The Scrolls of Ra
Another untold tale from the diaries of Dr Daniel Jackson
All publicly recognisable characters and places are the property of MGM, World Gekko Corp and Double Secret Productions. This piece of fan fiction was created for entertainment not monetary purposes and no infringement on copyrights or trademarks was intended. Previously unrecognised characters and places, and this story, are copyrighted to the author. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
This story is a stand-alone sequel to Hathor, and is Rated PG. Be warned - the author is dedicated to angst - and this story is little more than an excuse to give Daniel a tough time!
Some of the people we have met through the Stargate have been a pleasure to know. I can think of one race in particular that I would gladly spend all my vacation time with. But there are others that I have hoped to never come across again. Hathor is one such character - a woman who combines incredible beauty with a heart of raw ambition. Knowing that she will use anyone and everyone to further her own rise to power is frightening enough - and being trapped under her spell is like travelling to hell itself. But now it seems, she has woven a new web, and I'm not sure that I will be fortunate enough to escape it this time.
With a sound like rushing water, the Stargate burst into life.
"SG5's signal, Sir," reported the dark-haired airwoman that was on duty at the Stargate computer.
General Hammond frowned. "SG5 aren't due back for another 36 hours." Behind him, Colonel Jack O'Neill, commanding officer of SG1, raised an eyebrow and both men hurried down to the gateroom. They were just in time to see a single military figure step through the event horizon.
The man peered around the room as though dazed.
"Sergeant Clancy," Hammond barked. "What's going on? Where's the rest of SG5?"
The Sergeant blinked at the General as though he was just waking from a dream, and then slowly spoke. "SG5 are hostages, Sir. They will be released unharmed only if Dr. Jackson goes to her."
Hammond swallowed hard, his quick mind grasping for facts. "Who's holding them hostage, airman?"
"Queen Hathor, Sir. And if Dr Jackson doesn't appear within the hour, she'll start killing them."
SG1 were seated in the conference room. Daniel Jackson's hands were folded around a coffee cup, and he was staring intently at the contents. His expression was sombre and there was a distinct lack of colour in his cheeks. Beside him Captain Samantha Carter was bristling with military indignation. "I say we send a platoon of female marines through, Sir."
"It's a thought," O'Neill said looking at the General. "We certainly can't use any of our usual tactics..."
"I have to go." All eyes turned to Daniel as he spoke for the first time since the meeting had begun. He looked at General Hammond, pushing the coffee cup to one side. "SG5 all have families - wives and children, Sir. We can't risk them because..."
"I'm not prepared to risk you either, Dr Jackson," Hammond interrupted.
"We don't have a lot of choice," Daniel stated the fact as though lecturing a particularly slow student. "If I don't go through the gate, Hathor has said she will kill SG5 one by one, and I don't doubt that she will do just that. Sir, it's one life in exchange for three. And I don't have as much to lose. I mean, these men have families waiting. All I have..." His voice trailed away at the thought of his wife, missing now for more months than he cared to remember.
"Daniel, you can't just turn yourself over to that woman. You don't know what she's got planned for you," Sam interjected.
O'Neill couldn't resist the opportunity. "Oh, I can guess," he said.
"Jack, please," Daniel was clearly not amused. "General...
"What's to stop Hathor keeping both you and SG5," Hammond asked.
Daniel licked his lips, hesitating before he answered. "Nothing. Other than the fact that I don't think she's interested in SG5. If she says she'll release them, I think she will."
Hammond's expression clearly showed he was unconvinced. "I don't like this one bit, but I think Daniel has a point about Hathor's interests. However, I think we'll even the odds just a bit. We haven't much time, but I've got a couple of plans in mind. Starting with Plan A. Captain Carter, pull Susan Anderson and Jen Bradley off their teams. I want the three of you to go through the gate too. You'll have to play it by ear, but I want everyone back in piece, including Dr Jackson, is that clear. I'll brief the three of you as soon as you're together."
