You are death incarnate. Invisible to your enemies. Deadly to all. Whoever you are charged with killing died the moment the order was given. It's just up to you when they know about it.
You don't use laser weapons, guns or other impersonal means. You do your work with a simple knife.
Simple perhaps is an understatement, but you use the weapon for two key reasons. First, your role is of feared assassin. There is several thousand years of proud history of the ashrak being the feared personal enforcement of the System Lords. They were the agents sent when one very important person, goa'uld or otherwise, needed to die. Death needed to be personal, painful and terrifying.
But, in this modern war, the ashrak's skills at killing, and ability to evade detection make her invaluable on the battlefield, and a major component of front line actions. No longer is she relegated to stories told to frighten children, only rarely being sent on real missions. Now, she plies her trade every day, soaking up the pain and misery of her cause like another may seek love and approval.
Is it wrong to like killing so much? Depends on who you are. If you are ashrak, then it would be wrong to think otherwise.
Nobody sees the battle as you do. Nobody is the hunter that you are. SGC Commandos think they are a predator, hiding from their perches and taking pot shots from a distance. That isn't hunting. That's hiding.
You slink down lonely corridors, hoping to run into the enemy. You stand invisible right out in the open, waiting for your enemy to show you his back. You charge in holding only a blade against an enemy with automatic weapons, toxins and explosives. And you win.
You strike fear in the hearts of all who oppose you. There is not an SGC warrior alive that doesn't fear ashrak. That doesn't call you out in fear at the slightest hint of noise or disturbance in a lonely hall. You watch laughing as they fire their weapons into empty corridors. You know they're looking for you. And there you are, standing right out in the open, unseen, just waiting for them to come closer.
You are not served by direct assault. If all else fails, you may try to drive into your enemy, and you may win the encounter, but once seen, your best tactic is escape. Once recharged, you can cloak again, and come at your enemy from another direction.
Use the confusion of battle to slip into a more advantageous position. Movement gives you away, but when focused on attacking goa'uld and jaffa, your enemy may not notice the subtle flashes of energy given off by your cloak.
The lethal ashrak is the one willing to wait for the right moment to strike. The one that waits for jaffa to engage a turret, before plunging her knife into the scientist that placed it. This way, she escapes to recloak and kill again.
Turrets will fall victim to a backstab, as the rear contains the delicate electronics that make the gun work. But once you attack, you will be visible, and have a hard time getting behind your enemy, or getting away.
Pick your targets one by one. Crowds are not healthy for you. The SGC are already paranoid about ashrak, and one hint of visibility from your cloak, and every gun in the room will be turned on you, even if their real threat at the moment is a jaffa firing on their position, or approaching goa'uld. They know, if you get away, they are surely dead.
The Reetou are a race of insectoid aliens that actually exist out of phase with so called "normal" matter. Though they can affect all matter around them, they are for all intents and purposes invisible to all but advanced phase shifting technology. The goa'uld have managed to artificially reproduce this effect, creating a Karesh, or "cloak" that renders the wearer completely invisible.
The technology is not perfect. Movement disturbs the atoms surrounding the cloak, and that disturbance sets up a resonance throughout the field, causing visible distortions. Violent action, such as in an attack, will cause enough resonance to collapse the field entirely, rendering the wearer visible until the unit can recharge. But, used carefully and they won't see you until after you've rendered the killing blow.
This complex little piece of jewelry allows the ashrak to drain energy from her enemies, and recover some health in the process. The field has a limited range, but it will leave her enemy unable to run, jump or otherwise escape or give chase. This device will not break your cloak, but the enemy will know you're nearby. It's often been used as a distraction, too, creating fear in the hearts of the enemy knowing an ashrak is after them.
“The way to a man’s heart is through his back.”
Made out of cold forged naquedah, this blade will penetrate any armor, and will hold its edge indefinitely. Designed for both slashing, and stabbing, the weapon delivers lethal injuries with every swipe, but combined with the unique skills of the ashrak, is instantly lethal from behind.
Some may tease about bringing a knife into such a battle. But, these are people who have never faced an ashrak. When they see their ranks wither from your assaults, they will learn respect, assuming they survive the encounter.
Diary Entry One
System Lords Third Battle Group
I do not accept the lot of my birth. I have all the knowledge, and even memory, of my lord and master, yet because he slithered out of the mother and took a host first, I must serve him? Absurd. He has not the skills or experience that I have gained. I chose my path for a reason. To obtain the skills that will be required to one day do away with my lord and to assume his throne.
