Disclaimer: I never have and never will own the characters, Ideas or anything else based on these 2 shows. The TV studios that produced them, do. This story is also free as it is a pet project. Enjoy.
"Speaking in a different language"
Chapter 18: Welcome to our hell, cousins.
Anubis command ship, planet Delmak high orbit, 16 days later
Anubis was standing on his ship's Pel'tac, looking out the main view port. He was waiting for an update from Her'ak. He was expecting one.
The Pathfinder, outer part of the Milky way galaxy, 6 days ago
Their search had begun the moment they arrived 10 and a half days ago. With Pathfinders intergalactic drive, it was only a few hours to get to the Milky way galaxy. But to find one planet in a galaxy of stars was a difficult task, to say the least. So Lee decided that the first thing to do is use the sensors of the Pathfinder to search for any advanced technologies, like the FTL communication systems that the Builders used. There have to be some transmissions, old or new, that would be picked up. The other thing they were searching for is a habitable planet. Habitable planets meant an increased chance of a Ring of the Lords being present.
But what also caught Lee's attention was Kara. Her behavior to be exact. She was acting weird. Well, weirder, when it comes to her. when asked by Sam or Lee, she just brushed it off as if nothing was wrong. But they could both see it. Something was bothering her.
One of the few things that got the old Starbuck out, besides a card game or two, was fling her Viper. While not practical in the search, he indulged her and the other pilots from time to time. When they surveyed a star system, he let his Raptor and Viper pilots have some time to 'just fly'. They had enough fuel on board. Wasting some of it was not a big thing.
Right now they were in a red dwarf star system. Nothing unusual, except that it was being orbited by a gas giant almost as big as the star itself. This giant planet even put their own Zeus gas giant to shame. It must be on the upper limit of how big a planet can get before it becomes a brown dwarf. That said, it had plenty of moons for them to search thru.
Caprica was behind the sensor station, analyzing all the data.
"Commander. This is something you should take a look at."
Lee stood up and came to her station.
"What is it?"
"There are 3 moons of this planet that are generating massive magnetic fields. I mean massive. I ran the data thru the main computer core and... the ship thinks the planets have massive naquadah deposits, mostly in their cores."
"Partially, yes. I guess, since naquadah can be superconductive, it has a natural ability to store energy more efficiently. Add the tidal forces from the gas giant and you get this result. Massive magnetic field. What fascinates me is that it still remains stable and has not exploded. Our understanding of the element seems to still be very limited. But the vast deposits would also explain why the moons are almost 40% heavier than the others of the same size."
Lee smiled. This was interesting but consistent with their findings. This star system was rich indeed. They found deposits on other moons too, but never entire cores made out of the stuff. Enough to supply entire civilizations for centuries. Millennia.
"Yes, tylium. Lots of it. Since both materials are related, I'm not surprised. There is more tylium in this system than what the Colonials consumed in all of their history."
Lee had to laugh. In the old days, that information would have made him richen than anyone else alive.
"But why did we not find that much tylium in our little dislocated corner of the universe?"
"According to the research of the Builders, tylium remains tylium only in the vacuum of space. Makes sense, since we or you never found any tylium veins on a planet with an atmosphere. Otherwise it becomes naquadah over thousands of years."
"OK, so based on that, we may have naquadah deposits on the old colonies?"
"Who knows. We never bothered to look for something we didn't even know existed."
He went over to the comm station. He sat down, since it was empty at the moment and began listening to the wireless chatter.
"Let's see what you're up to, Kara."
Colonial Viper patrol, unknown star system, same time
Starbuck was in her element. She was happy. She was cocky. She was having fun.
"OK people. Let's see if you still now how to fly these fighters! This gas giant had a wide ring around it. Let's dive into it and have a little target and maneuvering practice."
"Really, Starbuck? There are no enemies for gods know how far and you want us to do stupid things again?" It was Hot Dog. He was beginning to regret of volunteering.
"Suck it up, Hot Dog. I say we practice and have some fun, so let's do it!"
She then rolled her Viper over and dived into the rings below.
"There she goes again. Why are we still surprised?" Racetrack sighed as the other Vipers followed her into the rings.
"What I'm surprised is why Anderson still puts up with her shit." Kat asked on open channel.
"Watch it KAT!"
The Pathfinder, outer part of the Milky way galaxy, same time
Lee had to contain his laughter, so he bit his lip. Yep, that was Kara. At least in the cockpit, she was still her old self.
He looked at the internal time indicator. It was late. He must have been up for 16 hours already. No wonder he felt exhausted. He began leaving the bridge.
"Felix. I'm going to get some rest. Take over. Call me, if anything important happens."
Felix just nodded and left his engineering station to take over at the command chair.
"Sir, we have a scheduled update for the admiral in 9 hours. Should I wake you before that?"
Lee left, going for the improvised mess hall they cobbled up on the ship. As he arrived, it was only half full. But he saw one person he wanted to have a chat with. He sat down next to him.
"Hey, Sam. How are you doing?"
"Oh, Lee. You know. Sensor analysts and pilots have their hands full, people like me, not so much." Sam responded, taking another sip of his coffee.
"I meant, how is it with you and Kara?"
"Oh, that. Can't really say. You know, she's as stubborn as an Tauron ox sometimes. It also doesn't help things that she avoids these conversations. Whenever I bring the theme up, she leaves, ignores me or tells me to drop it. I would love to get a marriage counselor on this ship... or on New Caprica to help us."
"Yeah, not a single counselor survived the fall. Tough luck. But she has me worried as well."
"Yeah. I sure know how to pick them, can't I"
They both laugh.
"You and my brother would have gotten along."
Sam stood up and returned his empty plate. As he passed Lee, he lightly slapped him on the shoulder.
"Well, I'm off. Graveyard shift. You have some good rack time."
New Terra, fleet admiral Yao's office, same time
The admiral was working herself into the ground. Ba'al postponed the operation for several days. Some excuse about needing time to deploy sufficient forces in the right locations. Of course she didn't believe him. Even if he did tell the truth. The Goa'uld didn't do themselves any favors there. No one believes a liar, even if he tells the truth.
The Terrans couldn't launch the operation without the System Lords. Well, technically they could, but more would be achieved if they waited. What annoyed her was that the extra time didn't help her forces. Nothing would be changed in those few days. Nothing more gained. Except for the 2 new ships of a new class that entered production months ago.
What she really needed was a short but almost impossible list of things.
First: Another star system with already functioning shipyards and preferably, people to operate them. It would also help, if it was out of the way, hard to find. With a 3rd planet producing for their fleet, they would be able to synchronize production. Large capital ships on New Terra, fighters and civilian ships on Hebridan and escort capital ships on the third location.
Second: Access to a space fairing people with combat experience. As well as experience with space mining. The Goa'uld mostly mined habitable planets, making naquadah that much harder to find on them. But it and the other needed elements were found in abundance in space, asteroids and uninhabitable planets, moons. And while the members of the Terran Federation were as different from one another culturally and technologically as the colors in a rainbow, none had allot of experience in space mining. Only the inhabitants of Hebridan had some, but not sufficient for the total needs of the military.
Third: The knowledge on how to make the curtail Ancient technologies and the materials needed to construct them.
Fourth: Ancient or any other form of terraforming technologies. They knew that the Ancient's used highly sophisticated terraforming satellites, but they have yet to find even one. This was more a civilian need, so she ranked it as negligible in her eyes.
The only good news that this delay brought them was that the first new 402's were being churned out. Only two will be ready for the operation ahead of them, but she decided to hold them in reserve.
New Kobol, high orbit, resurrection ship, same time
He felt warmth. He felt light. First thoughts formed. He was in water. He had the urge to breathe. So he pushed his head up to catch his first breath.
He was in a tub of water. As he looked around, he began remembering.
"Welcome back, John." a blonde woman kneeling next to the tub said. "Remember the procedure. Deep breaths. Deep breaths."
"D'Anna? How? What? Where?"
"All in due time. But first, I need to know. How do you feel? Can you move your body?"
He began testing his body. No, things were wrong.
"My head really hurts. My hands... why are they shaking? And... frak. My legs. I can't feel them!"
D'Anna sighed. It was as she feared.
"Don't worry. We'll get you out of here first." She stands up and moves to the exit. She addresses the 2 Centurions guarding the entrance. "Help him out, please."
They obey and go inside. She moves to the next room, where she sees Boomer in a tub of water as well. Laying motionlessly. She looks at Leoben who was sitting on a chair next to the tub.
He just shakes his head.
"No, no response. We tried most tests. Cavil?"
"He's here, but not completely. He's damaged."
"Well, at least he can respond, Boomer... I don't know if she ever will."
D'Anna peaks into the 3rd room, only to see it being empty.
"Where is Gina?"
"We gave her a room to get dressed, but... she was in panic... paranoid...scarred."
"How, she was in range of resurrection, unlike Cavil and Boomer?"
"Not that kind of scarred. The psychological one."
D'Anna understood. She read the report from the Colonials about Cain's actions.
The Pathfinder, outer part of the Milky way galaxy, 3 days later
They continued the search. System after system. So far they only found barely habitual planets in the range of ice orbs or sand dunes. Nothing in the range of wide diversity of life. The Raptors were also doing overtime, to extend the search range. They had slowly moved more into the arm of the galaxy they were in. Lee knew that they did not have the time, luxury and resources to scout every plant. That would take several life times.
They had moved into a orange giant system. It was a star much bigger than the normal main sequence stars. The chance of habitable planets thus much lower. But something else attracted them here. A debris field. A large one. What was left of a battle fought long ago, was now part of a disk around the 3rd gas giant in the system. They had began a scan of the field, trying to find the answers to their questions. Who? What? when? Why? As Lee looked over the reports he was given on the bridge, Felix began standing up from the comm console.
"Sir, we may have something. A faint tachyon signal."
Lee stood up. Finally something!
"Tachyon? That means it has to be close. Can you pinpoint it, captain Gaeta?"
"Trying. Caprica, can you give me a hand?"
She went to his console and assisted him. After several minutes, they had a location.
"4th moon of this gas giant. Has to be a partially intact crashed ship." Caprica reported.
Lee nodded. This was perhaps their first break. They were actually lucky. They might have needed months to find anything. And if they had searched for smoke signals with binoculars, they might have. But searching for radio waves or tachyons with advanced sensors, that accelerated things. They were searching for civilizations, but the space traveling ones, not the rock throwing ones, like they already found in their old home galaxy.
"Kara, take us there. Sam, get our marines and Centurions ready. We may have to board whatever is there."
"You got it, Lee."
As the Pathfinder entered standard orbit of the moon, they began an intensive scan of the surface.
"I think I found something, sir. Looks like Caprica was right. A ship. From what I can say, it seems intact. If you can call that a ship." Felix reported.
"Let's see it. On screen."
What they saw was really not a standard ship hull design.
"OK, what the frak." was the general reaction.
"Do the humans in this galaxy have a pyramid fetish?" Kara laughed.
"Who said this is a human design?" Caprica commented. "Around 600 meters long and wide, can't say for sure due to the damage of the impact. Outer hull is naquadah based, I'm detecting technologies similar to the Builders. But the ship is a derelict. The crash must have damaged the systems. We can only learn so much from here. I say we board it. Power signatures are low, so bad to no atmosphere. We will need environmental suits. The Centurions should go first."
Lee nodded. They needed to minimize risks.
"Caprica, you get the Centurions ready, Sam, you go with the marines after the Centurions. Does that thing have ring transporters?"
"We indeed have a handshake protocol engaged. The question is will there be power for a return transport?"
"Kara, get our Raptors ready, should we need them. Caprica, after the Centurions secure the location and our marines prepare to depart, you go with them. I need your assessment of that ship."
Minutes later, in a dim corridor on the crashed ship, the ring transporters came to life again. 4 Centurions appeared and spread out.
"We have arrived, Caprica. The ship looks deserted. Air quality is stale at best. Will established a perimeter. Transport the next group." the lead Centurion reported.
An hour later, the ship was, for the most part, secures. Caprica was in the engine room, looking over the systems. She was in a direct wireless link to Lee to update him on the situation. She took her helmet off as she managed to restor partial life support.
"So, Caprica, how does it look?"
"Whoever build this ship used Builder technology, with several additions of unknown origins. The portable Builder computer interfaced with this ship and the portable naquada cell is doing its job as well. The language barrier is the issue. The Builder computer is working on it, but it may take some time. This alien language looks more like icons and not letters. A pictogram based language? Everything else I could make out visually, this ship may fly again, but that depends on the engines. Our ship does not need the naquadah fuel, this one does. And we only brought so much with us..."
"I get it. Carry on. Have we found any survivors?"
"The marines and Centurions are still searching the middle decks. All we found so far, are human looking corpses, but..."
"They are not human. They have this... pouch things in their bellies... and a snake inside it."
Lee remained silent for a moment, realizing that the Builder told them about these.
"A 'false god' as the old Builder called them. A Goa'uld?"
"My thought's exactly."
"If they can infest humans, we should be careful. Centurions should check the corpses first."
"Agreed. I'll inform the search parties."
In the mean time, on the upper floors, Sam and 2 marines were looking over the Pel'tak. To say that this was a CIC completely different to anything they ever saw was an understatement.
"Were the builders of this ship thinking of design over practicality?" a marine asked as he went over the main control console.
"Who knows. Let's keep moving. But all I can say is there is enough gold on the walls to make us all rich. There is a door where we haven't checked yet." Sam pointed to the door on the left of the Pel'tak.
As they entered the still unexplored room, the first thing that came into their eyes was the sarcophagus the room's center.
"A golden sarcophagus? Do they bury their people on the ship?" one marine asked.
"Look, there is a device plugged into it. A power source?" the other marine asked.
"Ok, I think we should report this." Sam said and grabbed his wireless.
"Hey, there are some controls here. Maybe we can open it?" the first marine said and activated the sarcophagus.
"Don't touch it, you moron!" Sam yelled.
Too late. The sarcophagus opened up. Before Sam could call the 2 marines off, they took a look inside.
In the engineering room, Caprica was about to issue the new instructions, when she heard some comm traffic.
"Frak, it's still alive... we need help..."
"Come in! What is going on!? Report!" Caprica shouted into her wireless. "Someone talk to me! Who was that shouting!?"
"This is corporal Jefferson. I think that was Sam's team near the top of this ship."
"Frak. To all people, we may have a situation. Centurion team alpha, converge to the top of this ship. Something is wrong with Samuel's team! Caprica to commander Apollo."
"I hear you. What's the update?"
"We have a situation. Sam's team is not responding. We may have a survivor. Have the 3 outgoing ring transporter locations secured!"
The Pathfinder, bridge, same time
"What? Repeat that? Sam's team is not responding?" Lee asked over wireless. That did not sound good.
"Affirmative. Secure outgoing ring transporter locations on the Pathfinder!"
Lee stood up from the command chair. This was not good. He looked at Kara. She had fear and anger in her eyes. Her Sam was not responding.
She just nodded and wanted to leave the bridge to help the search, when 2 shots were heard behind them, at the entrance to the bridge. The 2 marine guards were down, probably dead. But what shook Lee, Kara and Felix was who the shooter was. Sam, still holding the smoking gun.
"Sam? What the frak are you doing!?" Kara screamed.
"Sam?" 'Sam' replied, with a distorted voice. "Sam is gone, little girl." His eyes glowed. "I am Mer'kesh. Your new god, human!"
Lee almost panicked. The Builder was right. A parasite race. And Sam was infected. These things could take over human Cylons as well!?
"Stop, Kara! He's not Sam anymore. You're a Goa'uld, right?" Lee asked, trying to buy time to find a way out.
"That old Ancient told you? Well, I now also know everything. To think the Ancients wanted you pathetic humans to be the saviors of the human race in this galaxy? I don't know who is more pathetic? You or them. Your race was born to serve us. And you will once again. Now, step aside." Mer'kesh pointed his gun on Lee, showing no sign of playing around.
Lee did as asked. Mer'kesh approached the main console and began interacting with it. He cursed.
"Cunning, these Ancients. This technology is resisting me. No matter, only a matter of time. First off..."
The doors of the bridge began closing.
"Some privacy. Don't want those primitive machines to interrupt us. From my point of view they are toasters indeed. Now..."
The doors stopped closing. 2 pairs of mechanical arms grabbed the door and barely held it halfway open.
Before the Goa'uld could react, Caprica managed to enter the bridge thru the opening the Centurions created and point her weapon at Mer'kesh.
"Now that was just rude. Let's see who the primitive around here is."
"You think you can threaten me, female? Kill me and you kill Sam as well. I know that as a Final Five, he means allot to your kind. And I also know you are outside your resurrection range."
"Then maybe I'll just knock you out. Wouldn't be the first time."
"Try it. I am now as strong if not stronger than you. Besides..." he points slightly to her left where Felix is standing and shoots. Felix is hit in his leg and fall to the ground screaming in pain. "Do you really want to test my resolve. I am willing to kill you all, machine!"
"Oh shut up!" Kara screamed from behind him. He completely ignored her, not seeing her as a threat. And since Caprica managed to get in to distract him, Kara saw her chance. She just jumped him. Lee saw an opening and joined her to restrain him. It was hard, he was really as strong as a Cylon now. Caprica managed to open the doors again, allowing the Centurions in to regain control. As Mer'kesh threw Kara off of him, he was looking at the barrels of 2 Centurions. He just smirked.
"Now what? I still have this Sam you are all worried about."
Caprica just punched him to knock him out.
"Centurions, restrain him. Take him to the holding cell and guard him."
They did as ordered. As the bridge was secured, everyone was trying to get over the shock. Felix was taken to the medical bay to get his leg looked at.
"Lee, we have to help Sam, we...!"
"I know, Kara, but we know next to nothing about that parasite!" Lee replied. "We need more information. Caprica, go back to the ship below and crack their database. Maybe there is some information there. Also keep me updated on Felix." he then looked at the marine corporal. "How many dead?"
"2 on Sam's team, 2 in the 2nd outer ring transporter locations... and now 2 here on the bridge. Frak, this infiltrator..."
"I agree. We need to get it out of Sam, but I doubt we can just cut it out. Double the guards on the transporter entrance points and finish the search of the ship, but be extra careful. 1 Centurion with every marine team! And give me a full report on where this happened and what happened there when you return!"
Pegasus galaxy, Beta site planet, same time
"They are late! And women whine when guys show up late!" Sheppard cursed.
"Your cursing won't make them appear faster, colonel." captain Ellis argued back. He hated babysitting missions, but with the prospect of a new ally on the horizon, he was not complaining. Except having to listen to Sheppard and McKay. Ronon was just silent. He liked that Satedan. Just shoots and asks no questions. A solder after his taste. "Besides, depending on how many ships arrive, we may have to change our security measures."
For this meeting, the Apollo was chosen to represent the Terrans. As a 501, she was much more imposing than a 306.
Another 15 minutes later, the Apollo's sensors picked up a hyperspace distortion.
"All right people, we're getting visitors. Look sharp!" Ellis barked out.
They really came, 4 Traveler ships exited hyperspace and entered standard orbit of the planet.
"Sir, were being hailed."
"Put it on."
On the screen, Sheppard saw the same woman who only a few days ago was having an almost flirtatious conversation with.
"Sheppard. You didn't disappoint. Good. I would hate to have to throw you out of the airlock." Larrin greeted with a seductive smile.
