• Attention All Comstar Customers, Due to unexpected interference by suspected Word of Blake operatives, the HPG systems update was *not* successful. No data was lost due to our careful and extensive backups; however, we will need to try again next weekend. Sincerely, Comstar Precentor Dune

Stargate Through the Looking Glass and into Heaven.

They glow in the dark!

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Alright ladies and gents, I'm back and the ep moves along.

For while Woolsey prepares to do battle with a snake lawyer.

NID deputy director Kim Statterfield plays some mind games with a pair of ex Goa'uld analysts! And the NID gets to shine. @Spartan303 You asked me how the NID would play out, here's part of your answer.

P3X-797/Devorias

September 30th.




If there was one thing, NID’s deputy director could give these two it was that they understood the value of truth telling. Not so much the truth, mind or a willingness to cooperate and divulge information or sources or plans and schematics. No, but the ability to be completely honest but using figures of speech or turns of phrases that made it insanely difficult to determined if they were lying or not and when to be completely honest because handed your interrogator a bunch of facts that are important to distract you from sensing more valuable info and then pushing to get it out.

What was more amusing to her was that they weren’t a threat. She could tell that from how they approached SG2 and how they requested asylum. They weren’t there to infiltrate or spy and if they were, the telepath could have just convinced her to give them her seal of approval. No, Statterfield thought, these people hadn’t even asked to be settled on Earth, they only asked to be given over to Tau’Ri custody and then given right to request sanctuary on Abydos or to move on through the gate. America was just a means of dodging a corrupt space cop and she found that hilarious how harshly it put things in perspective. No, the games Inari and Sekhen played were games they were doing merely an exchange of skills and testing a fellow professional. Of course, that made Statterfield way more suspicious than she might ordinarily have been. On the other hand, it was nice interacting with spies who loved their country for once, with Statterfield swearing that the NID was the only arm of the US intelligence apparatus that remained loyal.

Seated opposite, there seemed to be two main points of contention that drove them to leave. The first was that no matter what they did in service of their civilization, any children they had (Which was still a wild concept, she’d read how Goa’uld do it and how they essentially repurposed organs and…yeah..awful. They might have been mammals but they reminded her more of a worm like version of the Borg.) would never be allowed to do more than menial tasks or mid-level administrative work if that. Their lifespans would be measured in the thousands of years, which was a lot longer than the average lower tier snake but for a biologically immortal Peer it was torture, and her husband would be dead in a thousand or so because of where he came from. That was still an insanely long life, at least from Kim’s perspective, all of this was contingent on him not dying and them finding new hosts or cloning their old ones when these expired.

And their children might never have a future if they had any at all. Inari was looking at a very long, lonely life and Sekhen was looking at a lifetime of doors constantly closed in his face and worse if he didn’t defect with her. Worse was the fact that their relationship was downright criminal due to the fact that three of Skhen’s immediate forefathers were Goa’uld that were as she was given to understand it. Fairly primitive, to where one belonged to a species that only developed sentience due to the hosts they took. He’d be killed for mating with her, and she would likely face a lengthy prison sentence and then she’d be shut out from any form of service. It was to where Statterfield was tempted to recommend asylum on earth. At least, there they could still serve which is what they seemed to want to do more than anything. But she wasn’t sure if they’d accept it.

They swore an oath to shield the Imperium from its enemies and even with how disillusioned they both were…They didn’t seem to want to break their oaths. Except to warn Earth of what they saw as an entirely illegal invasion and what they believed was a prelude to a treasonous coup detat against the Imperial throne itself. But that’s what made their flight to Devoarias so odd. Was Heqet in on this conspiracy and if so, why didn’t they just pass that up the chain of command? Unless they felt that the imperial bureaucracy was so full of holes there was no safe way for her to act? If so, then that concept terrified her, the kind of purge that would be needed to right an IC that large was a terrifying thought in its scale. -They probably have more spies than Earth does people? How many of those will get fired and how many will face worse if measures are taken?-

It was all conjecture of course, but Kim had seen enough institutional corruption in her time to recognize the signs and alien snake in a brain or not, the body language and emotional intensities didn’t seem to change. Except that he was a hundred and thirty and she was over three hundred and that gave them a lot of emotional control.

But they were still sentient, and sentient beings seemed to have tells that were universal if her time on Abydos and with Teal’c was any indication. Of course, that went both ways, Statterfield had to watch herself with them making sure she didn’t give anything away and to also make sure she wasn’t being too biased.

After all, their relationship mirrored her own. It took a lot to get where she was, on her own, to be able to love Rob and start a family with him while not being seen as a dangerous interloper in dynastic squabbles amongst the IC’s “reigning families”. “So, if I’m understanding this right, you don’t want to live on Tau’Ri? You just want us to help you find a place to start a new life huh?” she asked, finally bringing the discussion back to this more poignant aspect of their story.