"Yes Sir!" Sam was already on her feet and heading for the door.
O'Niell was clearly stunned at the idea of letting Daniel go. "General, you know what Hathor can do to a guy. Hell, we know what she did to him last time. It was nothing short of date-rape." Jack shot Daniel an apologetic look as the anthropologist flushed bright red. "Sorry, Daniel, but what else can I call it."
However, Hammond hadn't made general for nothing. He was already two steps down the line. "Don't worry, Colonel. Dr Frasier has been working on the prospect of us running into Hathor again." He turned his attention back to Daniel. "You go through the gate in 30 minutes, Dr Jackson. Make sure you drop by the infirmary before then."
Janet Frasier smiled to herself as Daniel Jackson tried not to look worried at the size of the injection she was preparing. Sometimes life had a funny way of rewarding medics, she thought to herself as she eyed the fair-haired anthropologist. Take this guy. He wanders around SGC totally oblivious to the fact that most of her nursing staff are desperately in love with him, and she has to put up with the constant 'Dr Jackson this', 'Dr Jackson that'. Not to mention playing agony aunt when the latest recruit realises he only has his mind on his missing wife. Oh yes, she was going to enjoy giving him this shot.
"Yoww!" Daniel yelped despite himself as the needle hit home.
"There you go, Doctor," Janet said with a smile. "Enough hormone to ensure that even Hathor won't get a reaction from you."
Daniel blushed even redder than he had in the briefing room.
"But remember, it will only last two days."
Daniel rubbed at his arm. "You're sure there aren't any side effects..."
Janet smiled sweetly. "It is possible you'll be able to sing soprano for a while, but other than - no."
"Great!" Daniel said without humour.
Hathor smiled victoriously as Daniel stepped through the gate, but her eyes narrowed as she saw he was armed with a zat gun. With a quick hand signal, her platoon of Jaffa raised their weapons.
"Dr Jackson," she purred. "We're disappointed that you consider you need to come into our presence armed."
Daniel stayed close to the still open gate. "Forgive me if your message didn't seem particularly welcome." He caught sight of the three SG5 members standing behind her. They were clearly under her influence, and Daniel knew he couldn't rely on them to help him in any way. "So what do you want, Hathor?"
She moved towards him and Daniel waved the zat gun. "It seems we have something of a stale mate, Daniel." She waved casually, indicating the armed Jaffa.
"I don't think you went to all this trouble to get me here, simply to shoot me," Daniel retorted.
Hathor cooed in response. "Let's be civilised. Move away from the gate, and your colleagues can return." She ran a hand over the chest of the nearest member of SG5. "We'll miss them of course..." The words hung in the air.
"Tell the Jaffa to back off," Daniel demanded.
Hathor eyed him cautiously and then clicked her fingers. The Jaffa instantly lowered their weapons and backed away.
Slowly Daniel moved away from the gate. He indicated SG5. "Order them through."
Hathor's eyes were on the zat gun, her expression cold and calculating. "Further from the gate, Daniel."
He took three more steps. Apparently satisfied Hathor turned to SG5. "You can go home now." They didn't look thrilled at the prospect, but obedient to Hathor's control they moved as one up to and then through the gate.
"There. I've kept my side of the bargain. Lower your weapon and..." Hathor's attention swung from Daniel to the gate as three well-armed females stepped out. The gate room was suddenly full of foul-smelling smoke as Sam let off a gas grenade. On cue, Daniel hit the floor and aimed the zat gun at Hathor. Too late. The goa'uld queen had already taken cover behind her Jaffa guard. Daniel rolled to his left, scrambled to his feet and sprinted for the gate. He heard Hathor scream in rage, and then a bolt of pure energy lifted him from his feet and flung him like a rag doll across the room.
"Daniel!" Sam's voice sounded above the blasts of staff weapon fire and the crackle of machine-guns.