"Here we go again, Kirk." Rodney cursed.
"Good to see you too, Larrin. So, your people ready to talk?"
"Yes, the 4 ships carry our leaders. They are eager, if not a bit carious of this meeting. It would not be the first time we tried something like this, only for it to blow up in our face."
"I'm captain Abraham Ellis, commanding officer of this ship. We know the feeling. We'll prepare for your arrival in our hangar.10 minutes. Security reasons, I hope you understand."
"10 minutes it is."
10 minutes have passed fast as Sheppard, Ronon, McKay, dr. Weir and captain Ellis were waiting with a military escort on the Apollo's main hangar that was located in the ventral part of the ship. As the front hangar door opened, they saw the 3 Traveler shuttles approach their ship.
"Here we go." Ellis muttered. "And remember. Sheppard, no flirting. Rodney, no whining. And Ronon... no killing."
"I'll try, sir." Sheppard replied.
"Who's whining?!" Rodney replied.
"No promises." Ronon just tugged at his weapon holster.
As the 3 shuttles passed the barrier and landed, everyone tensed up. As the doors of the lead shuttle opened, everyone recognized the leader, who stepped out first.
"Captain Larrin. Welcome on board. I hope these talks will be productive." captain Ellis greeted the newcomers.
"Glad to finally see each other face to face. These are our representatives." Larrin points out to the people behind her. "They will take over the boring part of this. Now..." she walks over to Rodney. "You're the little whiner who talked from high up down on to me?"
"Well, I... I wouldn't... put it like that..."
Larrin smirks, then punches Rodney, flooring him.
"Never do that again, little man."
The Terran guards reacted accordingly, getting their weapons ready.
"Hold it guys. I'm sure, the lady has..." Sheppard tried to calm everyone down, only to be floored next.
"Cute or not, don't try to bait me. It has never worked."
Sheppard gets up, while Rodney is still whining on the floor.
"What is your problem, lady?!"
"I only respect men with a backbone."
"Does me shooting you count as that?" Sheppard replied and put his hand on his sidearm.
That made the Traveler guards react, as they unsheathed their particle impactors.
"Stop it all of you!" Weir intervened. This was not going as hoped. "I thought you came here to talk?!"
One of the Traveler representatives stepped forward, signaling the guards to stand down.
"We are, but you have to forgive commander Larrin, she is the hit first, ask questions if she feels like it type of person. Most of our captains are. It comes useful for surviving centuries in this galaxy."
"Good to know. I am dr. Elizabeth Weir. I represent the Terran Council. Now... If you wish to continue, we have a meeting room prepared, but your guards leave their weapons here." Weir explained the situation.
"Like hell." Larrin protested.
"Commander. This is not your decision. We will go. You can stay here if you wish." the representative ordered her and signaled the guards to hand over their weapons.
Ronon was one of those who collected these weapons. He began inspecting the sidearm. Test it. How it feels. Finally, he just aimed it at a cargo container and fired a red bolt of particle energy. Everyone, except for Larrin, ducked.
"Ronon, ARE YOU INSANE!" Sheppard yelled. "What were you thinking?!"
"I like this gun. Much better than the Satedan crap. Also better than yours, Sheppard. Feels better and react's better. I'm keeping it."
"Try that again, and I'll have you put in the hole for a day, allies or not!" captain Ellis responded similarly to Sheppard. Larrin however was interested.
"Satedan? So you're from that planet? Well, you can keep that one. A gift from me. At least there are 2 men here that are not weaklings."
Weir needed to regain control. She addressed the Traveler representatives.
"Can we please go. The faster we can get started, the better off we will be."
Everyone agreed and they left with the escorts. That left Ronon, Sheppard and Larrin with a few of her unarmed men standing in front of the landed Traveler shuttle. The rest of the hangar was of course booming with activity. Sheppard just caressed his chin.
"Is this how you start a date?"
Larrin smirked again. Sheppard was not the typical man.
"That is how I test one. And as I remember, you did not disappoint me. So. Show me around this ship of yours. See if it's as good on the inside as it looks on the outside."
The Pathfinder, bridge, 1 hour later
Lee was waiting for Kara and Caprica to arrive. They had finished their scouting of the ship and apparently Caprica made some progress on the alien computer. The good news was that Felix would make it. It would be a problematic wound to the leg if they did not have this ship and it's medical technology, but since they did, he would be on his legs in a matter of days.
The bad news however were piling up. The crashed alien ship could not be salvaged. Not with what they had here. They would need a complete salvage team and several ships to lift it, since that ships engines were crippled.
6 dead marines were also a really bad news. They were put into an empty storage room for now. Caprica depressurized it to prevent them from decomposing, for now.
Lee heard several people approaching the bridge. He now had 2 Centurions guarding the entrance. The only dumb luck they had that prevented that alien from closing the doors fast and taking over the ship was that the ship, just as with the Cylons, resisted theses parasites. And now they also realized another thing. The ships internal sensors, like with the human form Cylons, could detect one of these parasites. Sam was now marked as red.
He saw both blondes enter the bridge.
"OK, Kara you first. Anything of use on that ship?"
"Well, the Centurions took that sarcophagus thing to our cargo room 3. There was also an old man in that thing. Apparently he died of old age."
"If I had to take a guess, he was that monsters host, but when they opened his 'tomb' up without precautions, he must have switched to Sam." Caprica tried to analyze the situation.
"OK, but why switch host? And how was that thing able to survive, gods know for how long. The air was not breathable before we jumpstarted that tub up again." Kara responded back.
"I can only guess, he or whatever that is, kept itself alive inside it's old host inside that thing. It was hooked up to an independent power source, but I took a look at it. It is almost empty. As for how long... I checked the logs, this ship crashed on this moon 224 years ago."
"224 years? You mean..." Lee tried to grasp the new information.
"You 'friend' was trapped for that long in that casket. Guess his host must have aged, more so, when power was being rationed. Which also explained the host switch. He needed a younger, stronger one. Sam was in a way lucky."
"HOW is that LUCKY!" Kara raged. "Sam can't even respond to us because of that thing!"
"The alternative would have been a bullet to the head, just like with the marines. As hard as it is to hear, he's still alive for now." Caprica raged back.
Lee tried to calm Kara down.
"She has a point. We can still save him. Back to business. Anything else of value on that ship?"
"Well, their cargo holds were full of these energy weapons that look like oversized staffs. Some grenade looking things were also there. In the 'hangar' and I use that term loosely, there are some sort of double seated fighters. Remind me of firs Cylon war era Raiders. Besides that, mostly only dead humans... or humanoids with these pouches in their stomachs. And allot of dead snakes."
"Why would they use humans for that, but then take them over in another way? Makes no sense to me." Lee asked no one in particular.
"There is one, we just don't know it yet. As for my report, I may have some good news. This ship once belonged to a lesser System Lord, whatever that means."
"Yeah, I've never heard of a title like that as well. Anyway, our prisoner is one of his servants. This ship was in battle against a rival System Lord... and here is where things get interesting. It was Ares."
All the Colonials on the bridge froze. Ares? Their Ares? Was the old Builder right after all? Caprica noticed their reactions.
"Yes, as in the Aras. But that is not the interesting part. This servant's master has a planet around 22 Ly from here. Caprica class. And a ring of the Lords as well. We should continue our search there."
Lee nodded. He pushed the Ares thing out of his head first. He, like his father, was never really religious anyway.
"What about the technology on that ship?"
"As I said before, mostly based on the tech of the Builders, but with some upgrades. And I am sorry to say, tactically, that wreck would outclass us, with the exception of the main ventral gun. Our shields are weaker, our other weapons as well, that thing can turn on a dime, outgun us... Our only advantage is FTL and sensors. Their FTL is also based on hyperspace travel, but much slower. They could barely keep up with our jump drives."
"Based on that, we should avoid a battle?"
Caprica just nodded. Great, outclassed again. He turned to Kara.
"OK, we grab anything of value from that ship. Kara, get into our Raptors and try to get one or more of those fighter out of there with the Raptors. Haul them out if you have to. Those weapons storage areas, take as much as you can. In the mean time, Caprica, go take a look at that sarcophagus thing. Try to figure out what it might be. I'll go interrogate that thing."
As Lee began to leave the bridge, Kara grabbed him by the arm.
"Lee, please be careful. And don't hit him. It's still Sam's body."
"I know. Don't worry, Kara. After the interrogation, I have a call to make."
New Kobol, admiral Adama's residence, 1 hour later
They were having a small party at the admirals residence in one of the main residential towers in the part of the city being in use. The admiral was near the top of the tower, which didn't bother him. Pilots usually didn't have problems with high places. He however was a bit tired. Dee was right. Zak was not a deep sleeper. And holding his promise, he did his 'grandpa' part as good as he could.
Laura, Saul and Ellen were already having a drink in the den, when he arrived.
"Sorry for being late, but Zak has issues sleeping."
"I take you prefer this problem over the endless jumps we had to do in the old days, Bill?" Saul smirked ad he took another sip,
"In a way, Zak is scarier." Adama laughed and took a seat to join them. "By the way, where is D'Anna?"
"She said she has a surprise for us. Don't know what it is, but... we'll see." Laura answered.
They all leaned back into their chairs. It was a relaxed atmosphere. Dimmed lights. Cigarette smoke in the air. Some time to relax and get to spend some time with friends. If Laura could, she would rearrange Bill's apartment a bit. It looked too... Spartan. Military. They are organized and efficient, but can be boring interior decorators. Maybe when the time comes and they live together... she can change that. But not now. In a few years... A few years. That notion almost sounds so strange to her. Slightly more than a year ago she thought that she would not have years left to live. Or that they would be living on a pristine planet together with... Cylons.
"So, Bill. How goes the mission that doesn't exist?" the former colonel asked as he finished his glass of alcohol.
"I get daily reports. So far nothing important to report. It's only been 10 days Saul and that galaxy is several magnitudes larger and more massive than ours. In about 13 hours I expect another report from Lee. Until then I thought of getting some shut eye as well. After this get together, of course."
"Of course. Too bad that there aren't any fun parks here. Could go out with our ladies and have some entertainment. Hell, even a stadium or strip club would do it."
"I would prefer opera colonel, thank you." Laura said as she poured herself another drink.
"Well, we don't have one of those as well, Laura. Guess for a while at least, were stuck to bars." Ellen said as she cuddled to Saul. "Unless these Builders have some hidden entertainment center somewhere?"
"No idea. Our first priority was safety and food supply, not dancing or sports. Even Kara's husband has been nagging the sports issue for a while. Anyway..." the admiral was interrupted, when the doorbell rang. "I'll get it."
As he opened the door, he was greeted by D'Anna and... Cavil?
"Your face is priceless. Looks ridiculous, admiral." D'Anna mocked him. "But it was worth it."
"Yes, pushing me around like a piece of meat." Cavil argued. He was bound to a wheelchair.
"How?" was the only thing Adama was capable of saying until his brain rebooted.
"Let's talk inside." D'Anna pushed Cavil's wheelchair into the apartment.
As the shock in the den subsided, D'Anna explained how they found their Cavil's Boomer's and Gina's consciousness in their resurrection ship. Well, in the back up data buffer, to be exact. But not without side effects.
"Well, this particular resurrection ship was the closest in every occasion when one of us died." Cavil began to explain as he too got a drink. "We never fully understood the organic memory transfer. Not even the Final Five do. Guess it really is based on alien tech. Anyway. Gina is back fully, she was 'lucky' in a way. My other models never bothered to bring her back after all the psychological damage she endured at the hands of Cain. I'm not pointing fingers, we Cylons did far worse, but she may never truly recover. As for me and Boomer, well..." he looked at his legs. "We were already outside of the maximum range of a resurrection ship when we... well, died. Somehow, we were still downloaded, but because of the range... I have permanent neurological damage. Even if I resurrect again, my next body will not walk either. On top of that I get tired easily and... I forget things..." He stayed silent for about a minute. "Well, could be worse. Could be stuck in there forever. Or be a vegetable like Boomer." He drank the whole content of his glass after that.
"Boomer... what's wrong with her?" the admiral asked.
"She is in a coma. She may never awaken again. She's like our hybrids now, as best as we can figure it out. we left her in a tank for now, but... her mind is so damaged, we may pull the plug someday." D'Anna explained.
Another 30 minutes passed as they talked, now more focused on the future of this colony. This civilization. As they were thinking of calling it a day, Adamas wireless communicator began beeping.
"This is the admiral."
"Sir, this is ring command room. We have a transmition from commander Adama. He says it is urgent, sir."
Bill looked at his guests, who stopped at what they were talking about and listened to the conversation he was having.
"The next report was not for another 12 hours. Did something happen?"
"He wouldn't say, sir. He just insisted to talk with you."
The admiral went to the large screen in his den, attached to the wall leading to his study room.
"Can you patch him to my room, the main screen?"
"Will try sir."
A few moments later, said screen lit up and Lees face appeared on it. He was showing the signs of a worried man. He was sitting at the comm station on the Pathfinder's bridge.
"Son, your early. Something wrong?"
"You can say that, sir. We made... first contact. I repeat, first contact was initiated. But not with humans. With... the things the old Builder warned us about."
That got everyone's attention as they moved behind the admiral to be closer to the screen.
"Tell me what happened."
Lee began explaining. The crashed ship. The dead bodied, altered for these things. The stashes of weapons. The report from Caprica and... the incident. The admiral began seething. He lost men... again. To creatures the Builder hoped his people would destroy. When Lee got to the part about Ares, the colonial members went totally silent. Now the admiral didn't care. He was not a believer. But many would flip a table in this city if they heard this.
"How's Sam?" the admiral wanted to know.
"No idea. That thing has his body completely under his control. And I can tell you, interrogating something like this is not easy. First off, I can't beat it, it's still Sam that I would hurt. The other thing, it mocked me for my interrogation techniques."
"If I may, perhaps one of our Centurions should help you. Might frighten him... or it? Or whatever it is." D'Anna shook her head. She was getting a headache thinking of this.
"Already tried it. It mocked the Centurion as well. A 'primitive machine' not even worth calling a toaster, he said."
"Oh, he said that, did he?" That got D'Anna's blood boiling.
"And he knows he has the cards in his hands. He knows we want Sam back. And it won't give him up with ought a fight."
"And ideas on how to proceeded?" Laura wanted to know.
"Yes. Caprica found the log of this ship. A few Ly from here is a Caprica class planet with a ring on it. We start there. But it may have more of these thing on it, so we exit FTL on the outmost planet and then send a Raptor to scout the planet. Hopefully, the Raptor will not be detected."
Bill saw the logic. They needed more info. He didn't like it, but it was the best course of action.
"Can't you enable the ship you found? If it is tactically superior to the Pathfinder, it could be an asset."
"We can't get it off the moon. It's engines are badly damaged. Probably from the impact. We would need another ship and a crew of engineers to get it off. We couldn't even get one of their fighter's from the hangar. They are somehow connected with the ship and we have no idea how to 'launch' them."
"Very well. That ship can wait. I give you a green light for the operation. Update me the moment you know more, understood?"
"Yes sir." Lee then saluted and the connection was terminated.
As everyone was thinking of ending this party, Cavil began returning to the table in the den.
"That was enlightening."
Planet PX7-116, outer rim of the galaxy, 1 hour later
The Stargate activated and a Puddle jumper flew out of the event horizon.
"No need to floor it, lieutenant. We're in no hurry here." General O'Neill ordered Mary as she flew the Jumper.
"Sorry sir. But flying this is so different to my baby."
In the back, the rest of SG-1 in training were having a chat.
"Since when did Mary have a child?" Ornek asked, confused.
"Wait, what?" Jennifer responded, now also confused. "What baby?"
"Mary just said 'her baby'." Skar repeated after her.
"I think she meant her 203. Usually some people call their vehicles a 'baby' or 'hot rod'... you get the idea." James clarified.
Back in the front, O'Neill was looking outside, as if searching for something. And he found it. As they were flying over the countless forests, the Prometheus could be seen hovering about 100 meters over the ground near a settlement. Next to the settlement in a clearing were several landed Tel'tak's and an Al'kesh.
"Over there, land us there. They are expecting us." O'Neill pointed where he wanted her to land. "Also, stop whining. You're lucky I let you fly 'my baby' after you got the ATA gene therapy." Then he turned to the back. "The same goes for all of you. No more 'we don't need a baby sitter' crap. I wanted to get out too so I pulled rank and got HQ to throw me this bone. You guys get some more field experience and I get out a bit. Win-win."
"Yeah, all is better than those endless simulations. Scenario A. Scenario B, Scenario XYZ and fuck all." Mary agreed. "I mean, Earth is heavily fortified, ZPM's, drones and all. Why simulate a scenario where we don't have them?"
"Because we have to train for every eventuality. We may have them now, but what if we run out of ZPM's and can't replace them? We can't rely on a specific tech or weapon. Because if we do and then it breaks down and we run around like headless chickens because we did not train, were screwed! This way you guys are prepared for most eventualities! Got it!? Now, no more whining. And that is an order." O'Neill yelled as he got annoyed with the 'are we there yet' mentality of theses 'still kids'. Not long and his mini me will be part of it as well. He dreads the day. A smartass, just like him.
As the jumper landed in the landing site not far from the Al'kest, and the team began to disembark the Jumper, they were greeted by Teal'c, Ishta, Haikon, Bra'tac and several female Jaffa guards. Ever since Moloc was killed, they took over most of his outlying worlds, so that they didn't have to hide on Hak'tyl. And with the chaos in the greater galaxy, a few worlds would not be missed by anyone. The Free Jaffa and the Terrans were helping them wherever they could. The Free Jaffa had hoped that these female Jaffa would become part of the Free Jaffa one day.
"O'Neill, it is good to see you outside again. How did you get military command to let you out?" Teal'c wondered.
O'Neill just looked at his 'team in training'.
"I am the baby sitter. That is the downside. Anyway, we have the tretonin you asked for."
The SG members took out several cases filled with vials of blue liquid.
"Excellent. This will help my sisters immensely." Ishta then ordered her guards to take one of the cases and ordered others to come from the camp to help.
O'Neill saw how Ishta and Teal'c acted around each other. He just smiled.
"T, you dog you."
Pegasus galaxy, Beta site planet, same time
Time passed and the negotiations went on. During all of this, Larrin and several other Travelers got the 'tour' of the Apollo.
"This is a nice ship. But can it fight? All I have seen so far is a lot of glitter but no real indication of what it can do." Larrin said, unimpressed.
"Well, we can't go and wake the Wraith now can we. Not until we are ready." Sheppard replied while they were now in the main armory inspecting their arsenal there.
"I still want a demonstration. Repairing our ships in a dry dock sounds good, but if you can't build capable ships yourself... I'm not impressed." Larrin argued back. "I don't care what the other leaders say, I want a demonstration."
Ronon, who remained on the sides for all of this, had an idea.
"Hey, Sheppard. Why not take her to your galaxy. You have a large operation planned there don't you. Let her be on one of your ships to get an idea of what your ships can do. I know the Satedan's are asking for it as well."
"That...!" Sheppard stopped himself from raging. Ronon had a point. "You know what Chewie. That is not a bad idea. And it's still not for a few days. so..." he looked at Larrin. "You want to see us kick ass, that is your chance."
