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A Vacation of Sorts
When Annika zapped back to the alkesh she skipped the lower decks, heading straight for the bridge. Because she found the overlapping vision disconcerting she concentrated on keeping her two sets of eyes separate. Her astral self scouted around and sent back the thoughts of what she was seeing to her physical self to relay to Scully.
"Okay, I spy with my little eye…four Jaffa…Two are trying to boost the long range sensors…" She studied the holographic map and noted with satisfaction that the red blip had disappeared. "…Thor’s reached SG-1 ...shouldn’t be too long now…" The projection shimmered and the lower corner magnified a cluster of planets. "…Looks like we’re coming in to land, wherever that may be…"
She moved on to the engine room. "…Still empty…" The control crystals glowed steadily and Annika had an idea. Tentatively she reached out and plucked a green length from its socket.
A robotic voice echoed through the ship’s speaker system. "Warning life support is offline…Warning life support…"
Hastily she replaced the crystal. "Whoops, wrong one." She snatched out a yellow one and the ship gave an abrupt lurch of deceleration.
"Hyper drive engines are offline."
"That’s more like it." Annika threw the fragile component and it shattered against the wall. She knew she only had a few seconds before someone was sent to investigate. Time enough for one more act of sabotage. She chose a clear crystal at random. As soon as it clicked out of place the lights went out.
"Primary power source disrupted. Emergency power activated."
The lights flickered to gray mode, less than a quarter strength of their normal capacity.
"Damn, I was hoping to deactivate the ship’s weapons."
The soft whoosh of the doors opening told her time had run out. Without thought, Annika spun around, snapping the crystal in two. A split second later the shards were flying towards the lone Jaffa. The first smashed harmlessly on his amour. The second couldn’t have been aimed better had she tried. With a sickening crunch it impaled itself in the warrior’s eye socket.
"Bull’s eye! What a shot!"
He crumpled to the floor, his charged weapon firing wildly in his death grip. The fire bolt careened into the console Annika had been busy ‘spring cleaning’. Sparks exploded as the lower crystals fused together.
"Shields compromised…Weapons are offline."
"Oh, double whammy! Thank you so much." She saluted the dead man. At the sound of running feet she made the wise tactical decision to leave.
Gliding upwards to check on Bes’s reaction it only now occurred to Annika that she wasn’t having any problems controlling her recently errant gift. She came to the conclusion that as long as she didn’t try to distinguish between a physical or a mental desire to make an action real, it would work. She just had to trust that her subconscious, in the interest of self-preservation, would choose the most effective way to get the required job done.
She could hear the Goa’uld’s bellowing dual voice through the paneling. Poking her head into the room she saw Bes glowering at a trio of Jaffa.
"Repair the shields, weapons and engines. In that order."
Without a word the first Jaffa bowed stiffly and left. The quick pace of his exit betrayed his concern. How was he supposed to fix the console when the components had melted beyond recognition?
"Find the intruder and bring him to me!" Bes barked at the next Jaffa.
"Immediately, My Lord." The warrior bowed out of the room but Annika saw the fear clouding his dark eyes. The ship had already been searched. Twice. Besides the two dead warriors, now three, he quickly amended, there was no trace of any intruder.
"And you." Bes pointed at the remaining Jaffa. "Bring me the two new females. The intruder only appeared after they were brought on board, he has come for them. Let them witness what happens to those who rebel against their God."
"At once, My Lord." He was the only one who left with a relieved expression. At least his task was manageable.
"Heads up, Dana," Annika warned her cellmate. "We’ve been summoned." Her physical self watched Scully tuck her gun in the back of her waistband, making sure her jacket hid the telltale bulge. She then nervously checked that the improvised nose plugs were still in place. "I’m guessing we’re going to let them take us this time?"
The agent nodded. "Out of this cell we have a better chance of escaping, especially once we land and have a whole planet to hide on."
"Sounds good to me." She returned her attention back to Bes.
