In the arms of the Mother Goddess
Author’s Note: The first story in a set dealing with some adventures of the SGC in the Waifs and Strays universe. I promise faithfully I am still working on Lonely Souls and this series is in no way abandoned. Thanks all for your patience and I hope you enjoy this. It is set after the Christmas Holidays at Hogwarts. I do not own Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stargate SG-1 or any other incarnation thereof, The Mummy or Highlander. Queens’ Gambits Chapter 1: In the arms of the Mother Goddess Monday Morning, January 15th, Colorado Springs School
Arlene Ellis drove the car up the driveway to the faux French chateau that housed the school. Jon had been dismissive of it, but Arlene frankly cared more for the emotional support that her daughter would get here, and the protection from bullies than the old man’s comments about Nouveau Riche delusions.
She had told herself she would kiss her daughter outside the school gates and leave. But Evy had given her such a pleading look that she’d changed her plans. It might be a while yet before they made it to Evy going here herself. Happily, the General had practically ordered her to take care of her daughter, waving away any objections with the very firm statement that theirs was a special case for various reasons.
Arlene pulled up in front of the stairs to the front door. She saw that her aging Toyota Land cruiser was definitely outclassed by the two cars present, a black Mercedes and a high end BMW.
Arlene got out and opened Evy’s door. Looking furtively around her, Evy got out of the car. She stood uncertainly looking up at the school, hugging her bag to her chest as if it was a lifeline.
“Do I have to?” She whispered.
Arlene nodded and put an arm around her shoulders. “Yes, you do. You have to face other people, people not part of the family. Aunt Penny and Aunt Joyce both think it would be a good idea to do it as quickly as possible.”
“Like a band-aid?” Evy sighed. “I know. I-I just…”
“They’ll see you for who you are, sweetheart,” Arlene assured her. “Do you have everything you need?”
“Bag, books, lunch and Granpa’s cane for show ‘n tell,” Evy assured her.
Arlene smiled. “That will be some talk! Now off with you,” she kissed Evy’s temple. “And don’t go invisible!” she whispered, only half joking.
Evy bit her lip and walked up the steps, threw one last look over her shoulder and went into the school.
Arlene sighed and got back into her car. Driving off, she had to fight the urge to look back. She remembered Joyce telling her about the first time she took Buffy and Dawn to school. *At least I’m not the only one to feel like this*
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The battered old pick-up truck creaked to a halt outside the surrounding the Cheyenne Mountain complex. The woman who got out of it smiled serenely at the driver. “We have no further need of your services. You may go.”
The man nodded in a daze and drove off. Hathor looked up at the mountain before her and smiled.
Dallman Ross hadn’t been in the Army for quite a while, not since before the Vietnam War. The first time had been during the Civil War, the War of the Rebellion. After that he really hadn’t felt like fighting for a very long time. But he’d picked his side in the Second World War. It might not exactly have been the side of angels, but it was a darn sight better than the opposition. He’d picked again in Vietnam. War hadn’t gotten any better since the last one, and he wasn’t quite sure if he’d picked the right side. That was always the trouble with civil wars. That was why he’d kept out of Korea, but he'd needed an identity in 1970 - and fast - so the Army was an excellent background.
He was hoping to avoid anyone who might recognize him, though he went by a different name and most likely would be able to convince almost anyone he wasn’t Major Joseph P. Banks of the Rangers. He still looked the same, after all, which was impossible after more than twenty-five years.
He was dressed as a hiker and had taken up position in front of the gate of the Cheyenne Mountain complex. He’d first sauntered over to the guard post, asking if it was illegal to eat his lunch there.
Having received permission, he was currently contentedly munching his sandwiches and drinking tepid tea from a thermos. His solid hiking boots were planted firmly on the ground. When he saw the woman with the obviously dyed hair, a worn number jacket and the odd footwear, not to mention the strips of gold cloth that made up her rather short skirt, he immediately thought 'cheerleader' .
She was being accompanied by two smirking soldiers, her hands were cuffed and she was looking decidedly annoyed. “We must get to the Chappa’ai! It calls to us!”
Ross winced as a blinding headache passed behind his eyes, then faded away as the woman was taken away. He sighed, rising to his feet and slinging his rucksack over his shoulder and walked away. It wasn’t until he was a good mile away that he reached into a pocket and took out his mobile phone. He dialled and the phone was picked up almost instantly.
“Duncan? Dallman here. Are you sure you can’t figure out a way to find out where she lives? I can’t keep an unseen watch on a military base, waiting for her to come out! Oh, and I need to talk to one of our older friends. Can you get me a number?”
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Carol Weterings was looking at the huge pile of books on her desk. She had been given a small office in the Mountain, (okay, so it was the size of a broom cupboard, and even appeared as such on the official plans of the facility, but it was now an office and hers!) She was allowed to study here, and to do her administrative work for the General. And every once in a while a senior officer would wander by and ask how things were going. That was rather embarrassing, if to be expected. There were several senior officers, and a President, interested in her passing the grade to get into the Air Force Academy after all.
That meant a lot of work. A lot. Since her High School transcripts were unreliable, a special dispensation had been granted for her to re-sit her SATs and to add them to her application just before the January 31st deadline.
“I hate Math!” she whined to herself.
“You’re apparently quite good at it though,” Samantha Carter noted from the doorway.
Carol sprang to her feet. “Ma’am?”
Carter waved her down. “Sit, Airman. So, how goes the studying?”
Carol wondered how far 'the sergeant's leeway' went in cases such as these. Though it usually was reserved for experienced NCO's, not for younger ones addressing experienced officers.
Finally, she decided that it was better to err on the side of caution.
“I don't remember studying this much for my last SATs, Ma'am,” she responded.
Carter sat down. “So, what are you working on?”
“Science, Ma'am. I can't make this one work,” Carol tapped the paper before her. “I'm sorry, I know you said I should be able to do this, but I just... I just don't see it.”
Sam took the paper and glanced at it, wondering what hints she should drop. Then she groaned. “I'm sorry, Airman. I seem to have messed up.”
“Ma'am?” Carol asked, confused.
Sam smiled ruefully. “I was rather hurried when I left for London and gave you the assignments. These are not High School level problems. They're not even college level problems. These are possible applications of the Lovegood equations to the Star Gate.”
Carol bit her lip. “Oh. So it's not a problem I didn't get in very far?”
Sam almost snorted. “Show me what you've got, and we'll see how you've done, shall we?”
Carol handed her answers, several pages of scribbled notes, over.
Sam whistled as she saw it. “How long have you been at this one?”
Carol swallowed. “All day, today. I did most of the other problems and then this one came up and I just couldn’t do it, so I.... I just kept trying.”
“Really? Well, from what I can see this is excellent. Why do you hate math if you're so good at it?” Carter took out a green pen and started to run down the equations, humming. “Something tells me that you're not going to have much trouble at the Academy science-wise.”
BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 BtVS SG-1 SGC, Level 27, Research Lab 3 (Dangerous and unknown artefacts)
Arlene Ellis leaned over the huge golden sarcophagus and sighed. “Well, from what I can tell, it's definitely Goa'uld.”
“How can you tell?” Hammond asked, watching Daniel run his fingers reverently over the surface of the strangely shaped golden lid.
“From something that Colonel O'Neill said, independently corroborated by Major Kawalski and Captain Carter,” Arlene glanced at Jack.
Jack looked confused. “Which was?”
“No taste in interior decorating,” Arlene quipped. “But seriously, this is far beyond what native ancient Egypt would be able to produce. The metalwork is too fine. Extruded metal, not hammered. Stuff like that. And the references to a Star Gate are on the opposite side.”
Jack rolled his eyes. “Okay, so why didn't Daniel identify it first?”
Arlene shrugged. “He probably did and didn't say anything. He always was too easily caught up in the wonder of it all.”
Jack nodded, remembering Daniel’s reaction to the chamber of the Four Aliens that they’d discovered when looking for Ernest Littlefield.
Hammond looked at the younger archaeologist and cleared his throat. “Dr. Jackson? Why did they send this here?”
Daniel looked up. “Well, with the death of Dr. Kleinhouse, his students and associates outside decided to send it to me. After clearing it with the Mexican authorities, which took a while and a whole lot of paperwork.”
“Yes, the clipboard stacked with flimsies on top of the huge packing crate gave that away. Why you, Daniel?” Jack repeated the question.
“Oh, I'm the last living proponent of the Cultural Cross Pollination theory. At least, they might have sent it to Heyerdahl, but he's much further away,” Daniel explained.
“And is in his eighties and has no real Academic credentials to speak of,” Arlene clarified. “Crossing the ocean in a bamboo raft makes for an excellent story, but has little actual scientific value.”
“I see. So we've got an old stone room full of horribly killed archaeologists and a big ugly box thing that looks uncomfortably like the one Ra used to bring Daniel and Sha're back to life in his big golden pyramid, which we blew up,” Jack sighed. “I just know it's gonna be one of those days.”
“The technology might come in useful,” Hammond stated. “Get Teal'c, let’s ask him what he knows of these things.”
An airman came in. “General Hammond, Sir?”
“What is it, Airman?” Hammond asked.
The airman looked a trifle uncomfortable. “Sir, a person was just arrested at the mountain surface for attempting an unauthorized entrance.”
Hammond frowned slightly. “Happens every now and then. Let the police handle him.”
The airman nodded. “It's a her, sir. Major Lowell thought you would want to talk to her yourself. She knew the Stargate was here, sir.
The woman was standing by the bunk in the holding cell, one guard inside, one outside the door. Her hands were cuffed behind her back and she was wearing some sort of strappy, gleaming golden sandals that were completely useless for Colorado in January, no matter that there was little snow on the mountain this winter. Her shoulder length hair had an auburn colour that Hammond was sure owed nothing to nature. The rest of her was covered in a huge overcoat, Hammond noted.
He cleared his throat and greeted her. “Ma'am. I'm General Hammond, U.S. Air Force.”
The woman turned. “Yes?”
Hammond could feel the beginning of a headache. The woman was going to be a problem, he just knew it. *I should have had her locked up for a week first. Just to soften her up.*
“And you are?”
The woman gave him a look as if he was stupid to not recognize her. “We are Hathor,” she paused a beat. “You would be wise to unbind us, and kneel before your goddess.”
O'Neill almost rolled his eyes. “Helll-o.”
Daniel looked confused. “Hathor?”
The woman who called herself Hathor nodded, as if Daniel had managed to perfect a trick she’d expected to be beyond him. “Yes.”
Jack looked at Daniel as well. “Have you heard of her?”
Daniel nodded and pushed his glasses further up his nose. “Hathor was the Egyptian goddess of fertility, inebriety and music.”
O'Neill smirked. “Sex, drugs and rock and roll?”
Daniel smiled slightly. “In a manner of speaking, yes,” he turned to Hammond. “Ummm, General are the cuffs absolutely necessary?”
Hammond looked at O'Neill, who seemed unworried and then nodded at Daniel. “You may remove the cuffs.”
Daniel received the keys from the outside guard, then proceeded to undo the cuffs. “I'm surprised they didn't chain her to the bed too. What's she going to do, beat us up?” he muttered.
Hathor rubbed her wrists and Daniel smiled at her. “Sorry about that.”
Hathor gave him a warm nod. “Thank you. Your efforts shall not go unrewarded,” she took his hand, breathing on it. “My blessings upon you.”
A tiny breath of pink mist left her mouth, sinking immediately into Daniel’s skin. The archaeologist first looked surprised, then stunned, but most of his expression was blocked by the woman in front of him. He stepped back and sat down on the bunk.
Hammond sighed internally. *Time to get things back on track*
“So, Ms Hathor. Would you mind telling us why exactly you were trying to get into this facility?”
Hathor turned towards him “We were drawn to the Chappa’ai.”
O'Neill seemed slightly taken aback by this. “Chappa’ai?”
He turned to the still stunned looking Jackson. “That's what your monk buddies on Chulak call the Stargate.”
Daniel shook himself. “Um, yes. It's also Abydonian and ancient Egyptian.”
Hammond smiled slightly. Some things never changed. “What I want to know is what makes you think it's here, Ma'am?”
Hathor’s voice became a trifle testy. “We were drawn to it.”
O'Neill cocked an eyebrow. “We?”
Hathor ignored him and turned to Daniel. “Where is Ra?”
Daniel was about to answer, apparently without even thinking about it. “Ra is-”
Hammond interrupted. “Dr Jackson. ‘Need to know’. So this Chappa’ai drew you here?” he returned to what the woman had told them.
“Yes,” she answered sweetly.
“What I'd like to know is how you knew it was here,” Hammond asked.
“We were drawn to it,” Hathor explained, even more annoyance clear in her voice at having to repeat herself.
O'Neill tried again. “Miss… Hathor. What made you think this Chappa’ai was here?”
Hathor looked as if she was very near the end of her patience. O'Neill put her down as someone who wasn't used to being questioned and didn't like it. “The Chappa'ai was what gave power to our father, and our husband.”
Hammond looked at Jackson. *I really need a crash course in Egyptian gods, it seems.*
“Who's she talking about, Dr Jackson?”
“Ummm, Hathor was both the daughter and wife of Ra in Egyptian mythology. Until Ra was said to have corrupted her-” Daniel stammered, then his voice gained strength until Hathor angrily interrupted him.
“We were not corrupted!”
“Of course. No disrespect intended,” Daniel soothed.
“We are the mother of all pharaohs,” Hathor declared haughtily.
O’Neill didn’t roll his eyes, but his special brand of specious insincerity was obvious. “Of course we are. General? Why don't we call county mental health and see if we can find a nice little rubber room for the lady?”
