NationStates Jolt Archive

The Eyes of Ancient Gods

Lord Atum
01-06-2005, 21:39
Lord Atum would have smiled, were he still capable of that seemingly simple action, at his latest prize. The Eye of Tiamat, it was a small crystalline object in a golden clasp. He broke the fragile clasp apart and took the large ruby-like gem from it. A panel that emerged from the wall behind his throne held four more items similar to it. These were the ‘Eyes’ of Ra, Isis, Apophis and Osiris. He slotted the new addition into place, and an indicator rising to denote a figure equal to thi two times the output of a single item, each of which was a key fragment of a zero-point energy module.

He wondered how this had finally been found. Looking at the soldier that had presented it, he took his seat once again as the panel disappeared into the wall. The panel disappeared, and the golden metal wall shifted to obscure the panel as the ‘eyes’ integrated themselves into the massive Citadel Ship’s systems, power ready to be tapped when the vessel needed it, but not yet enough. A translucent black curtain of silk fell, covering the armoured hiding place. One crystal remained beyond Atum’s grasp, the Eye of Balor, and he suspected he knew where that was.

“Tell me,” he said, addressing the kneeling jaffa, “How did you find the Eye of Tiamat so quickly?”

He smiled most inappropriately, and began his tale…


Rakor was not the leader of the thousand strong battalion that had been tasked with finding the Eye on a distant world, but he was the leader of a small team tasked with excavating a massive ziggurat found near the planet’s stargate. They’d found a barrier, a blast door, preventing access to the inner portions of the temple. The barrier was almost a foot thick, impenetrable trinium and iron.

Work to enter it, past cuneiform block-patterns on its surface had taken many days. Blasting past them had simply damaged them, and it had resisted all other attempts to open the door. Finally, Rakor himself had opened the door by learning that the blocks had been intended to depict, in cuneiform and pictographs, a story. Only by establishing that four of the pictographs were out of place, had he been able to move them into the correct order.

The door had slowly risen with a trembling and Rakor had feared that the building would collapse, but it had remained strong. The team entered the ziggurat’s interior but had been trapped when the mechanism that controlled it had brought the door down. The blocks, by some mechanism, had become scrambled again.

Entombed in darkness, ancient wood left by past ‘adventurers’ ignited by plasma blasts from staff weapons had provided weak illumination and burned with an oily, gagging smoke.

The interior of the door was devoid of the same blocks, completely featureless but for a small inscription in an ancient dialect of goa’uld popular with the minions of the goa’uld Marduk, the long deceased murderer of Tiamat. Two people had made it. The first was embossed, made with the door, and it had read ‘The Last Gate of the Labyrinth.’

Below it, on a surface charred by a dozen sooty marks from staff weapon blasts, was an inscrption, carved into the solid metal. A name, worn off by time, a funery inscription of a crypt robber, who had come for some unknown reason centuries ago.

They had spent hours trying to reopen the door that had sealed them in, but to no avail. There seemed to be no exit that way. Proceeding slowly, tearing their clothes to keep their single torch burning, the party had made their way into the labyrinth.

The first casualty had been a tall jaffa with a pale complexion called Santo. A marked flagstone had burst asunder under his weight and sent him plummeting to his doom. They’d head a death cry, but nothing more, and throwing a stone down after him had yielded no sound.

The second gate they passed was once a disguised part of the wall, but another, past victim had wedged it open.

In time, these traps became more and more impressively lethal. The last gate had been surrounded by remains of those faithful who had been entombed, by the blasphemous rebels, with Marduk. They had starved to death inside the dry tomb. Their numbers were winnowed, but at last, they found a golden sarcophagus. Jammed shut. In it lay the skeletal remains of a goa’uld, and Rakor had been careful to check for the tiny bones of the symbiote inside the skeleton.

