[ 1: Discoveries (PG-13) | 2: Fighting (PG-13) | 3. Through the Looking Glass (PG-13) | 4: A Goa'uld (PG-13) | 5: A New Reality (PG-13) | 6: Earth (PG-13) | 7: A Minor Goa'uld (PG-13) | 8: The Human Slave (PG-13) | 9: Egypt (PG-13) | 10: Ra (PG-13) | 11: Goa'uld Entertainment (R) | 12: Back in Space (PG) | 13: Comfort (NC-17) | 14: Next Morning (PG-13) | 15: Solving A Puzzle (PG-13) | 16: Queens (PG-13) | 17: Hathor (PG-13) | 18: Going Home (PG) ]
Chapter 17: Hathor.
Summary: It is time to meet Hathor again. Will she agree to ally with Segomo?
Warnings: Some references to sex.
Not wanting to attract any undue attention, they activated the cloak when they approached Earth, just like they had the first time.
Since the whole area seemed deserted, they landed in a clearing in a small group of trees just beside the large open space where the Mayan pyramid was located. The grass was much higher than it had been in their reality, since there were no human tourists to visit the place. Also, no Goa'uld were interested in an old pyramid, similar to thousands and thousands of others. In any case, there was no reason to cut the grass.
Daniel had been part of a team visiting the place some time after the sarcophagus had been found, hoping to find anything more of interest. Thus he now lead the way and they soon stood in the chamber, looking at the sarcophagus. Martouf had brought a small light source, that lit up the chamber.
"If the Goa'uld knew there was a sarcophagus here, someone would probably have been interested enough to come." Martouf said.
"Why? Won't they rather have a new one? I'd think they'd prefer something that wouldn't break while their using it." Daniel wondered.
"It will not. Sarcophagi are relatively expensive and will function without problems for thousands of years. It is more than 2500 years since the first one was invented, and to my knowledge none has ever broken down - without outside interference, at least."
"Hey, so it's a quality product! Who'd have known?" O'Neill said sarcastically.
"Yes...except for the not insignificant side-effects..." Martouf snorted. "Most Goa'uld technology is relatively sturdy and will continue to function for thousands of years."
"I guess it makes sense - with an expected lifetime of more than 10000 years, it would suck if stuff broke down after only 10 years or so." Sam grinned.
"Exactly." Martouf approached the sarcophagus, somewhat apprehensive. He lifted the hand with the hand device on, and prepared to press the red jewel that would open the sarcophagus, with the other hand. "Get behind me. She will be facing in that direction..." He pointed.
They hurried to stand behind him, not wanting to risk being killed by her hand device, as the archaeologists had been in their reality.
"One more thing...Colonel O'Neill, Daniel Jackson...do not let her breathe on you!"
"We've already had the 'pleasure' of experiencing that pink stuff. Don't worry, we'll be careful." O'Neill said.
"Won't we be immune? Like with the nishta? You're immune when you've been exposed to it before. It's somewhat the same, isn't it?" Daniel wondered.
"No, you will not - and it is not. In truth, some of the effects are the same, and the creation of nistha was inspired by the shri'tah'ista - the 'pink stuff'. However, you will never become immune to it."
"Where does she even get it? I mean, she seemed to have a lot of it, for having been 'out of the loop' for so long." O'Neill grumbled.
"She produces is herself." Martouf looked surprised. "Didn't you know?"
Daniel looked shocked. "Can all symbiotes do that? I mean..."
"No, only queens. It's meant to...help them ensnare the males needed to provide the code of life - DNA, as you call it - to make their offspring compatible with their future hosts."
"How will we avoid her gaining control of Daniel and me, then? I don't particularly feel like repeating what happened last time..." O'Neill looked concerned.
"Me neither!" Daniel looked slightly scared.
"Do not be concerned. As you know, we have a small laboratory on board the Teltac. When we return with Hathor, I will take a sample from her and use it to produce an antidote, which should last you at least two weeks. More than enough to complete our mission."