Hammond gave his second in command a look that told him that now wasn’t the time for jokes. “Crazy or not, I want to know what she knows. Dr Jackson, talk to her. See what you can find out. But don't tell her anything she doesn't already know.”
Daniel nodded. “Okay.”
As soon as they had left, Hathor turned to Daniel. “Now. Where is Ra?”
Daniel was still looking confused. “Ra, your husband?”
Suddenly Hathor’s eyed glowed and her voice took on a deep, double timbre. “Where. Is. Ra?”
Daniel gazed at her with near adoration, seemingly unfazed by her words or the manner in which she spoke them. “Um, I hate to be the one to tell you but, Ra is dead.”
Major Arlene Ellis exchanged looks with Captain Samantha Carter. The men in the room were acting, to put it mildly, weird. General Hammond was almost infatuated with the woman. He’d allowed her entry into the briefing room, allowed her to look at the Star Gate. Which was a breach of every possible security regulation that they could think of. Colonel O’Neill had tried to object, but was overruled. Teal’c had said there was no such thing as a good Goa’uld, and had also been overruled.
“Sir, this is completely against all procedures!” Sam protested.
“Captain? I suggest you go and do something you’re qualified to do!” Hammond told her, his voice vibrating with suppressed anger. “I do not believe in being second guessed by junior officers.”
Sam was about to speak up again when Arlene put a hand on her arm and saluted. “Permission to return to studying the object, sir? And I’m sure I can find something for Captain Carter to do.”
“Granted,” Hammond declared, giving Sam another glare.
Arlene gestured curtly for Sam to open the door and then left, Sam biting back her sharp retort more due to years of training and conditioning than any true respect for the Major.
“Follow me, captain,” Arlene headed for her office, opened the door, waved at a chair and closed and locked the door.
Sam looked around the room. Unlike Daniel's, which despite his long absence and short stay, was a magpie's nest of scattered books and papers and artefacts, this room was neat and tidy. Artefacts present carried neat labels, books not in use were on numerous military issue shelves, alphabetized by author and arranged by subject. Daniel's piles of periodicals were replaced with several large long boxes, stacked on deep shelves, with room for plenty more and a neatly made list of interesting articles in each issue lying beside them.
Arlene allowed Sam a half minute to gawk and satisfy her curiosity as she seemed to fumble with the lock, then went to her desk and sat down in her own chair.
“Captain Carter, a word of advice. Male officers, even the best of them, feel a horrible need to protect the 'little women'. And even the best of them look at us as if we're strange creatures, unable to fulfil the duties of an officer as well as a man can,” Arlene stated dispassionately.
“I assume you've been ignored, and that credit for your work has been taken by male colleagues. You're not the only officer that has happened to, nor does it only happen to females,” a refined sneer appeared on Arlene’s face. “They like their officers big and muscular and brash and loud in ‘this man’s army’. But that doesn’t matter. In the end, all that counts is the result, the safety of this nation, of the world, and our specific case, the human race. Sometimes we have to pick up our pride and eat it. Understood?”
Sam sat woodenly. “Yes, ma'am!”
“That said, that was highly uncharacteristic of the General,” Arlene stated, “and I share your sentiments and worry.”
Sam blinked. “Ma'am?”
“Something is rotten in the state of Colorado. And in this case it is calling itself Hathor,” Arlene clarified. “The General, and by now possibly Ja- Colonel O'Neill, obviously aren’t up to listening to any good advice on this matter, so getting her arrested, or even her access restricted is going to be difficult. Shooting her out of hand might lead to all sorts of trouble. That means we've got to plan. I'll look into the mythology surrounding Hathor. It’s been a while since I studied her in depth and it may call for slightly more than just diving into my old Frankfort, Hornung and Budge.”
“Budge? Daniel keeps going on about how outdated he is,” Sam frowned. “Why would you want to consult him?”
“His translations, yes. His take on certain interrelations of African, Egyptian and European gods may be just what I need. But I’m more likely to use Frankfort and Hornung and call a colleague or two for advice,” Arlene explained.
“Yes sir,” Sam acknowledged, feeling a blush rise. *In other words, don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs and go do something you're qualified to do.*
“What should I do, Ma’am?”
“If that woman is a Goa'uld, we don't want her to be able to contact her allies, if she has them, or make use of the Star Gate,” Arlene gave the younger woman a look. “Which you figured out as well, considering your behaviour back there.
“As I'm unaware of anything but the bare mechanics of the workings of the gate, I shall just give you the order to make sure that no one can dial out. I don't think we've any missions scheduled to go in or out today?”
Sam nodded. “I'll check, but I think you’re right. Anything else, Ma'am?”
“Anything you can think of?” Arlene asked mildly.
“Disabling the gate quietly, without the technicians noticing, will take a bit, Ma'am,” Sam frowned. “I'll sound out some of the other female personnel, ask them if they noticed something strange. But there's only a handful of us.”
“I'll do the same,” Arlene tapped the table worriedly. “I need to talk to Janet, that is Doctor Fraiser. And her mother.”
“Doctor Fraiser’s mother, Ma'am?” Sam asked surprised. “May I ask why?”
“Because what's happening here is scarily like something that happened a few centuries ago, with a woman called Pulchritudia Black,” Arlene replied morosely.
Carol had a headache, and a stomach-ache, and in general felt altogether ill. There was something in the air of the base today, a scent, a pervasive feeling, of cloying rotting flower petals, that just seemed to make her queasy. More than queasy. She'd been feeling occasionally sick since her return from Chulak, though not as bad as this. Which was a bit odd, as she was in better shape than ever. It seemed her eyesight, hearing and sense of smell had improved, and even her sense of touch.
With a groan she gave in and stumbled towards the Infirmary, where the Doc would no doubt run her through a battery of tests. She just hoped it wouldn't mean that she'd fail her for the Physical for the Academy. Or that she was pregnant. That would really put a spoke in the wheel of her career plans. Especially since the only occasion she might have fallen pregnant was when she was kidnapped by the Goa’uld.
The halls were filled with the usual sounds of the base and Airmen walked to and fro. As she passed into the main corridor, she noticed that General Hammond was showing some strange woman around, with Dr. Jackson in tow. The woman was dressed in a gold and red dress, leaving far more skin bare than any politician - at least one who wanted to be re-elected – would dare, which probably meant she was a civilian scientist or consultant. It was an eccentric way of dressing, but the SGC was willing to tolerate a lot of eccentricities in its experts if they had the skills that were needed.
Carol suppressed a groan. The woman was covered in some sort of spicy perfume and her already considerable headache and queasiness worsened, until it almost felt as if her head was about to shatter and her stomach would come up whole through her throat. If she didn't know better, she'd think that the woman was the source of the horrible smell in the air and the feel of dead static in the base. But the air-conditioning systems were far too advanced for that to happen.
