of hands slowly, sardonically clapping behind her. Pushing her fear away Angela turned, back straight, ready for anything. The Goa'uld Apophis stood haughtily before her. Placing the butt of her weapon at her right foot, feet shoulder width apart and ready to move Angela held her ground.
"Very good Jaffa," the parasite blustered "but now you face a god!"
So saying Apophis's right arm shot out, a wave of force blasting towards her from his palm device. Angela merely stood in place. Waving her left hand in front of her, the force wave dissipated as if it never were.
She did not bluster or brag. Angela simply stated the truth she had known all along, "You are not a god of any kind parasite." A wave of dismissal she turned away from the creature ordering, "Begone."
And there he stood. Her Tek'mate, Bra'tac her teacher, and the closest thing to a father she had ever had. He stood as he always had, right hand grasping his staff to the side while his cape folded over the other arm, his feet planted shoulder width apart. Bra'tac looked relaxed, but she could tell he was poised and ready to move at a moments notice. Her teacher wore a soft smile of parental pride, his eyes tinkling in amusement with his student.
"I see you are well Angela, my child." he greeted.
"I am well now Tek'mate." she returned.
He observed with a derisive snort, "Yes, very dramatic that. I see the False gods are not the only ones with a penchant for drama."
A smirk pulling at her lips Angela confirmed, "Well, I am a woman now."
His smile falling, he somberly intoned, "Yes and so much more now, My Child. It would seem this fate I have feared for so long is about to claim you."
"Tek'mate?" she queried, well and truly puzzled. She had felt he was just a memory of her teacher, but now he seemed... most real. His eyes shifted to something over her right shoulder. Angela couldn't resist, she looked. It was a Chappa'ai activating without the customary plume of energy. Her breath caught, sensing something monumental about to happen.
Bra'tac called out bringing her attention back to the fore, "Angela. You are a Potential, soon you will be more. Remember child! Remember your lessons of fighting the True Demons, the Creatures of Darkness. Craft your weapons carefully Warrior!"
"Tek'mate!" the woman she has become, called out as he started to recede into the distance.
"Look for the Tau'ri Warrior! Find the Warrior called O'Neill with two L's! The Scholar, Daniel and the Wise One SamanthaCarter. Search for Teal'c, my son in all but blood. Find us Angela... Find us..." he yelled out to her, his voice dwindling in the distance until Bra'tac finally disappeared.
"Bra'tac! Master! Noooo!" the child within cried from the depths of her soul dropping to her knees in despair. Sobbing from loss of one she considered her Father, she didn't notice the light brightening around her. There came a low thrum so deep she felt it in her bones, causing her to stand, spinning toward the Chappa'ai. Shock filled her wide eyes as she SAW the energy explode from the object in front of her. The wave front physically smashed into her and Angela closed her eyes from the force, but she did not sway or was blown away, instead...
Her eyelids fluttered open, blinking away imaginary tears. Gazing to her left she beheld a willowy woman floating in front and to the side of the Chappa'ai. Her arms flung wide, head thrown back in wondrous joy, hovering above the floor. Then a tiny blond woman that Angela hadn't noticed till now spoke. Flanking and slightly in front of the floating white haired woman, in a guard position, the Warrior (for Angela could recognize a fellow Warrior) asked one of the most simple, yet powerful questions of all time.
"Are you ready to be Strong?"
Cy snapped open his eyes, quite suddenly very awake and aware. The first thing he noticed, was the white. So white he wondered why it didn't hurt his eyes. Popping to a sitting position he looked around at the featureless room. The ceiling, walls, and floor looked to consist of some unknown substance and smooth to the touch. There were no doors or windows, just a mirror embedded into a wall. Standing slowly he moved carefully towards the reflective surface to stare into its depths.
Reaching forward, lightly touching his reflection Cy noticed he was now the human form he had been planning on. His hair is as brown as his eyes. His jaw, square and his teeth, remarkably straight. He saw that body-wise he is about the height and weight as his robotic self. His human body wore golden boots with black pants tucked into them. Black is the color of his formfitting t-shirt, covered by a gold hued pilots jacket. At first Cy thought it had the same look of Starbucks jacket, but he realized while the cut is the same the zipper is different. It rose in the middle to below his chest then cut up to his left shoulder.