Martouf bowed his head and gave Lantash control, deciding it would be better in this situation. He pressed the red jewel, which glowed as the sarcophagus started to open.
As soon as it was completely open, a red-haired woman sat up and immediately turned to Lantash. He held his hand device ready.
"We are Queen Hathor. Who are you?"
"I am Lord Ranesh." He turned to Teal'c. "Remove her hand device."
Teal'c hurried to do so. "Yes, my Lord."
"You do not trust Us? Insolence! Are you not sent by Ra?" Hathor looked displeased.
"No. Ra does not want you released. I made that decision on my own. Hoping you would be...grateful."
"Such guile...how delightfully treacherous!" Hathor smiled seductively. "Of course, We will need proof Ra is not waiting for Us."
"Of course." Lantash agreed, accepting the ribbon device from Teal'c. "You shall have your proof."
"How did you find Us, if you were not sent by Ra?" Hathor sounded faintly curious.
"I have my sources."
"Resourceful as well as handsome! How wonderful!" Hathor's eyes shone.
Lantash sighed inaudibly. He ordered Teal'c and the others to lead Hathor back to the ship and they all went there.
"We will not honour you with a sample of Our royal breath!" Hathor said angrily. "We have given you Our word We will not use Our powers to ensnare your human followers. Do you not believe Us or is it just that you have so little faith in your own abilities?"
"I have reason not to trust you. You have a certain reputation." Lantash pointed out. He went to pick up a new vial, instead of the one Hathor had broken.
Hathor turned to Daniel. "You would be wise to unbind Us, and kneel before your goddess."
"I...don't think so..." Daniel looked nervously at her.
"Give me the sample and quit harassing them!" Lantash was getting exasperated. "Then I shall free you."
"You are an insolent one!" Hathor studied him with interest. "Very well. We shall honour your wish, but We are not pleased."
As soon as Lantash had gotten the sample, he left for the small laboratory, to prepare the antidote. "Teal'c - keep an eye on her. Lo'tar, assist me."
It was a relatively quick and easy matter for Lantash to make the antidote and they soon returned to inject O'Neill and Daniel.
As promised, Lantash released Hathor, with explicit orders for O'Neill and Teal'c that one of them were to keep an eye on her at all times.
"Such a shame...you will not be able to enjoy the bliss that comes with Our royal breath, now." Hathor said, looking unhappy.
"Good." O'Neill said.
"Ranesh...your slaves are as insolent as you! Why do you allow them to speak thus to a goddess? Have you so little respect for Us? So little respect for normal courtesy?" She pouted as she went to stand very close to him, letting a hand slide down from his shoulder, along his arm.
"I have no problems with their attitude. They are capable and perform satisfactorily. That is all I require." Lantash said, moving away from her.
"You truly are a curious one." She seemed to consider following him, the thought better of it. "No matter. We now require proof of your previous statements."
They took Hathor to a computer screen and showed her recordings from Earth. It was clear from the picture that the planet had been technologically advanced, but that it had relatively recently been brutally enslaved and returned to a more primitive state.
"It would seem much time has passed. How long were We in the sarcophagus?"
"Almost two thousand years." Daniel said, remembering what they had found out when they last encountered Hathor.
"If this is true, We were betrayed! Ra must have been enchanted by this new whore of his - this Egeria. No doubt she is to blame for Our long imprisonment. We demand you bring her to Us, so that We might seek retribution on the little harlot."
"You are in no position to make demands!" Lantash said, angrily. He did not like anyone speaking like that about Egeria.
Ignoring him, Hathor pressed a few buttons on the computer, but apparently did not get what she wanted. "Does this...contraption have a connection to 'Goa'uld News'? We wish to read some of the newer editions, so that We might learn if you are to be trusted."
