Stargate: New Frontier – The Reboot

Chapter Two

TFS Charles Darwin

Ten Minutes Later

"Commander what's the status of Doctor Jackson and the landing party," Matthew Drake asked as he returned to the bridge after having nipped out for a few minutes to grab a soothing cup of peppermint tea. His worries over what the presence of humans on this planet could mean had been starting to get to him, making him jumpy. Thus he'd nipped to his ready room and made himself a cup of the peppermint tea an ex-girlfriend of his had introduced him to during their academy days. It never failed to calm him down and enable him to think more clearly, to the point he actually preferred drinking the tea despite the fact that there were a number of implant programs that could do the same thing once consciously activated. After all the biggest downside with the implant program was because it manipulated stress hormone and neurotransmitter levels; keeping you calm and focused was afterwards you got the grandfather of all migraines.

"Sir, our last report from the landing party indicates they are making good progress towards the encampment," Richard reported from the first officer's station. "They also reported that the source of the subspace emissions we detected earlier is a pyramid."

"A pyramid here," Matt repeated in surprise before frowning as an unpleasant thought occurred to him. "Did the landing party indicate which style of pyramid it was?"

Richard checked his screens. "It's an Egyptian pyramid sir, or rather one built in the Egyptian style with a number of modifications including the use of a material analogous to synth-stone and trinium based metallic alloys," he replied.

"Damn it," Matt cursed softly as his fears were confirmed. "Communications contact the landing party, tell them to return to the shuttle and return to the ship immediately. Make sure Melinda knows I want no arguments from her."

"Aye sir," communications acknowledged.

"Then I want you to access the restricted section of the comm. database and prepare to transmit the signal labelled Pandora," Matt continued. "It will ask you for a security authorisation code when you go to transmit, let me know when it does as I'll need to input my code."

"Aye sir."

"Sir what's going on," Richard asked frowning at his new CO. It was obvious that the presence of the pyramid here, specifically the fact that it was built in an Egyptian style, appeared to have seriously alarmed his superior officer. Alarmed him enough that he was ordering a signal to be sent from a database that most ship crews never had cause to access as the contained signals and communications protocols that were almost never followed outside of war time. "What does that pyramid being here, and being composed of surprisingly high tech materials, mean?"

"It means, Commander that we could be in very, very serious trouble," Matt answered. Before sighing even as he realised that now that he had proof, the pyramid was proof enough, that this world did indeed belong to an enemy that most had hoped and prayed that they would never encounter – and thus would have to fight – the Pandora Protocols cleared him to speak. "It means that this world is controlled by a hostile species that we've only had the most tenuous of contact with in the past, a species called the Goa'uld."

Shocked silence filled the bridge for a moment. "Sir are you saying we've encountered an advanced spacefaring race in the past," Richard asked, "and it's been covered up?"

"We've not formally had any contact with the Goa'uld, Commander," Matt explained, "we have however encountered some of their people in the past, individuals who while they were fugitives from their own kind but still desired power and to be worshipped as though they were gods. The most recent being Seth, who was the leader of the cult the Sons of Set."

"The cult that carried out the Rivera Three Massacre?"

"The very same. As you know after that outrage the Sons of Set were tracked back to the asteroid habitat they were using as a base."

Richard nodded. It was a fact that was known to practically every Terran alive. As were the details of the Rivera Three Massacre which occurred when a chapter of the Sons of Set attempted to set up shop on the newly founded colony. Having long been considered a dangerous, unwanted fringe cult the local authorities had not welcomed them. When they tried to force them to leave the Sons of Set had reacted violently, the violence escalating until they were forced away – but as their ship left orbit it had launched an antimatter charge at the colony in retribution. A antimatter charge that had wiped out the colony, snuffing out two and a half million lives in an instant, and to make matters worse they'd deliberated targeted the charge at a nearby dormant super volcano which had instantly gone from dormancy to extremely active, erupting violently a few weeks later effectively rendering the planet uninhabitable for generations.