Sealed inside the coffin with the corpse was the eye, on a long, golden chain. They had found the eye, as their god had commanded, but nothing more. Eventually, though Rakor was the only survivor to escape the tomb of Marduk, he had discovered the concealed means of opening each door of the labyrinth.


Atum leaned back, “Your story is fascinating,” he said, “though it comes with one flaw.”

Rakor looked up. “What? … my Lord.”

“No truly loyal jaffa would search for the symbiote of a dead goa’uld,” he paused, and held up his hand, “so either you are disloyal, or not a jaffa.”

Rakor flinched as if struck, “And no shol’va would bring me the eye.”

The false-jaffa soldier lunged at Atum, screaming wordlessly. His hands grasped the false-god’s robes, and he slumped down as his body was pummelled by blasts from the plasma repeaters of Atum’s guards. He stood, and kicked the dying assailant down the steps of his throne. “Is it not true, Maduk?”

Marduk gargled bile, frothing and screaming in rage, he had always been insane in Atum’s opinion. His long imprisonment had clearly not helped.

Atum gestured dismissively to the Kull Warriors, “Take him to the brig, revive him, and prepare him for information retrieval.”
Lord Atum
02-06-2005, 10:15
The dungeons of Atum’s Citadel Ship were surprisingly clean. Given his reputation, one would imagine filth and rats, but in actuality, what one received was golden doors and walls, all, quite, quite solid. Marduk however, was only in a position to appreciate the colouration of the cell’s ceiling. Held to a wide altar by a heavy slab of metal, carved like a pillory, his field of view was limited only to the ceiling and the areas just a little to each side of him.

The door of the cell slid open with an ominous grinding sound, as if of wet stones rubbing against one another. The heavy footfalls of more of Atum’s super soldiers could be heard, and he craned his neck to try and see his tormentor. Instead all he saw was the shadow, black robes, black hood concealing a black mask with shadows.


Atum sounded gratified, gloating, as he spoke, “Excellent. You are conscious.”

Marduk spat something obscene at him.

“Excellent. I see the madness is still strong. But regardless, you know much that I would be interested in learning.”

Marduk’s words made it clear that no torment Atum could devise would be greater than that he had experienced for millennia of living death.

“Indeed not,” said Atum, stalking around the cell’s sacrificial altar, “but I do not need to interrogate you.”

He held up a device, almost an inch in diameter, “this device, will be implanted into your brian. It will form a link, between your mind and the ship’s computer. Your knowledge will simply be downloaded into our memory banks. You will no doubt resist. And you will no doubt fail.”

He passed it to an attendant, who pressed a concealed button, and telescopic spikes emerged slowly from the grooved surface of the device. “When you are done,” Atum commanded, “dispose of the body.”

Soon, he would review the knowledge of the mad goa’uld. And then, then he would set his plan for capturing the Eye of Balor into motion.
Lord Atum
03-06-2005, 23:06
Eight ha'tak class warships found themselves escorting Atum's Citadel Ship in high orbit of a planet, green with life, a planet of over two hundred million souls. The planet had three moons of varying sizes, and two of the massive goa'uld ships rained plasma down on the closer one. A base there, of a technologically primitive people, in comparison to the goa'uld, was fast being reduced to a sea of molten rock. The other ha'taks were also firing, down at the cities of the planet Zigara. Meanwhile, light years away, Lord Atum was busy interrogating his latest victim.

"So," he said to the miserable figure slumped down, kneeling, at his feet, "You are Bel?"

Dwarfed and defeated by two of Atum's Super Soldiers, Bel stared up, as if in some form of shock, "Yes," he croaked.

"Good," Atum said, "You are defeated," the System Lord pronounced. "Your forces are decimated. You will never conquer Zigara, but soon the millions of serfs there will feel my rule. But, I feel generous, you may beg to live, in my service."

