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 23: Breaking the wheel, part 5: You can't defeat the reapers of souls.
New Heliopolis, minutes later
Laura, Woolsey, Baltar and allot of other people arrived in the 2nd wave. And the reaction was the same as with the first wave. Just jaws to the floor syndrome.
"Where are Lee and the others?" Was Laura's first question after the shock subsided.
"I sent them to the other command hubs as well as the poles of this quarter of the ring." Was Rush's response, as he was preoccupied with taking in as much data as possible. Of course he groaned on the spot when his newest annoyance joined him. Again. Baltar.
"Do you mind?" he asked the Colonial scientist as he pushed him partially to the side to get a good view himself.
"I do actually."
Rush turned his look to Laura. "What was that about a leash?"
Laura sighed. "He always gets it off."
"Might I suggest a flea collar? Or neutering?"
Baltar stopped looking at the display and turned his attention to Rush. He was not amused at that jab. "Like you're the one to talk."
"I don't neglect my work or responsibilities."
"Now listen here…"
"Shut up, both of you!" Greer snapped at them. "Not just me, but we all…" he begins to point to everyone in the gate room."… are getting sick and tired of both of your shit!"
"You forget yourself, master sergeant!"
"But I tend to agree with him." Laura entered the conversation. "Gaius. Let the Earth scientist do his thing! There has to be something else that peaks your interest? Either that or back to New Kobol for that INVENTORY mess we still have! Don't make me regret I did not insist on the Terran security officers to sun you and drag you to the conference!"
Baltar stood up and grumbled. On the other side of the gate room future Mary just chuckled. As Baltar left for the lower levels with a Colonial escort and the others, centurions included, spread out to see if this city was really abandoned, only a few remained in the gate room. Laura, for the first time noticed future Mary.
"You helped getting here, right? I'm Laura." She offered her hand.
Mary shook her hand, knowing all too well who she was, but had to keep up appearances.
"Umm, hi. I'm Janet. I am an assistant in research. Basically stumbled onto this info. Sorry. Nothing too fancy of a story." It was a lie of necessity. She still remembers how the Laura she knew reacted to the whole 'time travel is possible' bomb. Until Yao tells her otherwise, her lips are sealed. And technically it was not a lie. Her full name is Mary Janet Stone and she did assist Eli in her time as much as she could. Scientist being scares in that future and all. So she did learn some things there. Including Eli's plan to alter the future. He was in fact the one who found the only loop hole Janus left behind in the gate system to initiate a time jump with the help of a solar flair. Then again that might have been Janus plan all along.
"Nice to meet you. Care if I ask what amused you so much?"
"You mean besides Groucho and Crapo? All we're missing is Whino."
Laura did not get the joke.
"Emm, the three Stooges? Thou your Baltar is more like 'A case in sexual harassment' type. Maybe two and a half men then?"
"Sorry, but I don't get that reference. Is it from Earth?"
"Yes. Why don't… Oh yeah, sorry." For a minute Mary had forgotten this Laura did not see any of Earth so called culture yet. Unlike her Laura. She had to keep it together or she might blow her cover. "Sorry, forgot how big the galaxy has become lately."
"Or beyond it, right?" Laura smiled back. But she did not buy the routine. So many lies after the fall and plans behind her back had hardened her to such things. She also did not buy the story how this woman found the clues on this place. Something was off.
"Anyway, everyone's facial expression when they arrive plus those 2 and who needs any more entertainment?"
Laura nodded and went outside to enjoy the view. Mary on the other stopped holding her breath and went to see how Rush was doing.
"So. Everything good, doc?"
"Fine. Just a bit busy as you can see. Wish we had a ship here to help us chart this system and ring more effectively."
"Yeahhhhh. About that. Remember the 3rd set of data you got from me on the crystal?"
"The coordinates in space?"
"Yes. And the thing the coordinates lead's to has a brother here. Look." She took charge of the terminal he was working on. She imputed a command code she got from her Eli after he broke the code, it gave them full control of the entire ring. But there was something else. The ring was controlling a station in low orbit of the star. As the display showed the station, Rush began looking at the corresponding data.
"What is that?"
"A hyperspace jump station."
"Well the technical term is a hyperspace acceleration station. It is linked with the one near New Kobol, one in the large Magellan galaxy and there is even one at the edge of the Milky Way. Their purpose is to accelerate a ship's hyperdrive engines to the targeted location. One can only use them if one 'jumps' to another station. That is their main limitation. That and power, so they are positioned over stars to use as a fuel source. As you can see…" she points to the image of the station, as it's lower tip was in a way connected to a small stream of plasma to the star"… they are linked to the star."
Rush processed the information. "So you are telling me that… we can send ship from here to any of the other locations in… what?"
"Beats hours or days, right?"
"Fascinating. But why only there? Why have they not built a network of them? And why are they only around red dwarfs?" He had to ask as he saw the data on the other stations. They were all in the proximity of such stars.
"Longevity. As you know such stars last the longest. That and not much more power was needed. They do have a range limit of around 300.000 light years. So if you thought of making one here and one in Pegasus… good luck. I have no idea how to make them. As for why not more? No idea. We only learned that in both cases the Ancients got ideas from outer sources."
"The ring world idea apparently originated from the NGC 300 galaxy. The hyperspace station idea from the Andromeda galaxy. There are also some references to the Triangulum galaxy in there, but we never learned anything more. You know, priorities."
That meant only one thing for Rush. The Ancients were there at some point. And they interacted with civilizations there. But why was all the data on that missing? Just like the one on the Wraith or Ori? Were the Ancients hiding something? Or protecting everyone by hiding this knowledge?
Indra system, Pegasus galaxy, same time
Rodney moved to the lower levels of Indra cityship with a military escort. To say that the Replicator bugs gave the team something to adjust to was an understatement. The bugs moved aside whenever a team member crossed paths with it, but it was still unsettling. They arrived to the main Replicator control room. It was one level above the ZPM room. In it was a massive computer core that controlled all the Replicators on the planet. Rodney was already at work at the main access terminal.
"Hmm. Rodney to Sheppard."