The entire Terran Federation had reacted with outrage when the news of what the Sons of Set had done spread across the Starnet. It had taken several months but in the end the Sons of Set had been tracked back to their main base of operations, which the navy and special ops soldiers had then attacked and after a long battle conquered. Only to make a horrifying discovery that most, if not all of, the membership had been mind-controlled by a genetically engineered organism unlike anything ever seen before one similar but different to some of the gene-drugs that had long since taken the place of narcotics like heroin and cocaine.

"What isn't know is Seth himself was captured by a Black Falcon unit as he attempted to board an escape craft," Matt continued. "It was determined in interrogation that despite appearances Seth wasn't human but was in fact a serpentine creature inhabiting and controlling a human body. I'm not sure what exactly became of him after that discovery but I do know that from later interrogations he revealed much about his species – presumably as a bargaining tool to save his life – from their name to the fact that they control a vast region of space. It was also learned that they were hostile considering humans and other species as inferior to them and only as a source of potential new slaves or hosts. SOID investigated further and determined that the threat was very, very real. In the aftermath a set of protocols were created that all ship captains are briefed upon before they take up their commands. Protocols that we must now follow to the letter."

"I understand sir," Richard replied a worried frown now decorating his face as he contemplated what he'd just been told. He could also understand why the fact that Seth had been a megalomaniacal alien creature controlling a human body – and was a member of a galactic superpower who saw such behaviour as perfectly acceptable – had not been made available to the public. To do so would have caused a panic as well as had every paranoid and nutcase utterly convinced that their boss, next door neighbour or whatever had been taken over by a Goa'uld.

"Sir I've accessed the Pandora Protocol file," the communications officer reported. "It's asking for both your security code and this planets coordinates."

"Very well," Matt replied before using his implant to summon a holographic terminal into being. A terminal into which he quickly entered his security code as well as transferring this planets coordinates from the navigational computer to the file. In moments he saved the information and dismissed the terminal. "You should be able to send the signal now."

"Roger that, sir," communications acknowledged. "Signal sent."

"Very good," Matt answered with a smile. He was just turning his chair slightly to address Richard again when both the sensor and communications consoles chimed urgently. "Report!"

"Sir urgent message from the shuttle," communications reported, "the ground team report that they've been attacked by a group of hostiles armed with some sort of energy weapons."

"Casualties?"

"They lost one of the scientists, Dr Frank Hammond. The hostiles have retreated for now, Lieutenant Franklin reports that they're now attempting to return to the shuttle."

"Damn it," Matt cursed, like most commanding officers he hated it when he lost people, even though Dr Hammond had been something of a pain in the arse to deal with for both the civilian and military members of the crew. "Tell the landing party to keep me informed of their progress. Sensors?"

"Sir long range scans have picked up a ship in hyperspace, they're heading this way on an intercept course."

"Time to intercept?"

"At their current speed six minutes."

Damn, Matt thought scowling as he leaned back in his command chair. He was under no illusions as to who the incoming ship belonged to, nor was he under any illusion that his ship would be able to hold it off for long if it was indeed a Goa'uld warship. While they knew next to nothing about Goa'uld technology and weaponry in comparison to their own the Charles Darwin wasn't a warship by any stretch of the imagination. While she was as big as a modern Reliance-class destroyer her armaments and shields were – in comparison – positively anaemic. Staying here and getting into a fight with the Goa'uld was not a good idea.

Unfortunately he didn't have much choice. The Pandora Protocols were clear that you didn't leave anyone behind on a Goa'uld world if you stumbled across one without realising it, not if you could help it as the very last thing they wanted or needed was for the Goa'uld to become aware of them and possibly try to conquer them as they had done numerous other races in the past. Until the shuttle, and Melinda's landing party, were back aboard they couldn't leave. Thus he didn't have a choice but to risk it.

