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Stargate Through the Looking Glass and into Heaven.

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Hetman
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Alright, so not to worry @Spartan303 the EFC fic will get an update very soon! But in the mean time I thought I'd try my hand at a little journey down the Stargate rabbit hole. This is another reboot, which admittedly was a lot harder for me to tackle than EFC was because its sort of hard to attempt to claim you can do things differently than one of the longest running sci fi shows not Trek or Who. This is my humble attempt to do justice both to what I felt was an amazing world and cosmology while also, doing certain things differently yet similar enough to try and keep the spirit of the show and film. A blending of the two, hopefully without mutilating either kobeha.png

In any case, since there was a call to add some life to the Creative Writing section..here goeth my humble attempt to entertain you gents.

As per usual, all writes belong to MGM or..Disney or whatever the fuck megacorp bought this shit out.

Annndd without further adieu and with my sincerest hope that you guys both enjoy and shred me if it sucks.

I present










It is done, they are gone, expelled from the cradle of their power. After we fled, my father sealed the Star Gate, in which Ra and his treacherous brethren were cast, banished for all time.



With him went his servants. the Serpent Apophis, mighty warrior. Golden Aker, mighty builder, depraved Kronos and Hathor, mother of chattel and behind them, the horror whose name shall not be written, whose hunger for souls is beyond madness.



Whom even Ra feared...



We pray that those who come after never enter here. Never unravel the mystery of the pyramids, never seek the accursed figures upon stone. Do not strive emulate them, do not look for knowledge and above all else, please, we beg to you, open not the doorway. – The “Ballard inscription” alleged Egyptian Hieroglyphs found in a paleolithic era Cave settlement in Arizona Circa 1969.



Prologue

40,000 years ago, North Africa





Sometimes he wished they would fail a hunt, just because he hated the singing more than he hated the dancing. They gathered around old mother at the mouth of the immense cave system where his tribe lived during the harshest moons of the raining season, outside a storm raged. They’d killed one of the great beasts with the long straight teeth. They were different from the other great ones, whose teeth curved, they had no hair as well, the same long nose and they screamed as horribly but they were different, the hairy ones came rarely. They tasted better, their meat was rich with flavors from far off places and when he touched their weak minds, he could see white sand as far as the eye could see, great big trees and people like his but with a lot of skin and fur from dead things about them to keep warm.



Once he even saw an old woman, who had the gift like him from the weird lands. There were so few of them, but Teltak the one who came before the boy said that there were more now than before. The boy didn’t know about that, he didn’t care, it wasn’t his place to care, it was his place to paint the animals, to “see’ the hunt and to use the gift to make sure the hunters succeeded. Teltak had failed, it was the last time the boy saw him alive; they took him and broke his head on a great big rock. The boy felt a measure of pity, he had used his gift to make Teltak see wrong. It was a mistake, the boy didn’t even know he was doing it, but they killed Teltak anyway.



It was what would happen to the boy if he ever should fail. It was stupid, Teltak was old, even when the boy’s fathers, father was young. It took a long time for a mother to birth a person who could see the animals and summon them with the paintings. The tribe would probably starve without him or must move and wander like those savages with the sloping brows, or those weird ones who were like the boy’s people but lived like savages. They had people with gifts too, he would “see” them sometimes, they were different than him, they spread out too far, their blood thinned.



The boy’s mate lay sleeping beside his furs, her belly was huge, she would probably die bringing their child into the world, good the boy thought. He never felt anything for her, she was distant kin to him but that meant nothing. The Elders forced him to breed with her “to try and make more who can see”. It succeeded, he knew that he could sense it. His replacement one day, part of him hoped the child died with his mate, part of him hoped he failed just so everyone would starve.



These thoughts were dark, they often made the great ones scream a lot, but it didn’t matter. He hated the great ones, he hated his mate, he hated the thing inside her, he hated his people. Not for Teltak. But because it was so, ordinary, everything was muted, everything was silent, it was all boring. The older the boy got, the harder it became to feel anything, to care for anything. Legends from gifted ones, from their dreams told of beings of light. Ancient ones, who slept with the peoples of the valley. Some say the gift was born from that union, others that it is a lie told by the sloping browed idiots. The boy believed differently that he existed to counter those descended from the children of the ancients, that it was a natural defense against their arrogance.



But the boy didn’t care about that.



The boy was meandering, his thought erratic, it was normal after a great one died while he was still inside its mind. This one, died badly. Duuurrron, the greatest hunter of their tribe hurt its baby so much, the baby cried and cried, its wild eyes searched frantically until it ceased to scream, Great one babies died from being scared all the time. It was funny, their little noses flailing about, they would get so scared and hurt that they would even seek comfort from their torturers and when you gave it to them only to hurt them more it made their little hearts ache so much.

Duuurron did this, he hurt the little Great One so badly it died of confusion and sorrow and its mother went into a blind rage at its cries and charged. But it fell into a great pit and then Duuurron threw a stick down into its eye and then throat. It died sputtering blood and meat from it and its baby would last them the rest of the raining season. The rains were colder now, it made it harder to focus, but the caves kept them warm. It was all so boring, so boring, so dreadfully boring.



The boy reached out to touch his mate’s belly, it would be so easy to paint the child, but they would kill him.



In secret he painted his mate.



She was so boring.



He wanted something new, something exciting, he wanted to “see” something new.



Even if that meant being killed like Teltak. At least it would be something different.



Teltak told him to always stop his thoughts when they grew dark, the boy always thought Teltak was a fool for saying such things. Outside, lightning roared, it seemed to grow louder than normal, and the ground trembled below his feet, that was odd. The storms were getting worse, but as long as they stayed in the caves, they were safe. Never had the ground shaken below him. People who were singing and dancing went silent, he was happy for this, they really annoyed him. People began to scream, he understood why when he looked from objects of his drawings and saw, something in the skies. It was enormous, in a weird shape he’d never seen before and it came down with stars and sun. Bright and yet dark, it was unlike anything he’d ever seen before. His, clutched at him, the boy pulled away, she’d woken up and was screaming. Everyone ran, meat which was being cured got knocked over into the dirt, things began to appear at the mouth of the cave., they screamed and spoke, but he wasn’t sure if he was seeing them, or “seeing” them. They were odd though, not men, not quite beasts, gigantic, reptilian and snarling. People began to run deeper into the caves, but he walked forward excited. The ground rumbled below his feet; his mate clutched at him again. He dashed her head into a wall, she fell, she was bloody. The creatures if they were even there, seemed to ignore him and focused on those who ran.



He sealed his fate in that instant; but he if he knew, he wouldn’t have cared. His prayers were answered, he could finally experience something new. The stars and sun that seemed to wrap about something that looked like a mountain and were joined by a chorus of thunder and lightning and he finally felt it. Something inside the mountain called to him, the boy could feel it. It had the gift as well! But its spirit was different, unlike anything he had ever seen before. It was so powerful, so old, so different, its drawings were of animals the boy never saw before and shapes he didn’t understand. It was in so much pain as well! That was so, different, never had another with the gift been so strong that the boy felt its pain as more than a distant hum. This was vivid and loud and overwhelming, something around it decayed, its power was holding it together, but the effort grew more and more painful. It was so fascinating, it was searching for something, it was seeking something new. New beings?



Was it bored as well?



They fled, they cowered, but he came forward.



He called back.



Here I am.



Something new.



Something new!



Here I am!
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Hetman
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Chapter 1: Curiosity.
Los Angeles, June 3rd, 2015.



Smoke filled the air as the bald headed, mammoth of a host set his marijuana filled cigar down. An amused look played over the face of the young archaeologist, if his grandfather could see him now! “Right” The man began “So we’re here with Doctor Daniel Jackson, a prodigy and master at ancient linguistics.”



“And Pariah” Jackson added into the mic, his shaggy blond hair falling about a youthful face. “That’s true! Yeah, man, you’re like the only guy I know who has both fringe archeologists and the mainstream ripp’n at you twenty-four seven”.



“Yeah I’ve pretty much made everyone….a..angry with me I guess” Jackson remarked, straining to finish the sentence so as to avoid sneezing from the smoke. “I don’t understand why though” Not true, Jackson thought. He knew exactly why the archaeological world was hacked off at him. After all, he called the ancient astronaut theorists misguided and made the mainstream guys feel humiliated.



“I’m not fuck’n surprised y’know? Your grandfadder was the same way” the walking mound of frenetic energy and obesity that was the secondary guest a stand-up comic with a background in organized crime remarked. The man spoke with a thick Jersey accent, but Jackson could detect traces of his Cuban heritage even in a practiced English accent. If given enough time, Jackson could probably even figure out what neighborhood in which city the man came from. He was right of course; Nicholas Ballard was all but drummed out of the profession despite being at one point of the most cited scholars of the nineteen sixties and seventies. “Really?” The main host asked, and the mound of flesh nodded. “Yeah, fuck’n Nick said he found hieroglyphs in a cave in Nevada or someshit, but that they were like a million years old or something.”



“Nicholas Ballard for those listening was the grandfather of our guest, a great archeologist in his time and a close friend of Erik Von Deinaken and that crew. But he broke ranks with them over the discovery of the Ballard inscription which he insisted was signs of what our guest is here to talk about.”



“The Jackson-Ballard theory of cultural plagiarism” Jackson remarked, the theory that had landed him in enough hot water to have one of the only two PHD’s he’d earned (As opposed to being grudgingly conferred upon him in recognition of his talents). A degree he earned when he was just seventeen, making him one of the youngest recipients of a PHD in history. Though, that test pilot and physicist Sam Carter beat him by a few years. “And it was a cave in Arizona, and it was twenty eight thousand years old” Jackson corrected gently. “You knew my grandfather didn’t you Mister Di-?”



“Fuck’n Joey kid” the mound of flesh said slapping him on the back and cutting him off. “Yeah I did, he used to hang out with Harlan Ellison and that fuck’n weirdo with the pipe what was his name?”



“L Sprague De Camp” Jackson put in helpfully, no doubt the mound of flesh was about to launch into a story about lines with his disgraced grandfather and sensing it the mammoth of a host cut him off. “Yeah, fascinating dude your grandfather. He really lived hard, disappeared in South America didn’t he?”



Jackson nodded “fifteen years today actually. But I spent my formative years listening to his stories and theories, helping him translate dusty old journals. He taught me Ancient Egyptian before I could walk practically and I grew up reading his papers and reworking his old research.”



“Right, so what is this theory?”



“Well,” Jackson cleared his throat. “Basically, Grandpa Nick noticed something everyone seemed to politely ignore. That a lot of ancient civilizations, but specifically the Egyptians. Made the leap from cavemen to building cities disturbingly fast. And then you have the fact that minus the step pyramid, their earliest work eclipses their later”



“Explain for the folks at home” The host put in, preempting Jackson who was about to continue.



“Well, um basically. Most civilizations progress linearly, some plain out sure, or they progress erratically, but there’s almost always consistent leaps that we can point too that show progression. Even when societies stagnate, there are always some inventions. Even when they fall backwards. It’s very rare that you encounter a people that go from crude stone spears to war chariots and scythes and small cities. Or the equivalent” Jackson said enthusiastically.



“Rare? Yeah, I guess you do have exceptions. Like the Comanche that went from stone age to conquering fucking everything and fighting what were bleeding edge civilizations at the time”



Jackson smiled, his former colleagues wondered why he listened to this man’s podcast, especially Sarah. But the guy, trippy and rough as he was had a genuine curiosity and he listened to his guests. “Yes! Exactly, but with the Comanche we have a transmission of technology from one advanced culture to a lesser one. Guns and horses in this case, to me and to my grandfather Nick, it was as if the Egyptian people just sort of walked into the Nile and came out with engineering and medicine and smithing” Jackson’s hands flailed as he animatedly described what he spoke of, prompting the other guest, the mound to hand him a glass of whiskey. “N-No thanks..I..actually yeah, thanks”



“I mean fuck you are over twenty one right?”



Jackson grinned “twenty three, but I learned how to make moonshine when I was fifteen!”



“Fuuuuccckk” The host laughed “Why’d you learn that?”



Jackson shrugged “I was bored.”



“And you say the Egyptians got dumber as time went on?” The mound asked “Because fuck me, with how long they lasted? They were bound to forget some shit.”



Ah, so that was why my grandfather liked him Jackson thought. “And that’s true and they experienced a pretty horrific cataclysm as well, that’s true later Egyptian dynasties weren’t even Egyptian. The Ptolemies were Greek, but they had their own apex. No, it’s expected for things to get forgotten and or fall back. I mean the ancient Egyptians were a preeminent power when even the ancient Chinese were fumbling in the dark. But that’s my point, its almost like they just appeared out of thin air. There was no C and D in the ABCDE process you know?”