"I have the answer as to why the city still has some power, ZPM's or not. It has a geothermal backup power supply. But it provides no more than the power needed to supply the control computer for the bugs and the lights in the city."
"So for the bugs to perform any task, encoded or not, a ZPM is needed?"
"Yep. Pretty much. The way they are now they only defend this place and nothing more. How's it going up there?"
"Colonel Marshall and Weir returned to Atlantis when we informed them of this find. They'll arrive in moments. Have fun down there."
"Will definitely have more fun than you." Rodney smirked as he tried to return to work. Only now a Replicator was standing on the terminal he was working, "Hey you, get lost. Shooo!" Rodney ordered the bug to react. And it did as it moved off." Wonder if I can give one of you to Jeannie as a house pet? She always wanted a dog during our childhood. Plus no fur, no drool, no barking. And no teaching, only reprogramming. Huh, where were you during my childhood? All those bullies. Would not have been so smart assed if I programmed one of you to eat their faces…"
Tritis system, same time
6 Ha'tak's landed on clear landing areas near the former base that belonged to Anubis. The command Ko'tak followed. Fortunately for them the landing pyramids were not affected by the blasts. They were not considered a priority target for nuking. Or a target at all.
The Ba'al clone was waiting on the Pel'tak, getting more and more restless by the minute. The Jaffa who questioned him minutes earlier entered the Pel'tak and kneeled.
"My lord. We are still searching the ruins. Nothing of any material value so far. In fact the main vault has been destroyed by the large lava river."
"Then I hope you have any good news to report. For your sake."
"I do, my lord." He stood up and ordered the 2 escort Jaffa to join him. They had a restrained prisoner with them. "My lord, we found the head scientist Thoth."
Ba'al now turned to them, ignoring the Jaffa before this moment. He looked at Thoth. He was in bad shape. Bleeding, burned, dirty. A surprise he was alive at all. "Thoth. I believe we know each other, correct? You were a genius even back then. You created the sarcophagus for Anubis after he failed to steal the prototype."
"I… "cough" I doubt I was brought here to refresh old memories."
"No, you were brought here to either work for me, or we throw you back out there. There you choose. Lava or radiation. If you work for me, you will be handsomely rewarded. Perhaps even a new host, as this one is badly injured." Thoth did not react. He remained defiant. "You will change your mind. A few days or months of torture… and you WILL change your mind." Ba'al reminded him of the Goa'uld way of solving things. "Take him to the sarcophagus. He needs his strength for our first session."
As the Jaffa began dragging him out, he turned around to shout at Ba'al. "You have no idea what Anubis will do or is capable of! You may be smarter than the average Goa'uld, but you are still only 2nd best!"
As Thoth was dragged off the Pe'tak, Ba'al turned back to the display showing him the status of the base and its surroundings. He began relaying new orders to his Jaffa in the field over the consoles. There was a large complex build into the mountain. And it was mostly intact. For some reason whatever weapons the humans used did nothing there. A failure? Or perhaps Anubis planned ahead?
Delmak, high orbit, same time
The tension on the Pel'tak on the command ship was so tense, you could cut it. Her'ak, as all other Jaffa and Kull were kneeling. Waiting to find out what the next move will be. And their god screamed. The rage was getting to him. He was just informed of Tritis. Tritis, Delmak, his fleet, his shipyards... This was not as he had planned. Now he was down to less than half a dozen power amplification crystals. And the ones on his command ship.
He sat on his throne. "He'rak. Rise." Her'ak did as ordered. "You did well. The only one who did?"
"My lord. I live to serve."
"I know. This assault was... unsettling. The System lords working with... those Shol'va and Tau'ri! But this... commanding officer of the Tau'ri fleet. Cunning. Bold. Enraging." Anubis stood up and motioned Her'ak to follow him. "This is not over Her'ak. Take command of my remaining forces here. I will use the Chappa'ai and go to my remaining base and send a fleet with parts to restore my command ship to full capacity."
"Yes, my lord." Her'ak acknowledged the orders. "If I may ask, how long will it take?"
"Do not question me. The humans may have won a victory here but paid a price. I am far more concerned about my invasions of the other System lords. I will take command there. As for Delamk... it's a dead world now. If anyone else wants it, they can have it. It served it's purpose. Once the ship is repaired, retreat and regroup with my remaining forces."
"As you will, my lord." Her'ak bowed in the corridor they were walking in and turned around to return to the Pel'tak to take charge, as ordered.
New Terra, minutes later
The gate activated. Hank was back to receive the travellers. The gate room was packed with security and other personnel.
"Hope they had more luck than our attack force." Hank said to no one in particular as they received the SG-1 code. As the iris retracted, a puddle jumper flew thru and landed a few meters away. "Stand down everyone."
The guards did as ordered. The jumper's doors began lowering themselves as the general and the security detail saw the interior. Packed to capacity.
"Welcome back. Mission successful?"
The answer he got was a display of their stolen goods. And prisoners. The 2 Sodan Jaffa exited the jumper first, holding their Goa'uld prisoner at each end. She was not just gagged, but also blindfolded, as to not give her the opportunity to get any gate addresses. The jumper was launched off the Vigilant in a system near Tritis that had a stargate. They could not wait to get the content to New Terra. And the Vigilant was needed elsewhere, not to do a delivery tour.
Jolan pulled the hood off of her head, revealing a really pissed off Gao'uld.
Hank smiled at the sight. "Welcome to New Terra. We had a few 'gods' as guests here, but their stay was brief. You on the other hands..." he steppes closer, signalling the marines to take over from Jolan and Volnek. "... we still have many questions. Take her away!"
"Make sure to give the five star cell." Vala joked from the back of the jumper as the rest was getting off the ship and beginning to unload the cargo.
"You mean the one you got for that 'incident'?" Mitchell joked.
"A misunderstanding at best, darling. Now, if you help me carry this gold and gems, I'll give you 10%"
"What makes you think you'll get to keep any of that?" Mitchell continued.
"My question exactly." the general added as the marines began helping the unloading process. The one thing that was most difficult to move was the still living Kull. During the raid in the vault, one of the Kulls was stunned with the specially prepared chemical mix. They kept him on the stuff to make sure he/it doesn't wake up and they had to keep t that way, so moving it was a pain.