"Battle stations," he ordered after a moment. "Commander instruct engineering to transfer as much power as they can spare to the shield generators and the weapons grid. But tell them to keep our hyperdrive online, we'll need to make a quick escape as soon as the shuttle is back aboard."

"Aye sir," Richard acknowledged, fingers flying over the holographic interface as he carried out his orders.

Moments later alarms began to sound throughout the Charles Darwin, summoning the relatively small military crew to their battle stations. Simultaneously engineering increased the power output of the main antimatter reactor as well as the secondary molecular fission reactors to provide as much power as possible to the vessels handful of weapons arrays and shield generators. Over all external viewports blasts shields began to close encasing the entire ship in an armoured cocoon.

"All stations report ready for combat, sir," Richard reported looking across the darkening bridge, the light of the planet having been cut off by the closure of the blast shields and the dimming of the lights to battle levels so the crew could better focus on their holographic displays.

"Acknowledged," Matt replied leaning back in his command chair. And now we wait, he thought.


Planet Surface

A Few Minutes Earlier

Doctor Melinda Jackson stared at Lieutenant Franklin in disbelief at the order that the marine had just relayed from the ship. For a few moments she considered objecting as they were still some distance from the pyramid that her instincts were telling her would be the key to solving the mystery of the human presence on this planet. But somehow she doubted that it would accomplish anything, for some reason Matt wanted them all back in orbit and he wanted them there now. Which meant something had happened, something serious that had made him decide that the surface was not safe. Though what that something could be she had absolutely no idea, though she'd bet a hundred credits that it was related to his uncharacteristic reluctance to send them down here in the first place.

And that made her both confused and suspicious. Confused as it wasn't like Matt to be this evasive about something, suspicious for the same reason. It was by now obvious to her, and everyone else, that he Matthew Drake knew something. And indeed might already have some answers as to what the presence of the Egyptian-style pyramid and the humans on this world meant. It was equally obvious that whatever he knew he wasn't sharing or had been forbidden to.

"Alright, Lieutenant," she said at last, conscious of the fact that Franklin was still waiting for a response from her, "we'll return to the shuttle and make our way back to the ship." And you better have some answers for me when I get there, Matt, she thought, otherwise you and I are really going to fall out.

"Very good, Doctor," the marine replied.

Melinda turned to address her science team. "Okay people listen up," she said, "Lieutenant Franklin received a message from the shuttle, relayed from the ship. Captain Drake wants us to return to the Charles Darwin immediately, so that's just what we're going to do."

"We're leaving already?" Frank Hammond, one of her team's two xeno-microbiologists asked incredulous. "We've just got here! We've not even taken preliminary samples yet."

"We're leaving," Melinda confirmed, "I know you don't like it, Frank. And the truth be told I don't like it either but something about this planet has, Matt deeply rattled. Rattled enough that he wants us back aboard the ship a.s.a.p."

"But…" Frank started to object.

"No but's, Frank," Melinda barked firmly, her expression reminding the somewhat headstrong scientist that she was the team leader not him, thus what she said went. "We're going and that's final."

Through the transparent bubble of his helmet Frank looked like he was sucking on a lemon but reluctantly nodded in submission. Why I put up with him sometimes I really don't know, Melinda wondered for a moment grateful at least that Frank was being somewhat reasonable about this, even though he was clearly unhappy. The other scientists headstrong nature had caused them to clash on numerous occasions in the past and more than once she'd had to threaten to boot him off the Charles Darwin's science teams – as the final call on members was hers unless someone did something that could affect the safety of the vessel and her crew, then Matt would deal with them himself – in order to get him to behave.

Abruptly both Lieutenant Franklin and the other marine, Sergeant Walkman, stiffened into an alert posture. Both carefully scanning the deciduous woodland surrounding them, Gladius rifles raised and ready. "What is it," Melinda asked, hand inching towards the RD-4 Garrotte pistol she had in a hip holster.

