Crown Infernal

Stargate - The Fifth Generation

Perdition, Catch My Soul - Part 1

End of June 2109

Summary: Chaos is come again

WARNINGS: Extreme violence plus the usual military language
A big thank-you to Coniunx for the beta reading


"My replacement is from Nevada," J continued. "He's a Major Reuben Kellermann--"

Luc drew a sharp breath. "Oh, dear god, no..." he whispered, raising his eyes to heaven. He closed his eyes tight shut then his head dropped.

His team mates exchanged concerned looks. There was clearly some serious history there.


Tubular steel shrieked across the floor as Luc shoved his chair back roughly and ran out of the infirmary. Theo caught the chair before it fell.

Maxine ran after him. "Luc, stop!" she called down the thankfully empty corridor.

He skidded to a halt and spun round to face her, wild-eyed. "Leave me alone!" he said, face and voice fierce. "It's not something I talk about. Ever." He looked around like a hunted animal searching for a refuge, then dived into the men's bathroom.

Maxine stared at the slowly closing door in frustration. Radu was one thing. Following Luc into the men's room was something else. She returned quickly to the infirmary and bumped into Theo coming out.

"He's gone into the men's room. Can you go see what's the matter. He might be willing to talk to another guy. He certainly won't have anything to do with me... "

Theo nodded and followed the direction of Maxine's pointing finger. She returned to the infirmary.

"Any idea what that was about?" she asked J.

J shook his head. Gently. "Not a clue. The only link that comes to mind is that this Major Kellermann is from Nevada, and Luc's family lives in Las Vegas. But I've known Luc for going on nine years, so this must go back a long way. I know he keeps in touch with his family, but he doesn't visit all that often. I've always put it down it being an expensive and time-consuming journey..."

Several minutes later, Theo came running back in. "Luc's gone."

"What?" the other two exclaimed.

"When I got to the bathroom, he'd gone. I checked the other men's room on the way to the locker room. Nothing. Then I checked the locker room. Not there either, so I checked up top. He's signed out and grabbed a lift with Captain Norton who was leaving at the same time."

"Shit, and I'm tied up in here. Theo, can you try his apartment? Now if you would."

"Sure thing," Theo said, already half way out of the door.

It was 17.15 when Theo reached apartment 3-12. He knocked on the door. There was no response. He tried opening the door. It was locked, damn it. Remembered J's lock-picking lessons. Gave it a try. A couple of clicks and the lock yielded. Not exactly state of the art...

Inside, the room was dark - curtains drawn against the sun. Theo could just make out Luc's head over the back of the sofa.

"It's me. Theo," he said softly, wanting to attract his attention without disturbing him unduly. There was no response. Theo walked around the sofa and looked down at his teammate and friend.

Luc was staring dead ahead as if in a trance. He was clutching something to his chest.

"Ok if I sit down?" Theo asked.

Still no response. Jeez, this looks bad, he thought. How do I break through? Without getting killed...?

They sat side by side in silence for nearly two hours. Finally Luc said in a low, dull voice, "You're not going to give up, are you?"


"Even if I tell you to go away and leave me alone?"

"Especially not then," Theo said gently.

"Then make yourself useful and fetch some coffee."

Theo gave a small smile, unseen by Luc, and headed for the kitchen. He kept an eye on Luc, to make sure he didn't try to slope off while he was making the coffee. He didn't. Must have realized Theo was going to hang on till he got whatever it was he wanted.

Luc could guess what that was and thought, What the hell. These demons wants exorcizing and if anyone can do that, Theo can. Maybe he'll even help.

Theo returned from the kitchen and put the mugs down on the coffee table. "Mind if I draw the curtain back a little? Not much. Just enough that I can see where my mug is?"

Luc gave a little snort. "Yeah, ok. If you must."

Theo opened one curtain about an inch. It was enough. Enough to see that Luc was wearing a dreadful haunted look - still clutching whatever it was to his chest, knuckles bluish-white.

"I suppose you want to know the whole fuckin' melodrama," Luc said in leaden tones.

"I think you need to talk, but only as much as you're comfortable with," Theo said, sitting back down again.

