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2995 BC, or: Spinning Is So Much Cooler Than Not Spinning

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Once upon a time, when the sun was young and the stories not yet told, the gods walked upon the earth. They were powerful, strong gods, whose will was obeyed instantly. They were feared, vengeful gods, who punished the non believers. They travelled from place to place through the Stargates, or by their pyramid-shaped ships, and battled between themselves: who would have the biggest domain, who would have the most soldiers, who would rule over the most people and have the best mines and slaves and trinkets. Despite their warring ways, they were wise gods - they knew the secrets of the universe: how to turn rocks into fuel for pyramid ships and weapons, how to step inside a Stargate on one planet and step out on the other, how to achieve obedience with a gesture of their hand. They taught their inferiors to believe in them as gods, and there was never a reason to doubt them.

***

The terrified servant knelt before his god.

"They overpowered us, my Lord. There was nothing we could do. We feared - we feared for your safety. It was the only option left, the only route of action left for us to take."

His Lord looked at him in contempt, and raised his hand.

"No! I'm sorry, my Lord! I have failed you! This shall not happen again - please let me prove my worth to you once more, my Lord! Please! No - " but to no avail. The God must never be let down, and His revenge was swift. He did not pity anyone, least of all those who failed him. With one gesture, he struck down his incompetent servant.

The man's deputy swallowed. He was now the Right Hand, the First Prime, the powerful fist of the all powerful true God. He was second only to the God himself. All the earthly power he could dream of, all the respect from his cowering colleagues, it was all his. Everything he had ever dreamed of achieving was within his grasp. But, as he looked at the body of his former commander dragged away from the chamber, he suddenly realised there weren't a lot of promotion prospects in this particular line of employment.

Still, too late for that. He hurried before his God and knelt down, his head bowed, staring at his knees.

Above him, the Godly eyes glowed. "Jaffa..." said the voice of God, "Kree."

***

Once upon a time, when the sun was young and the stories not yet told, the gods walked upon the earth. They did not call themselves gods, but sought to benefit all the smaller races, those younger, inexperienced people who still struggled their way around the universe. And they built libraries of knowledge and great temples and wrote books and made pacts with those around them which they considered advanced enough. And always, they looked to the stars, travelling far and wide to see it all. And when they created Man in Their Image, they thought it well. And then they retired to their abode amongst the stars, and left humanity to deal with the mess they had left behind them to the best of their abilities, the galaxy full of their magic, their Stargates and their knowledge. And all who became aware of them could do nothing but accept their greatness, for there was no race as advanced, as wise, and as Ancient as they were, that was known to Man.

***

Colonel Jack O'Neill (ret.) could not help but notice Daniel did not join in with the celebrations. Ra was gone, the Goa'uld defeated, and the Ancient Egyptians sure knew how to throw a party - but Daniel seemed to prefer to set himself apart from all that. Jack still didn't feel completely comfortable with him - the Dr. Daniel Jackson he'd known, the one who had joined his short lived mission of recon on a different world was just so different. Nerd, yes; annoying, definitely - and different. This Daniel wasn't as annoying - they seemed to be more in sync with each other. He was definitely not as nerdy, even though they seemed to have led quite a similar life, the living Daniel and the dead one. Maybe that's how he was after several years in this SG-1 of his.

And that was it, probably. Jack always felt judged and compared by this Daniel Jackson, compared to a man he would never meet, a man who was probably living his life now that the timeline was - hopefully - restored, five thousand years into the future. And somehow, he never felt as if he measured up.

But, you know what they say. And poking sleeping dogs was Jack's speciality.

"Hey," he sat down next to Daniel. "What are you looking at?"

Daniel was looking at the sky - right through the big pyramid, the main landing platform of Ra's ships. Somewhere, up there, far beyond the stars...

"We did it," Daniel said quietly.

"Yup, kicked some Goa'uld asses," Jack agreed, slightly mispronouncing the name. "All gone away. Join the celebrations?"

"But... It doesn't make sense. They won't give up this easily - especially not a System Lord, especially not Ra. Not with all the power he got from ruling Earth. It doesn't make any sense."

"But we buried the Stargate," Jack looked at him suspiciously. "They can't come though. Can they?"

"No."

"So..." Jack looked at him, and then back at the stars. "I have enough time to finish that guest room."

***

Once upon a time, when the sun was young and the stories not yet told, the gods walked upon the earth. They were never seen, never heard. Not invisible - unnoticeable. They could bend space and time to their will, but rarely ever did so. They watched the stars born and grow old. They watched them die. They watched older gods and newer gods come and go, but never made their presence known - they intervened just enough to make sure none of these new gods would ever be a threat. With great power comes, perhaps, great responsibility, but with ultimate power comes no responsibility at all, as long as you follow one simple rule - never yield the power you possess. They watched the universe grow old and watched themselves watching the universe. They were the guardians of time, its lords and masters, and they bent it to their will. Until they died, like gods would die: in eternal flame.