Larrin too was thinking hard. The Satedan had a point. This way her galaxy remains as it is... with the Wraith still sleeping.
"Fine by me. But if you, as you say, only got here a few months ago, how will you fix our ships? Dragging them to your galaxy seems a waste of time."
"Well, I think the dry-dock on Taranians as well as the small facilities on Atlantis should be enough for now. We are searching planets where we can build our own facilities."
Satisfied with the answers, they continued with the tour. The mess hall was next as they all became a bit hungry after all this time.
The Pathfinder, bridge, edge of unknown star system, same time
"So, we finished with the scan?" Kara asked, being angry at the current situation. She hated being helpless. and her husband being hijacked classifies as that.
Caprica had been on the sensor console all the time. She needed to be sure that this was safe and worth it.
"As far as I can tell, yes. The 2nd planet in this system is the habitable one. There are some moons as well, but they are borderline habitable. I guess the 2nd planet it is. However I do not detect much in the form of signals... of any kind. Some residual background radiation pointing to comm traffic, but years ago. I think we can try it."
Lee was listening to all of this. He was 6 men down, one in the medical bay and one a hostage. Not the way he wanted to start this. He hoped that there were answers on that plnaet. He stood up from the command chair.
"Caprica, your with me. I'll lead the mission. 2 marines and 2 Centurions..."
"Like hell you are, Lee. You're the commander and..." Kara protested.
"You are not going, Kara. Your emotionally too attached. Take command or get some shut eye, but you're not going!" As he and Caprica were already left the bridge, Lee stopped. "However, have a 2nd Raptor ready, just in case. If we don't report back in 2 hours, send it after us."
Orbit, unknown planet, minutes later
In a flash, the Raptor appeared in orbit of the 2nd planet in the solar system.
"Jump complete. We're right where we should be." Lee said to the passengers. "Caprica, Dradis?"
"Clear. We are alone. The planet reads a healthy oxygen nitrogen atmosphere, allot in the organic spectrum... this is indeed a healthy green planet. Average temperature 16 degrees, small inclination, no moon. 3 large landmasses... I say we start."
"Right. Hang on to your lunch... or batteries, whatever goes." Lee announced as he began descending the Raptor into the atmosphere.
After several minutes, they began seeing something thru the cloud cover. Land. Forests. Mountains. Life everywhere.
"Wow, it seems planets like this aren't so rare as we thought." one of the marines in the back said as he marveled at the wilderness below them.
"I think we have those Builders to thank for this." Caprica remembered what the old man said and what they found in the database of Kobolous.
"Affirmative Caprica. It is only logical to assume what the data points to." one of the 2 Centurions agreed with her.
"Ok, I'm going low. Caprica, keep an eye on Dradis and comm. You guys use our eye's and keep an eye out the window. Time to begin scouting this planet."
Planet PX7-116, outer rim of the galaxy, Jaffa base camp, 45 minutes later
They had unloaded the Jumper and were now helping wherever they could. There were several platoons of Terran military personnel, mostly engineers, who were helping to design a permanent settlement here on this world.
All the Terran military personnel was now equipped with a new standard armor. It was nowhere near the nano-suits capabilities, those were too expensive and difficult to make, so only the commandos and elites got them. The regular forces got the new Hoplite armor, named after the ancient solders of Earth's history. They possessed not just a good trinium naquadah alloy for protection, but added mobility and flexibility. A wrist mounted computer interface system, a mobile short range sensor and wireless communication device in one hand and a magnetic grappler hook in the other. This armor was lighter than the standard Jaffa armor, thus enabling it's wearer greater speeds. To complete the set, they all possessed a helmet with an audio and visual interface as well as a build in breathing device, but this armored suit was not designed for underwater or space operations. For this peaceful mission, all the personnel on the ground left their helmets on the Prometheus. Or in the case of O'Neills people, in the jumper.
Speaking of general O'Neill, he was having a discussion with Bra'tac about the defense of this planet when a voice interrupted them.
"Should have known you'd come. Never could keep sitting still could you?" android O'Neill remarked as he entered the tent where general O'Neill and Bra'tac were.
"What are you doing here?"
"That is my question."
"I outrank you!"
"Age before beauty."
"Technically, I'm only a few years old... so..."
"Oh great. My mini clone used the reverse approach days ago."
"They grow up so fast, don't they. I'm so proud." android O'Neill mockingly rubbed his eyes, as if he was crying.
"Oh shut up and tell me why you are here!"
"Babysitting. I am an academy teacher. All these marines out here, complete greenhorns. Except the project managers, of course. Some field exercise will do them good. And not being screamed at by Payne as well. So, why are you here?"
"Same thing. Babysitting the young SG-1."
"Get off it, 'general'. You pulled rank to get out here for a few hours, right."
"Oh for Christ sake... Yes! I did. My office still doesn't have a chair, what else am I suppose to do until then!?"
Now while Bra'tac was a patient man, seeing two grown men bicker like that even pushed him to the limit.
"General, we have more pressing matters. I still need to return to the assembled Jaffa fleet over Renor in a few hours. So, if we could finish this now and you two argue later? Hm? I may be old, but even I don't have that many years left to listen to the two of you."
"I got an idea. You and old Bra'tac go to the Prometheus. Their planning room could speed this up. I'll take over down here for the moment." android O'Neill smirked.
"Good idea. Let's go." Bra'tac announced and left the tent.
"Oh you... I'll get you for this." the general cursed his counterpart.
Android O'Neill just continued smirking and waved to the general as he left.
"Now, where is SG junior at?"
Unknown planet, Colonial Raptor landing site, minutes later
They landed in a small clearing on a raised plateau. After almost an hour of searching, Caprica detected some wireless traffic. This planet was not only covered by wilderness, it seems.. Lee was not taking any chances. They would proceeded by foot, to minimize the chance of getting detected. 1 marine stayed behind, guarding the Raptor, the remaining marine, Lee, Caprica and 2 Centurions went into the forest. Their goal was to see what the source of this wireless traffic is.
"It's definitely tachyon based, so whoever it is..." Caprica began saying as she stepped over some big roots.
"Has to have some of the Builder technology or understands the principals of it." Lee finished her thought. "I think once we get to that cliff edge, we can get a good oversight of what is going on."
They were only a few hundred meters from the lookout spot Lee had decided to use to see what they were dealing with. He didn't want to risk exposing the Raptor and get spotted. And while this dense forest was obscuring their view, it was also providing them with excellent cover.
"Do you hear that?" the marine asked as they all began hearing an engine sound approaching from the mountain range to their left.
"Yes. Some sort of ship?" Caprica wondered.
"Centurion's, any movement?" Lee asked the 2 machines.
"Negative, however, we too detect the sound. It is like nothing in our database."
Minutes later and they were reaching their destination. The forest was clearly getting less dense and the sunlight got more to the forest floor. But the unknown noises also got louder.
Crouching on the cliff edge, Lee prepared to take his binoculars to scout out the valley before him... but he didn't need to.
"Frak. Well, we definitely are not alone here." he muttered.
What they saw was a ship of curious design, floating over the forest near a campsite... or a small settlement. He couldn't be sure, the trees down there still obscured his view. The others joined him.
"Frak indeed. Well, the good news, we can be sure these are not the same people that we found on that crashed ship. That design is something completely different." Caprica remarked as she observed the hovering ship in the distance.
Lee in the mean time was taking a look with his binoculars, and he was not sure about that statement. He passed the binoculars to Caprica.
"Look at the landing site near that settlement. Those ships there... the design is similar to the one we found."
She looked where he pointed at and realized he was right.
"OK, so now what? If they are as hostile as our prisoner... we can't risk it. We..."
She was interrupted when 2 fighters flew over their position, several hundred meters above them,
"Frak. A CAP?" the marine asked.
"Possibly. Those fighters share a similarity to the ones we found on the alien ship but..." Lee said as he observed the 2 fighters fly past the mountain range.
"I saw several distinctive differences. These were much more sharp edged, not smooth, like the others." Caprica pointed out. "Maybe a design evolution or a copy."
Lee began pulling back. The others did the same.
"We need to return to the Raptor. This is getting more and more confusing and dangerous. We need to come up with a new plan."
As they returned to the forest, they never noticed that they were being watched.
Planet PX7-116, outer rim of the galaxy, Jaffa base camp, same time
Android O'Neill was sitting in the Jumper cockpit. He really hated the fact that he could not fly this beauty. But he had the next best thing. Lt. Stone had agreed to fly him around a few times once they finished their duties on the ground. So for the time being, he was bored out of his mind.
Outside, he saw a Sodan Jaffa run to lord Haikon, who was talking with Ishta about the settlement location, layout and other matters. Said Jaffa began to report something to Haikon. Android O'Neill noticed the change in the Jaffa immediately. Something was up. Haikon began ordering his troops to the nearby forest, while Teal'c, who had just returned from a tent and joined them, ran with Ishta and several other Jaffa to the Al'kesh.
Android O'Neill ran outside and yelled at SG-1 junior, as he called them.
"What's going on? Are we under attack?"
They ran into the Jumper and Mary took the pilot's seat.
"Don't know for sure, but they spotted intruders in the forest on that plateau. So we are going airborne to help with the search of the area." James reported as they all took their seats and Mary began powering the jumper.
The Pathfinder, bridge, edge of unknown star system, same time
Kara was pacing up and down the bridge. She felt so helpless. Slightly less than an hour left for Lee to return. Hopefully this mission didn't go wrong as well.
Around half an hour before this, she had 'talked' to the prisoner. Well, yelling would be more appropriate a description. She demanded to speak with Sam, but the Goa'uld only laughed and mocked her. Calling her a weak female like all of her gender was and that someone named Moloc was right from the beginning.
When she began hitting him and saying that she saw how his race really look like, when they saw the dead snakes in the pouches of those poor 'humans', her response was simple.
"You call yourself a god. Since when do gods look like oversized tapeworms!?"
Now that did not amuse the prisoner.
After not having any luck with the prisoner but trading insults and threats, she went to look how Gaeta was doing. Laying on a medical bed was not how he wanted this search to end for him. However his leg was stabilized. He would not be able to walk for a week, but it would heal. The slug was removed easily with the alien tech on the ship. Even the first aid medic on the Pathfinder was able to perform great with those.
The last part where she went, was the cargo bay where the alien weapons they found, were stashed. Getting an idea what they might be dealing with was always a good thing. So the marines and Centurions had a go and tested them. While impressed with the fire power of the hand held staff weapons, the unpractical size and unreliable accuracy was something they did not like. The grenade looking devices were left alone for now. They did not want to risk blowing a hole in the ship, since they did not know what kind of explosive they were dealing with.
Back on the bridge, Kara went to the comm station.
The officer at the station just shook her head. Kara really did not like waiting. going into one of the Vipers they had and just fly around sounded more fun, but she could not leave her post.
Unknown planet, Colonial landing team, minutes later
They were running thru the forest. They needed to return to formulate a plan. But now they all noticed. They were discovered. They were being followed.
"I detect 21 pursuers, they are gaining on us." one of the Centurions reported as it turned around to scan it's surrounding. "I believe that they must have intimate knowledge of these forests. We will have a hard time outrunning them. The 2 of us could, but you organics can't."
"No, we stay together. Those fighters worry me. If they find our landing site, we'll have a hell of a hard time getting off this planet." Lee jumped thru a bush in front of him as the others continue. "We stay together. Only a minute till were there anyway. Caprica, any luck with the comm?"
"No, they are jamming us, I can't call the Raptor."
The saw the forest clearing in front of them. They were almost there. As they passed the last trees to see the Raptor... their plans fell apart. The last marine left at the Raptor, was kneeling a few meters from the Raptor, his hands on his head, surrounded by several humans... or human looking people. All female, holding the same weapons they found on the derelict ship.
Lee and the rest of the group reacted by pointing their weapons at them. The 2 Centurions did the same.
"Lower your weapons! We only wish to leave! This doesn't need to get bloody!" Lee yelled, hoping they would listen... or understand him.
No reaction, except of course the fact that the unknown female soldiers took cover themselves and readied their weapons too.
"Stand your ground, my sisters. These intruders will be either killed or captured. Reinforcements are coming." the leader of the group yelled to her solders.
"Frak, I don't understand anything. We are in trouble, commander. Maybe we should try to shoot our way out?" the marine asked, almost panicking.
"If we shoot, you can bet those behind us will have no quam to do the same!" Caprica argued back.
Before Lee could respond, the group of Colonials and Cylons saw that it was over for them. The same ship of similar design to the one they found, but much smaller, that was landed in the clearing they observed, appeared out of nowhere hovering over them. And if that was not bad enough, a double weapons port was aiming right at them.
"Frak me. Stealth technology!?" Now it was Capricas turn to panic. She never got the chance to. They all felt something at their necks.
The next moment, people, men, armed with similar staff weapons as the females, appeared out of nowhere as well, next to them. Each one of the Colonials had a staff weapon pointed at their heads, point blank range. The 2 Centurions had even 2 pointed at them. The lead solder, a tall black man, spoke to them.
"You are surrounded. There is no escape. Drop your weapons or we will kill you." It was lord Haikon.
Lee did not understand what he said, but knew what he wanted. He just nodded and slowly dropped his submachine gun. The others did the same. Even the Centurions retracted their guns.
"Guess we are not going anywhere guys." Lee pointed out the obvious.
The solders pushed them to the ground, like the marine at the Raptor. As they looked around themselves trying to understand what would happen next, another ship appeared. This one was much different. It looked like a flying cylinder. It and the larger ship began landing next to the Raptor.
"If they kill us, it has been an honor, sir." one of the marines said.
"We are not dead yet. If they wanted us dead, they'd killed us by now." Lee tried to calm everyone down. A minute later, a group of people appeared from the rear of the landed cylinder ship. And they were not of the same group of people that captured them. In fact, their equipment looked much more similar to their own. Except more science fictional.
The older man, who was wearing a cap, looked at their captors.
"They said anything?"
"Yes, but we don't understand it." one of their captors responded.
The man kneeled down, looking at Lee.
"Do you understand me?"
Lee just looked at Caprica.
"They are trying to communicate? Any idea of what language they are using?"
"Doesn't sound like anything I ever heard. This might be difficult." she responded.
The older man tried again, but this time in another language. Lee reacted to it.
"That sounds like a similar language as the Builder used! Do you understand me!?"
The man turned to his people.
"No idea what the first language is they are using, but that was a variation of the Ancient."
I think the first language he used sounded like some form of Latin." a young woman said to the man.
"Well, we'd need Jackson to be on the safe side, but yes, sounded like pig Latin to me."
"Wait. I may have a solution. Time to use my android head."
After several seconds of doing nothing, the older man kneeled again in front of Lee.
"OK, do you understand me now?"
That got the Colonials and Cylons attention.
"Frak yes! Listen, we meant no..."
"Shut it, kid. I'm asking the questions. You look like military. Name and rank?"
Lee gulped. Talking them out of this was out of the question. This man was not an amateur.
"Lee Adama, Colonial navy, rank commander."
"Commander Lee Adama, eh? So, son. Why were you spying on us and our allies? Why are you on this planet?"
"I refuse to answer any more questions."
"Oh, want to play it hardball? Listen, these Jaffa wanted to waste you. They still might. If you meant nothing bad, you'll be allowed to leave. So?"
Lee did not budge. He was stubborn, like his father in such situations.
"OK, why not tell me where you come from. You must have a ship somewhere, you clearly did not come thru the Stargate. Look, either talk to me, or someone on New Terra or Earth will squeeze it out of you..."
Lee's head snapped at the man, looking him in the eyes.
"Earth? As in THE Earth. Birthplace of humanity?"
Jack noticed it. This meant everything to the kid.
"And if it is?"
"Are you from Earth?"
"In a way. Long story really. So, why your interest in Earth?"
Lee hesitated. Was this a trap? Was he baiting him? in the end, what did he have to lose? Lee sighed.
"We were send to find Earth."
Now that got Jack's attention.
"You and those oversized Terminators?" he pointed to the 2 Centurions.
"It's also a long story."
Jack sat down on the grass next to him.
"I've got time. And you are not going anywhere, son. So, we can stare at each other in embarrassing silence surrounded by Jaffa, waiting for the general to come, or you talk to me." Jack then tilted his head. "Come on. I'll buy you a beer later. I'm colonel Jack O'Neill, Terran military, by the way."
Lee looked at his team. He really did not have any choice.
"Before I say anything, I need to know. Do any of you have snakes in your body?"
"You mean a Goa'uld. Me and most others, no. The Jaffa used to have them. They were genetically altered by the Goa'uld millennia ago to serve as incubation chambers for them. But not one of us has one in his head, of that's what your worried about. Why?"
"We... one of my crew members got infected by them and we lost 6 people already. I..."
"Kid, tell me everything."
Pegasus galaxy, Beta site planet, same time
The talks were partially successful. The Travelers were prepared to accept the help in repairing and updating their fleet, but permanently settling down on a planet would be a problem. since each ship had a voice, it would not be easy to convince all of them.
But most captains agreed with Larrin. They wanted to see what the Terran military was capable of, before they made any final decisions.
John and Larrin, who had joined the negotiating parties in the conference room, were also having a heated discussion on this matter.
"How are we suppose to show you anything on a live enemy without waking the Wraith. The not waking part is our strategy. The idea was for you to accompany us to our galaxy. Road trip, as it were. We don't want history to repeat itself by waking the Wraith, do we!?" Sheppard stared down at Larrin.
"The council of ship captains is not convinced. I will go, but the others do not want to leave their ships without the captains. Then there is also the fact that you have no reputation in this galaxy. No blood spilled. No victories to claim. Without that it will be hard to convince the other captains of your sincerity or skill. The Satedans can, they have a reputation. You have none. The price you pay for taking your time and letting the Wraith sleep."
John couldn't believe. This woman... stubborn and crazy doesn't even cover it, but she had a point. They had a pseudo democracy. If she was the only captain who was willing to go, they couldn't force the others. Why are all the really hot ones also the borderline psychotic. Then it hit him.
"Wait a minute."
Weir and Larrin looked at him with interest. what did he thought of now? Sheppard just smiled.
"You can take your ships, all of them, if you want, to Atlantis. Your people get some R&R and maybe a first inspection on your ship status while the captains go to the show. If you park your fleet, the captains are hardly needed, right?"
Now Weir got it.
"John, you can't be serious! Command will not agree to this!"
"They might if it gets us another ally." He turned to Larrin and the other Travelers. "How do you people feel about a road trip?"
Rodney on the other hand cursed. Here Sheppard was flirting again, while he would be stuck taking care of this pit stop.
Pegasus galaxy, Atlantis, same time
A team of scientists were having their hands full in one of many R&D laboratories of the ancients. But this was a special room and the Terran Council put top priority on getting it back to operational status.
"OK, how does it look? Any progress?" dr. Zelenka asked as he went to inspect on his people.
One of the assistant scientist looked from behind the main console, as she was trying to restore power.
"Not good. And even if we get it back operational, it would still have the side effects. Any luck on your end?"
"No, Janus AI is not really cooperating on this matter. And to make matters worse, Rodney is returning in a few hours."
Everyone groaned. When Rodney was gone, they actually had fun doing their job. Another scientist doing the programming analysis got an annoyed look.
"And that Jumper hyperdrive program?"
Zelenka just shook his head.