“Well, we figured you wouldn’t allow us. Especially when we said you wouldn’t exchange our knowledge on weapon systems to you.” Sekhen offered, he sounded remarkably young and boyish the way Jackson did, which was amusing from her perspective because he was older than any living human and yet sounded like a goofy teenager half the time. Inari remained silent, but she seemed to be nodding in agreement and Kim found herself smiling pleasantly caught ya bitch.

“We wouldn’t have a problem with granting you residency, you’d have to avoid doing things like going to a hospital or what have you. And you won’t be allowed to live in an area with civilians, it would have to be a house in a military base and your movement would have to be controlled…” restricting movement on a body jumping telepath was going to be impossible and it would probably be better if they weren’t treated like prisoners, but unlike junior who was never going to jump out of Teal’c these two could do a lot of damage if they got away. On the other hand, if all their neighbors subjected themselves to regular imaging. “If it weren’t for your cultural taboo against body theft, you would never be allowed on Earth. As it stands you would never be allowed to run around without escort, at least not until our tech catches up to your biology..any way. I might be old and withered by then, but you guys wouldn’t and fifty to a hundred years isn’t the same for you as it is for us I guess. But that would be a major point. You’d be allowed to live well, especially if you worked with us in some kind of advisory capacity or in a diplomatic sense helping us avoid conflict with your people and helping us craft treaties and set policy.” That seemed to appeal to both of them, but their hesitance again made her suspicious. -Is she pregnant or something? - Kim thought, was her concern for her kids?

“Would we be allow to..reproduce?” Sekhen asked suddenly (Apparently Skara found his name amusing because in Imperial standard it meant “fellowship” and “trustworthy and noble” which was an amusing name for a spy but in their dialect, it meant hug, huggable and good friends.).Kim made an effort to appear conflicted, which she was…Because it didn’t sit right with her to think that her government would be able to prevent a pregnancy. As a mother there were few things viler than population control policies, but she would have to advise the President that no, under no circumstances should they be allowed to have kids even if it was just the standard one or two or three that female Goa’uld who weren’t queens with their assembly line uteri were capable of producing. Not that they wouldn’t be able to find volunteer hosts, the longevity and pure health offered by a Goa’uld would be mighty tempting, but the personality death risk, or the loss of autonomy and then there was the fact that her offspring would essentially be infants exposed to the full force of an adult personality before they themselves had time to develop and no, that was all kinds of wrong for her on an instinctive level. No, it would be both a national security risk and potentially inhumane (Both to snake and host.) Something in their eyes caused Kim to have to stop herself from craning her head, from her perched position on the back of a chair she’d turned forward to use as a head and armrest while they talked. -She’s not pregnant, but she’s deeply concerned, like she’s nervous we’d hurt her kids.-

Would they?

She hoped not.

She’d kill anyone in the NID who even suggested cutting up some Prim’tah whose only crime was being born a baby snake in a suburban bathtub. Granted, she was vaguely aware certain types Goa’uld queens were forced to lobotomize their own young to use for Jaffa, so their government did worse to themselves but. No, her eyes flickered, there was something in their eyes a pathological fear of experimentation, because there was nothing in their eyes that suggested the happy couple was worried about being told no, they couldn’t have babies but that hearing yes would present a whole new batch of worries. -What is she hiding? Wait she can’t be queen or something can she?- If that was the case, then…there was a whole bunch of leverage that was given to them but only if they behaved like monsters. -That fear, it’s not just maternal-, Kim had a bunch of kids, she recognized fear for your children, and she recognized fear of being told you couldn’t have children.

This was a fear of the first.

“Are you two worried because she’s Yahata’s daughter?” Kim asked, deciding to ask a personal question that was slightly off the mark to gauge Inari’s response. “Your father didn’t take up arms against my government, he didn’t conspire to try and blow up my leader. He didn’t escape our law and then run around the backwoods wreaking havoc for a hundred years on Earth.” She began when there was a hesitancy that confirmed her speculation… Yep, she thought. Gotcha.

“In our society, we don’t believe in attainting people. Your sins die with you, we don’t visit it on your kids, so if that’s why you’re asking. You don’t need to worry, besides all Yahata did to us was the attempted murder of a few of our soldiers whilst in the commission of another crime. He paid for that, and I am sorry for your loss, but we would never hold that against you.”

When they both breathed a sigh of relief in unison it was the first half-truth they’d ever told and when they failed to realize she never actually answered them, she decided it was time to hit home.

“Of course, we don’t have Jaffas”

what?” Sekhen breathed, Inari clutching his hand below the table paled.

“Well, I was going to say, help us build a cloning machine and it wouldn’t be a problem and having some homegrown Goa’uld to help us potentially fend off any kind of petty raids from Apophis in the long run wouldn’t be, not that it would be much help against a full scale invasion.” She grinned eying Inari before adding. “But I think you’d need a whole lake, aren’t you big ladies supposed to be able to mother a literal army every couple months? You don’t strike me as a land mammal, my guess is your little legion of Murican Prim’tah would need a nice amount of water to mess around in, as they matured. In absence of jaffas?”