***

After Pompeii, Ancient Egypt might not seem the most interesting place in the world, especially as Donna had seen it before. But she had to admit as she left the Tardis with that exciting ping in her heart - and went back to take off her coat, seriously, how does the Spaceman not fry inside his undershirt, shirt, suit, coat and tie was beyond her - that this way of seeing Egypt was so much more fun.

And the pyramids definitely looked more impressive. Not to mention the Sphinx!

"Always better to see things when they're still new and shiny," the Doctor sniffed aloud, obviously pleased with himself. "Except for the London Eye. There is no time when seeing that is good."

"Oh, stop complaining, let's just enjoy the view!"

"And meet the people," the Doctor added as a man from the village at the foot of the pyramid - a village! At the foot of the pyramid! This was just brilliant! - came to greet them.

"Hello," he said, stretching his hand to shake the Doctor's.

"Hello!" the Doctor smiled his big smile and grabbed the man's hand. "I'm the Doctor, and this is Donna, nice to meet you!"

"I am Katep," the man said awkwardly.

"Doctor, isn't he speaking English?" Donna wondered - he definitely didn't sound as fluent as the people of Pompeii did in her head, and besides, he had an accent. She didn't assume the Tardis would start giving people Ancient Egyptian accents. For some reason, it didn't feel... appropriate.

"Nah, I told you, Donna, it's the Tardis, translating in your head," the Doctor dismissed the idea - but didn't notice the other man walking towards them.

"Really? So the Tardis also makes me see glasses and a wrist watch on this bloke?"

***

Once upon a time, when the sun was young and the stories not yet told...

Chapter Text

"But - but - you did what?" Their guest stared at them with horrified surprise.

It was, perhaps, lucky that the Doctor had arrived, right there, right then. Otherwise, they might not have realised the obvious flaw with their actions - at least, not in time.

That the Doctor was the one to point it out was embarrassing enough on its own. Less so for O'Neill and Carter, of course, considering their experience with the Goa'uld wasn't nearly as extensive as that of Teal'c or Jackson. To add insult to injury, he also announced the exact period of time they had before the shit hit the fan. Which was surprisingly short. And yet, it took a while for the truth to sink in and break the uncomfortable silence.

"Ships," Jack finally said.

"Big," the Doctor agreed. "Shaped liked pyramids. Can land quite easily on those big pyramids over there, in fact."

"Ships," Carter mused.

"Ra has a fleet of them," the Doctor added in a helpful tone. "Massive. Also, he could probably ally himself with some of the other System Lords and bring in more ships, if he thought it was necessary."

"Ships," Teal'c sighed.

"Full of Jaffa warriors," the Doctor nodded solemnly. "With their shiny armour and big staff weapons and those, how do you call them, little things - Zat'nik'tels, that's the word!"

"Shi - ," Daniel summed up the situation.

***

The marching soldiers marched on. Their heavy armour clanked with every step. Their masks, design to put terror in the hearts of the innocent inhabitants of small, backwards planets, restricted their view to the person marching right in front of them. And so they marched on.

Unbeknownst to them, their god watched their every move.

Oh, on some level, they were, of course, aware they were being Watched. Gods, after all, are omnipotent, and it was obvious that their God - the strongest, best, kindest, and by far the only One True God - was strong enough to watch each and every one of them every second of their lives, aware of their deepest thoughts and most of all, immediately aware whenever they thought anything close to heresy. It was obvious - it was a part of life.

They just didn't expect him to be actually physically there, looking at them with his actual physical eyes, and talking to them with his actual physical mouth, calling them to war against the primitive tribe whom he had let believe defeated him, just to return and show those puny humans his immediate and deadly revenge, in all his glory.

The marching column stopped, awaiting in fear the the Words of God.

"Kree!" they were ordered, and, relieved, they marched onwards.

***
Every action has an opposite and equal reaction, or so Carter had told O'Neill. Jack had a hard time seeing how a fleet of motherships was an equal reaction to merely kicking one snake out of the planet, however, no matter how many times Teal'c and Daniel had tried to explain it to him.

But he did get the urgency of the situation. And therefore, three hours later and several layers of clothing less, they were more-or-less formulating a plan.

More-or-less, because once the obvious had been pointed out, all of its implications were clear to the four members of the legendary Earth protection team, even if three of them weren't - technically speaking - actual members of that team.

"We don't have ships."

"We could take over one ship."

"We need ships. Plural."

"I believe O'Neill is correct. Without many ships we have little chance to defeat such a fleet as the one Ra will undoubtedly bring to this planet."

"We could take over several ships!"

"Carter, there's only the five of us. Even if we go alone, that's still only five ships. If we survive."

"Four," the Doctor interjected from his corner, where he kept drawing furiously on the papyrus obtained for him.

"What? I thought you said you were going to help!"

"Well - not if you're going all guns blazing in and starting to shoot ships down," the Doctor said indignantly.