"No progress. And when he gets back, whose fault is it going to be!? Mine..." He stormed out, heading for the Jumper bay. "Insufferable ass!"
In the medical isolation room, not far from where Zelenka just was, Jennifer Keller and Carson Beckett were having their own issues.
"Did you hear that?"
"Lass, concentrate on our job here, would ya? I bet good old Radek is cursing in his native language. Again. Probably Rodney's fault. Again. I do have to admit, he can be a wee bit of a jack ass."
She just nodded and went back to work. On their 'operating table' was a block of ice. But what was inside, was what interested them. An Ancient.
"Just hope we can get a tissue sample. We need to understand that disease to create a cure for it."
Planet PX7-116, outer rim of the galaxy, Raptor landing site, 10 minutes later
Android colonel O'Neill sat silently on the grass field, letting this commander Lee Adama and a woman he now understood to be a flesh and blood machine named Caprica, explain their situation to him. Their history. Their tragedy. Their encounter with the Ancient who explained all of this to them. And some of the words sounded familiar to him. Kobol? Like Kobolous, the name of a planet the Ancients took humans to save them from the Goa'uld? Helix star system where the Velocity was heading to, if it weren't damaged during a battle with the Wraith? Could it be this simple?
OK, so these people were, for the moment safe. But their situation could be useful to the Federation. And they were looking for the 'real' Earth, whatever that meant. But what really got his attention was the battle with these blue skinned giant humanoids. They will need to ask Thor if he knew anything.
As they finished explaining their situation, he just sat there for a moment, thinking over his options.
"OK. I get the gist of it. What you explained to me. Now. 3 times, you people managed to mess things up, over and over again!?" He looked at Lee. "Son, your people done messed it up."
Lee sighed. Yes they did. And now a man he doesn't know anything about, tells him the same thing.
"But who am I to judge. We messed up as well. Plenty of times. But never the same thing over and over again. OK, here is the deal. We stand up. You, commander, will go with me and my team into that small ship. It's called a Puddle jumper, build by the Ancients..."
"Ancients?" Caprica asked.
"Emm, the gate builders?"
Lee and Caprica still had blank expressions.
"Gate builders! The Stargates? The ring things that create wormholes?"
Now they understood. Lee examined the ship from the distance.
"Why design a ship like that?"
"It flies thru the Stargate... em the Ring for you. Anyway, you come with me, the rest on that large ship behind us, called an Al'kesh."
"You want us to go with the servants of these parasites!?" Caprica protested.
"Hey, they are Free Jaffa, the emphasis on free. They are rebelling against their false gods, so relax lady. Hell, they even killed their old master, Moloc I think. You'd think since your ancestors rebelled against your old masters, you'd understand their situation. This thing..." O'Neill points at the Raptor.
"It's a Raptor, medium range support ship." Lee explained.
"Whatever. It stays here, for now. As does your equipment and weapons. You'll speak with the general, who is on that ship you saw floating over the settlement. Also, miss Caprica, tell your silver friends to not deploy their guns, unless they want to make the Jaffa go medieval on them."
Caprica nodded, not completely understanding the metaphor, but understood it meant nothing good. She was just glad they removed the talent inhibitors from the Centurions. Had the still been dumb down, they had opened fire without a thought. But now, they did think. And realized that shooting their way out was pointless.
Lee followed this colonel to the ship he mentioned. Inside, he saw more people with same uniforms and armor. They were all kids! And by the gods. One was not even human. He did not understand what they were talking about as the ship took off.
A minute later, the jumper and Al'kesh landed on their previous landing spots. Ans the Colonial and Cylon 'prisoners' exited the ships, the free Jaffa, mostly the children, came running to observe the strange newcomers. Ishta ordered her guards to hold them back.
"Stay back, children. Let the humans handle this. We don't know who these people are."
"What did she say about us?" Lee inquired as he and his group were headed to a ring transporter platform in the settlement center. O'Neill just shook his head.
"Nothing really. Just told the kids who never saw a 2 meter tall robot before to keep their distance. Kids, human or Jaffa, they are just fascinated by the unknown. Now here we are."
As they all stood in the center of the platform, waiting to get transported, Caprica remembered a question she had.
"Colonel, if I may ask, how come only you can speak our language?"
"In a way, Hailey can partially understand it as well, both languages I mean. The first is a version of Ancient we use as Terran standard but sufficiently different to give us issues, the other, your original, is a weird form of Latin. I just accessed my linguistic database and searched for this language. There are still some barriers, but it works."
That answer created more questions with the Colonials and Cylons.
"Emm, what database? I that armored suit of yours? It has those interfaces, so I assume..." Caprica tried to explain her train of thought. O'Neill stopped her.
"No, these don't have translators for those languages. Didn't expect to need them for such specific languages. No the database I'm referring to is in my head. You see, miss Caprica, you and I have something in common. I'm an android."
Prometheus, ring transporter room, seconds later
As the rings lowered themselves after the transport was done, the Colonials were in shock while the Cylons were amazed.
"You are an android? As in not flesh and blood?" a marine asked, panicking.
"Yes. Why would I lie about this?"
"And the others?" Caprica wanted to know.
"Oh, flesh, blood and all that comes with it."
Lee was now angry.
"You lied to me. You said you were from Earth!"
"I said 'in a way'. You need to listen better, son. The original, the one who's mind was copied to create me, is from Earth."
"And why would anyone want to have his mind copied? Explain that one!"
O'Neill sighed. Yep, things just took an interesting turn.
"Look, junior, It is a long and... annoying story that can wait. But If it puts your mint to rest, remember the general I'm taking you to..." everyone nods. "He's me. The original. And I still say it is a discrimination against the copied that I was not promoted! So, here we go."
As O'Neill led them to the bridge under heavy escort, leaving his team in training on the planet to continue with the logistics, they arrived on the bridge.
The bridge was buzzing with activity, mostly because of the Colonials and Cylons. This was a logistical mission, so getting surprised by a group of people from a civilization that you didn't even know existed, turned things upside down. General O'Neill and Bra'tac were in the back where a display of the settlement was shown and plans for the expansion shown. General O'Neill was currently talking with Yao over a the large display.
"So you are telling me these people could be the ones we found information on in Olympus? The whole Kobolous thing? Helix star system? The works?"
"Seems so, mam. Ah, here they are. I'll go a round of 20 questions with them and report to you as soon as I have something."
She just nodded and her display disappeared. Bra'tac too moved to the exit.
"I will let you handle this, O'Neill. Our discussion can wait till then. But tell them if they try anything, they will see what we Jaffa can do, if angered!" He puts his cloak around one hand and walks off the bridge.
"Wait, I understood him? How?" Caprica wondered.
General O'Neill smiled.
"They are full of questions, aren't they?" he looks at his double.
"Don't I know it." android O'Neill draws their attention. "We told them in advance and the geeks on the ship programmed the translation unit to translate your language now as well. So, sir, if there is nothing else, I'm going back to my team of kids."
As both O'Neill's saluted, the android one left.
"Now, commander, right? Why commander? Is a ship CO not a captain?"
"Emm, why? That is a lower rank?"
"In the military yes, not in the navy. Do you guys mix your ranks?"
Caprica, while almost overwhelmed by all of this that she just learned wanted to get to more important matters.
"Commander, we should continue to the reason we are here. Captain Thrace is going to send a 2nd Raptor if we don't report back in less than 30 minutes!"
"Perhaps you are right. Now, commander. My android me had heard your history. What I want to know is your current status, needs and what you can offer us." O'Neill looked at Lee, encouraging him to begin.
"Right. Almost forgot about that in all of this commotion. But understand that for security and trust reasons, I will not divulge critical information, general. Now, where to begin..."
New Terra, admiral Yao's office, same time
"Now the Travelers wanted a front view seat on their upcoming operation. Well, as long as they don't interfere with the operation and interrupt our people of doing their work, I have nothing against it."
"Indeed. My thought's exactly, Mr. Woolsey. As for these people both O'Neill's encountered on PX7-116, if they are who they say they are, it could be either good for us or it changes nothing. Your thoughts?"
"Yes. The good outcome is we get them to play ball. But for now, we know little of them. I have my hands full here, so I'll let you handle it."
Yao nodded and deactivated the holographic comm link. Now she had a choice to make. They needed a real negotiator there as well as some military muscle, should things go south. Well, these 'Colonials' needed someone to help them with their small Goa'uld problem. Maybe she can solve multiple problems at once. She tapped her comm link to her assistant.
"Yetrel, please call Anise, Lantash, and Deidra. I have a mission for them. Also, get me the Captain of the Phoenix. I have a mission for her as well. Her shakedown cruise is over."
"Yes, admiral. At once."
Prometheus, bridge, 10 minutes later
"So, what you mostly need is help in getting your people up and running. From what you just told me you did a pretty good job yourself." general O'Neill asked his guests.
"To a degree. We could use medical supplies, spare parts... things we will need some time to either make ourselves or can't produce enough of it. As well as experts to help us with... well so many things. We have a conical shortage of doctors, engineers, programmers... the few things we have no shortage of are farmers and pilots." Lee answered.
"Well, we could initiate an exchange. But experienced pilots we could really use."
That caught Caprica's attention. Why would they need that.
"I thought you had pretty competent pilots based on what we saw of those fighters flying patrol over the forests."
"You'd think that, wouldn't you? No we are starving for them. Or any military personnel with experience. I'd tell you more, but you know, like you, I am under orders not to divulge too much. Tell you what. We still have some time till your dead line. The Prometheus lifts off and we go to your ship out there, have a talk with your leaders. I assume you can call them on your ride?"
Lee and Caprica nodded.
"But what assurances do we have...?"
"None, commander, but my word and good will. You..." He was interrupted by a lieutenant who whispered something into his ear. He nodded and turned his attention back to his guests. "Well I might have something. My CO, fleet admiral Yao just send a civilian negotiator as well as a expert in Goa'uld who will take a look at your prisoner. She and her friends will then, once we agree on anything, do a surgical procedure to remove the tenant of your friend. Not on your ship, of course, but on one of our bases."
"While that sounds good, what is stopping us from just cutting it out?" Capriica asked. If a simple surgery was needed, they could do it.
"Because the Goa'uld, if removed incorrectly, can kill it's host as a last line of defense. Trust me, don't try it, it you don't know how. Our friends, the Tok'ra know."
"Emm, Tok'ra? A human tribe... or..." one of the two marines wondered at the name.
"No, cousins of the Goa'uld. But not parasitical in nature. Symbiotic. Even if I still have my doubts."
Lee didn't like, one bit. To trust one of these things to help them with another. It made no difference of what this general said. They didn't trust each other as well, they both knew it. But he had few other options left. Even Caprica and the others just looked at him, signaling that it was up to him.
"Fine. Caprica will give you the coordinates. But I'm holding you to your word, ... sir."
On the ground, the Prometheus activated it's engines. The Jumper they were waiting for had just landed on its port hangar bay. With that completed, the ship took off.
The Pathfinder, bridge, 6 minutes later
Kara had been to the hangar where the remaining Raptors were being prepared for takeoff, if Lee doesn't respond, and soon. He had less than 30 minutes left. She had 3 of the 4 remaining Raptors prepped for takeoff. She would lead them herself, if there were any other senior officers left to command the Pathfinder. With Lee and Caprica on the mission and Felix out of commission, she was ranking officer. She had no one who could handle this situation to pass the torch to.
Satisfied with the Raptors and the crews standing for the green light, she left for the bridge again. This was in a way what she had been doing for the past hour. Going around the ship. doing that on the bridge would have made the rest of the bridge crew nervous. So she went around the ship, checking if everything was in order. As she was about to reach a transporter location, she heard 2 pair of foot steps behind her. It was Felix and the medical officer.
"Captain, I apologies, but he insisted." the medic said as he was helping Felix walk. His leg was bandaged and he was limping badly.
"Felix! You are off duty until your leg..."
"Captain, I can manage. The bullet is removed and the bleeding stopped. The only thing I'm missing is a crutch, but I can manage. I heard you could use some help on the bridge."
Kara, while usually the first one to be on the insubordination list, had to now consider things from the other side. She understood his desire to help, but if he doesn't watch his leg, it could get worse. And he might lose it.
"Frak it. Why not. But if your leg gets worse, your off the bridge, got it?" she asked him as she took Felix's arm over her shoulder to replace the medic who let go. Felix just nodded. "Fine. Let's go to the bridge then."
As they ringed to the bridge deck and walked slowly to it, Felix had to ask Starbuck for an update.
"Has a few minutes before I launch a search mission."
"The situation outside?"
"All quiet. The way I hate it."
"Here on the ship?"
"Let's not talk about that, OK?"
He understood and dropped that theme.
They had reached the bridge door where 2 Centurions were now permanently posted. Before they could open the door to continue, the alert lights on the corridors went up, signaling that someone set the ship to battle condition.
"Here, you take him." Kara dumped Felix on one of the Centurions and rushed to the front of the bridge while Felix managed to reach a seat in the back.
"What do we have?"
"A ship exited FTL in front of us. Unknown configuration." the officer left in charge of the bridge, reported. "It's small but generating an impressive energy signature. I can't get a clear scan."
"Sir..." Felix butted in, having reached the sensor station. "Based on these readings, that ship, while awkwardly build, had superior technology to ours. I would suggest to avoid a conflict."
Damn. Not what she hoped for. somehow, this has got to be Lee's fault. and Kara now inherited his problem. Before she could order a retreat, the comm officer noticed a request for a channel connection.
"Fine, let's see who we are dealing with."
On the main view screen, a face appeared she did not expect.
"Lee? What the frak..."
"Sorry to surprise you like this, Kara, but our scouting mission did not go as planned."
"Kara, stand down. These people are... well, to say it's complicated would be putting it mildly. They may have a way to save Sam. So far I haven't seen any indication they lied to us about anything, but... best be on the safe side. We'll ring over. Have security ready. They agreed that if we submit to their security on their ship, they will do the same. also, call my father. They have a negotiator and a high ranking military representative on board. Understood?"
Kara just nodded. She also knew Lee well enough that he wanted options, should things go south.
"Any word on Earth?"
"This general that is coming over claims to be from there."
Whispers and talking filled the bridge. People were interested in this news.
"Well, they didn't exactly take us there, but we'll see. Get everything ready. Lee out."
The screen returned to the space in front of the ship. Kara turned around, looking at everyone else on the bridge.
New Kobol, ring room, minutes later
Helo had taken over the late shift in the ring room. There was only the bare minimum military personnel in the room, as in the past months, nothing would happen during this time of the night. He sat in the command chair on the elevated platform, sipping his coffee, being bored with the routine. It was an annoying job, but someone had to do it.
He just out his mug on the open space on the console, when he noticed it. The comm system was blinking. The frequency reserved for the Pathfinder. That's strange. He took over an hour ago, but heard that the Pathfinder had called once before this night. This made two not scheduled calls in one night. Something was up.
"Pathfinder, this is New Kobol command, Helo speaking, over."
On this screen in front of him, Lee and Kara appeared, clearly on the Pathfinder bridge.
"Helo, get my dad and the president on the line. This is a call they need to take."
"Lee, do you know what time it is? This had better be important..."
"Trust me, Helo, it is. Now, please..."
Helo sighed. Here goes nothing. Either the admiral will be pissed off or this might be something game changing.
Admiral Adama's apartment, same time
Bill was sitting alone in his new favorite chair. It was large, comfortable and made out of... well, it was not leather, but something similar. The Builders really knew how to build stuff. Laura had gone to bed around half an hour ago. The other guests left 1 hour ago. He remained. Waiting in the dark. Only the lights of the other apartments and the city provided some light. Not that he cared. He was worried. For the expedition. He emptied his latest glass of booze Saul left for him. Before he could refill his glass, the wireless began beeping. Just what he was waiting for.
"This is the admiral. Ring room, what's the update?"
"Emm, sir, this is Helo, how did you know...?"
"Call it a hunch Carl. It's the Pathfinder, right?"
"Yes, sir. Lee insisted to talk to you."
"Fine, put him thru, just like before."
He turned on some of the lights so that Lee could see him. The screen activated and he saw Lee and Kara standing at attention, waiting to report something.
"Sir, we may have found something."
"I'm listening, Lee. Report."
Lee didn't answer but just stepped aside, letting a man Bill had never seen before take the front spot. He was not an old man, but not young anymore as well. Grey hair and some wrinkles were showing. But he also showed the signs of a man who had seen things. Things the admiral really didn't want to deal with right now.
"Admiral Adama, I presume?"
"Yes. To whom am I speaking to?"
"General Jack O'Neill Terran Federation Stargate forces. To clarify, Stargate is what we call the Ring of the Lords. And the Terran Federation is a political, military and economic alliance of mostly human planets. Earth included."
Earth. The man said Earth. Was he using their need to find that planed as a ploy or was he genuine?
"Are you from Earth?"
"Yes, born there, married there and divorced there."
The general's attitude or lack thereof was something Adama did not expect. He was too relaxed for his liking. People like that are either complete morons or real professionals.
"So, what now, general. My son was suppose to only scout that planet, not ... this. We can't really talk like this to discuss many important things. and let's be honest. You don't trust me and I don't trust you. Am I correct?"
He saw how the general grinned.
"I like you already, admiral. You're a no BS person. Like me. Unless it is a real ass hole who deserves it. Or a politician. Or my boss. Or a Goa'uld. Thinking of it, I really have too many exceptions for that rule, don't I? Anyway, to business. Yes we need to talk face to face, so, any suggestions?"
"I prefer talking on my territory, if you don't mind."
"I don't, but we don't have your gate address. While we know of Helix star system, the Ancients, that is the Builders to you, erased the address from Olympus database for safety reasons if the Goa'uld had ever found the city."
Did the general just say 'Olympus'? That was the thought not just for the admiral, but everyone on the Pathfinder bridge. Adama didn't react to it or show any signs to do so, so the Pathfinder bridge crew kept quiet. They understood. A question for another time.
"And we don't know how to access all the databases of the Builders on our end. We learnt so much over the months but we are still scratching the surface. Our Cylon friends could do it, but the Builder systems are rejecting them, so we had little success with that."
O'Neill understood that. Another safety feature, just like with the Goa'uld rejection.
"Well, we can take a ship to you. Just one so as to not make you panic. We can bring both our negotiator as well as some experts with us that can speed up the process and find the address."
"But you already know your address? I don't understand."
"Yes, but since you are in another galaxy, the symbols might not be the same or the address might be different. Don't ask me. I didn't design the damn thing."
"And Samuel Anders? The man infected with that... thing."
"Oh, I think he's in good hands."
"We would be honored to welcome you, general. If you come, that is." was the answer in the form of a female voice that came from behind Bill. He never noticed her, but Laura must have heard the conversation and decided to invite herself to the talk. The admiral sighed.
"General, this is Laura Roslin, the president of the 13 colonies."
"Mam. Pleasure to meet you."
"Oh, and your rule to BS politicians?" she teased him. "Whatever that means."
"BS, as in bull shit. As in you're talking crap. Well, I hate most politicians cause they are turncoats that steal babies. At least judging by my experience."
Now the admiral smirked.
"I think I am beginning to like you as well, general. Until Laura, those were my thoughts on politicians as well."
"General, back to the point. I agree to your terms. We can have the Pathfinder deliver you and your people to our star system in only a few hours..."