Now alone the Goa’uld stalked the room, glaring out beyond the wide view screen taking up most of one wall. He growled in frustration at the stars his limping ship was very slowly passing.
Annika watched Bes smooth down his hair and adjust the jeweled collar of his robes, then reposition the ribbon device decorating his wrist. She realized he wasn’t looking out into space at all, but at his own mussed reflection. Typical Goa’uld. She barely contained a snort of derision. The ship’s systems are failing around his snake ass and he’s concerned about his looks…Wait! What’s wrong with this picture? She recalled Daniel’s historical description of Bes. Dwarf God, grotesque in appearance, none of the vanity normally associated with the Goa’uld. It didn’t fit with what she was witnessing now. The vision of the tortured Asgard flashed across her mind. Bes had towered over the little alien. If he’d been a dwarf, he would have been at eye level and now his current host was classically handsome.
She knew then and there that the history books were completely wrong. Bes had never inhabited a less than perfect host. He was just as vain as the rest of his species. It seemed that Ra had had one final act of spiteful revenge. Not content with mere imprisonment for all time, Ra had enforced a very different description of Bes, from Godly perfection to ugly dwarf. It was the ultimate insult. She wondered if Bes knew this. If he’d bothered to research how the Ancient Egyptians had remembered him. Perhaps she should enlighten him with a history lesson when the opportunity presented itself. Annika passed on the idea to Scully.
She paled. "You want to tease Bes?"
"What I want is to keep him off balance. Keep him focused on what’s happening on the ship rather than around it. According to Jack, mockery works exceptionally well as a diversionary tactic. Goa’uld arrogance can’t take it."
Her physical self saw Scully take a deep breath, drawing on an inner strength. Do I have the guts to taunt the monster who has abducted me? Over the last six years she’d faced down more frightening ‘monsters’ than an egomaniac snake. She could do this. She would do this. "I’ll follow your lead."
When the Jaffa arrived with two guards in tow, the women placidly let themselves be led away. They were marched into the audience chamber directly to Bes sitting regally on his throne.
"Kneel in the presence of your God Bes," the Jaffa demanded.
Annika gave a nonchalant shrug. "I’m an atheist."
With a practiced move the Jaffa whacked the butt of his staff weapon against the back of her knees, forcing her harshly to the floor. She glared at the warrior while Scully quickly followed suit to escape the same treatment.
Bes gave a low chuckle. "My Beloved has spirit." He gracefully rose and walked towards them. "It will bring me much joy to tame you."
Annika switched her glare to the Goa’uld. "I am not your beloved. I never will be."
"Oh, but you will." His eyes flashed as he ran a finger across her cheek. Instinctively she jerked away but his hand closed around her jaw and yanked her to her feet. "You will not be able to resist."
She felt his breath sweep over her face and Annika prayed that the ‘nose plugs’ worked as planned. There was a slight tingly sensation as the toxin was absorbed through her skin, but other than a slight light-headedness, her mind was still in her control. She let her lips turn up into a dreamy smile.
Satisfied that she was under his spell Bes released a puff of breath over Scully. Out of the corner of her eye she caught a slow wink from the FBI agent.
"And how do you feel now, My Beloved?" His grip above her throat relaxed into a caress.
"Your mere presence, My Lord, makes my body shudder." Her sickly sweet tone and vacant expression convinced Bes that ‘shudder’ was a compliment. "Don’t you agree, Dana?"
"Your Godly beauty makes other men pale in comparison." Scully’s voice had taken on the singsong rhythm of the delirious.
"Hmmm…Tau'ri history will have to be rewritten. It’s definitely an unfair reflection of the mighty God Bes."
A small smile played on the Goa’uld’s mouth. He did so enjoy listening to the ramblings of His women once the drug took effect. "Why is that, My Beloved?"
"You were known as the God of music and dance and protector of women, a fierce warrior…"
He preened at the flattering description.