***
The fleet travelled on. The Gods met and talked between themselves about Godly stuff in their Godly tongue. Plans were made - Godly plans, although some of the bolder of the warrior Jaffa would have questioned that assertion, based on their past experience of fighting Godly skirmishes. Pyramid joined pyramid in space - their pointed edge always on top - and the Jaffa knew victory is near.

Some wondered why was the victory even needed in the first place, but as their god addressed them with Kree, they only said "Yes, my Lord."

***
More-or-less formulating, because by the time night was descending, they were still no closer to actually getting a plan, just tired and cranky and very, very tense. Formulating a plan with the Doctor in close vicinity proved a lot harder on all of them. For one thing, he was uncompromisingly against the idea of blowing up Ra's mothership, and the need to have Jack kill the snake five thousand years into the future by blowing up his mothership then wasn't even the first of his objections.
***
"But you're SG-1!" The Doctor pointed out over dinner, frustrated and flailing his hands. "You always have a plan! The number of times you saved the world - wonderful! How can you not have a plan!"

"Yeah, about that..." Daniel looked uncomfortable. Sam shifted in her chair.

"You're not SG-1?"

"We are... Technically."

Amateurs! You give them a time machine, and they damn near ruin the fabric of reality.

"So let me get this straight. You went back in time to get a power source?"

"It looked like a good idea at the time," Daniel pointed out, rather weakly.

"And you ended up changing your own future."

"Something like that."

"And then you three went back in time again?"

"What were we supposed to do, stay in a timeline when there's a fleet of ships en route to Earth without us having any way of defending ourselves?"

"You know," Jack pointed out, "I'm starting to see a pattern here."

"The Goa'uld have been known in the past to favour the option of completely eliminating any being they see as a threat," Teal'c completed the missing information.

"But, Doctor," Donna pointed out. "Their future. My Earth. We're not enslaved by aliens, we never were. Obviously, whatever plan we're going to come out with is going to succeed."

"Well..." the Doctor looked uncomfortable.

"What?"

"Some things are in flux. Your future might no longer even exist."

"Well, thanks for nothing." If looks could kill, there would have been four very dead technical members of a legendary Earth protecting team.

Another hour or so, the discussions - or were they arguments? - continued, and Donna had quite enough. Apparently, she wasn't alone in the sentiment. Going outside to the warm Egyptian evening, she located one of their fellow time travellers.

"Daniel, wasn't it?" she sat down next to him. He seemed to be staring at the Sphinx up ahead. Perhaps the mythical creature did have the answers.

"Hi," he said quietly.

"So, pyramids! They're lovely. I was here before, but that was all tourist guides and 'don't go there'. This is so exciting!"

"You think?" Daniel looked at her for a second, and then back at the pyramids."Try living here for five years."

"Oh..." she was lost for words for a moment. "I'm sorry. But why won't you ask the Doctor to take you back?"

"Back where?" there was terrible bitterness in his voice. "We don't have anywhere to go."

"Then why not keep on travelling? Seeing the universe! Travel in time! Think of the things you could do!"

"Think of the things we could do wrong," he looked at her for a second, and then back at the pyramids. "We were supposed to be here for one day - one day, pick up the ZPM and go back home. In the end, I've been here for five years and then they showed up."

"But they're your friends! Aren't they?"

"Yeah. I just miss - the others. My SG-1. Ah, well, we better get inside, they seem to be back to shouting at each other. Jack gets cranky when he doesn't get his way."

Donna laughed. "You haven't seen the Doctor. The faces he can pull!"

"Well, maybe this is worth watching," Daniel winked, and they both went back.

***
More or less a plan, because what they came up can hardly be called 'a plan'.

The sad truth was, the humans of the early 21st century simply didn't understand enough about time travel to make it work. This sad truth was made painfully obvious to the various members of the period as an alien tried to sit down and explain what was wrong with all their theories on restoring their original timeline - or at least, a timeline that was close enough to what they were aware of as original, so that the result would not include a fleet of ships their planet had no way of dealing with. Unfortunately, the only person who even made any attempt to follow the flow of words coming out of the mouth of a skinny alien with a British accent was Carter, and she didn't stop asking questions.

It was, however, much more productive than the argument that went on in the corner.

"I have never seen a worse plan in my life!" Jack announced as the Doctor finished talking.

"I have," Daniel raised his hand.

"Oh yeah? When exactly?"

"Well, there was the time we blew up a sun, the numerous times we counted on a Goa'uld to do the right thing, and oh, yeah, the time we thought travelling back in time five thousand years in order to get a ZPM is a good idea!"

"And who suggested that?"

"I did - but you gave the go-ahead!"

"It - wasn't - me!"

"Only because your impatience made you cease to exist in the first place!"

The Doctor looked exasperated at Carter, then at Teal'c, who made his best to sit and pretend to be interested as the various timelines that were drawn in the sand as a pedagogic aid.

"How do you ever get anything done?" the Doctor leaned towards him.