"Sorry, but 2 reasons that won't work. First off, my CO, fleet admiral Yao said that is a no go. We come in our ship or not at all. Second, we are under time pressure. We have a large military OP in a few days and can't waste time. Your ship at maximum speed takes slightly less than a day to traverse the distance your commander mentioned. This tells me you are in another galaxy or cluster of stars just outside of our galaxy. We have a ship incoming. It's hyperdrive can get us there much faster. All we need is the coordinates. Your commander can even inspect the ship, if you are afraid we are deceiving you."
"And what about our people that are there already?" the admiral wanted to know.
"Send them home, to our ship, or to one of our planets for a debriefing until we get the gates to work. Your choice."
The admiral and president looked at each other. She wanted to say yes, his face showed that he didn't like it. Their hidden location was the only ace they had left.
"We'll call back when we discussed this, general. Please understand."
"I do, but do not take your time."
As the comm link shut down, Laura looked at bill with a disappointed look.
"Why, Bill? You got more than what you hoped for? If all we learned is true, Earth found a way to help themselves! This could be our chance..."
"And if he is lying? If this is all just a ploy? The Cylons played us once, and looked what happened! We cannot be too careful in a situation like this, Laura!"
"I understand it is a risk, by the gods! I saw Baltar take brain damaged risks, I saw you take risks against the odds! But sometimes you have to have some faith!"
Bill took his glasses off and massaged his forehead. Gods damn, he was getting too old for this. He grabbed his wireless.
"Get me commander Nash! And wake all senior military staff!"
The Pathfinder, holding cell, 20 minutes later
Mer'kesh was smirking. He could hear them coming. They tried interrogation. They tried intimidation. They tried psychological warfare. Pathetic. He was a Goa'uld. His race practically wrote the handbook on all of those. Even torture. They didn't use that. As the door opened, 2 of these primitive machines, Centurions, entered, followed by those 2 blonde females. His master Moloc really had a point. Females, such pathetic creatures. Only useful for one thing.
"So, have you come to continue to amuse me with your pathetic attempts..." He stopped. A third female entered. one he didn't see before. But that was not it. He felt a presence.
Freya looked at Sam and assessed the situation.
"So, this is Mer'kesh? We thought he died at Ares hands. Keeping himself alive at the expense of the crew. Typical Goa'uld tactic." She closed the gap between them. "What's the matter, you got all silent? Something bothering you?"
"You, who are you?"
Freya lowered her head. The next second she looked him in the eyes, her beginning to glow.
"I am Anise of the Tok'ra. Enjoy your stay in this individual. It will be a brief one, I assure you."
"Shol'va! How is it that your rebellion hasn't been crushed already!?"
"The time of the System Lords is coming to an end. Our friends, the Tau'ri, have achieved much in the past few years. Humanity at large has. Many System Lords of old are dead. Apophis, Ra, Hathor, Cronus and many others. The rest will follow soon. But your time is even sooner."
They left the cell and Anise turned control back to Freya.
"We should take him to one of our planets thru the gate. If we operate in the hour, we can have him back on this feet in a day or two."
"This is so interesting. You actually share your body with another life form. How interesting. Can you..."
"Caprica, can you hold your interest back, please. We are talking about Sam here!"Kara snapped and reminded Caprica about what the priority here is.
"Now all I have to do is convince Lee to allow it."
Pathfinder, bridge, 10 minutes later
On the bridge, Lee and O'Neill were sharing some of their experiences, without revealing anything important. It was almost like a dance of intelligence gathering, masked as a simple conversation. During all of this, Felix, who insisted to remain on the bridge, even if these humans that claimed to come from Earth, gave him the option to get his leg looked at in their medical bay, kept an eye on the scientist that came with O'Neill. And after just a few minutes, Felix had a thought he never believed he would have. There is a person even more condescending and annoying that Baltar. This dr. Rush would give Gaius a run for his money. And from what he heard, there was another one on a research city. Someone called McKay. Seems that eccentric scientists were all like that, no matter where they originated from.
"Well, general. You'll have my report in the hour, but I can easily say, that besides the hyperdrive, this reactor that is powered by star matter and the shields designed for pressures and radiation, this rust bucket is not worth our time."
"Doctor Rush!" O'Neill tried to shut him up before he really insulted someone. "We are on their ship! Try to not be yourself for once, would you!?"
"What's the point of me being here? Eli and I have more important matters to attend at New Terra..."
"And he stayed there, you could be spared for a day! Go to that computer room they mentioned and see what comes up while we still have the time. Once we go, you go with us!" O'Neill turns to Lee. "With your permission, of course."
Lee just nodded and let Rusk go, just to get him out of his hair.
"By the gods. He is just like our Baltar. Only not the manipulative part, as far as I can see. But he is direct. A bit too direct."
"You have one of those too? Figures. They are like cockroaches, aren't they? Even a nuclear apocalypse can't kill them?"
Lee understood what the general was trying to do. Defuse the tense situation, even if his joke was a bit off all things considering. Before they could continue their small talk, Kara, Caprica and anise arrived on the bridge. O'Neill just looked at Anise.
"We can remove the Goa'uld. But an operation will be needed. If we move now, they can have their officer back in a day."
"Lee, please consider it! It's Sam's life were talking about here!" Kara pleaded.
"I know, but I am waiting on what my father will say. He and the president are debating it right now. remember, this is an off the books operation for us. If the Quorum get's involved..."
"Yeah, yeah. A bunch of pencil pushers."
"Sir, that ship... em, the Prometheus is hailing us." the comm officer reported.
"Put it on." Lee ordered.
On the screen, the captain of the Prometheus appeared.
"General, we are detecting a hyperspace distortion, ship incoming."
"Ah, that would be our back up Yao send. No worries."
In space, a vortex appeared. Seconds later, a Terran ship appeared.
"OK, didn't think she would sent that ship." O'Neill wondered.
"Something wrong, general?" Lee asked at the general's confusion.
"No, it's just that is a brand new off the assembly line 402 Phoenix class battle cruiser. Didn't even know it was operational."
The Phoenix took a position parallel to the Prometheus who had kept a bit of a distance to the Pathfinder. The Phoenix, as a cruiser, was much larger than the old, outdated Prometheus. At 750 meters length, it was slim and possessed, unlike the current Terran ship design, more curved shapes, not rigged and sharp edges. As a battle cruiser, it was meant to be a fast response ship with a smaller fighter and bomber capacity, smaller troop capacity, smaller cargo and mission specific capacities but battleship fire power. It also possessed some new innovations, mostly reverse engineered from sources outside the Federation.
It's main strength however were its engines. This ship could outperform most other vessels of similar size, bots at sub light as well at hyperspace travel.
"Commander, that ship transmitting that they are ready to take our people and the general's personnel over to bring them to our planet. When we are ready." the comm officer reported again.
"Well, that was fast." Lee said impressed at the response time. As well as to how that ship looked. But he wondered what it's combat capabilities were. "But I'm not going anywhere until my father sais otherwise."
"Understandable. But this Sam person we can only help the way we told you. So I hope..."
"Sir, New Kobol is transmitting. It's the admiral."
"... that your admiral hurries. Well. That was awkward." O'Neill finished.
On the screen, admiral Adama and the president appeared again.
"So?" O'Neill asked, getting a bit restless.
"Lee, give them the coordinates. Guess we are taking a leap of faith on this one. But once you arrive, your ship will be watched all the time. No fighters or other craft are to be launched. Understood?"
"Loud and clear, admiral. Commander?"
Lee nodded. Time to roll a hard six.
"Understood, sir. And Sam? Or the Pathfinder?"
"If they can help him, let them help him. We have no choice on that matter. As for the Pathfinder... against my better judgment, if the general agrees, I'll let his people decide where she should go. I would prefer one of your worlds, but... your choice."
O'Neill smiled and saluted him.
"Don't worry. We'll take care of them. Commander?"
"Understood, sir. Will see you when we arrive."
The screen shut off.
"Kara, you go with Sam. Good luck."
Kara smiled, hugged him and left the bridge.
"Can you also help my officer, captain Gaeta? Medically I mean?" Lee asked O'Neill.
"As I said. No problem. The Prometheus may be outdated in every way, but they can help him."
"Good. Felix, the ship is yours. General, I and Caprica plus 2 marines are coming with you. I'd imagine you don't want any centurions on your ship. This time?"
"As cool looking as they are, they are intimidating. So yes, leave them this time."
"Right. So we should go to the ring transporter site to begin..."
O'Neill's smile grew as he interrupted him.
"Commander. Relax. And tell your people not to panic."
O'Neill put his cap back on and smiled even more as he activated his comm device in his hand.
"Where we are going, we don't need any rings. Phoenix. You got a target lock?"
"Then by all means."
In a flash of light, all the people that were meant to go, vanished.
Battle cruiser Phoenix, bridge, same time
As Lee, Caprica and the 2 marines materialized on the bridge, The Colonials and Cylon were shocked and surprised. to say the least. Caprica was the first to understand what happened.
"You posses matter transportation technology that does not require platforms or rings!"
"And people still use dumb blonde jokes." O'Neill laughed. "Right on the mark." He then looked at the captain. "Captain Smith. We ready?"
"How ya going, general? We sure are. Got the coordinates. The middle of bum nowhere. Helm, engage."
On the main view window, the sight of dark space was replaced by the blue of hyperspace.
"We are holding at 1,51 Ly per second, Captain. Should we test the new system?" the helm officer asked, eager to try out the new feature.
"By all means, we are in a hurry." the captain answered. The helmsman grinned.
"Rerouting everything but life support, tertiary power and navigation to the engines. Hyperdrive augmenter active. We are leaving the Theta band and entering the Iota band now. Speed holing at 3,1 Ly per second. We should reach our destination in less than 10 hours."
"Good. Now, commander and guests. If you would follow me." O'Neill asked them to follow him.
"Frak, advanced transporters and engines that can outperform the Pathfinders! We needed slightly less than 20 hours for those 105.000 Ly plus change." Caprica whispered to Lee.
"I know. Keep it down."
They both had to marvel at the interior of this ship. Not that the Prometheus was not interesting, but the difference between that and this ship was like the difference between the Galactica and Pegasus. Automated doors, computer interfaces on the walls, strange corridor separation markers every few meters.
"Em, general. Where are we going?" Lee wanted to know.
"Conference room 1. In here." O'Neill motioned them to enter a cylinder shaped room on the side of the hallway.
"Transporter?" Caprica assumed.
"Yes. Who needs lifts, right? Computer. Deck 4, forward section."
As the doors to the transporter room opened again, they saw that they were indeed in another part of the ship.
A minute later, they were at their destination. In the room, Rush was having a debate with Eli infront of a display showing some equations, while a read haired woman was talking to Harlan behind the main desk.
"Ok, you two egg heads. What now!?" O'Neill interrupted Rush and Wallace.
"Oh nothing, sir. Rush is just being an ass, as usual." Eli responded first.
"Just because I don't agree with your findings, does not mean I can't argue back!"
"Anyway, have a nice time. I will. For as long as it lasts." Eli smirked. A second later he disappeared.
"What? What was that?" one of the 2 Colonial marines asked.
"Holographic technology. On a much higher level than the Builders had when the constructed our city."
Rush sat down, almost slamming his pad on the table.
"Yes, well. As interesting as it is to play the circus attraction to a bunch or hillbillies, I have more important work to do General. So if I could..."
"You will sit here and be part of this debate, doctor! Or I will let Eli finish the work on that Aurora by himself and let him have all the glory. Got it!?" O'Neill put Rush in his place. He had it with him. McKay you can intimidate on the spot, Rush, not so much. "I knew I should have insisted on taking Eli or anyone else for this mission. The admiral just pulled rank and pushed you on me! Just like him. Don't know if I'm being punished." O'Neill looked at Harlan.
"O'Neill, my friend! Why do you always react that way." Harlan asked.
"Because comtraya this and that. And you made an androids copy of me without asking!" He then turned to Caprica. "Your people at least got it right. Cool and dangerous terminators and hot looking chicks. He, annoying, hair pulling android. And yes. He created my android self. You will have all the time to talk with him and exchange notes, later." O'Neill sat down, nodding to the red haired woman.
"Thank you general. welcome, Colonials and... Cylons guests. I am chief negotiator and diplomat Deidra Jensen. The Federation Council and fleet admiral Yao have assigned me for these negotiations. So until we get to the Helix star system, we have some time to kill and to get to know each other better. Now..." She looked at Lee. "The story of your people I partially already understand. Originated on Kobolous, or Kobol, then created the Cylons, they left to become you 13th tribe that searched for Earth. Your ancestors then left Kobol for unknown reasons, probably a disaster. They then settles in the Cyrannus star cluster. During all of that, the 13th tribe nuked itself, then you created your Cylons, again. That That makes it what... 3 times. wow. And now you..." she looked at Caprica. "Talking about complicated histories and origins. But what caught my eye and will make this difficult is the 40 billion dead people. You might give the Goa'uld and Wraith some competition."
Caprica cringed. The way she said it, not that she was wrong, but she feared that this might come back to bite them. No point at saying they were lobotomized or lied to. She just lowered her head.
"Hmm, and here I was expecting a response, miss Caprica. Usually something in the range of pointing fingers or blaming your superiors, the 'I was just following orders' excuse. No?"
"What would be the point? What could be said, has already been said. I see no reason to repeat myself. What we did was wrong. Evil. But if you want to judge us, go ahead. Hell, the one most responsible is still hiding on our colony ship in our galaxy."
"Ah, yes. The model One's. We have a saying. Karma is a bitch. They will get theirs, soon enough. But back to you. I see your crimes, but none of us here is blameless. On Earth they had their own genocides not even a century ago. On Hebridan the humans and Serrakins still have some segregation issues. On Langara the 3 countries were at each other's throats only a few years ago. I was particularly proud of negotiating that peace treaty and later unification. And in our current time, we the Terrans were indirectly responsible of the fall of the Aschen."
"Aschen?" Lee asked, wanting to hear more.
"A group of humans, who much like the Tollans, developed advanced technology. But unlike the Tollans, who were compassionate and kept to themselves, the Aschen were conquerors who saw other human worlds as fair game and their occupants as disposable. They committed genocide on many worlds."
"You mean the nuked them?" Caprica wondered. It wouldn't surprise her, but it helped their cause, if humans were doing this to other humans in this galaxy.
"Nothing so fast and direct. They made contact and used their advanced technology to get the trust of the locals. They supplied them with a drug that cured all disease and doubled the life expectancy of the population."
Lee's view darkened. He saw where this was leading.
"Let me guess, this drug had a side effect. It killed them, right?"
"No, old age killed them. They just never had any kids anymore. you see, the drug sterilized the population. That is why I saiy 'nothing so fast'. The Aschen did it slowly. After 200 years, the population drops by 90% or more and the Aschen just walk in without having to fire a single shot."
"That is so... cold and calculation. A human civilization did that?" Caprica wondered. This was a plan worthy of Cavil, if he had that kind of patience.
"Well, the truth is the Aschen were a human race of accountants. I mean no sense of humor. Never even smiled. They were more robotic than your terminators. Flesh and blood, but nothing in here." O'Neill points to his heart.
"So what happened?" Lee wanted to know.
"We, in a preemptive strike, attacked their world. we removed their gate, took their knowledge to use it for something good and then crippled their military capabilities. You would not believe how many bio-weapons those ass holes had. Makes nukes look like a mild sunburn." O'Neill replied.
"But you didn't destroy their civilization, you just disabled their was capabilities. So why...?"
"The Goa'uld System Lord Anubis. He's the big bad bastard we are facing right now. That OP I mentioned, it's against him. Well, anyway, he found the Aschen home world. Because of us. He captured one of our spies and got the info out of him before the spy died. When he attacked the Aschen, they had no way to defend themselves. No that they could even if they still had everything, but he found them because of our negligence. A few months later, when he was done with them, he bombarded the planet from orbit and released their bio weapons on the population. The planet is now a dead world."
"That was a sad chapter in our short history, but in a way the Aschen brought this on themselves. After Anubis left them for dead, we sent a rescue fleet to evacuate anyone still alive. We relocated them to a rim planet without a gate, supplied them with more than they would need to survive for a year and left them there to rebuild. Less than 300000 survived. But from our point of view, they did the same things to many other civilizations. As I said. Karma." Deidra explained. "Now, wets begin. We need to exchange the needs and have's of both our sides. So..."
New Terra, Olympus, ring room, 10 minutes later
The gate activated in the ring room. Landry and a squad of marines were waiting at the gate. They were expecting this.
Seconds later, 4 Tok'ra guards, several Terran marines, Anise, Kara, a limping Felix and a restrained Mer'kesh stepped thru the gate.
"Ah, our guests have arrived." Landry smiled and approached the new arrivals. "Welcome to New Terra any by extension, the city of Olympus. I'm general Hank Landry, CO of the Stargate installation. Captain Thrace and Gaeta, I presume?"
Kara just saluted, eager to proceed, while Felix tried, but the general stopped him.
"No need for that, captain. Let's get your leg looked at." He signals several medics with a hovering gurney. They move to help Felix get on it so that they can move him to the hospital complex. As for you, captain, I can see you are eager for ... this to be removed." he looks at Mer'kesh. "We had many guests of your type already, adding one more is always a pleasure. Anise, they are ready and waiting for you at the operating room."
"Thank you general for the hastily reply. Come, we can get started in 10 minutes." Anise nods and her guards move the prisoner to the transporter booth.
As Kara goes with them, she stops next to the general for a moment.
"Thank you, sir. For helping Sam."
"No problem, captain. Now, go, before your left behind."
Battle cruiser Phoenix, 2 hours later
Long talks were not his strong point. He usually let Daniel handle that. But O'Neill had no choice here. An order is an order. so when the negotiator said that the main points were cleared and they can take a break, he was out the door almost like a classical cartoon character.
Walking down the corridor, he needed to get a drink. He deserved one, after enduring Rush for so long. Before he could reach the transporter booth, Lee managed to catch up to him.
"General, mind if I join you?"
"I want to get drunk a bit, so either join me or don't talk much and you can come. Deal?"
Lee nodded and O'Neill mold Lee's escorts to take a break. He will look after him. They reached their destination. Lee looked. interesting, this ship has a small bar as well.
Sitting on the bar stools, they looked around. It was mostly how bars should look. But when the bartender appeared, Lee reacted defensively.
"Frak. You have your own Cylons?"
It was a humanoid robot.
"Good day, sirs. What may I get you?"
"One whiskey for me. Commander?"
Lee still sat there, not believing what he saw.
"Look. It's a robot. No AI. No networking capabilities. It can't learn or adapt. It will never turn against us. They have this 3 laws of robotics thing that guides them."
"Really? If it can't learn, what's the point. It will always need a human leading it."
"And that was your mistake. You tried to replace humans entirely with them in certain fields. Like military, garbage, construction... so on? Am I right?"
"If you give them the ability to learn and one day replace you, what happened to you will always happen. They will outgrow their limits and try to replace you everywhere. Our robots are not our substitute, but enhancement. Our solders go and die at the front. Robots just assist. Our bar owners work at the bar, the robots just take the load off. Besides, with the whole AI law that guarantees any and all AI the same rights as any sentient life form, no matter what shape or type it is... well, it is a preemptive measure that we don't get your scenario. and if you didn't notice it, we have AI in our civilizations. And they, for the most part, are not rebelling, right?"