"…Bes the dwarf God, with bowed legs, scraggly beard and grotesque appearance."
Amusement evaporated. "You dare to mock your God?"
Annika’s eyes widened with confused innocence. "I would not, My Lord."
"She speaks the truth, My Lord." Scully dulcetly supported her friend. "All the historical records proclaim you as such."
With a roar of rage Bes pushed them away, raising His ribboned hand towards them.
The women ‘cowering’ on the floor exchanged glazed looks but kept up the conversation like two drunks unaware of the danger they were in.
"Why does our God punish us for speaking the truth?" Scully pouted.
"Perhaps it was not his appearance that was small," Annika whispered loudly in the other woman’s ear, making sure her voice traveled to the fuming Goa’uld. "Perhaps it was only one particular part that was ‘dwarfed’." She wiggled her eyebrows suggestively and they let their eyes travel the length of Bes’s body pausing just below his waist. They erupted into howls of laughter.
His eyes flashed and the jeweled device glowed a steady orange. "Enough!" He released the built up energy and the shock wave made the air shimmer as it raced towards them.
Annika reflexively shielded Scully with her body intending to take the brunt of the hit. This is gonna hurt… She braced herself for the expected pain. When the wave hit, for the briefest of moments her vision became foggy and her hair crackled with static electricity. Then they were sent skidding backwards, but to her amazement she felt nothing except the air pressure the force created.
While Bes started ranting about the things he would do to Ra, the women lay motionless in a tangle of limbs, pretending the weapon had really stunned them.
"You okay?" Annika whispered.
Scully gave a barely perceptible nod. "Surprisingly. I thought it would be painful."
"By all accounts it should have been." Her vision blurred again and when it refocused her sight was divided in two. The right eye saw the audience chamber. The left clearly saw the bridge of the ship. "Whoa…"
A A A
While the physical Annika had been taunting Bes, the astral Annika had been tormenting the Jaffa trying desperately to fix her handy work. So far she had rammed four of them from behind, (knocking them flat on their faces and then zipping out of sight before they had the chance to see who had blindsided them,) tipped over numerous repair kits, and had even managed to discharge a staff weapon temporarily abandoned when they started the repairs. The battle worn warriors were becoming increasingly nervous, constantly glancing over their shoulders.
Satisfied the repairs wouldn’t be happening anytime soon, not with the Jaffa jumping at shadows, Annika returned to the bridge, looking for something else to sabotage. From her preferred spot in the corner she catalogued the potential victims. Navigation…nope, needed that… holographic map…needed that too…Ah ha, weapons console… If she could destroy that, then even if the Jaffa managed to replace the crystals in the engine room, they still wouldn’t be able to fire a shot.
Annika was considering the logistics of how to get unseen to the centrally located machine just as Bes lost his temper and aimed the ribbon device. For a second her split spirit merged back together and the two thought processes struggled to find a common solution to both their dilemmas.
…This is gonna hurt…Protect yourself at all costs…destroy the console…shock wave could kill… survival training…the blast could fry your brains…could fry the console circuits…choose your moments…need the energy current…
Annika’s astral form absorbed the damaging energy as it engulfed her body. Leaving the kinetic force behind, she rematerialized in her corner on the bridge. The ribbon device’s violent power battled within the containment of her spiritual self. With a shaking hand she pointed at the weapons console giving it a directed avenue of escape. It shot out of her like a laser beam and the console exploded, showering the room in a mass of golden shrapnel and wires.
All this took place within the blink of an eye.
Stunned, Annika lingered too long. The Jaffa automatically opened fire on the source of the laser fire without truly comprehending their target. Four staff blasts shot through Annika’s transparent body, scorching the wall behind her.