The other goa'uld grovelled, pleaded, begged and otherwise debased himself, until Atum's amusement ebbed, and he engaged in the demeaning ritual so favoured by goa'uld system lords. He branded his latest servant. Excruciating, but not permanent, thanks to the healing capabilities of the goa'uld symbiote. Then he assigned Bel his first mission in Atum's service.

"You will take the two ha'tak attacking that moon," he had said, gesturing out of the window, "And proceed to the Asgard protected world Vestin Eleven. They will doubtless respond to your presence by sending one of their Beliskner vessels. Destroy it, and capture its occupants."

Bel prostrated himself, and shuffled backwards from the throne room.

"Before you go, remember," he said, "Your vessels will have your friends here," he gestured to the kull warriors, "somewhere aboard. Disloyalty will result in your death." Bel didn't need to see Atum's face to perceive his sadistic grin, "Eventually," the System Lord said.
04-06-2005, 17:38
Cool mist rose gently from the density treated ice walls and support matrixes in a seemingly endless corridor. It was one of many set in a complex geometric form with no one corridor physically intersecting with another. Inset into the ceiling of these byzantine corridors were a multitude of illumination nodes and strings of luminous bacteria. Their walls would be occasionally broken in their perfectly smooth form by a protruding machine who’s purpose would elude lesser minds, or a console who’s smooth black surface bore only runicly inscribed stones . In the heart of all of this the chamber lay. The chamber where it lay. Not dead and not alive. It simply was.

The researchers thin limbed form gently and slowly moved the control devices upon the expansive multitude of panels in front of its person. Torith was with the delicate precision of years of ageless practice and memories data danced as the thing sitting inside the chambers countless layers of defence which stretched down to the molecular level was once more probed. The sound of multiple stasis field generators almost inaudibly whined in the background while under the researchers touch bank upon bank of multipurpose nodes all pointing inwards danced about the objects arachnid like form. Torith paused mid control rune movement and seemingly glided over to one wall, legs moving with almost waterfall like control. A breif flash of light entered this control area, and Toriths form was gone.
Appearing mid stride in one of the many corridors Torith reached out. The layout of the facilities every system had long ago been memorised to something beyond perfection to a level more instinctive than that, almost encoded into Toriths very neural and muscle memory by act of will upon his minds part. Power flowed where it had not a moment before and things nearer the surface of the sphere Torith inhabited flashed into life. For the first time in an age Torith spoke. “How tiresome”. The researchers form once again vanished from a corridor and reapeared in another. Another device received power under Toriths rapidly moving digits. “This is Torith to Valkyrie” a moment passed then another, Torith long used to routine spent the time carefully fine tuning the nearest power flow node. “This is Valkyrie responding” At once Toriths view was that of the sprawling bridge of a ship of the fleet. A tall grey figure subtly different from Toriths simplified form stood up from the command dias and addressed his person, its voice audibly female and using of tenses of the language that Torith had not heard in an age and its figure held in a sweeping long thin robe held by a silver mantle bejewelled with control runes. Torith spoke almost hesitantly at first “I was not aware that any of the new yet served the fleet”
She replied her voice echoing in ways that Toriths never could. “The council felt it was time for us, and in the race in such dire straights as these days bring” She trailed off before looking upon Torith in detail for the first time. “What is your request prime researcher?”
“I have detected two Gau’ld motherships approaching my facility. Please warn them of or dispose of them, I cannot and must not be disturbed in my works and I have high council authority to call upon the nearest assets to insure this.”
She delicately tapped control runes for a moment before replying simply “I am coming, I will arrive in three hours. Be prepared Researcher. The Gau’ld are not as they were.”
Lord Atum
04-06-2005, 17:59
“Lord Bel, we have arrived.”

Bel, wearing a high collared robe intended to at least obscure his recent humiliation, strutted around the bridge. “Good. Can you locate the Asgard facility?”

The jaffa operated the controls, scanning the near face of the Asgard planet, “No my Lord.”