"If you mean your double, he was once you right? That is a different scenario." Lee then looked at the robot. "I'll have the same as him."
"So, that thing is not an AI?"
"A VI as I understand it. This ship has one as well."
"Virtual intelligence, I think." He tapped the comm button on the bar table. "Eva, VI means virtual intelligence, right?"
Lee looked around, looking for who just said that. O'Neill smirked and took the drink he just got.
"Relax. That was Eva, electronic video assistant. Here you try it. Ask her something."
Lee took his drink as well and just poured it all down.
"I'll pass. Hmm. This is nice. General. I do need to ask to see your ships capabilities, like my father demanded and you agreed to."
"Right. Knew I forgot something. Would miss Caprica want to join you?"
"No, she was more interested talking with this Harlan person. I won't bother her with my mission."
O'Neill finished his drink too and stood up.
"Fine, let's go to engineering."
Battle cruiser Phoenix, 6 and a half hours later
Lee was sitting on a comfy chair in the guest quarters. He, the 2 marines and Caprica were all here, exchanging what they learned.
"So, your talk with that Harlan was productive?" Lee asked Caprica.
"To say the least. To think his people did the opposite of us, they were humans but became machines. I have to agree with the general, he needs some getting used to. But at least he is not arrogant as that Rush. He made me actually miss Gaius. And you? Did the general give you the tour?"
"Oh yes, he did. What I learns is, that no matter what my father prepares, if they want to fight, we won't last long. "
"This ship combines technologies from many sources. Their holographic and the transporters that don't need platforms. They got them from the Asgard, the same race you own your organic memory transfer to."
"Wow. They found them, stole them...?"
"No, they were given to them. It appears that there was once an alliance of 4 great races. The Furlings, Nox, Asgard and the Ancients, or Builders for us. The Ancients are gone, but the other 3 have reignited their old alliance. While the Furlings and Nox keep something the PP treaty here and enforce it against the Goa'uld, the Asgard have their own issues in their galaxy."
"Wait, wait. Their galaxy? And what issues. And what is the PP treaty?"
"Yes, it seems that the Nox are the only indigenous 'Old' race to this galaxy. PP stands for Protected planet treaty. Races or civilizations too primitive to defend themselves against the Goa'uld or other aggressors are protected that way. As for the Asgard... they have their own issues, it seems. The general did not want to go into detail."
"What did they say about the blue giants we mentioned?"
"The general said he would contact the supreme commander of the Asgard, Thor. He should know something."
"Thor? Like one of the fallen gods in your mythology?"
"It seems so. We definitely bet on the wrong horse there."
Caprica smirked. No wonder that the negotiator's main concern with the Colonials was their religion. Many human civilizations here hate the Goa'uld. And by all means, the Goa'uld are the basis for the Lords of Kobol. This could end badly if the Gemeniese morons get to say anything.
"Sir, what about the ship?" a marine asked.
"It's a, as they call it, a battle cruiser. It has the speed and mobility of a cruiser, but fire power of a battleship. It's a quick response ship. Limited capacity. It can't stay on a mission for prolonged periods. It's fighter wing is limited as well. But... it has formidable fire power against ships, great sub light speeds and as we all saw, it can reach great hyperspace speeds. It can punch hard and fast. Respond hard and fast. But it can't brawl for long."
"But how do they even manage to carry the supplies they have? Their cargo capacity must be limited?" Caprica wondered.
"I asked the lead engineer, a temporary person, a Tok'ra by the name Lantash. He was sent to this ship to take over engineering, since it was not meant for this mission, yet, but it was the best choice. Anyway. They reverse engineered something called Wraith transporter beam. They store their cargo in a energy buffer. At least that is how they explained it. So they fill one of the cargo rooms and then the transporter located in that room stores the cargo in the buffer. Then they do it again and again. one room is then used to access storage 5 time bigger than what it could hold."
"That is amazing. A ship can carry cargo many times its own capacity that way! But how do they keep that cargo intact?"
"That is the only down side. A constant flow of energy is needed. It's tied in the tertiary energy grid. If it should fail, that cargo would be lost."
"I mean, I really hoped we would find something, but all of this... is almost too much." Caprica said.
"And you? Are you angry they have these VI on board?"
"Well, it does bother me a bit, but we did the same with the Centurions once. We denied them sentience after they already achieved it. These humans are just not allowing their VI's to evolve their own. I think that is less bad than what we did. And they do have laws that protect true AI, so that is something."
Lee nodded, understanding her. He looked around. Their accommodations weren't bad. It was no Cloud 9, but for a military ship, it quite spacious. All the wonders this ship possessed, while intriguing, were not the pressing issue for him. this meeting between both sides was. Besides, 2 years ago, all of this would have shocked him to no end. Now, he had gotten used to it. To a degree.
He looked out the window. So many windows on a military ship. Lee would laugh if it weren't for the shielding. But then he began questioning this Eva, the ship's VI. The hull and armor were based on an alloy made out of naquadah and some other elements. The VI refused to go into detail to a guest of the ship. He also learned that the 'weak spots' are neutralized during combat as the armor holes are closed when the armor extends out to cover them. He did see those outside the window.
As for their quarters, it had everything they needed. Beds, entertainment, and a work station. Lee went to look over the entertainment options, movies and music mostly. But with so many member worlds, the selection was both large as well as wide. Caprica on the other hand went to look over the database. Well, to what she got access to.
"So, Caprica. What did you learn of this ship? Any details?"
"But you were on that computer for hours, looking thru the database."
"And every time I wanted to access a ship system for information, Eva replied 'You do not have sufficient clearance level to access that data'. Never thought an artificial voice would one day get on my nerve."
The comm console on the wall began beeping. Lee activated it.
"Commander, you and your team will be escorted to the bridge. We are arriving."
"Understood." He deactivated the comm link and looked at the others. "Guess we are here."
New Terra, same time
"Would you like some more refreshments?"
"Unless they have some alcohol in them, frak no."
"I am sorry, but no alcohol can't be served in the hospital complex."
"Yeah, yeah. You guys are as stiffs as our guys. Fine. I'll have another of those... soda or whatever it was called. If not alcohol, then sugar, I guess."
"Coming right away."
The robot went to work. Kara looked at it with suspicion. She hadn't slept during all of this. They had removed that damn thing from Sam, but he needed to rest. And she was not allowed to visit him, yet. So she was killing time by looking around the hospital. She even went out to the city a bit, as far as her escort would allow her to go. She was offered to have a guest apartment for a while, but she declined. So here she was, in a cafeteria in the hospital, not being able to get drunk. Before she cold sigh again, she noticed Felix approach her.
"Hey, look at you. Crutch free?"
"Captain. Yes, they fixed me up. I even went to the central ring hub. some of our people arrived thru the ring, or gate as they call it. Seems the Pathfinder arrived at their delta site, whatever that means. They do not want to take it here, security reasons. But some of our people are here already. No Centurions. Again, security reasons. So then I remembered, you and Sam are still here. This Eva Vi told me where to find you. How's Sam?"
"They got that thing out. He's resting. He..." She stopped as the robot got her drink.
"Sir, anything for you?"
"Emm, no thank you." The robot left again. "That is so freaky."
"Right. So I am not the only one."
Felix looked out the cafeteria.
"Those 2 mountains. Your escort?"
"Yep. The ones on the left yours?"
Kara took her drink and finished it in one go.
"Well, they at least have good sugary drinks. Reminds me of that Leonis drink."
"Boy was that unhealthy."
As they continued to talk, one of their escorts approached them.
"Apologies, but your friend is about to be awakened. Perhaps you should go to him now?"
"Frak. Ok, let's go then."
New Terra, ring room, same time
The Stargate activated as a large reception was prepared, general Landry included. The next second, the Traveler captains and SGA-1 arrived thru the gate.
Larrin and the other captains looked around, recognizing Ancient technology and architecture on the spot.
"Well, the ancestors really build big. But this looks a bit different than Atlantis." she noticed as she continued looking around.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I'm general Landry. Welcome to New Terra. Fleet admiral Yao is expecting you. If you would follow us..."
"Of course, general. Lead the way."
as they moved from the ring room to the transporter booth, Sheppard noticed a group of human in strange uniforms being escorted by Terran marines. He whispered to Landry.
"Sir, who are those people?"
"Remember the memo on Kobolous and Helix?"
McKay, overhearing that, budded in.
"Oh yes, the failed human colony project of the Ancients and some storage planet of the Ancients. So, what do those people have to do with it?"
"They claim to originate from Kobol, or Kobolous, take your pick. and they settled on Helix. That's why. So, please doctor McKay, doctor rush already had general O'Neill walking up the walls for being himself. Don't you add to this."
"Why? I never..."
"If he does, I'll have Chewie use his new Traveler toy on him." Sheppard smiled. "It does have a stun setting, right?
Helix star system, New Kobol, high orbit, minutes later
Everything the Colonials and rebel Cylons had at their disposal was in orbit, armed and ready. Which wasn't much. 3 Mercury and 1 Valkyrie Battlestar, 6 Basestars, 7 discovery class ships and 13 Xpios class destroyers. The orbit was also swarming with Vipers, Raptors and Raiders. The resurrection ship had taken cover on the far side of the system.
"OK, anyone got an idea what we are doing here? The old man is not saying anything!" one pilot whined.
"No idea. Are those aliens back? Or the other cylons?"
"Frak if I know."
"Those were not aliens, the Lords created this universe for humans only..."
"Shut up, you Gemeniese moron. What else could that ship belong to?"
All of this was heard over the wireless. And Adama, now standing in the CIC of the main orbital station, needed to stop it.
"Comm, tell all the pilots to stop the chatter!"
Said officer nodded and issued the command.
"You nervous, Bill?" Saul asked him, as he took a sip from his flask.
"No if you don't share, yes if you do."
Saul smirked and handed him the flask. He then took his wireless communicator.
"Major, anything on the sensors of your ship? We got frak over here." the colonel asked Helo over the wireless. He was on the Discovery.
"We just detected a disturbance in this... hyperspace. I think they are almost here."
The 2 old friends looked at each other, then Bill looked at Laura who was standing next to them. The admiral looked at her with a 'hope you were right' look.
On the Discovery, Helo was in the command chair. He, like all people, who knew what was coming, was nervous. As he stood up to get closer to the main view window, a hand on his shoulder tried to calm him down. It was his wife.
"Relax. We have to believe that the expedition was successful."
"Yeah. Your right. But still..."
In space, a rift formed and seconds alter, the Phoenix appeared around 100.000 kilometers from the planet.
"Frak, here they are. Well then. We'll let the old man handle this. But still, Dradis, can you scan that ship?" Helo turned to his officers.
"I'm trying sir. That ship is emitting some sort of EM jamming field. It's wreaking havoc with the sensors. All I can tell you is the dimensions and shape. They are even capable to mask their power signature... somehow."
"That's all? Damn. Sharon, can you check?" Helo asked his wife. she obliged and went to the sensor console to confirm the information.
"No, that's all we got."
In space, the pilots were trying to keep their cool as well. The admiral reminded them to not do anything stupid. So for the moment, they remained in formation, doing nothing.
On the Phoenix, O'Neill and the Phoenix bridge crew saw the show in front of them.
"Quite the reception, commander. You people build them big, don't you?" O'Neill looked at Lee and smirked. "Well, you got the first thing I always wanted right when we started building our fleet."
"Big ships with big honking guns. Nice."
"And that is all they are." Rush muttered as he looked over the sensor data.
"What do you mean with that, doctor?" O'Neill tried to remain calm.
"Big, that's the only thing they are. Otherwise, useless. Can't believe these people can navigate space at all..."
O'Neill face palmed. He needed to get him off the bridge, before he puts his foot in his mouth in front of someone more important than the commander. He had no luck, as the Phoenix was being hailed.
"Tactical, the new toys working? What do the quantum sensors tell us? Any traps, cloaked ships?" The Xo of the ship asked.
"No sir. But we are getting allot of data on the ships, Ancient and theirs. Those big... starfish ships have an organic bio-hull of sorts."
"Like the Wraith?"
"Based on these readings, not even close. A poor man's version. We are also detecting a strange ship on the edge of the system, emanating a large subspace signature. What it's for is anyone's guess, but if they want to attract someone, they have our attention there. A bit stupid to hide, but have such a massive signature."
Lee was making mental notes of all of this. It could come in handy later. But the general turned to him before he could react himself.
"This ship? What's it's function?"
Lee sighed. He didn't want to explain anything on their capabilities, but it seemed that it made little difference.
"It's a resurrection ship. For the Cylons. However, the Builder called it organic memory transfer."
And that got Rush to pay attention to this conversation.
"How do primitive AI's like that develop a technology like that? We can bet the Asgard will have similar questions." Rush looked at Lee.
"Yes, well, it seems the original Cylons once found a derelict ship with such technology and reverse engineered it. Perhaps it is their technology?"
"But why such a massive subspace signature? What's the point? They trying to get noticed and shot at or what?" Rush continued probing.
"We use it to add range. We never knew it left a signature until those blue skinned aliens attacked us. They must have used the same principal to track and destroy us and Cavil's forces in our galaxy. The old Builder was right,... again." Caprica cursed as she now realized the massive drawback of their resurrection tech when confronted with advanced civilizations. She also didn't like Rush's attitude. Reminded her more and more of Gaius. Minus the charm.
"Well, let's not keep the polly's waiting, general. We want these to make these people our mate's, right?" the captain asked cheerfully. "So, let's hear what they have to say."
On the main view admiral Adama appeared with the CIC of the station he was on. Laura stood next to him, her face showing how eager she was to cget started.
"G'Day. Admiral Adama I assume. I'm captain Jennifer Smith of the Terran ship Phoenix. Permission to enter orbit?"
On the screen, Bill got both an amused and confused look. Amused because he liked the military command structure on the Terran ship he missed so much from the days before the fall of the colonies. During the run from the Cylons, he kept up military protocol and organization as much as possible, but now it was gutted. What confused him was the slang from this woman.
"Granted. Welcome to New Kobol." He then noticed his son and the general. "Good to see you back, Lee. How was the trip?"
"Good. Insightful and fast. We have much to talk about, sir."
O'Neill nodded. They were under time pressure.
"Admiral, with your permission, we would like to begin with the talks immediately. I would also like to ask permission to allow, under supervision, of course, for our technical expert to take a look at your mainframe to see if he can find the address of your world or the address of our world so that we can then establish a more direct link."
The admiral was hesitant but Laura elbowed him. He got the message.
"Very well, but he will be under guard and our own expert will be monitoring him."
"Agreed. Just promise not to shoot him."
"Excuse me? We would never..." the president protested, thinking that the general was rude with that sentence.
"Madam president, believe me, when you meet him, you'll understand." Lee assured them that the general was not joking. At least he hoped he was not. Rusk remained neutral to all of this. He didn't care what they thought of him, as long as he got the job done.
"OK. Captain, if you will?" O'Neill asked captain Smith.
She smiled while Lee remembered what would follow.
In a flash of light, the general, Lee and his company, Rush and the negotiator disappeared off the bridge of the phoenix and... appeared in the CIC of the station. To say the Colonials and Cylons were shocked and alerted, was putting it mildly.
"... we should... not do that. Frak." Lee cursed as he saw that it was already over.
The guards began pointing their weapons at the newcomers, but Bill signaled them to stand down.
"I do love grand entrances." O'Neill proclaimed.
"Sometimes I think you are just a big kid, general." Rush snorted.
"Beat's being a pain in the ass." The general then turned to his Colonial counterpart and saluted him. "Permission to come on board?"
The admiral, while still suspicious of the way they arrived, returned toe salut.
"Granted. Now... Before we do anything! What in the frak was that!?" admiral Adama yelled. Lee stepped to him and tried to calm him down.
"Sir, the Terrans posses technological bases from multiple sources. These are, as they call them, beam transporters. It does not need any platforms, apparently. They were apparently gifted to them by the Asgard, the same race the Cylons may have gotten their resurrection tech from when their ancestor found that derelict ship."
While informative, this did not calm the admiral down.
"Any what assurances do I have, that this teleportation technology will not be used to infiltrate our planet or ships!?"
Rush, also not wanting to waste time, stepped forward.
"Simple, you don't. But you apparently do have some rudimentary knowledge of how to use the Ancient technology on this station, the ships and the planetary installations. Right? Outdated by our standards, as far as I could tell, the sensors should still be able to pick up the increase of energy and the locations of beam in and beam out points. If not, I can show you how to do that, later."
Hearing this statement got Baltar to get out of his daze.
"Emm, yes. I have made great progress to understand this technology. And we could..."
"Yes, while fascinating to hear 'your' discoveries on outdated technology, I do have several important projects back on New Terra. So, let's go to your main data core room where I can tap into this Ancient outpost and hope to find the addresses we need for the Stargate. During all of that, I could use some sleeping pills, so I'll humor you in letting you tell me of your 'discoveries'." was Rush's somewhat insulting response as he rolled his eyes.
O'Neill on the other hand saw the egghead cat fight coming at some point. This Baltar was not used to being talked down like that, not by another scientist at least. And by one who used his condescending language.
Ambassador Jensen, listening to all of this patiently, decided to make her presence known. She stepped forward to the woman she now knew as the president of these people. Let the men squabble. She and this woman had more pressing matters to talk about.
"President Roslin?" the Terran ambassador asked as she held her hand out.
Laura while still in shock at what she just saw, also realized that there were things needed to be done. She took the ambassadors hand and shook it.
"Yes. Welcome, miss...?"
"Ambassador Deidra Jensen, Terran diplomatic core. I will be the person you and your staff will be talking to."
"Yes, I am the president of the 13th tribes. Again, thank you and welcome." Laura shook her hand. "I think we can let your scientist go to where he wants to go as long as he is escorted and watched, right, admiral?"
Bill nodded and looked at his marines.
"4 escorts and a scientist to look at what he is doing. I think Baltar just volunteered."
"And I, admiral. I will go as well." Caprica added. "I think the commander can be debrief alone without me, for the moment."
"No. You will be debriefed by D'Anna, then you can go and join Baltar."
Caprica didn't want to stay here, but when she looked at the de facto Cylon leader, D'Anna, who had a stern look on her face, she knew this was not negotiable.
"One thing I want to know from you, President Roslin." Rush stopped everyone before they could go. "Why have you decided to tell us your location? Why invite us? We don't know you and you don't know us. It was a huge gamble on your part."
Roslin had to keep up her smile. Baltar had a similar reaction when he learned of this.
"I had faith."
"What, doctor? You don't approve?"
"Faith? Faith is a belief based on the lack of data. It invites disaster. You were just lucky this is not one of those times."
Laura had to bite her tongue. Better not to start trading insults here.
"Then let us begin. This way." Laura motioned the group to follow her, while Baltar and Rush went with the colonial marines to a transporter booth, their destination the planet. The main group then split up, the Cylons taking Caprica for a debriefing, both Adamas doing the same and the political representatives plus O'Neill remaining in the main coridor.
As the group walked down the corridor to the prepared meeting room, Harlan, who was trying to stay quiet so at not annoy O'Neill, was getting more and more nervous. And some noticed it.
"What now, Harlan?"
"Ah, O'Neill my friend, should I not accompany the Cylon known as Caprica?"
"Why, they are debriefing her, she is one of them, remember?"