Lantash leaned over her and pushed a few buttons and the computer connected to the newest edition. "As you wish." He turned to Teal'c. "She may read all the editions she wishes, but nothing else. Keep her under close observation at all times." He left the room, quickly.
"I shall be vigilant, my Lord!"
Hathor had spent some time reading, and had had to admit they seemed to be telling the truth. That meant almost two thousand years had passed with no signs of Ra coming to extract her.
She could only conclude he did not want her back. Not that she wanted back, but she desired the power. She would get it back in some other way!
She went to find the young Goa'uld who had released her, intent on seducing him and learning how powerful he was. She suspected he had very little influence, but with her at his side, that could quickly change. He would be foolish not to agree - besides, why else would he have released her, if not to gain the allegiance of a queen? It was not an easy thing to get, especially not for someone new, with a small domain.
"Lord Ranesh. We have decided We believe you. 'Goa'uld News' mentions only Ra's four other queens - not that he seem to like them much - but it is obvious he has no use for Us. That is his loss. We even notice they have changed the font from 'Hathor royale' to 'Nut special'. That little whore must somehow have wiggled herself into Ra's field of interest."
"I am pleased you believe me." Lantash said.
"We rejoice to see that Egeria is no longer among Ra's queens - he must finally have seen reason. The whore was obviously conspiring with that upstart Jolinar, whom she kept visiting. We thought the bitch might have some oral skills Egeria appreciated, but We gather it was something more sinister. We were right not to trust her. Obviously..."
"Quiet!" Lantash's eyes flared and he controlled himself with difficulty. "Are you ready to listen to my business proposal or would you rather I put you back in the sarcophagus?"
"Such passion!" Hathor smiled and slowly walked closer. She put a hand on his chest and slowly circled him, trailing her fingers along as she went. "Despite your youthful temper, We are most intrigued..."
Lantash shook her off and stepped back. "Let's first make one thing clear. I am not interested in your advances. I'm just the middleman."
"Yes, We have noticed the looks you are sending that lo'tar of yours. How depraved. How interesting...well, if you prefer that to a Queen..." Hathor sent Sam a disgusted look.
Lantash's eyes glowed white-yellow. "You have insulted my queen, my previous mate, and now my current mate! You will cease this behaviour immediately, or I shall..." He took a deep breath, turned around on the spot, and left the room.
Hathor shrugged and turned to Daniel. "Tell me, Daniel, are you more appreciative of Our charms than your master?"
Daniel stared at her in horror. "No, leave me alone!"
"We demand you offer worship at Our altar!" Hathor said, her eyes glowing.
"Leave him alone!" O'Neill interrupted. "La...Lord Ranesh won't like you bothering his subjects! You should be grateful he took it as nicely as he did - what you said before. I think he was remarkably restrained. I'd have taken it much worse if someone was talking nasty about my mom or my girlfriend!"
"Insolence! We are a goddess! You will treat Us as such!"
"Lord Ranesh. Let us forget those trivial disagreements from before. We had wondered why Our son Heru'ur's loyal minion would betray Ra - no one is more loyal to Ra than Heru'ur. Now We understand. You are the spawn of Egeria, who obviously must have betrayed Ra. Good for her. You are betraying Heru'ur. How deliciously deceitful of you. We are prepared to listen to your offer."
"If you are finally ready to listen, I shall explain." Lantash took a deep breath, and listened to some calming words from Martouf. "I am acting on behalf of Lord Segomo. He is not yet a full System Lord, but he has large domains and is well on his way to becoming one. With your help he would quickly succeed. Together, you could rule the Galaxy and remove that pompous fool, Ra. His time is over. I desire only a...minor domain of my own. Perhaps what Heru'ur has today? In return I would be a loyal vassal to a most beautiful queen."
Hathor thought it over. She much preferred to rule on her own, but a minor System Lord would be very grateful indeed to her for helping him become a full System Lord. With a queen to provide all the prim'ta he needed for his Jaffa, his armies would grow strong. He would thank her. She would make sure he was too infatuated with her to deny her anything. It could work.
