Stargate: New Frontier – The Reboot

Authors Notes: This is a complete reboot and updating of my previous New Frontier story. As much as it pains me to admit it I feel that the other was lacking a great deal of direction and without a strong core of characters making it feel like story was nothing but a series of interconnected short stories. That was not my intention when I began the story back in 2008.

After some thought I've come up with what I think will be a new and interesting take on the story line. Some of the characters that appeared before will appear again however others – as much as it pains me to remove them – will not appear again. A new core thread has been added and I have also changed a number of aspects of Terran technology as on reflection I didn't like some parts of what I did with it the first time around. Terran naval personnel will now also follow a more traditional naval ranking system unlike in the previous version of the story. The final change I'm making is the story will be divided up into a series of books that will hopefully span the length of the time to tell the story I want to tell.

Otherwise the background of the story remains the same with the Stargates having gone undiscovered on Earth and still lying forgotten beneath sand and ice.

Edit 24/01/2015: Some minor changes to correct a few plot holes and the addition of codex entries to fill out the back history.

Book One: Contact

Chapter One

Terran Federation Survey Ship Charles Darwin

March 2nd 2535

Doctor Melinda Jackson wore a pleased smile as she carefully studied the data displayed on a holographic screen floating a few inches in front of her face. The information being a summary of the report compiled by Survey Command after analysing data from a probe that had passed through the region they were heading for nearly a year ago. Specifically information on the planet they'd found occupying the liquid water zone around a bright F-type star. A planet that the probes brief scan confirmed to possess a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere and liquid water on its surface.

It was now her job to make sure the planet was indeed suitable for human habitation. Which wasn't always guaranteed to be the case, on a number of occasions in the past worlds with Earth-like atmospheres had been found to be unsuitable for one reason or another. As it wasn't like it had been in those first few years after humanity had discovered the secrets of hyperspace technology, before the founding of the modern Terran Federation, back when the old Earth nation states had still existed as separate entities and competed with one another to establish a presence in space. Back then any planet with a breathable atmosphere and liquid water had been greedily snapped up without any thought of how to survive there long term or even if humans could.

The result had been worlds like Circe or Alpha Centauri B III to use its official designation. The planet had an oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere and liquid water but it was also nearly half again the mass of Earth with a surface gravity to match. Of course that hadn't stopped the first colonists driven by the nationalistic fervour of the pre-Federation era, from attempting to settle there. It hadn't been easy and for a time it had looked like the planet would have to be abandoned. To survive long term the colonists had been forced to bio-engineer their own children to cope with the higher gravity of Circe. Which had all been well and good; but it had made it impossible for the first colonist's descendants to survive long term on a normal gravity world – their muscles and connective tissue atrophied in normal gravity just like a normal Terrans would if they stayed for any long period on a lower gravity planet.

They could do it short or medium term but for Circeans survival away from their world long term wasn't possible, rigorous exercise and medimites could only do so much to hold off the degeneration. Thus to all intents and purposes Circeans were trapped on their world, or living on starships and space habitats where their worlds level of gravity could be maintained indefinitely.

And they were the fortunate ones.

Several other early colonies had not been so lucky and been forced to be abandoned within the first few decades of their colonisation for a variety of reasons – usually environmental though sometimes geological, one colony having to be after a sudden massive upsurge in volcanic activity poisoned the atmosphere. Which was why one of the first acts of parliament after the founding of the Terran Federation was to ban colonisation of worlds that didn't fall within some very strict environmental and geological guidelines.

So far it looked, to Melinda at least, that the world they were heading for would be one of those that fell within the guidelines. Of course they still had to do checks for hostile flora and fauna, but she had a good feeling about it. A feeling that said it would be safe. Still feelings wouldn't be enough, she would have to find solid proof that the planet was suitable to become the first Terran colony in this sector.

Carefully Melinda made small bullet points of all the most important details of the planet, then saved them to one of the memory storage nodes of her neural implant. Then she saved and closed the file making the holographic screen floating in front of her vanish into thin air. After taking a moment to stretch she stood up. Not long now till we drop out of hyperspace, she thought, knowing they would be approaching their destination after nearly twelve hours in hyperspace, I wonder if I have enough time to go and get a coffee.

She was just leaving her quarters to go and get a coffee from the mess hall when the comm. unit on her wrist buzzed and vibrated for attention. Now what, she thought before raising the offending device and answering the hail.

"Jackson," she acknowledged.

"Professor its Captain Drake," the Charles Darwin's master answered, even as a small holographic image of the man himself appeared over the device. "We're approaching our destination. Would you care to come to the bridge?"

