BLUE SUN ROOM FAN FICTION - GENERAL

EMMARIGBY

Winding River: Chapter 7
Thursday, May 4, 2006

This crossover fic really does spend a lot of time in the Stargate verse (If you hate crossovers don't read!). There'll be more interaction soon, I promise! A friend of mine stated that it was impossible to mix these two programs convincingly. Is he right? Let me know!


CATEGORY: FICTION    TIMES READ: 2395    RATING: 9    SERIES: FIREFLY

Disclaimer: See chapter 1

AN/ Thanks for the reviews and encouragement! The cool thing about this chapter is that the archeology is all true (well, you know, to a certain extent!). I’m not an expert though so please point out any errors if you spot them! Ta!

Chapter 7 Reporting

Jack let loose a curse at the insistent sound of the ringing phone behind his front door. He fumbled the keys from his pocket, scraped them into the lock and flinging the door wide lunged for the receiver. He had been convinced that it would cut off the second he got there, but instead he was rewarded by a deep, calm voice, which cut through the tinny interference. “General Hammond! What can I do for you sir?” The light note of pleased surprise in O’Neil’s voice overlaid a deep current of wariness. His body suddenly stiffened and he pressed the smooth plastic hard against his ear as he listened, his free hand gripping the phone cable and pulling the looped flex into a taut line.

“Is she okay?” Jack’s voice was tight with concern but gradually relaxed as the other man spoke. He released his white knuckled grip on the wire, watching absently as it sprang back into its spiral.

He released a heavy sigh into the questioning silence. “Sure, I can be back on base in just over thirty minutes.” He glanced forlornly at the pile of post scattered over his doormat. The brown cardboard of a package emblazoned with the Amazon logo peeked out, taunting him with hours of cartoony goodness that he’d have to postpone yet again. He frowned into the receiver.

“Are you sure this isn’t some sort of revenge for my forgetting your birthday last week?” O’Neil demanded accusingly. The General’s response provoked a bark of laughter and Jack grinned, good humour restored.

“Okay, sir! I’m leaving now.” His voice was dry with heavy sarcasm as he added “Don’t let them start without me!”

He settled the phone back into its cradle and snatched up his keys from where he’d dropped them on the hall table. He shook his head in resignation as he took one last look around the too-clean house, taking a deep breath of the musty aroma before closing the door firmly behind him.

--O--

The scene in the conference room was one of controlled chaos. Sam and Jacob Carter were talking animatedly, heads bowed close together. Sam was conducting the conversation with enthusiastic hand gestures. Daniel was almost completely buried behind a stockade of books, his glasses perched low on his nose as he rifled hurriedly through the pages of a thick volume. Teal’c and General Hammond sat apart from the atmosphere of fevered energy, both with stiff spines in separate cocoons of unruffled authority.

Jack stalked into the room with a nod for his commanding officer. He pulled out a chair with a grating screech that brought all eyes to him.

“So!” he expelled on a breath of air as he collapsed onto the seat. “What’s up, kids?”

Sam paused, collecting her thoughts. “We’ve had a little … incident with River.”

Jack gave a wry smirk. “So I hear!” He pasted a disapproving scowl onto his face and glared at Jacob. “What have I told you about the Tokra improving their social skills? It’s not nice to scare young girls!”

Jacob’s mouth quirked in a dry smile. “Hey! It’s not like I pulled faces or went Boo! I barely said a word.”

Jack switched his attention to Carter. “So what do we think?” he asked her. “Did River’s messed up, fortune cookie brain pick up on Selmac’s charming presence?” His voice was sarcastic but laced with underlying concern for the young girl whose anguish had touched them all.

Sam nodded slightly. “She was certainly reacting very strongly to the presence of a symbiote. She was babbling something about a snake when Dr. Frasier finally got her sedated.” She frowned in thought and continued, almost to herself. “It could be that she’s somehow able to detect the Naquada in his body, like Cassandra can. But then Teal’c and I still have traces of Nahquada in our bodies, why didn’t she react to that? Unless it’s because we’ve both lost our symbiotes …”

“It’s more than that.” All eyes snapped around to Jacob. Or rather to Selmac, as the hollow voice and glowing eyes announced that the Tokra had once again taken temporary control over its host. He continued in a thick voice, almost arrogant in its confidence. “She knew me because she has made contact with a Goa’uld before. She mentioned a name I recognised. Aten.”