"We would like to meet this Segomo. We believe our interests could be compatible. Of course, if We are successful, you shall receive your award."
Lantash bowed his head. "Then we are in agreement."
Since Hathor had agreed to at least meet with Segomo and listen to him, they had finally come close to fulfilling their mission. They took off from Earth in their Teltac, in order to travel to Segomo's planet.
Hathor had already complained twice about the low standards aboard the ship, so they feared it was going to be a trying journey.
Teal'c was flying the Teltac, and O'Neill come out from Hathor's room, looking tired and irritated.
"Finally! Her royal Highness had no further requests and went to sleep! I think I've run back and forth a gazillion times, with food and drink and extra pillows and blankets and God only knows what!"
"At least she accepted you didn't want to sleep with her!" Daniel looked uncomfortable. "I'm not going to go in there alone. She seems dedicated to seducing me!"
"Yes, she's apparently decided you're just the thing to keep her occupied until she reaches her 'new beloved'." Sam smiled wryly.
"Queens can be quite amorous." Lantash told them.
"So, we hand over Hathor to Segomo, hope they get along, then leave for the quantum mirror and get the Hell out of here?" O'Neill wondered.
"That's the plan. However, Martouf just reminded me that we should not allow Segomo - or any other Goa'uld - to have access to a quantum mirror or any apparatus that can potentially change the timelines. It's far too dangerous." Lantash said. "I find myself in complete agreement with him."
"Yeah, no kidding! How do we fix that?" Daniel said.
"Maybe we could rig up some sort of time-delayed explosion. The quantum mirrors are very sturdy, but I believe some sort of naquadah bomb might do it? What do you think, Lantash?"
"It might be possible. I know how to make a very high-yield naquadah bomb, but it would be difficult getting enough weapons-grade naquadah. The planet I got from Heru'ur produces little of high-quality, and I do not have the required refineries there."
"OK, Lantash. You and Carter worry about that. Just get it to work - I don't want to think about what could happen!" O'Neill ordered.
"We will. Sir." Lantash added. "Martouf suggests I ask Segomo to pay me something for delivering Hathor..."
"What in Sokar's name are you talking about?" Hathor said, sauntering into the room.
"I thought you said she was asleep?" Sam complained, looking at O'Neill.
"I thought she were!"
"We were feeling too libidinous to sleep. We have been deprived for so long." Hathor looked unhappy.
"Well, that's just too bad!" O'Neill did not look sympathetic in the least.
Hathor made a small displeased sound. "No matter. Other things concern Us now. Why do you allow a mere human to command you?" She looked at Lantash.
"Obviously I do not. Why would you say something outrageous like that?" Lantash looked at her with disdain.
"You agreed to an order from him and called him 'sir'. Do not try to deceive Us. We are not so easily fooled as Ra and Heru'ur!"
"Perhaps you were still confused by sleep?" Sam suggested.
"You continue to allow your animals to talk and interfere! And who is 'Martouf'?"
Lantash decided that enough was enough. "Who is Martouf? I'll show you who Martouf is!" He bowed his head and gave Martouf control. Apparently, he did not think it was a good idea to take control, because he did not look up immediately. They were obviously arguing.
"Well?" Hathor looked impatient. "What is this insanity?"
Eventually Martouf gave in and raised his head. "I am Martouf. I am Lantash's host."
Hathor looked confused for a moment, then she slowly shook her head.
"Perhaps the rumours about Egeria talking to her host were true after all...it would seem to be an inherited defect. We take it 'Ranesh' was another lie, just like your loyalty to Heru'ur. How can We trust anything, when nothing is sacred to you?"
"You can trust that we will take you to Segomo, and that he is your best chance at gaining power in this universe. That is the truth." Martouf said.
"Lantash - if that is your name. Do not dishonour Us by making Us talk to your host!"
