Abydos, aboard Ra's ship.
Jim had been revived so many times, he had lost count. San'kha his torturer, was extremely proficient at his task but as he had been working on him. Jim had been working on San'kha. Safe in the knowledge that he would be revived. Whenever he felt that he was close to succumbing and telling him what Ra wanted to know. The home world of the one who had sent him. Jim would anger the man, by recounting the time. He had witnessed him getting his head, twisted almost completely around by a slave.
Followed by what his one true God, was going to do to Ra and all of his Jaffa. He would then end his life and Jim would be revived again, ready to endure the torture once more. The pain was unbearable but the Sarcophagus as he had heard them call it, was having an effect on his mind. He had experienced a similar sensation, as his military training had progressed. The British army pushed you to your limits and when they found those limits. They pushed harder, until they broke you. It was then that they rebuilt you, into the man they wanted. They did not want free spirits in the army, they wanted killers.
The longer your training went on, the person they wanted would emerge and the person you once were, would take a back seat and eventually fade, into a half forgotten memory. Each time he went into that thing. The person the British empire had forged him into, was getting stronger. The animal he had tried his entire military career, not to become. Was finally winning the fight.
He thought of all the men he had killed and instead of feeling sorrow, as he once had. He revelled in the faces they had pulled, as his shot had hit home or his blade had opened their gullet or throat. He thought of all the times he had survived against the odds and started to believe that he was invincible. Even this Jaffa could not break him and would kill him at a time of his choosing, not his own. He knew that it was wrong to think like this or he used to.
The only thing anchoring him to his former self, was the moment before the Sarcophagus opened and he would think about the woman, that he had sacrificed himself for. It was the only thing that kept him focused, kept his resolve strong. He had not tried to talk his torturer into betraying his God, it would be a pointless exercise. The man was as devoted as they came and when your God had the power to raise you from the dead. It was easy to see how he would be.
No, Jim was playing a much longer game and no matter what this Jaffa did to him. He would continue with the fanatical ranting. With little of the agony that he was going through, showing through that psychotic mask. He did not know how long he had been stuck in this, seemingly eternal cycle of torture but what he was waiting for, was fast approaching and today was the day that the cracks in that mans devotion, started to appear. Before he began the torture, that would last hours at a time. In a very quiet voice he said. “If your God is all powerful, why does he not rescue you?".
The only information he was giving him by answering his question. Were just more layers to the fiction, he had been playing out. “I am already where my God wants me to be, why would he remove me from my destiny". He then added for extra effect. “Your false God was right about one thing. My master told me, that I would find you here and that you are my destiny, as I am yours”. He was speaking the truth, his master had told him all of this. San'kha just did not know that Jim's God, was himself.
“You lie!”. San'kha spoke the words but Jim no longer heard the absolute certainty in the mans voice. That he had in the beginning of their relationship.
“The false God told you himself, did he not? My God told me, that I would meet a man. A man that would cause me great pain but I was to rejoice at that pain. Because the more pain I feel, the closer you are coming to freedom brother. My God can not help me, for if he did. You would never come to know him”. Jim knew the reason for the mans sudden loss of faith and he feared that reason, more than San'kha did. He was not putting much hope in his little scheme but there was a chance, that it would work.
“His name can not be spoken, to those who do not open their heart to him. My God is not a man, like the false ones, I have been sent to herald the destruction of. My God is me and my own free will, I bow down to no one freely and those I set free, only increases the power of my God”.
“Enough with this blasphemy! If your pain is truly setting me free, then you will receive all the pain that is required, for my liberation. You are strong for a slave but none have ever been strong enough to resist a God. If you do not tell me the truth, then my life is over. I believe I will enjoy my final hours”. San'kha had only ever wished to live a long life, serving Ra and to then die in service of him.
Within hours the Primta will have matured and would let it be known. That a God, is ready to be born. If a Jaffa needed time to find a host for his Primta, then it could be convinced to wait but this Primta had a host waiting. He did not know whether this slave was speaking truth or not. He had endured torture, that even a Jaffa would have succumbed to, by now. This would be the last chance, San'kha had to earn his new Primta. He needed the truth, from this slave.
That was if he had not, already been speaking the truth. If he was, then by the end of their final session together, San'kha would truly be free. “My freedom is waiting for me slave, that is what you believe? I believe that the words you speak now, are not your true words. I know this, because of the way you butcher our tongue but you are still nothing but a slave”. And so their last dance began.
Jim continued his same ramblings. About his God being the only God and that he had been sent to set San'kha free. The torture was excruciatingly painful but Jim did not want it to end, he knew what was coming next. Donald had told him all about his father in laws sister and what she had been forced, to do to her parents. The only thing that gave him hope, if hope was an emotion he still felt. Was the fact that she had spared her brother, if a slave girl could fight these things. The animal that he had felt the Sarcophagus turning him into, must stand a better chance than her.
The whole time Jim was being tortured by San'kha, unseen eyes and ears, were taking in everything they could. Ra had been plagued by a recurring dream. A dream concerning the only one of his children, who had came close to defeating him. It had taken the combined might of all of his offspring, even Apophis had joined the fight. Apophis was Ra's ancient enemy. His entire reason for being, was to be his ultimate rival. As night is to day, they were to each other.
