A Dubious Ally
by Kathryn A
Challenge: Multiverse 2005
Jack shifted slightly in his hiding place, mentally wishing the goa'uld to perdition. Though in seven minutes, when the bombs went off, that's where they'd all be.
"An intruder, my lord."
Jack peered around the corner of the alcove. They hadn't found one of his team had they? He thought he'd been the only one unlucky enough not to get away.
The man that the Jaffa escorted into the room was a total stranger. And hardly dressed for a covert mission -- a long beige coat and a hat, of all things! The intruder doffed his hat and stuck out his hand. "Hello, I'm the Doctor," he said with an affable smile.
A scientist, Jack thought. I should have known.
"Kneel before your god!"
"Well, that's not very friendly," the Doctor remarked.
Jack placed the man's accent. What the heck did the Brits think they were doing?
"I'd just like to point out," the Doctor said hurriedly, "that someone has planted bombs on your ship."
Jack didn't care if the guy was human, he was going to kill this doctor if they got out of this alive.
The goa'uld Nefertem gestured at two of the guards. "Jaffa! Kree!" They jogged out the door.
"Bombs planted by you, a Tau'ri spy!"
"I'm not a spy!"
"Then how did you get on my ship?"
"I got lost?" the Doctor suggested.
Nefertem raised his hand, and his ribbon device glowed. The Doctor fell to his knees as the white light of pain bored into his skull.
Now, while they're distracted! Jack stuck his zat around the corner and shot the remaining two guards. As Nefertem was turning around, Jack managed to get one shot in. The goa'uld staggered, and his ribbon-pulse went wild. Jack grabbed the Doctor by the arm and dragged him staggering out of the room. Jack hit the door controls, and zatted them.
"There, that should hold them for a while. Can you walk?"
"I can run! Which way?"
Several corridors and corners later, they paused in a deserted storeroom to catch their breath.
"Thanks for saving my life. I'm the Doctor, by the way. And you are...?"
"Colonel Jack O'Neill, USAF. And you should be shot, for treason."
"I was just trying to be friendly."
"Friendly!" Jack looked at his watch. "Well, the bombs should be going off in three, so the point is moot."
"I'm afraid they won't. Some of them anyway."
"What are you talking about, Doctor?"
"I disarmed them."
"Well, how was I to know this was an act of righteous sabotage? Bombs are usually bad news."
"Bad news for the bad guys!" Jack snapped.
"Have you actually tried talking with them?"
"You saw how 'friendly' they were before."
"Well, they thought I was a spy. They'd naturally be upset. I've actually managed to get on quite well with people who thought I was a spy at first, once I'd explained the situation."
"You get 'mistaken' for a spy quite often, do you?"
"Frequently. Which just demonstrates the limitations of the military mind."
"Nefertem doesn't have a military mind."
"Nefertem, did you say? Where have I heard that name before...?"
"In one of your history books. Nefertem was an Egyptian god."
"Of course it's impossible, the snake just thinks it's a god, that's why you can't deal with them."
"No, I mean, he can't be an Egyptian god, the Egyptian gods were all Osirans -- he looked human."
"Of course the Goa'uld look human --"
"Goa'uld? Never heard of them."
"You're on a goa'uld ship and you've never heard of them? The scourge of the galaxy and you've never heard of them?"
"What year is this?"
"What kind of a stupid question is that?"
The Doctor sighed. "Just answer it, please?"
Jack realised what kind of a stupid question it was. "You're a time traveller? Accident with a stargate got you stuck in the past?" He eyed the Doctor's clothes. "Or the future...?"
"What's a stargate?"
"A chappa'ai? Big ring thing, connects with other gates via wormholes, across the galaxy?"
"Fascinating," the Doctor breathed.
The floor jerked from under them. Sounds of explosions were muffled by the door.
Jack smiled. "Well, you didn't get all of them."
"We're still here, so I suspect the ship is merely crippled."
Jack opened the door and peered out. "Nobody near at the moment."
A blood-curdling scream pierced the air.