"He says he doesn't want to talk to you. Sorry, you'll have to make do with me." Martouf smirked.
"Just because you talk to your host does not mean you can expect Us to do so. Do you talk to your clothes as well?" Hathor sounded exasperated. The she suddenly smirked. "No matter. We do not care about your foolish secrets."
"Great. Good night, 'goddess'. Sleep tight." O'Neill waved at her.
"Oh, We will. There is just this one little thing you shall all have to do for Us." She looked out over the room, taking in Lantash/Martouf, Sam, O'Neill, and Daniel. She then threw a look in the direction were Teal'c was sitting, piloting the Teltac. "In return for not telling Segomo this dirty little secret of yours, We require gratification. We have been deprived for far too long. The five..." She winked at Martouf, "...sorry, six of you together should be satisfactorily."
They just looked at her, shocked. O'Neill got his voice back first.
"Please tell me she's not suggesting what I think she's suggesting!"
"She is...many queens - Hathor in particular - are known for their extensive 'appetites'." Martouf explained, looking dismayed.
"OK, I'm just gonna say one thing, lady. Not. Gonna. Happen." O'Neill said.
Hathor shook her head sadly. "It is unfortunate you insisted on making them impervious to Our royal breath. It is even more unfortunate you insist on permitting your slaves this kind of insolence towards a goddess. It is, however, fortunate you - or Lantash - is not the one vying for Our favours."
"Oh, we agree on that last one. Without any doubts." Martouf said.
Hathor sighed deeply and went back to her room, mumbling something about not being able to sleep well for the whole journey - and how would she look good for Segomo when she could not get her beauty sleep?
"Poor Segomo! I really hope he is up to it!" Martouf grinned.
O'Neill groaned. "That was a very bad joke - but I agree. Segomo is not gonna know what hit him!"
Laughing, they got up and began preparing for sleep.
After just under a week - during which Hathor almost drove them crazy with her demands and complaints - they finally landed just outside the walls of Segomo's palace.
At Hathor's demands, they had made a not-so-short stop at a nearby planet that had a market selling expensive clothing and exquisite jewelry. She was now dressed in the latest and most outrageous of Goa'uld style. Lantash and the others had also gotten new clothes, in an attempt to impress Segomo and also at Hathor's demand, since she wanted to be delivered in style.
Segomo was going to love her!
They were announced and Segomo immediately allowed 'Lord Ranesh' an audience. He arrived with his small entourage - and Hathor. She was wearing her favourite colours, red and gold, but in a new and provocative style that showed more skin than even her previous dress.
She also wore a long cloak of shimmering gold, and all the gold rings and jewels Lantash had been able to afford. Around her upper arm were her favourite golden snake-ring, and on her feet were shoes made of gold. She waltzed in as if she owned the place, oozing sex appeal.
Segomo just stared at her, barely even noticing any of the others. Lantash smirked when he saw the reaction, knowing they had their ticket home. Hathor would get what she wanted - whatever she wanted. That was clear.
The meeting was short, and mostly consisted of Segomo scanning Hathor to make sure she was indeed a queen.
That confirmed, Hathor smiled seductively at him and asked if there was somewhere private they could go to discuss their business arrangement. Segomo swallowed and would have forgotten all about Lantash and the others if Lantash had not quickly asked if Segomo was satisfied and if they were free to go.
Segomo smiled happily and told some of his Jaffa to take 'Lord Ranesh' and his people wherever they wanted - including the planet Shiren with the quantum mirror. He also magnanimously gave Lantash a large amount of weapons-grade naquadah as payment for his excellent services.
Segomo left the room with Hathor, clearly not going to be able to focus on anything but her for the next many days or weeks. She smiled and winked at Lantash before she followed Segomo, ready to begin building her power with him.
>> Chapter 18: Going Home (PG). SG-1 and Martouf/Lantash are finally going home to their own reality.