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Marcus L. Rowland
"You in the tel'tak," shouted Jack. "You're completely surrounded. Come out with your hands up."
There was silence, apart from the incessant beat from the speaker system. Around the park some of the Knights were starting to stir, and SGC and Russian troops were gathering up weapons before they could be used again. In the distance Jack could hear rotor blades, the relief force that had been waiting at an airfield thirty miles away. He hoped that they'd be able to cope with whatever was inside the Goa'uld ship. His headphone crackled and General Hammond's voice said "SGC to SG-1"
"Go ahead, General."
"We have a positive track on a ha'tak. It took off from Bosnia three minutes ago and it's headed your way."
"It's travelling slowly, distance is about eleven hundred miles. Twenty to twenty-five minutes if it doesn't change course or speed."
"All teams take cover," said Jack, switching to a tactical frequency. "Missile teams stand by. We have an incoming ha'tak, ETA twenty minutes. Set up and stand by for further instructions."
"How did something the size of a ha'tak land in Bosnia without anyone noticing?" Sam said over the command network.
"Apparently it was underground," said Hammond. "We have some cellphone intercepts, NSA say that the locals are talking about a hill that exploded."
"Have we got anything in range to intercept it?" asked Jack.
"Prometheus is powering up now, but it'll be at least forty minutes before she's ready for action. The Russians are diverting fighters, so is NATO."
"This hill?" asked Daniel. "Northwest of Sarajevo?"
"Affirmative, Doctor Jackson," said Hammond. "You know something about it?"
"There's an archaeologist with some rather dubious credentials that believes that one of the hills there is a pyramid. But it's silly season stuff, nothing to take seriously."
"Like... oh.. flying saucers landing on the pyramids in Egypt?" said Jack.
"No, this is really far out," Daniel said seriously. "The theory is suspect, so is the geology. Or at least that's what everyone thought. Nobody's even sure that the Illyrians were around in that region when it was supposed to have been built."
"The who?" said Willow.
"The Illyrians," said Daniel. "One of the Baltic civilizations."
"Oh crap," Willow said in a small voice.
"What do you know?" asked Jack.
"We heard rumours... someone in LA summoned a god called Illyria, put it in a human shell. About four months ago."
"What sort of god are we talking about here?" asked Jack. "Something like a human with glowing white eyes?"
"Sorry, no," said Willow. "More like Cthulhu. An ancient thing from the dawn of time with a bunch of tentacles."
"Daniel, know anything about this?"
"Sorry, not a thing. If the Ancients told me anything about Illyria, it didn't stick."
"ETA now firmed at twenty minutes," said Hammond's voice over the radio. "The Russians have an interceptor in range, it's firing missiles... " There was an interminable pause, then he added "No damage to the ha'tak."
"What about the fighter?" asked Jack.
"Unharmed. There was no return fire."
"Sounds like it's on automatic pilot," Sam said excitedly. "It makes a lot of sense. It must have been programmed to respond to the tel'tak signal."
"There will be transporter rings in the tel'tak," said Teal'c. "When the ha'tak arrives the occupant will presumably use them to board it."
"And then?" asked Willow.
Jack shrugged. "Take out a few cities? A ha'tak can do a lot of damage."
"Time for us to earn our pay," said Kennedy. "Willow, can you protect us from those fireballs she was throwing?"
"I think so," said Willow. "It didn't feel too unusual."
"Okay," said Kennedy. "You use your mojo, Dana and I will get her out into the open."
"Wait a minute," said Jack, "you can't..." He realised that he was talking to Willow's back, as the two Slayers ran towards the lake and Willow began to chant something, her hair darkening. Slowly she rose into the air, threads of something that looked like black lightning crackling around her. Somehow the Slayers raced across the water without sinking.
"Take cover!" shouted Jack.
Dana jumped through the opening, Kennedy a split-second behind her, and there was a loud crash from inside the tel'tak.
"How much damage can they do in there?" asked Daniel.
"Depends," said Sam. "At worse they could take out the power plant, if enough things went wrong that would be like a small nuke." There was a loud clang, and a dent appeared in the hull of the tel'tak, bulging outwards.
"Great," said Jack, and shouted "Get it outside! Don't fight inside the ship!"
More thuds and bangs, then a slim form hurtled through the hole and splashed into the water. Kennedy bobbed to the surface, shook her head a little dazedly, then swam back to the ship and climbed back inside. There was a rumble and one of the tel'tak's loading ramps began to lower.
"She must have hit the hatch switch as she went inside," said Sam.
"Okay," said Jack. "Snipers! Cover the hatch!"
As the hatch opened a slender form hurtled out, thudding into the bank of the lake. It sprang to its feet; a slim woman in red leathery armour, her skin and hair tinted blue.
"That is not one of the Slayers," said Teal'c.
"Well spotted, Sherlock." The woman, if that was what she was, twisted her head at an odd angle then leapt back aboard the tel'tak, covering ten yards or so in a single bound. "Nimble little minx, isn't she?"
"Indeed." Inside they could see three struggling figures; Dana, Kennedy, and the woman in red, moving so fast that there was no opportunity for a clear shot. Together they toppled out through the hatch, rolling out in a ball of flailing legs and fists, and splashed into the water, vanishing under the surface for a moment. Then the red-clad figure surged from the water and onto the shore. She seemed to be about to leap back inside then seemed to hesitate. She turned her head round to an angle impossible for any normal person, looking towards Willow and Daniel. As the Slayers rose from the water and waded towards the shore she turned her body and started to walk towards Willow, the direction of her gaze never changing.
"Take her out!" shouted Jack. There were shots, but the bullets stopped in the air a few feet from her head. She ignored them, ignored Willow, and reached out to touch Daniel. With a flash of white light they both disappeared.
I'm a bastard, aren't I...
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