December 17

17.

"Here," Lantash said, holding out a zat'nik'tel. "Make very sure it is not found by Bastet's Jaffa."

"Thanks," Sam said. "We'll get started charging the Furling device."

"No offence, but wouldn't it be better to use a staff weapon? Didn't it take like forever to charge it with a zat, last time you did that?" O'Neill asked.

"Very true," Lantash admitted. "However, I cannot sneak away with a staff weapon."

"Maybe we could use something else," Sam said. "After all, shooting the thing can't have been the original way to charge it."

Lantash nodded. "I had thought the same, but I don't think we have access to anything else that could potentially be used. Unless we could somehow charge it from the engines of a ship."

"That ought to be fast!" O'Neill exclaimed. "I like the idea!"

"Perhaps the transport vessel we were on earlier?" Teal'c suggested.

Lantash shook his head. "No, from what I can tell, it is only here when they use it to deliver cargo, slaves, or prisoners from Bastet's domains on the other side of the ocean. North and South America." He sighed. "I am not yet trusted to walk freely around, nor is Selmak. Bastet has three more underlings, all whom are very suspicious of us - or more likely angry that they now have rivals and are less likely to advance in rank."

"Okay, we'll get started with the zat," Sam said.

"One more thing; it has been two days since we arrived. Bastet feels that you ought to be sufficiently rested and that you should begin working tomorrow," Lantash told them, apologetically.

"How is that any of her business? We're your slaves, aren't we?" O'Neill shook his head. "That sounded weird."

Lantash smiled wryly. "Very true. However, I am now her underling, and as she is thus my master, she is also the master of everyone and everything I own. I will make sure to find some sort of work for you which will not strain you or hamper your healing."

"You do that," O'Neill said.

"What about Dad?" Sam asked.

"Bastet has taken a liking to him and given him a position as her personal procurer." Lantash grinned. "He is now in charge of getting her any sort of delicacy, clothing, art, sculptures - as well as, ah, personal slaves."

"Oh, God. He hates shopping!" Sam laughed.

"A sentiment he shares with Selmak. They were both less than pleased," Lantash said, an amused expression on his face.


"We have to get out of here! We're being attacked!" Lantash warned, running into the room where the members of SG-1 were working.

"What?" O'Neill asked, jumping up from his chair. "Who?"

"Ba'al. Come on! Jacob is waiting for us!"

"Damn! The cube! It's back in your chamber!" O'Neill said. "We can't leave it behind!"

"I will get it. Go to the lower ring transporter room. Hurry!" Lantash told them, before running off to get the Furling device.


The alarm had sounded moments after Lantash had warned them, and they had not run far before the palace was in chaos around them.

"Two levels down, right?" O'Neill asked.

"That is correct," Teal'c agreed.

Making their way past servants running around in a panic, they raced down two flights of stairs, finding themselves on the lowest level, except for the basement.

They were stopped by two Jaffa guards who stood on each side of the corridor leading to the ring room.

"What are you doing here? Get back upstairs!" one of them ordered, angrily.

"We were ordered here by our Lord," Teal'c said.

"Your Lord is an underling of Bastet. She has ordered that no one is allowed on this floor without her permission. You will leave now or suffer the consequences."

Lantash came running down the stairs at that moment. He angrily flashed his eyes at the Jaffa. "Does this order also include me?"

Both Jaffa made a slight bow. "No, my Lord. Of course not."

"Good." He pulled out a zat'nik'tel from under his wide cape and shot both Jaffa.

They froze and slowly began to fall. Lantash quickly shot them two more times each, vaporizing them. They could not risk the Jaffa being found - or worse, waking up and telling someone that Lantash had shot them.

SG-1 and Lantash hurried on towards the ring transportation room, hoping there would be no more guards to stop them.


"What took you so long!" Jacob complained when he saw them rush into the room.

"Good to see you too, Dad!" Sam said.

"Where are we going?" O'Neill asked.

"Bastet's Ha'tak is in orbit. We're going up there." Jacob pointed at the rings in the floor.

"Whoa! I thought we wanted to get away from the snakeheads?" O'Neill exclaimed.

"The place is surrounded. It's Ba'al or Bastet," Jacob told him.

"So we're caught between a rock and a hard place. Wonderful. Typical," O'Neill grumbled. "What about the cube? Could we fire it up and get out of here?"

"With the charging we've managed until now? No, it's not enough to do much of anything," Sam said. "Sorry, sir."

"Okay. Damn. By the way, what's with all the large crates?" O'Neill looked around the room.

"Someone is coming!" Lantash warned, interrupting them. "This way!"

They quickly followed him into the alcove at the end of the room. A curtain hung across the entrance and protected them from being seen from the ring room, but they would have to be very quiet.

There were some seats along the wall, and two small figurines in the back, but otherwise the alcove was empty. It was meant for those of more importance waiting to be transported aboard a ship. The main transportation room was upstairs, this was the secondary one, mainly used for cargo. However, now and then, when Bastet had large celebrations or receptions, the extra room was needed to transport important Goa'uld, so they would not have to wait in line for too long.

SG-1 and the Tok'ra kept as silent as possible, barely daring to breathe, when the familiar sound of heavy boots was heard in the room outside. Jaffa.

The voice of a Goa'uld was heard, "Transport all the boxes aboard the ship - quickly! If as much as one of them falls into the hands of Ba'al, you and your entire family shall suffer greatly!"

O'Neill carefully peeked outside and saw a man in gaudy clothes, a hand device on his left hand, and with a very self-important look on his face. That was obviously the Goa'uld who had just spoken. O'Neill looked at Lantash who was also taking a quick glance.

"Maahes," Lantash whispered, then rolled his eyes at O'Neill's expression. It was obvious he did not understand what was meant. "The name of the Goa'uld is Maahes."

O'Neill nodded. "Ah."

Maahes went to stand in the center of the ring transporter. "Activate!" he ordered, and the rings almost immediately sprang up around him.

As soon as he had transported up to the ship, the Jaffa started carrying the large cases to the ring transporter and sending them up a couple at a time.

Meanwhile, all members of SG-1, Jacob|Selmak, and Martouf|Lantash could do, was waiting and hoping they would not be discovered.