Carter and Fisher let the rest of the group continue the unloading while they wanted to speak with the general.
"Sir, any news from the front?" Carter wanted to know, beating Fisher to the punch.
Landry looked at the dialling room, motioning them to follow him. He could not just say things out loud. When they arrived in the isolated room, he began. "Went in a way similar to yours. At least the Delmak task force. Everywhere else it went as planned."
Carter and Fisher got tense. "Our BBQ was crashed by Ba'al. What about Delmak? What went wrong?" was Fisher's question.
"Anubis had power amplification crystals on his 2nd command ship. He used it to counter our asteroid plan. Then Vix got knocked out and to make matters worse, the main command ship we lured away, got back faster than anticipated."
"He burned out his hyperdrive didn't he?" Sam made an educated guess of the situation. Hank nodded in confirmation. "And all of this after McKay and me warned HQ of this possibility!"
"It was a calculated risk colonel. Either risk it or play it safe all the time. Only the latter won't get the job done." Fisher defended that decision. He more than most understood the risks anyone in the military or special forces takes on a daily bases. And wars without deaths are not a reality.
"HQ agreed with that. But now we are sending the 2 Aurora's back there." Hank saw the confused looks on the 2 officers. "Once Vix was out of the picture, the Colonial admiral took command. He above everything else made sure we got the victory we needed there. The losses suffered could have been minimized if our own people had either listened to him and fallen back, instead of playing hero, or not second guessed him and wasting precious time." Hank took a breath. He hated politics as well as this potential infighting of the flag officers. Some supporting Adama's idea, others being against it. "In my opinion he did better than most would. Anyway, it was his idea to go back and finish the command ship off since it is stuck there. Now to our business here. Fisher, you and your men are to get some rest. Same will go for our Jaffa allies. As for you Carter. No rest for the wicked."
Fisher saluted and made his exit out of the room. He was glad to get some R&R. Carter however got curious. "Sir, what do you mean with that?"
Hank sighed. This will be tricky. "You are needed in Atlantis. They... made a troubling discovery, to put it lightly. 2 in fact, but one is on the hold for the moment. And 2 more were made in the Colonial backyard, but that can also wait. Rush is with the Colonials, McKay in Pegasus, but Pegasus has priority."
"Can you get into detail?"
"Not here. Before your departure, go to R&D HQ and deliver the data you got from Anubis personally to Narim. There is... someone waiting there for you."
"Best you see it for yourself. Dismissed."
Hank went back to the gate room to oversee the unloading of the jumper. Carter was left with questions she knew she would not get answered by just standing there. So she retrieved the case with the data crystals and went to the transporter hub. During all of this, Mitchell was taking charge of the prisoner.
"I'll escort our marines to the military holding cells. So if Vala can behave..."
"Only if they let me keep some of my loot!"
"... then I'm off." He also saluted the general and left with the squad of marines and Athena.
Vala was still looking over the goods she got, displaying them on the ground. Landry got annoyed by her antics. "Get that stuff off the ground and out of the room, or I will confiscate them for real!"
She huffed. No one was taking her prize. "Fine darling. But as you can see it is a bit much for me alone... so some help would be appreciated boys." She turns to the rest of the marines unloading the jumper. The men smiled at her, but their female commander just shook her head. The general too shook his head.
"Fine, marines, help Miss Vala to... move her cargo to whatever location she deems worthy for her needs. I personally would suggest a bank. Or museum." as he turns to let the solders do their work, he remembers something. "You might want to accompany Mitchell to the military holding cells. There will be an interesting reunion there."
New Heliopolis, same time
To be able to say that now they have seen everything was an understatement for Lee and Karl. They went with the Terran SG teams to the 3 other hubs. To see the different building styles, languages, architecture... so much to see. So many possibilities. The ring itself included. It was now also becoming clearer that not only plants and animals from Earth were present in the rings ecosystem. Many life forms which never saw each other in real life for obvious reasons were now separated by massive oceanic masses.
At this moment he and Karl were overlooking a massive forest from the spire of the hub they were in. It belonged to the Nox as the Terran scientists realized. The endless forests and trees larger than any he ever saw in the Colonies. Made sense to him. From what info he got on the four great races, the Nox were pacifists and nature lovers above all else. Not that he mind. He liked the calm and peaceful atmosphere. With the occasional roar from that... floating creature they saw in the forests below. One that had no wings, yet could hover, fly and turn invisible. Damn that was a scary thought. The really weird thing was that the Nox hub itself was also floating. Several hundred meters above the ground surface.
"Ever thought to see a place like this, Karl?"
"Frak me. This has more trees and green that all the planets in the Colonies could scrape together."
"Far more than that. Rush estimates that the interior surface of the ring has a surface area several thousand times larger than the surface area of our colonies combined. Including all the planets, not just the habitable ones!"
Karl pushed himself from the rails he and Lee were leaning on to look at the forest below and just stared at his friend. "You kidding me? I mean, the gas giants as well? You got to be fraking with me... right?"
"Wish I was. This place... is like the Elysium fields. Well, if you are religious anyway. The more we see, the more I question everything we thought."
"You and me both. Remember the Asgard hub? Blue plants. I mean what? Why blue? Or the Furlings with their tundra and crystal patch."
"Can't expect life thru the stars to be the same we are accustomed to. It seems that only because the Ancients used more or less the same template in their terraforming attempts are these worlds so similar. And I heard there are silicon, sulphuric, crystal, electric and metallic life forms out there in the universe as well."
Before Karl could answer, they both got a shock of their life. A roar from not too far away shook them from their conversation. Moments later, the flying creature they were observing minutes before, flew vertically past them into the sky.
"Frak... the thing scared the hell out of me!" Karl screamed, getting off the floor again. Lee was not better off, but he smiled.
"If this is our greatest problem now, I'll take it. A flying herbivore scaring us versus being chased by Cylons."
Karl chuckled as well. "Point. This place would be paradise indeed... if only..."
"A moon. I miss a moon in the sky during the night."
