TITLE: Down The River - Ra
CATEGORY: Angst, drama
SPOILERS: The movie itself
SEASON/SEQUEL: Through the 4th
CONTENT WARNINGS: One really clueless, pissed-off symbiote who finally gets a clue.
SUMMARY: Reflections on the living by someone who isn't.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own Stargate SG-1. Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. I have written this story for entertainment purposes only. No money has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. This story may not be posted elsewhere without the consent of the author.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: Big thanks to Lems and Lex for betaing this story.
I will not tolerate this.
I am Ra, the most powerful System Lord that has ever existed. My regime reaches to the known borders of the universe. Armies of Jaffa tremble at my passing. Millions of slaves quake beneath my feet.
I will not tolerate such....disrespect.
Here, in this....place....I will not abide this behavior.
Nor will I remain here. I will escape this....place.
It is inconceivable how I came to this place. My voyage to Abydos to replenish my ship's naquada supply and retrieve new slaves was routine. The Abydonian slaves were always eager to do my bidding and supply my needs. To find strangers there inciting a rebellion was not to be allowed. My efforts to quell the rebellion only increased their determination and defiance. That human from the Tau'ri homeworld, from the world that I built, that I created, from the world that rebelled and denied the System Lords their rightful access to the rich supply of hosts by burying the Chappa'ai was the focal point of the resistance. I knew this as he stood before me, defiantly, without fear. Never before had I been met with such dispassion and disdain.
I should not have let my curiosity of the Tau'ri guide my actions.
I should have let him remain dead.
I should have killed him again when he brought the woman on board my ha'tak to resurrect her in my sarcophagus.
He and that other Tau'ri were the authors of my defeat.
Their device, the bomb that I had ordered sent to the Tau'ri homeworld, was transported back on board my ha'tak.
And I found myself....here.
The moment I arrived, I was not allowed to cross the River. Nehebkau, the underlord that guards the Underworld, took me into the Hall of the Two Truths. There, I was judged by the Ceremony of the Weighing Of the Heart. As had been foretold, Ammit and Babi sat beneath the Scales of Justice awaiting the judgment, awaiting the moment to add their contribution to the Ceremony, each staring imperiously at me -- at me! They laughed when Thoth, my prosecutor, questioned me and announced that I had no heart to be weighed against the feather of Ma'at in the Ceremony. I was found guilty of heartless cruelty. I was judged unworthy enough to be refused the customary punishment to which Jaffa and slaves are subjected. Ammit and Babi were denied their chance to devour my soul for my "crimes."
How dare they judge me?
I repeated my objection to Thoth. "What crimes have I committed against the empire? I am Ra. I rule all. Bow before me, beg my forgiveness for your insolence, and I may yet be merciful."
Instead, I was sentenced to the custody of Amentet, another underlord, to serve an eternity of non-existence to be suffered in three parts. I was to be ignored by those who should be my slaves, I would be forced to relive every memory of everyone I have reigned over, and ultimately I would be given a host from which I may view the state of the empire but not be allowed a voice....that cannot be true. They are withholding information from me. This is not the manner in which gods are treated. Jaffa are told what they are needed and nothing more. Slaves are rarely spoken to. Why insult me in such a manner when I will be given a host and ultimately regain my kingdom? I will show them no mercy when I regain my rightful place. Are they not aware of that fact?
This punishment was an insult. Ignore me? Relive events that were my right to control? Choosing my host for me? They dared to even intimate that a mere servant whose only purpose in life is to serve holds a higher status than I do?
How dare they judge me? Who are they to determine the course of my life. I am Ra! No one is master of my fate.
I was forcibly taken by Nehebkau and I was tossed - tossed! - into the River. I was swept downstream to this...place. The waves swept me onto the rocks near the shore, and Amentet's guards retrieved me and threw -- threw! -- me away from the River. There, I learned the depths of the insolence by those who would dare defy their god and persecute me.
Of all the tales I have known of the land of the Duat, the final resting place of the gods, this is not it. This place was not to be the land of my eternal reign. This is not an eternal paradise. I am in the realm meant for the damned, for those who defy the gods. Amentet, the goddess who guards this place, lives in a great palace in the center of the land. She ventures out from her comfort only to torment us. She has instructed her guards to do as they please -- as she does. We are kicked, stepped on, thrown from place to place. Our physical state is wretched, and we cannot heal ourselves quickly. We suffer without respite the pain wrought by our captors.
This place is cold, and I do not like cold. The wind blows incessantly. Snow is always on the ground. It is always nighttime. There is no place to find warmth. It is unacceptable to treat a god so. I have demanded fires be brought, but not one of my subjects have obeyed me. They walk past me, ignoring me or laughing at me. I will repay them tenfold once I have escaped this place.
This existence is inexcusable. My dark, interminable days are filled with others passing by me, not bowing to me -- their god. I am not accorded the reverence that is my right. I am ignored when I give an order. I am laughed at. Yet I am Ra. I will persevere. I will show them the courage of the gods. I will bear all with great strength during these times and plot my revenge on those who would dare treat me in such a manner.
If only their insolence had been the end of it, I might have been inclined to give them a mercifully swift death. I may give certain tormentors who laugh at me such a death as Amentet watches. She will know that I hold the means and manner of her death in my hands. Her end will not be so merciful. She will beg me for a swift death before I allow it to take her.