Carol manfully tried not to hurl all over the General's shoes as he led his guest by. She was sure she'd read somewhere that was a court-martial offence.
She saluted the General, expecting him and his guest to pass by, but to her surprise the General stopped. “Ah, Airman Weterings. Lady Hathor, this is Airman Weterings, one of the most promising soldiers on the base. Airman, this is the Lady Hathor, a new ally.”
Weterings saluted again, swallowing her rising gorge. “Pleasure to meet you, Ma'am.”
Hathor glared at her with narrowed eyes, but her tone was friendly. “Likewise. I am sure that there are many things we can discuss, Airman Weterings.”
“I'm sure there are, Ma'am,” Carol replied politely.
“Sir, Ma'am,” she concluded politely and headed off, feeling even worse than before.
“Tell me more about that young lady, General. What makes her so special?” Hathor smiled.
Hammond smiled back. “Ah, yes. Airman Weterings first came to my attention when she was kidnapped by Apophis. She was considered unfit as a host, knocked unconscious and thrown into a charnel pit. She aided the escape of SG-1 by stealing a Death Glider, which she subsequently flew through the Stargate. Minus the wings.”
Hathor nodded thoughtfully. “A most worthy young woman. I look forward to getting to know her much, much better.”
Colorado Springs School
Evy was nervous. She was sure that she would step in front of the class for the elaborate Show and tell that had been her homework for History and nobody would see her. Nobody would notice. She took a deep breath, steadying herself. *Mom told you you could do this. Gran told you you could do this. Granpa Jon told you, and Granpa James and Jack. So you can do this!*
From the back of the room, Mr Smythe smiled encouragingly at her.
Evy let out her breath. “H-hello. My name is Evelyn Ellis. As you all know I’m new. My mother works at Cheyenne Mountain. We were told to bring something that represents our family in the twentieth century. So I brought this.”
She let the black cane with the silver Anubis head balance on her hand. “This is my great-grandfather’s cane, one of the two he normally uses. He’s my father’s grandfather. He was born in 1894 in England and he fought in every war from the First World War to the Korean War.”
“Oh come on! He would have been far too old!” A boy scoffed in the second row. He had a crew cut and an almost military bearing.
Evy blinked uncertainly. “He-he was in Military Intelligence. He had knowledge and experience no one else did, so they asked him to come back.”
“Ri-ight,” another boy snorted. “Probably has the Medal of Honor too, right?”
Evy shook her head. “No, that’s my mom’s dad. Granpa Jon is British. He couldn’t get the Medal of Honor.”
“Selwyn, Ackerson, kindly refrain from commenting or questioning until the end of the presentation,” Mr Smythe spoke up. “Please continue, Miss Ellis.”
Evy took a deep breath and nodded. “Grandad says he was born with a silver soup ladle in his mouth. The eldest son and oldest child of a baron-”
“A baron?” a snobby looking girl asked in upper class English accents. “Of what?”
Evy consulted her notes. “In the Peerage of Great Britain, Baron of Overton in the County of Hampshire, 12th baronet Overton.”
“I see,” the snobby girl sniffed. “But you can’t inherit?”
Evy shook her head. “Won’t even be an Honourable until Dad does,” she looked at Mr Smythe who nodded to continue, his face stony.
Evy looked back at her notes. “His parents were wealthy and he was sent to Eton. His father went travelling for his health and invested in archaeological digs in Iraq and Egypt. But that happened in the nineteenth century. Granpa read History and Greats at Cambridge. He joined the Army for World War One and ended as a Captain. He got a VC for actions-”
“Oh, come off it! He never did!” the snobby girl exclaimed.
Evy reddened. “Yes! HE DID! And he’s in the Order of Merit, and a Privy Councillor and he told the Queen bedtime stories of his digs in Egypt when she was a child!”
“He sounds like a very interesting man,” Mr Smythe drawled.
“He is,” Evy shrugged. “But then so are Uncle Rick and my Aunt Evy. And Granpa has the Medal of Honor and Mom’s an archaeologist and a chopper pilot in Iraq and I know my father was a POW in Iraq.”
“Oh, you’re making this all up!” the girl shouted. “This is supposed to be about meaning, not about a girl lying! No wonder you got transferred. And your mother lied on the application too, I bet!”
Evy lunged, her fingers clawing at the girl’s face, scratching, tearing at her hair. Despite still being too thin, she had the other girl in a headlock and the teacher and the military boy had to pull them apart.
“Fighting is reason for expulsion, Miss Ellis!” the teacher reproved her.
Evy glared at him, her eyes flashing with anger. “I don’t care! It wasn’t like you were going to stop her! You think I lied too! Well, I didn’t! I don’t! And I’m leaving!”
She grabbed the cane and stormed out of the class room. Smythe ran after her. “Miss Ellis! Report to the headmaster! MISS ELLIS!”
Janet glared at her male nurses, who had been mooning over the strange visitor General Hammond had been showing around for the past ten minutes. They all seemed besotted with her, which recalled half-remembered stories to her mind. Stories of the power of Pulchritudia Black. Except that Black hadn't apparently inspired the sort of remarks that Janet had heard made.
Black had been a Mother. Janet was getting 'sex kittten' vibes from this Hathor. And she was getting 'the creeps', as the sense of wrongness about a situation had been called in her family. The door opened and Carol came in, looking as green as a Marine's combat uniform.
“Good heavens. What's wrong with you, Airman?”
Weterings shook her head. “Don't know, Ma'am. I feel as sick as a dog.”
“Well, sit down. You look dreadful. Describe your symptoms, and when they started,” Janet ordered briskly.
“Headache. I feel sick,” Carol sat down. “This morning, quite early,” Then her eyes crossed.
Janet, through years of experience, had guessed what might happen as soon as she'd seen the airman enter and had a basin in hand when it did.
Weterings vomited into it for quite some time, then leaned back, wiping her mouth with the back her hand. Now she was no longer green, but pale as a ghost.
“Feel better?” Janet asked compassionately.
“Dreadful, but better, Ma'am. If you understand what I mean,” Carol responded weakly.
“I'm putting you to bed,” Janet decided. “I'm not taking any risks.”
“Yes, Ma'am. Shall I go back to my quarters?” Carol asked.
Janet looked around. “No, I'll keep you here. I might even get some intelligent, non-Hathor related conversation when you're not sleeping.”
Carol nodded. “Understood, Ma'am.”
The Control room
“Captain Carter? What are you doing?” Harriman asked when Sam squatted by the astronomical mainframe.
“Hmmm? Just checking some things. I think we need to run a diagnostic of the Universal drift program. The time lag for connecting to some of the Star Gates we posit to be further away is noticeably longer than I feel it ought to be,” Sam answered absently.
She hoped she managed to use the tone she tended to use when she was immersed in her work. This wasn't work. This was very close to sabotage, if not treason. If Hathor was an ally, this might be the end of her career. Even if she wasn't, it might still be used as a stick to beat an unwanted dog.