“No, it makes sense” the human mastodon remarked. “But it sure pissed a lot of people off. Dunno why though, because the way you’re explaining it, it makes fuck’n perfect sense.”



Jackson shrugged “The mainstream academic community, doesn’t like the idea that the ancient Egyptians copied another, older, grander civilization or its ruins. Since they say no proof outside of some curiosities exist. The Ancient aliens guys hate me because I don’t think their explanation is logical”



“And why do you say that?” The Mammoth asked.



“Well” Jackson began “ I think, if aliens did come to earth and share knowledge, they wouldn’t just advance us so far and they wouldn’t do something for free”



“why not?”



Without missing a beat Jackson looked up from his glass of whiskey, the light glinting off his glasses “Because we don’t and I could speculate all day and night about the psychology of beings that may not exist, or may be incomprehensible but as far as we know, intelligent life only does things one way”



“And that way is pretty shitty” the Host agreed. “Well, not necessarily shitty. We’re half savage to quote Star Trek, but that isn’t always a bad thing. I dunno, we’re pragmatic, even the Comanche only got horses because of negligence and they only got guns because someone had the bright idea to use them as mercenaries”, He gave a shrug “What purpose does it serve to carry a people only so far? Unless you were bored it was some behavioral engineering thing, but then why?” Jackson shrugged “any way…Going back to my theory. Essentially grandpa and I believe that ancient Egypt and perhaps Sumaria and ancient Indian cultures less developed and more stumbled upon the remains of some ancient highly sophisticated cultures. Maybe some sort of remnant population and that remnant or those remains served as the building block for what we now know as the ancient world.”



“And that pisses people off?” The mammoth of a host asked. “That doesn’t sound so bad”



Jackson who had been spinning his glass and watching the liquid turn looked up with a wry grin. “I accused a lot of academics of perpetuating a fraud in their papers. Mainly the false hieroglyphs inside the pyramid and the alien guys, well I don’t give them the time of day”





It had begun to rain when Jackson left the studio, his luck was truly terrible at times. No more grant money, the crowdfunding and book revenue was still two weeks away and he had been evicted from his apartment the day before the show. The last bits of funds he had on him had been spent on a motel last night. -Homeless- typical, Jackson thought. He was so focused on his current predicament, praying the podcasts exposure would get him in a position where he could breathe next quarter that he didn’t notice the tall, broad shouldered man with sandy blond hair and Polish features in a uniform, that Jackson would only recognize if he got a good look at it.



Which he was about too.



“Doctor Jackson, sir, sir” The man called, his voice genial for someone his size and with knuckles that scarred. “Space Force” Jackson murmured, noticing the officers insignia and chevrons. Created in nineteen ninety-nine by President Clinton, funded by President Bush and ignored by the current guy in the Whitehouse, the United States Space Force was supposed to be the military of the future, in truth it was seen as a place for all the armed services branches to transfer their retirees, hard cases and mad scientists. Commanded originally by Admiral Abraham Ellis (another friend of his grandfather, hence the only reason Jackson knew it existed at all). The “last service branch” had fallen into disrepair, kept funded with a large budget even while ignored for reasons no one could truly comprehend.





“I’m Major Kowalski, come with me”



“uhh why?” Jackson asked, blinking to get some of the water pouring down into his eyes and fogging up his glasses out of his way. A vain attempt he knew but.



“Well to get out of the rain for one and second because” he pointed to a limousine “Katherine Langford wishes to see you.”





“Langford?” Jackson blinked. Truly? The woman had been a legend in the archeological and anthropological community, hell. She was the daughter of scientific royalty, her father being one of the inspirations for Indiana Jones and his father allegedly being the source for Alan Quartermaine. Adventurers, scholars, thrill seekers and museum directors and owners of one of the largest collections of rare artifacts and antiquities in the world. The Langford family was on its fifth generation of contributing to the academic world. But the matriarch of the family herself, a recluse was believed to have died of old age until she published in Nat Geo some two years ago (Reasonable assumption, the woman had been born in 1911 after all) , no one quite knew what she had been up too since the late nineties. Seeing the look on the Major’s face, Jackson knew he’d been hooked but what choice did he have?



The door was opened and within sat an austere woman with bone white and silver hair and a lined face that looked like it belonged to someone in their early eighties and not over a hundred years old. Around her neck was the golden necklace of Amun-Ra, a trademark of all the old photos he’d seen. The eye of Ra seemed to shimmer in the dark and Jackson quirked his head only to have a folder with photos of his parents, his credentials and a hundred other things within. “I met your mother when she was very little.”



“I know” Jackson remarked “She never forgot” his tone was soft, and he caught himself hero worshipping and tried to make a correction. The woman offered a knowing smile “I was saddened to learn of her death and so soon after Nicholas.”



“You two were friends?” Jackson asked, before flinching, the memory of his grandfather ranting about how the Langfords let him hang when they knew, entered his mind. Right, Jackson thought, I should be bitter after all my grandfather was disgraced because of you and your family put out some hostile papers towards me.



Still, Jackson could not help but geek out just a little.



Living history always fascinated him, even if it wasn’t pleasant.





She laughed “Hard to believe with how he no doubt spoke about me, but yes once long ago” her tone was as far away as her eyes and she took a moment to compose herself. Her accent even after all these years never truly left her it added a sense of mystique to her aged voice. “I have a jet waiting for us, I trust everything you own is in that shabby bag?”



“Yes it is..wait aminute..us?” Jackson asked bewildered.



“Of course,” she laughed softly, wheezing slightly as she did so. “Did you think I hauled myself all this way to this filthy city to sit in a car? This is a job interview boy.”



Jackson blinked “I don’t understand..the guy is military”



“Yes, Marine division attached to the Space force.”



“ah” Jackson said as if that explained everything “And, why would the space force want me?”



The woman looked to her left gazing out at the rain “Do you want a chance to prove your theories right?”



There was something in her tone of voice, a weight to it that gave Jackson pause, as if the coils of destiny had just been given cue to wrap around his throat. Nervous, hesitant, military? Spooky government stuff? Space force? Why the hell was Katherine Langford mixed up with that? -I should leave- he thought.



But go where?



-I assume all you own is in that shabby bag- her wizened voice echoed in the young man’s head.



No, no matter what.



A chance to vindicate his grandfather and prove his theories?



“I do” Jackson whispered.



“Excellent! Now Major Kowalski can get out of the rain!”
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Hetman
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Munising Michigan – Same time



Chapter 2: departures





She hated him, and she cursed him for that. They had been married twenty years now, her father warned her about marrying someone “in the life” but she didn’t listen. He was tall, muscular, toned and with the jaw and poise of an American GI straight out of another era. Sarcastic, defiant, devil may care and yet capable of profound introspection and stoicism they didn’t make men like her husband anymore. That action hero right out of an eighty’s movie meshed with the calm frontiersmen of yore out of the history books and filtered through the lens of a John Ford movie.



Colonel John James “Jack” O’Neil was one part Snake Pliskin, one part Wyatt Earp and one part stand up comic. Those traits made Sarah fall hopelessly in love with him, but they also meant that when he broke because they didn’t make ‘em like that anymore it was impossible to fix him.



Smoke rose to form a halo around shabby blond hair, she was wearing a beat-up old flannel and probably looked haggard. Sarah didn’t care, her daughters kept telling her to pick herself back up, but that was another reason why she hated the man she once loved furiously. They had seen only their father’s pain but none of their mother’s fury and with twins, well on most of the critical issues they were of one mind. They took his side, insisting that he be allowed to grieve in his own way while she was supposed to be there for him and suck it up?



That wasn’t true, she was being unfair to her two remaining kids they only wanted their parents to grieve as a couple, they only wanted Sarah to let go of her rage towards Jack, but they didn’t understand. She didn’t blame Jack for Charlie’s death, their youngest was a tenacious little one and he got into everything and if he wanted to get ahold of Jack’s guns, no safe nor lock would have stopped him. That was why she kept insisting they do with Charlie what they did for their daughters, weapons safety training, shooting, and hunting from a young age. Sandra and Sasha understood and respected guns. Jack kept promising to show Charlie, but the war on terror had reached its apex when Charlie was born and when it was supposed to wine down under President Obama it only got worse and Jack was gone so often. She kept insisting he retire, a few years older than her Jack was a Gulf War veteran and he was eligible for it. Just so they could be a family, Charlie was going to be their last kid and. No, Sarah reminded herself, she didn’t blame Jack for Charlies death, the boy had just wanted to be closer to his father and things, happened when you were a nine-year-old with a piece.



No, she blamed Jack for blaming himself, for hating himself and for wanting to leave her and their daughters alone in a graying world without him. -He’s supposed to be a hero damnit, I married a hero not a broken toy soldier-. The thought repulsed her, she knew how selfish it was and yet images of Jack cradling their dead son in his arms, one of their daughters clutching at brain matter and the other wailing like a banshee filled her head and she stopped caring about how selfish it was.





“He’s going to put that 1911 to his head one day and mean it for once” she spoke aloud, her voice dry and numb. A knock on the door jerked her out of her thoughts and she walked from the kitchen towards hall between the kitchen and the dinning and family rooms. Two members of the Space Force were at the door -What the hell do these losers want with a real soldier? - she thought derisively then decided not to look a gift horse in the mouth. One of them was an older man, some lifetime logistics clerk a pencil pusher and bean counter most like. The other, in his twenties, she recognized the youth because he was married to one of her cousins. “Billy” she remarked trying not to laugh at the uniform. It was gray and he was doing his best not to look like a caricature of a West Point graduate from a century ago. The way the Space Force was set up was bizarre, there was a “United States Stellar Navy” branch, which had the old naval ranks and one that was clearly based off the Airforce, they were supposed to be pilots, but she wasn’t sure why there was a naval side to it except that maybe President Bush was serious about wanting spaceships with guns. There was supposedly a third division as well, one that wasn’t uniformed but more like a federal agency, an intelligence arm. Jack said it was just a rumor, no one would be stupid enough to “screw with the way things got to be” like that and throwing that much money at what amounted to a blackhole for people who couldn’t be thrown out but had to be promoted out was absurd.



But when she looked at the older man she wondered.



“Who’s your friend?” she asked, in a tone that suggested she didn’t particularly care.



“Captain Harold Maybourne” The man said, the grip on the folder he was carrying tightening. “May we speak to Jack?”



Oddly familiar Sarah thought, definitely a former bean counter. “If you can reach ‘em” she said walking into the kitchen. She knew by the look in Maybourne’s eyes this was a mission that was likely so top secret maybe fifty people knew about it outside of the command center that was directing it.





Sarah knew that meant it was likely a suicide mission.





When her husband finally stirred from their room a few moments after the men left, she knew the ghost of her husband had accepted.



He wasn’t coming home.



She felt relieved.








Cheyenne Mountain Complex – two days later







Chapter 2:2 - Arrivals




“Jesus! Jackson, we’re underground what is there to sneeze about?” Kowalski asked as the suffering blond haired nerd held a handkerchief to his nose and let loose a noise neither Charles Kowalski nor Louis Ferretti thought a human being could make. The two belonged to a detachment of the Marine Corps that was part of a JSOC under the Space Force. That basically meant they were surrounded by nerds in uniforms and nerds in civies, well besides General West and Admiral Hammond, both of those men were anything but nerds. Though West had a passing understanding of the Ancient Egyptian language, he was famous for being the man who could get any troubled base or outfit into working order. And Hammond? Well, Kowalski had only met Hammond once but any sixty-year-old who could shake your hand hard enough crush it was more than just a pencil pusher.



The story was that both men were friends of Senator Hayes, an independent that sat on a bunch of committees, that they had struck up a friendship with the older man in the late seventies. The story was that the three of them were involved in some tight shit together and that all three all but idolized Ellis and that had been why the pair of them were trusted with command of Project Giza. West was prone to titanic bouts of rage in-between periods of calm stoicism that made him an imperious, domineering figure while Hammond had a quiet, unspoken power that was common to a Texas Rancher turned SEAL. Though Hammond Spent most of his days in Washington now and West ran the facility. Project Giza itself was run by Doctor Langford and the arrangement had always confused Kowalski but then again, he was seldom paid to think.





He also didn’t mind it, Katherine was a woman who was over a hundred years old and her life had been as wild as a character out of a comic book. He could listen to her stories for hours, at least when Ferretti wasn’t debating conspiracy theories with the old woman (Who sometimes could come off as trippy and paranoid as Ferretti), the others, doctor Shore and that fat Egyptologist whose name he kept forgetting could be grating but Jackson? In the day they’d spent together he decided he liked Jackson, still didn’t stop him from occasionally teasing the guy.



“I don’t know!” Jackson cried in a baleful tone that made both marine’s chuckle. “I’m telling you man, in the 70’s they put spores of a mold that simulates LSD in the walls as part of a behavioral engineering experiment” Ferretti remarked “Jackson’s nose must be sensitive enough to pick it up.”