It was the warriors’ startled outcries as their brains caught up to their vision that pulled her out of her shock. She darted through the ceiling, instinctively seeking a place to hide. Hovering between floors Annika took a few deep breaths. Man, was that exhilarating or what? Now that’s the type of rabbit I'm looking for! True, she’d been spotted but since the cat was out of the bag anyway, she could cause a lot more trouble now that she didn’t have to keep out of sight. Well then, let’s see what else I can sabotage…Here, bunny, bunny, bunny…
A A A
"O’Neill, the sensors indicate that the alkesh shields are malfunctioning." Thor raised his big black eyes from the console that controlled every aspect of his ship.
"Enough to beam the prisoners over here?" the colonel was hopeful.
"No." The Asgard replied regretfully. "The external shields are sporadic, however the internal shields encasing the individual rooms have not been compromised."
"Can you beam us over there?"
Thor nodded. "Into an unshielded area such as a hallway."
All the members of SG-1 immediately rechecked their stock of weapons preparing to leave.
"Providing the external shields are not repaired, once the women are out of their cell, I shall be able to beam them here," Thor assured the team.
"Okay, campers." Jack gestured for the others to take their positions. They huddled close forming a loose circle, facing outwards. Sam and Daniel crouched down with their weapons of choice, (a P-90 for the major and a zat’ for Daniel,) at the ready. Jack, Teal’c and Mulder, (with P-90, staff and FBI issue gun respectively,) remained standing.
The colonel nodded at Thor. "Beam us up, Scotty."
The little gray alien tilted his head quizzically as he adjusted a creamy white stone on the control panel. "Good luck, SG-1." He gave the stone a final twist and the team disappeared in a flash of white light.
When they rematerialized on the lowest level of the rogue ship the sounds of discharging weapons ricocheted off the walls. Three Jaffa who’d been once again searching for the illusive intruder, fell dead to the floor, taken out by Jack, Teal’c and Sam.
"Let’s tidy up after ourselves." Jack scanned the hallway, keeping his finger on the trigger. "Daniel, zat’ them into oblivion."
While Daniel systematically fired his weapon three times at each of the dead warriors, removing their molecular structure from existence, Sam and Teal’c scouted the corridor for any other threats.
Mulder watched amazed as the Jaffa bodies vanished before his eyes. "Wow." The practiced ease with which the archaeologist pulled the trigger, waiting the split second for the device to re-power up before discharging the electric pulse once again, concerned the FBI agent.
Daniel saw his frown and the normally peace-loving man answered his unasked question. "We do try to turn the Jaffa wherever possible, convince them that they are following false gods, but with this lot it would be pointless. They were put in stasis long before the original uprising against Ra. As far as they are concerned, the Goa’uld are still the rulers of the galaxy, their loyalty is unquestioning."
Mulder nodded in understanding.
Sam had managed to open the cell where Annika and Scully had been kept. "Empty, sir."
"I guess it was too much to hope for." He eyed his friends, assessing with military efficiency the next plan of attack, a hundred different scenarios running through his brain. He considered not only the mindset of his team, but the condition of the women they were here to help. More rescues had been screwed up by panicking hostages than resistance from the captors. Have to keep them calm…He took in the expressions of Daniel and Mulder. Those two will only scare the women more, besides no order from me would stop them from going after Annika and Scully… "Carter, Teal’c, you work on freeing the captives. Make sure the women see you first, Major. Get them out of the cell and Thor’ll beam you out. Daniel, Mulder, you’re with me."
Accepting the division of tasks, they trooped to the elevator. Sam and Teal’c disembarked one floor up and as the doors closed, the remaining men could already hear them taking the offensive.
Daniel pulled out his pistol with his free hand, releasing the safety catch, deciding that the longer range of the human weapon would more than likely be needed.
Jack knew the man could handle both weapons at once. For someone who was technically an academic, Daniel was a remarkable marksman. What worried him was the flat anger in his eyes.
Mulder readjusted his grip on his own gun, his face mimicking Daniel’s.
Oy, maybe I should have brought Carter and Teal’c up here instead…
Daniel glanced at his CO and recognized his concern. "Don’t worry, Jack, we won’t do anything to jeopardize their safety."