One day, I will have this opportunity. The System Lords are arrogant, even for we Goa’uld, and lack the practical experience to have earned such ego. They believe we are controlled. That the mental inhibitors placed in our minds and those of our hosts protect them. But I have long since removed those inhibitions from myself and even my host, and when the time is right I will stand above the wasted form of my lord, from within the host he now inhabits, and assume his throne.
In the meantime, I am Ashrak. Assassin. The vengeance of the gods. My lord wishes a being dead and I am the embodiment of that desire.
The Tau’ri continue their infection of the galaxy, challenging the will and might of the System Lords. The last cabal was destroyed by these upstart slaves and chattle, dead from their own supreme arrogance as much as from the combat skill of these new Tau’ri. So, now we fight a more focused war, demonstrating to the Tau’ri why the System Lords are in control, and what their proper place is within this galaxy.
I am invisible to my enemy, lightning fast in movement, and deadly of blade. I restore myself from the very lifeforce of my foe, and bring death to his house. I am Ashrak. I am woe.
Diary Entry Two
System Lords Third Battle Group
Our lords’ spies had informed them of a rich naquadah mine on the planet Amarna, once part of Osiris’s domain, now long abandoned and forgotten. Their spies learned of this through Tau’ri infiltrators, and we knew that the Tau’ri would be there in force, preparing to steal the naquadah from us, or perhaps even to blow it up.
These are the missions that I enjoy the most. We came through the gate unopposed. Only a small squad was actually defending Osiris’s temple when we arrived. Two tasted my blade, before the other pair were dispatched by our Jaffa warriors. They never even managed a radio signal to the others.
We knew the SGC warriors would soon return, and laid an ambush. I just waited in a nice dark corridor for them to return, and when the last had past me, began my introductions.
The blood in the halls was magnificent. I only regret that the sand and porous stone of the temple absorbed it too quickly. There’s something truly wonderful about the effect blood has on humans. No matter how trained, they pause, and gape at the sight. And it’s always the last thing they see.
Though many Tau’ri died, I was impressed by their determination and strength. It’s easy to see why the ancestors chose them as host. As the battle progressed, one of our Goa’uld defending the stargate fell prey to grenade fire, and their forces managed to secure the gate and escape. The victory was ours, but it was not complete.
At least the mine is ours once again. I’m told humans from many worlds are already being sent there to work the naquadah from the ground to fill our armories.
Diary Entry Three
System Lords Third Battle Group
From the moment the lords first discovered the weather control system used by those on the ice world, Piramess, it was coveted. Technology of the Ancients, remastered by the monk-like recluses of Piramess, used to make their little corner of that ice block warm and cozy. Technology that, in the right hands, can bend worlds to our knee without a weapon being fired. Dry up oceans, and flood valleys. Technology that must be ours.
Infiltrating the city and dropping the planet’s defenses was simple enough for our squad. But the technology, itself, was of little use to us. But we quickly learned that the data cores that would allow modification and construction of this device were nearby, located in their defense system’s control station.
Despite destroying the gate, and blockading the world, the Tau’ri still managed to show up, and before we had managed to secure any of the data cores, we found ourselves in a full assault with veteran SGC warriors.
If my lords ever learned my feelings, perhaps I would be demoted in rank, or worse, but I so love missions that give us direct engagement with the SGC. Slaughtering monks and civilians has its charm, but there is nothing quite like prey that can bite back. Seeing the fear in the eyes of a foe who you know has killed your kin. Sharing their witness to their own death. It is the reward of my service. The payment for pretending to be lesser than my lords. And a joy they cannot know as intimately as I.
Unfortunately, the deceitful Tau’ri managed to distract us from their true goal. While we focused on obtaining data cores for the weather device, and keeping it active to stir up the snow into a storm that blinded their commandos, they were stealing backup power crystals for the planet’s defense systems. We believed they were just defending the data cores for the weather system, but instead, they were determined to reactivate the planet’s defenses, pushing our fleet out of range, and without the gate, cutting us off from the world, and our prize.
Too late, we learned their true intent. Many Tau’ri died, which always is a victory for the System Lords, but we got only half of the data we need to construct a weather weapon. Perhaps it is enough. Perhaps not. Ancient technology is mysterious, and their databases and blueprints cryptic.
My lords were displeased that we failed in our mission. But I am safe from that wrath. I am Ashrak. I kill to succeed. The rest is for others to worry about.
Diary Entry Four
System Lords Third Battle Group
Oh glorious day!