"Movement," Franklin answered.

"Could be an animal," Frank pointed out his own eyes scanning the treeline. A moment later a sound echoed through the air, the sound of someone, or something, blowing on some kind of horn. "That's not an animal," he corrected himself as the sound came again, closer this time. The horn sounded a third time then they all began to hear a new sound, a repeated metallic clanking sound like someone was wearing armour and running.

"We should get moving," Melinda suggested as the metallic clanking sound drew ever closer.

"Agreed," the marine lieutenant answered with a nod. However before anyone could really begin to make a move several humanoid figures appeared on the far side of the small clearing the landing party had been passing through when they'd received the recall order from the Charles Darwin.

Melinda studied the new arrivals curiously with both her eyes and her survival suits built in sensor suite. Each was a tall figure of human proportions and had the familiar arrangement of two legs and two arms. Each figure was dressed head to toe in what could almost have been armour from the medieval period of Earth's history as it was composed of sheets of what looked like chainmail, with some panelling of a flexible material over the top. Her suits sensors confirming that the chainmail was made of trinium with the armour panels composed of trinium fibres mixed with some kind of metallic ceramic fibres. Each individual was wearing a helmet that looked like a stylized shark or some other similar predatory fish, and each held a two meter long metallic staff that was made of a mixture of trinium and something that the limited sensor suite of the suit couldn't identify. The staff was also of an odd design bulbous on one end with the far end flaring outwards like the hood of a King Cobra.

For a moment out of time everyone froze motionless. Both the landing party and the strangely garbed newcomers gazing at each other impassively. Then hands out to hopefully show he meant no harm, Frank stepped forward. "Can you understand me," he asked.

"Jaffa," one of the newcomers responded levelling the bulbous end of the staff he/she/it was holding at Frank. Frank frowned and started to open his mouth to speak again in response to the strange word spoken in a very human sounding voice. But before any sound could emerge from his lips the bulbous tip opened with a harsh crack and a massive bolt of golden energy shot forth striking Frank right in the very centre of his torso eliciting a flash of flame while simultaneously picking up the hundred and eighty pound man and knocking him flying with immense force… Franks final scream of surprise and agony as the blast flash vaporised his heart echoing through the air.

"NOOO, Frank," Melinda screamed in shock and horror, barely able to believe she'd someone she'd known well murdered right in front of her. In an instant shock gave way to a blast of anger that had her literally seeing red. "YOU BASTARD," she yelled at the alien figure as, faster than she'd ever done it before in training, she drew her RD-4 Garrotte, levelled it at the figure who'd just killed one of her team in cold blood and fired.

Almost instantly a green bolt of compressed, hyper-accelerated particles shot out of the muzzle of the weapon, sliced through the air and ripped into the torso of her target. The blast picked the alien up and sent him sprawling to the floor with a scream of pain. He did not get up again, instead he lay motionless a thin line of smoke rising from his torso where the neutron blast had ripped through his armour like it was made of eggshells to rip a deep gash in his torso right over his heart – killing him the same way he'd killed Frank.

For a moment shocked silence reigned. Melinda staring at the body of the being she'd just killed and, as the kilowatt pulse of anger triggered by Frank's murder wore off, suddenly fighting the urge to throw up in her helmet as she'd never fired a weapon outside the range before now, let alone killed someone with one. The aliens for their part staring in surprise as they'd obviously not expected that response or for the intruders their superiors had dispatched them to apprehend or kill to possess weapons capable of punching through the armour of the gods.

The Jaffa shook off their shock first. "Jaffa kree'tak," the most senior of the surviving Jaffa patrol screamed, levelling his ma'tok staff and opening it to fire.