"This way!" the Doctor cried, running towards the screams.
"Scientists!" Jack muttered, and followed him.
It was Nefertem and his guards. The wall next to them was still burning, the guards either dead or stunned.
The Doctor knelt down by the goa'uld. "Badly burned, but he's still alive."
"That's easily solved," Jack said, raising his zat.
"No! He's helpless! That would be murder!"
"This is war, dammit!"
"Violence begetting violence, a never-ending cycle!"
A flare of heat and pain bit Jack's leg -- a near miss by a staff weapon. Jack dove down and fired his zat. Missed. Just one Jaffa in the corridor, but there would soon be more. He kept firing.
"Doctor, we've got to get out of here!"
The Jaffa went down, finally. Jack stood up, turning towards the still-kneeling Doctor. "Doctor, come on!"
The Doctor stood slowly, and turned around. His eyes glowed with an unholy light. "Kneel before your god!" he said, and lifted a bejewelled hand.
Agony. Agony and light and pain.
In the pain, Jack thought he heard voices. Except that both of them sounded like the Doctor.
"Die, Tau'ri spy!"
"You defy me? Then you shall suffer!"
The pain stopped. Jack blinked up at the Doctor, whose face was contorted in agony.
"Help me," the Doctor whispered.
"He cannot help you! I am your master!" The strained growl came through the Doctor's lips.
"No," the Doctor ground out, in his own voice.
"That's right, Doctor," Jack said. "Fight it!"
Another blast of pain was Jack's reward, but the voices still argued.
"With your vessel I will become the greatest of the gods!"
"I won't give you the TARDIS."
"Then I will force you to kill this Tau'ri worm!"
"No! If you kill him, you won't have anything to bargain with."
"You are weak. You will not risk that."
"Don't kill him!"
The torment ceased. Jack shook his head groggily. The zat was no longer in his hand -- he must have dropped it in his pain.
"Stand up, Tau'ri spy!" The Doctor -- or more precisely, Nefertem -- commanded from his new host.
"That's 'Colonel' to you. Colonel Jack O'Neill," Jack said, with a bravado he didn't feel. He stood up.
"Now, walk!" Nefertem held up his ribbon device threateningly.
Jack walked. What was this TARDIS that Nefertem wanted? What sort of a fellow was the Doctor, if he could argue with a mature goa'uld even after being taken over? Why would the Doctor care what happened to him? The Goa'uld were masters of deceit, but only when they needed to be. If this Doctor was such a bleeding heart that he wanted to help an injured goa'uld, then maybe his not wanting Jack to be killed wasn't such a surprise after all.
Explosions kept on happening, as secondary systems in the goa'uld ship overloaded. The ship lurched more than once, but not enough to give Jack the chance he needed to attack Nefertem. Not with bare hands against a ribbon device.
Turning a corner, they came to something that definitely didn't belong on a goa'uld ship: a blue sort of cabinet or hut, about the size and shape of a porta-potty. Inexplicably, it had "POLICE PUBLIC CALL BOX" written in white letters above the door. Was this the "vessel" that Nefertem was drooling over? Ridiculous.
"Move! Open the door!" Nefertem growled.
Jack opened the door and stepped inside, with Nefertem close behind.
Jack barely suppressed a gasp when he saw that it wasn't ridiculous at all. Where he had expected it to be dark and cramped, all was white and spacious. If that wasn't a set of control panels in the centre of the room, then he was blind and stupid. Advanced technology, no doubt about it.
"Nyssa!" the Doctor bellowed. "Nyssa, I need your help!"
Jack whirled around. The Doctor stood there, contorted, the hand with the ribbon device held out stiffly in front of him. The device glowed feebly, but the Doctor was obviously fighting against it.
Jack grabbed the Doctor's wrist, pushing it aside. Maybe he could get the device off before it went off.
"Doctor!" came a female voice from behind Jack. "Oh my goodness."
"Help..." the Doctor grated out.
Pain exploded at the back of Jack's head. As the darkness took him, he heard the Doctor's voice.