"I'll be right there," Melinda replied, she always liked being present on the bridge when they emerged from hyperspace over a new world. She liked being one of the first people to ever set eyes on a new planet; it was a personality quirk of hers.

"Good I look forward to seeing you, Drake out." The wrist comm. went dead; Melinda smiled and lowered her arm before changing direction for the lift that would take her up to the Charles Darwin's small bridge.


Captain Matthew Drake smiled softly as he closed the comm. channel with Professor Jackson. Having worked with her for several years he had come to know and like the woman. In addition to being one hell of a scientist, she was very easy on the eyes and a good conversationalist. She was also one of the few people aboard that he could enjoy a decent game of chess with.

"Sir if you don't mind my asking why invite the professor to the bridge," Commander Richard Swain asked from his workstation. Matt smiled slightly, having expected the question, Richard was new to this job, this being the first deep space mission together, his previous first officer having been promoted to captain and given his own command.

"Melinda likes being one of the first people to set eyes upon a new world, Commander," he replied before gesturing to the bridge view ports. The entire front of the bridge of the survey ship was a view port out into space, and currently showing nothing but the glowing blue tunnel effect of hyperspace. "She can do that best from up here," Matt added.

"I guess so," Richard replied glancing at the view ports, he still wasn't used to them. It was such a departure from the warships he had served on in the past, which invariably had their command centres buried deep within the armoured core of the vessel, safe from all but a mortal blow. "Sorry, sir, I'm just not used to having a view like this from the bridge."

Matt smiled remembering that he had been the same when he had first stepped onto the Charles Darwin as master. "You'll get used to it," he assured the younger man before turning to business matters. "Helmsman, time to destination coordinates?"

"We'll be dropping out of hyperspace in one minute, thirty seconds sir," Lieutenant Jacobs reported from the combined helm/navigator stations.

"Tactical sound amber alert status," Matt ordered following the protocol demanded for emerging from hyperspace over a new world. A protocol he knew many of the scientists didn't agree with but they'd never had the briefings he'd been given when he'd become a ship master. "Bring all defence systems to stand by."

"Aye, sir," tactical replied, pressing the controls to sound the alert throughout the ship and bring the ships shields and limited weapons arrays onto stand by. Though primarily a survey and exploration vessel the Charles Darwin was still a commissioned vessel of the Federal Navy and like her warship cousins she was not defenceless, though her shields were weaker and her weapons positively anaemic in comparison to a comparable sized destroyer.

As the familiar two-toned klaxon sounded throughout the ship, summoning the small military crew of fifty-seven to their stations the door to the corridor that separated the bridge from the lift down to the rest of the ship opened, admitting Melinda. Who just resisted the impulse to roll her eyes at the alert being sounded; she didn't see why it was necessary. In the four and half centuries since hyperspace technology was developed the Terran Federation hadn't encountered any other race technologically advanced enough to pose any sort of threat to them; though they had encountered other species on various planets none were advanced beyond an early industrial level. The only enemy the Human race had was as always itself. And she would have been very surprised to encounter pirates or mercenary bands this far from the established space-lanes.

"How long till we come out of hyperspace," she asked, knowing better than to say anything about the increase in alert level as Matt would just start reminding her that it was standing orders.

"About forty seconds," Matt replied. Melinda nodded and went to stand before the bridge windows and looked out at the swirling blue tunnel of hyperspace. A blink superimposed a small digital clock in the lower right hand side of her vision, courtesy of her implant. The clock counted down the seconds till they returned to normal space.

As the seconds wound down she heard a change in the soft humming of the hyperdrive, a change in tone as it began to power down. As her countdown reached zero the humming vanished to nothing, through the view ports the tunnel through subspace evaporated replaced with breath-taking suddenness by the star spangled darkness of normal space. For a moment all Melinda saw was the stars, and then slowly the planet she was to survey appeared in the corner of window as Charles Darwin began orbital insertion manoeuvres.

Melinda didn't move from her position as the ship entered orbit above the ring system surrounding the planet. The blue-green world, marbled with swirls of clouds was certainly beautiful to look at, and she found herself wishing that it would have no hidden nasty surprises that would prevent colonization.

"Orbital insertion completed, sir," Lieutenant Jacobs reported.

"Very good," Matt replied then smiled at Melinda. "Professor if you would like to do the honours."

Melinda smiled, this was a familiar part of the routine on this ship and she appreciated Matt allowing her to give this one order. "Tactical, launch probes," she ordered.