“I see, split the ships up,” he was astonished to be contradicted by the jaffa. Thoughts of slaughter were eventually pushed back by the wisdom of the jaffa’s suggestion.

“Lord, if we split our vessels up, an Asgard vessel will be able to engage them one at a time and defeat them.”

“Very well, let us see if we cannot goad our little white friends into revealing themselves. Launch four flights of gliders. Send them around the planet, order them to scan for the Asgard facility.”

“But my Lord, without the defences of a ha’tak…”

Bel glared at him, “Obey me!” he snapped…
Lord Atum
05-06-2005, 22:19
05-06-2005, 22:54
Toriths form flickered between corridors in a blur sometimes stopping for a moment to check an object sometimes stopping only to press a single control rune.. Devices set deep within the ice of the world which he was fated to protect at all costs came to as close to life as they ever would. The complex series of corridors that made up what had been Torith’s and its home for the past five years came to a semblance of activity. Devices which enhanced the density and integrity of the ice above him were flooded with power and the great single central transport node set in the ice a full forty kilometres from the facility hummed with new found parameters and commands. Immatierly thin senses reached out and touched the gliders as they one by one entered atmosphere. When all had entered and had started their search Torith acted with the cold hard calculating confidence and technology of his race. Four would simply instantly cease to be, converted and stored as pure energy nearly instantly. Five would find the swirling snow filled skies of this empty little planet their final resting place as their gliders were neatly dissected as sections simply vanished. Two would find towering masses of snow and rock suddenly mere metres in front of their speeding forms. One would find itself suddenly plummeting head long into Vestins suns surface well within the corona of that orb. Torith activated still more devices and the bases redundant back up power sources all quite deliberately of varying design and widely dispersed distance roared to life. Torith then standing once more in the control room stroked a single rune and power roared out of the corridors almost as one. This power touched the Ha’Tak’s hulls themselves and vibrated them. Torith then spoke “You have violated our space Gau’uld and paid a price for it, leave at once or pay a further toll”.
Lord Atum
06-06-2005, 12:18
Bel sat on the command throne, legs together, head bent, brows furrowed in concentration. His thought was interrupted by the report of the jaffa running the vessel.

“My Lord,” the jaffa said, “our gliders are… Gone.”

“Did you get telemetry pinpointing the energy on the surface at the time of their destruction?”

“Yes my Lord,” he said, he altered the settings on the console, and a plan map of the surface, white with various terrain features picked out, and points of red indicating power sources. The view zoomed in on the area around the base.

“Run the data backwards at a speed of one second per five real minutes.”

One of the red dots faded, then brightened, then faded again, several times. Bel pointed to it, “That’s it. There. Close all glider bays, open all plasma inducers, set main cannon four charge to forty kels and lock onto that target!”

Inside one of six ball-turrets on the ha’tak, each housing a main polarised energy cannon, only one of which could be fired at any one time, charged up, a massive plasma containment chamber filling with energetic plasma containing enough heat to devastate a small city. Only a fraction of the chamber’s full capacity of course, but more than enough for the task at hand, or so Bel imagined. It was not essential to take the contents of the facility intact, or Bel would never have risked this.

The vessels crossed the planet’s horizon, and the lead vessel let loose, plasma from the exciter chamber being flushed through to a massive array of linear accelerators that compressed the gas into a single bolt, and, after increasing the vessel’s mass threefold fired it at speed from a port that slid open on the spherical cannon’s surface.

Streaking down, the plasma shell left a trail in the atmosphere as it streaked toward the transporter node.


The planet of Sebet-Sweru, now with a new stargate, was receiving a very important visitor. Overlord Thoth. Viewing the shipyards, there were three massive constructs where once dozens of ha’taks would have been built at once. Two were massive vessels, with extensive superstructures. The third was even more impressive, and would soon be approaching an initial stage of completion.

Atum was preparing for war, and Thoth wondered about who was to be the victim, and how he would profit from it…