Daniel Jackson leaned forward eagerly at this cue, and Jack groaned under his breath. The archaeologist had obviously been previously informed of this nugget of information, hence the stack of books, and was eager to deliver his lecture.

“Aten was an Egyptian god representing the spirit of the solar disk itself. Not much is known about where he came from, except that for a long time he was worshipped as a minor sun god only in one little town in the neighbourhood of Heliopolis.” Daniel pushed his glasses back up his nose, and Sam took advantage of the pause to chime in.

“I don’t know if it’s connected, but River mentioned the phrase ‘Blue Sun’. She seemed quite upset about it.”

General Hammond uncrossed his arms, bracing his hands on the tabletop as he asked “It sounds to me like the girl has come across this Goa’uld under a different guise.” He glanced around questioningly. “Any idea where the colour blue comes into the story?”

Jack piped up helpfully “Maybe after a couple of millennia he thought it was time for a make-over!”

Daniel waved a hand in frustration at the interruption. “I’ve not reached the good part yet!” he objected in an almost petulant whine, propping the large book in front of him and glaring over it to confirm that he had reclaimed their attention.

“In the fourteenth century BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, the monotheistic worship of Aten was imposed as the state religion over the whole of Egypt. Amenhotep IV was a religious radical. He renamed himself Akhenaten, meaning the Glorious Spirit of Aten, and proclaimed that Aten was not only the supreme deity but actually the only god. Temples of the other gods, especially Ra, were defaced across Egypt and worship of any other religion, including even the private veneration of idols was forbidden, which was a massive departure from previous cultural traditions. He even went so far as to remove all references to ‘gods’ in the plural from any inscriptions.”

Jack gave a long, low whistle. “A religious coup!” he concluded. “I bet that went down well with the other Goa’uld!”

Daniel nodded in agreement with the ironic sentiment. “It wasn’t long after the death of Akhenaten that Amun-Ra and the other gods re-established their dominance. All structures dedicated to Aten were torn down and the materials used for building other temples. Akhenaten and his followers were excised from the official lists of Pharoahs.” He let the book fall back on the table and snapped it shut with one hand as he concluded “There’s little mention of Aten after this point. It’s as if someone tried to erase his rule from history. It’s not clear what his eventual fate was.”

“Selmac might be able to fill in a few gaps for you there.” Jacob commented, then straightened as he was inhabited by the alternate persona. Selmac’s deep, resonating voice added gravitas to the tale as he took over.

“We have heard of Aten. The impudence of the minor Goa’uld who tried to deny the others their share of the Tau’ri plunder is legendary. As is the revenge that the System Lords took.”

Selmac glanced around at his attentive audience. Even Jack O’Neil, who by this point in a briefing was usually bored and fidgeting, was listening in interest. The Tokra continued with a satisfied air.

“Aten was able to overcome the other Goa’uld through superior force of numbers. He had gradually been secreting breeding populations of slaves from opposite sides of the Earth at various planetary bases whose locations were kept a closely guarded secret – known only to his high priests, who were fiercely loyal to him. Even afterwards, when they were tortured to death by Ra, it was never clear whether all these pockets of slaves had been discovered. Aten built up a huge and well equipped army over just a few decades and descended on his brothers in a massacre that spanned the galaxy.” The flash of gold light across Selmac’s eyes told of his quiet enjoyment of his role as narrator.

“The other System Lords responded by, for the first time in history, banding together to oppose him. Aten was captured and extracted from his host in a long and painful procedure. In his naked, parasitic form he was consigned to rest for all eternity within the stasis of a canopic jar.”

Daniel opened his mouth to make a comment but was cut off as Selmac continued, denying any chance at interruption. “However, the Goa’uld had not taken into account the loyalty of Aten’s chosen priesthood. A handful of his Jaffa escaped the cull and attempted a rescue mission, led by Aten’s most favoured high priestess, Nefertiti.”