"Oh no you don't," Lieutenant Franklin growled under his breath before firing his Gladius at the offending alien unleashing a searing green beam that caught the being high in the torso, and instantly dropped him to the deck dead before he even knew what was happening. Not giving the hostiles a chance to react he fired on the next alien in line dropping him as well. Nearby Sergeant Walkman copied his actions killing another alien.

With four of their number now down the aliens immediately began falling back, firing golden bolts from their staff-like weapons as they did so in an attempt to cover themselves. Franklin grunted as one of the bolts hit his chest armour and immediately broke apart in a blizzard of glowing golden sparklers and static like arcs as the energy dispersive layer build into the combat shell he was wearing dissipated the plasmatic energy and refracted it back into the air – leaving only the physical impact of the blast – which itself was cushioned significantly as the smart fabric of survival suit beneath stiffened dissipating the force as much possible so to Franklin the hit – which had knocked poor Frank flying – only registered like the impact of a punch.

Ignoring the impact, aside from the slight grunt that emerged from his lips, he kept firing back at the hostiles mowing down another before they disappeared into the trees. "We should head back to the shuttle now," he suggested, "from the way they reacted our firepower, and the fact that neutron beams pierce their armour, caught them by surprise. But they'll probably soon be back and in greater numbers and we're not outfitted for sustained combat."

"What about, Frank we can't leave him here," Melinda replied even as she nodded in agreement. She was well aware that Franklin was right as the only weapons they had were the Garrotte pistols the science team was armed with and the Gladius rifles both marines carried alongside a few thermal grenades. Plus they weren't armoured that well, both marines were only wearing combat shells over their survival suits which was designed more for security purposes and light police actions than heavy ground combat.

"I could carry him," Marco Nathansen, one of the team's xeno-archaeologists and one of the most rabid fitness fanatic's aboard the Charles Darwin, offered.

Franklin nodded in agreement knowing Marco was both fit enough and strong enough for the task. "Alright," he agreed.

"Are you sure you can manage, Marco," Melinda asked.

"I am," Marco confirmed, "you'll just need to keep those alien bastards off me if they try and stop us returning to the shuttle."

"That shouldn't be a problem," Franklin confirmed. "We can just form a perimeter around you while we fall back. And speaking of that we should get going."

"Agreed."

With that the science team began to organise themselves for the trip back to the shuttle and eventually the safety of the Charles Darwin. While Marco carefully, respectfully, picked up the body of their colleague and put it over his shoulder in a fireman's carry and the rest of the team formed a perimeter around him Franklin used his implant to send a report of the attack to the shuttle for immediate relay to the ship.

"We're ready," Melinda said to him as he finished.

"Then let's get moving," he replied carefully bringing the Gladius up to his shoulder before taking the lead for the, hopefully trouble free, trek back through the forest to the shuttle.


TFS Charles Darwin

A Few Minutes Later

"Sir the landing party report that they've made it back to the shuttle without incident," communications reported, "the shuttle is lifting off now and should be back aboard within another few minutes."

"Excellent," Matt replied feeling a profound sense of relief that the science team had made it back to the shuttle without any further contacts with the aliens and would soon be safely back aboard the ship. But his relief was tempered by the knowledge that they were cutting the timing awful close, the alien ship would be out of hyperspace very soon and he had no idea how long the Charles Darwin's shields would protect her should it prove to be a warship as they still knew so little about modern Goa'uld technology. "Sensors where's the alien ship now?"

"They're just entering the system sir," sensors reported grimly, "they'll be here in less than a minute."

"The shuttle's not going to make it," Richard commented from the first officer's station. "We'll need to buy them some time. Do you think the Goa'uld will be willing to negotiate, sir?"

"Probably not, Commander," Matt admitted recalling the psychological assessment of the Goa'uld that SOID had complied from their observations of them. An assessment that indicated that the Goa'uld were posturing egomaniacs with an insatiable lust for power, a megalomaniacal god complex as big as the galactic core, and little real use for diplomacy. "Still it couldn't hurt to try," he added as there was always a chance that a miracle would happen and that the aliens would be in a diplomatic mood, albeit a slim one.