They both looked horrified and Sekhen shook his head frightfully. “No, no my grandfather was born in a lake, all eight thousand of his brothers and sisters were eaten by avians and fish and crustaceans no…He would roll in his tomb and curse me for a regressionist if I dared to see my sons and daughters brought up like tha…” he paused…and then purpled in embarrassment at being duped so easily.

Inari laughed and Kim thought it was a nice laugh, but it was a resigned laugh.

Jamah! You’re good Kim Statterfield, almost preternaturally good. For someone so young.”

Kim smiled, rising from her seat and giving a dramatic bow and a flourish as though she were a maestro who had just ended a symphony.

She supposed in her own way she was, all three of them were. Conductors of the song of lies and shadows at least.. “From one professional to another, you honor me. But you realize, you can’t ever dissemble with me again, right?”

The two nodded. “We won’t, we promise.”

“Good, I’ll forgo the leverage game where I fake being indignant, ask you to tell me how I’m supposed to know if you’ll honor your promise since you’ve lied to me and then use that to extort a concession or two out of you. Let’s talk, spy to spy and.” She paused as she sat back down. “Future mother, to mother. After all you want to use America to get away, I can’t let that happen for free, especially not without inviting you to stay.”

Damn, if I can get them..If I can get an insight into whose dirty and who isn’t. She thought, that kind of knowledge would be way more valuable than learning how to build weapons to arm a few ships against their tens of thousands.

Leverage, they’d actually have leverage against the bad actors in the Imperium, who were her enemy as much as they were the Sekhen and Inari’s.
 
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Spartan303

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Fascinating. A little ribbing and some negotiations. Also I love the joke of them using Earth to escape a crooked space cop. Lol, that one had me. But yes, I'm liking this a lot.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Fascinating. A little ribbing and some negotiations. Also I love the joke of them using Earth to escape a crooked space cop. Lol, that one had me. But yes, I'm liking this a lot.
I've actually managed to salvage Emancipation? I'm shocked!

It's an awkward situation for Earth, because on the one hand. Their knowledge is very useful, on the other any long term residency can't just involve them free to wander around the planet. Especially when they look blatantly alien and are Goa'uld, so they want what the lovebirds are selling but also want to a long term asset, yet can't quite make use of said asset as well as they could yet.
 
12 angry snakes....

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Anndd we move the scene along a bit...Woolsey meets the Goa'uld "lawyer" slash Bisu's boss whose there to totally not beg for the denial of the asylum request for those two dastardly criminals who are totally not just a youngish couple wanting to escape prejudice and also..totally not possessing of critical intel.

And a bit of the Greek Dynasty shows up.

In honor of @Gladiator of course.

Full credit to this artist because damn..


P3X-797/Devorias

September 30.


Richard Patrick Woolsey had never interacted with a System Lord or any member of the Imperium’s vast aristocracy or bureaucracy with the possible exception of Teal’c (As he wasn’t sure where Jaffa as high ranking as he was, stood in the order of things from firsthand observations.) all the reports of Apophis was this deadly, smooth and insane killing machine and of Horus as this gallant almost, force of nature who took with one hand and restored with the other and offered friendship as a means of apology. The depictions of the Nox were even more outlandish, God like entities who were more forces of nature to be respectful and fearful of than to try and make any kind of alliance with and the Asgard as austere, by the book bad asses in the words of Jack O’Neill who seemed enamored with Thor. Reports that painted pictures straight out of comic books and epics, Horus had more in common with King Arthur than he did an alien quasi feudal lord, however noble. Who ruled over hundreds of billions of people with an absolute authority that derived from a cult of personality-based faith than the laws that governed his society.

Beings that were larger than life fascinated him, but they were also useless to him in terms of how he could get to working on understanding the practicalities of the system of governance that ruled much of the universe and the eccentricities and idiosyncrasies that always carried as much weight as written law in governments and with government officials. If an ancient heathen God, resplendent and radiant stood before him he’d have no idea how to engage with him because a being like that would be utterly alien to the mentality of a modern human. But if that ancient heathen God was as flawed and subject to foibles and pettiness and passions and virtue and vice as any other politician then Richard Woolsey was confident, he’d be able to build a rapport with the being within a few weeks. And so, when Colonel Kowalski came in and told him that the envoy from Heqet’s domain had finally arrived and what came sauntering into the marble floored tower he’d been given as his offices while he prepared for this galactic farce Woolsey was both relieved and somewhat disappointed that the radiant heathen Demigod was a fat tall, bald man with orange skin who looked like a cave man crossed with a Vulcan than glowing master of esoteric wisdom.

