The following is taken from the first chapter of Manifest Disaster, the Sequel to Shattering Occam's Razor.
The briefings always dragged on at this point. The NID's influence upon SGC operations had been subtler than Jack had feared it might have been overall, but they were a civilian agency. And if there was one thing that civilians loved to do, it was talk. Getting a brief from someone military, even former military, was generally… well, brief. Who, what, when, where, why and why should I care, covered the major topics of the day.
The addition of civilian overseers and advisors meant that even in pre-mission briefings there would be a minimum of fifteen to twenty additional minutes of whichever "expert" was now on staff for the exclusive purposes of lending their "expertise" to yammer on about things which had already been discussed in greater depth than any human could possibly bother to care about them – including the expert.
Today's topic, however, was something that always seemed to keep him engrossed no matter how dry the "expert" discussing it managed to be. SG-4's most recent offworld mission had stranded them on a world embroiled in the Lord Warden's conflict with Moloch, a System Lord with a poor reputation even among the System Lords. Half of Major Howe's team made it back alive, but between being med down and an endless series of debriefs, even Jack hadn't been able to speak to the team yet to find out what happened, and Hammond was being surprisingly tight-lipped on the matter.
Captain Marvin and their civilian member Dan Bseiso, a linguist with extensive diplomatic experience, had been separated from the team and were currently MIA, presumably POWs of either Moloch or the Lord Warden. The General had told Jack that he would discover the circumstances of Howe's team before his mission brief. Given the short fusing of the mission in question, Jack hadn't wasted time pressing the issue.
"Gentlemen, Ladies – I think we all know why we're here." Spoke the civilian analyst from the front of Hammond's conference room to the collected team leaders. "Two members of the SGC were separated from their team yesterday at 10:00 Zulu on an industrial world we'd been investigating in the hopes of starting diplomatic ties. We dispatched a team two days ago, before we had any indications of Goa'uld involvement."
He clicked the remote in his hand and displayed a photograph of a metropolitan area in the center of a coniferous forest. The image was blurry, obviously taken with the MALP. Several still shots included the image of Goa'uld transport ships ringing down Jaffa into the city, and several more developed shots that seemed to have been taken with a higher definition camera showed men shaking hands with red armored Jaffa.
"It was on the second day of exploring the planet, while our team was scouting the outskirts of the city that they first discovered the Lord Warden's Jaffa. They appeared to be engaging in the standard client state procedure offered by the Lord Warden."
Jack nodded. The Lord Warden had been engaging in rapid territorial expansion over the past eight months, waging war on his nearest Goa'uld neighbors and ingratiating himself with any human societies peripheral to his war. It was a good strategy. Goa'uld generally just took what they wanted and killed anyone who stood in opposition to them, so the Lord Warden could "offer help if they wanted it" while knowing that overwhelming enemies would soon be at their gates.
His guarantee to "aid anyone at war with his enemies" combined with the ability to direct where those enemies would be forced to direct their supply chains virtually guaranteed that he could maintain the illusion of benevolent savior.
"You know the drill. Jaffa show up, naked priestesses make friends with the population and draw male attention, include a couple of his tame Unas soldiers just to jazz up the presentation, and start negotiating to establish an embassy." The NID analyst cycled through more photos of the Jaffa and humans in the settlement. "They were planning on pulling out entirely when Moloch's forces arrived and things… digressed."
He showed a single photo taken by SG4, and Jack's stomach churned. Moloch's tactics on the battlefield weren't pretty. Thankfully the Analyst had the good taste to only show a single photo. "This was taken from the first point of invasion. SG-4 Elected to stay and see how much intel they could collect on the war between the Lord Warden and Moloch.
Both forces have reportedly been using non-standard warfare doctrines from the System Lord's playbook, and Major Howe wasn't sure if they were going to be able to get through the gate while the Lord Warden's human auxiliaries were coming."
"How many auxiliaries did he use at this particular battle?" Queried Colonel Makepeace as he sipped his coffee.
"Five hundred auxiliaries and several airborne support vehicles." The Analyst replied, an unusual eagerness in his voice as he did so. "The Warden's Third Fleet has proven to be most interesting. They've been more proactive in recruiting and using non-Jaffa armies than any of his other fleets."
"He's letting them fly Gliders? Even for the Warden that's a new one." Jack arched his brow.
"Well – no, not exactly. Their technology is clearly influenced by the Goa'uld, but it is clearly of human design." The Analysit replied. "Some of the last photos taken by SG-4 before they were discovered by Moloch's scouts were of their airborne support."
He clicked the device, and another photo came across the screen. Jack's blood boiled and he all but screamed at the Analyst. "Kid is this a freaking joke to you?"
"No – no sir. I understand but that is really the photo taken by SG-4." The Analyst replied, looking around the room at the stern faced senior officers and NID mercenaries. "I'm not joking – that's the real photo taken. Major Howe swears to its validity."
"General, this can't be real." Jack looked to the Texan, hoping – nay praying – that the General had just elected for today to be the day played along with cruel prank on the SGC.
"I didn't believe it either, but we checked the MALP. This is very real." General Hammond replied. "I've already informed the President and he immediately greenlit sending our assets to recover our people. The NID concurs."
"Damn fucking right we do." Replied Mr. Davis as he reflexively rubbed at the NID logo over his heart.
Jack looked back at the photo, taking in the sheer impossibility of what he was looking at. Hanging over the human city, and shimmering with the glowing energy of a Goa'uld forcefield was an airship firing flak-cannons at Jaffa Gliders of Moloch as they tried to bomb the population center.
Smaller metal craft darted around the airship with an all too familiar boxy geometry to them, giving Jack an overpowering sense of Déjà vu for the movies of his childhood as he looked at the massive symbol on the airship's side.
A red flag with a white circle at it's center, marred with a broken cross. Jack groaned. "The fucking Nazis."