[ 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 12: Back in Space.

Summary: Thankfully away from Ra, SG-1 and Martouf/Lantash tries to decrypt the database they have stolen.
Warnings: None
Rating: PG

Next day, they left early on their Teltac, for the assignment Lantash has gotten from Heru'ur. They had the database, but it would take some time to get the information from it, since it was encrypted.

From what they could tell, it was - among other things - a historic record of everything in the Goa'uld sphere of interest, going back several millennia. That meant they should also be able to find information about Egeria, and determine if there were - or had been - Tok'ra.

While trying to decrypt the database, they found they had not gotten all of it, only maybe 30%. That meant they could not be certain how complete the information they wanted would be, or if it was even in the parts they had managed to download. There was no way to go back for the rest of it, so they would just have to hope the parts they got contained what they needed.

The decryptions took a long time, but the journey would be long as well, so it did not matter. They would have to travel to Heru'ur's planet and take care of the business there, before they could do anything else, or they would appear suspicious and might be hunted down as traitors.

Unfortunately, there was no Stargate on the planet they were going to, so they had little choice but to travel the whole way in their Teltac.

Several days passed before they finally had some luck. Daniel, Sam, and Martouf/Lantash had been working on it most of the time, only taking time off to sleep and eat.

Teal'c was piloting the Teltac, except when he did his kel'no'reem, and O'Neill was going stir-crazy from having nothing to do. He would pester Teal'c until even the Jaffa's patience was wearing thin and O'Neill wisely retreated to other parts of the ship.

A Teltac is not a big ship, and so he would invariably end up where the others were working on Ra's database, and ask them questions and make comments until they yelled at him.

He had even started making a bet with himself before going there, as to which one of the four would tell him to leave first. 

O'Neill had just decided he could just as well get some sleep, and had fallen into a light slumber when he woke up hearing a cry of happiness.

"What happened?"

"We got it decrypted!" Sam said, smiling widely.

Martouf and Daniel both looked equally happy, and O'Neill smiled a little, getting caught up in their enthusiasm. He was especially glad to see Daniel smile again. He had been somewhat withdrawn since the incident with Bastet, but he seemed to have forgotten about it - for now, at least.

"So, what's the plan, then? Where do we find a queen for Segomo?"

"It's much too'early to tell. We have only just decrypted the database, and read a few lines. It will take some time to loook over, even if we're just glancing through it for what we need." Martouf said.

"OK...well, get to it!" O'Neill grumbled, a little unhappy to have been awakened when there was no real news yet.

"There seems to be information about all known Goa'uld of importance, so there should also be data on the queens Ra knows about. They are very important and would not have been left out, even if some of them are not powerful on their own." Martouf added.

"Well, let's hope one of those can be convinced to join that Segomo-fellow, so we'll be allowed to return home."

"Even if they won't, we could maybe capture one of them, and then leave Segomo to convince her - if we can just find a way to trick him into thinking she's on his side, long enough for us to get away." Sam suggested.

"Sounds like a plan. Listen, you've been at it for hours. You should take a break. Continue tomorrow. It'll be nearly a week before we reach that god-forsaken planet where Lantash has to capture a thief."

Martouf nodded. "It might be a good idea to get some food and sleep."

"Wait..." Daniel was still reading the database.

"What now?" O'Neill asked.

"I just found something interesting...about Egeria." He looked up. "I'm sorry, Martouf - and Lantash - it says here: 'the treacherous queen Egeria - formerly of the honourable position of Ra's royal Queen - was killed along with Lord Jolinar, when they met to conspire against our beloved Supreme System Lord and the entire Goa'uld way of life. May they be cursed into eternity.' If I'm not reading this wrong, the date is more than 2000 years into the past."

Martouf looked stricken. He was quiet for some time, then Lantash took over. It was a while before he spoke.

"Then it is true. My queen - and my mate - died before they even had a chance to start the Tok'ra. That explains everything." He took a deep breath. "It does comfort me a little to know they did at least turn Tok'ra..."

Sam put a hand on his arm and squeezed gently.

"Yes, they did." She did not know what else to say. "They just had the odds against them winning here - even more so than in our own reality."

Lantash sent her a weak smile, grateful for the support.

"Couldn't she - Egeria, I mean - have given birth to some Tok'ra before she was killed?" Daniel wondered.

"Egeria may or may not have spawned the first batch of Tok'ra around the time she was killed. If it happened at the time I suspect, then she would have had one or possibly two clutches of Tok'ra babies by then. However, Ra would have had her spawn killed if he even suspected they were rebellious and not to be trusted."

Daniel nodded. "From what little else I can find, Ra has enjoyed power almost completely without any opposition. His only enemies are Apophis and Zipacna, and they are of no consequence. Since no one has truly challenged him or tried to break the alliances he has made, he has been able to become very powerful.

The other Goa'uld seems to have squabbled amongst themselves, but no one has kept them divided and fighting, so the few strongest ones are now sitting on most of the power, with only a few minor Goa'uld mixed in. Those we saw at the party may well be all the ones of importance."

"Does it matter?" O'Neill said.

"Yes. If they are very powerful, then they would also be very difficult to topple. Also, with no rebellions they feel even more god-like - and as we have seen, they seem to act it." Lantash pointed out.

Daniel read on. "That is true. There have been a great many punishments, some of Jaffa, but especially of humans."

"I agree, the Goa'uld here have evolved to become even more evil and megalomaniac. Essentially doing whatever they want to whomever they want." Sam said.

"What about the Asgard? And the Tollan?" O'Neill asked.

"Moment..." Daniel searched through the database. "The Tollan were killed centuries ago, as were all the more advanced human societies. Only Earth stayed mostly free untill ten years ago. There was no one to keep the Goa'uld busy, so they had the opportunity to kill off all opposition. The Asgard is gone as well. Probably killed by the replicators a few years ago. It only says here they suddenly disappeared and never came back. This meant the Goa'uld could relax completely and take over the last of the remaining protected planets."

O'Neill groaned. "Please give me some good news!"

"Sorry..." Daniel looked apologetic. "There's also a reference to Nirrti completing her hok'taur research. The date is very recent. She has created...oh my god! She's figured out how to make an 'advanced host', and are now preparing them for the top echelon of the Goa'uld. Telepathy, mainly, but Ra will be receiving a host that also has some telekinesis."

"That would make it a lot harder to fight them. I mean, if they know what you're thinking!" Sam looked shocked.

"Yes, that is very unfortunate." Lantash frowned. "At least we were lucky and he had not received that host yet when we were there. We would have been discovered immediately."

"'Unfortunate'? I think I would frase it a bit stronger than that! In any case - that does it! We're going home as soon as possible!" O'Neill said.


>> Chapter 13: Comfort (NC-17). Sam and Martouf/Lantash seek comfort in each others arms, both from recent experiences and more distant ones. NC-17. Explicit sex.