Kowalski rolled his eyes “That’s retarded, no one would waste money doing something like that and no one in the Government would do it to one of the most secure facilities on earth.”



“ehhh…I..wouldn’t be so sure” Jackson remarked, replacing the handkerchief in his pocket and taking out another to clean his glasses. Kowalski snorted “Really? You believe this shit?!”



Jackson shrugged in his usual boy like way and quickly added to his comment. “Well, here I don’t know, but I mean both the CIA and the KGB did do stuff like that in the sixties and seventies. The CIA even staged a haunting in a college dorm once using LSD, sleep deprivation and noise.”



Kowalski blinked, suddenly looking more concerned than he wanted to be. “You’re kidding me right?!” was everyone just crazy during the cold war? Doctor Jackson pushed some of the strands of blond hair that fell between his glasses and eyes and shook his head “Nope, look up project Climax one day, they did all kinds of weird stuff and a lot of it was just forgotten and left to continue until someone decades later found out and put a stop to it.”



Great, Kowalski thought, now I’m going to be staring at the walls for a week to make sure they aren’t melting. “But you..think they’d do it in the mountain”



“Probably not” Jackson intoned as the elevator doors opened. “Don’t worry!”



“Right” Kowalski muttered as the pair walked ahead of Jackson who gawking around at the interior of the facility, looking very much like a kid in a museum. A short, stocky woman of Latin heritage in her early forties walked past Kowalski and the equally towering Ferretti, her auburn hair a curly mass about her back and shoulders. “Doctor Jackson!?” she called out and gripped the distracted blond by the hand. Their newest nerd turned and looked down at the woman nodding as he watched his hand bob up and down in her grip “I’m Doctor Barbara Shore” The engagement and wedding ring on her finger explained the name, her accent was still thick, and Jackson remembered a Doctor Barbara Ramirez out of a University in Costa Rica who had published a series of books on Ancient Cultures and the worship of stars. She’d been amongst the class of fringe archaeologists who courtesy of the internet and cable channel documentaries had been steadily gaining more and more recognition over the last fifteen years. Ah yes, she was married to a Doctor Robert Shore, an engineer and dam builder! What was another globe trotter doing in an underground military base?





Beside her a tall portly man in a cardigan walked over, reaching out to grip Jackson’s hand with an affable smile. Jackson knew this one, Doctor Gerry Meyers had famously been one of the people to analyze and study Göbeklitepe with any kind of enthusiasm and his debates with that Graham Hancock guy had been legendary once. -the token skeptic I guess- he thought. Gerry’s false smile was one he was accustomed too when dealing with an academic old boy. Meyers smile only broadened as he added “I see you’ve already met the boys” he said gesturing forward to Kowalski and Ferretti’s backs “Or as I like to call them the two towers”.



That metaphor was apt in the sense that both men were built like buildings even if Kowalski’s height didn’t quite match the Italian American’s 6’9. Ferretti was like a meathead out of an old cartoon, a meathead who was surprisingly literate for someone who looked like he blew things up for a living and had a hunger for conspiracy theories and to his surprise had read every piece Jackson had ever written addressing the ancient astronaut theory (Daniel rather liked his approach to countering his assessment, as it was more geared towards critiquing his assumptions about alien psychology in a way, he didn’t find abstract or boring). But Meyer’s dismissiveness bothered him, neither of these men were stupid. Either way, he didn’t have much in the way of time to say anything because he was quickly led down a corridor and to a room that was barred by a steel door that opened with a sound that made Jackson wonder if the room was sealed or not.



Authorized personnel only tags covered a pair of beige doors and when Jackson walked in he beheld a bunch of computers and what looked like design tables and tablets and all the way at the far end a massive cover stone the likes of which he’d never seen before. It was a cover stone, Jackson was sure of it, a great circle made of concentric stones carved in the shape of wedges and each one containing a series of hieroglyphs that were unmistakably ancient Egyptian and yet, not. A hand gripped his wrist and he turned, espying Katherine who had an amused expression on her ancient face “Well? What do you think?”



“I don’t know what to think” Jackson murmured, his eyes flashing about erratically, doing his best to try and take in the whole sight before him. His mind a whir of thoughts, speculations, and Katherine’s words earlier -Do you want to prove your Grandfather’s theories true-







But what did that have to do with the military? “I’ve never seen anything like this” Jackson murmured. A lighthearted laugh accompanied by her usual wheeze escaped Langford’s lips and she nodded “I would imagine so, no one has seen anything like this” she paused “Except for the Ballard inscription perhaps”. Jackson whirred on her; his eyes frantic with possibilities. “Did..was this found in Arizona as well?”



She laughed “no, my father and I discovered it in nineteen twenty-eight in a quarry near the Giza Plateau.” Jackson felt himself swallow, his mouth must have been dry, and he turned back to gaze up at the stone. His eyes settled on the Cartouche where a series of odd almost figure like carvings that matched symbols that he could see dotting the outer part of the stones. He couldn’t recognize the figures, though they might have been some form of cuneiform, but Jackson would need more time. The hieroglyphs themselves were subtly different, the animals had different shapes, some looked entirely different and were unrecognizable but place between that which he could recognize Jackson could reasonably guess what was being said. “The hieroglyphs in the center stone are mostly recognizable but the outer inscriptions are like the ones in the cartouche and I can’t make heads or tails of them” Meyer admitted, his hands had been shoved in his pockets as though he were dejected yet there was a subtle challenging glint in his sunken eyes.



Jackson nodded “I bet” he turned surveying the room until he found an old chalkboard and quickly hurried over. There, he saw the hieroglyphs copied and below it a mangling of them in a bunch of possible translations. “era? Time? To the sky? Ra Sun God..well you got that right at least” Jackson muttered as he rummaged for an eraser. Meyer objected but Jackson cut him off muttering about Budge and questioning why Meyer would even bother using Budge knowing what a disaster his work was. “No, it should read. Million years into the Sky, as Ra Sun God, cast out through his, no not Door to Heaven…But Stargate for all…time.”



Jackson went silent, recalling the inscription his grandfather found over fifty years ago. The similarities were eerie and the message, halfway across the world. “But I don’t get it…What does the military want with five-thousand-year-old Egyptian relics?”



“My file says forty thousand.” A gruff if somber voice cut them off and Daniel turned around to behold a tall, strong jawed man in his forties with an immaculate crewcut and eyes that held back a tide. Jackson blinked, unsure of who the man was other than his colonel insignia and the fact that Kowalski and Ferretti were standing at attention. The date the man gave him, absolutely boggled Jackson’s mind “That date’s ludicrous, the Egyptian civilization didn’t exist anywhere near that era, nothing did.”



The man smirked, which surprised Jackson given how tight his face had been, how measured he’d held himself to that point. “Well, aren’t you the guy who said Ancient Egyptians were just a bunch of cavemen who copied and pasted what a bunch of even older dead guys did.”



“Fair..Enough” Jackson admitted, chuckling “But still, I mean if it were that old, how could the inscriptions remain..I mean something would have faded”. The Colonel, returning to a more somber and rigid posture nodded his head “Maybe but I’m not the big brain they hired to make sense of this.”



Fair, Daniel thought. Turning to Doctor Shore he had to stop himself from twitching in excitement. “Well this is a cover stone did you find a sarcophagus?” “No, but something far more interesting was fo”



“Excuse me” The Colonel cut in “But from now on no information deemed classified will be provided except without my approval first.”



“Who are you?” Langford asked somewhat irked. “Colonel Jack O’Neill out of General West’s office” he turned and began to head towards the door, Langford followed as fast as her ancient body would allow her. “Colonel” she called causing him to turn, surprised at the power the old woman could put in her voice. “I was told I had complete autonomy”



With a sigh Jack O’Neill nodded “Plans change ma’am” “I see” Langford remarked shaking her head “I thought the manic days of the cold war were over, ahh well. Why are you here Colonel?”



“In case you succeed Ma’am, you scientists have a way of making messes that people like me cleanup”
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Cheyenne Mountain Complex – three weeks later.





Chapter 3: Consternations





“I’m never getting paid again” Jackson muttered to himself, three weeks of hard work! Three blasted weeks of cross referencing, rereading and studying every single damned paper, book and lecture ever printed, of consulting every glossary dictionary and lecture (Even consulting the damned books by the Ancient Astronaut guys). Nothing, he was as mystified as to the meaning of the weird glyphs on the cartouche tonight as he was when he first beheld the ancient stone carving.



The stone carving itself was a riddle greater than the Sphinx, as it seemed to both prove his theory and the belief that the planet had some sort of extraterrestrial contact at some point in time. In that as far as he knew, no culture advanced enough to produce stonework that could last through the ages as this one supposedly had. -Hell, we don’t even have the capability to do that, not for forty thousand years-. Jackson let out a breath, he had to remind himself that the United States Government had been in possession of the relic since the end of the second world war. They could be patient, real patient, even if there was a sense of urgency about the base. But Jackson couldn’t, Jackson had no desire to spend decades of his life stuck with the same problem.





“Man, still up?” The voice of Ferretti echoed from behind him and Jackson turned to see the large Italian with a tray filled with pancakes, orange juice and what looked like grits (or it might have been oatmeal). An ever-present smile on the marine’s face turned into one of confusion as he set the tray down and looked at the screen set against the wall Jackson was eying with a look like he wanted to smash the monitor with a crowbar. “huh these are the things that got you losing sleep?”



“My mortal enemies” Jackson muttered in dissatisfaction. “I have no idea what they mean at all. And honestly if they really are forty thousand years old I may never.” Daniel sighed, yielding to his hunger long enough to take a few ravenous bites out of the oatmeal. “But you still think this was a Rosetta stone?” Ferretti asked quirking his head. His half-fried mind working through the images with a look Jackson had seen on the man’s face when he was lifting a particularly large amount of weight.



“Yes” Jackson said with an exhausted sigh “It’s the only logical thing I can think of, but that would I mean I know that the markings say but trying to find any kind..syntax or”



“Looks like a legend on a map” Ferretti remarked, which caused Jackson to freeze in his tracks, spoon hovering in mid air as he quirked his head to match the Marines odd posture. Looking at it, from the angle of a conspiracy nut and meat head, it… “Wow..you’re right.. It does”



“So..what? Are these coded coordinates? Like a cipher?” Ferretti asked.



Jackson blinked, why the hell hadn’t Shore and Meyers spent any time with this man? He was a gold mind of unconventional thinking. “Not a Cipher! Louie! Look!” Jackson called, suddenly bolting from his chair to point at one image, which if one squinted hard enough looked like the hunter Orion. “Shiit Star signs?”



“It would seem so!” Jackson’s eyes flashed and he beamed an almost school boy like grin at Ferretti “You’re a damn genius you know that?! Come on! I need to consult a physicist or something.”



Eureka! Jackson thought, even as he realized this changed everything, he thought he knew. -We were right, while being wrong grandpa- He thought with a smile on his face. Oddly enough, he wasn’t upset by that prospect, if anything it opened so many doors, about so many different civilizations!



“And I thought this morning would suck”
 

The Whispering Monk

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My only critique is one of character.

Jack Oneil has more kids? I'm sure you've made a conscious choice to make this change, and I'm looking forward to see where you go with it.

However, I don't see his character fully succumbing to his grief with additional kids to care for. After all, it was another child, Sca're (sp?), that shook Oneil truly out of his funk in the Original.

This doesn't break the story, but it was glaring enough in my mind that I consciously stopped reading your story to think it over.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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My only critique is one of character.

Jack Oneil has more kids? I'm sure you've made a conscious choice to make this change, and I'm looking forward to see where you go with it.

However, I don't see his character fully succumbing to his grief with additional kids to care for. After all, it was another child, Sca're (sp?), that shook Oneil truly out of his funk in the Original.

This doesn't break the story, but it was glaring enough in my mind that I consciously stopped reading your story to think it over.
It's a legit point. Jack's not completely gone the way he was in the film, hence him being a tiny bit more chatty and sarcastic. I'll expound on this later but West was blatantly predatory with choosing O'Neill in any continuity but more so here on that it hasn't been more than a month or so since they buried Charlie verses the film where I think it had been a year by that point.

Skara also shook him out of his despondency because he was able to show Jack that he could be a man and help people without it ending in disaster. The kid basically taught Jack to fight again. Least that's the impression I got.

His daughters aren't home because Jack sent them away to keep them from hating his wife for how she reacted to Charlie's death. His impression being he can't help them now because well, he failed his son so spectacularly and can't console his wife.

Jack's feeling useless along with everything else and his wife hates him for it and he doesn't have anyone to snap him out of it present and it's all still pretty raw.