"Aye, ma'am," tactical reported pressing a control on his console; with a hollow series of thuds a number of probes birthed from the Charles Darwin's belly and streaking away from her. The probes split up into two groups, some heading up into a higher orbit to commence high orbital scans of the planet, while others descended into the atmosphere to begin lower altitude scans and run tests on the atmosphere, searching for anything, any organisms that could be hazardous to the teams that Melinda would lead down later.

"Probes on course," sensors reported. "Rerouting probe telemetry to the main lab, wait probes in the atmosphere are picking up a cluster of heat sources coming from the western continent."

"Identify," Matt demanded knowing a localised cluster of heat sources could be anything. From something as mundane and simple as a forest fire to something much more serious like a pirate base – though it would be beyond unusual for them to run the sensor gauntlet of the sentry stations and set up a base out here, far beyond the space-lanes where they found their prey not to mention where they could easily access the black market to sell on their ill-gotten gains.

"I believe they're camp or cooking fires sir," sensors answered.

"There is someone alive down there," Matt exclaimed in surprise.

"There shouldn't be," Melinda objected in shock. "The probe scans of this planet reported no sign of any sentient life being present. Can you recheck the readings please?"

The officer manning the station looked at Matt for permission and got a confirming nod. He quickly rechecked the readings and even ran an additional scan with the Charles Darwin's primary sensor array. "Readings confirmed," he reported after a moment. "Main sensors are also picking up a significant cluster of life forms near what appears to be the beginnings of an open caste mine they look like they could be human but I can't be sure. There's some kind of particulate dust in the air over the encampment that's partially scattering our sensors, exact composition unknown. Curiously we're picking up very little in the way of electromagnetic or subspace emissions from the surface beyond a very faint subspace emission centred approximately two kilometres north of the mine however I cannot identify the precise source due to the particulate interference."

"Very odd," Matt mused in confusion. "Scan the planet again look for any sign of landed ships."

"Aye sir," sensor acknowledged before doing as bid. "Negative sir. There is no sign at all that any ships have ever been here before, let alone landed on the surface."

"Then how on Earth did these people get here," Richard asked.

"Unknown, sir."

"It appears we have something of a mystery on our hands," Melinda commented, eyes alight with excitement as to a scientist nothing was as riveting as a good mystery. Especially a mystery as odd as this one seemed to be. She was especially curious about how these people got here and what the odd particulates in the atmosphere were that were partially scattering their sensor returns. To the best of her knowledge there were no materials in existence that could do that, as like all survey ships the sensor suite of the Charles Darwin was state of the art.

"So it would appear," Matt agreed a sudden apprehension growing at the back of his mind. If he was right, and he hoped he wasn't, then something that the president and chiefs of staff, not to mention every starship captain, had long dreaded was about to come to pass. A potential threat that they'd been aware of for decades, but one they had hoped and prayed that they would never, ever truly encounter. The problem was he couldn't share his suspicions, not without proof. The Pandora Protocols were unfortunately very clear on that particular issue.

"Matt we need to go down there," Melinda said breaking him out of his thoughts. "We need to figure out how these people got here and the best way to do that would be to make contact with them."

"I'm not sure that's a good idea, Melinda," he argued back. "Something's wrong here, really wrong here and I'm not comfortable taking the ship down until we know more."

"Then let me take a shuttle," Melinda answered. "Let me and my team go down there."


"With our sensors being disrupted it's the only way we're going to learn more," Melinda cut him off before he could argue any further.

Matt sighed. He was honestly torn about what to do as at the end of the day the safety of Melinda and her teams were his responsibility, thus he didn't really want her going down there if they were where he feared they could be. But without proof he couldn't inform her about the potentially very dangerous situation they'd be going into, proof that they wouldn't be able to get from orbit.

"Alright fine," he said at last conceding that she did have a point. Melinda started to smile in victory only for the smile to die on her lips when he spoke again. "But I want some of the marines to go down with you. I'm not sending you down into a potentially dangerous situation without some protection."

Melinda scowled. While she personally had nothing against any of the marines assigned to the Charles Darwin as part of the ships security detachment, she didn't like the idea of taking them down to the surface with her. They could only really get in the way of her team doing their job. But unfortunately one look at Matt's face showed he wasn't going to budge on the issue of taking the marines with her, she either took some of them or she didn't go down.

"Fine have them meet me and my team in the shuttle bay," she said at last, preparing to leave the bridge to get ready. Only to pause as Matt called her name, prompting her to turn back around and look at him questioningly.

"Be careful down there," Matt told her.

"I will don't worry," Melinda replied, genuinely touched by the honest concern she could see in those expressive blue-grey eyes of his. Then she turned round and left the bridge.

"Sir is something wrong," Richard asked from the first officer's station.