Daniel hit the far wall side on and very hard. He slid to the floor, all the breath knocked from him. As darkness threatened to engulf him, he heard the sound of his name being shouted. For a moment he couldn't think where he was - Abydos? Chulak? He gritted his teeth and pushed through the pain. Groggily he pulled himself to all fours, trying to ignore the fact that every muscle was screeching in protest from the energy blot. Making it to his feet, he turned to face the gate, one arm protectively clutched to his chest and a particularly sore rib, and realised that he was looking at the wrong end of a staff weapon. As his attention moved upwards he discovered not one, but two Jaffa blocking his way, their weapons pointing squarely at his chest. Behind them he could see Sam and her team-mates still defending the gate. As the smoke began to clear they were sitting ducks. A staff weapon flashed, finally hitting a target. Jen Bradley cried out and fell to the floor clutching her right arm. Her gun fell from her grasp and skittered across the floor.
"Go!" Daniel yelled, as he realised the impossibility of reaching the gate.
Sam looked at him, their eyes locked for one anguished moment, and then she stepped towards the gate. "Fall back," she shouted. She paused for the briefest moment to ensure that Bradley and Anderson got through the gate. Then, with one last glance at Daniel she was gone.
Hathor laughed as the vortex shut down. She strolled up to Daniel, slipping her arm casually around his shoulders. He could smell her perfume, strong, sensual. She leaned close to him and whispered into his ear, her hormone-laden breath hot on his skin. "Welcome home, beloved."
Daniel braced himself for the impact of the chemicals, but he felt nothing. Doctor Frasier's shot was doing its job. Well, plan A had at least succeeded in getting SG5 safely home. Time for plan B. He gazed back at the queen hoping he had a suitably confused look on his face
Hathor studied him carefully. "We are disappointed, beloved. You greet us after so long a separation with this." She held the zat gun playfully before him, then suddenly set it ready to fire. "Do you know what the charge from this weapon does to the human body at zero range?" She placed the muzzle against his chest, clearly enjoying Daniel's discomfit. Knowing what the weapon felt like when discharged from a distance was more than sufficient in Daniel's opinion.
Hathor smiled at him - a smile that belied the cruelty lurking in her eyes. But abruptly Hathor's dark mood changed. "Don't look so fearful beloved - this is time to celebrate," she said. She handed the weapon to the nearest Jaffa and took Daniel's hand, leading him away from the gate. "What fortune smiled on us when your team stepped through the gate. Fortune that brought you back to us just when we need you."
"Where are we going?" Daniel asked, trying not to sound fearful.
"We have something to show you, beloved. Something that, with your help, will ensure that we become the ultimate ruler. Greater than Ra himself." She turned the full power of her smile on him. "And after you have helped us with that task, we can enjoy... much pleasure."
Her words made Daniel want to retch, but somehow he managed to return her smile. Carefully he noted their passage away from the gate. A left, a right. Past a wall covered in a rich gold tapestry. Finally Hathor led him into a huge stone chamber, containing tables piled high with scrolls. She led him to the far table and unrolled one of the scrolls.
"Here beloved. The key to our future."
Daniel stared down at the scrolls, fascinated despite himself. The hieroglyphs were an unusual style, but he was able to recognise a small handful. Enough to give him a basis on which to build a translation.
"It seems that while we slept on your world, the script of Ra..." Hathor sought for the right word. "Evolved. We can't read this sufficiently well. But you - with your knowledge of our history - we believe you can." She leaned close to him, hitting him with another blast of hormones. "You can read this, can't you beloved?"
Daniel lifted one of the scrolls from the table and studied it briefly. "What is it?" he asked. "These look like instructions to construct something."
Hathor laughed with delight. "Construct indeed, beloved. Together we will construct a weapon that will send fear into the heart of every other goa'uld in existence. Then they will come here to pay homage to us. To Queen Hathor and her beloved pharaoh."