"It is a great mystery, Doctor," Teal'c cocked his head. "I have tried to find the answer myself many times. But we must do all in our power so that the people of the Ta'uri are free, or the whole galaxy will be doomed."

"And the people of the Ta'uri," the Doctor added.

"Indeed," the Jaffa agreed.

"Anyway," the Doctor interjected loudly now, "unless any of you have a better plan, this should be it."

***
They didn't, of course. And therefore, the next morning saw six people walking down a path that was still well trodden, despite having been abandoned for months. The locals still refused to enter the pyramid. Bad luck, they said. But deep inside, they thought 'sacrilege'. In that, perhaps, they were wiser than their saviours, who accepted so easily and happily the idea that once the enemy was driven out, the planet was saved.

Those who were born there, who lived all their lives in the shadow of the pyramids, of the wrathful god with the glowing eyes, knew better. The revenge for their action was never far behind.

And so, the pyramids, Ra's base on Earth, was left undisturbed.

Which was lucky, the Doctor pointed out. No one looted the place, no one took any valuables - who knew what they would find there, what was left behind as Ra hurried out of the place? Maybe a secret weapon -

" - no, you can't kill him," the Doctor was exasperated by now.

"But he's evil!" Jack insisted. The Doctor just walked on.

or perhaps, something to give them leverage, convince Ra to never come back.

"Now that's more like it," the Doctor concluded. For once, even Daniel looked exasperated.

In the end, not a thing was found that belonged to these two categories. The pyramids were mostly empty - disappointingly, it appeared the Jaffa were quite the fast packers. Anything that stayed behind seemed either unimportant, or too heavy to carry. And they didn't even bother taking their litter with them. Any object that looked promising at first turned out to be useless or broken.

Or possibly, as Sam pointed out, some sort of a dangerous trojan horse.

On hindsight, and despite his enthusiasm at finally seeing something useful - and an Ancient teleportation device at that - it really was stupid of the Doctor to activate those rings.

Chapter Text

It is a truth long known in this universe to most intelligent species, that the universe operates within the Improbability Principle. That is to say, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. The Disciples of the Long Ah, who are recognised far and wide for their astute, if somewhat cynical, grasp of the universe expand further on this principle, and add that there is nothing in the universe that cannot go wrong.

***

"Finally!" Jack O'Neill jumped out of the ring platform, as if afraid the rings would start again. "Took your time, I thought you weren't going to make it. Carter, did you get the plans?"

"Yes, sir. They're right here. We're back in business!"

"Excellent," O'Neill did a pretty impressive imitation of Montgomery Burns.

"Daniel! Come on, let's go! We need to get out of here before they realise what happened and send more Jaffa after us!"

But Daniel just kept on staring at the three of them. Next to him, the Doctor started flashing his gadget - sonic screwdriver! It's very useful, really - at the newly arrived SG-1. Behind them, Donna finally noticed what's going on.

"But how did you get there?" she demanded of the new arrivals. "You were just there, with me! In the other room! Doctor, are there secret passages here you didn't tell me about? Well, obviously there would be, Ancient Egyptians and all that, but that's just daft. Also, did you always have hair?" she turned to a somewhat confused, yet still stoic, Teal'c. "I could have sworn you were bald."

"Do we know these people?" O'Neill stared at Donna.

"O'Neill," Teal'c started, but was ignored.

"Daniel! Who the hell are they?" Jack demanded, looking from Donna to the Doctor, back to Donna, and settling on Daniel in the hope of a reasonable explanation.

"Sir." Carter, who was now looking at the same direction as Teal'c, tried to draw her superior commander's attention, but to no avail.

"If I don't find out what's going on here, right now, I'm going to - " Brigadier General Jack O'Neill stopped mid-sentence, as Colonel Jack O'Neill (ret.) took another step forward.

"This can't be good," said the Colonel.

"This is very, very bad," mused the Doctor.

"Carter," Jack turned to the leader of SG-1, "is there any way I could get an explanation for this without getting a headache?"

"This would seem unlikely, O'Neill," Teal'c commented dryly.

"Amateurs!" the Doctor muttered.

***
The Doctor had long since learned to appreciate the accurate observations of the Disciples of the Long Ah. Donna and Daniel were slowly coming to recognise that he had a point.
***
They were cornered. It was simple as that. As if they would sit in the cell and wait for Ra to execute them. "I wouldn't either," Donna approved. Jack liked her instantly.

So they found some way to trigger the controls of the cell, fool the guards - and out they went. But the guards were after them. The alarm sounded off almost immediately. They had to run somewhere, there was no sign of Daniel, and anyway, they didn't have any way of communicating with him, did they? They had to do something. And there were the rings.

"We assumed we will end up on Ra's mothership," Teal'c explained. "From there we would have proceeded to take over the ship, and drive the Goa'uld out of this world."

"Kick his snaky ass away. Problem solved."

"But you didn't make it to the ship?" Daniel asked, amazed.