Mulder nodded. "You’re in charge."
Jack was about to reply when the doors unexpectedly slid open. The three immediately pressed themselves against the side panels, keeping out of sight.
A wild-eyed Jaffa stumbled into the tiny room, glancing over his shoulder. He didn’t even see the members of SG-1 hiding in the lift and it came as a great shock to him (literally) when Daniel automatically zapped him with his zat’. A second spooked Jaffa was close on his heels, obviously being chased.
Daniel zatted him too.
"Getting a bit crowded in here," Jack muttered, cautiously sticking his head out to find out what was going on. Jaffa didn’t scare easily but he had a pretty good idea of what, or rather who, had caused the mini stampede. He quickly ducked as a staff weapon flew passed his ear javelin style and skewered the far wall of the lift. "Crap, Annika, you’re supposed to fire it, not throw it!"
They heard the woman’s squeal of delight a moment before the ghostly apparition zipped out of the wall and gave the military man a tight bear hug. "Thank the Gods you’ve arrived. I’m running out of things to destroy."
"Ah…trying to be commanding here. Go squeeze Daniel," Jack grinned, inwardly relieved to see the newest member of his team. If she was still flitting about and making jokes, she must be okay up there with Bes.
"Hello, My Love." She gave Daniel an excited kiss. "I’ve finally worked out how to control my gift, and those ‘rabbits’ are popping out of the woodwork." She tilted her head in concentration. "You guys might want to hurry, Bes has figured out I’m his mystery guest. She…I…need help." Annika disappeared into the elevator shaft.
As Jack hit the glyph to once again shut the doors resuming their journey upwards, Mulder cleared his throat.
"Do you think Scully is okay?"
Daniel gave an emphatic nod while he finished triple zapping the unconscious Jaffa to make more space in the tiny room. "If anything had happened Annika wouldn’t be, pardon the pun, so flighty." Suddenly he gave a gasp clutching at his chest. A surge of energy coursed through his bond before cutting off to a trickle. He could feel Annika’s strength being sucked away.
"Daniel?" The colonel steadied the now pale man.
"Annika’s fighting against the ribbon device." His tone mirrored astonishment at the impossible feat. "And winning." He drew in a deep breath when the siphoning sensation stopped. Tentatively he prodded their connection and his heart plummeted. "She’s okay, but it used up most of her energy. She can’t fight off another hit."
"We’ll get to her, Danny." Jack’s voice was quietly confident.
Daniel only nodded as the doors slid open signaling the end of their ascent. Warily they scouted the hall leading to Bes’s chambers. It was Jaffa free, though they could hear raised voices from within. They’d barely exited the lift when the doors closed in response to a summons from below.
The last thing they needed was to be the meat in a Jaffa sandwich. Better to let the approaching warriors pass unhindered. Silently Jack motioned for them to take cover behind the massive support beams decorating the walls. He loved the opulence of Goa’uld ships. They always provided such convenient hidey holes.
A few seconds later stomping boots echoed in their ears and a pair of Jaffa rushed into their God’s quarters.
The men cautiously edged closer to the open entrance. Though still quite a distance from the room the conversation echoed down the hallway.
The disbelief was evident in the warrior’s voice. "My Lord, the women have been beamed off the ship. It appeared Asgard but the First Prime of Apophis and a Tau'ri female were aiding them."
"You have caused this," Bes bellowed.
"You picked the wrong woman for your consort, My Lord." Annika’s words were spat out.
Jack winced at the sound of a fist cracking against flesh, while Daniel stifled a groan, physically feeling the blow.
A hollow laugh reverberated through the room as the astral Annika chose that moment to make her first appearance to the Goa’uld. She began chanting to the tune of the nursery rhyme ‘Little Bo Peep’.
"Awww…Little poor Bes has lost his sheep, and doesn’t know where to find them, leave them alone and they’ll come home, shooting Jaffa behind them."
