December 18


Finally, the last of the crates had been transported up to the ship, and the Jaffa left as well.

"They're gone," O'Neill said, relieved. "What do we do now? Follow them up there and hope they won't notice?"

"If we are very lucky, they will have left the cargo in the ship's ring transportation room. They will have other things to occupy their time instead of moving it somewhere else right now," Lantash said.

"Yes, and in any case, we're expected to transport up to the ship. That is, Lantash and I are," Jacob said. "I doubt Bastet will complain overly much that we bring a few slaves to look after us." He grinned.

"Right." O'Neill rolled his eyes. "Enough about slaves! Let's get up there before Ba'al arrives here!"

"What do you think was in those boxes?" Daniel wondered.

"No idea, and right now I don't care!" O'Neill said. "Let's get the hell out of here!"

"Stand in the middle of the ring transporter." Lantash went to the control panel and pushed the buttons while the others assumed their positions. "Ready!" He ran to join the others.

"Well, no one here, at least," O'Neill said, looking around the room they had arrived in. "Nothing but a whole lot of those boxes."

Teal'c walked up to the door and checked outside in the corridor. "The corridor is empty as well."

"All right, so what now? Do we just stay here and ring down when the ship is above the Americas, or what?" Daniel asked.

There was a jolt through the ship, which caused the humans to stumble.

"Hyperlaunch," Teal'c said.

"Meaning we're probably not going to Bastet's domains here on Earth," Sam observed.

"In that case it's an easy choice. We find a place to charge the cube, then change the crap out of this timeline!" O'Neill decided.

"It is not a good idea to do so while onboard this vessel," Lantash said.

"Why not?" O'Neill wondered.

"It is too large to be encompassed within the area affected by the Furling device, which means we would most likely find ourselves in space, with no vessel and no spacesuit. That would be regrettable," Lantash observed drily.

"Ah. Yeah, I can see why that would not be good," O'Neill said. "Okay, do you have a better idea, then?"

"Yes. We find a teltac and steal it when we get an opportunity," Lantash said.

"That is dangerous," Selmak said. "It is difficult to escape without being seen, and Bastet may send out death gliders to destroy us."

"Yes, but she is currently fleeing. She may be too preoccupied to pay attention to our whereabouts," Lantash insisted.

Selmak nodded slowly. "That has merit. Very well, we will see if there is a teltac available. For now, we should find Bastet and inform her of our presence."

"No offence, but why? We don't want her to know we're here, do we?" Daniel said.

"She will find out. Lantash and I will be expected to have fled with her instead of staying and be captured by Ba'al."

"All right, I'll buy that. What about the rest of us?" O'Neill said.

"We are entitled to some servants. She will understand that," Selmak said.

"Okay, but first I think we should take a look at what's in the boxes," O'Neill decided.

"What is that?" O'Neill wondered. "Looks like a... a missile of some sort, maybe?"

"There are anti-gravity devices on the boxes, so whatever is in them is heavy," Lantash observed. "Also, they contain naquadah, which is probably what makes them heavy."

"Weapon's grade?" Sam asked.

Lantash shook his head. "No, it is quite crude."

"I believe the only purpose of the naquadah is to make the missiles heavy," Selmak said. "They are inert projectiles, so I believe they are meant for kinetic bombardment."

"Kinetic bombardment?" Daniel wondered. "What's that?"

"It's where you attack a planet's surface with projectiles that has no explosive yield. The destructive force comes from the kinetic energy of the projectile impacting at a very high velocity. The heavier the projectiles or rods are, the more effective," Sam said. "They're theoretical."

"Not among the Goa'uld. It's not a common weapon, but I have seen it used," Selmak said.

"These projectiles are not just inert rods, though," Lantash said, studying them closer. "I believe they can be opened." He pointed at a seam that ran along the side of one of the projectiles.

"I wonder what's inside?" O'Neill tried lifting it, but failed. "Whoa! It's heavy!"

"Even low-grade naquadah is extremely heavy," Lantash reminded him. He felt along the projectile, finding a small indentation which he pressed. It opened along the almost-hidden seam.

Inside was a transparent container with a blue liquid.

"Okay, that can't be good," O'Neill said.

"It is most likely poison of some kind," Teal'c suggested.

Selmak nodded. "I agree. It is likely to become a poisonous gas that is spread upon impact, maximizing the death toll of the planet that is the victim of an attack by these."

O'Neill grimaced. "Nasty. Close it back up, will you, Lantash?"

He nodded and did as asked.

"That's probably what Bastet had her scientists working on in the lab we stumbled on, don't you think?" Daniel said.

"Very likely," Selmak agreed.

"Yes. That is almost certainly what the transport vessel was bringing in," Lantash said. He closed the crate. "We should leave before we are discovered."

They had not gotten far before running into a group of Jaffa.

"Jaffa, kree!" Selmak exclaimed, deciding she needed to act before the Jaffa tried to arrest them. "You will take me to Lord Bastet immediately!"

"Yes, we demand an explanation! Why were we not informed of the attack? We almost got left behind!" Lantash said angrily. He turned to the members of SG-1. "Go find some suitable chambers for me - and some for Lord Selmak."

"Yes, my Lord, at once," Teal'c said, inclining his head.

Sam and Daniel bowed deeply, and after a moment O'Neill bowed as well. Then they left to carry out their 'order'.

"I wonder how long we'll have to wait," O'Neill grumbled, throwing himself on the bed.

"Sir, I don't think it's a good idea to do that. It's supposed to be for 'our Lord'," Sam reminded him.

"I doubt Lantash will care enough to complain."

"No, but what if someone else but him or Jacob comes here? I mean, Jaffa, or other servants," Sam said.

"Then I'll get up," O'Neill said, not moving from the bed.

Sam shrugged and went to pick up the Furling device and study it.

"Do you think Bastet will accept that Lantash and Selmak brought us onboard?" Daniel asked, worried.

"I am certain she will. No Goa'uld will accept being without even a few slaves to take care of them," Teal'c said.

"It's too bad we don't have the zat. I hope Lantash brings it back here so we can continue charging the device," Sam said. "It has got barely enough energy to just turn on."

"Forget about the zat. There ought to be a teltac somewhere we can use to charge it, like Lantash said. We just need an excuse to wander off and find it," O'Neill said, sitting up. "I'm hungry. Do you think there's a kitchen somewhere that will give us some food?" He got up and started towards the door.

"We were told to stay here, Jack," Daniel told him.

"I'm starving!" O'Neill complained. "I'll be back in a moment." He opened the door and looked outside. When he saw no one, he snuck out.