The sensors chirped. "Sir, hyperspace window forming on a bearing of zero one zero, mark zero four one. Distance thirty thousand kilometres," sensors reported.

"Show me," Matt ordered. Immediately a holographic screen coalesced into existence in front of his command chair showing the image of a hyperspace window forming very close to the Charles Darwin.

It was immediately obvious that it wasn't Terran in origin as while the hyperspace windows created by Terran drives tended to be whitish-blue in colour this one looked more like a dark purple-blue cloud almost like a bruise in space. The centre of the window pulsed and a ship emerged from the centre a moment before it dissipated, the ships outlines briefly blurred by the effects of hyperspace inertia before it slowed to a stop.

It was truly an alien ship.

The central third of the ship appeared to be a perfect tetrahedron made of a golden metal and lined with lights that marked deck after deck. The golden pyramid stood on a dark hexagonal platform that rose to about a third of the way up the pyramidal superstructure. As with the core it was covered with line after line of lights. It was a big ship too, dwarfing the two hundred and seventy meter long Charles Darwin by a considerable margin.

The communications station trilled for attention. "Sir we're being hailed by the alien vessel," communications reported, "audio only."

"Tie it into the Pandora Protocols file it should hold a translation matrix," Matt ordered, "then put it through."

"Aye sir."

For a moment nothing more happened then the overhead speakers crackled to life. "Unknown vessel you have trespassed on the domain of the Great God Poseidon," a business-like male voice stated calmly. "You are ordered to surrender and prepare to be boarded in his name or you will be fired upon. You have one minute to comply."

"Open a channel," Matt instructed communications.

"Channel open, sir."

Here's goes nothing, Matt thought before speaking. "Alien vessel. This is Captain Matthew Drake of the Terran Federation ship Charles Darwin. Negative on surrender however in the interests of peaceful co-existence we are prepared to withdraw from this system."

"They've closed the channel sir," communications reported a moment before there came a dull, rumbling thud like thunder in the distance and the deck shuddered beneath them as a blast of golden energy slammed into the ships forward shields.

"Direct hit," tactical reported as another bolt of energy shot out of the alien ship and slammed into the forward shields. "Alien weapons are some kind of focused plasma discharge, our shields are holding."

"Plasma cannons!" Richard exclaimed incredulous. "Who uses plasma cannons anymore? We abandoned plasma-based pulse weapons generations ago."

The ship shuddered again as a third plasma bolt slammed into the forward shields. "They maybe crude by our standards but they're packing quite a punch for plasma weapons," tactical replied. "Forward shields down to ninety-eight percent. Captain the Goa'uld ship is launching fighters… from their trajectory they're aiming to attack the shuttle as it clears the atmosphere."

"Shoot them down," Matt ordered as a forth bolt against the shields rattled the ship. "Main guns return fire upon the Goa'uld ship, let's see if their shields are as crude as their weapons appear to be."

"Aye sir."


The wing of gliders launched from the Goa'uld mothership were confident as they started to pass the vessel that had dared to trespass in their Gods domain, on course for the small shuttlecraft rising out of the atmosphere obviously intent on returning to its mothership. The Jaffa's confidence was rudely shattered when as they started to pass to port and starboard the few lateral mounted weapons on the Charles Darwin opened up on them – slender sun yellow fission lasers lancing out and cutting four of their number in half immediately.

Though startled the Jaffa pilots reacted instantly, beginning to take evasive action to break the alien targeting locks, while continuing towards the shuttle with pure bull headed Jaffa stubbornness to complete their assignment. It did little good as four more gliders were sliced apart by the alien weapons before they were past the vessel, another pair joining them as the aft fission lasers cut them down before the remaining four crossed out of the relatively narrow firing cones of the fission lasers.