"We are on a ring world and that is your problem with it?" Lee shook his head, not believing that statement.
"Well, I'm just that picky."
"Looking at your taste in women, I believe that." Lee teased him as he made his way back inside.
"Oh, it's like that now is it?" Karl replied as he followed him.
"Oh yeah, it is."
In the northern 'pole' of the Ancient hub area Baltar and several Colonials and Centurions were looking over the docking ports and hangars. And what hangars and docking facilities they were. Some hangars were large enough to house not just Battlestars but even the never produced Warstars the Colonials had plans for, if their 'beloved' president Adar had not cut the military budget. And on some level they agreed that putting all of your eggs into one basket mentality was self defeating, but having at least one or two would have been a large boost to their confidence. In the end it would have mattered little, they were susceptible to the same flaws that destroyed their beloved Battlestars. Inequality in cyber warfare.
"And here I thought that New Kobol was impressive in orbit and on the moon, but this..." Baltar could not stop grinning. These Ancients were getting more impressive with each new discovery. The only bad news here was that all of the fleet capacity here was intended for maintenance and loading/unloading, not construction.
How he wished they found all of this prior to the fall, when he had allot more credibility and influence. All the Colonial scientist he would be authorise to order around. The military being at his beck and call. But here he was... just another scientist. One at the beck and call of others. It irked him to no end.
How he wished that whoever was responsible for making the Discovery stop in front of the fleet to have done that years earlier. The Discovery… "Wait a minute! The DISCOVERY. It all started with her. The entire chain of events that brought us here. If it hadn't happened we would have been in the same situation as the 'us' from that other universe. And when we mentioned this to the Terran council… they were not as surprised as I thought. I could attribute this to them having more experience with the builders… or Ancients. But this Rush, the fat kit, the whiny lemon allergic and… uhhh that blond woman. Me, her, that blond Tok'ra and Caprica in one room… Wait! Getting off topic! They always act as if they know more than they let on? This is more than them just having more experience with situations like this. Perhaps they even know who send the Discovery… and why then? Why not prior to the fall… THE FALL. Why let the Colonies fall at all? This is interesting indeed. Better not tell Laura or she will just think I'm looking for excuses."
"We should continue with our search doctor." The lead centurion said as Baltar got out of his thoughts. He just nodded.
"Your right. Docking space, as fascinating as it is, gets boring. Let's continue."
New Terra, military holding wing, minutes later
Vala caught up with Mitchell who was escorting the marines with their prisoner.
"Why are you here Vala?"
"Relax 'Shaft'. The general suggested I would want to see something here. No clue on what it is."
They passed the last checkpoint and entered the high security area. Armed guards, force fields, life signs and anti-clocking scanners… basically the works. Everything was like an escape proof prison should be… with the exception of one person that stood out like a sore thumb.
The 'best bounty hunter in the galaxy' had finished a chat with the colonel in charge of this facility. It seems he transferred something on Aris personal PDA, which made him smile.
"Nice doing business with you, colonel. Ah, Colonel Mitchell and… Quetesh?"
"Wrong woman, darling. She is dead. I'm her host. Didn't get the memo?"
Aris smirked as he put his PDA into his armoured suit. "Was out in the galaxy for months, so no, didn't get the latest updates. You know, business is blooming and the underworld is full of chatter."
"Speaking of underworld…" Mitchell went past Aris to the prison warden. "We bring a new prisoner. High priority." He hands the PDA with the instructions from Landry.
"Yes, was already informed." The Warden took the orders and looked them over. "Athena? What is it today with Greek BS getting delivered to me?"
"I just paid Boch the bounty we put on Ares. With the mess out there and Anubis attacking everyone, Boch took the opportunity of the confusion…"
"And snatched the lesser System lord from his palace. Wasn't easy. But worth it." Aris pronounced proudly. Then looked at Vala. "You got Athena?"
Vala just pointed at the blond woman flanked by marines behind her. "Yep. Right from Anubis nose while Ba'al unintentionally provided the distraction. Right, darling?" Vala annoyed her 'old friend'. Athena could only glare back at her.
"Oh right." Vala went to remove her gag. "There. Go ahead and threaten me now."
Athena's eyes glowed in rage. "You will suffer endlessly for this, Quetesh!"
"Uhhh, are you getting senile in your old age? Vala, not Quetesh. I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here!"
The warden joined the group to look over the latest prisoner. "You can chat later. Marines." The marines turned her over to the prison guards. "Take her to the cell next to Ares. I believe they have allot to talk about."
Vala's smile got bigger. "Oh I so have to see this. Can I?"
Mitchell and the warden just looked at each other and shook their heads.
"We can always put you back here if you do something stupid. Like last time." Mitchell reminded her of her last time she was here. As Vala went to see the upcoming threat and insult show, Mitchell escorted Aris out. "By the way, not that we don't appreciate this, but why not grab a, oh I don't know, Goa'uld a bit higher up the food chain?"
"Ever since your public executions of some of the System lords that kicked the Jaffa rebellion into high gear, they got really paranoid on personal security. Grabbing a small fish like him is possible. But even with a distraction like this, someone like Ba'al… not happening. Not when you don't know which bastard is the real one."
"Oh shit. The clone thing, right."
Aris nodded. Anubis can't be captured cause of the half ascended thing, Ba'al... well Aris, like any bounty hunter is not paid by the dozens. He only gets paid if he can prove he got the real deal.
New Terra, R&D HQ, same time
"Nice work Sam." Narim smiled in his usual calm nice guy demeanour. She just handed him the entire batch of data crystals in his office. Several scientists had interfaced them in a specially made interface for Goa'uld tech. As well as to check them for viruses and anything else. Anubis was notorious for this, so they were not taking any chances with it. Sam's android self and Anise were also present, helping where they could. During all of this Narim was behind his desk talking with Sam.
"Thanks Narim. Glad the mission worked. In a way."
"You could not have predicted Ba'al's involvement. Or Anubis newest tech improvement."
Sam knew he was just being himself and trying to reassure her, but a revision board might think differently. "By the way. General Landry said there is someone for me to see here. Any clue what he meant with that?"