“Really ma'am? Do you have a work order from General Hammond?” Airman Harriman asked pointedly. “Work on the gate systems require one. Standing orders.”
“Not diagnostics, Airman, they're part of standard operating procedures. Just like the General does not have to give permission in every instant we run an anti virus program on the computers on the top levels,” Sam replied. “But you can go and ask him for one if you want. I'm sure he'll be delighted to talk to you.”
Harriman frowned. “I see, Ma'am. Very well,” he walked out.
Sam could see that he reached for the phone. She didn’t stop what she was doing. That would be a dead giveaway that what she was doing wasn’t exactly allowed.
“Captain? General Hammond says that there are no diagnostics planned for today and there are three teams off-world. Unless this is a true emergency, the General wants the gate fully operational. No exceptions,” Harriman looked quite smug about it.
Carter rose, frowning. “Well, then we’ll need downtime, and soon. I’ll send a report to the General. It may work today, and next week, but if this a doubling algorithm mistake it sure is gonna cause trouble,” she glared. “If one of our teams comes back in bits or gets stranded, you’d better remember this conversation, Airman.”
Harriman gulped involuntarily. Even through the pink haze of Hathor’s mist, he remembered that Carter could make his life quite unpleasant.
Sam stalked from the room as if in anger, but inwardly she was trembling with frustration and dashed hopes. *Almost. I’d almost done it…*
SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL
The Gate Room was unusually empty, though there were people busy in the Control Room. They all seemed to ignore the two people who stood below.
Hathor smiled at Daniel. “Tell us, our beloved, what are the questions swelling in your mind?”
She took Daniel's hand and led him towards the gate, her eyes taking in, with apparent amusement, the man-made structures that surrounded it, her footfalls inaudible upon the metal of the ramp.
Daniel pushed his glasses up his nose. “I spent years studying you as a student, and now I'm…I'm with you. Do you know that you're described in history as the most beautiful woman who ever was, or ever will be, able to control men with just your beauty?”
Hathor smiled at him again, then looked up at the Gate, and laid an affectionate hand on the lower right-hand chevron. “We are pleased to see you, old friend. It won't be long until you will serve us once again.”
She turned slightly towards Daniel, taking in his bemused, adoring and curious expression. Her smile became wider, possessive. “Tell us, do you believe this to be true, now that you have come to know us?”
Daniel blinked rather uncertainly. “Well, I certainly have a deeper understanding of it now.”
Hathor stepped closer to him, placing her hands on his chest. “We are the queen of the gods. We are the mother of all gods,” she whispered.
Daniel nodded confusedly, as if in a trance. “Yes. B-but what does that mean, exactly?”
Hathor chuckled throatily and placed a hand on her abdomen. “From us, all others come.”
Daniel frowned uncertainly. “I don't understand.”
Hathor stepped away and took his hand again, leading him out of the room. Then she spoke again. “The Jaffa. He has a Goa'uld child in his belly?”
Daniel nodded. “A larva. Yes.”
“Did you ever wonder from whence the children come?” Hathor stressed the word children, a subtle rebuke that had Daniel flushing in embarrassment.
“Are you saying that they come from you?”
Hathor gave him a smug nod. “Yes. And others, like us.”
Daniel was looking stunned, almost trembling with the excitement of discovery. “My god. You're like a queen bee. You create the Goa'ulds.”
SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL Hathor’s Rooms, VIP Quarters
Daniel was still looking uncertain when he lead Hathor into her quarters. “So you actually create the larvae. How?”
Hathor smirked. “We must first have the code of life from the juices of the species intended as the host.”
Daniel frowned a little, not understanding. “Code of life?”
Hathor's smirk widened. “In order to ensure compatibility for the Goa'uld child and the host, we require a sample. Only Queens can safely enter a new species. All other Goa'uld run a risk while doing so.”
Daniel took off his glasses with trembling hands.” DNA. You mean you need DNA to prevent rejection.”
Hathor's smirk became wider than ever. “The code of life. We do so enjoy the method of procuring the code in your species.”
She took Daniel's glasses from his unresisting hand and placed it on a table, then ran her hands through his hair.
“It is much more pleasurable than most,” she whispered into his ear.
Daniel gulped slightly. “I-I bet.”
Hathor pushed Daniel's jacket from his shoulders and off his arms. “Since you are to be our first Pharaoh, you will honour us by being the one to contribute the code.”
She placed a hand on the back of his neck, her greater strength forcing him to move his head towards her.
“You want me to help you create more Goa'ulds?” Daniel grimaced in disgust.
Ignoring his words Hathor leant in to kiss Daniel, but he reached up and put his hand on her arms, trying to push her away.
Hathor smirked. “Ah, my Pharaoh. I have chosen well. You are of strong will, and great intelligence and healthy body. You will be an excellent father to our children.”
Daniel pushed again, and it looked like he was keeping her at bay. Hathor chuckled. “I do not wish to hurt you. But happily I’ve other means of making sure I gain the best possible father for my children.”
She breathed out a pink mist, and Daniel inhaled it in surprise. His hands dropped, and he stood stock-still, looking mesmerized.
Hathor smiled.” Now that Ra is gone, we are finally free to rule this planet. With you, our beloved, at our side. For all eternity,” she took his face in both her hands and drew him in for a kiss.
SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL Level 21CMO’s office
Janet was trying to figure out what was wrong with Airman Weterings. She'd noticed that the young woman had the constitution of a carthorse and was in excellent physical condition, even for an active member of the military. So her current illness was a bit strange.
There was a soft knock on the door and she looked up to see Major Ellis standing in the doorway. “Dr. Fraiser, do you have a minute?”
Janet looked passed the other woman, noting that her Infirmary was full of gossiping moon-calf males and the lone sleeping Airman Weterings.
“Yeah, sure, come in. Close the door behind you, would you?” Janet leaned back and cricked her neck.
Arlene sat down. “Have you noticed anything strange about the males on this base?”
Janet frowned. “Besides that they're all gooey eyed, keep gossiping and seem to fall over themselves for that Hathor woman? No, I hadn't.”
Arlene flashed a smile. “Bad day?”
Janet sighed and closed her eyes. “Like you wouldn't believe. You?”
“Read some worrying things on some fairly crackpot websites and some even more worrying things on not at all crackpot ones,” Arlene rubbed her face.
There was a knock at the door and Janet threw an apologetic glance at Arlene. “Come in!”
Sam Carter came in, looking rather pale and shaken and considerably less sure of herself than normal.
“Here you are, Ma'am!” she addressed Arlene, then winced at the look she got and drew to attention. “I'm sorry, ma'am. It's rather harrowing out there. I-I regret to report I failed the mission, ma'am.”