"Comfortable? There's nothing comfortable about it!" Luc's voice rang like a cracked bell - splintered then broke into almost mute sobs.

Theo wrapped his arms round Luc and rocked him gently, his own eyes filling with tears. It must be something really bad to have this effect. Luc's grip relaxed on what he was holding. Theo saw it was a framed photograph.

Luc took back control of himself. "Sorry," he said tersely. He handed Theo the picture.

It was a golden-haired girl of about twenty smiling happily at the photographer. Theo figured Luc was that photographer. "She's beautiful!" Theo couldn't help saying so.

"Yes, she was. Very beautiful in every way - body, mind and spirit." The pain churned in Luc's eyes.

"Was?" Theo said carefully.

"Yes." It was said so softly that Theo hardly heard the response. Louder, Luc said, "I guess you'd better hear the whole story for it to make much sense. How much do you know about Vegas?"

"Very little. Marya says it's a den of iniquity, and Mom's forbidden Pop ever to go there. From this, I gather that debauchery, drunkenness and gambling takes place there. Both Mom and Marya think God should rain down fire from heaven on it and wipe it off the face of the earth. But you come from Las Vegas, so it can't be all bad," Theo smiled.

Luc gave a humorless laugh. "I wouldn't be too sure about that."

The Ferretti family had came into money just before the Great Disaster. There was talk in the family of diamonds. From what Maxine had said about the journals, Luc thought they might have come from P6C-111. There was also talk of a Maffia connection, though he had never seen any evidence of this.

Louis Ferretti's granddaughter, Luisa, had married Alessandro Lucarelli who was also quite wealthy. The whole family had then left the Springs and moved out to Las Vegas in 2067 to avoid the Warriors. Among all the rest, they had Catholics in their sights too.

"You're a Catholic?" Theo asked surprised.

"Very much lapsed. I'm not a believer any more, knowing what people are prepared to do 'in Jesus' name.' Anyway, if I was still practising, I'd be well in the closet."

"Like Ash and me," Theo said sadly.

"Yeah." Luc wondered if that was why he was opening up to Theo after so many years. He might understand. Probably wouldn't judge him either.

A lot of the taller buildings in Vegas had collapsed during the Great Disaster, but that was ok because the population in the States, owing to various meteorological disasters, famine and a 'flu pandemic on top of the Great Disaster itself, was only about half what it had been a century earlier. It had bottomed out at just over 150 million, so there was plenty of space left.

Central Las Vegas had become a walled township, back in the late '60s. The fallen masonry had come in useful for that. There was a large Italian/Latino population, and they desperately wanted to keep out the Warriors. There were guards posted at the gateways into the town, and gun ownership was pretty much a must. Vegas was also an oasis for the idle rich and those with the desire to become rich and idle too.

Gambling was officially banned, but within the walls of Vegas, it went on openly. Luc's father, Marco, owned and ran a club there - called 'Marco's.' Officially it was a restaurant 'with entertainments.' This was a respectable club, certainly by Vegas standards. It had singers and musicians, but no strippers. The main business was in hosting card games - poker mostly. The club ran some tables, but most were hired out to local business people and tourists to play whatever games they chose - and also to eat and drink, of course.

Luc's mother, Fiorenza, spent much time playing her favorite game, bridge, with other wealthy women. This was sometimes at the club and sometimes at home with a few close friends.

"I was sixteen, and well grown, when it all started - my downward slide into... well, debauchery, I guess. I was on my own at home, doing my homework, when Via came round. Viviana Cavalcanti, that is. She was in her thirties - twenty years younger than her husband, and very attractive - curves in all the right places, y' know... She was looking for my mother, she said. In retrospect, I guess she knew perfectly well that she was at the club. Anyway, she certainly took my mind off the homework... And the sex was great."

"Hope you didn't catch anything!" Theo said.

"No. I'd already had that awkward lecture from Papa. Then there was a pack of condoms in my sixteenth birthday card from him, along with a comment that he hoped it wasn't too late. There were always condoms available in the club, so later, I was never without."

"Guess your Papa was lapsed too?" Theo grinned. It brought a small wry smile to Luc's face.