Narim knew this was coming. This 'situation' also made it clear to him that he and Sam probably were never happening. Yes, that was not this time line, but it made clearer where things might lead. It was no different for Martouf when Anise informed him. He just had other things to do to so he couldn't be there himself.
"Sam… 2 people are waiting for you in the temporal research lab."
"Just go there Sam. It is impossible to explain. Once you see them, you'll understand."
Noticing Narim's change in demeanour, she got the hint.
A minute later Sam was in front of the temporal research lab. Here the human worlds were trying to recreate the Asgard time dilation tech, among other things. The entrance was guarded by 4 heavily armed soldiers. As she saluted them and went thru the bio scanner to both confirm her identity as well as making sure she was not infected with a Goa'uld, the doors opened for her. As she stepped into the lab, she saw 2 people alone in the room. A young woman working on the main terminal inputting some sort of data as well as an elderly man sitting at a desk in the rest area, clearly bored.
"Em, hello?" was Sam's attempt to get their attention.
The young woman turned around and the elderly man raised his head from the table, his boredom clearly gone.
"I was told to come here… who are you two?"
The answer she got was not what she expected. The young woman leaped out of her chair and ran to her, eyes clearly watering. She hugged Sam fiercely, sobbing.
"God, it's really you MOM!"
Sam's look of pure shock was expected. This person just called her mom. Sam tried to loosen the grip. "Wait… who are you!?"
In the time this happened, the man stood up and slowly mowed to them. He was not much for this stuff, but seeing his daughter so happy in a long time even made him a bit emotional.
"Oh come on Sam. Don't you see the resemblance? You always did say she looks like your mother. Well, your looks and brains, but my charming personality." Now Sam realized it.
Future Jack smirked the way he usually did. "Never took you this long to put 2 and 2 together. Was it the slight hair loss that gave it away? And I'm not a colonel anymore. Not for years from my point. So no sir's. As for the little monkey clamping onto you… Jade O'Neill. My pride and joy. And yes, that makes her your daughter. Well, not you you… but you get it. Time travel. Headaches included." He finished his explanation as he reached the 2 most important women in his life. "And it is really nice to see you again. Has been several years from our point of view."
Sam's eyes were as wide as possible, processing this info. She remembered. Janus wrote it on the monolith. But that future should be gone. So how…
Jade finally let go of her, eyes read. "I think you have questions, mom. This is going to be a doozey, since we are not the only time travellers today."
Tritis system, minutes later
The Ba'al clone ringed to the undamaged area that his Jaffa cleared out. The base was still a mess, most of it gone. But he hoped that his prize was still intact. Many Jaffa died during the searching and excavation. Even the symbiotes can't counter lethal doses of radiation indefinitely. But after they managed to gain access to the undamaged underground area, they reactivated the local shielding to stop the radiation from spreading any further into the structure.
The clone stepped over the corpses of some Kull and Anubis Jaffa that had died in the explosions and cave-ins. He continued down the only corridor that was still serving its purpose. Every so often he looked at an adjacent room connected to the corridor. They were always filled with Kull armour pieces, wrist mounted weapons or helmets. This was looking better and better. Then he reached the main course. A massive hall filled with hundreds of tanks with humanoid figures in them.
Ba'al could not hide his smile any longer. "Well done." He praised his Jaffa for a change. "Now all we need to see if it's still operational." The lead Goa'uld scientist went to work expecting the system and control units.
"My lord. There is a new batch of Kull solders growing in their chambers. A thousand units as far as I can tell. But this room is losing power. If we do not secure a stable supply, the units will die in hours."
Ba'la did not hesitate. To come so far to only lose everything now. "You heard him! Get some portable naquadah generators in here and begin linking our landed ships to the bases energy grid!" He ordered/shouted at his servants.
"My lord. There is something that should interest you." The Goa'uld scientist alerted his master. Ba'al saw the back-up security feed from the vault. And what he saw explained a few things.
"SG-1. Should have known. And what a fool Athena is, getting herself captured so easily. Why did the Jaffa here not react to this footage?"
The scientist was still looking into the data, which was heavily corrupted. "It appears that Athena had a private server here. This was a footage only she would have had access to. I only found it due to the extensive damage to the system. And it was only activated after Athena seemed to try and trigger the alarm."
"Why would she need this? Why risk the rage of Anubis by going behind his back?"
"I can't answer that question, my lord. Perhaps she had ulterior motives?"
"I didn't ask you, you imbecile! Continue to work on this. If the Kull die, you will join them!"
Ba'al was now puzzled. Athena was smart in the tech part. But plotting, scheming, backstabbing… those were not her strengths. Not with a track record she had. A failure, one after another. There was something else going on here. He continued to study the information his scientist was unearthing. What he was made sense to him. The Jaffa have become unreliable at best. Their replacement was in order. And the Kull were only step one. But what was step two for Anubis?
"How long until they mature?"
"An hour at most, my lord."
"Good. Once they do, I just imprint myself to their memories, we put their armour and regeneration units on them and load them up. How long then to disassemble this place? Every cloning units, armour fabricators, regeneration devices and all?"
"Hard to say, my lord. We would have to find the blueprints for these devices to..." Ba'al grabbed his scientist by the throat. This was clearly not the answer he wanted to hear.
"You better make sure you get everything loaded on my ships within 3 days, or I will have MY new Kull solders use you for target practice!" He let go of his scientist, who stumbled and coughed.
"Why such urgency my lord? We can take our time..."
"You are an imbecile! If Anubis could be defeated so easily, the System lords would have succeeded millennia ago during his exile. No, today only weakened him. He is still out there. And once he recuperates, he will come here looking for his possessions. We have to be long gone by then!" Ba'al hung his cloak around his solders and turned to leave. "Report anything else of value you find. I'll be on my command ship."
Delmak, high orbit, minutes later
Her'ak was in charge of the remaining forces over Delmak. His master left some time ago to the planet. What his plan was did not concern him. He did not question him. He only obeyed. Anubis was now abandoning Delmak to whomever would take it. All the important parts of the planet were gone or damaged. The shipyards. The mines. The Jaffa barracks. Planetary defences. All gone. Only the civilian population centres were mostly still intact. Humans, showing mercy. A weakness his master will exploit next time, Her'ak was sure. He was sitting in the command chair on the Pel'tak.