He remembered that day.

"No. The rings weren't working, we couldn't make them work." O'Neill kept on stressing how little time they had, Carter went over and over the controls of the rings, but nothing. It should have worked. "But it didn't. And then we were cornered and - all of a sudden, they worked. And we got here."

"Five years into the future."

"And we're dead?" O'Neill was not exactly happy to hear that part of the report.

"We had arranged a rescue mission. When we learned you were caught," Katep was filling them in - because it was becoming more and more obvious Daniel wasn't going to. "But there was no way of communicating it to you. And then we learned..." he hesitated.

"You never have any patience! If you would just have waited in your cell, if you would just have trusted me! - "

***
There is another Principle of Existence that has been immortally canonised by the Disciples of the Long Ah. Given an argument with X participants, the minimum number of different and conflicting opinions would be X+1. Now, the problem with applying the Principle of Argument to the Earth society known as Ancient Egypt is that the Ancient Egyptians had no concept of telling their neighbours off for noise during nighttime. Instead, they liked to jump in with the argument and contribute their own opinions - rather loudly.

And they have a late dinner.

***
"How are things looking?" The Doctor raised his head from the papyrus, now full of strange scrawling.

"Well, they calmed down a bit now," Donna muttered. "The two O'Neills stopped trying to beat each other up, the Bald Teal'c insists that the Hairy Teal'c tell him all about the Free Jaffa Nation, and the two Carters are now working together on the Mothership plans - although I think there was an argument earlier about Sam's husband."

"Poor Katep." The Doctor rolled his eyes. "He really doesn't deserve all this."

"Do we?" she asked, and the Doctor snorted.

"Did I mention, never meet your heroes?"

"You're telling me!" she went off. "I met Terry Wogan once, he was a bit of a snob..."

The Doctor kept on working on his papyrus.

"So, Doctor," she started again. "How does a teleport become a time machine?"

"Oh, probably an anomalous flow of the causal nexus has been interrupted by a sensitive junction of the space/time continuum."

"Oi! Does this actually mean something?"

The Doctor smiled. "No clue. Sounds good, though."

"Sounds complicated."

He considered this for a moment. "Yeah, that too."

Both the Doctor and Donna were quiet for a bit. Which was, it must be said, a feat in itself.

They were, of course, soon interrupted. "You can come back now," Daniel came to call them in - and probably make sure they weren't horribly intimidated by the rest. "They're not always like that," he said apologetically. "Anyway, the shouting's stopped."

"That's what I came to tell him," Donna said, at the same time as the Doctor said, "I've noticed."

"Anyway, how are you doing with all that?" Donna asked suddenly.

"What?"

"Old friends, new friends..."

"Oh. Fine. I think... " he sighed. "Yeah. It's a bit weird."

"A bit?" the Doctor raised an eyebrow.

"A lot," Daniel laughed. Funny, he thought. That there in the tent he had his best friends in the world, and here he was now, talking instead to people who were practically strangers. It's a funny universe, sometimes.

But taking his time to think about this, he noticed something else that was out of the ordinary. "Is that Goa'uld?" he looked at the papyrus parchment the Doctor was scrabbling on. The Doctor rolled it up quickly. "Gotta be prepared," he said.

"Prepared for what?" Daniel and Donna asked together, and the Doctor just pointed at the sky.

"Prepared for that."

A flash of light appeared in the sky.

***
Another important Principle of the Universe discovered by the Disciples of the Long Ah was that bad things happen in the worst time possible.

After achieving enlightenment on this rather bleak and depressing universe, the Disciples of the Long Ah set out to find some of the more positive aspects of existence. Unfortunately, it was then that they were wiped out by the Goa'uld. The surviving Disciples travelled to far-away lands, sharing stories of the greatness of The Long Ah, and ended up creating the whole new religion following The Short ᴁ, and led civilisations to greatness. Neither SG-1 team was particularly interested in that story, to the Doctor's chagrin. They found themselves more occupied with the great big spaceship that came out of hyperspace and into orbit right above their favourite planet. None of them bothered to listen to the Doctor when he pointed out it was his favourite planet, too, despite not being a native.

***
The hall was full of Jaffa, kneeling. The mothership has come out of hyperspace, and the primitive world could be seen, right below them. Their god was addressing them now. To fight! To win! To conquer! (and pillage, burn, and murder, but there's been a ban on that particular battle cry for a couple of decades now. They said it discouraged the locals).

"Jaffa..." Their god walked amongst them, inspecting them, until he was satisfied. And then, he raised his hand.

"Kree."

Chapter Text

Daniel hated Goa'uld motherships. With a passion. Every time he'd been on one, something bad had happened. Like being shot. Or taken captive. Or being shot.

And, of course, there was Jack. It was hard to decide how he felt about Jack being there. He was, however, quite sure how he felt about what Jack was thinking at the moment.

"Can we keep it this time?"

"We don't even know if we're going to make it out alive. Sir, we're meant to be dead in this reality."