"Anyway, for a short time, I fancied himself in love. A very short time! She mostly ignored me except when we were alone - not even a knowing look came my way. I came to tie in her visits to me with her husband's business trips out of state. Made me realize that she was just using me as a sex object. On the plus side, she was way better than any manual when it came to learning how to be a good - no, make that a great lover!"

"And so modest with it," Theo smiled. He was wondering to himself what was so bad that could have provoked such a severe reaction. He didn't think this was it.

Luc continued, "It wasn't long before I was providing the same service to other members of the bridge group, occasionally with two or more. I think the only one who wasn't in the know about it was Mamma." He looked both repentant and sad about the deception and sighed.

"I was living every teenager's fantasy - well perhaps not quite yours, Theo," Luc smiled. "I was getting as much sex as I could handle and then some. Leaving aside the physical health dangers - though I was always careful and they appreciated that - ultimately, it wasn't good for me. That 'scratch an itch' sort of sex led me to objectify women. I saw their principal function as being to provide me with sexual gratification, as I did for Mamma's friends. Guess I became something of a sex addict. I would try my luck with any female between twenty-five and forty, preferably married. They had experience and weren't looking for commitment. I let them know I was available. And good. I never tried to force the issue if the woman was unwilling. There were plenty more who were.

"Well, I certainly wouldn't kick you out of bed," Theo said. "Um... if you were... um... and if I hadn't met Ash, of course."

"You're lucky like that," Luc said with wistful smile. "I didn't think I was capable of forming any meaningful relationship. Hell, I didn't need to. Or so I thought."

"So what went wrong?"

Luc seemed to retreat into his own personal hell again. Theo sat silently beside him, giving him space, then went to make more coffee. This could take a while.

In his mind, Luc was reliving the past, not yet able to talk about it.

[ Flashback ]

In his twentieth year, he meets Christine. She lives in Henderson outside the walls of Las Vegas. She's different. She's his own age - golden haired, beautiful, gentle and kind. She also seems to like him for himself. He makes a faint pass at her - nothing really serious - much as he would do later with Maxine. She finds it amusing rather than erotic or offensive. Christine piques his interest and he soon finds that the impossible has happened. He's fallen in love with her.

It takes six months before they even kiss, and horny as he is, he has no sexual contact with any other woman during this time. Three months later, they finally make love in her roomy double bed.

He takes a cab to her home a couple of days later with the intention of asking her to marry him. She seems a little distant at first. No - more worried than distant. He asks if she's ok but she shrugs it off and they soon retire to bed.

As they reach a noisy completion, the bedroom door is thrown wide open and there is a howl of anger. A man in his mid-forties stands in the doorway, red-faced and furious. There are two others behind him. Crap! Christine pulls up the covers over her head as if trying to hide.

"S-sir," Luc stammers, all the smooth talk deserting him. "I would like your p-permission to m-marry your daughter. I have good prospects-- "

At this, the man becomes apoplectic with rage. The one thing Christine has not told Luc is that she is already married. If she had, maybe they could have run away together and lived out their 'happy-ever-after.'

But it's not to be. This angry man bellowing on the threshold is not her father but her husband. It had been a marriage of convenience - a business arrangement between her father and a business colleague with whom he sought a closer relationship. It was not a match of her desiring but Simon Kellermann was rich and quite fit and handsome for his age, so she'd gone along with it. Whenever he is away on business, as he often is, she removes her wedding ring so she can forget she'd ever met the brutal bastard. (She had put the bruises down to her own carelessness.)

Now this bastard is home a day earlier than expected.

"Told you she was no good, Pa," declares one of the two youths behind him.

It spurs Kellermann into action. He strides across the room, wrenches back the bedclothes, and reveals his naked, terrified wife.

"Adulteress!" he screams. He climbs on the bed, straddling her. Ignoring Luc, he wraps his beefy hands round her throat, slowly choking the life out of her. "Die, you filthy whore! Go to hell - where you belong!"

Luc tries to pry the powerful fingers away from his beloved's neck - delicate, slender neck - but he's not strong enough.

"Thou shalt not kill!" he cries in desperation, "Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill..." He chants it like a mantra.

Thinking the adulteress is dead - and tired of Luc's nails clawing at his fingers - Kellermann releases his grip a little. "Get him off me!" he roars.