"How much longer until the engine replacements arrive thru the Chappa'ai?"
"An hour at least, my lord. But repairing them will take days." The Jaffa at the front command console responded.
"Then I will ensure they have the proper motivation in repairing the engines once the engine parts arrive." Her'ak smiled. He learned allot from his lord.
The other Jaffa smiled as well. They began to know Her'ak well. But before they could continue their idle chatter, if Jaffa even do that, the Jaffa at the front command console got an update from the sensors.
"My lord. Sensors are detecting 2 large hyperspace distortions. Ships incoming."
Her'ak got off the chair and shoved the Jaffa from the console to take a look himself.
"Get the fleet battle ready. It can't be our master. Whoever it is, they will receive a welcome deserving of anyone daring to insult our god."
In space the command ship and the 2 dozen Ha'tak's entered a battle formation, weapons and shields charged. They also began launching all their death gliders and Al'kesh.
"Should we charge the weapon, my lord?"
"No. If it is not the humans, no need to tip our hand. But keep it ready for deployment."
In space 2 hyperspace windows appeared 50.000 kilometres from Her'ak's position. 2 large ships appeared out of them. Larger than the command ship. Something Her'ak never saw.
"Scan them! Get me their tactical analysis."
All the Jaffa went to work to get the info Her'ak demanded. But they found it difficult to get any strong results. The ship was partialy blocking their scans. Her'ak was at the consoles as well, getting more and more nervous. Partial information or not, the energy output, shield power modulation, hull material signature… these were no ordinary ships. Her'ak was now really nervous.
"Shall we hail the, my lord?"
Her'ak did not respond at first. But as he snapped out of it, he returned to the command chair. "NO, you idiot. Charge the main weapon! All ships, fire!"
On the Velocity Adama saw the welcoming party.
"Sir, the Orion is charging her standard weapons." Stix reported. "We are cleared to engage the command ship.
Nodding, Adama was observing the information displayed in front of him on the neural interface of the command chair.
"Ready drones. 2% of our total capacity. No need for an overkill."
"Yes sir." Stix smiled. This was what he was waiting for. Payback. Then the alarms went off. They all saw it. The command ship was opening up, deploying its main weapon, just at the Velocity send a small swarm of gold glowing drones at them. "Sir, enemy power signatures are rising. They will be ready to fire in 10 seconds. Our drones will not hit them before 30 seconds!"
"Then brace for impact. If the information is correct, their weapon should not be able to damage us for a dozen shots if not more."
As the counter went to zero, everyone waited for the super plasma discharge... but nothing. "Sir. Their power signature is doping to standards levels..." the chief engineer reported as she looked over the data. It made no sense, to anyone. "Sir, I may have an explanation..."
On the command ship, Her'ak was now beyond shocked. "What do you mean the weapon won't work!? It worked merely minutes ago!"
"My lord... the power crystals are missing!" the Jaffa manning the engineering console reported. He was getting an update that showed 6 red icons around the main reactor. The dots represented the missing crystals. Her'ak turned to him, both anger and fear in his eyes.
"Why not tell me this sooner!?"
"The only explanation I have is that... someone encrypted the data until we activated the weapon. And only..."
"Only lord Anubis knows how to do that." Her'ak too now realized. His lord just sacrificed him. That talk in the corridor... meant nothing. He was reduced to cannon fodder. Anubis knew this could happen. The Terrans returning to finish the job. So he took his prize possession with him.
The fact he was sacrificed was not what bothered him. The fact he would die did not bother him. But that after all he had done for his god, he was still lied to. Used. Then tossed away like garbage.
As he saw from the observation window, it was now also far too late to surrender. The glowing orbs reached his ship. The moment they pierced the shields and struck the hull, the entire ship began shaking. Consoles were indicating the damage being inflicted upon them. More and more systems failing.
Her'ak closed his eyes. He should have seen it coming. Nirrti, Khalek, the Aschen... and many others. They all did as ordered, but were in the end tossed aside once they became useless. Or in the case of Kahlek getting a fate worse than death. He thought he could avoid that by being efficient. By not failing him. By being a better boot licker. It seemed he was mistaken. No one is above betrayal, when it comes to the Goa'uld.
On the Velocity Adama was looking at the results. The command ship just went up in a fireball. The remaining forces were routing and retreating. This was so one sided it was not funny. A part of him wanted to question the Terrans as to why not just use these 2 ships here in the first place? But he understood. In a way. There were only the 2 of them for now. They were used to close the holes in the attack. 2 ships could not be everywhere at once. Compromises had to be made.
He stood up from the chair. "I think we are done here, right?"
Stix stood by his side. "It seems so sir. The Orion is preparing to return to our forces."
"Then let's follow. But this is not over."
"No sir. Why do I have a feeling that Anubis was not there?"
"He wasn't. He took those 6 crystals and left his men to die. What a coward."
P2C-211, 2nd moon of 4th planet, seconds later
2 hyperspace windows opened and the 2 BC-402 appeared in orbit of the moon.
"We arrived captain. Holding orbit on the dark side of the 2nd moon." The helmsman reported.
"Nice. Ladies." Captain smith turned to Kara and Caprica. " This is your barbie. The firecracker ready?"
"Ready and waiting." Kara raplied, then looked at the digital clock on the main display on the bridge, counting down. 4 minutes left. "But we should hurry."
"Agreed. Tell the Valkyrie to follow and protect our flanks. Military speed, get us around the moon."
Caprica moved to the science station to see the info the officer there was receiving. And even as the ships were clearing the moon, the energy readings went thru the roof. First off, the planet itself was emanating energy on a level usually associated to a volcanic, radiated planet, not an ice world. That meant the naquadria was indeed in use. Second, the energy was being focused in a frozen meteorite impact site. That had to be the gate's location. Third, the defenders. Around 50 plus ships of different sizes. But they would not be the problem. The energy field protecting the gate would be. It appeared that Anubis used the naquadria as a power source for that as well, the shield bubble was so large, it was even visible by the naked eye, encompassing the entire frozen continent on the planet.