"Yes, Mr. Harlan, is it?" Laura asked as she could not help to overhear the discussion. "Why would you go with them?"
Here we go. O'Neill knew this was coming.
"You see, president Roslin, Harlan is an... android."
The colonial part of the group stopped. O'Neill saw this coming, like it happened with the commander and the 2 marines on the Phoenix.
"Come again?" Foster, who had stayed with Laura all this time, asked.
"You heard the general correctly. Harlan is an android. He and his people are part of our Federation. But unlike your Cylons, who were machines but took human form, Harlan's people did the opposite. They were humans who became androids." the Terran ambassador explained.
Before any other questions could be raised, Jack put his hand up to stop them.
"Em, we can discuss all of this later. We are on a tight schedule. So please."
Laura, shaking off another shock, just nodded.
"Yes, of course."
New Kobol, central data hub building, minutes later
Rush, under heavy guard, not that he cared or noticed, he had a sub dermal transponder so he could be beamed out if an emergency arose, was lead to the central data hub. It was a mess. The Colonials and Cylons were trying to access it more efficiently. Since the technology would only allow those that were marked green to access, which made up less than 1% of the total population and completely excluded the Cylons.
"What in god's name were you doing here? Using hammers and rocks on it!?"
Both marines and Centurions went silent at his statement. A human form Cylon approached him.
"Hello. I'm Jenna, a model six Cylon helping doctor Baltar in this project. Did you just say 'god's name?' As in a single god? You are from Earth, right? You worship a single god?"
Rush rolled his eyes and got really annoyed.
"I did not come here for trading beliefs. For your information, I'm an atheist. And yes, I'm from Earth. But there are many religions from where I come from. Some don't even have a god or gods. But back to the matter at hand!? Did you use rocks on this thing?!"
Now Baltar, getting tired of being indirectly insulted by this man, stepped in.
"No, we used the best methods at our disposal in order to gain a wider access to this database as to not exclude the majority of the population. So as you can see..."
"As I can see, you did a piss poor job!" Rush dismissed Baltar, unpacked his portable computer and access terminal on the floor. Then he pulled a thick cable out and began attaching it to an open crystal port of the large core.
"What are you doing?" Baltar demanded to know.
"I am establishing a connection. My portable computer speaks the same language and is based on the same technology. It is also programmed to search for a specific thing, this being the Stargate addresses. So instead of me looking thru it manually on your terminal there, I'm using this to speed up the search."
As the connection was established, his portable computer went to work. Even the Ancient computer the Colonials were using, detected the link, but made no attempts to block it.
"Why does it not reject you? We tried for months to link Cylon tech to it, but..." Jenna wanted to know.
"We encountered similar security measures before and believe me. These are easy when compared to the ones in the Ancient data depository."
"So now what?"
"Now we wait." Rush then got up and looked bored. "So now you can 'amaze' me with your findings." Rush mocked Baltar.
New Kobol, military wing, debriefing room 1, 10 minutes later
The admiral sad silent in the room, his son on the other side of the table, on his side seevral military officers, listening to Lee's debriefing.
So, if all that they had learned is true, the humans on Earth managed to do what the Colonials were meant to do but failed at it. Now however, their galaxy was in a state of chaos. These 'false gods' were still at large.
some of them killed in past wars, others by the terrans or their allies. Like Cronus. But others, like Ares were still alive. It was a shock for him, but he would get over it. The more religious zealots, the 2 obvious colonies, were the problem. If they decide to break ranks, leave the Quorum or even this city, he would learn to live with it. Frak, they even had 2 habitable planets in this small region of space, plus a moon. They could just go there, build their temples and not bother him for the rest of time for all he cared. They had to face reality and he was not one to bury his head in the sand like some others would.
The other knowledge would be an issue as well. The terrans were using the so called VI casually, while making sure that any 'real' AI was protected by law as a real life form. He realized why. They made sure their VI could never become an AI, but if they do, they would be freed, thus eliminating the need to rebel. That would have been an issue on the Colonies before the 1 war. For the same issues as the first problem. Religion.
Religion was limited in its influence with the terrans. They separated it from politics, military or economy. Frak again. why could this not be accomplished in the Colonies in the old days.
Then there were the 'elder' races. The Builders, or ancients were one of them. Races millions of years older than their civilization. Both Adama's already knew that they were not a small fins in a large pond, but an ameba when compared to the rest of the cosmos. The question was, how long it would take for the rest of the population to realize it.
New Kobol, military wing, debriefing room 2, same time
D'Anna and Cavil were having similar thoughts and existential questions as the admiral. These humans from Earth and the other planets used a so called VI instead of an actual AI. That in itself would make her mad, but the fact they made sure any AI are by law made equal to their creators and that an semi AI race was part of their government made her believe that in some way, humans could adapt and accept them. She in a way understood why they used VI's. In a dumbed down analogy, it could be compared to humans using animals for manual labor in the past. These VI's were basically machine animals.
New Kobol, quorum chamber, 25 minutes later
Laura was having both the day of her life as well as feeling a headache approaching. This woman, the terran negotiator, was similar to her. A professional who was prepared to compensate but had firm positions she would not relinquish. From what they had achieved so far, the 13th tribes would profit allot from this. If any agreement would be achieved, their food, medicine and other similar problems would be a thing of the past. Also the whole genetic pool issue Baltar brought up would also disappear on the spot. Maybe, with time, whey could allow migration of people from and to New Kobol. That would also solve their conical lack or doctors, engineers, scientist and people of other professions that, unfortunately did not survive the fall of the Colonies.
The issues that arose, were of course those of religion. To say the Gemeniese representative was hoping mad that not only did the people of Earth and all of the member worlds not believe in the Lords, but in a great many religions, but that their Lords were the enemies the terrans were currently at war with. Also, she as a religious person would have allot less influence in the Terran Council, since they segregated religion from all other branches of power. She really hated that.
But again, Zarek surprised her. He was not protesting. Then again, she heard rumors that his people were not glad he was silent and bending over for Roslin's agenda.
That was what they could gain from their cousins. But what could they offer? All arrangements go both ways. Her fears were quickly subdued. While both their original technology from the colonies as well as the one from the Builders they found, was obsolete by the standards of the terrans, they did find some of the things they possessed interesting. Mostly people of professions that the Colonials had a surplus of. Military people. In time of peace, which many of the colonial military personnel had issues adapting to, could be used by their cousins. In exchange for what they needed. And an update in training, of course.
Another point that would have to include the possibility of migration, was their location. The Phoenix made some detailed scans of the solar system. The moment the orbital and planetary shipbuilding capabilities were detected, the terrans were game. This was exactly what the fleet admiral was looking for. Outdated and in need or manning and maintenance, but those were details. Something else the Cylons and Colonials found amusing was the Terran ambassador's interest in their jump drive. But once they realized that with advanced technology, their FTL could be made faster and more precise, it would make an excellent short range propulsion for fast maneuvers or deployments.
Harlan listened intensely, mostly looking forward to more talks with the Cylons. The ambassador also remained professional. But O'Neill, well, he was O'Neill. D'Anna and admiral Adama joined the discussion 5 minutes ago after finishing the debriefings.
"Well, this concludes the first step. We have learned allot of each other in such a short amount of time. May I suggest a break?" Laura smiled and looked at the servants began pouring some drinks. But before anyone could take the first drink, the alarms of New Kobol went off.
Adama went to the panel on the wall behind him.
"Ring room, this is the admiral, report!"
"Sir, an unknown ship exited hyperspace and has entered orbit. It is unlike anything we have ever seen. The defense fleet is trying to stop it, but the weapons won't get a lock!"
The admiral eyed O'Neill.
"Something you want to add?"
"No, but I may have a sneaky suspicion of who it might be." He took his portable communicator that was also his universal translator. "Phoenix, the Colonials are in an uproar. Do we have a guest up there?"
"Affirmative, sir. A Bilskirnir-class capital ship has entered orbit. They are also jamming the Colonials to prevent them from firing."
"Understood." O'Neill put his communicator back and sighed. "Thor. He never calls, he never writes. This 'we call you, don't call us' routine is getting a bit old."
Hearing the name of one of the older gods that opposed the Lords got the Colonial and Cylon attention. D'Anna was the first to react.
"Thor? So not a god as well?"
"Yeah, he's an Asgard. Old friend of mine. No worries. They are the good guys. Tell your people to stand down. I'll vouch for them. But for them to be here so fast means..."
O'Neill didn't have time to finish. In a flash of light, an Asgard sitting in their typical command chairs, appeared in the room, startling everyone who never saw an Asgard. Or alien in general.
"OK, you're not Thor."
"Greetings, general O'Neill. I am Heimdall. Commander Thor sends his regards, but is preoccupied with the war."
"Ok, nice of you guys to show up after a while, but why now?"
"The news of these humans and their machines would not have attracted the attention of the High Council, if it weren't for 2 matters. The fact that these Cylons use a similar organic memory transfer technology as we do would be the first. As the report stated, they believe that some ancestors of theirs reverse engineered it from one of our ancient ships? Correct?" Heimdall then looked at the human form Cylons, as if waiting for a response.
D'Anna, realizing that she as the 'leader' had to react, stood.
"Yes, that would be correct."
"For how long have you used it?"
"Not really sure. We, for several decades. But it was used before then, by the 13th tribe, thousands of years ago."
"I see. So the side effect could not have occurred yet."
"Side effects? What side effects?" was the general question of every Cylon in the room.
"You had to have known it. The technology of diminishing returns has, sooner or later, a dead end. We Asgard have been incapable of cellular meiosis for a thousand years. Because of this, we can only stay alive with cellular mitosis, but it has been reaching its limits. With the help of our allies, the humans of Earths as well, we have stalled the issue for now."
All the non scientists, which made up the majority of the room, looked confused. Now D'Anna was no scientist, but she got the basics of it.
"You are all clones. For a thousand years that has been the only way for you to stay alive. You even lost the ability of sexual reproduction? If I understood you correctly?"
"Yes you did."
"So what do you want from us?"
"I am a geneticist of the Asgard. I was hoping to study you adapted methods and genetic pool to see if your people might help us to develop a more long term solution. General O'Neill was kind enough to donate his DNA for us to study, but having another independent source would be good."
D'Anna now eyed O'Neill. Why was this alien talking ho highly of that man, who almost fell asleep during this debate? O'Neill noticed it.
"If you must know, it appears that I am an evolutionary leap of the human race. Or something like that."
"You undersell your importance, general. You are the first of your race to survive having the entire depository of knowledge downloaded into your brain and not only survive but make some limited use of it. A generation ago it would have been impossible." Heimdall corrected him.
"Yeah, what he said."
Heimdall turned his attention to D'Anna again,
"What puzzles me is why your ship that you are trying to hide at the edge of this system is using a long range download method?"
"Why not? It adds range to it. Do you not use it that way?"
"No. Our minds are too vast to download that way. It also adds the added weakness that an advanced race can easily track and disrupt such signals. In a state of war, a race like that could prevent you from downloading at all."
D'Anna cursed. So the Builder and now even Caprica were right. The admiral in the mean time wanted to know more.
"And what is the other reason for your coming?"
"In your report you claim to have encountered a race of blue skinned humanoids that were larger than your machines. Correct?" The admiral nodded. "They were the old enemies of the Furlings. We joined in their war against them. Later even the Ancients did. The Jötunn. We thought they were extinct. I wish to see all your data on this matter. If they are still alive and after many millennia had time to rebuild... this could be dangerous."
"How dangerous?" O'Neill asked, beating the admiral to the punch.
"The Goa'uld Anubis you are fighting is half ascended. The Jötunn are lead by one of them who found a way to ascend."
"Oh great. As if dark and gloomy snake boy wasn't bad enough."
"Ascended?" Laura, who wanted to join this conversation, asked.
"Oh, you witnessed it, if what commander Adama said is true. The old man Ancient, when he became white light. Remember? You become, well, god like. But not a god. I still say it is overhyped, but old space monkey is having fun at my expense. You hear me, Daniel!?" O'Neill shouted at the ceiling.
"Forgive the general. The person he is referring to is doctor Daniel Jackson. The man on Earth who discovered how stargates work. He ascended several months ago. But becoming an ascended being means that you are a non corporeal lifer form blessed with immortality and to some extent great power and knowledge. But with limits." the Terran ambassador tried to explain.
"Yes, the Builder said something like that." Laura remembered. "He even said that they can't interfere for some reason."
"So that they don't get tempted of misusing their power. If power corrupts, ultimate power can corrupt even more."
D'Anna, while intrigued by all of this, turned her attention back to this... Asgard.
"Very well. I will... grant you access to your resurrection ship. Not that we could stop you if you wanted to do it by force, it seems. But in return I want you to help us with the same issue. We, with the exception of one of us, are incapable of procreation."
"Then perhaps the first step would be to scan and get a DNA sample of the parents and this hybrid you spoke off."
"I think Sharon... would agree to it. Once I persuade her. We would also ask for you to help us with some members we managed to resurrect while they were outside the range. They were brought back... damaged."
Heimdall narrowed his eyes.
"As you know, my people never used in that manner. I can help, but there are no guarantees."
"I'll take whatever I can. So it's a deal then?"
"Hey, while we are at it, our scientist, Rush is in the main data room, trying to access the gate addresses, if they weren't erased. Maybe you could... lend a hand or two?" O'Neill asked. an Asgard should be able to accelerate things."
"That too I can help with. For now, I will update the High Council on this situation, then help with your data access problem. Please have the information on the Jötunn ready by the end of this planet's day." Saying that, the Asgard was beamed avay.
During all of this, the Quorum members were stunned... again. but one of them in particular saw this as an atrocity to her belief.
"What in the name of the Lords was that? The scrolls say that this universe was made for us and us alone! I refuse to believe what that... thing just said!" the Gemeniese representative said, fuming.
"Hey lady! 'He' was right in front of you and you still don't believe it? What is your malfunction?" the general raged back.
"First you tell us our Lords are evil and 'false gods', then you say you are at war with them and not these enemies of the Lords show up and you are friends with them!? This is outrageous..." she stood up trying to leave, but Laura signaled the guards to stop her.
"You will stay or forfeit your seat on the Quorum."
"You have no right to do that! No President had that authority!"
Now it was Laura's time to stand up and get mad.
"Listne here, you religious zealot! I had to listen to your whining for the past 16 months to no end. No matter what I did, you were never satisfied, you self centered, entitled brat! You threatened to leave and take your people with you. Fine! Go! Then it will still be 12 tribes. But If you and the rest of the Gemeniese people go, then know this. You will not go to another continent on this planet, you will go thru the ring to another planet. We have 2 plus a moon in the neighboring systems here. Take your pick. But you also only take what you can carry and what we originally had when you arrived here! No more luxuries! No more medicine! You are on your own from there on! And let's not even go to the little matter that we on our own, all 13 tribes, already had a genetic pool diversity problem. How much worse would that be for 45.000 Gemeniese isolated on a planet? You clearly did not think that thru, did you! And if anyone from your people asks for asylum here, they can stay, which will only make matters worse for you!" Taking a deep breath, she turned to Zarek. "Anything from you? Your people want to leave as well?"
Stunned by her outrage, Zarek hesitated a bit.
"I can imagine that once they hear of this, they will be angry as well, but not to my colleges extent. I agree with you, Laura, but my people might remove me from this post, once this get's out, so you better get a plan for them ready as well."
"Them? Not us? You abandoning your people already?"
"As I said many times over, I am a pragmatist. I see no point to deny what we just saw and bury my head in the sand. So if my tribe goes crazy as well, I will be the first to ask for that asylum." he smiled back.
When the room quieted down again and the Gemeniese representative, reluctant, sat down again, O'Neill laughed.
"Lady, you just made my list of politicians I like. And that is not something I say lightly."
Laura did not know how to take it, but she really needed to get that rage off of her.
"Bill, of you would inform our people to welcome these... Asgard guests once they are ready. I would hate to have another incident on my hands. And perhaps you and the general can have a talk on four eyes, leaving us to deal with this?"
The admiral nodded and motioned the general to follow him.
New Kobol, central data hub building, same time
Baltar really wanted to show this Earth 'doctor' that he wasn't an amateur. Being tired of trying to debate him and loosing miserably while amusing Caprica who had arrived some time ago, he decided to show him everything. so he lead him to the 'forbidden' lab. The one the president said was off limits to Baltar but Caprica could enter. Rush humored them.
"Oh, so you have a quantum mirror as well? Guess the Ancients were just leaving them around for anyone to find."
"You know of this?" Baltar asked, not believing that this did not interest the Earth scientist.
"Yes, even helped us once. But this one seems a bit different. Has it been modified?"
"Yes, one of the Builders that came here long ago, made the modifications. It enables us to access other multiverses on top of just other universes. But the president has forbid it being reactivated..."
"Wait, wait... Other multiverses?"
"Yes. You see the difference to a universe..."
"I know of the hypotheses of multiverses. Or metaverses, xenoverses and omniverse. I just never knew that an Ancient, or anyone had ever made a device to travel to them? Since you are forbidden to use it, I do hope you have some data or recordings?"
That was the magic word Baltar was waiting for. He went to the main table with the monitors and activated them, showing Rush all the footage taken. Of every multiverse they saw. Rush was not amused.
"Is this meant to be a joke?"
"What? Why? we recorded all of this when..." Baltar tried to defend his findings.
"Why joke? Why?" Rusk pointed to the footage of the cubic ship. "This... is from a stupid sci-fi entertainment show from Earth, called Star Trek. And while I don't watch such nonsense, I think this would be a Borg Cube. The one next to it... I don't know their names, but a Starfleet ship of some sort. Then this..." He points to the other screens. "Superman's uniform and captain Americas shield. Comic books, really? I don't even know the names of the rest, but I do know they are in some form of a show or movie on Earth. Did O'Neill put you up for this? To annoy me!?"
"I can assure you these footages are genuine. We never went there for security reasons, but we recorded everything!" Caprica defended Baltar. While this Rush was starting to get on her nerves as well, his reaction was intriguing her. Why did he react like that?
Before Rush could respond, something else caught his eye. There, lying on the table. It appears these people tried to dissect it, analyze it. He picked one of the parts up and looked shocked.
"Where did you get Replicator building blocks!?"
For the first time since they met Rush, Baltar and Caprica saw a sort of fear in his eyes. That moment, a flash of light announced an Asgard joining them. While all in the research district was alerted to the arrival of an alien race allied to their cousins, seeing a living alien was something else completely.
"Dr. Rush? I assumed you would be in the main data core room? I was asked by general O'Neill to speed up the process you started."
"Em, yes. You are...?"
"I am Heimdall, geneticist of the Asgard. A Cylon by the name of D'Anna has already agreed to cooperate with my mission, but I will also honor O'Neill's request. Now, why are you here and not in the data core room?"
"Look at this." Rush showed him the Replicator block. Heimdall was immediately alerted.
"Where did you get this?"
All Rush could do was look at Baltar and Caprica, also wanting an explanation. They, still stunned at the sight of a living alien, were frozen on the spot. Things just got interesting.
New Kobol, admiral Adama's military office, minutes later
"Hmm, nice. Not entirely my taste, but nice none the less." O'Neill praised the drink the admiral just poured him in his office. The 2 veterans had gone here to discuss matters more privately.