He sighed, on some level he was hoping at least some of the hype behind the System Lords and their direct offspring was not just hype. Septu was an ancient border God in Egyptian mythology and when Woolsey explained this, the being with color coded glowing eyes laughed loudly before shaking his head. “Only the System Lords have earned the right to be called Gods my friend, through mighty deeds and great age in most cases.” There was a twinge of resentment in that bald, multi-chinned behemoths voice. He was adorned in fine silks that seemed to have precious metals like platinum alloys and gold woven into the material at a molecular level. All kinds of jewels hung off the dozen or so gold chains that around his flabby chest and his fat club like fingers were adorned with rings and his wrists bracelets. “But I suppose I might be called a spirit of the borders; I am the regional governor of the eastern quadrant of my majestic mother’s domains and her chief immigrations and customs officer. I find it fascinating; you say these Eegeptons came up eight thousands of your years ago, yet they held an oddly bastardized variant of our imperial religion. Were they visited by exiles perhaps? Have you any evidence of that?”

His voice was oily and smooth, sounding deep with an oddly effeminate twinge to it for someone so large and robust. As they walked along the graveled pathway in the gardens near the market square wherein all this mess began. Woolsey was keenly aware of how false the snake was. He wanted to know about earth, but there was no personal curiosity there and so Woolsey fed him a line or two of nonsense followed by an “I have no idea… In truth this is all new to us.”

The bald being gave a nod, pennants fluttered in the wind as the strings they were attached to that ran from one building to another across the great marketplace fluttered excitedly in the breeze. There was the personal flag of SG2, of the SGC, of the house of Menestros, his King and the odd frog like entity on a lily pad on a black field Woolsey assumed was Heqet’s personal standard. Everyone who was to be involved in this weird farce, which was essentially just an inordinately formal form protest at the acceptance of an asylum request by a defecting high level POI. “Cosmic law proscribes me from discussing the case with you, before your hearing. With the exception of our formal protest, which is that Inari has, overly sensitive information that to share with a foreign entity it could compromise Imperial security. She was one of the foremost experts on piratical activity within the Imperium for a full century after all.”

Woolsely nodded, here came the part where the advice Teal’c and Kim gave on how to approach this came in handy. She’s hiding something, something that wouldn’t be valuable to us perse but very valuable to her old bosses. And she’s afraid. The directress had said, and she was right. It was too unusual for someone that far up the food chain even demoted to be doing routine law enforcement activity. It was likely a smokescreen, to have the chief of border security and a chief of their police force equivalent both interested in her and so overtly that it reeked of desperation. Whatever she held, must have been huge. “I was given to understand she was demoted due to her father’s part in the Titan’s rebellion and she was just a field agent now?”

Septu’s eyes flashed for a second, the odd subdued purple and slowly nodded his great bald head, the myriad of chins jiggling as he did so. “This is true, but…” he paused and then stuck a fat finger in Woolsey’s shoulder, first to catch his attention and then to admire the fabric. “Ah a natural and synthetic fabric blend? My compliments, ordinarily the quality of such material isn’t so smooth compared to more advanced methods.” He waved it off as Woolsey was about to make a comment. “Spies are like fine fabrics my friend.” It took Woolsey a moment to pick up the inflection in his voice when used the word fabrics, Woolsey’s imperial standard had improved from passable to fluent over the last few months as he insisted Abydonians and Teal’c only speak to him in their language, he needed to learn it. Not just from papers and audio samples, but fluently spoken parlance. He needed to not just speak the language for his job, but think in it.

“One can acquire inexpensive thrifty fabric from a mid-level dealer. Dull in color yet hearty and strong and one can spend a vast fortune on a wardrobe made by the greatest seamstresses in the Imperium.”

“Only for the fabric to unravel.” Woolsey responded, seeing where this was going. The confession was subtle and alarming, more so that Septu was willing to bullshit so close to the truth as to nearly reveal the entire game before the trial even began. -And they focus on Inari, not her husband, they really want us to focus on Inari- Woolsey thought. The bald headed figure nodded raising a flabby index finger into the air. “You understand!”

“I do.” Woolsey said with a differential bow, oh he understood alright. That you guys were completely full of shit and dirty all the way through and if Sekhen gave up the goods on whatever he was hiding behind his wife’s big neon lights, then there’d be a lot of trouble for your divine mother.

“It is a pleasure to get to work with you then Mister Woolsey, from the way in which Horus speaks of your kind, I had thought you would be little more than honorable, muscle-bound fools but you understand the language of politics better than I expected.” His tone was pleasant, but sneering and it was clear as day that Lord Septu expected Woolsey to be so unfamiliar with how imperial standard was spoken by the upper classes that he would miss the tonal shifts and word emphasis that would have given away just how insultingly patronizing the great fat bastard was being. But Richard P Woolsey the third, was nobodies fool and he spent too much time around cut throats and corporate dirtbags and corrupt UN officials and dictators to not see what this guy was from a mile away.

Even if he were deaf, blind and dumb he’d see it.