If that makes any sense.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Cheyenne Mountain complex: -four days later

Chapter 3: 2- Revelations




“But that symbol’s not on the device”





If looks could kill, the malevolent gaze General West shot poor Gerry Meyers in that moment would have caused the man to burst into flames in front of everyone. It was a haze after that, Langford chuckling in her usual wheezy way whenever military protocol was thoroughly broken at inopportune moments and O’Neill rolling his eyes and waving a hand to indicate to West that he didn’t see any harm in Jackson being able to look at the device. A button was pushed, blast doors and Daniel’s projection board began to rise into wall revealing a sort of underground hangar (likely where they kept missiles in the old days), one converted into embarkation and loading room, with all manner of cables and running towards the center of the end of the hallway where a series of struts and vices held a…Well Jackson had no idea what it was, a ring of some kind.





The ring itself was both spartan and yet like nothing he’d ever seen before in his life. It was enormous, made of a cool metal that seemed to be laced with veins in the form of ornate designs that covered the gate and ran along the seams where it might have been put together. Those veins shimmered and glowed, a rainbow of colors danced in the light as though it was drawing energy from the very lamps in the facility as much as the power cords connected to the vices that seemed to hold it in place. Within the main ring was a smaller ring that seemed to Jackson like a rotary disc of some kind. There were symbols, though Jackson couldn’t make out the number of them but each one seemed to be a depiction of some kind of constellation or had been made in the image of one. There were a series of what looked like locks or bolts in the shape of chevrons, each one containing a large triangular crystal made of a deep indigo-colored quartz that Jackson couldn’t place.





What happened next, defied the imagination. They began to input the coordinates both he and Ferretti discovered, the internal ring seemed to move, a great grinding noise seemed to echo through the compound and Daniel felt a tremor along the ground as if something immense was started to congregate. Someone he would later learn was named Walter called out “Chevron One is locked” the indigo gem glowed a deep blue then green. “Chevron two is locked” the call came as Daniel noticed what looked like two “strings” of light beaming from each “chevron” through to the center of empty air between within the circle. Behind the device the concrete seemed to distort slightly, or perhaps the light at the center of the circle became disturbed. “Chevron four”



By the sixth Langford had muttered to him “This is as far as we ever got”.



Jackson noticed the seventh symbol; it lacked the two little dudes praying but he saw the sun.





Seven beams of light and a sudden bright almost chime like noise followed and then, light and space warped and twisted and a vast ocean of raw energy roared forward akin to an explosion of water. The shockwave buffeted the facility, someone cursed and then the vortex of energy stability into what looked like a pool of water, clear, crystal, and beautiful.



They’d sent a probe through on some sort of drone that reminded him of a Martian rover on steroids. “Ra’s Stargate” Daniel Jackson murmured, beside him O’Neill’s usually stoic demeaner was replaced by a look of awe mixed with annoyance “ooohh booy…what are you eggheads gonna get us into huh?” he had murmured. Ferretti was apologizing to Jackson, consoling him as if this proved the Ballard -Jackson theory wrong since “clearly fuck’n Aliens built it man!”. But Jackson wasn’t so sure, if anything this proved the theory. -I was simply wrong about where that civilization came from- he thought.



This idly made him wonder if the remnant the ancient Egyptians found and copied left more than just relics, if such a thing as interbreeding with a completely different species from another planet was even possible. He was awestruck by it all and the possibilities set his mind a flutter, until the probe stopped transmitting and the gate shutdown. Then, it was all a blur again until images relayed by the Probe were decoded and displayed and Jackson’s awareness had returned then.



It seemed to him the gate on the other side was located inside some sort of immense reception hall, marble and granite dotted the floor, gold and silver snaked along columns that rose more than three stories into a ceiling that depicted the Sun God Ra, the Serpent Apep/Apophis and Aker a crafting God doing battle with a figure obscured in shadow. Ra’s left hand was at his waist with an open palm and his righthand stretched outwards in a gesture that reminded Daniel of Asian murals depicting the banishing of dark souls by Yama. -curious- he thought, the ceiling itself seemed carved from precious gigantic blocks of sapphires, rubies and emeralds. The gold and other metals flowed so seamlessly with everything else it was almost as if they had been “grown”. The chamber itself was enormous, but Jackson could make out no inscriptions on the interior beyond the depictions above.





Someone said they could have a recon team ready in an hour and General West remarked that the mission was for not unless they had a way to “dial out” from the other side. Daniel had to admit, the comparison to an old rotary telephone made him laugh but it made sense. He decided, he liked it. Stargate! Call collect! The mental image made him almost laugh until he realized they were talking about an expedition and canceling it and an excited Jackson, not wanting to be the first Earthling to refuse a chance to go to another world chimed in “I can bring us back, though I would have to find a cartouche..err..a legend like that one the Langfords found at Giza”



Someone asked him if it was possible to find such a thing easily.



On earth, he explained that the answer was no, but the building seemed to be in almost new condition despite the fact that it likely had stood for tens of thousands of years. “chambers like this, aren’t just built in the middle of nowhere” The chamber itself was something his mind was still struggling to process, the interior of Egyptian temples looked something like that, but the use of marble and granite had been more something the Romans did or so he thought. If this was the “prime” culture, then the Egyptians were poor copycats. “General there have to be other buildings, other rooms, I’m sure there will be something there. There has to be, elsewise, how would they know what to dial? “This civilization crossed the stars sir, that implies efficient record keeping. It just might take me twenty days or more.”





O’Neill had said he was full of shit but West seemed determined. Something was working in his eyes and a Captain Maybourne whispered something in his ear which seemed to make the titanic bald Texan who was seated at the conference table with Langford and several other members of the Space Force sneer menacingly. Jackson (The only member of the top brass who hadn’t shown up was Admiral Ellis but that didn’t surprise Daniel, Langford mentioned he’d had an ocular stroke and the procedure to clear that out was..not conducive to long flights and changes in pressure). Was relieved he wasn’t on the receiving end of that glare; he’d only said maybe three words to Vice Admiral Hammond, but the man’s quiet tone belied a steadiness and a sense of personal power that matched the imposing General West and exceeded it in some ways. He asked the right questions during his little presentation as well, there was nothing more dangerous in the universe than a clever Texan who knew his mettle.



“Twenty-one days is out of the question; you need to achieve this in twelve” West had told him with finality.



Jackson knew better than to argue, but what?! You didn’t just, rush archaeology. “we’ll touch base with you in five days after your initial arrival. You will be provisioned for thirty days as an emergency measure, but Jackson I mean it. You do not dawdle, or so help me god I’ll have Colonel O’Neill bury you out there”. Jackson didn’t doubt for a second that he meant it and that O’Neill might do it, but he was too excited to realize just how over his head he was.





So that was it, they were on an expedition to ancient ruins in another world, it happened so fast and so absurdly that Jackson was convinced this was going to happen whether he came along and he wondered why he was asked to decipher this riddle yet again. -Are they trying to capture advanced technology? - Daniel felt compelled to warn them, that there was a chance they’d be walking into a gave yard, that in the immense span of time since the creation of the building that chamber resided within that he had no earthly idea if there was anything there that they’d be able to pick apart besides dust and stone. “Would we even understand it?”



“Nervous?” The august voice of Doctor Langford brought Jackson out of the stupor he’d found himself in. Looking up the supercentenarian wore a playful smile, eyes filled with a far-off sense of nostalgia. “The ad hoc nature of how this expedition came into being?” she asked a knowing tone in her voice and upon seeing the nod from the blonds head she laughed again. “That’s how we did it in the old days, archaeology was almost always part intuition. I admit that is not especially scientific and yet, this is one part art and one-part science.”



“My grandfather used to call it the mongrel of the discovery fields” Jackson remarked causing her to nod with a fond smile that made him annoyed. “You knew” he murmured in an accusatory fashion “You knew he was right, you knew, and you let his reputation be destroyed. You knew and you never reached out to me” his eyes flickered, unsure if it was the excitement over what he was about to embark on or if it was just that he was tired of this elephant being in the room.



Langford regarded him with amused eyes as if the question was an absurdity, but she decided to answer it any way, knowing Nicholas, he likely had ranted enough to the boy over the years. “Because dear boy, this entire facility is classified, this whole project is classified and we are bound by law not to disclose it..”





“Oh” Daniel muttered, looking thoroughly ashamed. A good natured, if wheezy laugh followed as Langford pulled something from her pocket. “Before our friendship soured, your grandfather and I had a tradition I would like to continue with you. Whenever one of us bested the other to the rights to an expedition the other wished badly the loser would give a token of theirs to the winner, something precious. Come back alive, we would say for I want this back” Her eyes flickered with memory and Jackson wondered if it hadn’t hurt her just as much as it wounded his grandfather to lose their friendship. In her hand was the eye of Ra necklace she wore, the white metal and gold woven together with the blues and light greens of the eyeliner, the gem itself was glowing a vibrant crimson. “I found this with Stargate long ago. I thank you for discovering its name by the way. We are old friends and I finally get to name it” as it left her hands into Jackson’s he quirked his head and catching the realization in his eyes she nodded “Yes, it was made by the builders of that wondrous gate. And I do believe it is the source of my long life, keep it with you and keep it safe. It should protect you to a small degree”



“Katherine I can’t”



“Yes boy, you can next time, you’ll be giving something of yours any way” she said with a slight hint of challenge in her voice, enough that Jackson could see the echoes of the woman she was in her youth. “May Ra go before you Katherine Langford in all the empty places you should walk.”



“And may he come between you and harm in all of yours”. She whispered, completing the ancient farewell speech. As she left the room Jackson sat in the half light, wondering if a torch hadn’t been passed between them.


Abbydos- Ten seconds and a few thousand lightyears later.




Chapter 4: Arrival






Twenty-five souls ultimately departed on the fateful mission through the Stargate, fifteen members of the US Marine Corps detached to the Space Force, three technicians to handle the probes and supplies. Two cooks, four medics and Doctor Daniel Jackson. The Techs accompanied by Ferretti had gone through the gate first, he’d insisted and pleaded with Colonel O’Neill because he “wanted to be the first human to ever successfully go through a space hole!”. The Colonel had allowed it, to Jackson it seemed as though he was mellowing slightly, even though his eyes still looked sad. The rest of the team went in, with Jackson stopping to touch the clear pond like surface of the event horizon before finally “stepping” through the threshold.



The world went black and weightless, formless and Jackson reached out to clutch in the dark only to find he had no hands to clutch with, no hands, no arms, no body. He was formless, he was thought carried on stellar winds and it terrified him utterly for a second before a tsunami of stars passed through him and around him and he found himself flung across the vastness of space through a tunnel that twisted and contorted, changing colors as rapidly as a man might blink. He crossed distances that might have taken centuries were it not for whatever this end-run around the laws of physics was. Off to his “left” Jackson would have sworn he saw the formation of a second tunnel, heading in a winding, twisting direction down and away from him and he could have sworn he thought he saw a tall, grim dark-skinned man and a beautiful woman with vibrant green hair and oddly copper colored skin. But he also was certain all of this was a hallucination or his mind attempting to translate experiences it couldn’t truly comprehend. There was a sudden screeching noise the tunnel began to spin and whir, the images faded, and Jackson soon found himself confronted with a dizzying array of streaks of light as the speed built up beyond what was tolerable.



Then suddenly he was on his knees, leaning against one of the RC carriages carrying bags and equipment. Frost covered the tips of his hair; he was shivering and disoriented and he remembered someone gripping him. Perhaps lieutenant Brown or Major Kowalski. “It wears off after a minute or so Jackson.” Yeah, it was Brown. Brown was the only person he knew who wasn’t over eighty that spoke with an old continental accent. Ahead of him, Jackson could make out Ferretti grinning and asking anyone else if they saw weird colors and shapes, most said no and Jackson filed his intra-Gate experiences as a hallucination. O’Neill was standing stoically ahead of everyone looking around the immense room. The medic, a woman in her early twenties with tanned skin and dark hair and vaguely Asiatic features was checking everyone’s pulse. Doctor Lahm was pleasant to look at, but she was almost as somber as O’Neill. “Everyone seems okay sir, but I think we should make use of the chamber as”



“Negative, too big, not easily defended. Too many damn entrances too.” Colonel O’Neill reached into his fatigues and withdrew a cigarette and a lighter. “Ferretti take Brown, Simmons, Watkins and one of the nerds and find a way out of this damn building”. Turning towards the far corner the Colonel called for Kowalski who came over with his usual enthusiasm. “Take Jackson with a detail and start looking around the interior of this place.”