Arlene gestured at the chair beside her. “I'm not entirely surprised. I won't ask if you did everything possible, as I'm sure you tried everything short of harming SGC personnel and permanently damaging irreplaceable equipment. Doctor, do you have some orange juice and a sandwich or something for the Captain? She looks like she needs food.”
Janet eyed the younger woman critically. “I do. When was the last time you ate, Captain Carter?”
Sam blinked and looked at the clock. “Breakfast, Ma'am. Not that long ago.”
“Ri-ight,” Janet shook her head in exasperation. “More like twelve hours ago. Sit down, Captain.”
Sam did as she was told, while Janet bustled about rustling up her emergency snacks. After Sam had eaten half a tin of hardtack, two apples and a couple of candy bars Arlene got down to business.
“Now Captain Carter, report anything unusual.”
Sam almost snorted, something well-behaved officers did not do. “I've been banned from the control room, the astronomy department, the Map Room and there are considerable numbers of very curious and annoying junior scientists and officers hanging around my private lab.”
Sam looked rather uncertainly at Arlene. “I found Airman Weterings’ office was empty, so I went in there and did some research on Hathor…”
Arlene almost rolled her eyes. “Captain, division of labour does not mean that you’re forbidden from doing something I’m doing. You weren’t able to block the Gate and you sought something else to do. That’s showing initiative. Now let’s compare notes.”
As Sam dug her notes from her breast pocket, Arlene and Janet exchanged a look over Sam’s head. Janet mouthed ‘later’ at Arlene and then bent her head over the notes.
“I’m not an expert, as you noted, Ma’am, but there were couple of common threads about fertility and mother goddesses,” Sam smoothed her notes with her hands. “I’m sure we all noticed that the men are behaving in odd ways other than the way they pant after Hathor?”
Janet scowled slightly. “Yes. I never thought I’d be whistled at by Airmen or even officers in uniform!”
“You get used to it,” Arlene said absently, as she read Sam’s notes over the younger woman’s shoulder. “And you learn to avoid broom closets.”
Janet snorted. “It’s not the same when you’re dating them. And Colonel O’Neill is not a typical officer.”
Arlene flushed. “Did I say that out loud? Errr…”
Sam’s mouth twitched. “I’m sure you never conducted yourself in any way that might be considered besmirching the uniform. Ma’am,” she stated blandly.
Arlene sent a mild glare at both of them. “Quite. What did you find, Captain?”
Carter suppressed a smirk. “Well I think we can all agree it all seems to be tied into the arrival of this Hathor person… Or, whatever she is.”
Janet nodded. “Yes. We can.”
Sam cleared her throat rather nervously and looked at Arlene. “This is really the Major and Daniel's field, so I'm kinda starting from scratch. This one academic webpage theorizes that a bunch of the sex goddesses from different cultures were actually all the same woman. Hathor. The Greeks identified her with Aphrodite, there's Ishtar of Babylon, Astarte of Syria, Ceres of Rome…”
Janet frowned. “Sounds like she got around.”
Sam nodded. “From what I read, yeah. In most of the mythology. And she's pretty loved in all of it. Except for a late period in Ancient Egypt where, according to one of the stories, she was sent by Ra to destroy mankind. And then he changed his mind, and they became enemies.”
Janet’s frown deepened slightly. “So, then when she says she's Ra's enemy, she may not be lying.”
“But the enemy of my enemy is not always my friend,” Arlene noted dryly. “I’m with Jack on this – ‘the only good Goa’uld is a dead Goa’uld’.”
Carter nodded. “Yeah. But listen, here's the interesting thing,” she looked at the two others and spoke intently. “According to the stories, this woman had magical powers over men. She was supposed to be able to seduce them into doing anything for her. In almost every case, it describes them as 'drunk with her presence'.”
Arlene smiled. “Which is what I found out, probably from rather more stuffy sources than your website. Hathor, the all-destroying eye of Amut, mother, creator, destroyer. I hope you bookmarked those sites of yours, Captain?”
“Yes, Ma’am!” Sam replied crisply.
Janet exchanged another look with Arlene over the blonde’s head.
“Drunk with her presence, eh? Well, that would be how I'd describe our boys,” Janet mused.
Carter nodded. “Yeah, Now, I figure she's using some form of Goa'uld technology. Any ideas?”
“If it’s technology, my guess would be some sort of chemical we've never seen. A…a sort of super pheromones combined with something like sodium pentathol, probably airborne delivery,” Janet offered.
Sam perked up. “Great. How do we reverse it in the men?”
Janet almost rolled her eyes. “Oh, it may not even be reversible. And if it is, it may take years. This isn’t a computer program where you can undo stuff, or even fixing a car. This is biology, there may be permanent damage. I can’t just take their brains out and switch them for new ones.”
“Now that would be an idea,” Arlene murmured. “And the tests to find out may take days, possibly weeks.”
Sam looked worried. “We probably don't even have days before this Goa'uld does whatever it is she's trying to do.”
“And it might not be technology,” Arlene looked at Janet. “We need to talk to your mother.”
Janet crossed her arms. “My mother? Why not yours?”
“Because she’s influencing people, not moving them with her mind,” Arlene answered curtly.
Janet sighed in defeat and picked up the phone. “Let’s just hope they haven’t closed off the phone lines.”
Sam was still tapping away on the keyboard and chimed in without thinking. “They’d have dealt with the net access too, then, I think. I don’t think Hathor encourages much independent thinking, and I know that none of the Goa’uld worlds that we’ve visited have the sorts of communications we do, so she might well be unaware of what it entails,”
Then she blinked. “Ummm… move things with her mind?” her sentence ended on a slight squeak.
“I thought you’d learned about magic, Captain?” Arlene asked as she shifted in her seat.
Sam nodded glumly. “Yeah. But that doesn’t make me entirely comfortable with the notion. I mean, a power that can’t be classified or quantified, stands outside the natural order-”
“What gives you that notion?” Arlene asked in surprise. “Magic is intertwined with nature. Why would it stand outside science? Are atoms unnatural because we’ve only known about them for a relatively short time of our existence?”
Sam opened her mouth and then closed it when Janet glared at them both. “Could you hold off on the metaphysical discussion until after we deal with the current crisis?”
“And you’re off the phone with your mother?” Arlene added with a wry grin. “I can understand that.”
Janet snorted. At the sixth ring the phone was picked up. “T-Tara Beckforth,” a soft, hesitant voice spoke.
“Hello Tara, this is Aunt Janet. Is your grandmother there?”
“Yes, but she’s cooking, she was teaching me how to make clam chowder. Mom is out. On a date
,” Tara giggled.
“Oooh, with her big Marine? Sounds like I need to put on the thumbscrews and get her to talk…” Janet coughed as she saw the disbelieving expressions on her colleagues’ faces. “But I really need to talk to mother.”
“I’ll bring her the phone,” Tara replied breathily. “Grandma! It’s Aunt Janet!”