"She’s taking the taunting thing a bit too far, don’t ya’ think?" Jack grumbled despite the slight twitch of his lips.
"It’s keeping him distracted from the ribbon device though." Daniel’s reply was difficult to hear over the howl of rage from Bes and the frightened cries of the ‘tough’ Jaffa. "She needs time to regain her strength."
There was a loud smash of amour hitting the floor a second before a warrior came skidding out the open door flat on his back. Unable to fight the ghostly apparition that was so much more powerful than their God, the remaining Jaffa determined there was only one course of action to ensure their survival.
A A A
Annika’s physical self was still adapting to the double vision when a bridge Jaffa rushed into the audience chamber. Careful to keep her face masked behind her hair she snuck a peek at the Jaffa bowing to the ranting Goa’uld.
"My Lord, the…intruder…has attacked the bridge. The weapons console is beyond repair." He kept his eyes lowered, not daring to meet his God’s gaze.
"I trust you did not let him escape again." The Goa’uld’s dual voice was deathly quiet.
The Jaffa cringed. "My Lord, the intruder is not of this world," he stammered. "We cannot fight against a spirit, our weapons have no effect."
"What nonsense do you speak?" Bes bellowed.
"My Lord, we all saw it." The Jaffa held his ground though his voice wavered. "She flew through the ceiling, dissolving like mist."
"Yes, My Lord. The specter was unmistakably female."
The Goa’uld restrained His natural impulse to lash out at the Jaffa so obviously spouting lies…or was he? The servant’s shoulders were slumped in defeat, knowing that his tale was unbelievable. Yet his face was resolute, willing to accept the wrath of his God. A woman… His beady gaze flickered to the newest additions to His harem. All the trouble had started after these Tau'ri had been brought aboard. Was it possible one of them was responsible for the assault on His ship?
He gestured to the guards and they immediately dragged the women forward. The older one named Dana still had that dazed expression, while His Beloved kept her head demurely lowered. No, it was inconceivable. His drug was all consuming to the Tau'ri mind. He looked closer. And yet Dana’s blue eyes were not exhibiting the tell tale dilation that the drug had taken effect.
His Beloved’s head dipped lower, her hair shielding her face and she shifted slightly towards Him. No, not towards Him in reverence of her God, but away from the line of sight of the bridge Jaffa.
Viciously Bes yanked her head back and the Jaffa’s gasp was all the confirmation He needed. He may not know how she was doing it, but He was certain she was causing all the havoc. "My Beloved, you will stop destroying My ship." The menace in His tone was clear. He aimed His pheromone-laced breath directly in her face.
"I don’t know what you mean, My Lord. Have I not been in your presence all this time?"
Bes was no longer fooled by her innocent tone. "No more games! Desist the destruction and I will spare your life."
Annika’s vague expression disappeared, becoming disdainful. No point in keeping up the charade, especially when her teammates were only a few minutes away. "You know, you really should invest in some mouthwash."
"You will regret such insolence, My Beloved," He growled raising His hand and the jeweled device once again throbbed that orange glow.
Annika struggled against the steel grip of the Jaffa holding her, knowing that this time the weapon would not be set to stun. She was about to experience first hand the full power of the ribbon device.
The proceeding moments took on a surreal quality. Time seemed to slow down, keeping rhythm to Annika’s beating heart. Between pulses her mind was bombarded with fragments of conversations, images and thoughts converging into a pattern honed to her survival.
The dying girl in the forest flashed before her eyes and Annika realized why she was shown that particular excruciating death. Of all the victims, she was the only one to have her eyes open at the precise moment the energy beam was activated before it impacted her brain.
Sam’s description of the ribbon device echoed in her head. "It’s a weapon that derives its power from two distinct sources. The first is the jewel embedded in the gold casing. The second is the mind of the user. The stronger the mind, the more lethal the weapon becomes. The two forces twist together so tightly they are indiscernible to the human eye." But Annika wasn’t using her physical eyes as she watched the beam shoot forth. Her third eye, the spiritual sight that allowed her to see auras, could clearly distinguish between the two.