Sam's pragmatism didn't seem to phase Jack, though. "Yeah, but if we do make it out alive, can we keep it?"

"I do not believe a rogue Goa'uld mothership would go unnoticed in this galaxy, O'Neill. The Goa'uld are not humans, and despite the humans' slow progress, the Goa'uld of this era have tracking devices on all their ships," Teal'c gave some pessimistic inside information.

"Yeah, but we can disable the tracking device and then keep the ship, right?"

No one bothered replying this time.

"What do you want to have a mothership for?" Donna asked curiously.

"We just... never had one."

"So you mean, it's just going to be cool?" she persisted.

"Yeah... and there would be one less mothership for the snakes! And don't you dare tell me this is the same ship we blow up in 5000 years and we can't steal it for some cosmic reason!" he turned to the Doctor.

"Wouldn't dream of it," the Doctor muttered with a smile. "Actually, I think your taking the ship would be a brilliant idea! Travel the universe, see a bit of the past, no harm done."

"Exactly!" Jack agreed enthusiastically. "We could do with more attitudes like that around here! So? Can we keep it?"

"Patience, Iago, Patience," the Doctor murmured.

"Is this from Othello?"

"I believe it is in fact a quote from Disney's Aladdin, O'Neill," Teal'c promptly offered his knowledge of human pop culture.

"Am I the only one seeing something wrong with this exchange?" Daniel wondered out loud, but never got an answer, because the radio came to life. "Sierra-Golf-Niner to - the other Sierra-Golf-Niner, what's your position, over," O'Neill's voice could be heard, sounding just as unhappy as the man who was on the receiving end of this communication.

"You're not Sierra-Golf-Niner. And we're about one klick before the engine room. Over."

"Are you really going to argue designations now? And we encountered some resistance when we passed next to the glider bay, so watch your backs, overs."

"Well I think we're a bit more experienced in this than you are. Over."

The little comforts in life are all that matters. In this case, the comfort was the fact the radio was no longer transmitting when they walked into the ambush.

***

"...olf-Niner, do you copy?" the radio was cackling deep into Jack's mind, despite his best attempts to remain unconscious for just a little bit longer. It would mean, after all, the headache might then just hit him a moment - oh. Ow!

"Carter," he groaned. "What the hell happened?"

"We were ambushed, Sir," came the unhelpful response.

"This I remember."

"And, erm, Sir? The Doctor is - well."

Oh, to keep his eyes closed just a bit more. She was right, though, he realised once he opened his eyes. The Doctor really was... well.

"What are you doing?" he asked after several seconds' silence.

"Getting us out of here," came the muffled response. "Unless you want to sit here and wait for Ra's soldiers to come pick us up?"

"What is he doing?" Jack's exasperated question wasn't aimed at anyone in particular. Perhaps a bit more at Donna, as she was the one who knew him longest. But, just in case he was thinking in that direction, her shrug left no room for doubt. The Doctor's actions were just as much a mystery to her as they were to anyone else in the room. As was the method he employed to get there.

"How is this going to get us out?" he mumbled, and couldn't help but be fascinated by the - well, by the Doctor, really. It was very fascinating. Educational, even.

"I could use a hand here," came another muffled shout from the Doctor's general direction. Teal'c, it seemed, took this slightly too literally - probably on purpose, Jack figured - and pulled the Doctor with a bone wrenching thrust back into standing position. Several bones made alarming clicking noise, but neither alien seemed to mind.

"Oh, that's better! Are we ready to save the world then?"

"How? The door is still locked," Jack pointed out.

So, of course, it took only the slightest push from the Doctor to open it. "That's cheating," Jack concluded.

"Are you complaining?"

Jack didn't even bother replying as he grabbed the radios. "Where are our weapons?"

"Wherever they've taken them," came the Doctor's unhelpful answer.

"Okay. We need our weapons back."

"Sierra-Golf-Niner, do you copy?" the radio sounded almost as impatient as Jack was. It was as if it could hear the Doctor, too.

"Yeah," he replied. "We're here. They caught us but we - "

This wasn't their day, Jack concluded as he slowly raised his arms in the universal signal of surrender.

What happened next was, when you come down to it, unexpected.

***
There was a fully armed, less fully trained alternate version of SG-1 somewhere around the ship.

That alternate team was not SG-1's saviours.

They were four fully trained, well exercised warriors - albeit, one was originally an archeologist - but they were all unarmed and not much help when surrounded by fully armed, mean spirited, and very, very big Jaffa.

They did not use their training and expertise to rescue themselves.

No, what happened was that the Doctor, that skinny fool, went up to the First Prime, the leader of all of Ra's Jaffa. With a smile.

In most stories, this would have led to a fight leaving only one man standing - the grinning, skinny fool. In the more genre-sevvy environments, the soldiers would have realised this was about to happen and would have surrendered themselves, or lay down their arms in terror and flee.

Neither of this was the case.