Septu was about to speak again, no doubt to see about inviting Richard to lunch or something when the Stargate began to activate, the oddly bone white and thin stargate didn’t have chevrons that clamped down like the ancient earth gate did, instead clear chevrons that were merged with the gate would blink whenever locked down, as the gate symbols themselves lit up and each tile and symbol glowed making it look like it was spinning as opposed to physically doing so until at last one was chosen. It made the thing look like one of the light games his sons had played with when they were boys. Eventually seven were chosen and Septu did not like the sequence that seemed to appear. Six Jaffa exited and they were all tall and broad shouldered and towered of the frog helmed Jaffa that Septu had brought with him. Their armor covered their entire body the way the serpent guard had, with their helmets being in the shape of horse like creatures with snarling mouths and light blue glowing eyes. Their combat staff’s were dark blank and tapered off into a bladed edge and there were two of the side arm lightning guns which looked like actual guns and he noted that the combat staff’s had the same center piece that allowed them to retract their blade and form rifle buts.

These aren’t peace officers, this is a proper military force.

The contrast was night and day, like Teal’c they moved with immaculate discipline and separated and banged their staff’s on the ground “DEVORIAS! KREE! TAU’RI! KREE! Y’HELIOS! SEJA! NEHARU!”

“Harken Deovrians! Harken mighty Tau’Ri!” was the translation as best as Woolsey could figure, their accent was different, far more lyrical than he expected.

“SEN’YASTUA! NEJA! NEDA! EURYDICE’DA SEKUM AETHER’DA! NEDA! RI! SHAKA! RE’KASARA! KREE HERA!!”

“Cometh the Lady Eurydice! Of the mighty house of Aether! Protector of the outer territories, mistress of the stars or something along those lines.” Woolsey frowned, another Goa’uld VIP and from the way Septu was reacting with a partial bow, one of even higher rank than himself. He searched his memories from Teal’c’s insights into the System Lords, with the exception of Kronos, the House of Aether were patriots, but they had tamed the harshest worlds of the old Ori domain and fought some of the nastiest battles, they’d lost more family members than almost any other dynasty and were committed to peace and trade, but from the way Teal’c described them they were sort of like Appalachian Mountain men.

Let them be and they would be the greatest of neighbors and the most loyal of friends, bring discord and discontent to their land? Hoobooy, you better get ready for hell.

What exited certainly didn’t seem like a mountain man, Eurydice was supposed one of the most beautiful of the children of the Gods, the youngest except for Amunet and one of the more libertine. What he saw confirmed it, at least aesthetically, in that she was adorned in a gown that was genuinely like something out of a fable of armored maids. Because below the skirt line he could see boots with armored toes and vambraces and a breast plate and a gorget with what looked like an alien swan engraved into it with sapphires in the eyes and a big golden Pegasus like creature all over her breasts completed the look of this, warrior queen out of an old Frazetta sketch. In earth mythology, Eurydice was so sweet and loving and beautiful that her husband went into the underworld and charmed the lord of the dead to get her back, with only his doubt undermining her freedom.

Here, she was every bit the beauty, but the glint in her eyes suggested she’d be the one to talk her way out of hell and not the other way around, if not outright brawl her way out. If Septu was the used car salesmen of Heqet’s domain, Eurydice was the Empress Theodora, bullshitting her husband’s honor guards so well that they were willing to draw steel on a plague infested city full of riots and arson to save a crumbling Empire. The last bit, however, was surprising, “Harken then! In the name of Justice, to the lady who speaks in the name of Justice, who comes then in Hera’s name.”

He quirked his head. He knew the System Lord Hera, wife of Zeus was their version of the chief justice of their Supreme Court but…were they going to force the Devorians to swear and perform their duties by Hera?

Would that be binding?

From the fact that Menestros and the warriors of Hyrkoon all seemed to slap their right arms over their chest with a balled fist and roar out a cry of acceptance and welcome..it seemed so.

What came out next were six more Jaffa and between them was some sort of antigravity sled that carried an enormous solid platinum throne bejeweled with rubies and blue diamond’s wherever the bird like patterns had their tails unfurled. There were battles as well, a being that he assumed was Zeus striking down some sort of Ori battlebot or something and scales of justice. Peacock like birds sat lazily on either side of the dais, two were white, others were blue or red or purple, their plumes magnificent and the statue itself was of an austere looking woman in her early to mid-thirties, lifelike granite a testament to the skill of whoever or whatever machinery carved that thing, laser like was the precision work. She was tall and robed in pinks and purples, with a similar armor set up, which was an oddity, who would armor a statue? Eurydice’s hair looked like it had feathers in it, growing from the scalp along with hair and Richard knew that to be a telltale sign of Kelownan heritage in the host but he couldn’t see anything of the statue that suggested something similar.

The sled passed the honor guard and hovered at the feet of Menestros and the others who touched the bier upon which the throne the statue and its throne was rested. Then Menestros called for the statue to be taken to where the hearing would occur, and Eurydice seemed to demand to speak with the Tau’Ri.

Woolsey guessed that meant it was time to go find Kowalski and then meet up.

As he departed he took note of Septu’s expression.

It was one of pure terror.

What the hell was there in a statue to be afraid of?
 