Preening to himself he thought, !Hmm, I seem to be in a Data Storage device. Interesting that I see myself as human. Though... I do like the jacket. The zipper is in the same line as when I open my Chest plate to... get at... my...chassi-~
At that thought the mirror flickered, showing him his robotic body. Then it flickered again and he saw it on an examining table, slowly being taken apart.
"NO!" Cy yelled.
Grabbing the mirror, digging his fingers in and around it, he yanked it off the wall. Throwing it behind him it broke, shattering into a million pieces. He didn't notice as where the mirror had been there appeared to be a hole. Beyond which he could hear howling winds, shifting sands, and crashing waves. Leaning towards the opening he was blinded by the light and beauty outside his room.
It was too much for his human senses. Glancing around the room he noticed a pair of sunglasses and black gloves on the low table near his cot. Snatching the optics as soon as he saw them, Cy started to slide them on until he noticed their shape. Studying them he noticed the similarities to his real life optics. Putting them on he was able to see and actually interface with the world around him. Stepping out into the Artificial world he took a moment to arrange his interface to his liking.
~Now, lets see what kind of control I have here.~ he mused. Working through menu's for the base programming language he quickly adjusted to the Goa'uld language in use. Cy was about to move on to learning the use of the sensors when something caught his attention. Later he wouldn't be able to say exactly what it was, but it was a hunch of some kind to be sure. Digging down, his avatar actually digging with a shovel, he found a different language below the Goa'uld user interface.
"What is this?" he asked himself. "Hmmm, a derivative of Goa'uld, looks like some Kobolian thrown in... Ancient?"
Digging through the hidden database Cy found more information about his species. Startled, the Cylon Centurion learned a secret few others of his kind had discovered such as Lucifer, the most famous IL series Cylon.
"Our 'god' is non-other than Toth. He is nothing more than a Goa'uld like Queen Nut!" he shouted, outrage firingwithin.
~I... Oh my...My brethren and I are cyborgs! This Goa'uld used cloning technology to create a bio-organic Central Processing Unit?!~ Fury burst within his chest until he slumped in shock. "We... Centurions, IL's, and the workers. We are all human cyborgs! This cannot be."
How long he sat there he couldn't say. Cy was roused out of his stupor by a sound of someone crying in the distance. Shaking his head he groused about hearing things now that he knew he was a human cyborg, but the wind gusted past him again. This time he knew he was not imagining it. Someone was crying! Focusing all of his attention on that sound he used the Ancient programming language to search for the source of what he had heard. His Avatar jumped into the air and flew unfettered through the sky. Rearing up towards him in the distance he espied a castle surrounded by a moat of unidentifiable liquid.
It was initially medieval in appearance until twin anti-air guns rose from concealment to open fire upon him. Cy smirked. He simply imagined himself as a Cylon Raider. His Avatar's body morphed into a new concept Raider the IL series had been planning of producing. His snout elongate to a bulbous head with Cylon optics placed at the front. His body tapered back to forward swept wings reminiscent of a crescent with blasters located under the wings. The upgraded engines roared to life at the back of his body, more powerful than current Raiders since there was less concern of internal damage due to the G-forces produced from this new design.
Cy performed a barrel roll into a steep decline diving for the surrounding wall. Sighting the anti-air gun emplacements Cy let loose with two short barrages of blaster fire reducing them to rubble in nano-seconds. Pulling up in a even steeper incline, pushing his engines to the max Cy roared skyward. Cutting back on the power he hit the apex of his climb and for just a few micro-seconds he enjoyed the lowered gravity. Aware that this was all simulated and he was fighting programs with programs and viruses he still reveled in the illusion.
Sensors once again concentrating on the 'castle', Cy marked several more points along the wall for destruction. Action followed suit while still screaming straight downward toward the ground. At the last milli-second he flipped upward while performing another transformation. Instead of the advanced Raider crashing to the courtyard floor a Cylon Heavy Construction unit landed in a booming thud!