"Heh. It's an acquired taste. Strangely, Saul, my XO, can't get enough of this stuff." Adama replied while taking a sip of his own. "Now, general Down to business. just the 2 of us and no political crap in the way. I have a feeling that this time pressure you keep mentioning is somehow militarily based. Am I right? An operation perhaps?"
"And that tells me you indeed are not a BS person. Yes, we have a large scale attack on Anubis planed. I can't go into details, but it will be a multipronged attack. we, our Jaffa friends and... reluctantly the other System Lords will be hitting multiple targets. Hopefully to knock him out of the game."
"And these Asgard? Or the other 2 races I keep hearing of?" Adama asked as he leaned into his chair.
"They have their own problems. The Furlings and Nox are enforcing the PPT, a treaty that defends planets that can't defend themselves, like a human civilization in the stone age, for instance. As for the Asgard... they have, well your scenario."
"Yeah, they are at war with this bug machine race called the Replicators. They didn't build them, we can only suspect that a primitive human civilization did, using Ancient knowledge. The Asgard just inherited the problem."
"Hmm, that might cause issues with the Cylons down the line. If they find out that another machine race is..."
"I would not worry about that. Harlan and his people tried to initiate contact. The bugs still just wanted to eat them. They don't care about anything else but to get their hands... or legs? Whatever, they want resources and technology. Nothing else."
"Well, I guess we'll see. Your proposal would definitely solve the abundance of military personnel we have. They could be put to better use with you."
"Yeah. After your son told us the basics of your story, I mean... shit you guys went thru hell and back. I mean, we had some close calls... but damn."
Wanting to change the subject, Adama remembered something.
"You said your divorced?"
"Because of your military carrier"
"Yes. And the fact that my son died."
Bill put his glass down and stopped for a moment, thinking how to respond to this.
"I guess we have more in common than I thought. My youngest, Zak, he died in flight school."
"He wanted to please his old man. but he was not a good pilot. should have dropped out, but... It's in the past. My marriage was dead long before that. My ex once said that I was married to that Iron woman I was commanding more than to her."
"Your old ship? Yes, your son told me about it. You could call it divine intervention of something like that. An outdated ship by your standards becomes your peoples life boat."
"She was a good ship. I started my carrier on her. Hoped to end it as well, but didn't quite work as planned."
"Life usually doesn't." They both finished their drinks.
"I have a request, if you could indulge an old man."
"Sure, but I mean, you're not exactly old. A bit older than me, but really."
Bill smiled at that compliment.
"Trying to butter this friendship, general?"
"Not really, it's just a fact. So, your request?"
"I want to be there, during your operation. This cooperation is, in my eyes, something that we can't and shouldn't stop, the religious morons and traditionalists be fraked. But I want to know what you are up against."
"That... shouldn't be a problem. We already had a similar request from a group of humans from the Pegasus galaxy, the Travelers."
"Yeah, they are nomadic. Been living on ships for thousands of years."
Bill froze for a moment. For millennia? He once feared that this might be a fate fotr his people, if their ships didn't fall apart before that.
"To not be eaten. In that galaxy, the Ancients lost a war against the Wraith 10.000 years ago. These Wraiths see you and me only as food. They never completely destroy a civilization, but thin them out for food and prevent them from developing and useful technologies. The Travelers just decided to be mobile before it was too late. And just like with you, we are trying to 'butter' the relations with them as well."
"Frak and all. In just under a day I learned of the horrors of this universe that make the Cylons look like a small joke."
O'Neill smiled at the admiral and waved with his empty glass, signaling that a refill was needed.
"Welcome to the big league, admiral. Welcome to our hell!"
New Kobol, central data hub building, 7 minutes later
Heimdall's presence did speed things up. Hawing an Asgard computer interface beamed down to ling New Kobol with his ship in orbit meant that they could search for the information as extreme speeds.
Heimdall beamed himself and the others to his ship to further accelerate things. Baltar and Caprica could only marvel at the smooth lines of the interior of the alien ship.
"Why not come with an O'Neill class, they are much more advanced?" Rush asked as he helped Heindall search.
"None were available. Besides, there was no indication of a need for military intervention, so another reason it was not needed. Besides, I believe that I found what you were looking for."
A long list of addresses of the Magellanic galaxies appeared. Both of them, addresses even the Colonials were not aware of before. But there was a short list that was separated and different that caught Baltar's eye.
"Why do these have 8 symbols?"
"8 chevrons are needed to dial another galaxy or in this case another gate system. These galaxies are close to one another, but they still have independent gate systems. I believe the first is Earth, the second New Terra. The others are Heliopolis and what you now cal Hoth system. However... there is something else of interest here." Heimdall accessed another data package. "Terraforming satelites facility. Interesting. With this we might one day stabilize the orbit of Heliopolis."
Rush had a look at this data.
"Not only that. There are several of those satellites present. They could be valuable in our terraforming projects."
"Then there is also this. It is heavily encrypted. It also originates from the natural moon where the docking bay for those exploration ships and terraforming satellites is. The Destiny initiative?" On the screen a ship was displayed. One no one recognized.
"I found something on the Destiny initiative but didn't get anywhere with it. What is it?" Baltar asked the Adgard.
"Do not know, yet. I will need time to analyze all of this, but it seems the Ancients found something rather interesting millions of years ago. The High Council will be intrigued. I will, of course, share any and all data I unlock. For now, I suggest I return you to the surface. You should be able to dial New Terra now."
"What about you and D'Anna beginning the exchange of information you mentioned." Caprica remembered the alien saying something like that. As if to answer her, D'Anna and Cavil in a wheelchair were beamed up that moment. "Oh, D'Anna and... what the frak... Cavil?"
"Nice to see you to, Caprica. As well as your man toy. Yes, it's me. At least the upper half. Now, if you don't mind, I think we have some work to do with, in a way, another of our progenitors. Even if they are unintentional."
New Kobol, ring room, minutes later
It had taken a few minutes for Baltar and Caprica to contact everyone that would want to be present at their first attempt at calling New Terra. The gate began dialing.
"To think that 8 symbols are needed to dial another ring system. How... simplistic in its own way." Baltar talked to himself, admiring the sight in front of him.
"If it is so simple, why didn't you solve it yourself? Besides, your symbols are completely different to ours. Every gate system has its own symbols, so that complicate things." Rush wanted to get him to stop daydreaming.
The Stargate reached the 7th chevron and continued to the 8th one.
"It's true. The 7th didn't trigger it." Caprica also admired it.
"Symbol 8 locked." the dialing officer announced. The gate activated and established a stable wormhole. After a few seconds, cheers erupted in the room.
"Finally." Laura exhaled. Admiral Adama on the other hand remained calm and collected.
"I doubt we can just go thru it, right? You have some security measures?" he asked O'Neill.
"Yeah, an iris several microns over the horizon. You go when it's up and you die." O'Neill then took his communicator and activated it. Adama in the meantime made a mental note to ask the general if they could get such a security measure.
"New Terra. This is general O'Neill. Security code sierra bravo 761101 charlie 107. copy?"
"Jack. You having a collect long distance call?" the voice from the other side asked with humor.
"Hank? No, no worries, these people are covered, no need to collect." Jack fired back. "You got the gate address from the connection?"
"We do. We can now dial anytime ourselves. Good job. So, how are the natives?"
"In a way, restless. Some are eager to go visit us now, while others want nothing to do with us. Fortunately, those are in the minority. Hank, we should come ASAP, these people could solve many of our current problems and we theirs. Get some of the pencil pusher off of their asses. And the fleet admiral."
"Will do. Woolsey is already here for the Travelers, might kill 2 birds with one stone then. anything unpredicted happened?"
"Yes. The Asgard sent Heimdall here for... stuff. This don't call us arrangement is getting old. Remind me to post a formal protest with Thor when this is over."
"Might take a while for that, Jack. Anyway, the iris is open. You are green to go."
O'Neill turned to the Colonials and Cylons.
Laura turned to the admiral who just nodded. He was still concerned, but that was his job. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. Then she turned to the Quorum members. Most of them were as eager as she was, with the usual exception.
"Then let's go, general."
New Terra, seconds later
The people began pouring thru the gate. Landry did not have time to prepare a ceremonial reception, but they were under time pressure. They would skip this and redo it later.
Laura was one of the first to arrive. While the architecture was fantastic, she saw the resemblance to their city. They were greeted by armed security personnel as well as a man in a similar uniform as general O'Neill. Said man stepped forward and saluted the Colonial military personnel, mostly the admiral. He returned the salute.
"Welcome to New Terra. I'm general Hank Landry, Co of this Stargate base. Sorry for the mess, we were not expecting such a fast response from you."
"General. This is the Colonial military CO, admiral Adama. I think we should go see Yao ASAP and let the politicians do their stuff." O'Neill suggested.
"I agree with the general, as long as you guarantee my peoples safety." Adama added.
"Any we guarantee that, no problem. Jack, Woolsey is already here fot the Traveler meeting, might as well attach these people to that. He won't like it..."
"He'll live. He lives for things like this. Now, Harlan, you go with these people and try not to be yourself." He then turned to D'Anna. "Sorry, but your... mechanized friends have to stay here, security reasons. I hope you understand. If things work out, we'll change that, but giant robots with machine guns for arms... make people uneasy."
"I understand, general. They will comply."
O'Neill nodded and motioned the guards to escort the Colonial delegation to their destination, the Terra Council building.
"Now, admiral you and your people follow us, OK? Rush, you..."
"I'm going back to the R&D sector. I think I might have some information from the Colonials blind walking with the quantum mirror that might get Eli so fall over, for a change. And this Destiny initiative."
Hearing where the terran doctor was heading, Baltar saw his chance. Adama cut him off.
"You are coming with me, for now, doctor. If things work out, I'll let you off the leash. Until then, the preverbal leash stays."
Baltar said nothing, but had a displeased look.
"One day you have to tell me how you did that. Put a leash on someone like him. Would love to do that to one or two people." O'Neill said, walking along the Adama to the transporter booth.
"Helps to have dirt on him."
New Terra, military HQ, minute later
As they stepped out of the booth and the transporter building, the Colonials looked around themselves, eyes wide.
"Frak me, dad."
"My words exactly, Lee.
"Admiral, look!" Baltar pointed to the ships seen in the distance, hovering slightly over the city, construction platforms hovering next to them. The one massive ship caught their exe.
"You are building something so massive?" Adama looked at the 2 generals.
"That? It's an Aurora class. The best ship the ancients had in their war with the Wraiths. We are just repairing her and pimping her a bit." O'Neill smiled, thinking at the pimping part.
"But didn't you say the Builders lost that war?"
"Only because they had less ships. That one can take on a battle 10 against her and win, but the Wraiths could do 20 against her or even more. Besides, the Wraiths are currently hibernating best time to find anything useful against them." Landry added.
Before they could continue, Lee spotted someone.
"Dad, it's Kara!"
Indeed it was. Kara, Felix and several other Colonials from the Pathfinder were sitting in a cafe at the edge f the military plaza, having a talk with Teran military personnel, most of them looking like kids. But one of them caught the Colonial eye.
"That is... you?" the admiral asked O'Neill. "Your android counterpart?"
"What is he doing here with the trainees? Hank, let's make a detour."
During that exchange, they were spotted by Kara.
"Frak, Lee, admiral! You made it! You found the addresses!?" she waved franticly.
Bill smiled, seeing Kara smile again. She was all gloomy for months and no one knew why.
"Good to see you too, captain. You making friends I see?" She nodded. "And Sam?"
"The operation went well, he's recovering, but will remain for observation for a day or two. Apparently had a massive headache." She then turns to Felix. "They also fixed Felix up, so no chopping any limbs off."
"Not funny, Kara!"
During all of this general O'Neill looks to his android counterpart.
"You had one job! Slacking off is not it. These not cadet's anymore need seasoning!"
"Hey, the kids needed some time off and since we have so much traffic here, why not socialize with some guests?" colonel O'Neill nods to SGA-1 and the Traveler captain as well as the Colonials and the rest of SG-1.
It was an interesting sight.
"Yes, that's what I said. Besides, look at this. This just jells for a blonds in a bar joke." Mitchell snickered as he took another drink. Carter, both of them, Larrin, Kara and Anise. Sheppard, who just finished his, smiled. Until Larrin smiled back at him with a grin, making Sheppard stop smiling.
"Besides, we were exchanging stories. You Colonials and we have some things in common, except we were stuck to our ships for far longer than a few years." Larrin said. "And I like you captain Thrace's attitude. would make a good Traveler captain."
"You mean the insubordinate part?" Lee jokes. Larin did not smile.
"The being tough part, daddy's boy." She finishes hr drink and stands up. "Shouldn't we be going to your fleet admiral already?" she asks Sheppard.
"She has some tactical data to look over on the OP we are planning. We can't just budge..."
"I think Hank and I can make that happen, so let's go." General O'Neill said. "You..." he points at colonel O'Neill. " ...get the team back into simulator or something, they've slacked off enough. Carter... my Carter, shouldn't you get ready for the OP?"
"We had some time to kill, sir. Some last minute changes. Valla was taken off the team and we got colonel Fisher instead."
"Why was she taken... She did something, right?"
"Yes. You don't want to know. She's in the brig for three days on bread and water. Something about embarrassing an admiral."
"Don't. Want. To. Know. Admiral, Larrin, let's go."
New Terra, military HQ, fleet admiral Yao's office, minutes later
Yao hated it. The new info they got was showing a problem in their strategy. Anubis, not your typical Goa'uld. He does not just act, but reacts good as well. This new Zat frigate, as the military people had named it, was a direct response to the Terans superiority in the missile and fighter field.
It was armed with large scale Zat weapons, designed for anti missile and fighter role. The frigate was garbage against larger capital ship, but was a nightmare for the things she was designed to counter. Her success in the past month has convinced Anubis to install these weapons on larger ships. He had to sacrifice some existing weapon ports that were occupied with staff weapons and exchange them with these new ones. The weapon had limited range but fast fire rate and an arcing energy weapon.
This ship was also not the traditional pyramid design. Another indicator that Anubis was more practical than the other Goa'uld.
Now Yao had to refine her strategy. And she hated it. Having to now entertain these 'guests' was not something she had time for either!
"Admiral, excuse for disturbing, but general O'Neill and Landry are here to see you." her secretary announced thru the comm system.
She sighed and pinched her nose.
"Let them in, I can guess what this is about."
And she was right. as she expected, the Traveler commander and Colonial admiral. Great. But she remained civil.
"Generals, miss Larrin, admiral. Welcome. sorry for the mess and lack of time, but I have been burning the midnight oil for this... mess of an operation it is turning out to be."
Her guests saw the large holographic display of the galaxy, locations, positions, information on enemy strengths... the works. Larrin, while intrigued, was not really the strategist type. Adama on the other hand was in his element. Planning and executing.
"Admiral Yao? I am William Adama, the CO of the combined Colonial and Cylon forces. It is a pleasure to meet you." He then saluted her. She returned the salute.
"Nice to meet you too admiral. As you can see, or not. I have a problem to solve here, so I don't have much time. You want front row seats for this OP?" she looks both at him and Larrin. "fine, as long as you and your people don't get in the way. Anything else?"
Larrin, while satisfied, wanted more.
"I want some details before I say yes, admiral."
"As do I. but perhaps if you explain your situation and problem to me, I could be of some help. Granted, I never had dealings with such technology or a galaxy wide conflict, but I was in 2 wars and have decades of experience. I want to help, if you let me."
Yao began thinking. Why not? Maybe a fresh pair of eyes could spot something she missed. She activated her comm to call her assistant, ordering coffee, tea and something to eat. This might be a long evening.
New Kobol, high orbit, 1 day later
Helo was nervous. The admiral, president and the other members of the Quorum returned from their trip. They were optimistic. The terrans needed the Phoenix to return, fast. so as a sign of gratitude for the supplies their cousins had already sent, he decided to give some back. The ring was too big, but the Phoenix was just right for this cargo. Their cousins were interested in their ship and fighter designs as well as their FTl method. outdated they may be, but they were battle proven and perhaps updated with the state of the art terran technology, would be useful again. so he had one of their Raptors and Vipers as well as a Raider who's AI died, shipped to the Phoenix. Sharon and Hera were back to New Kobol after 'visiting' Heimdalls ship. There a few cell's were taken, for study, as well as bimolecular scans of their bodies performed.
Now Helo had the task to 'escort' the cargo to its destination. Admiral Adama, who was also standing in the hangar of the Phoenix, just signed off the delivery and approached him.
"No problem, Karl. just babysitting duty. Then you return thru the ring. just need one of us officially to oversee this."
"Understood, sir. When will the Pathfinder return?"
"She's on New Terra now. They want to get a look at her, her reactor, FTL, fuel gathering method and shielding. but if all goes good, we will have many of their engineers and builders stationed here. maybe with time, even living here. They want to use our shipbuilding installations here to construct destroyers and slammer ships, freeing up capacity on New Terra for the larger cruisers."
"Ad this mission you'll go on?"
"In a day or two. I'm only an observer there, along with Lee and Kara. You might get to take Sam back with you, if he's going to be fine by then. Felix will take the Pathfinder back, once they are done with her. Now, safe journey, major!" he saluted Helo, who returned the salute.
Minutes later, in space, the Phoenix turned about and entered hyperspace.
Terran flag ship BB-501 Excalibur, Terran task force, en route, hyperspace, now
They all stood on the bridge, looking out the main view port. There they saw other ships. Other 501's, cruisers, destroyers and the rest. This was it. Admiral Vix was in command, looking over all the information arriving like a hawk. He didn't mind the guests, as long at they did not slow his work down.
"Admiral, 6 minutes." the nav officer reported.
"Hope your plan works, Yao." Vix muttered.
Anubis command ship, planet Delmak high orbit, same time
Anubis was standing on his ship's Pel'tac, looking out the main view port. He was waiting for an update. He was expecting one. And he got one. The control panel alerted him to a comm request.
"Her'ak, I expect only good news."
"And I give good news, my lord. As you predicted, a Tereran fleet is approaching Demos in hyperspace."
If Anubis still had a face, he would smile.
"Good. The terrans will fall before me there. I gave you my flagship to cripple them. They are the biggest threat. Do not disappoint me."
"I will kill them all in your name, my lord." Her'ak announced, bowed down and deactivated the comm link.
Anubis then looked at the overall state of the galaxy as he switched the display to that of the galaxy. His commander in Xi has detected the System Lords and the one in Renan detected another Goa'uld fleet, or as he now knew, a fleet from the traitorous Jaffa. There was also something approaching Korinaros, but he ignored it, knowing that it was a distraction. The traitor did his work well. Anubis turned around, facing his mole who was flanked by 2 Kull solders.
"You have done well."
Zat frigate: Design used from the mod for the game Homeworld remastered. A small anti fighter and missile ship.
Phoenix class BC -402: Fast battle cruiser. Fast in hyperspace and with sub light engines. For fast responses and hard strikes. Possesses great forward firing arks. A fast strike and retreat ship, not a brawler. Possesses more limited fighter and troop capacity, but integrates new technologies, like a reverse engineered Wraith transporter for cargo storage, quantum sensors for greater range and detail as well as anti cloaking capabilities (not against Ancient cloak). Also possesses an improved hyperdrive that can be pushed hard for a limited time by rerouting most of the ships energy into it. Far more streamlined than the 401's with smoother edges. Based on an artwork named Valkyrie on Deviant art.