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Spartan303

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Okay, I'm curious to see what business Hera has with the Tau'ri. And I love how Sepu underestimated Woosley and the Tau'ri. Thinking them not quite so knowledgeable of Goa'uld law when infact they became very quick studies.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Okay, I'm curious to see what business Hera has with the Tau'ri. And I love how Sepu underestimated Woosley and the Tau'ri. Thinking them not quite so knowledgeable of Goa'uld law when infact they became very quick studies.
Well, her husband's all "I wanna do business with these guys and they seem cool! Plus they make this magical drink called whiskey!"

And Earth does owe her since Apophis no showing that court date pissed her off enough for her declare Ra's death an accident.

Between that and the House of Ra singing their praises maybe the old girl just wanted to see what all the fuss is about.

Or maybe the two love bird's mission was bigger than anyone imagined.
 
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Warriors of the scale.

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Alright gents, we're officially three quarters of the way through this.

Eurydice meets with Woolsey and Kowalski gets to see the difference between Ra and his lunacy and the more down to earth, true believers of the peers.



P3X-797/Devorias

September October 1st.


Menestros was not pleased, less because of the sheer abundance of guests (He looked pleased at all the commerce coming to his province.) and more because what should have been a quiet conference meeting where two groups haggled and the Tau’Ri either kicked the exiles out of their party or departed to earth with them had evolved into a grand spectacle that now involved a very high ranking noble within the court of the System Lords evoking her grandmother and demanding this hearing be as above the board as possible.

In a society this primitive having to move a whole bunch of guests and prepare for even more can’t have been easy. The stench of the city worsened as well, as what meager (And Woolsey was shocked it existed at all.) plumbing Hyrkoon had was overtaxed by the sheer number of guests coming in from the outskirts of the city. Word traveled fast on Devorias because they used some kind of bird of prey that could be trained to deliver messages and had phenomenal stamina. Messenger hawks instead of carrier pigeons, it was an oddly impractical yet practical notion. Woolsey was walking through the courtyard of one of the palace’s in hyrkoon, the one chosen after it was determined that the original location was too damn small to accommodate the six hundred or so guests that would be crowding into said courtyard. The sun had roughly an hour ago and the large stone columns that flanked the patio entrances to the courtyard were cast in shadows that accentuated the greet deeds depicted in stone. Woolsey traced an ink-stained finger along one depicting a warrior thrusting a spear into the mouth of a large serpent. Dragon slaying seemed to be a universal symbol of manly virtue for sentient life it seemed, or maybe they genuinely had giant lizards on this planet.

They had giant turtles they used as taxis and two more Jaffa came through the gate, one of which was riding one of those SUV sized Komodo dragons that engaged the space rangers on Avalon. So maybe they did have dragons? Between the columns braziers burned with an odd fragrance, some greens and others blue. Scented and colorized fire and it was achieved using perfumed oils extracted from different types of freshwater cetaceans. There was enormous trade and research potential in Devorias just in its ecology even if it lacked any salvageable wreckage and these hearings went poorly. Woolsey continued to walk through the large, gardened courtyard, with its benches and raised tables made of ancient coral until he came towards its end where the anti-gravity sled with the statue of mighty Hera hovered above a tiled floor. The peafowl like birds that had accompanied the statue pecked lazily at the ground, devouring any alien insect unfortunate enough come in contact with their beaks. Colonel Kowalski was seated on one of the benches, sipping some of the local wine. He was eying the six Jaffa with their horse helmets that didn’t mesh with the Peacock theme at all, as if they were the personal guard of Lady Eurydice or her direct superior and not the symbols of Hera.

He would later find out from Teal’c that they were the militia of Cygnus, one of the more important nobles of the house of Aether who wasn’t a system lord. The son of the System Lord Apollo whose symbol was a swan like bird flying around a sun, which made Woolsey chuckle. Back on earth, the mythology had it the other way around with horses being associated with Poseidon and Cygnus was the man who turned into a swan. Still, they looked impressively formidable, and their discipline was beyond dispute. They hadn’t moved, not to relieve themselves or rest since they arrived. Guarding the statue as though it was the most important thing here on this planet. Which was why Woolsey wouldn’t order Kowalski to bed, his paranoia about the statue wasn’t entirely unfounded. -And Septu’s fear when he saw it.-.

“Still convinced that’s going to get up and walk around Colonel?” Woolsey asked with an amused glint in his eyes. The Colonel shrugged, offering him the jug of wine that he’d been nursing since dinner. Woolsey declined and walked beside the seat, leaning an arm on the stone. “You never know, when we first met Ra, he was introduced as a statue made of bronze. Colonel O’Neill only noticed anything amiss because he saw the thing breathe.” Kowalski shuddered at the memory. “I know the Lady Eurydice hasn’t said this statue is her grandmother, but she hasn’t denied it either. I know it seems paranoid sir.”