Even as the gilders suffered at the hands of the Charles Darwin's secondary fission lasers the exploration and survey vessels two main guns opened up upon the Goa'uld mothership. Silver coloured beams of pure antiprotons blasting toward the Ha'tak-class vessel and smashing into its shields with white-hot force. The Goa'uld shield flared brightly into visibility as the streams of hyper accelerated antimatter particles assaulted them. The antiproton beams vanished but only for a moment before lashing out again slamming into the shields again and again putting them under considerable strain.

Gold and whitish-gold bolts of superheated plasma shot back from multiple primary and secondary cannon arrays on the Ha'tak as the now concerned and mildly intimidated Jaffa crewing the Ha'tak increased fire upon the surprisingly powerful and defiant Terran vessel. The Charles Darwin's hull conformal shields flared with a bright silver-blue glow as the strain of the Goa'uld weapons fire began to mount upon them.

Despite the battering the Charles Darwin gave as good as she got, both antiproton cannons and all four forward facing fission lasers slamming into the Goa'uld shields with white hot force as the battle turned into a straight out slugging match between them. It was a battle the Charles Darwin was always going to lose as while her own weapons were steadily ripping strength away from the Goa'uld shields her own shields, while powerful, were never really meant to hold in a protracted engagement against another ship let alone a warship.

With a brilliant flash of pyrotechnics they gave way. Plasma blasts from the Goa'uld ship immediately slammed into the dense trinium/carbon nanomesh hull of the vessel with immense force.


Bridge

TFS Charles Darwin

Matt groaned as he picked himself up off the deck where he'd just been slammed by the last hit from the Goa'uld ship. He didn't need to be told that their shields had failed under the enemy fire, in fact he was surprised they'd held as long as they had.

"Damage report," he ordered staggering back to his command chair and sitting down.

"Shields have failed," tactical reported as the ship shook violently again and new alarms began to sound, warning of damage being sustained. "Outer hull integrity down to sixty percent, a few more hits and we'll have a breach. Electrical fires have been detected in sections A1 through A5 on decks two and three."

"Shuttle status," Matt ordered grimacing as the ship shook violently yet again and sparks abruptly shot out from numerous junction boxes around the bridge.

"The shuttle reports that they're under heavy fire from the surviving Goa'uld fighters," Richard reported, "shuttle shields are down to sixty percent. They're not going to make it back here sir."

"Damn it," Matt growled. "Alright tell them to return to the surface. As soon as they're down tell them to abandon and destroy the shuttle – I don't want the Goa'uld getting their hands on its technology – and to find somewhere to hide until someone can come back for them."

"Aye sir," communications acknowledged a moment before the most violent hit yet rocked the ship and a new alarm began to sound, an alarm every spacer feared. As it was an alarm warning of a hull breach.

"Hull breach," Richard reported reading the damage report as it appeared on his display, "outer and inner hull failure in sections A4 through A6 on decks three, four and five. Emergency force fields activated and holding. Collateral damage in all forward compartments. Thirty percent power loss. Sir we're not going to survive much longer we need to get out of here now."

"I know," Matt growled. "Helm get us out of here. Tactical launch antimatter charges to cover our withdrawal."

"Aye sir."


A soft shiver ran through the Charles Darwin as four dart shaped projectiles launched from their tubes in her belly and shot towards the Goa'uld ship at sixty PSL. The Goa'uld sensors immediately detected the danger and the Ha'tak began rapid firing every cannon it could at the incoming projectiles before they could hit.

It did little good as the antimatter charges were travelling so fast and fired from such close range that the Goa'uld only managed to shoot down one, the projectile vanishing in a momentary fireball as matter and antimatter met and annihilated each other. The remaining three weapons, their smart guidance and navigational systems skirting the fireball with ease, slammed into the Ha'tak's shields and detonated wrapping the vessel in a wall of energy hotter than the surface of a blue-giant sun.