“umm, I don’t think we’ll find anything in this building, whatever it is.” Daniel remarked walking towards the Colonel, looking at every direction around him, eying the cool stone and the ornate decoration on the ceiling which seemed to cascade with energy as if it fed off the opening of the gate itself. When the Colonel gave him a glare Jackson quickly shook his head “This looks like a great temple or I don’t know maybe civic center, I would have to see more but if the rest of the building follows the entryway pattern I” both men turned to one of the techs who was whistling at what looked like a large toadstool that rose out of the ground between the statues of two great bulls. The device appeared to have a series of buttons that formed concentric rings, each one containing a different set of combinations and what looked like a gigantic ruby at the center. The ruby hummed faintly, and Jackson swallowed “I guess that’s the builders dialed out” he said softly “I wonder our gate was found without one.”



“Maybe it got broke in the following millennia?” O’Neill offered though by the tone of his voice it didn’t sound like he was paying much attention. “Or the people who buried the gate broke it” Kowalski offered in a suspicious tone. “Right” O’Neill muttered taking a drag of his cigarette. “So you can use that to get us home Jackson, maybe you should dial it up”



“Well, I’ll need the coordinates from here, otherwise we’d be plugging in combinations all day for a million years an”



O’Neill rolled his eyes “So we’ll still need to look around is what you’re telling me? And you aren’t talking out of your ass, right Jackson?”



“Right sir” Jackson murmured. O’Neill’s mood had soured as quickly as it had improved, and he wasn’t going to add anymore fuel to that fire. “I’m certain we’ll find what we’re looking for but we’ll need to look”



“Alright, then as soon as Ferretti comes back, we’ll head outside and find a spot to set up camp” he paused then turned back towards the group assembling. “Hey Space nerd two!” “Reyes sir” called the Space Force “Seaman”. “Right, Space nerd two, you sure this place is abandoned?”



The man sighed but nodded “Yes sir, near as we can tell we’re picking up none of the usual radio waves and power readings you’d associate with civilization and besides no ones come to greet us yet.”



Both Jackson and O’Neill rolled their eyes at that part, it meant nothing. For all any of them knew, whoever lived here could have scattered in fear or have regrouped to set up an ambush. There was no guarantee of anything except that they had discovered a wonder beyond all reckoning.



The next hour passed in tedium, most of the marines napped. Kowalski chatted with Doctor Lahm in a rather sad attempt to break the ice with her (Jackson didn’t fault Kowalski for trying, he’d been trying to do the same with Colonel O’Neill since they got here after all). Brown came back and more had a look on his face that made Jackson think of the Ezekiel chapter out of the bible and how the prophet was stupefied and left in contemplative shock after the angel departed. “W-we found the way out and outside its.”



“Fuck’n amazing” Ferretti’s voice boomed, and his shadow filled the room.



Soon the group was following Ferretti (Who was carrying a machine gun that was enormous and belt fed and Jackson wondered if the Italian giant wasn’t lugging something around that was meant to be loaded onto a combat vehicle) and crew down a hallway that was so large Jackson and several of the techs began speculative murmurs about the sheer size of the place. “But is it the size of Graceland” Lahm piped in, an uncharacteristic moment for her and O’Neill looked back at her with his usual stoic expression cracking slightly. “What? I like Elvis” she murmured.



“I think it might be” Jackson said with a wry grin, in truth you could probably fit four or five Graceland’s inside that chamber alone and the more time Jackson spent inside the building itself the more he wondered if it wasn’t some sort of pyramid but if so, how big?



The answer stunned him into silence.
 
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The Immortal Watch Dog

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Abydos





Chapter 4: Exodus 1: Awe



“So, this is what the real thing looks like” Daniel whispered, taking in immense set of stairs, plinths and ramps that led down from the gargantuan building they had been in towards a road made of a smooth black stone that seemed to absorb the rays of the planet’s twin suns. Green grass growing out of white sands covered an area of about a quarter of a mile, he could even make out palm trees and other plants that were from earth! Albeit, changed by tens of thousands of years of evolution (There was something of a cross between a rose bush and an orange tree that rose out of a median in the road. He could make out fruit the size of a lemon hanging from between its thorny branches). Down towards a lake that likely fed into a river Jackson could make out what looked like it might have been a small city that Ferretti claimed was abandoned. The buildings rose some four stories into the air, each one looked not out of place in the depictions of Memphis or Thebes as described by ancient sources. Long, white on the outside with bright colored columns and… Were those arches?



“Holy fuck” Kowalski exclaimed beside him and Daniel felt his shoulder yanked “Jackson! look at this!?” Daniel turned and felt as if his jaw might have hit the floor. The building that they exited was no palace as Jackson thought, but an enormous pyramid, bone white and shimmering in the sun it rose like a mountain into the heavens, some thousand feet and at its peak Jackson saw that the pyramid’s “tip” was made of the same quartz like material the gate possessed in an abundance. It glowed a deep crimson in the sun and was joined by two pyramids of slightly smaller stature in the horizon, each one topped with the same material. Above them, almost matching the position of the pyramids themselves were three moons which loomed in what must have been a mid-day sky. “This is amazing” Jackson whispered. Even Colonel O’Neill was gazing up with a mix of wonder and concern.







Lahm was the first to speak up, trying to shake everyone out of their stupor. “We need to take water samples and I need to be able to analyze some of the fruits, maybe we can, we underestimated the enormity of this…Settlement, it might take Doctor Jackson longer than any of us expected and frankly I’d like to see if we can survive off the land.”



“That won’t be an issue” Colonel O’Neil said, his tone oddly remote as he’d said it. “Jackson, do you believe the carwhatever…you’re looking for would be in one of these pyramids?”. When Jackson shook his head, O’Neill appeared relieved “Good, that means it’s just the buildings we need to search.”



“And Down steam” Daniel added “We need to find the source of the water that feeds this lake and follow it, this town you see over there would have been where the workers and royal officials that handled whatever affairs were conducted inside the pyramids. Though, we should find what we are looking for there. We should find their equivalent of a City hall.”



“they had those?” O’Neill asked raising an incredulous eyebrow.



Jackson nodded. “them or an equivalent thereof has existed in our world since the dawn of cities. If, our ancient cultures copied the leftovers of this”.



“Then it stands to reason that they’d have one too. Fine but I’m warning you Jackson, this isn’t a fieldtrip”



“Yes sir” Jackson nodded his head vigorously and secretly wondered why O’Neill was so grim about this? They might have been trapped for now, but they were on an alien world! Seeing the ancestors of the Ancient Egyptians and perhaps all human civilization. Beside him Kowalski slapped Jackson on the back and walked off towards the grove getting a cry of alarm from Lahm when the Major simply grabbed one of the rose fruits from a tree and took a bite out of it. “What?! It looked harmless, tastes pretty good!”



Jackson shook his head, smiling before he fell in line beside O’Neill who was ordering everyone to begin to set up basecamp on the outskirts of the small town. He wanted to be close enough to the settlement to use it as cover but not close enough to the lake, just in case “any alien alligators come out at night or something” Brown and one of the cooks laughed until what looked like an unholy fusion between an armadillo, an iguana and a lobster burst forth from the sand and ran like a bat out of hell when one of the Technicians accidentally stepped on its tail. It was an eerie reminder that while this world might have looked like theirs to some degree, it wasn’t and even the animals at night could be a threat.





This was later proven true, when one of the Marines headed out alone to relieve himself in their improvised latrine and was pulled into the sand by what looked like an elephant crossed with a worm and a lamprey. Ferretti used his giant gun to tear it to pieces, but not before it scuttled off into the dunes to die with its ghoulish prize.



The first night was cold, the noises of the night were eerie, but the death of one predator must have put out a warning sign to the life around the area for no one else was harmed. But by day three, the men were starting to grow frustrated with the search and somewhat hostile to Daniel Jackson.



Not that Daniel could blame them.



By the fifth day something was sent through the gate that only O’Neill was authorized to handle, and the morale seemed somewhat low.





Until the beast arrived any way. Rising like a weird fusion of a giraffe and the Uru from the Dark Crystal, smelling like a yak and making ungodly groaning noises it had ambled into camp and was nearly shot. Until they saw it had a harness, it was also a remarkably friendly animal, taking food from anyone who offered and enjoying scratches behind what Kowalski hoped were its ears.



The harness and obvious signs of domestication caused Colonel O’Neill’s demeanor to change remarkably. He’d begun to open up, to relax a little but the moment he saw signs of lingering intelligent life on this planet, he had clammed up. Merely asking Jackson if he believed the owners of this thing would show up. Jackson was going to answer but his hand caught in the harness and the beast bolted, dragging Jackson along and forcing O’Neill, Watkins, Kowalski and Lahm to run after him.





Where the beast would take them would begin to alter the course of events for not only this planet but the whole of the universe.
 
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The Immortal Watch Dog

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Chapter 4: Exodus 2 – Shock





The Quarry







He had no idea how much time had passed, for what seemed like an eternity all Daniel Jackson could see was either his arm and legs and lower body billowing in the wind like a half deflated inflatable tube dummy outside a used car lot, an ocean of grass and sand or the dark blue skies and the triplet moons that suggested the day was winding down.



Everything else was a blur though he knew at some point they had gone far from the lake and river system as grass eventually gave way to dunes of sand and by the time, he felt a searing pain in his shoulder that suggested it had been dislocated, the sky was semi dark. “Damnit! WOAH SPACE YAK…HEEL, YEILD…SHIT UMMM…” with a frantic pull of his trapped arm that sent hypersonic needles up his spine he managed to pull on what he thought were the beast’s reins. Luckily for him they were, or maybe, luckily for him the animal just got tired of running because it slowed to a crawl and then finally stopped.





Jackson blacked out by then, waking an hour later when the stars were out, and the triple moons shown bright in the sky. His sandy blond hair was covered in a mix of actual sand and slime that felt surprisingly cool and had an almost anesthetic vibe. Something he was grateful for because Lahm with her usual cheeriness barely gave him more than a moment before she poked at his shoulder again. “Yeah, you’ll need to ice it and rest it but I don’t think you’ll need surgery or anything when we get back”



“Ice it? Here?” Jackson asked amused, causing Lahm to shrug. “No concussion, I was tempted to punch you though. You made us run god knows how many miles”.





“My fault?!” Jackson asked indignant his good arm flailing in the direction of space yak who was happily lazing on the dunes, with Kowalski sitting on its massive shoulders and Colonel O’Neill scratching its massive chin. It was easy to understand why Kowalski was able to bond so quickly with the creature they had taken to calling “Lil’Bit” (A name she/he/it earned after it mimicked the head bobbing Brown would do when doing a terrible Good Fellas impression). From what he learned about the stalwart Polish American, he was a farm boy who grew up around animals and seemed to be the first out of the camp to figure out this wasn’t just a domesticated animal but a very easy going, sociable one. Likely an older creature who had spent its entire life hanging around a campfire with its owners after a hard day’s work. That it had a set of canines and what Lahm found were retractable tusks lead her to believe he was right, and it was likely both guard dog and beast of burden. Lil’Bit was built by a tank and it was so damn tough it shrugged off one half a clip of a Brown’s side arm when it snuck up on him while he was in the latrine. The animal made grunting noises and had stomped one of its massive hind legs as if it was being tickled. Lahm found no blood, no injury below its fur, not even a bruise. Beyond the thickness of its hide. Lil’bit was built like a brick shithouse on stilts, Jack had taken to calling it a Mastodon and no one could dissuade him from doing so, especially if it plowed through the dunes to due battle with those elephant worm-snake things (which it killed), after one nearly ambushed Ferretti when he was walking alone to the pyramid on a patrol. “how is it my fault?!”





“Well, it can’t be Lil’bits fault, she’s a good girl” Kowalski murmured patting the creature’s neck, causing it to bob its head enthusiastically. Both Colonel O’Neill and Lil’Bit ended up bonding over the huge beasts love of cigarette smoke and upon discovering tobacco leaves in one of the groves in the courtyard of one of the buildings, the Colonel had attempted to dry Tobacco. The signs of habitation there (both Jackson and Colonel O’Neill surmised it was a seasonal or ceremonial village) and the few trinkets of technology convinced General West (as of last communication) to extend the stay for as long as was needed so long as they didn’t encounter any hostile threat.



While Jackson and the other specialists were enthusiastic, the rest of the crew looked like they wanted to beat Jackson to death over it. O’Neill had become insular and sullen the longer he was out here, evidently whatever communique from home was brought to him made him worse. Though if Jackson were being honest, he suspected everyone’s mood was growing dimmer because they could only receive “calls” and not dial out. It was like torture and Daniel had begun to feel the same way, they could return to this planet whenever they wanted, study and explore and even set up some sort of trade relations with the natives should the local be amenable. So many opportunities, if he could just get the damn coordinates. The only two people whose mood seemed to improve were Lahm and Kowalski, who had grown close to each other even though they were serving together, and he was some sixteen years older than her.







