December 21


"It's just like travelling back to ancient Egypt!" Daniel exclaimed, excitedly. "Look at the beautifully coloured temple! And the priests, and the clothing! Except, the text is in Goa'uld, not the human adaption of it that became our hieroglyphs."

"Keep it down, Daniel!" O'Neill hissed.

"I doubt they understand me. It sounds like they're all speaking Goa'uld," Daniel defended himself. He kept looking at everything and everyone with great interest.

"Yeah - and that is only making it stranger that we are speaking something else!"

"Not necessarily. There are some worlds where the population does not speak either Goa'uld or standard, but their own tongue," Selmak told them.

"Well, at least it's a good thing we're wearing this instead of our BDUs," Sam observed drily, indicating the clothing they had gotten as Lantash and Selmak's servants.

"They are staring at us, though," O'Neill said.

"Because you are wearing the clothing of palace-servants, and Selmak and I are dressed as minor Goa'uld, including hand devices," Lantash told them, keeping his voice down. "I am not sure it was such a good idea to go here, at least not wearing these clothes."

"Wouldn't it just make them treat us nicely?" O'Neill wondered.

"As well as make us stand out," Selmak observed. "Something which we very much do not want."

"All right, let's find a guesthouse or something. Then maybe we can solve the problem with clothing later," O'Neill said. "It's hot as hell anyway, so I wouldn't mind some shadow and something cold to drink."

"This? This is nothing!" Daniel told him. "We're only in May. It's going to get a lot hotter. Before I joined the Stargate project I was at a dig outside..."

"Not right now, Daniel. Let's find somewhere cool before I have to listen to a long story," O'Neill insisted.

Daniel looked miffed. "Well, we walked past something that had the Goa'uld word Ah'Ast on it. That 'eatery', isn't it?"

"Yes, you are correct," Lantash said. He looked around, then lead them to a somewhat more private area where they could talk in peace. "However, it is not a word used for the type of place even a minor Goa'uld would go to eat."

"You don't want to rub shoulders with the common people, eh?" O'Neill said, grinning.

"The Goa'uld would not wish that, no," Lantash agreed. "We should look for an establishment of a higher class."

"About that, do we even have any money to pay with? Or whatever they're using here," O'Neill asked.

"We do. After I fetched the Furling device, I, ah, relieved Bastet of some valuables before meeting you," Lantash said, a smug expression on his face. "I have more than enough to pay for several rooms at a nice guesthouse, food and drink for all of us, as well as different clothing should we so decide."

"You stole from Bastet!" O'Neill grinned. "Good job!"

"Thank you." Lantash smiled. He sobered. "One thing; just like on the ship, it is important that you remember not to question any order from me or Selmak. No servant would dare do so, and the punishment would be severe."

"Got it. Just make sure you don't take advantage of it and have us run around and serve you all the time," O'Neill said.

"That is the general idea with slaves," Selmak observed drily. "However, I am sure both Lantash and I will do our best not to put undue strain on any of you."

"The food was great, and I really like the fact that they brought it to our rooms!" O'Neill threw himself on one of the beds.

"It was necessary to have it brought here, or else only Selmak and myself would have been able to eat, while the rest of you would have had to wait until later - and eat in the kitchen," Lantash reminded him.

"Also, that is my bed," Selmak observed. "Your bed is in the other room, as are those of the rest of your team."

"You got a whole, big, fancy chamber each, and we share one measly room." O'Neill sighed. "Yeah, yeah, I know. Someone could show up and enter before we have time to hide it if we shared the luxurious rooms."

"Are we just going to wait here until the Furling device is charged?" Daniel wondered.

"I believe that would be safest, yes," Selmak said.

An unhappy expression crossed Daniel's features. "I was hoping to be able to walk around in the town a bit, and look at it all. It is an amazing opportunity to learn about a culture that has remained much as it was in ancient Egypt!"

"It's too dangerous, Daniel," O'Neill said.

"How is it dangerous? We didn't see any Jaffa or Goa'uld, right?"

"No, we did not, but we have only been in a small part of the city. It is likely that some come here from time to time, even if they do not live here," Lantash said.

"But probably only minor Goa'uld, right?" Daniel wondered.

Selmak nodded. "Yes."

"Would it be a problem if one of you went out? Then I could go with you, as your servant," Daniel suggested.

Selmak sighed and smiled a little, then dipped her head and gave Jacob control.

"If you really want to take a walk around town, then I can take you," Jacob said. "But don't argue with me - or rather Selmak - when you're told not to do something."

Daniel gave him a long-suffering expression. "I don't always do things like that, you know."

"We have got to get out of here!" Selmak exclaimed, shutting the door when she and Daniel had entered. "It is only a matter of time before we are tracked here!"

"What did you do now, Daniel?" O'Neill asked, tiredly. He got up and started looking for the few things he had brought.

Martouf|Lantash, Sam, and Teal'c hurried to fetch their things as well.

"I didn't do anything!" Daniel said, an insulted look on his face. He went over and picked up his bag with a few things he had picked up during the two days they had stayed there.

"He is telling the truth. It was my fault. We had just left the temple to Seth, and I was waiting in the shadow under some date palms while Daniel studied the text outside the gate."

"That's when a minor Goa'uld showed up and asked me what I was doing. I told him I'd been to the temple to worship, but unfortunately the Goa'uld had seen me in the company of Selmak," Daniel explained.

Selmak nodded. "I should have been more vigilant."

"So what? Why would he care?" O'Neill asked. He looked around at the others. "Ready to leave?"

"No Goa'uld would go to worship at another Goa'uld's temple. The same goes for their servants," Martouf said. "The reasons why they would be there are all hostile."

They hurried down the stairs and went out a back door. Finding themselves in an empty back alley, they felt somewhat safer.

"Okay, that makes sense, but how did he know Selmak wasn't the god worshipped there? Seth, or whomever it was. Did he know him?" O'Neill wondered.

"It was Seth. Apparently he was not declared an outlaw and hunted by the System Lords in this version of the timeline," Selmak said, sardonically.

"Ouch." O'Neill sighed. "I really hope we don't run into him. I can do without ever meeting that guy again! So, which way is the best if we want to get out of the city fast?"