Oh, no.

What did happen was that the skinny, grinning, clueless fool went up to the heavily armed, well trained leader of the Jaffa, and told him one sentence.

Six words. Just six words.

"Take me to your leader!

Please?"

Oh, if only Jack had a gun.

Chapter Text

The System Lord's eyes glowed. His lips curled into an unpleasant smile as he saw his prisoners. "Jaffa," he said, with obvious malice in his voice, "kree."

"Kneel before your God," the Jaffa hissed his script faithfully.

The Doctor didn't seem to think this command applied to him. "Now, really. This is getting ridiculous."

"Kneel!" the Jaffa commanded again, slashing at the Doctor's knees with his staff weapon.

"Now, now, no need to get angry," the Doctor muttered.

"And be silent!"

"As if this is ever going to happen," Donna said.

"Actually, I'm not sure this is the right time to discuss my tendency to talk too much, thanks," the Doctor retorted.

"I said silence!"

"I was just trying to make it easier for him. You know, that he shouldn't raise his expectations too high."

"Well, when you put it that way," the Doctor pondered this while scratching his ear, "you probably have a point."

"Silence!"

"I mean," he continued, "who knows how the Goa'uld react when their expectations aren't met?"

"Not too well, by the looks of it," Donna replied. "And I don't want to be at the wrong end of these staff weapons."

"You will be silent!"

"I don't think I want to be at any end of these weapons." The Doctor looked at the frustrated Jaffa, who was waving his weapon at them in growing desperation and dislike. "D'you mind? We're trying to have a conversation here."

"You will not have a conversation! You are kneeling! Before your God!"

"Now that you mention it, he's not really my god, is he?"

The Jaffa stopped, confused, and then, going red, pointed the staff weapon at the Doctor again. "He is your God!" he spat. "He is the god of all the creatures in the universe!"

"Now that's hardly right, is it? The Judoon follow the No Bo Lo, the dominant god on Raxicoricofallapatorius is Spling, The Disciples of The Long Ah have spread around at least three different solar systems by now - not to mention the support they'll get when they become the Followers of the Short ᴁ, then they'll take over galaxies, the Tin Vagabond is becoming more and more popular in some parts of the universe - "

"The what?"

"The Tin Vagabond - oh you'll love him, Donna. Remind me to take you to Gaitius Maximus, the temple there is beautiful!"

"These - are - false - gods!"

"Why?" the Doctor asked innocently.

The First Prime seemed ready and primed for an explosion.

"Because only Ra is the True God!"

"Well, he would say that, now, wouldn't he?"

"He does not need to say it! We know it to be true!"

"How?" Donna jumped in.

"Donna - " the Doctor muttered.

"No, no, it's interesting. How do they know he's the One True God? Maybe they found the meaning of life and just didn't realise they can share it with everyone else? Maybe we can be converted if they just show us the right data? Have you got any statistics on you?"

"Sta - "

"Statistics. Oh, you know," she looked at him in surprise. "You have so many soldiers, you must know how many of them are married, have children, need a holiday - don't tell me every official Ra Day or something you go asking everyone?"

"Ra... Day?"

"Yeah, official public holiday? Surely Ra is benevolent enough to give you a day off every once in a while?"

"We are Jaffa! We need no holiday! We need no... 'days off'," the First Prime spat the word. "All we need is the knowledge we are serving the One True God!"

"Then he is not a very good True God," a new voice entered the conversation.

The First Prime eyeballed him. "Shol'va!" he half-spat, half-choked at Teal'c.

"At the service of Apophis, we received three days of holiday a year," Teal'c continued.

"What? Three?" Donna turned too, incredulous, forgetting to kneel. The First Prime, for some reason, forgot to stop her.

"Indeed, that many," Teal'c confirmed. "And a fruit basket."

By now, half of the prisoners were up and about.

"Ooooh, I love a good fruit basket," Jack gave his two pence worth.

"Did it have a banana?" the Doctor asked, concerned.

"I believe it did, Doctor."

"Good. I like bananas. Bananas are very important, you know. Very healthy. It's good that a One True God keeps his warriors in good shape - you don't look so good," he turned then to the First Prime. "A bit picky. Do you get bananas?"

"What are... bananas?" the answer came with trepidation.

"Oh, really, now. This has gone too far!" The Doctor was now addressing His One True Godliness himself. "They don't even know what a banana is? That's almost like banning chocolate! Or garlic! Or chocolate and garlic!"

The One True God stared down at him in fascination. His "Kree" sounded a bit like "humans!". Or, perhaps, "impudence." The One True God had never exactly learned the difference between the two.

"I completely agree." The Doctor nodded.

"So! Bananas for everyone, yeah? I think there are probably some down in Africa right now." Donna ignored Her One True Exasperated Deity and was leading the First Prime towards the door. "We'll get you a banana, all nice and ripe, yeah? One of those really yellow ones - trust me, you don't want to eat the green ones, they have an aftertaste. Nor the black ones, they've gone bad. But the yellow ones are really good - what are you waiting for?" she looked at the members of SG-1 in surprise, as they didn't seem to follow her.