“You’re in space again Jackson” Lahm remarked, noting that he was drifting. “Well, it occurred to me, Lil’Bit was taking us on a path it knows well. Maybe heading back home” Jackson added looking towards O’Neill who seemed to be thinking the same. “So, you want to follow it when it’s done resting?”



“Yes”



“Jackson you’re lucky your arm wasn’t pulled off, you need rest!” Lahm turned to the Colonel “Sir, I suggest we return to base cam-”



“I’ll be fine!” he protested cutting her off, his usual excitement returning “I mean..well..I’m sore but, what if it doesn’t follow us back? We’ll lose its trail out here”



“Sir”



“No, we’re following it” O’Neill’s voice left no indication of whether he’d made the decision based off a desire to assess a threat or because he wanted to find a way home. Wordlessly he gestured to Watkins that they should communicate this back to camp. To Watkins surprise, their comms was still rather clear despite the distance and he believed it was due to the weird Quartz like material everywhere. It seemed to have a passive effect on anything electronic, amplifying a device’s range and efficiency. There were so many applications for that material that even if they failed to contact the ancient culture, it would well be worth it.





“Tell me something” Lahm asked, again bringing Jackson’s eyes back to the medic. “Do you think” she began, trying to find a way to properly phrase a question that frankly was a question only science fiction writers have ever asked. “Do you think that the species who built all this would be using whatever Lil’Bit is?”



Ah, Jackson thought. His blue eyes scanning the seemingly endless dunes, the question that had been plaguing his mind, Ferretti and the Colonel’s since Lil’Bit had loped enthusiastically into their lives. “There are, I mean” he paused, a nervous laugh escaping his lips as was often the case when he was found himself tongue tied. “Yes, maybe, if they utilized these guys the way we utilize horses, or maybe their civilization collapsed and the people using it are the survivors of whatever caused that collapse.”



“But wouldn’t a civilization that built the Stargate span whole star systems, or hell even galaxies?” Lahm asked, her brows scrunched in a way that reminded him of one of the Generals who had attended the conference on that fateful day nearly two weeks ago now. Sandry? Mandry? Ah, yes Landry, there was a little of him in her other expressions as well. General Landry was from supposed to be the leader of the part of the Space Force which in theory would be the combat fighters launched from whatever President’s Clinton and Bush envisioned would be guarding the earth (How the US was allowed to violate a bunch of international treaties and why there was such a sudden interest in militarizing space until he ended up in Cheyenne). He hadn’t spoken much at all during the conference, but he seemed like a congenial man, if a bit bookish and not what he’d expected from a former Air force Colonel. Lahm had never spoken of her family; the younger woman would have had to have been his youngest daughter given he was in his sixties and she was only a year older than him. He felt fingers tug on the long strands of his hair and realized Lahm was glaring at him and Daniel realized he must have spaced out again.



“Yes, maybe what we’re looking at is the frontier of their once glorious empire? Earth is supposed to be several thousand Lightyears away, maybe we’re looking at two different ends of a once vibrant domain? Maybe the people I thought were the gate builders weren’t the original Gate Builders and we’re just seeing more copy cats”



Lahm nodded, the Stargate here on this world looked the color of gunmetal, its chevrons were far less ornate, and it had none of the beautiful almost, woven gem and precious metals, it was simple and spartan “Perhaps this planet was where they found the gate technology and the one on earth represented their success in reverse engineering and modifying it?” The Earth Gate was much larger, seemed to even create the wormhole differently. “Or maybe it’s the reverse and the crude gate here?”



“No” Jackson said shaking his head “You were right the first time, that gate is so ancient it seems almost fossilized in a weird way. No, I wager that gate is the “prime” maybe…But that brings us back to what happened to the builders.”



“Which iteration?” Lahm asked wryly, eliciting a laugh from Jackson and an annoyed sigh from Colonel O’Neill who seemed to fall asleep while still on his feet whenever “nerd talk” (As he called it before he clammed up) happened around him. “Fair”



It had not even been midnight when the huge beast rose and shook itself. Baying that they come along. The Colonel, content to be away from speculation ordered everyone to move. There would be no sleep tonight he supposed, as the creature broke into a “Close to home” Trot as Kowalski put it. Explaining that a horse who was tired and missed its barn might speed up its walk or run the last stretch.



Lil’Bit was indeed enthused and it became obvious why as soon as they navigated around a particularly enormous dune (Lil’bit had wanted to run up and down the Dune but it led them around when it sensed that the Colonel had no desire to scale it). A strong scent filled the air, the combined stench of smoke, chemicals, burning of dung and wood, sweat and blood. Ahead, great plumes of smoke rose from a shadow and snaked through the sky forming purple- and brass-colored clouds (was that a trick of the light? Or the fuel of the fire?) that shadowed the dunes. Lahm walked beside Kowalski and as the growing realization of what this meant dawned on her slowly reached for his right hand. Watkins was crossing his chest and kissing the rosary he kept below his fatigues, his faith having never wavered even in the face of this, absurdity (Jackson admired him for that, envied him a little as well). The only thing Daniel Jackson could think of was his grandfather and how much he wished the old eccentric was here with him now.





“We’re about to meet aliens, aren’t we?” The Colonel asked.



“We technically already have.”





“Right” was the Colonel’s only response.





They came towards the source of the smoke which rose into the sky. Four immense smokestacks rose from some sort of foundries and in front of them was a series of incredible tents, some spanning hundreds of feet in diameter, larger than the largest circus tent Kowalski had ever seen. Other creatures, like Lil’Bit, some larger still and seemingly of a different breed lazed in the moonlight and the shadows of hundreds of figures gathered around a great fire in the central pavilion and Daniel could make out laughter and words, words uttered in voices that sounded.





Human.



Chapter 5: Revelations -1 At the gates Nagada




Beyond the tents was a series of walkways towards an immense pit in the earth, deep and dark and wider than the lake they had encountered when they first exited the pyramids. Jackson could make out hundreds of lines that crossed the pit and he realized those were bridges. Some walked along them, others seemed to sit around the entrances. He couldn’t make out faces until he espied two hooded figures seated outside the entrance to the pavilion. Sentries perhaps?



One of them noticed the triumphant return of Lil’Bit and he rose, pulling back his hood to reveal copper skin, deep blue eyes and facial features that reminded Jackson of depictions of Neanderthals, sloping brow, large thick hands, and a barreled chest. His pale hair was in dreadlocks and he wore what looked like some sort of crude leather armor. His companion rose to a taller heigh, his skin was a dark brown and his facial features reminded him of no particular ethnic group but a mix of different hominids. His perceptive eyes shifted from the elated second guard and the happy beast to those the beast had brought with it and he upon noticing their attire and weaponry took a sudden step back and held a finger out calling towards the entrance of the Pavilion.



“Jackson” Colonel O’Neill began “you’re the expert, talk to these people.”





Daniel swallowed “sure, no pressure” he murmured, walking towards the pair. At first, he extended his hands in a welcoming gesture, which they understood only to pause in bewilderment when Daniel began to speak to them in Ancient Egyptian. Another figure exited the tent, a youth of some sixteen years, strong, confident his skin was copper colored as well with odd green flecks and his eyes were a shade of green Jackson had never seen before. The youth was better clothed than the other two and wore some sort of multicolored chest covering that reminded him of Egyptian murals depicting civic officials. The boy strode forward, only to stop dead in his tracks when he saw Katherine’s necklace hanging from Jackson’s neck, the pupil in the eye of Ra glowing an odd shade of amber as though it was drawing on the body heat of the people present. The youth saw it and extended a hand and shouted something before falling to his knees, head bowed in reverence.





Colonel O’Neill blinked “Natural yah-yah?” he muttered, trying to phonetically pronounce whatever the youth had said.



“Nahuro-Ay -ya…I think” Lahmn offered helpfully, her right eye twitching as she caught the confused look of what was clearly a Neanderthal with some human ancestry had given her.



Everyone then knelt and Lahm looked to Jackson quizzically.





“They think we were sent by the gods.” Jackson clarified which prompted O’Neill to touch the medallion containing the eye of Ra symbol “geeee I wonder what gave ‘em that idea?”





“S.sorry” Jackson muttered.



Uncomfortable O’Neill walked forward and knelt down in front of the kneeling boy. Helping him rise and clasping his left hand in a firm shake. “There, see, flesh and bone just like you.”



The action had exact opposite of what it was intended to do, and the boy bolted howling “Kasuf! Kasuf!” at the top of his lungs. “Kasuf some kind of cry for help or something?” The Colonel asked Jackson with a raised eyebrow, when he was in a good mood, he didn’t like the idea of children running from him, he never did and he especially hated it now and part of him blamed Jackson.





“Sounded like he was calling someone” Kowalski muttered, ahead of them Lahm was kneeling down and touching the face of a girl with features that likewise looked like a cross between a cave man and a normal human. “clan of the cave bear stuff happened here?” O’Neill asked her. Lahm responded that she was surprised he knew of the books. “Huh? Books, Daryll Hannah just had great tits”.



Lahm rolled her eyes “To answer your question yes sir, but there are other things that aren’t from intermixing. The different pigmentations of the skin, their eyes seem adapted to protecting themselves from UV light and dust.” The girl, who was likely about fourteen was terrified at first, but the gentleness of Lahm’s touch combined with the surety in her voice seemed to relax the girl. O’Neill realized he was with babies at that moment, Lahm wasn’t even old enough to rent a car yet and she barely looked more the ten years older than the girl that she was. Most of the marines assigned to him were in their twenties as well, only Ferretti and Kowalski and their cook Rushings were north of thirty. It made what General West ordered him to consider as a deterrent should hostile action occur all the more painful, his mind kept wandering to his daughters and the guilt he felt for accepting that contingency. -Jackson, don’t fail them-.





Others began to gather and soon they were surrounded by people whispering and conversing with each other. Some attempted to speak to Jackson but any attempts he made to respond back only got gawks. The only one who seemed to be able to comprehend what Jackson was saying by gestures at least. Was this youth around nineteen, with long hair so black it almost sucked in the light and eyes greener than emerald. She kept trying to tell Jackson she understood, he kept flailing and before she could grab him to get his attention everyone parted because Lil’Bit’s big brother showed up.



Colonel Jack O’Neill had seen many weird things in the jungles of the world, hell he might even have seen that weird hairy rhino monster in the Congo once (and he knew he came in contact with those gorilla sized chimps). And on this world, there were weird animals, but Lil’Bit’s race took the cake. This one, towered over Lil’Bit and its six knees were a head above everyone in the crowd. A boy of twelve, who looked to be related to the kid who ran off screaming for whoever this Kasuf was and the boy himself. The boy didn’t look as terrified now as he had earlier, and the creature seemed to share Lil’Bits enthusiasm for marines because it immediately went over to Watkins and nuzzled him with a snout the size of his chest. Someone crawled out of a small canopy on its back, a man who looked to be in his early fifties, with a graying beard and a bald head, decked out in purple with a sash similar to the boy whose hand he shook, though more ornate.





He bowed, introduced himself and Jackson wasn’t sure what the hell he was saying (The Egyptologist and language expert was now useless apparently). The man rose, presenting Jackson with water, but Jackson shook his head and gestured to O’Neill. The primitives naturally thought he was the leader due to the necklace, but Jackson wanted to make sure the chieftain knew O’Neill called the shots. It was a gesture Jack appreciated and after receiving the water he handed out a chocolate covered granola bar. The man calling himself Kasuf took a bite muttered something that sounded like “Bunny way!” which Jackson had no idea the meaning of (Dumb dweeb, it obviously meant something like cool, or nice or tasty). They were escorted after that through some of the rope bridges and followed by an honor guard of children and teens lead by the cave man boy and the kid who ran. Some mimicked Jackson’s sneezes, others (the one who ran away), fell in line behind Kowalski and in an oddly empathetic gesture the girl with the dark hair had taken hold of Lahm’s hand. The fact that Lahm honestly seemed not to mind surprised Jack, whatever she was going through he never pried but she seemed to be the only person on the trip that was far more sullen than he was.



That had been one of the reasons Jack was starting to come out of his funk, all these kids needed him to be functioning at peak capacity, hell his girls back home needed him and the farther away from his wife he was the clearer things became and the more he resented General West. The boys falling in line behind Kowalski eventually dispersed as they came close to a tremendous city. One that reminded Jack a little of the more antique parts of Cairo. Walled, with thick black granite walls rising some four hundred feet into the air with what looked like balconies and small viewing centers, O’Neill wondered if any ancient army of earth could have taken these walls and how much explosives would he need to do the job. Great iron doors opened as they were led in and a crowd gathered in what looked like the public square. They chanted something that sounded like rehu or Retu and Jackson was able to understand that it meant Ra “they think we’re emissaries from the sun god” Daniel told him.