The two youths, Reuben and Zane, are Kellermann's sons from a former marriage. They are about Luc's age or a little older. They grab Luc. He hears Christine's final rasping breath before Kellermann's fingers tighten again as he finishes the job. She is no longer beautiful.

Devastated, he makes no attempt to defend himself as they set about punching and pummeling him, then kick him out of the room. They grab him by his arms and legs and throw him down the stairs. The turn at the bottom of the stairs halts his fall momentarily - long enough for the instinct of self-preservation to kick in, albeit reluctantly.

Christine is dead. He is witness to her murder. He will have to die too. If that happens, who will avenge her?

He grabs a slender baluster. Hauls himself to his feet. Grabs his calico duster coat from the rack. Has to cover his nakedness. His attackers are thudding down the stairs. He spots a set of keys in a dish on the credence chest. Grabs them. Legs it outside. The vehicle outside the house matches the fob of one of the keys. The door is unlocked. Still naked, he leaps inside, dumping the coat on the passenger seat. He thumbs down the lock as his pursuers reach the car. Fumbles the key in the ignition as they try to break in and drag him out.

The warm car starts with ease. He revs the engine as a warning then floors the pedal and shoots off down the road. As he turns a corner, a bullet pings off the rim of the rear window, cracking the glass. He races towards the south side of Vegas. No pursuit so far.

Sudden panic. Where's his I.D.? His billfold? Feels in the coat pocket. Still there. Breathes again. Doesn't think there's anything to identify him left behind. Changes direction and heads north instead. Pulls over in a side road, struggles into his coat, then carries on driving. The sun is sinking in fierce red glory.

When he's close to the north gate in the wall, he drives the car slowly and sedately into a storm drain. Out of sight. He climbs out and legs it home, barefoot. His route in life so far has taken him from Via Cavalcanti along his own personal Via Dolorosa.

He discovers that he hates God.

Theo was shocked by what he saw when he returned with the coffee.

Luc was sitting curled upright on the sofa, arms wrapped round his knees, rocking backwards and forwards and chanting in a quiet hoarse voice, "Thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill, thou shalt not kill..."

He was clearly in a very bad place. Theo put the mugs down, and sat beside him. Tentatively, he reached out to put his arms around Luc, at which the dam burst. Luc gave a great shuddering cry, buried his head in Theo's shoulder and wept.

It took a long while before Luc was in any sort of state to continue his story, and the coffee was cold by the time he neared its end.

"Fortunately, we're a close-knit family so I was able to turn to them for help. Naturally, I stuck to the facts about our relationship, my love for Christine and her murder. I didn't touch on my earlier whoring myself to Mamma's bridge friends."

[ Flashback ]

"Christine?" Fio Lucarelli asks, looking worried. "What's her last name?"

"Kellermann. Why?"

She gasps and puts her hand to her mouth. "Oh dear God!"


"He's a Warrior - quite high up and one of the worst," his father says.

So begins Luc's hatred of the Warriors of Christ.

"Think back, Gian," Marco Lucarelli urges. "Did you leave anything behind that could lead him and his boys back to you?"

"I don't know. I don't think so— Only my clothes," he adds, staring at the floor in shame. "But it's not like they have my name in or anything."

"And they probably won't think of DNA testing," Marco muses, "because they don't believe in that kind of thing - even if they've heard of it."

"So do we go to the authorities now?" Luc demands, "and charge Kellermann with... with his... with his wife's murder?"

"That's the last thing we must do!" Marco exclaims.

"What? We let him get away with it?" Luc is scandalized.

"What we do is, we make sure you 'get away with it'," Marco says drily.

Luc is flabbergasted. "Y- you think I killed her?"

"Of course not," his mother soothes.

"But it's what Kellermann will say," his father points out. "He has a dead wife to explain away and he has his two sons as witnesses to say that his beloved wife was - well, probably raped and strangled by an intruder."

Luc runs to the bathroom and throws up.

"It was agreed that I needed to get away from Las Vegas as soon as possible and as far as possible. First, my parents set about changing my appearance. My hair was my most distinctive feature as it was quite long and wavy back then. The women seemed to love running their fingers through it. Mamma cried as she cut most of it off. I left off shaving my sideburns and moustache.