"Possibly, Commander," Matt admitted, "and no I can't talk about yet. Suffice to say I'm concerned about what we've found here. I want you to follow the landing party's progress carefully, Commander. And get engineering to see if they can somehow reconfigure our sensors to cut through that particulate interference."

"Aye sir."



"I want you to begin running continuous scans of the space around the ship. Let me know if you spot anything unusual no matter how insignificant it seems."

"Aye sir."

Twenty Minutes Later

Melinda resisted the impulse the fidget impatiently as the Columbus-class exploration shuttle carrying her, her senior team members and two marines cleared the side of the Charles Darwin. Within seconds the pilot angled them away from the side of the exploration vessel and began guiding the shuttle down into the atmosphere. She could hardly wait for them to land, then she could start trying to find the answers to the interference in the atmosphere, the presence of humans on this planet, how they had gotten here over a hundred and fifty light years from the borders of the Terran Federation, and why they seemed to have little or nothing in the way of advanced technology.

One thing she knew for sure was that there was something well… wrong here. The way Matt had behaved up on the bridge had her worried, very worried as she'd never known him to act that way before now. Oh they'd occasionally had differences of opinion on things, but he'd never been reluctant to land before or really pushed for marines to accompany the first landing parties. If she didn't know any better she would have thought he knew, or at least suspected, something about the human presence on this unnamed planet. Something that had him deeply, deeply worried; something he obviously couldn't share with her for reasons that probably involved the term classified.

Hopefully we will soon get some answers about the people here and it won't be as bad as whatever it is Matt is worried about, she thought as the shuttle started to vibrate as it entered the upper atmosphere of the planet. The disturbance of the shuttle entering the atmosphere flash heating tenuous upper atmospheric gasses resulting in a flickering, glowing sheath of relatively low-temperature plasma. Melinda gripped the edges of her seat as despite the inertial dampeners the shuttle vibrated fiercely from the turbulence. Through the view ports she could see nothing but blazing ions dissolving in a bluish-white shimmer as they encountered the force field that hugged the hull of the shuttle like a second skin, the effect giving the hull a ghostly Saint Elmo's fire aura at they descended.

Finally after what seemed like an eternity the turbulence ceased and the plasma sheath evaporated to nothing as the shuttle entered thicker atmosphere. Turning to her team she spoke up.

"Okay people listen up," she said. "By now you all know about the settlement our probes detected. We have no idea how these people got here, all we know is they have virtually no technology and that they appear to be beginning to mine something. So I want everyone to proceed with the utmost caution, is that understood?"

"Yes professor," most of the team replied.

"Yes, ma'am," Lieutenant Peter Franklin – the senior of the two security marines assigned to her party – added a moment later before resuming checking his EM-6 Gladius particle rifle, making sure that the weapon was ready to use at a moment's notice.

"Doctor Jackson you should see this," the pilot called out from the front compartment of the shuttle. Frowning slightly Melinda slipped out of her restraint and went forward.

"What is it," she asked. The pilot nodded for her to look out the windshield so that's what she did and blinked in surprise. Beyond the thick deciduous trees that stretched from horizon to horizon she could see the structure that the Charles Darwin's sensors had detected, and it was a structure that looked very, very out of place on this world, in this environment.

It was a pyramid. And not just any pyramid but one built in the Egyptian style.

Melinda stared at it in disbelief. An Egyptian pyramid here, thousands of light years and thousands of years away from the culture that had built them. And this pyramid looked new and considerably bigger than even the great pyramid at Giza. What the hell, she thought before glancing down at the sensor displays to confirm that it was indeed there. The sensors confirmed its presence, and revealed that appearances aside the pyramid was not constructed of stone. Instead it seemed to be constructed of something similar to the synth-stone they sometimes used themselves in construction, but reinforced with metallic sheets of an odd alloy of gold, trinium and something else, something the sensors couldn't identify but which seemed to match the particulate dust in the atmosphere.

"I don't believe it," she said looking back up at the pyramid. "A pyramid here and one made of synth-stone, gold and trinium? It makes no sense. This mystery is getting deeper all the time."

"Yes, ma'am," the pilot agreed. "That's why I thought you should see it."

"I appreciate it."

"Shall I set us down right next to it, ma'am?"

"No, the people of this planet seem to be somewhat primitive, I don't want to alarm them by setting down right in their midst. Proceed to our planned landing site; we'll walk the rest of the way."

"Yes, ma'am," the pilot answered. Melinda turned and walked back into the passenger compartment, going over the ever deepening mystery of this planet in her head. First there were humans here – seemingly living a primitive existence with no advanced technology of any kind that their sensors could detect, and mining an unknown mineral, no evidence of how these people had gotten here, and now an Egyptian-style pyramid thousands of light years away from Earth.