Yeah, he got that part when the big honking golden disk in the shape of some asshole’s eyeball glinted in the moonlight overhead. It was all going smoothly until Ferretti radioed them and told them they had to abandon base camp. The sheer noise made Jack worry it was combat and he ordered everyone to prepare to head back and when people tried to stop him he almost shot at Kasuf.



It was only by the timely intervention of the youth who ran from him that caused things to deescalate. Escorting Jack to the tenth floor observation “port” in the wall and he espied the immense wind storm that was brewing. Explained the walls, if this place was caught in the open it would be torn apart and buried. -they didn’t build these walls-. It seemed like Jackson had the same thought, but Kowalski was busy apologizing profusely for the misunderstanding that almost got the mayor of Space Cairo shot.







His head was in a bad place, he lost one man almost a week ago their turbo nerd almost got his arm ripped off and he was starting to realize what a horrible damn mistake this had been. Their turbo nerd also couldn’t get them home yet and worse, the kid who explained via tapping his chest and saying the word “Skara” very slowly was someone O’Neill was developing a soft spot for and there was a chance he was going to have to nuke the poor kids temple.





“What the fuck am I doing” he muttered to himself, catching the vehemence of the word Skara put on a scowling face and said “fuck” or as close an approximation as he could. -Damnit-.



Had the Colonel not been so focused on everything that had gone wrong, he might have noticed a silhouette of something large pass over the smallest moon in the sky.

The silhouette of something moving with intention.
 
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The Immortal Watch Dog

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Came out later than I expected, so for those who do read this and enjoy it.

Here's a double feature!

Getting into the mystery of the gate and the copy cat culture shit a bit. Delineation between the Gate on Earth and Abydos, speculation and meeting the secondaries and a bit about the make up of the denizens of abydos.
 
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The Immortal Watch Dog

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So someone (Goa'uld?) built crude knock-off copies of the gate-builder (Ancient?) originals?
Perhaps, or perhaps the Goa'uld aren't as NPC like as in the original and learned how to build gates after reverse engineering the tech and just built bigger and prettier because they were divas?

Or maybe the "Ancients" just built multiple styles of gates over the eons?

You'll see! Things are a little different this time around and the history between the Goa'uld and Ancients a little more complicated.


Dis ain't just a copy job after all!
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Alrighty then, shit's about to heat up gents and once again sorry for the delay.






Chapter 5:2 Revelations – That which the Storm brings.



The Pyramid



“Man, what the hell was that” Brown was haggard, shivering as they made their way into the great pyramid, the doors to the main entrance opening as they came close and closing just as the last of the team passed. A reminder that though these buildings looked simple in construction, they were in fact incredibly complex and highly advanced. It amazed everyone how fast the storm came on, how quickly the temperature dropped. There, in the Oasis by the river they were inundated by intense wind and sand as well as rain which created marsh like environment farther out by the buildings. Ferretti felt like he was trekking through a slowly forming swamp. But outside, across the horizon they could see the arcs of friction generated lightning that arose when vast quantities of sand that were kicked up by the violent winds and rain. “Was that a hurricane or a damn sandstorm or what?” Brown muttered.



“Sandstorm” one of the Techs muttered miserably. Their primary cook, lieutenant Rushings whistled as light mimicking torches began to illuminate the interior of the pyramid. “Sandstorm crossed with a hurricane more like” The cook said, like others in the service he’d been quietly retired to the Space Force after failing a few promotions, but his career had spanned long enough to encounter both while in service. “I guess we know how they keep the triangular pool between the pyramids in the campus between them filled.”



“You mean the sound suppression system” Ferretti muttered conspiratorially. In their third day here, The Colonel had ordered Ferretti to do recon on the space between the pyramids. What they found was a beautiful campus that looked like a cross between an arboretum and an orchard. A hundred different kinds of trees, dozens of different species of flowering plants (including some that glowed at night). All of which surrounded a great elevated poor in the shape of a triangle, with each corner tapering out into an aqueduct that seemed to both draw and deposit water underground, likely into reservoirs vast. Ferretti was convinced it was some landing pad or a launch pad for a spaceship. But everyone teased him over it, the pool was enormous no one would build a spaceship with an engine that large and no engine that large could lift off without incinerating everything around it for a mile.





“All I know is that I lived through Hurricane Andrew, I was in New Orleans during Katrina, I’ve been out on lake superior during storms and I’ve been in Iraq and I ain’t felt wind like that, not once, not ever” Rushings was kneeling down over a few cooking pots, he’d begun combining bean cans with meat from the lizard-lobster things and some peppers from the local gardens and while the men complained before the first bite, by day five everyone was enjoying the feasts their cook would pull out of thin air. “Could have picked a better room to put in for the night though” he muttered, his eyes moving along the immense statues that sat holding water fountains that cascaded liquid along a small pathway filled with a sort of moss that glowed in the dark. They fed into a trio of ponds towards the rear of the room where alien water lilies and amazingly, what looked like salmon crossed with koi fish entered the cool pools through an underground access.





The statues of a dark black ivory like substance, the gold inlays and precious jewels seemingly “grown” into the material. The eyes of the statue of Anubis seemed to flicker menacingly but Rushings assured himself it was a trick of the light. “They’re watching us” he muttered, turning towards a statue of Hathor and another of Bastet. Bastet’s green eyes burned in contrast to the amber hues of Hathor and the intense blue stare from the Anubis statue. “How many rooms does this pyramid have?”



“No idea, the thing’s a damn mountain.” Answered Brown, he’d been leading the majority of the missions to explore the Pyramid, hoping to find rooms with any technology or the coordinates or hell even hieroglyphs, there had been none. Jackson insisted it was weird that none of the buildings had any language. The ancient Egyptians were obsessed with putting protection spells or stories or both on their buildings and Pyramids were supposed to be tombs and yet he found no antechamber, no sarcophagus, no depictions of anything. The entire place had the feeling of having served one grand purpose long ago and having been shifted into something else entirely.





“Jackson’s theory is that the Egyptians copied the leftovers of this culture, or its people taught them but what if the stick figures were a new addition? He hasn’t considered that” A Marine muttered sullenly. Ferretti gave him a cold glare “Jackson is doing better than we are, even if it was by accident. You’ve been running through here for a week and a half and haven’t found a damn thing and..” they all stopped talking when they noticed the Cook rising from his knees over the stove which was vibrating. Hell, the whole room was vibrating, and it seemed as though the shadows cast by statues snarled.



Something sounded, echoing like an enormous tuba blaring within the immense pyramid, walls shook and then suddenly as if commanded by some unnatural force the walls lit up and hundreds of hieroglyphs like signs appeared seemingly projected but from where none of them could tell. Fading as quickly as they came, the eyes of the statues glowed and Ferretti nearly opened fire at the statue of Anubis. “Ferretti” Rushings murmured “What the fuck is going on?”



“How should I know?” Ferretti asked alarmed.



One of the marines, A Corporal Osorio whom they all called Lex looked around her brown eyes narrowing “vienen por nosotros” she murmured under her breath “Something evil is out there! Estamos jodido jefe!



“Shut up and fall in line Osorio!” Snapped Ferretti “Form a circle, keep the nerds and the fuck’n cook behind us!”



“With all due respect sir, blow it out your ass, I’ve seen combat unlike these babies” Rushings rose from the makeshift kitchen and drew his side arm. Rifles glinted in the dark as the ground continued to shake outside and another noise joined the cacophony. Lightning seemed to roar around the exterior of the pyramid and the strikes impacting with a shudder only to seemingly disperse.



Inside, they might have seen the pathway the water snaked along towards the fountains glow, but externally each pyramid would have begun to light up in segments. Quadrants of blocks lighting up in groups of blues or greens or yellows and reds. The lightning roaring about the area was drawn away from the groves and towards a series of obelisks that the team had dismissed as ordinary if devoid of writing. It was pulled along the ground in lay lines woven into the floor and drawn up the corners of the pyramids and along their edges until they coalesced into the massive gems at their tops.





The pyramids tips began to glow brighter than ever before, one blue, two red and they lit up almost as a lighthouse in the storm. And as the marines shivered within the heavens above cracked and parted and a bright, silver object began its fated descent.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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And now for some interaction between SG-0 and the locals.

Nagada




“Well, that’s weird” Colonel O’Neill remarked observing the three new lights that glowed even in the thickness of the storm. He ‘d taken a seat beside the boy called Sakara, or to be more accurate Skara had decided to sit beside him at the banquet table. Kasuf seemed to be more than just the mining observer but also the head of the village for his apartments and presumably that of his children (Jackson assumed this as Skara and the nineteen-year-old who had touched her chest and muttered Shau’re when Daniel asked her name and the younger girl who was still stuck to Lahm like glue and was called Kadra) was high above the rest of the city sized village. A few other guests were present, people that Jackson figured were important to the mines and some farmers from other settlements (This was something Kowalski guessed by their clothing and smell, O’Neill wasn’t sure if he was full of it or not). From high above, near the rear wall in an edifice built by who ever had built the walls. The Colonel and the other guests could see the great festivities below and the clouds above the sandstorm which seemed so damn low compared to the rains raging above them. “Those from the Pyramids Sir?” Watkins asked him.



“The hell should I know? Eat your lizard lobster Watkins” O’Neil was in a mood, between Daniel fawning over the girl and Lahm becoming the darling of the villages girls and old ladies he was wondering if they were ever going to remember why they were here. Skara was a cool kid though, his father had presented him with a rolled up crude cigar and in gratitude and remembering what his grandfather told him about how the leaders of native tribes exchanged gifts when meeting for the first time, including a ritual of smoking. Jackson produced a packet of his own cigarettes. The two smoked each other’s tobacco and both nodded in appreciation of the quality of the work from other worlds. O’Neil followed by gifting him with a service knife, which Kasuf weighed in his hand and handling the grip and balance bowed in gratitude and ordered Skara to run off.



He’d come back with a thin curved blade, of a kind of metal so light Jack wondered if it wasn’t some kind of hyper advanced plastic. The blade itself was woven with the same kind of strings one saw on star maps and he noticed veins of the quartz. The gesture was, surprising and when he sheathed the dagger, he bowed to Kasuf and smiled at Skara. Jackson who was lower in the order of tables than he was (something the Colonel found amusing) had walked up and knelt to speak to O’Neil “So far I’m still struggling to make out their language, its clear ancient Egyptian was based off of this yet its totally alien in other wars. I’m mostly interpreting their gestures and looking at what they’re describing. Shau’re has been a big help there.”. Colonel O’Neill took a drag from his space cigar and leaned back, amusingly Skara copied his movement and did his best to look incredibly cool. Something that his son used to do and the gesture brought a bittersweet smirk to the Colonel’s face. “They recognized your medallion Jackson, they probably know other symbols too.”



“Assuming they even speak it” Jackson countered.



“Jesus Jackson, they don’t have to speak it, just point you to where they are so we can find the damn address.”



“Oh” Jackson blinked realizing the Colonel was right “Sorry sir, you’re right.” He rose and began to head towards Kasuf.



“Jackson” O’Neill called back “Has it ever occurred to you that maybe in forty thousand years the language either died or..y’know evolve?” O’Neill asked though it seemed he was less snarking the scientist and more curious. Jackson for his part blinked as if trying to come up with answer, it was possible but so much time had passed that there was a chance any new language that evolved in its place would have likely been so far removed from the original as to be no help and yet, they seemed to have a vague understanding of some of the words he used. O’Neill was busy when he finished thinking, the Colonel having returned to watching the sky and the dense dark clouds that swarmed the faint lights.



Jackson, approaching the village leader knelt and pulled out his medallion causing Kasuf to bow in reverence. Jackson quickly shook his head, golden locks falling messily about him “No, no..uhh…wait” He moved towards the arrayed meal and after dipping his finger in a green that had the consistency of oatmeal Jackson began to draw out the hieroglyphic pattern for “Hello”



He barely made it through one before cries of what sounded like “Na-nay Na-Nay!” and furious wiping. Women converged on Daniel and O’Neil looked up confused, with Jackson trying to explain that writing seemed forbidden to these people.



Though that didn’t explain the fact that they had crude architecture, farming and some form of medicine as Lahm was with the younger girl watching. Two of the elder females administer a smoking brew to someone having an asthma attack. Evidently their field medic had managed to communicate to a girl barely a teenager that she was a doctor while the fucking team linguist, master archaeologist and renaissance man managed to learn the name of the girl he was sweet on and little else.



-The universe hates me- O’Neill thought annoyed -What did I do to deserve this? Oy..oh..right..my only son blew his brains out with my gun and like a coward I abandoned my wife and daughters to go on what I thought was a suicide mission- why had he done that? His daughters were sent away, he had shutdown and trapped himself in a home that had become a tomb hoping to contain his wife’s rage so it wouldn’t spill over to them, only to realize they were going to be adults in a couple years and both wanted to follow in his footsteps, she was going to hate him regardless and then what? His whole life he’d been a Marine, what was he supposed to do? All he knew how to do was fight and…



Skara shook him out of his thoughts, tapping him on the shoulder and gesturing for him to follow it had seemed to boy wished to show him around sensing the Colonel’s curiosity. -Thanks kiddo-
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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It begins

----------



That which walks between the lightning.