Of course once they cleared the planet and accelerated towards it, they got spotted immediately. Death gliders launched, Al'kesh on an intercept course and Ha'tak's tightening formation.
"Good thing we don't intend to fight." Kara mumble.
"We have a target lock for the jump drive, but I suggest we get as close as possible to the atmosphere. That large force field is having some jamming effect on the targeting sensors." the tactical officer suggested.
"Get the port hangar ready for decompression." Captain Smith ordered.
"Captain. We might have a problem with the original plan." the science officer reported after talking with Caprica at her station. "The force field plus the raptor being attached to an active, near overload gate... it could either prematurely detonate the gate, with us too close for comfort... or miss the target."
"Crap. And ideas ladies?"
"To be 100% sure it does not detonate prematurely... we have to make a house call. Fly into the atmosphere."
Now Kara entered the conversation. "And then? Ramming that force field? Bug on a windshield is not something I want to be, thank you!"
Caprica had an idea and asked the science officer quietly. She nodded and went to work analyzing something. Seconds later, she replied. "We don't have to. We dump the raptor in high atmosphere to bypass re-entry for it, then autopilot it the old fashioned way to target. This being the highest concentration of naquadria veins on the planet. I don't have time to simulate it, but I am 90% sure the nauadria will detonate, causing a cascade reaction that will turn this ice ball into a molten world. With any luck, it should swallow the gate and gate destroyed as well."
The captain was still not convinced. "And if we jump it, what are the chances of it detonating in our face?"
"Best I can say, 50-50."
Those were not good odds. Best reason they did not anticipate this was cause the jump drive was not ready prior to this and the force field messed up their original plan.
Captain smith nodded. "Fine. Tell the Valkyrie to follow us in."
Both ships were now within weapons range of the defenders. All power was transferred to engines and shields. They would not bother to return fire.
"Once we pass the blockade, full reverse! If we slam on the atmosphere at such speeds, we won't need the gate to kill us!" Captain Smith ordered.
The 2 BC's manoeuvred to avoid the front Ha'tak's, one going to port, the other starboard. As they passed the first line, some death gliders got smashed on the front shield. That plus the bombardment of staff shots rocked both ships as they continued to just ignore the defenders. The Ha'tak's in the 2nd line saw what was happening and tried to intercept them, even if they suicide on them.
"Get us above them! Then 180 degrees roll." Was the command the helmsman received as they saw the defenders response. "Tell the Valkyrie to break off, try to get some of them to follow them, break formation or something!"
The Valkyrie did as ordered, turning during the evasive manoeuvres, and turned to the planet counter-rotation wise while the Phoenix continued on the original course.
The Phoenix managed to pass more and more of the blockade, but the shield fatigue began to stack up.
"Captain, overall shield strength is insufficient to survive a re-entry at such speeds, even if we begin deceleration now..."
"Which we can't do since we need the momentum to pass the defenders fast." The captain understood the dilemma her XO pointed out. "Once we pass the blockade, transfer aft shield power to forward shields."
"That will leave our aft exposed!"
"You have any better ideas?"
The XO cursed internally. "Let's hope the armour holds. And they don't get lucky in hitting a vital system.
Caprica and Kara looked at each other. This was getting more and more risky. But Kara was smirking.
"How can you be so calm at all of this?" Caprica asked her, as the ship rocked once more after getting hit and actually scraping the shield perimeter of a Ha'tak.
"I'm enjoying this. Almost as good as my viper. And me without a cigar."
Caprica had to question Kara's sanity. and why Leoben was so obsessed with this... pilot with questionable tendencies.
At that moment they were past the blockade, but the chase was now on. The defenders were accelerating after them.
"Captain, 30 seconds to atmospheric re-entry." The helmsman reported, clearly hoping to get the order to begin deceleration.
"In 15 seconds, go full reverse on graviton engines and shut the ion drive off. Tactical. shields double front."
The ship began slowing down, her pursuers gaining on her. But her advantage was still sufficient. 30 seconds later, the shield began heating up, glowing read.
"We are at 5500 Kelvin temperature on the shields. Rising dramatically. Hull at 1000 Kelvin." The XO looked at the hull display. "If we pass 3000 Kevlin on the hull for a long time, we get problems."
"What's the alloy durability?"
"Tested up to 6K Kelvin, but we'd be fried internally by then! We need to slow down more!"
"Right. Helm, 20 degrees up, let's increase our surface area!"
Said and done, the ship began slowing down faster, but at a cost. Now her dorsal shields began receiving hits from above. And with her aft section being exposed...
The bridge shook violently. Caprica, Kara and several other people were thrown to the rear of the bridge.
"What the hell was that!" Captain Smith demanded a report.
"We got hit into the ion engines! Port main ion drive is..."
"Is what, helm?!"
"Gone, captain! Blown clean off!"
Captain Smith gritted her teeth. Great, one lucky shot and they are down 50% thrust. In the atmosphere it makes no difference, but once they deliver the package...
"We've slowed down to mach 10 captain! 40 seconds till we can see the tectonic rift on the surface." The helmsman updated his captain. "However with only half engine thrust, we can't escape the defenders once we return to orbit."
"We'll have to make a planet close hyperspace jump then."
"Jenny, you think it's wise to risk that?" The XO asked the captain.
"We came so far, no point in playing it safe all the way. You two!" she looked at Kara and Caprica who just managed to return to the rear of the science station. "Get the package ready."
They did as ordered, all the while the bridge continued to shake several times more as the ship got hit in its unprotected rear, losing its aft MAC cannons and rear shield emitter.
Caprica and Kara were at work as well, initiating the raptor from remote control. with the new target added into the navigational system of the raptor, all they now waited for was to open the hangar bay doors.
In the background of the bridge they heard the chatter of 2 engineers who were cursing that the Goa'uld cloak had not yet been upgraded to conceal a ship their size yet, since it's usage would have made this mission a cake walk. A third one reminded the 2 chatting ones that with Anubis technology improvements, a Goa'uld one may not have mattered. So they all cursed the scientists back on HQ (one Rodney McKay in particular) for not yet finding a way to copy the puddle jumper cloaking systems.
