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A Star to Steer By

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Jack was impressed with his new friends, goa’uld flunkies or no. Every last one of them were good shots, taking out the local jaffa like experienced Stargate teams.

That bothered him a lot – if these guys’ snakes turned out to be the typical megalomaniacal evil overlords, Earth might be screwed but good. Their little group made it down several corridors before the press of locals sent them for cover in another small room. Jack ended up as one of the guys at the door, so he had a clear view of the tail end of the group. One of the guys in yellow was lugging along the body of the dead host, hightailing it into the room and tucking his shoulder against the wall, his body language defensive, wounded, though the white and yellow armor didn’t show any damage.

Jack had to shake his head at the guy. Who the hell had given that sort of harebrained order? Bringing along a dead host not only didn’t make a lick of sense, it was flat out dumb. It was at least one less gun they had on their side, and that guy might well slow them down before long.

Rex noticed too. A whole parade of expressions washed over the man’s face: surprise, disgruntlement, understanding, determination. The now-host grabbed the free shoulder of the guy lugging the body, pulling him close as the rest of the crew went for a combo of cover fire and more carefully aimed shots.

“Leave him!”

Even with the helmet on, the stubborn lift of the head was obvious. “Like fuck!” Jack could hear the man’s voice crack with emotion, something fierce and protective and not quite broken. From the sound, maybe another brother, which made some sense.

Rex shook his head, frustration and sympathy front and center. “We don’t have the resources! We need all the blasters we can –” He blinked, glancing away for a moment. When he looked back, his eyes were quite impossibly a pale blue instead of the pale brown they’d been a moment before.

It might not be the usual goa’uld glow, but human eyes did not do that. Fuck fuck fuck, they’re heeeeeere, Jack’s mind chanted, skin crawling as his cellmate stood differently, holding himself in a far snottier pose. Shoulders back, chin up a little, though not so much as to be sneering down his nose at the soldier.

Then the goa’uld shifted his hand on the man’s shoulder, going from grabbing him to something that looked like a reassuring pat instead. “Spark, you know 17 would kick your ass if you let this get yourself or others hurt,” the goa’uld declared softly, accent totally different and weirdly refined.

Jack blinked. Wait, what? What just happened?

‘Spark’ seemed to be glaring just as defiantly even in the face of his brain-snake lord and master. “I won’t, Sir. But I’m not leaving him for these bastards! You saw the same torture rooms I did, I’m not leaving him here for them to fuck over, living or dead!”

Jack’s jaw dropped as the goa’uld paused and nodded. “Don’t get shot, then. Keep an eye on our rear.” The goa’uld patted Spark on the shoulder, then glared towards the door. His expression went hard, with a fierce grin as he strode forward. “Now let’s get out of here.”

Wait wait WAIT what? Jack stared at the man – host stalking past him. A goa’uld had just tried to reason with one of their minions? Had just let that minion win the argument, then reassured him? He ran a quick check, but as far as he remembered he hadn’t run across any reflective surfaces, so he probably wasn’t in some parallel universe of fucked up shit.

So this made even less sense.

The goa’uld grabbed the tube he’d been handed earlier, flourishing it so that a beam of bluish light extended from the end. This didn’t look like a fancy flashlight; the beam was too strong, somehow limited to a length like a –

Oh, fuck no. Staff weapons are bad enough, now we have – He blinked and shook his head. “Light saber.” Shiiiit, that was LITERAL?

Jack was more than half convinced he was in some sort of dream, because the goa’uld stepped right into the doorway, putting himself smack in the middle of a firefight, fancy light-sword flashing around and making swooshy noises.

Somehow, impossibly, the snake was right in the heart of incoming fire, and blocking it.  He was stopping incoming zat and staff blasts with the sword, moving the blade with pinpoint precision to field the deadly blasts, and even reflecting them to down more than a few of the jaffa who were shooting at him in the first place. The soldiers were shooting around the goa’uld, and between them, the incoming jaffa were going down like toys.

Jack was suddenly a lot more worried about this “General.”

Between the cover and the creepy ass sword-work, they cleared the corridor. “Come on,” the General growled, leading the way back down the halls.