“No, you’re right to be cautious, admittedly there’s a lot about this case that I find unusual. I’m not even sure why we’re giving them asylum in all honesty. They can’t stay on earth; they look like aliens and if we send them…” He trailed as he caught the look in Kowalski’s eye, right no sense in talking about the alpha sites out here, in man’s earnest attempts at colonizing other worlds. That had been the chief reason that only Doctor Jackson would be here for this, and he’d be arriving in a few hours, the rest of SG-1 was helping move the first in a series of planned settlers to a world in neutral space, close to earth but somewhat between the border of Asgardian space and a race of frog men called the Hynerians whose leader a three hundred year old letch named Rygell the sixteenth had written in damn near perfect English a letter to the SGC “Welcoming my new neighbors, who hopefully aren’t as frelled in the head as that Crichton character.” That letter had caused quite a stir and there would probably be diplomatic overtures to the Hynerians later. For now, just setting up a hundred families was going to be a month-long endeavor. Would the lovebirds be allowed to join that colony? Would they even be welcomed by colonists?

Probably, the few families he interviewed personally just seemed to want to escape what they say was an America who could no longer afford to give the able bodied but uneducated the opportunities to seek a good living. That would change, more manufacturing jobs would be needed back home as the Stargate program heated up, but in the now. Well, Woolsey remembered similar sentiments in the nineteen seventies when he was a teenager, people had been saying that for decades even during boom periods. It was an old song and dance, both a sad truth and a somewhat distorted reality. “What do you think of her?”

“Who the lady Eurydice? She’s not bad as far as snakes go. Easy to talk to, she’s got the same imperiousness Ra had but subdued, like she knows she’s up there in the food chain but not so far that she can just ignore us. Apparently, her grandfather Zeus and her uncle Herakles are big proponents of some kind of an alliance with Earth.” Kowalski said with a shrug, he’d met Herakles on Avalon when he was going there for a routine off world training exercise. He often came to visit, having struck up an odd friendship with John Shepherd. He was also a huge hit with the men, who loved how ridiculous he looked and how carefree and honorable he was. If every snake was like Herakles or Eurydice, then Kowalski wouldn’t worry about anything beyond the gate because they’d end up making friends with the whole damn species.

But that was also the problem. “It’s easy to talk to them, to trust them when they’re that friendly. They’ve got a way of talking to you that lets you forget you aren’t talking to an alien, or an earth descended alien but a snake wearing one as a skinsuit. Easy to forget, easy to let your mouth run.”

Woolsey nodded, that was one of the biggest problems he had with Inari and Sekhen, they were good “people” and it was clear they were sincere. But they were also such practiced liars that they might have gotten away with lying by omission had it been anyone else who interviewed them and even then, Woolsey was still questioning whether Kim got it all. “A lot of them have been interacting with people for tens of thousands of years, even the younger ones are practiced at mimicking human behavior, otherwise their facial expressions would be totally distinct.” It was either that, or Goa’uld emoted the same way humans did, which had certain implications he found disturbing. A figure dashed out of the shadows, it was a teenaged boy, followed by a girl with a blue tint to her skin. They both nodded to SG 2’s commander before moving towards the statue, nervously walking between the rows of motionless Jaffa to leave a small packet pulled out his pocket at the base of the sled. They bowed, said a prayer and darted off running back into the darkness of the palace walls.

“Hn, they do that a lot?” Woolsey asked.

Kowalski nodded, reaching up to scratch at a scar below left ear. “People come by, yeah and leave flowers mostly and bird seed, but every now and again you’ll have people who come to pray for luck in their marriage or on a trade deal. At least that’s what I can gather from the prayers I overhear.” This was the first time either man had seen anyone outside of Abydos make serious offerings and prayers to the System Lords and while Woolsey found it a curious thing to witness, Kowalski appeared deeply disturbed. “It isn’t the same.” The voice came from behind them and when both men turned, Eurydice stood in the grass, barefooted and in a black robe that shimmered in the night, barely clothed and smiling wryly. “Forgive me, Colonel I wasn’t able to sleep.” Her dialect of Imperial Standard flowed in an almost melodical manner that was a contrast to the refined, imperiousness of Teal’c when he spoke the language or the guttural Abydonian. “Too hot?” queried Kowalski, his eyes shifting everywhere but the woman’s body.

Eurydice for her part laughed, a laughter that sounded pleasant to Woolsey’s ears. “No, the beds on this planet..” she paused catching the look of sheer scorn on Kowalski’s face and erupted with loud laughter. “I know how spoiled that makes me sound, but we feel everything our hosts feel, and bad backs are bad backs, even when you can mend them inside of a moment.” She stepped between the two and looked up at the statue of her grandmother, if it truly was her grandmother, the old snake hadn’t moved from her position and if she was breathing, it was barely noticeable. The look of reverence mixed with love seemed to soften Kowalski’s ire slightly. “I’m sure it’s not.” He answered in Imperial Standard. “But my only experience with your religion was what Amun Ra did to the Abydonians.”

When Eurydice nodded, it was far more careful and slight this time, as though it were a topic best handled with grace. “You must understand the cataclysmic state the universe was in after we defeated the Ori. They had; their negligence was so egregious they cast thousands of their allies into a state of total primitivity. We inherited control over races older than us but that had forgotten how to make wheels, Colonel. Amun Ra’s vision was to use faith, the superstitions of the dark age and their hero worship of my forefathers to unite them and inspire them. In the end he went mad, but the rest of the System Lords try and honor the best of his decree.”