Beyond the grim circle of marines an immense shadow descended parting the black, angry clouds and causing a roaring screech to fill the air. In the light cast by the lightning siege Pyramids a floating object began to appear. A dipyramid began its descent, silver in color of a metal that seemed almost liquid like, its enormous body was covered in ornate depictions of war, of death, of triumph over an ancient enemy that in desperation pushed the vessels navigator beyond the brink. Gold and brass accentuated the Falcon Horus which held its wings spread and its beak pointing towards the tip of the pyramid vessel where all sides were covered with a star burst depicting a sun. The screeching began to end as the vessel “landed” gently resting atop the water within the triangular lake at first and then slowly it sank until the water was displaced, spilling out like a deluge onto the tiles floor, where the energy pulled from the lightning roared angrily and a great rush of vapor shot up towards the clouds and the heat met cold and thunder cracked.



And the glowing tops of the Pyramid which seemed ready to burst discharged a beam of light which roared towards the vessel at the center.



For a moment all was calm and then, a whir of machinery and engines as lights within the new arrival lit up and energies snaked along its outer hull as though it had pulled the very essence of the storm through its sibling pyramids and fed upon it to recharge itself. At that moment a smaller second beam of light exited the top of the Spaceship and connected with the tip of the main pyramid.





Within the Marines had begun to relax, as whatever weirdness had begun seemed to be ending. Lights that had been on began to flicker and Ferretti let out a breath he wasn’t aware he’d been holding. “Well, damn that was weird….Ya think the noi-“



The room went completely dark.



Guns were hugged close. “What’s going on” one of the marines muttered. In the darkness they could hear shuffling noises. “Something’s in here” Osorio murmured “Te dije, te dije jefe”



“Quiet Osorio!” Ferretti hissed, the shuffling grew closer, closer and then they heard it. A word filtered through some sort of electronic device, menacing cruel and bestial and a flicker of red. “LIGHT ‘EM UP!”



The room turned bright, a miniature sun as a dozen marines unloaded simultaneously. “THE FUCK WAS THAT?!” Ferretti didn’t know who said that, but there was loud cursing and fury in that unnatural voice, and he could make out more. Something had fallen to the floor, but Ferretti couldn’t tell who or what it was. Movement and the glowing eyes vanished as Ferretti fired again and he blinked. Trying to focus as someone moved to turn on a flashlight and found that it wouldn’t work. Had there been some sort of EMP? What was happening?



The Marine next to him was suddenly grabbed and let out a scream, blood sprayed onto Ferretti’s face and the younger marines opened fire. “HOLD! HOLD!”



More gunfire



“THE FUCKING STATUES! THEY’RE MOVING! THEY’RE MOVING I SWEAR TO GOD”



“Vamos a morir! Vamos a morir!” Osorio’s words were cut off as something metallic buried into her face. A second later something had grabbed her by the shoulder before the marine beside her and the tech behind her could reach out to stop it. Her gun fell and a tech reached to grab it, something bright and purple impacted into his chest and his torso exploded.



That was the moment all hell broke loose.



Rushings the cook roared about how he was going to rape the mothers of those alien bastards and ran into the dark, gunfire erupted again and, in the flashes, he witnessed something with tall grappling with Rushings only for it to vanish and Rushings to be shot to pieces by his own brothers and sisters in arms. Bullets ricocheted off the walls and there was a low mocking string of static that sounded all too much like sadistic laughter. Something akin to a bolt of electricity smashed into the youth next to Ferretti and he realized one of their surviving techs was aiming a gun to his own head and before Ferretti had a chance to stop him, he was hit by a bolt of electricity that dropped him onto the floor in a seizure like series of spasms. There had been ten Marines with Ferretti two cooks four medics and a bunch of nerds and now both his cooks were dead, the medics were missing and only five of his Marines were left.



Again, there was a sick, distorted laughter in the dark and a pair of blue lights flickered rapidly. It took Ferretti a fraction of a second to realize the source of those tiny blue lights was charging him but that fraction of a second was enough for something sharp to be buried into his thigh, followed by blow to his back between his shoulder blades that violently ejected the wind from his lungs and set the near seven-foot marine sprawling across the floor. There was a scream, Ferretti saw the blast from the muzzle of a rifle, he saw what looked like an Olympic athlete with a bird’s head take a round point blank to the throat which dinged and caused it to shuffle back. He saw a bolt of purple energy blow that marines arm off and then something else bring a foot down onto his head, the boot crushing the skull. In the darkness, Louis Ferretti remembered what it felt like to be a six-year-old again, hiding from his drunken mother in a closet. He’d never been more terrified not until now.





Outside of footfalls and the moans and whimpers of trained killers, it all gone quiet, he stumbled into something yet and sticky and realized someone had thrown up..No, it wasn’t vomit it was stomach contents but..his hand fumbled again and he found Osorio’s face. Whatever attacked her had opened her up so violently it tore through her stomach and pulled her insides out. Ferretti struggled, rising to his feet only to be met by a blow that dropped him to one knee and what sounded like a snort of derision.





The synthetic torches slowly began to turn on, by the will of their attackers Ferretti guessed who decided to show off their handywork. As his eyes adjusted to the half light Ferretti looked up and beheld three figures, tall and built like pro athletes. Each one was covered from waist to toe in plate armor of some kind with a kind soft leather boots above they were all shirtless save for a chest plate that covered only their breast and shoulder area. Their arms were likewise bare but their hands were covered in armored gloves with claws? Shaped like talons perhaps? Each held a staff in one hand long and gold colored with a gem wrapped in what looked like steel and something like a side arm in the form of a pistol. The most striking thing were the heads! Long head dresses that clung to the shoulders and seemed to be made of some sort of sleek almost transparent like metal stopped at a pair of falcon like faces with moving beaks which hissed as red eyes glowed. In front of the pair was the strongest looking creature he’d ever seen with a large gold and black head dress that looked almost a helm which wove into a black and gold snout that made it look like a robotic jackal from hell…The statues were moving one had said.



Behind the trio was one on the floor, his midsection was practically sawed off by automatic fire.



Four.



Four.



Four of these things slaughtered eight marines, two medics and one of their specialists inside of five minutes…



Four.



The leader, the dog monster walked forward, it was rare for someone to look down at Ferretti even on his knees but this one did, and its eyes flickered and Ferretti’s world went black.
 
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The Immortal Watch Dog

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Alright gents, sorry for the tardiness, meant to get three out today but life kicked my ass.

In consolation, here's Ferretti meeting someone..he didn't expect.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Chapter 6: Contact




Mandjet



Ferretti wasn’t sure how long he’d been out, though he knew he was startled from unconsciousness by one of the bird headed guards shoving a poultice into the wound on his hip, using a thumb to jam it in real good. That had been extremely painful for a few seconds and then whatever the contents were caused a numbing sensation that brought relaxation and then the curious sensation of being able to feel his muscles and bone begin to knit together. That curious sensation evolved into one of pure agony and he blacked out again. It was only the sensation of motion that roused him from his foray into night once again, motion and the squeaking noise his boots made as he was dragged across a floor so smooth and shiny, he thought it must have been cleaned, polished and buffed three times a day. His eyes scanned a black floor, made of a kind of granite that reminded him of those old, lame ass mood rings. He could see metal lining tracing along the floor taking shape as his head rose, to scan in front of him. He could make out, what looked like constellations between the metal seams which now he realized formed a grid. A map of the galaxy perhaps? More? They searched the pyramid extensively but hadn’t been in every single room. Could this have been some sort of chamber? Looking ahead, he could see enormous columns flanked by plinths upon which rested two falcons, wings outstretched. At the center of the statues was an immense throne, carved from a single ruby larger than any one gemstone Ferretti knew existed. The blood-colored throne rested on a raised dais that ensured whoever sat upon it would forever look down on those who came near. “heh..this is some Dune level bullshit” he muttered. A mistake since the two guards that were graciously carrying him began to shake his arms and ragdoll him. They roared something in those distorted voices of theirs that Ferretti assumed was telling him to shut up or insulting him or both. He did so, lowering his head just as they turned from the throne room down a corridor through some immense silk sheets so thin Ferretti thought they might have been some kind of synthetic material else they’d have come apart at the slightest breeze.





He was hauled towards another set of plinths with yet more statues, though this time one was a great Jackal sitting patiently, dutifully, black as night with bright blue eyes and gold around the neck and breast. The other, was a mighty cobra, gold in coloring with bright pink eyes that struck him as a rather odd thing to have on a statue that was supposed to symbolize a guardian. Ferretti was pulled towards the raised set of steps that made a sort of base for an altar and he looked upon an immense Egyptian sarcophagus, or the sarcophagus Egyptian sarcophagi were based on? He wondered why they were bringing him here unless they just wanted a quiet place to beat him to death in for killing their men.





That was when he heard that arrogant sneer of a laugh and his head rose slightly to find the dog man, what he assumed was the unit’s commander leering down at him, the concept brimming from those glowing eyes ensured Ferretti didn’t need to know his language to know how little he thought of him and his Marines “bastard” he muttered.



Whatever response that was going to come from the Dog man’s “mouth” was interrupted by a noise that sounded like the moving of gears and Ferretti’s head jerked up towards the sarcophagus. Slowly, the pharaoh depicted on the top yielded, melding away and giving rise to an opening series of doors. Ferretti thought he saw what looked like a hand with metal covering the fingers but whatever he was focusing faded to the back of his thoughts as he felt something he couldn’t quite describe.



It started as a tingling sensation in the back of his head, as if something was “touching” his mind, gently poking it and pressing on it to gauge its tolerance levels. He twitched, unable to focus on what was in front of him as he tried to figure out just what the hell was happening.



He didn’t have to wait long for an answer because whatever it was came again and this time it wasn’t gentle. He felt something odd, smells from when he was a child bubbled back and the filthy dampness of the places he hid from his mother returned. The fight in the alley when he was eight, when he grew big enough to push his harpy of a mother down the stairs after she almost drowned his sister. His sister coming off the drugs, her marriage, her first born all the pride. His graduation from training, his time in Iraq, the memories flowed through his mind as if he was scrolling through them like tabs on a smartphone. The sensation would have been fascinating, he had never possessed this level of emotional and mental control so that he could just watch his life back for his own personal analyses.



Something creeped up Ferretti’s heart, striking deep within his very soul. “God..” he whispered, his fists clenching. “God…God…” the realization hit him like a tsunami. He wasn’t the one flipping through his memories. No, no, no, no, no! Panic hit him as he heard a soft, almost childlike laugh from a voice that was not his own. The memories began to shift from his life, to his career, images of the mountain complex of General West and Admiral Hammond, of Jackson and O’Neill, words like bomb and machine gun and field knife and…Something ached deep inside him, a dull pain that he couldn’t quite define that suddenly roared into life as an agony that set his nerves on fire. Everything hurt, everything. His eyes, his skin, every breath he took, the sounds of the guards and their machinery. Every scar felt inflamed and more than that, his mind was flooded by the memories of the pain he felt when the scars were first received. Every beating by his mother, every gunshot, stab wound, every punch, every broken chair over his back. Every bottle, every burn, the time he was tortured in China. As the pain hit him like a tsunami he was acutely aware of every emotion that went with it, the guilt as he stared down at his mother’s cadaver. The fury he felt at having to do it, every moment of fear, every moment of terror, sorrow, anger, humiliation, pain, joy, ecstasy, despair, confidence, doubt. It was a gamut of emotions that assaulted him from all ends as every bit of useful knowledge was ripped from his mind by a presence he couldn’t even comprehend.



It was old, so very old, immense and incredibly alien. It had been noble once, maybe even kind but now all that was left was an inescapable sense of power that threatened to utterly subsume his personality. Ferretti hadn’t realized it, but he had pissed himself, his whole body was rigid and contorted but he didn’t feel that or notice it either because the chorus of his own life turned upside down and thrown at him in a disjointed cacophony that concealed this intrusion had left him barely to comprehend anything.



Something seemed to change, the emotional intensity and frequency of the whirlwind dimmed, and he felt an impending sense of dread as it seemed the music had only lulled because the conductor decided to make a more personal appearance.



Ferretti realized he was right, as voice distorted and subtle began to speak in a tongue that was entirely new to it and yet an intimate friend.



Fe..rr..e..tttiiii



That was the point where Lieutenant Louis Ferretti, nicknamed the iron giant by his peers, screamed like a frightened child.
 
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