Daily, I am subjected to other afflictions. Amentet has decreed that I should experience every pain I inflicted on every one of my subjects since the day I took my first host. She forces me to feel the pain of possession, of punishment. How dare she! It was my right to punish those who should worship me, sacrifice all to me, thank me for their very existence. To force me to experience the punishments I dictated -- as was my right! -- is intolerable.
This River is the most disturbing aspect of my existence. It is the border of Amentet's kingdom, yet it seems to be everywhere. I have been told that another part of my punishment is to witness every act I have committed. There is no place I may be that I am not within sight of the River. Its waters have depicted incessantly every action I have undertaken from my birth until my death. I have watched the course of my life. I have seen my reign. I take pride in my actions as I held dominion over my empire. I do not understand why I should feel shame. As the ruling System Lord, my actions are above reproach. Amentet daily taunts me with what she calls the wrongness of my actions. She laughs at me. She daily mocks my fall from power. I will make her pay for her insolence. She will bow down before me and beg for her life once I regain my empire.
Will I show her any mercy?
No, her insolence is unforgivable. I will enjoy watching Amentet die by my hand.
The River has revealed more to me than my captors anticipated. In the water, I have seen the two Tau'ri that defied me. I have witnessed their crimes as they destroyed others of my kind. I have been told that they have been assured a place Across The River because of their selfless, heroic deeds. Selfless? Heroic? They have destroyed and killed their gods, yet they are to reap the glory of the Duat that is rightfully mine? This O'Neill, this Daniel Jackson, they will both be entertainment for me when I retrieve the Tau'ri homeworld. I will see them tortured, starved, beaten, then resurrected in a sarcophagus. I will keep them alive and in torment for many years.
Then again, I may enjoy watching them die by my hand as well. Slowly. I will be their judge and sentence them to this...place...for their attacks against the Goa'uld. They will suffer as I have suffered. They will experience every moment of pain I have endured for the rest of their eternities. I will see their despair and torment. I will enjoy hearing their pleas for mercy that I will not bestow.
Then, perhaps when I am satisfied that they have suffered enough, I will take great pleasure in destroying them. Slowly. Painfully. With great joy and satisfaction.
I am not alone in my suffering. There are others of my kind here. My mate, Hathor. Our son, Heru'ur. Seth. Sokar. We have been judged to the same fate. We pass each hour at the merciless machinations of a mere underlord. Amentet is a cruel task mistress. She inflicts pain and belittlement. She basks in warmth in her palace while we are relegated to the darkness and the cold. She feasts on rare meats while we starve on crumbs from her table.
I will not accept this.
I should not be here. I should be reigning over all the lands of the Duat, both blissful and hellish.
The land of the Duat that is the reward for those who pass the test of the Weighing Of The Heart is upriver. My previous host is also reported to be residing there. A mere slave. An insignificant boy of no consequence. He was not worthy to stand in my presence. His only value was as a host. Yet, he is there and I am here in this.....place.
I will not remain here.
I have tried many times to swim upstream, but the current is too strong. I cannot swim against it. I have tried to travel overland only to be brought back physically by Amentet's guards. I am as yet unable to take a host among my slaves because I cannot penetrate the neck of a slave. I have been told that it is forbidden. If I am to be given a host soon, why should I not be allowed to choose one for myself? Repeatedly, I have tried. Repeatedly, I have failed. Hathor and Seth have tried to find a host only to discover they share this inability.
I should be angry at this inability -- but it is no longer a concern for me.
I will find a means of escape.
And I will find this means soon for today I have been given the news I have been waiting for.
Today, I have been told that I will be given a host.
A host will allow me the unrestricted movement that has thus far been beyond my means. A host will aid me in my quest for freedom. A host will...
This cannot be happening!
They have misspoke! I certainly would never have misheard. I am not to be given a host -- I am to be given as a host? I am to spend the rest of my eternity in unfathomable pain? What impertinence is this? I am a god, not a lowly slave!
Amentet approaches me with a very small Goa'uld clutched in her hands. Her guards hold me down as she places the small symbiote on me. Her final words to me are "Now you will feel every pain you have inflicted on others for an eternity." The creature...I can feel it moving.....crawling....slithering....hissing....No! The pain! The pain! Stop! No! I can feel it....I will not be forced to.....NO!!!!
I awake to darkness and the shadow of pain. No, not the shadow. The pain is renewing! No! I cannot...I will not withstand this! Stop! This creature is inflicting pain on me! Me! I am Ra! I am your god! You must obey me! Wave after wave of excruciating, merciless pain...I cannot....stop...please....NO!!!!
I am awake again. I am tired -- no, exhausted. I have no refuge from this. I must -- no! Not the pain again! Stop! You will stop! You must stop! I am Ra! I rule the empire! Stop! No!.......NO!!!!
Again, I awake. This time, the pain has receded, but only for the moment. The creature inside me rests in a light sleep. I must try to escape....
I cannot move.
I have no control over my body. I have no voice to command my subjects to free me. The creature, although sleeping, taunts me and inflicts pain on me in its dreams. I can feel the sharp needles of pain stinging me, readying themselves for their next attack on me.
How dare he do this? I will not permit this! I am Ra! I am a god!
I am not a....host?
How can this be? I am the most powerful Goa'uld in the empire.
I am not a slave.
I am dead.
Alive, I was powerful......how can that power be gone now that I am.....here?
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