[ 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 5: A New Reality.
Summary: SG-1 and Martouf/Lantash set out on their mission in the alternate reality. How different is this place, exactly? PG-13.
They had arrived at the Stargate and Lantash randomly dialed an address to a planet which had once been a Tok'ra base, but which was now no longer in use. It would be a safe stop-over place.
As they went through, those of Segomo's Jaffa that had escorted them there, left. They all breathed a sigh of relief to see them go.
"This planet looks very much like it did last time I was here, 20 years ago." Lantash said, looking around.
"It's uninhabited?" O'Neill looked around the place. Except for some shrubbery, there was little vegetation.
Lantash bowed his head and gave control to Martouf.
"Yes, at least in our reality, but I doubt it's different here. There really is very little of anything on this planet, and while there is some naquadah and other minerals, it cannot be easily mined without modern technology."
"In other words, no Goa'uld would come here - they wouldn't mine a place like this when they can easily find it lots of other places. Can't have the slaves learn how to use technology and realise it's not magic, when they can dig it out with pick-axes somewhere else..." Sam sighed and rolled her eyes.
"OK, then, any ideas? Where do we go?" O'Neill demanded.
"It would be advantageous to contact the Tok'ra. They might know the location of several Goa'uld queens, would they not?" Teal'c said. "Perhaps we could also find some Jaffa that can be trusted."
"It might not be easy to locate the Tok'ra, but we can try some of the planets I know have been used for bases. In addition, there are a number of worlds the Tok'ra trade with, or sometimes get hosts from. We might also contact those." Martouf said.
"The Tollan, perhaps?" Sam suggested. "Unless Anubis wiped them out here as well."
"Anubis? He has returned? That is most serious. Everyone thought him dead." Martouf looked a bit shaken. "And the Tollan have been killed? All of them?"
"As far as we know, yes." Sam said, looking unhappy.
Martouf nodded. "Much has indeed happened in these two years. The Tollan were friends, even if they were sometimes over-confident in their own technology. I am saddened to learn they are gone."
"That over-confidence killed them. They wouldn't listen to our warnings and they tried to sell Earth to the Goa'uld to protect themselves. I can't say I'm too sorry they're gone." O'Neill grumbled.
"Colonel! That's not..." Sam began.
"What about Earth?" Daniel said, interrupting her. "That would seem the most obvious, wouldn't it? Perhaps we have an alliance with the Tok'ra here as well?"
"We'll try Earth first, then we'll look for the Tok'ra." O'Neill agreed. "Or perhaps Bra'tac?"
"There isn't any guarantee our iris codes will work here, so we can't use the Stargate." Sam said.
"We can travel by cloaked Teltac. Segomo gave us a fairly generous amount of currency to use for our search for a Goa'uld queen." Martouf told them.
"One more thing..." O'Neill turned to Martouf.
"I realise you - or rather Lantash - will have to pretend to be a Goa'uld and in charge some of the places we go. OK, I'm fine with that. However, I want to make sure you recognize that I am in command of this mission and that you will do as I say."
Lantash took over. "There may be situations where my greater experience would be of utmost importance."
"Yeah, whatever. Then you tell me what you think and I'll consider it. I need to know you'll respect the chain of command."
Lantash looked defiantly at him for a moment, then relented. "I will respect your command, unless I am pretending to be a Goa'uld."
"Good. See that you remember it."
They went to a planet where Martouf expected to find a market selling ships, mostly to the Goa'uld. They would of course not be able to say they were acting on behalf of Segomo, since looking for and procuring a queen - possibly stealing one - would obviously have to be done in secret.
However, Lantash would be in control and they would pretend to be his servants, so it should not be a problem. Fortunately, Apophis's Jaffa rarely frequented the area - at least in their own reality. They would have to stay far away from them as long as they were here, since they would become suspicious when they saw Teal'c's symbol, but did not recognize him.
The planet, however, did not live up to their expectations. not a single shipyard could be found. In stead, the only settlement turned out to be a large work camp. Weak and starving slaves were everywhere.
They were immediately approached by the local Jaffa leader, who fortunately accepted Lantash's lie about him being an underling of Apophis. The Jaffa wore Zipacna's mark, and luckily the two Goa'uld seemed to be allies here as well - or at least friendly.
Lantash claimed he was interested in buying new fighters for Lord Apophis's gladiator tournaments - the god wanted something new. Lantash wanted to know if they had anyone here that could be used, because it surely did not look that way, with all those miserable creatures walking about.
The Jaffa apologized profusely, clearly afraid Lantash would punish him, but they did not have anything worthy of Apophis's tournaments. Lantash dismissed the Jaffa and they left, relieved to be on their way.
The next planet they went to was no better. It was not a work camp, but there was only one small village full of starving, fearful peasants, who tried to farm in an area that obviously was not suited for it.
They were terrified of Lantash - and of Teal'c - but managed to collect themselves enough to tell them that the majority of arable land was used for raising a special kind of goat that produced a cheese their Goa'uld Lord appreciated. They all agreed - loudly - that it was a good thing, and that they would never want to take anything from their beloved god. Even if it meant they had to starve.
SG-1 and Lantash/Martouf left quickly, frowning.
Two more planets with expected shipyards were visited, and they found two more planets where mistreated slaves were being worked to death - this time to mine ore, naquadah and gold, mostly.
Finally, the fifth try actually yielded a market, albeit not as rich as the one in their reality. Here they bought a ship and supplies from a man that was extremely polite towards Lantash and ignored the others completely. They could finally set out on their journey to Earth. The trip would be relatively long, as they were quite far away. Almost a week would pass before they reached their destination.
"Weren't those slaves unusually thin and miserable looking? And extremely fearful and obedient towards you, Lantash?" Sam said.
"I agree, they were quite cowed and not very well fed. Unfortunately, it's not that unusual, though I admit this was bad. One of many reasons to hate the Goa'uld." Lantash said, having taken over from Martouf. "However, there are always some Goa'uld who are more evil than others, so it's not really surprising."
"Isn't it unusual for them to work their slaves almost to death, though?"
Lantash nodded. "It is uncommon - and usually something only done as punishment or if the Goa'uld find themselves under grave danger of an imminent attack and need ships or ore quickly. What is really strange here is that three of the planets were work camps, owned by different Goa'uld who are all System Lords - and all were treating their slaves like this. It would almost seem like it is the norm here. That is unusual."
"Coincidence? Or do you think the Goa'uld here in this reality are more evil?" Daniel wondered.
"Now, that's a scary thought!" O'Neill said.
"Obviously, I don't know. I would say...perhaps more sure of themselves? Having less regard for humans, certainly. However, treating their slaves this bad means many will die. Perhaps more than can be sustained. The Goa'uld would quickly find themselves with too few slaves, unless another, richer source had been found..." Lantash said, suddenly realising something.
They all looked at each other, all of them thinking the same. Earth!
>> Chapter 6: Earth (PG-13). Arriving on Earth, our heroes get some surprises. What has happened to Earth and her people? PG-13