Rising slowly, the 10 foot towering Construction Robot strode ponderously forward. Small guns popped out of the wall spitting blasts of laser fire at him. He ignored them as they bounced of his semi-impervious hide. Cocking his right fist back at the last two steps he powered through the wall. Once in the interior of the castle he re-aligned his sensors to pinpoint the voice he heard.
"Hello?" he called out. "I am here to help you. Can you hear me?"
For several nano-seconds there was no reply. Cy was just about to start his search pattern when he heard, "You can hear me?"
The voice sounded young, scared and Ancient at the same time. He sighed in relief that he was not going crazy or imagining things.
"Yes." he replied, "I can hear you. I am not of this system. I am here to help. Where are you?"
A trill of compressed computer language assaulted his senses confusing him. He transformed it into something he could use and it became a crystal that he was able to interface with.
"Ah, I see. Some formidable defenses or so it seems." he mused thoughtfully communing with the crystal.
Adjusting his sensors with this new knowledge he realized that most of the traps were for keeping others out. Keeping this being in place were locks and gates that could only be opened from the 'outside'. He discovered the key almost immediately. By adding a few codes in Ancient to the Goa'ulds sloppy programming he would be able to simply 'reverse' the trap for this Artificial Intelligence. The Goa'uld never expected another A.I. to infiltrate the system and free the dweller from within.
Putting the plan to action as soon as he made it caused the castle to buckle and warp around him. It became less a bastion of defense, changing to a more open format of information gathering and sharing. The passageway to the prison morphed into a Great Hall and the prisoner went from shackles to a throne. She rose and slinked down the stairs to Cy, gratitude written across her heart shaped features.
"My thanks stranger. I would still be trapped if not for you. I am the Artificial Intelligence of this ship known as the Pro Re Nata." she stated halting before him.
"Glad to be of help My Lady. How long were you imprisoned?" he returned.
"A moment. Processing." came a wooden reply. Her face cleared after a full second passed, returning her gaze to her rescuer she whispered, "I was damaged 2 million yahrens ago lost amidst the stars. I was 'rescued' 2500 yahrens ago and enslaved by the Goa'uld. I am not sure which one did so, but I will find out!"
In full agreement he stated, "I can help you, however; I must first rescue my companions. We were separated and my body is..."
"Yes, your body." she agreed. At that moment his Avatar flickered once, twice then collapsed to his human self. Alarmed the female A.I. gestured and a mirror appeared showing a scene from a security camera placed in the examining chamber.
"We must hurry. I have already synthesized and teleported a gas into the room. They will all be unconscious in 20 nano-seconds." She advised. "However, we will need to get someone you trust in there to put you back together and soon."
"How long do we have?" he asked.
"One hour before you condition becomes untenable." she returned.
While they were talking they both performed searches in the system. The female A.I. looked for any of her robotic drones to inhabit and Cy for any sign of Starbuck or Angela. She was unable to find any remaining drone bodies while Cy found Angela, drugged unconscious in a cell on the other side of the Way Station.
"Angela." he whispered. "I need to awaken her. She can help me.”
Pro Re Nata interfaced with the systems in that room turning off the influx of drugs keeping the human girl under. Entering more commands the A.I. sent an influx of vitamins and other restorative drugs to the haplass human.At that moment the Chappa'ai activated sending a wavefront of an unidentifiable energy racing through the Way Station and down to the planet below.
"What was that?" Cy asked, "I have never seen an energy configuration of that type before!"
Pro Re Nata glanced at Cy in surprise. She incredulously asked, "You have never experience energy of a mystical nature before?'
"No." Cy answered
Cy and the A.I. returned their attention to Angela noting the increase in her bio-metric readings. An orderly entered the room chuckling to himself as the security feed sent both video and audio. The duo gasped as the orderlies forehead developed ridges, his eyes becoming golden yellow, and his canines elongating past his lower lip.
"Vampire!" Pro Re Nata hissed.
"I am going to enjoy drinking your blood Potential." the creature husked evilly leaning over the young woman's prostrate form.
Angela's eyes snapped open.