Thankfully, Kowalski didn’t press the issue he just nodded his head and looked back at the statue. “She’s something else huh?”

The woman laughed again. “She was the one who ruled Ra’s death self-defense and declared the Tau’Ri victims of a dishonorable act of preemptive violence by the emperor. She could easily have made a far more neutral ruling; she chose to come to your defense.” There was an intensity in her eyes that surprised Woolsey, she wasn’t just defending a superior, or an idol but she was defending someone she personally loved, defending her grandmother.

“Not to sound ungrateful, on many cases the High Judges of my world are known to make, politically expedient rulings.” Woolsey said in his most tactful tone. Eurydice canted her head, then smiled nostalgically. “The lower courts of the Imperium acted in similar…cowardice. But Lady Hera refused, your intrusion on Abydos might have been a breach of protocol, but how were you supposed to know? It was absurdly clear by the weapon you deployed how isolated from the rest of the universe you were. She decided to rule in your favor because she believes that law is more than a science. Because it was the right thing to do.”

“Well, we appreciate it. The more we learn about your people, the more we learn there’s more to learn.” Kowalski said as he rubbed the back of his head sheepishly, causing Eurydice to laugh and wrap her arms around his shoulder. “You would judge my entire race by my conduct? I am humbled and terrified.” Before Kowalski could protest, she kissed him on the cheek and released him, melting back into the shadows, leaving a bewildered Colonel to set down the wine and walk off muttering about how he needed to find his wife.

Woolsey remained for a time, looking up at the statue before he walked through the silent Jaffa and met the graven image carved in stone of the High Justice. Eurydice was supposed to be a participant however minor or neutral in these affairs, yet as an arbiter she could have tried to prejudice Woolsey or warn him off his duty.

Instead, she just talked about her grandmother and in a way that suggested she wasn’t trying to use that account to prejudice his reasoning. Which meant that if she had a reason, he could think of for wanting the love birds to come to Earth then he ought to be really suspicious, but he couldn’t think of any. Either she was cleverer than he expected, or she was exactly as ethical as she appeared and that was a rare thing indeed.

After a few moments of thought Richard P. Woolsey walked away, leaving an offering of his own at the statue’s feet.

His personal copy of the constitution.

From one warrior of the scales to another.
 
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Spartan303

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This piece was truly fascinating to read. I love the pure character work going on here. Dude...I am in awe. And I am inspired. Cause I need to reach that level of character development for my own story. This makes me want to do better.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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This piece was truly fascinating to read. I love the pure character work going on here. Dude...I am in awe. And I am inspired. Cause I need to reach that level of character development for my own story. This makes me want to do better.
Thank you, honestly so many of you guys are so much more talented than me. And to hear you all enjoy my work is humbling.

It also fuels my creative energies!

This is something I wanted to do. Make each system lord clan distinct. Give them different outlooks on the world but one united by patriotism.

A mirror to the United States. But not necessarily a dark mirror.
 

Brutus

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Your characterization is the strongest in this story. Best of all it doesn't feel dry.

On another note I think at this point within the universe you could make a pitch the original sg1 series as a parody similar to wormhole extreme in the tv series. Prepare the world for disclosure and make the goa'uld imperium a comedy series at the same time.
 

The Immortal Watch Dog

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Hetman
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Your characterization is the strongest in this story. Best of all it doesn't feel dry.

On another note I think at this point within the universe you could make a pitch the original sg1 series as a parody similar to wormhole extreme in the tv series. Prepare the world for disclosure and make the goa'uld imperium a comedy series at the same time.
Thank you, I was worried initially that this would be too much talking and not enough action. But I'm glad you guys enjoy the charactization. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get shit done though because I'm eternally terrified of characters sounding the same.

Dude that's a great idea! You okay with me borrowing this?

"Huh, I'm played by the MacGyver guy? Sweet."

"No sir, not that McGyver guy, the reboot guy"

"WHAT!?"

"I find this most unrealistic, if the Goa'uld were this insane the Jaffa would have risen in rebellion against them tens of thousands of years ago."

Etc etc.

:ROFLMAO:
 

Brutus

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Thank you, I was worried initially that this would be too much talking and not enough action. But I'm glad you guys enjoy the charactization. Sometimes it takes me awhile to get shit done though because I'm eternally terrified of characters sounding the same.

Dude that's a great idea! You okay with me borrowing this?

"Huh, I'm played by the MacGyver guy? Sweet."

"No sir, not that McGyver guy, the reboot guy"

"WHAT!?"

"I find this most unrealistic, if the Goa'uld were this insane the Jaffa would have risen in rebellion against them tens of thousands of years ago."

Etc etc.

:ROFLMAO:
Go ahead and use it. I think it would start a Trend similar to watching b movie cult classics
 
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