Jack stared as a goa’uld charged into the teeth of danger.

Goa’uld didn’t do that.  Everything about this snake – from listening to a regular foot-soldier to charging headlong into danger – was standing Jack’s store of knowledge about their snakey enemies on its head.

Their small group made its way further into the ha’tak, the corridors getting wider, the cover sparser, and the enemies thicker. They were partway down a large hall when a metric ton of jaffa came around the far corner, staff weapons already blasting. Jack was fairly certain it was Spark hollering that they had enemies climbing up their backside, too.

In the middle of the pack he had enough of a breather to glance around, all of them trying to figure out cover or anything useful. He spotted one of the ornate doors dotting the hallway had a nice big stargate design on it.

Fortune favors the stupid, Jack thought, darting over and shoving the left door open. Jackpot! “Hey!” he hollered, waving an arm and starting to take potshots at incoming jaffa. His new buddies piled into a gate room, clearing as much of the hallway behind them as possible before slamming the door shut and barring it with a staff weapon.

The men spread through the gate room, swinging wide of the DHD. Jack watched them closely, trying to plan for the most efficient way out of this clusterfuck and back to safety. Let the snake take the lead, if he insists on a group trip hang back and give Sparkie a little lovetap and drag him to a manned beta-site – gotta get word back about these new guys. Partying against them will not be fun.

Some of the helmets turned towards the stargate, but turned away again, dismissing the ‘gate like it was an ugly piece of art. A few gave the Dial Home Device the same treatment, but nobody started dialing. Even the snake barely gave it a look, glancing around the room while apparently figuring out defense. The General started ordering his people to defend the bottleneck of the doorway, as well as asking one of the more talkative yellow guys if he could raise someone called ‘Anakin’ on the com.

It was pretty clear that the world wasn’t going to make sense any time soon. Jack tossed his hands up for a moment, then tucked his zat into his belt. “Ya want something done,” he muttered as he shoved past some blue and white guys to get to the DHD. Long experience with inputting coordinates under time pressure meant that he’d gotten six symbols in before anyone did anything.

“What are you doing?” It seemed to be Rex who grabbed his arm.  The man’s eyes were back to brown, and the rough, broad accent made his annoyance sharper.

Jack rolled his eyes. “Getting us out of here.”

The blond did a sharp double take. “I thought you didn’t speak Basic?” he accused, still seeming way too human.

“You wanna debate languages, or d’you wanna get out of here?”

Rex glared at him suspiciously for a moment. “How do you intend to get us out? There’s nowhere to go.”

Sometimes, the setup was too perfect. “Like this.” Jack gave him an eyebrow waggle and hit the last chevron, punching the center activation button.

Rex took a swift step back as the stargate whooshed open, all the soldiers in the room spinning to bring weapons to bear on Jack, the Gate, and anything else looking at them funny. “Stars –!” Rex yelped, then his eyes went blue.

What is that?” the goa’uld demanded, hand back on his lightsaber.

How the fuck did you rate a host if you don’t even know what the hell a stargate is? “A wormhole. It’ll get us the hell off this ship.”

“A what?”

“Wormhole! Y’know, a thing that takes us from here to there, there being anywhere but here.”

The goa’uld didn’t look away from the ‘gate, his expression of awed disbelief highlighted by the rippling glow from the open portal. “Are you telling me that’s a stable wormhole?” he asked in hushed awe, tone just as disbelieving as his expression.

“For cryin’ out – Yes!”

“General?” one of the guys near the door called. Both Jack and the snake looked over, and Jack winced. The doors were starting to heat and buckle under a barrage of staff blasts.

The snake made a face, then looked over at one of the other guys in yellow. “Were you able to raise Anakin?”

“No Sir, they’re still jamming all signals. Nothing in or out, just here in the interior!”

“This thing’s starting to give!”

The General looked at the melting door, the stargate, then back at Jack. They held eyes for a moment. Without looking away, the goa’uld declared, “…Go.” He turned towards his men. “Everyone through the circle!”

“Sir?!” the guy on communications yelped.

“You heard me, move!”

Jack could hear the goa’uld yell at his soldiers, but Jack was already halfway up the ramp and going strong. Time to get the hell out of here.