It wasn't a totally radical change but enough to make the Kellermanns look twice if they saw me again. Papa got me a new ID. Said the original had gone through the wash by accident. Then they took me to stay with relatives in Manitou Springs and I enlisted at the Air Force Academy - same intake as J. And now you know the whole story. So far."

Theo realized that, although Luc had healed superficially, beneath the scar ran a river of pain that was soul deep.

"So now, I hereby renew my solemn oath that I will kill Simon Kellermann and his sons or die in the attempt."

Theo was aghast. "Murder?"

"No. Retribution. And it's been way too long a-coming. Or, if you prefer it, throwing out the planetary trash."

Theo opened his mouth but Luc wouldn't let him butt in.

"No Theo. You really don't know what you're dealing with here. The Kellermanns are among the worst of the Warriors. They're all dedicated to rooting out 'sin,' and acting as judge, jury and executioner. They already have blood on their hands and will have more. My friend, they wouldn't think twice about killing you - or Ash - if they picked you for a 'faggot.'"

"But that doesn't give you the right to act as judge, jury and executioner either. Two wrongs don't make a right," Theo protested. "You said it yourself - 'Thou shalt not kill...'"

"You still don't understand, Theo. These men have blood on their hands many times over, most of it probably innocent blood. And if I don't act while I can, many more innocents are going to go the same way. Do you really want that?" Luc demanded passionately, adding softly, "Really?"

Theo couldn't find an answer to that one.

"Look, if there were such a place, I would gladly burn in hell a million times over for killing Christine's killer and his sons."

"Well, just don't do anything without thinking it through. You won't be any use if you get yourself locked up. Or worse. Ok?"

Luc gave a soft acquiescent sigh. "Ok."

It was quite late in the evening by the time Theo was sufficiently reassured that Luc would be all right. He couldn't begin to imagine how Luc was really feeling right now. He himself felt like a wrung out dishcloth. He'd taken heed of Luc's warning however, and made a mental note to take extreme care while this Major Kellermann was around. Tired as he was, he made a brief detour to Ash's pad to warn him. as well.


The next day, SG-24 was called for a briefing for a mission the following Monday. It was also a 'meet and greet' for the new team members. As expected, this mission was to the real P4D-161, the world SG-24 should have gone to on the last mission. Present were Luc, Theo, Maxine, Lt. Kern and the two new members. Back to a team of six...

The briefing was uncomfortable for everyone except Major Kellermann and Captain Bachmann, who were already in the briefing room with General Bradfield when the rest of the team filed in.

As Luc came in, following Theo, Kellermann halted his progress with a rough hand against his shoulder. Luc looked up and smiled; it was an expression Kellermann had never seen.

"Where have we met before?" he asked, suspicion painted with a broad brush across his face. The lanky young man Luc had first seen had filled out and bulked up into a commanding presence. He looked like someone who was used to getting his own way, and throwing his weight around if he didn't get it.

"I don't think we've ever met before," Luc responded calmly and gave him a friendly smile. "I would certainly remember you."

After the previous day's revelations, Theo was amazed that Luc could seem so calm about this meeting. He blessed his cousin and her bull-shitting philosophy for helping Luc to maintain control. It must have taken a great deal of effort and he just hoped it would last.

Kellermann's look of suspicion segued into disapproval as Maxine came in. He clearly thought a woman had no place on any team he led. Lt Kern he ignored completely.

Bradfield introduced SG-24's temporarily assigned leader and his 2IC, Captain Bachmann. Luc made no comment. He didn't want to draw any unnecessary attention to himself, and anyway, the positions in the team were only temporary - especially so in Kellermann's case.

The rest of the team introduced themselves to their new leader. As it came to Maxine's turn, Kellermann asked, "And what's a young woman doing in a military team?" The tone was sneering, like he thought her contribution should be to polish his boots.

"I'm Doctor Esther Pepperday," she said with a tight-lipped smile that only just hid the gritted teeth. She didn't know what Kellermann had done to Luc, but she would have no difficulty in believing it. She said something in a foreign language.