With the Goa'uld sensors momentarily blinded by the blast the Charles Darwin pulled out of orbit, opened a hyperspace window and vanished from normal space.

The first battle between Terrans and the forces of the Goa'uld was over.


Codex: Technology: Personal Weapons and Armour: RD-4 Garrotte

The RD-4 Garrotte is the standard pistol weapon used by Federation military forces and can even be found in civilian use. Like the EM-6 Gladius the Garrotte is a particle based directed energy weapon however unlike the Gladius – which fires a distinct beam – the Garrotte fires smaller pulses of energy. A rugged and reliable weapon the Garrotte only has two firing modes these being single shot and a semi-automatic three pulse burst. The use of single shot mode it advised as semi-automatic fire will rapidly drain the weapons power cell.

Codex: Technology: Personal Weapons and Armour: Combat Shell

The combat shell is a form of light body armour regularly used by Federation marine forces as well as law enforcement agencies. Composed of a high tech durable ceramic-trinium alloy a combat shell can be easily worn over normal clothing or a survival suite and can withstand fire from most weapons. Military models also come with an energy dispersive layer in the shell to better withstand strikes from higher powered weapons as well as shrapnel from grenades.

Codex: Technology: Power Generation: Molecular Fission Reactors

Molecular fission reactors are advanced power sources that have long since replaced fusion reactors aboard Terran starships. Through a complex process molecular fission generators use a modulated energy field to split even the most stable of atoms and molecules apart releasing massive quantities of energy. When initially developed it was hoped that molecular fission generators would replace antimatter reactors as the primary power source of Terran starships however this hope proved to be in vain as while they generate much more power than the most advanced fusion reactors molecular fission reactors are insufficient to power all but the most basic models of hyperdrive.

Codex: Technology: Starship Weapons: Antimatter Charges

Antimatter charges are powered projectiles that serve the same role as torpedoes and missiles did on ocean going military vessels. The destructive power of an antimatter charge can be varied by adjusting the amount of antimatter reactant loaded into the weapon before it is fired. There is considerable black market interest in acquiring and selling antimatter charges to terrorist groups and pirates however this has become very difficult in the decades since the Rivera Three Massacre.

Codex: Technology: Starship Weapons: Fission Lasers

Fission lasers use the same basic technology as the molecular fission reactor. Only in a fission laser the energy field is extremely lightly focused. Fission lasers are high precision weapons and are capable of cutting through all materials known to Terran science with relative ease however their effect on shields is limited, it is for this reason that fission lasers are relegated to a secondary weapons role.

Codex: Technology: Starship Weapons: Antiproton Cannons

Antiproton cannons are the standard particle beam weapons used by Terran starships. Antimatter particles taken straight from a ships reactor system are hyper accelerated and compressed into a tight beam by electromagnetic and subspace fields before being projected towards the target. Extremely powerful and very destructive antiproton beams come in a variety of sizes aboard military spacecraft.

Codex: Organisations: Military: SOID

The Special Operations and Intelligence Directorate is a subdivision of the Federation's armed forces and is charged with overseeing all special operations activities against the Federation's enemies as well as the gathering of intelligence against all enemies both foreign and domestic that the Terran Federation might face. To assist in its duties SOID operates a fleet of stealth frigates and cruisers all of which are capable of cloaking and deploying a unit of Black Falcon commandoes without being detected.

Codex: Organisations: Military: Black Falcons

The Black Falcons are the most elite Special Forces in the Terran Federation armed forces. Using a number of nano-cybernetic implants and genetic enhancement each commando is gifted with massively enhanced physical strength, speed and endurance. On average a Black Falcon commando is five to six times stronger and four times faster than a normal human being even when not using their body armour.


Author Notes: Well I hope you all liked this particular update and the changes I've made to Terran technology. I was originally going to include the shuttles fate in this chapter but it was making it a bit too long for my tastes so you'll find out what will happen to Melinda and the rest of the science team in the next chapter.