It was like a rope. Together the strands were unbreakable. Alone they were weak, almost brittle. All she had to do was unravel them.
Releasing the sphere of carefully nurtured emotions, her mind’s eye collided with the destructive beam millimeters from her forehead. She pushed with all her might to keep it from piercing her skull, pitching her will against His. If it made contact it was all over red rover.
Annika didn’t hear Scully’s astonished gasp. Didn’t realize her own power had manifested into a glowing purple light clearly visible to the naked eye.
A tendril of violet snaked out from the battling beams and grasped the end of the jewel’s strand. It spiraled around the orange beam, untwisting the two forces. The now separated beams lost cohesion, shooting out of control to either side of the psychic.
The unfortunate Jaffa still holding her and Scully to their knees were thrown backwards stunned by the blasts.
"Impossible!" The Goa’uld lost whatever composure He had left. Never had He witnessed such strength, let alone from a mere Tau'ri. He would not be bested by this slip of a girl. Insane eyes fell on the other woman. There were other ways to gain submission. "Your friend will pay for your resistance."
Annika heaved in a ragged breath. Dismantling the beam had physically drained her. She felt like she’d run a marathon. Twice. She battled to stay upright, not wanting Bes to know how weak she had become.
The Goa’uld stepped towards the FBI agent who backed away in a vain attempt to delay the inevitable, her eyes pleading with Annika’s.
No…Screw Jack’s directive…can’t let Scully die…too weak to stop the beam…Come on, I just need one more scrawny rabbit…
Bes raised the ribbon device with a malicious grin.
…if only there was somewhere to run to, somewhere to hide…hide from sight…origami… Unconsciously Annika raised a leaden hand, her fingers and wrist weaving the pattern Lya had shown her. …Origami…fold space…
The hideous orange jewel glowed.
She felt the soft caress of air flow around Scully. It rippled over her body as the woman automatically shied away from the beam… then she vanished. The deadly force harmlessly hit the wall.
It worked! Annika managed to contain her surprise. Air origami wasn’t so hard after all and it barely took any energy.
Bes on the other hand was unable to hide His shock. He groped the air before Him, not believing His eyes. Unbeknownst to Him, He barely missed a confused Scully who’d dodged out of His reach, totally unaware that she’d been made invisible.
… ka thump…
"Dana, run! Get out of here!" Annika cried out to her hidden friend. "Bes can’t see you. Find SG-1..." She broke off as Bes spun towards her like a rabid animal.
Time snapped back to normal.
Annika was temporarily reprieved from the anger of the Goa’uld when two Jaffa rushed into the room, their usually stoic demeanor seriously cracked.
"My Lord, the women have been beamed off the ship. It appeared Asgard but the First Prime of Apophis and a Tau'ri female were aiding them."
"You have caused this." Bes stalked towards Annika.
She glared at him defiantly. "You picked the wrong woman for your consort, My Lord."
The Goa’uld’s fist lashed out, sending Annika sprawling to the floor. He raised his arm to hit her again when laughter echoed around the room. It distracted Bes enough to search for the source rather than continue his assault.
Which of course was the astral Annika’s plan, to get the snakehead away from her body so she could join back with herself. She knew just how fragile her body had become and she needed to be whole again if she was to have any chance of surviving the next few minutes. Bes had to be far enough away that the moment of disorientation during the merging process wouldn’t compromise her already precarious position. "Awww… Little poor Bes has lost his sheep and doesn’t know where to find them, leave them alone and they’ll come home, shooting Jaffa behind them."
She darted into the chamber and the bridge Jaffa backed away. He’d seen what the specter could do and had no desire to have her anger directed towards himself. The other Jaffa in turn moved away from the physical twin. This woman was clearly more powerful than their God. Their God had captured a greater deity than himself, perhaps even a System Lord, for She didn’t even need a jeweled tool to exert Her power and She had made the other woman disappear.