"Speak English, woman," Kellermann snapped.

"I'm sorry, sir," she replied serenely. "I'm a linguist. That was Aramaic. It means, 'welcome to our humble abode under the mountain.' Of course, that's not the literal translation."

That would be fuck you and the horse you rode in on, she thought, and smiled benignly.

Kellermann looked as if he was revising his opinion of her proper place in the team - warming his bed... Maxine was rethinking her opinion of killing people.

The meeting was, thankfully, a brief one. On the way out, Kellermann detained Theo with a large hand on his shoulder, and hissed in his ear, "I know what you are."

Theo looked him in the eye and removed Kellermann's hand from his shoulder. "I'm an earth scientist and engineer. Got some sort of problem with that? Sir."

Kellermann let him go without saying anything further.

Theo had the rest of the day to fill before he could go round to check on Ash. He was a little worried that he hadn't seen him around at the SGC, but that wasn't particularly unusual.

Worry turned to fear when he reached Ash's pad. The lock had been broken and the door swung open at his touch. The sole occupant of the apartment, an elderly man, was sitting on the sofa with his head resting on his hands. He looked up when Theo came in.

Theo recognized him as Ash's father and the look on his face told Theo everything he didn't want to know. Only the details were missing. Haltingly, Mr Kirkwood filled them in. He'd gone round to his son's after work to take round one of Mrs. Kirkwood's homemade apple pies. He and Ash were chatting in the kitchen when there was a loud noise in the living room. Both men had gone to see what had happened.

Three big men had burst in. The leader announced himself as Simon Kellermann. The wife-killer, Theo thought. They were Warriors of Christ, Kellermann had said, come to cleanse the Earth and bring about The Rapture. They had come for the faggot, Asher Kirkwood. Ash's father had tried to tell them that he was Asher Kirkwood, but it did no good. They'd dragged Ash away.

Before they left, one whom Theo took to be Major Kellermann had announced - gloating as he spoke - what was to follow.

At midnight on Sunday, Ash, among others, was to be executed. The Warriors would be carrying out the Lord's work - His will would be done. That would be after they'd been 'examined' to root out the Abominations' sodomite friends on the previous day.

They're going to torture him, Theo thought, horrified.

They were going to light a beacon that would be seen across the state and stand as a warning to all that they must turn to Jesus and accept Him as their Savior, or more burnings would follow. Then they'd gone.

Ash's father stood up and looked into Theo's eyes. "Please... please... Save my son! He's a good boy. Really he is. You both are."

"If I don't, it won't be for lack of trying!" Theo declared. "I have some good friends I can call on."

A short while later, Theo was banging on Luc's door.

"I'll burn in hell with you," he growled when Luc let him in.


"Yeah," Theo said huskily and passed on what Mr. Kirkwood had said.

"So Simon Kellermann's here too then. You'd better go to ground, my friend - keep out of Kellermann's way."

"No way. That would just make me look guilty in their eyes anyway. Besides, I'm not running scared - not with Ash's life at stake!"

"Ok. Then we have to come up with a plan."

Perdition, Catch My Soul: Part 2

Basic Information

Stargate: the Fifth Generation - Home Page


Dramatis Personnae + Glossary.

Timeline and 'Future History'

The Preludes

Prelude - I: Maxine

Prelude - II: Theo (Flashback)

Prelude - III: Coming Together

The Episodes


SG-24 Part 1
SG-24 Part 2


Crown of Steel - Crown of Night: Part 1
Crown of Steel - Crown of Night: Part 2


More Questions than Answers: Part 1
More Questions than Answers: Part 2


The Mirror Cracked: Part 1
The Mirror Cracked: Part 2


Perdition, Catch My Soul: Part 1
Perdition, Catch My Soul: Part 2


The Storm is Come Again: Part 1
The Storm is Come Again: Part 2
The Storm is Come Again: Part 3


All That Glisters: Part 1
All That Glisters: Part 2


Heirs and Graces: Part 1
Heirs and Graces: Part 2


Hitched: Part 1
Hitched: Part 2


Chaosium: Part 1
Chaosium: Part 2
Chaosium: Part 3

by Hatshepsut

Crown Infernal