Daniel drew in a sharp breath at this but it was Jack who spoke up first. “Hey! That’s a name I’ve actually heard of! Isn’t there some famous head of her somewhere?”

Daniel nodded slowly, his eyes burning with an almost religious fervour. “Yes. Her bust resides at Berlin’s Altes Museum. It’s one of history’s most recognisable faces. She was Akhenaten’s queen and is shown worshipping Aten in many of the images that escaped the anti-Atenist backlash.” He leant back in his chair, his face a mask of awed disbelief, and continued in a quiet voice. “When I was young I dreamed of being the one to discover her final resting place. Her remains have never been found, you know.”

Selmac cleared Jacob’s throat deliberately, a professor calling his students to order. “That is because she did not die on Earth. She and her handful of soldiers achieved the unthinkable. They successully infiltrated deep into the inner sanctum of Ra’s stronghold, where Aten’s prison was housed, before they were discovered. All her followers were killed but Nefertiti managed to steal the jar and, despite suffering grievous wounds in the ensuing chase, succeeded in escaping with it through the Stargate to an unknown location.”

He fell silent and there was a long pause as everyone attempted to process the glut of information. Jack was the first to break it.

“Cool story!” he commented. “You should think about doing film preview voice-overs.” He deepened his voice to an exaggerated rasp. “It was a time of gods and heroes!”

Teal’c raised an eyebrow, then turned deliberately to face the Tokra. “You believe this Aten has escaped his confinement and is ruling the world that River Tam came from,” he concluded. Selmac inclined his head in wordless agreement.

General Hammond frowned thoughtfully. “This certainly puts a different perspective on any mission to return River to where she came from.”

Jack shrugged nonchalantly. “I don’t see why. At least this time we’ve been given a heads up before sticking our asses in the line of fire.” He paused as he went over his last sentence in his mind, puzzling over the mixed metaphores. “Is that even physically possible?” He pondered, then waved a hand dismissing the thought, and gave an evil grin. “Ah, you know what I mean! Anyway, I say we should show this uppity snake-head just what SG1 has gotten so good at.” The grin remained in place but the eyes he turned on his commanding officer were serious. “Plus we get to return a young girl to the bosom of her family all in one fell swoop. Sometimes I really love my job!” His grin slid into a sly smirk before he adjusted his face into an expression of solemn appeal. “That’s not to say I don’t think we deserve a pay rise.” A tolerant smile twitched the corners of Hammond’s lips, but he remained patiently silent, his attention engaged by the slight, eager movement of the blonde scientist across the table.

Sam leaned forward, her wide blue eyes sparkling with a reflected glint of Jack’s enthusiasm. “Well, I’ve got some good news there.” She grinned widely, relieved to be able to report her success. “Something River said started me thinking about the gate system in a whole new way. You see, instead of having compartmentalised logic cells, I think the dial home device was designed more along the lines of a human brain where information is stored as associative memory with an almost Gaussian distribution of nodes.”

There was a long pause around the large table, which was, rather predictably, broken by Jack O’Neil. “See! I told River you could figure it out!” he commented over-brightly. His grin faltered as uncertainty brushed over his features. “All that stuff did mean you’ve cracked how to find her home planet, didn’t it?”

Sam gave him a reassuring nod. “Yes, sir. I think I can get it to work now.”

“Well then!” Each spine around the table stiffened slightly as General Hammond’s gruff voice called them to attention. Teal’c, of course, had remained rigid throughout. The General gazed proudly at his front-line team as he laced his thick fingers, trying for a façade of unconcern.

“It seems, SG1, that you have a go!”

COMMENTS

Thursday, May 4, 2006 11:10 PM

BRAINSPECIALIST


Funfunfun!

No, seriously, this is good. More!

Friday, May 5, 2006 6:14 AM

13


Freaking awesome. I've always been a little wary of crossovers, until this series!

Very very good stuff indeed.

Friday, May 5, 2006 2:44 PM

BOOKADDICT


Excellent! Everyone is so in character, and linking the Blue sun with the Goa'uld is an interesting twist.


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