Daniel set the scroll down, and turned to her. The idea of Hathor with a weapon of mass destruction filled him with horror, but his face was smiling. He fell to his knees in homage before her, judging that she must have breathed on him enough to warrant such a display. "Truly you are magnificent, my Queen."
Hathor placed her hand beneath his chin and tilted his face upwards. "Yes," she said. "We are." She leaned over and kissed him full on the lips, slowly and sensuously. Injection or not, Daniel couldn't help but be aware of her beauty. Concentrate, he told himself sharply. Still smiling, Hathor released him. "I'll leave you to begin the translation. But don't work too hard, beloved. Tonight we feast and..." she paused before dropping the words into the air with deadly promise, "...celebrate your return."
As soon as she was gone, Daniel began to search through the scrolls. A weapon that the goa'uld feared? If he could get details of that back to SGC, it would be the biggest find the teams had made. Working as fast as he could, he began to work out which of the scrolls formed part of the instructions and which didn't.
Carter was being debriefed by General Hammond and an intense Jack O'Neill.
"We didn't really stand a chance once Hathor loosed that energy bolt. Daniel was way too far from the gate..."
"You're sure he wasn't injured," O'Neill demanded.
"He was conscious, Sir."
O'Neill accepted the information without comment. He'd been on the receiving end of a goa'uld energy blast and knew it wasn't to be taken lightly. "So we go in after him..."
"Negative," Hammond interrupted.
"Sir?" Carter was shocked.
"I agreed with Dr Jackson that if you and your team weren't able to bring him back, I'd give him 12 hours to extract himself.
"With all due respect, Sir. Do you think that's wise? Daniel isn't military and..."
Hammond shot Sam a sharp look. "Dr Jackson has a sharp mind, Captain. If he can find a way out of this situation without risking the lives of any more SGC personnel, it is my considered opinion that we allow him the chance to do so."
O'Neill rose from the table in disgust. "General, I'm with Carter on this one. We should go in after him."
The cold look transferred to O'Neill. "This is not a debate, Colonel. Jackson has 12 hours. Dismissed."
O'Neill returned the General's stare with one of vehemence. Then, snapping to attention and delivering a salute that was clearly sarcastic, he left the room.
Sam caught up with him in the corridor. "So what are we going to do?"
"Captain?" O'Neill pretended not to understand.
"Are we going in?"
"You heard the General, Captain. We wait 12 hours."
"Yes, I heard," Carter snapped. "But we aren't going to leave Daniel..."
"Are you suggesting that we disobey a direct order?"
It suddenly dawned on Sam that in her anxiety for Daniel that was exactly was she suggesting. She took a deep breath, and studied O'Neill's face. "It wouldn't be the first time, Sir."
The tension in O'Neill seemed to drain suddenly. He patted her on the arm. "I know. And if I could, I'd be through that gate in a second, you know that. But we can't just take off every time it suits us. This is a military organisation."
O'Neill turned and walked away, leaving Sam staring dumbfounded at his back. She was just about to turn away when she distinctly heard him say, "Not that that doesn't mean it stinks sometimes."
The feast was drawing to a close. Daniel was confident that his acting had fooled the goa'uld queen. She was so used to manipulating men with her hormone-laden presence, Daniel was sure that she would never consider the option that he was faking his admiration of her. Now he leaned close to her, and whispered that he needed the bathroom. Hathor, relaxed by the fine wine she had consumed freely, nodded her consent, and Daniel hurried from the room.
First stop was the library. Quickly he gathered up the scrolls and pushed them into leather bag he had found earlier. Checking the corridors were empty, he set off for the Stargate. Adrenaline began to flow as he dodged through the corridors. Past the gold tapestry. Right. Left. There it was. The room was dark and unguarded. Daniel paused - unguarded? That wasn't right. Hathor would never leave the Stargate without at least one Jaffa over it, especially after the events earlier that day. He weighed his options - was it a trap? If so, he'd have to return to the main hall and Hathor. He didn't fancy that much - not with her whispered promise of much pleasure! Or was it just luck? Maybe the Jaffa had sneaked off to join the celebration? Unlikely, Daniel thought, but worth the risk. The sooner he got out of here, the better.