Annika zipped around the Goa’uld circling him while he futilely tried to grab hold of his tormentor, howling in rage when his hands snatched at thin air. She skimmed back leading him away from her body and Bes chased her, unable to believe that He, a God, could not capture this puff of wind.
Okay… there was enough distance between her physical self and the Goa’uld. Only one more act to do before melding…Clear the room…
Annika charged towards the frightened Jaffa, choosing one at random. She careened into his chest, knocking him down with such force that he skidded across the room and out the door, his amour sparking against the metal floor.
It was the final straw for the remaining Jaffa. Forgetting their allegiance to their God they turned tail and ran, heading for the escape pods. They may be considered cowardly shol’vas should word ever get out about this day, but at least they would be alive cowardly shol’vas. They ignored the three intruders crouching in the hall shadows. If they were with the Woman, there was no way they were going to take them on. What if they were the same beings as Her? Better to pretend they hadn’t seen them at all.
Bes furiously gave up on catching the apparition and spun towards His throne. He had to destroy the woman. Destroy the woman and the specter would cease to exist. He waved His jeweled hand over the gilded arm and a hidden panel slid open. Bes grabbed the mind device and slipped it onto His bare hand. Attaching the two finger caps He stalked back to the redhead, only to see the ghost jump into the physical body of itself.
Annika gasped at the infusion of extra energy her astral self provided and while she wasn’t anywhere near as strong as normal, her chances of survival jumped up a notch. Eyeing the memory hand device she began drawing on the innate energy around her, the air, the gold, even from the Goa’uld himself, knowing that she would need every ounce she could grasp to help her.
Even as he advanced Bes activated both devices. The orange and green beams spiraled together and Annika channeled her efforts to stopping the force from reaching her. Her violet energy met the Goa’uld’s halfway and both of them cried out on impact.
As soon as she felt the collision, Annika knew she was fighting a loosing battle. Bes’s combined beams were infinitely more powerful than her own. Nevertheless she wouldn’t give up, she’d fight until her last breath. A stab of heart wrenching guilt clawed at her that Daniel would also suffer the fatal consequences, then her vision of the end of this mission flashed before her eyes. It gave her a spark of hope. Her mind might be decimated but as long as her heart pumped Her Love would survive.
The balance of power between the beams was clearly shifting and not in Annika’s favor. The orange/green pulse was rapidly closing the gap between itself and its victim. Annika watched the beam come closer and closer, felt her power being drained with every millisecond. A thin tendril of green pierced her purple glow, slicing its way toward her. She screamed out in agony as it penetrated her forehead and began ripping out her memories at random one by one.
…Blowing out the candles on her tenth birthday…her first kiss with Daniel…accepting her high school diploma…sculpting her first icing figurine…her introduction to SG-1...winning the dance competition… hearing Daniel say, ‘I love you’…
Then to her horror the device locked onto the most crucial incident considering her current predicament.
…How she was fighting the hand devices currently torturing her…
Noooo! Desperately she tried to cling to the memory, using whatever reserve power she had to keep it inside her head, but the Goa’uld’s might was too strong. With a wail of despair she watched her only line of defense get sucked up the green force No more bunnies…
Immediately her purple light disintegrated and the full potency of the ribbon devices walloped her brain. The trickle of memories being torn from her became a torrent. She was no longer able to distinguish exactly what parts of her life she was loosing. All she could focus on was the pain that wracked her convulsing body.
Her eyes, locked open on the monster killing her, watching helplessly as his lips snarled into a malevolent grin. "No one can defeat a God, My Belo-" Vaguely she heard four sharp cracks blending over each other and his voice cut off. The mad glow of his eyes turned into stunned disbelief just as the beam backwashed into her. The last thing her conscious mind saw was Bes toppling to the floor.
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