"I'm allergic to bananas," Daniel said apologetically.

"Oh, I'm sure there would be other fruit there! Come on!"

But they didn't manage to actually leave the room. They were interrupted by an explosion, right in front of them. Their host had decided this was as far as he would let his prisoners go.

"Kree." His eyes glowed at them.

"Oooh, that's got to hurt," the Doctor commented, and was grabbed unceremoniously by His Godlihood, who narrowed his eyes at him - without glowing this time. "Kree," he threatened softly.

"You know, I really wouldn't stand here right now," the Doctor advised sweetly.

The Benevolent One raised an eyebrow.

"There's another SG-1 team right at the other side of this door," the Doctor said, still smiling, "and they're going to burst in just about - NOW!"

The doors opened.

Fighting ensued. A lot of staff weapons were flying around. At first, it was the less-well-trained-and-yet-not-captured SG-1, arming their more well trained, and yet, not quite as lucky counterparts. Then Jaffa started flying in the air, hit by P-90 bullets and the odd staff weapon blast or two, and took their staff weapons with them.

Finally, a bunch of staff weapons found their gravity-defying properties as their frightened owners threw them away, defeated. Their unhappy Master would have said "cowards", but all that came out was "Kree."

His ex-prisoner looked at him, no longer smiling. "You call yourself a God, and would come to enslave these people. But your species know the truth, about those who were here before you - and those who were here before them. Do you still have these legends? Of Gallifrey and the Time Lords?"

The Godly Eyes widened, this time in fear.

"Then you, and your brothers and sisters and rivals and colleagues, you will leave this place. And never come back. From this day on, Earth is out of bounds."

"Kree," the Word of God sounded more like a croak. And to Gallifreyan ears, it sounded very much like a yes.

"Alright, then, off we go! Donna, put that down, you'll hurt someone."

Reluctantly, Donna left the ribbon device in place.

Chapter Text

No one can party like the Ancient Egyptians! Well, the G'K'rankank can. And the L'i'L'. And the inhabitants of Rhyrtyaplwgll Thirty-Seven could, before they all converted and became Followers of the Short ᴁ, which forbids celebrating for fear of their Immortal Souls. And the humans in the 51st century. And don't go calling the Ancient Egyptians 'Ancient', because I promise you, they won't be partying after that, and -

"Oh," Donna gave him a scathing look, "just finish your drink, Spaceman."

The Doctor, looking slightly sheepish, took another sip from his Moonshine-In-A-Small-Boat. He refrained from making a comment afterwards, for fear his voice would make Donna laugh at him even more.

They were partying, though. Ra wasn't just defeated - he was gone, for good. They now realised that. All of it was theirs.

Everyone did their best not to mention the pink elephant in the room, dressed like three pairs of completely identical people and heavily armed.

The Elephants themselves didn't seem too bothered by it all. Both Colonel and General Jack O'Neill seemed a lot more bothered by the fact they failed to secure a Goa'uld mothership - again. Hairy Teal'c was mesmerising Bald Teal'c with stories of a Free Jaffa Nation, of the end of Goa'uld enslavement, of the day the Jaffa will take their places as masters, not as slaves, in the universe. A long haired Carter sat down with a short haired Carter as they discussed the amazing insights this adventure in time had given them about Life, the Universe, and Not Quite Everything But Enough To Get Really Excited About.

And a single Daniel Jackson was joined by the Doctor and Donna as he watched the six of them with a mixture of fondness and extreme confusion.

"Not feeling alone, are you?" the Doctor wondered.

Daniel just laughed. "They're too noisy for that," he pointed out.

"What are you going to do? I mean, they - they don't have to - "

"No," the Doctor reassured Donna. "Personally, I think the universe can benefit from another SG-1 team or two. That's what you're going to do, isn't it?"

Daniel nodded. "We still have the Gateship the alternate SG-1 brought here. I think we're going to see a bit of the universe."

"So you should. Defending the universe. Just - make sure not to kill any Goa'uld you're going to kill later, this might make a mess of the timeline and I really can't be bothered running around after you all the time. Also, don't name anything. Please. Gateship?"

"Don't look at me." Daniel laughed, and went to join the others. It would be a nightmare of a life, but the kind of nightmare he would happily live in.

Once upon a time, when the sun was young and the stories not yet told, the gods walked upon the earth. But there was more than enough space for human beings to walk upon the earth with them, as equals.

***
"So, that's Ancient Egypt?" Donna asked when they were back in the Tardis.

"Yup. We didn't get to see any pyramids, though - real pyramids, not Goa'uld motherships. Do you want to?"

"Nah. Already seen them once. Go on, show me something new and exciting. More exciting people - if it's possible after the mighty SG-1?"

"Oh," he smiled mischievously, "wait til you see Atlantis!"