There was a shuffling and bumping noise and then an older, more reserved voice spoke. “Hello? Janet? Is anything wrong?”
“Not with me personally, no,” Janet assured her. *Not yet at least.*
“Mom, I’ve got some questions. Can I ask them on speaker phone?”
“Of course. If you trust the company,” Mary’s tone was slightly disapproving.
“Implicitly,” Janet answered repressively. “Do you know about a power that gives women control over men?”
“Other than sex?” Mary Beckforth asked wryly.
Janet chuckled, but a shocked, whispered “G-grandma!” showed Tara’s embarrassment on the other end.
“No, I mean… magically,” Janet replied hesitantly. “Possibly.”
“As in a Talent, just aimed at males? No. There are spells, of course. But the ones that subvert the will are all Dark,” Mary sounded suspicious. “What have you been doing, Janet?”
Janet grimaced. “My job. Could it be a subversion of yours?”
“As in Black? But limited to the control of males, to strengthen the hold? Possible, I suppose,” Mary’s voice slowed as she thought. “She might be a Veela…”
“A Veela?” Janet almost whimpered. “One of those manipulative sexpots?”
“Sounds about right,” Arlene sighed. “Let’s just hope she isn’t a ranking one. We can really do without a war with the Veela community.”
“Quite,” Mary replied evenly. “Or it might be a Lamia, though they are supposed to be extinct. Do the victims show signs of physical weakness? Anaemia?”
“No. I would have noticed. And she seems to act too intelligently. The lamiae you told me about all sounded rather stupid,” it was obvious from her tone that Janet was rather pleased she’d remembered that.
“That they are. Were. Well, without more information on the powers and actions of the being you’re facing, that’s about all I can think of,” Mary hinted.
“Do you know of any legends regarding such powers, Mrs. Beckforth?” Sam asked. “Maybe like goddesses?”
There was a startled silence. When Mary Beckforth spoke again her voice was worried and strained. “Goddesses? Janet… Give me a name. Now.”
Janet was about to protest, when Sam spoke up again. “Hathor. Ceres.”
“Shit,” came the terrified young whisper from the other end of the line.
“Tara Janet Maire Maclay! I will not have such language coming from your mouth!” Mary told of her granddaughter, but her own voice was even more worried than before. “Janet? Next time you’re here, no matter what you say, you’re sitting in on every training session! You should know
Janet winced at the amused and awed expressions on her colleagues faces. “Yes ma’am. I mean, mom.”
“Very well,” Mary sounded slightly mollified. “This Hathor, was she sealed in, locked away, imprisoned in some way?”
“She was buried in a pyramid in South America and locked in a golden sarcophagus, we think. We believe she killed a group of archaeologists who discovered her,” Arlene explained. “The seals I could see were mechanical, not magical, but I’m no expert.”
“Mechanical? How odd…” Mary let out a breath. “Janet? Hathor is a legend, handed down in our family for untold generations. A myth. A nightmare from the ancient past. According to what I know, she was the favourite of Ra. She quarrelled with him when he took a new favourite, Nut, goddess of the sky. She tried to take the lordship of the world away from Ra, but failed and was sealed in because she was too powerful and important to kill. She supposedly could command all men at a glance, and even the most loyal servants would betray their beloved masters on her behalf. One of our ancestors supposedly helped seal her in.”
“Wonderful,” Sam murmured. “Just what we need. An undefeatable honeypot.”
“And just who are you, young lady?” Mary asked, her voice slightly edgy.
Sam gave Janet a panicked look. The doctor merely raised an eyebrow and shrugged as if to say ‘You did that one to yourself’.
Sam bit her lip. “Carter. Ma’am. Captain Samantha Carter.”
“Carter? Debra and Jake Carter’s girl?” Mary sounded surprised.
“Errr? Yes?” Sam blinked at Janet.
“Hmph, I never thought you’d end up in a mountain doing Deep Space Telemetry. You were always babbling about the stars, even when you ought to be sleeping. I thought you’d become an astronaut,” Mary mused. “Very well. I’ll talk to you three later. Good luck, dear. Janet? If I’ve not heard from you in twelve hours, we’re stepping in.”
She paused a moment. “Do be careful, honey. Please?” then she hung up.
The three women looked at the phone. Sam bit her lip. “Your mother knows me?”
Janet snorted. “My mother knows every Air Force brat of a certain age, Captain. Now, we’ve got a possible real goddess, possible Goa’uld, possible Veela or Lamia, maybe all three out there. What do we do?”
Sam opened her mouth to speak, saw Arlene, and shut it again. Arlene nodded encouragingly at her.
Janet spoke up. “So what do you suggest, Captain?”
Carter licked her lips, looked at Arlene again and then answered firmly. “I suggest we neutralize her.”
“A very good suggestion, Captain,” Arlene concurred. “With extreme prejudice.”
“So. How do we do this?” Janet frowned. “If this is the Hathor of mother’s legends, the men will be loyal to her first. And there’s very few women on base.”
“Pull the records of all female staff, would you?” Arlene started making quick notes on a pad. “How many nurses do you have?”
“Six male, four female. None of them know how to handle a gun beyond basic training. No corpsman training yet,” Janet said as she tapped in a few commands into her database. “And Airman Weterings is ill in Isolation Room Three.”
“I’ll go check on her. If this really is a Goa’uld, she’ll want a go at it, even if she’s puking her guts out,” Sam offered. “I wish we had tranquilizer guns.”
“We do. There’s a box of six and ammo for them in all the secondary armouries,” Arlene noted absently. “I ordered them as soon as we were de-quarantined from the Neanderthal infection.”
“Why wasn’t I told that?” Sam asked, almost angrily.
“Probably because it was buried in one of those endless memos we all get. And things are hectic enough here that we hardly have enough time to tell people what they absolutely have to know,” Arlene looked up. “Captain Carter? After this is over, you and I are going to have a talk.”
Sam straightened up and saluted. “Yes ma’am. May I be dismissed?”
Arlene nodded thoughtfully. “Yes. Go and check on Weterings. I’m gonna try and get through to the nearest Air Force base.”
Level 21, Isolation Room Three
Carol was feeling slightly better, as if her body was fighting off whatever was attacking it. The door opened and Captain Carter came in, looking tense.
“Captain?” Carol sat up slightly more, pushing herself up against her pillows.
“Airman. Feel well enough to help beat up a Goa’uld?” Sam asked.
Carol frowned. “That Hathor person? Yeah. Gladly,” she pushed off her blankets and swung her legs over the edge of the bed.
“Good,” Sam nodded in satisfaction. “We can use the help, the men are probably all under her influence and there’s not many women on base.”
Carol sniffed. “I thought there was something wrong about that woman. General Hammond was not acting like himself.”
SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL SG-1 HL Secondary Armory, Level 19
The secondary armoury was a moderate sized room, filled with the scent of gunmetal and propellant. Long cases and ammunition boxes lined the walls, and racks with unpacked weapons, ready for use, were set against the wall. Most of the room’s contents was ammunition.