"What is it, ma'am," Lieutenant Franklin asked seeing the look on her face.

"This mystery is getting deeper all the time, Lieutenant," Melinda answered. "That structure that the probe sensors picked up is an Egyptian pyramid, or at least one built in Egyptian style."

"What that's impossible," one of the other scientists objected.

"I know, and to make matters even more interesting the pyramid employs quite a sizeable amount of synth-stone, gold and refined trinium in its structure," Melinda replied. "It appears that in coming to this planet we've stumbled upon a great mystery."

"Indeed," agreed the scientist who had spoken. "And I look forward to getting some answers about what is going on on this planet."

"So do I, Fred," Melinda replied sitting back down.

A few moments passed in silence as her words died away and everyone thought about what she had just revealed, trying to understand it in their own heads. Then the silence was broken by the rumble of the VTOL jets as the Columbus-class shuttle came into land, kicking up a cloud of dust and leaves as with the faintest of shudders they set down, the first Terran made vessel to settle on this world.

"Okay people you know the routine," Melinda said standing up. "Helmets on please until we've determined there are no harmful bacteria or viruses in the atmosphere that we have no immunity to."

As she spoke she used her implant to relay a command to the metallic collar at the top of her field survival suit. Instantly it deployed a helmet with a transparent faceplate over her head and filters on the collar came on providing her with clear, but unscented air. Around her the team deployed their own helmets as they all stood up.

"Ready, Lieutenant," Melinda asked turning to look at Lieutenant Franklin as she picked up her field kit, and found herself face to face with the featureless metal of the marine's faceplate. Unlike hers and the scientists the marines helmets didn't provide a transparent viewer, instead the two marines would be seeing the world through high-resolution graphics being projected on heads-up displays inside the helmets with additional information relayed wirelessly to their implants.

"Ready professor," Franklin answered.

"Then let's see if we can solve this mystery," Melinda said going to the back hatch and pressing the release. With a hiss of releasing pressure the ramp-like door opened.

As regulations demanded Lieutenant Franklin went down the ramp first, Gladius rifle at the ready. Carefully he scanned the area for potential threats, the sensors built into his battle-uniform which was part combat armour-part survival jumpsuit building a complete picture of the immediate area in seconds. Aside from some small animals moving in the trees on the opposite side of the clearing they'd set down in there was no immediate danger.

"Clear," he called back.

Immediately Melinda descended the ramp, followed by the rest of the scientists with Sergeant Kyle Walkman bringing up the rear. A silent command to her implant immediately revealed to Melinda where they were in relation to the village and the pyramid that they wished to investigate first. Hopefully once they reached it, it wouldn't take them very long to begin unravelling the mysteries of this world and the human presence on it.

"The pyramid and the village near it are several kilometres due east of here," she said even as she ordered her implant to feed the information wirelessly to the neural implants of the rest of the landing party.

"It shouldn't take long to get that far," Franklin commented.

"You're right it shouldn't," Melinda agreed. "So let's get started shall we people?"

One by one the members of the landing party nodded their agreement. Melinda took a deep breath and let it out slowly to calm her nerves, before beginning walking due east towards the pyramid – whose tip was only just visible above the trees. With calm professionalism the rest of the scientists and the two marines fell into a two-by-two column with her as they took their very first steps on the surface of this new world. Heading for a rendezvous with a destiny that none of them could conceive of.

Codex: Technology: Medical: Medimites

Medimites are a product of advanced nanotechnology. Smaller than living cells medimites are administered to a patient and immediately begin repairing the body from the inside out. Originally created to battle cancer and other wasting diseases, such as muscular dystrophy, medimites have since been expanded to counter almost all forms of sickness and disease. Medimites can be administered orally through an aerosol mist, an injection or be absorbed through the skin with the exact manner of application varying according to the situation in which they are used.

Codex: Technology: Neural Implants

Neural implants are a product of advanced nanotechnology. Essentially a micro-supercomputer in the brain neural implants have a variety of functions based on the specific make and model however all neural implants have some abilities in common. These abilities are pain suppression, recording and indexing of memories, data storage and intelligence enhancement.

Codex: Technology: Personal Weapons and Armour: EM-6 Gladius

The EM-6 Gladius is the standard rifle weapon of the Terran Federal Armed Forces. As with most Terran infantry weapons the Gladius is a particle beam weapon with a variety of different functions and settings. Highly accurate up to seven hundred meters the Gladius is capable of firing in single shots, semi-automatic or fully automatic modes depending upon the situation and desire of its user.