Daniel took a deep breath, hurried to the cartouche and began to dial for home. Four symbols locked. Five. Six. He reached for the last one...
...And heard his name spoken softly behind him. He spun round and came face to face with Hathor. "Daniel." Her tone was sad, like that of a mother disappointed by some misdemeanour of her child. With unexpected speed, her hand struck him full in the face. For a small woman she packed a powerful blow. Daniel was knocked backwards; he half fell over the cartouche and then on to the floor. Putting a hand to his face, his fingers came away smeared with blood. The goa'uld ribbon device that Hathor wore had sliced across his skin.
A flick of her eyes and two Jaffa grabbed Daniel, pushing him to his knees, his arms pinioned behind him. A third one picked up the bag of scrolls and dropped it at his side. "Return those to the library," Hathor said.
Daniel glanced at the bag as a Jaffa picked it up, but as he did, Hathor caught his chin in her hand. This time though there was no warmth in her eyes. "So you thought to trick us." She spat the words at him. "How you resist our charms we do not know. But you will regret doing so."
The ribboned hand rose above him. Pain seared through Daniel as the orange glow engulfed him. Through the haze of agony, he could see Hathor smiling maliciously. His vision began to darken around the edges. One last desperate thought - Sha're...
The pain stopped abruptly. Daniel fell to the floor, desperately trying to suck air into his burning lungs. Tears ran unbidden down his face. At Hathor's signal the two Jaffa grabbed his arms again and pulled him upright. The action doubled the pain, and for a moment Daniel thought he would at least have the satisfaction of throwing up on the queen.
Hathor stood before him, a satisfied expression on her face. "Did you think we would kill you, beloved?" The effort of breathing still racked Daniel's body with pain. Hathor moved close to him and spoke very quietly. "We think you'll find there are worse things than death. But fortunately for you we still need you."
Daniel finally managed to force out speech. "I won't translate for you."
His defiance made her laugh. "I won't translate for you." She mocked him by imitating his pain-laden words. Her smile froze on her lips as she held up the ribbon device again. With one finger she traced a pattern lightly across his forehead. "If you thought this was painful, beloved, you are in for a few surprises. Trust us. You'll soon be begging to translate the scrolls." She clicked her fingers at the Jaffa. "We think our guest needs to sweat over his transgression. Take him away!"
The Jaffa half carried, half-dragged Daniel into the bowels of the palace. At the far end of a dark corridor they flung him to the floor. Daniel caught a glimpse of a jagged knife blade, then he was pinned down, and his shirt and pants were slashed and torn. One Jaffa yanked him roughly back to his feet, holding him in a vice-like grip as the other opened the door at the end of the corridor. Heat blasted into the corridor from the doorway.
"Enjoy your stay," the Jaffa snarled as he shoved Daniel through the doorway. Stumbling to his knees, Daniel let out a cry as his bare skin came into contact with the scalding heat of the floor. The anthropologist scrambled to his feet as the door of the cell slammed shut.
"When you're ready to do Queen Hathor's bidding just shout," one of the Jaffa called out with a short laugh.
The cell consisted of four bare walls, the floor and a low ceiling. It took Daniel all of five seconds to discover the walls were as hot as the floor, and that there was no where to sit. As the sweat began to run down his back, it suddenly dawned on him that Hathor had meant her comment about sweating over his transgression to be taken literally. Even in his SGC issue boots he could feel the heat from the floor, and he noted with a sick feeling that his tattered clothing meant that whatever protection the thick cotton might have afforded was now denied him. If he touched any surface he was going to end up with a nasty burn.
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