Arlene opened one of the boxes, taking a slim matte-black tranquilizer rifle from it, checking it and gestured for the others to do the same. “Captain, you’ve been in combat more recently than me. Any suggestions?”
Sam nodded and started to pull weapons from racks and lockers, handing them to the group of women they’d gathered. It was a small group, the Major, doctor and Captain, Senior Airman Weterings, an unsure looking gate technician and three junior Airmen, as well as the four nurses.
Handing out the weapons to everyone she began to talk. “Okay, here's what we know. This creature, who calls herself Hathor, is admittedly a Goa'uld, or some form of Goa'uld. So she has who knows what kinds of weapons or defences. That means it might take a lot of firepower to neutralize her and we need to come at her from multiple flanks. We use the tranquilizers on our guys. Lethal force on the Goa’uld. We’re going to be loaded down with the assault rifles and the tranq guns, but we may need both. If you’re familiar with a certain type of weapon, take it as well. Familiarity may save your life. Don’t let procedure stand in your way.”
Arlene smiled slightly. Sam suddenly looked uncertain, then continued.
She handed Janet a rifle. “You know how to use this, don't you?”
Janet eyed the weapon doubtfully. “Well, yeah. I've had some training, but I haven't touched one of these in years.”
Sam nodded in understanding. “Well, don't worry. With the firearms all you do is point and pull the trigger. Head shots or torso is best. With any of our own men, be careful to aim for their central mass, and remember to use only the tranq guns. They’re a bit slower in use, but the men are all pretty loopy right now, so that shouldn't be a problem. Their reflexes ought to be slowed. Note that they have a five dart magazine and after fifteen shots you need to change the gas canister.”
The door opened. Arlene, facing it, lifted her tranq gun, Carol paled and her fingers tightened on her own weapon, bringing it up slightly more slowly than Arlene had hers.
“Captain Carter, Major, Airman Weterings,” Teal’c spoke from the doorway. He nodded at the other women, obviously unsure of their names.
Sam and the others whirled round, their weapons aimed at his chest.
“We must speak of Hathor,” the Jaffa went on as if there weren’t a dozen weapons levelled at him.
Sam spoke hastily. “Keep your hands where I can see them, Teal'c.”
Teal’c responded by holding his hands out to his sides. “Do you not trust me, Captain Carter?”
Sam shook her head slightly. “All of the men on this base are under Hathor's control, from what I can tell. And, I hate to break it to you Teal'c, but you are male.”
Teal’c inclined his head. “Yet I am also a Jaffa. The Goa'uld I carry within me protects me from Hathor's powers. It is only together that we may stop her.”
Carter looked at Arlene, who nodded for her to continue. “From doing what, exactly?”
Teal’c hesitated, then spoke. “It is legend among the Jaffa that the original Goa'uld larvae come from the queen Goa'ulds.”
Janet looked interested, but it was Sam who spoke. “And you think Hathor's one of them?”
Teal’c inclined his head again minutely. “Yes. If I am correct, this base will become her nest. From here, she will populate your world with new Goa'uld. I cannot permit this to happen. Captain Carter, Major Ellis, we cannot permit this to happen.”
After a look at Arlene, Sam nodded and gestured with her rifle at the room. “Pick one you like. Take a Tranq gun, too. We may need to shoot our own people. Glad you're with us, Teal'c.”
Level 25, Guest quarters
The interior of the SGC was not really inspiring. The tunnels were drab and dreary, military issue paint hardly enlivening the harsh concrete surroundings. The group had split up, both to avoid even more attention than a dozen heavily armed women would attract, and to cover more ground in their search for Hathor.
Carter was leading the way through the corridors, with Janet and Teal’c behind her.
“Is this really necessary?” Janet asked uncertainly. “I mean, somebody's bound to come on base and see what's going on. We do have to call in every six hours and I’m not sure the men are up to that.”
Carter risked a glance over her shoulder. “Yeah, and as we didn’t get through to any bases, they'll all be male, they'll be under Hathor's control before they can think about it. No women in combat, remember? And besides the Captain, when was the last time you saw a new woman get assigned here?”
They’d arrived at the guest quarters and after another swift look around, Sam flicked door handle down and kicked open the door, entering quickly. A quick scan of the room showed that there was no sign of the current resident, but clear signs of some sort of upset or struggle that had left the room in some disarray; a lamp tipped over and the bedcovers thrown on the floor. Daniel was sitting on the edge of the bed, staring into space. His clothing was in disarray and he looked incredibly vulnerable.
Sam approached him cautiously, still scanning the room. She addressed him gently. “Daniel? You okay? Where is she, Daniel? What happened?”
Daniel blinked slowly, but didn’t answer. Sam reached out to him and he flinched slightly, as if her touch was unwelcome, as if it would hurt.
One of Sam’s small squad, the older nurse, entered, rifle in hand, face carefully neutral as she took in the state of the room and Daniel. “Captain, we found her. She was spotted going into the locker room.”
Sam nodded. “All right, let's go.”
Leaning down to Daniel, she looked into his face and eyes, carefully not touching him. “Daniel? Will you be okay?”
The nurse was obviously more concerned with her mission than Daniel and spoke up. “Captain?”
Sam nodded. “You’re right, Hardim. We’ll be back for him later.”
Teal’c cast a glance into the room and frowned slightly as he saw Daniel’s state of mind, then followed Sam and Nurse Hardim on silent, practiced feet.
Level 25, Locker Room
The locker room was about as inspiring as the hallways, a central tub used to work out the tension from fatigues muscles standing in the middle of the room. In it sat Hathor, obviously enjoying the hot water, her eyes closed, leaning back.
Sam led Janet and Teal’c into the room, cautiously, their guns ready. Behind them, the two airmen and the two nurses scanned the corridors, then entered one by one, the last covering the entrance they’d just come in through. Carter made hand signals, directing them to surround the tub and their target.
The water bubbled around the Goa’uld and her closed eyes and calm expression showed that apparently she enjoyed it. Just as they were about to raise their weapons, ready to fire, Hathor lazily opened her eyes. “Ring'tel nok.”
From the other entrances, the showers and the officers’ locker room, men poured in, Hammond and O’Neill leading them, surrounding the hot tub. Some carrying weapons, which they aimed at their female colleagues.
“Stand down, Captain Carter. Unless you plan to start a firefight, get people killed.”
Carter looked shocked and uncertain.
“Is this any way to treat a guest, Captain?” O’Neill asked, half stern, half mocking.
Suddenly male soldiers appeared behind the group and surrounded them, weapons at the ready. Sam’s shoulders slumped and she allowed her weapon to be taken. End note: I took the liberty of using some recommenders to provide names for ‘nameless nurses and Airmen’. Hope you don’t mind. Let me know if you do.