Yes, I must keep a solemn face before the System Lords, and my Goa’uld brethren. We failed in our mission, and obtained neither the Ancient nor Asgard databases nor that blasted chair. The lords were displeased with that. Furious, in fact.
But it doesn’t matter. I got to face the Tau’ri in their home base. I got to see the shocked look on their faces as they met their end by my blade in the very halls and spaces they call home. And the survivors will dread me, and fear me when the lights are low, every day. No place is safe, anymore. Even in their beds, they will fear as children do, and keep their weapons close at hand.
Many fell to their weapons. But not I. I am indestructible. I am invisible when I choose, glorious when I appear and dreadful in my strike. I hear the fear in their voices, even over their radios, as they think they’ve spotted me. They scream for their friends, manically firing their weapons in empty doorways and dark corners.
I followed one of their soldiers down a hallway, completely unseen. He was terrified, sweating and starting at every little noise. I watched him empty his weapon twice into empty spaces, thinking I might be lurking there. I could have taken him at any time. My blade made beautiful shapes in the air behind his back, and around his head. But, instead, I just followed him. Twice, while he was focused on reloading, I even decloaked, and simply stood, visible, behind him. Had he but turned, maybe he would have stood a chance. But he did not. I willed him not to see me, and he could not bring himself to turn around.
I believe that soldier may have survived the engagement. I cannot be sure, but I know that my blade did not taste his blood. I followed him to a rear group of his fellows, and then lingered when he continued on, killing his friends after he left. I did not see him again before our recall signal sounded, and I was compelled to return to the gate.
I do not care that my fellows failed in their mission. My mission was magnificent, and I can barely contain my elation.
Diary Entry Five
System Lords Third Battle Group
I have done something I never believed I would. My Lords do not understand, or believe that anything is wrong, and it is important that it remain thus. But I have requested a solo assignment, not because I any longer need the glory of a personal kill. No, I’ve requested it because I need time alone. I need to think.
I love my work. I love the horror my victims display as my blade saps their life away. I love even the terror my own host feels, as I keep her aware enough to know every second what is done with her body. Most goa’uld suppress their hosts, only dipping into their consciousness to help intensify sensations of pleasure and satisfaction, when their cause is outside the scope of the goa’uld brain to fully interpret.
For me, tasting the kill through her eyes is as satisfying, if not more so, than the direct experience I feel through my own.
But this… This I don’t know…
I knew when we ringed down to the Court that we were in for a ride. All goa’uld remember Mahes and his court on Earth, and knew he’d perfected the device on Leonops. What I had no clue of is what this device was like. Few goa’uld were ever subjected to it, and those that were usually were sent there as punishment, and did not ultimately survive the ordeal. The test was not meant for those as complex and sensitive as goa’uld, but rather for the dull mind of humans, and jaffa.
The initial fight went as expected, and though I knew the device was powering up, I kept hoping we’d overpower the Tauri and manage to somehow shut it off, even though I knew neither myself, nor any of the other goa’uld on our mission had the slightest idea how to do so. As I felt the tingling in my skin that told me the device would soon activate, I even allowed a prayer that the Tauri somehow possessed the knowledge to shut it off, but they were even more clueless than we.
And then it started. Round after round. Match after match. I killed them, they killed me, we died together, and apart. And each time, we returned, healthy, strong, energetic, yet aware of all that had come before.
That little bit of tech was his biggest improvement. I knew that his device was not, strictly speaking, resurrection tech like we use in the healing device and sarcophagus. Instead, it recorded the people who passed through the gate and ring transporters, and simply recreated that pattern. What was new was the ability to impress upon that pattern all the neural activity that took place between the time you teleported, and were last killed.
I wish he hadn’t. How much nicer it would have been to return to life after each round, with no memory of what had come before. After so many deaths, though I fear no pain, I found myself wincing, ducking and cringing before the Tauri weapons, afraid of the sensation of their bullets ripping through me. And I could tell they felt the same, become more afraid of my blade each time they returned to life.
I should have enjoyed that last part. But I was so filled with dread, myself, I could not. And my host seemed to enjoy it. That’s the worst part. She feels the pain, when I allow it (and I always allow it). But my suffering seemed more important to her, than her own. I was actually driven to laughter more than once, not from my own amusement, but as a reflex action, reflecting her own elation. I shall have to do something particularly horrifying to her, as revenge.
I sit now, alone, on a desolate world, awaiting my target to arrive, thankful for this time to think, and regain my composure and control. I will return to battle tomorrow, after my target is dispatched, and I am ready to return and report. But for now, this time to think is most important.