Anubis had not planned to take Apophis position as Ra's new rival, he wanted to kill all of them and be the only God. He would have then ruled over all, as the God who had killed all others and became the only one of his kind. In this dream that plagued him. A being of pure energy like the one that had caused the world Kheb, to become a forbidden world long ago. Only the light that surrounded the being, was not the one described by the Jaffa, that had escaped and returned to tell the tail. Before Ra killed him, to keep the secret of more powerful beings, than himself.
The being he described was one made of pure light, that seemed like even more light was trying to break free. The one in his dreams, was made of light but that light surrounded a darkness and that darkness would always coalesce, into the image of Anubis. His Jaffa had never found his body but Anubis had received fatal wounds, even for a Gau'auld.
Now this slave, who was definitely no slave, a fanatic but not a slave. Anubis did not want slaves, he only wanted devotion. Ra and his kind had long considered themselves true gods but they all knew it was a lie. Anubis truly believed he was a God and decided that there could only be one. true God. So he started murdering his siblings and even his own young.
Gau'auld controlled space was vast. By the time Ra realised what was happening, Anubis was too powerful to defeat alone. The most powerful of his children, were rewarded for their loyalty and were given more power. In a change to how the system lords, would operate going forward. Instead of squabbling amongst each other, they would cooperate to a certain degree, to prevent another Anubis rising again. They would still go to war for territory but more for the purpose of keeping their Jaffa at peak physical and combat conditions.
It could not be Anubis, Ra was certain of this but if this human was playing a role and hiding his true nature, then he was doing an impressive job. Ra had seen Jaffa tell all after far less punishment, than this man had endured and unlike others, that had been exposed to multiple revivals in the Sarcophagus, he did not seem to be losing himself.
It mattered not. First Ra would interrogate him alone, so that his Jaffa were not infected by him and then he would become a host and reveal all. Only then would he punish the people of this world and the instrument for that punishment, would be the man they had given assistance to. San'kha had proven his devotion and would be given a new Primta. The manner in which he reacted, when the human would insult Ra and his fellow Gau'auld. Told him that the man was devoted, to his gods.
Maybe he had spoken some truth, when he had given his explanation for his purposeful failures. that had prevented his ascension to first prime and the title of Anubis. He had bestowed the title for two reasons. The first was as a warning to the other Gau'auld and the second was purely for his own amusement. By giving the title to his own first prime, he had made it clear to the others. That they all could be replaced and he was amused. Because he knew that Anubis, would be infuriated by the insult.
He had truly begun to enjoy, watching this human suffer but if there was a threat to him out there. He required all this fanatic knew about this new God and more importantly, whether it was Anubis himself. He ordered Anubis to take the prisoner, to the thrown room of his vessel and then place him in the Sarcophagus. He then sent his little future hosts away and then waited.
San'kha had used all of the instruments of torture, that the gods could provide him with but instead of breaking the human, he seemed to only grow stronger. He knew that the man was suffering, from the pain he was inflicting but he had been closer to breaking him, the first time he had tortured him. How could a slave be so strong, this should not be possible. He thought to himself.
When Anubis arrived to collect the human. San'kha resigned himself to his fate. He looked to the one who he had been told to worship, had he would the other gods and declared. “I have failed my Lord, he tells me only what he wishes. I have learned nothing of use from him”.
Anubis had no hatred for this Jaffa, it was his father he hated. When Tu'rok had been approaching the end of his life, a new Anubis was to be crowned. Himself and four others, were chosen to be possible replacements but Tu'rok had made it clear, that he had not approved his inclusion. Even though he would best all of the others in combat, Tu’rok had not altered his opinion. When Ra over ruled him and appointed him as his successor. Ra had informed him, that one of the only times Tu'rok had ever questioned his God. Was when he had chosen him, to replace him as the new Anubis.
“Ra sees everything San'kha, he knows of your devotion to him. Whether he sends you to the afterlife or not, Sokar will not be your tormentor. Help me bring this one and when he has been placed in the Sarcophagus, remain outside our lords throne room and await his judgement”. Anubis had served with San'kha, before he had ascended to the position of Anubis. The two had developed a respect for each other, in that time. He had been as surprised as anyone, when San'kha had not, been one of the candidates for the position himself.
“Yes my Lord”. San'kha replied, before removing the humans shackles.
Jim was barely conscious, when Anubis arrived but he was lucid enough to hear the kind words, that the one called Anubis spoke.
So it was the father he hated and not the son. Another small piece of information, that he would use to destroy these people. The time had come and he would have to act soon. If he did not, the people who had helped them on this world, would suffer greatly and his own world would soon share their fate. He just did not have the strength and when the Sarcophagus restored that strength, it would already be too late.
So he tried one last time, to shatter San'kha's faith. “Your freedom is approaching brother, my purpose for being here will soon be at an end and you will be free. Your heart is almost open brother. When it is open, I will reveal the name of my God”. He knew the name that he would reveal but he feared it would not be enough. Anubis fist striking him in the stomach, ensured he would not speak again.
He was unconscious when they placed him in the Sarcophagus. When he awoke, he was back in the place he had once believed was heaven and grabbed hold of his mental anchor. He was doing this for her, more than anyone else and she was all he had left, of the man he once was. To protect her he would destroy the gods, then use their power, to create a better world. A world where he would rule, with his queen by his side. He knew what he was thinking was wrong but he no longer cared.
The light separated as it always did but there were no hands to pull him free of the Sarcophagus. He sat up when he realised this, scanned the throne room and noticed that he was alone, with Ra.