They reached the target. A large rift in the planet's tectonic plates. And the sensors were confirming it. There was naquadria at the bottom. The package they brought should do the job.
"Open the hangar!" The CAG ordered the launch officer.
As the doors opened on both ends, the only ship not secured on the hangar floor, the colonial raptor, got pushed out by the wind forces now blasting into the hangar itself. Some other parts, like a missile here or a repair box there were also dragged out.
"Hangar clear!" CAG yelled out from the rear of the bridge, signalling to Caprica that now it was her turn. He activated the programmed navigational instructions. As the Phoenix made a tight turn to begin accelerating from the planet and get some distance to it, the just ejected raptor responded and engaged its engines, now turning to the rift.
"Captain, we held 80% of our speed after the turn, but we will really need to make a planet close hyperspace jump." The XO looked at the data and what he was seeing was not something he liked. "Those defenders positioned themselves to intercept us in orbit. The Valkyrie reported that they are not taking the bait anymore. They are ignoring her."
"Ten tell her to break off and begin return trip." She looked at her friend. "What's the other news, old friend?"
"You know me too well. I don't think we'll escape the blast radios at this speed." He pointed at the countdown clock above the main screen.
4... 3... 2... 1...
Behind the Phoenix the tectonic plate the raptor just flew into did not just shake, but it was lifted up from the explosion, in both directions of the opening. Then the explosions continued, like a chain reaction, right down the tectonic rifts.
"All power to aft shields. Guess today we find out what our girl can endure!" Captain Smith shouted and braced herself. Seconds later the ship shook again, but even more violently that during her descent.
Outside, the shockwave just reached the Phoenix and dragged her along.
"Hull stress at 90% of maximum tolerance. I don't know how much more she can take! First the heating up, then the bombardment and now this!" The science officer reported, looking at the screen indicating the critical hull stress levels.
"How much higher until hyperdrive can be initiated!?"
"We need to be at least 1100 kilometres for that." was her XO's response. But as the tremors settled down, she looked at the main display again. The good news: As planned, even if improvised, the gate destroyer energy signature and the shield on the planet were gone. Just like allot of the ice. The released energy from this stunt turned this ice planet into a lava world. Their mission was a success, even if they paid a price for it. Her ship will need months in dry dock. The bad news: The defenders saw what happened and they now knew that the only way to get some form of mercy from their 'god' was to bring them the ones responsible for this.
Captain smith closed her eyes. "Jack, get ready to abandon ship. Load as many as you can into the hyperspace capable transports..."
She got interrupted by the tactical officer. "The Valkyrie, mam! She is engaging the blockade!"
"Captain Sigurd Ohnstad, that insane bastard!" Smith smirked. Drunk or not, that Norwegian was a bit crazy. Not that what they just did didn't qualify for that as well. "Let's use the distraction! The shockwave has passed us, shields back to full front!"
The Valkyrie passed another Ha'tak, blasting it with a subatomic beam shot, crippling it and breaking their ranks, as several Ha'tak's went to pursuit.
As the Valkyrie kept the fleet distracted while taking heavy damage in return, it was all the Phoenix needed. The Phoenix passed the distracted defenders and crippled or not, left the battle, entering hyperspace, followed by her sister ship Valkyrie seconds later.
Everyone on the bridge began relaxing. It was touch and go there for a while. Captain smith stood from her chair. "People, get me a damage report and call HQ! Also..." She turned to the bridge crew and guests." Once we return to New Terra, first round is on me!"
The Jack O'Neill, Ida galaxy, same time
"Supreme commander, this is Heimdall." Was the communication request Thro received in his command ship.
"Heimdall. What is the situation?"
"I have good news. 3 battles with the Replicators and 3 victories in the last 12 hours."
"Good. The communication disruptor is still working. If this continues, we might claim victory in 3 months."
Heimdall's look changed. "Perhaps. But the high council learned of some disturbing news."
"What is this news?"
"The Replicators at sector 17, near the binary neutron stars in Ida... after their defeat we found evidence they were attempting to extract neutronium from the stellar remnant of the original stars."
It was common knowledge to all Asgardians that neutronium could only appear in nature during birth of neutron stars or matter in the proximity of such a star gets slowly transformed into neutronium. Planets with neutornium were because of that few and far apart.
"But why would the Replicators have the need for neutronium? Only human-form replicators need it for their nano-cell construction. The regular ones..." Thor stopped when he realized something. "Did we miss something? Could they be in the process of making human-form bodies?"
"Unknown. But where would they get the information for it? The original is still in our possession. And they have no knowledge of the human discovery in Pegasus."
"Perhaps it is time we return to Pegasus. If the Janus AI will not give us the answers, we will have to get them ourselves. "
On the edge of the Ida galaxy, same time
In the darkness of space, a lone Asgard ship waited. It was old. none of the known designs. Heavily modified. Ice had build up on its hull, indicating it was there for a long time. But it was not without power. Inside its central command and control room, the lights turned on. A large monitor, which was already active before, now really light up. It was positioned above a hibernation pod.
"Situation update received. Asgard Replicator war not progressing as planned. Unpredicted intervention suspected. Approved course of action: Waken the creator." An AI voice said as the hibernation pod began working to revive its occupant. Inside 2 large black eyes opened up to see the monitor and the current state of the galaxy.
"Welcome back, creator. While you slept, the Replicator Asgard war has progressed as planned, until 1 year ago. The Asgardian forces made unexpected progress and are months away from claiming victory."
"I see." A cold female voice reacted to the update, almost in a bored way. "And idea as to why this is? My predictions were never false. Something must have happened that I did not know of. And if I did not know of it, I could not predict this outcome. The Goa'uld? Ancients? Nox? Furlings? Something else?"
"I have compiled a report of the current state of all important events and galaxies, known to me."
The alien began reading the report. Anubis, unexpected. The possible return of the Jötunn, unexpected. The rise of a human civilization, really unexpected. She never thought the humans would amass to much. Thor was such a fool! The return of the Vanir and Fenrir... now this shocked her. That and the fact the Asgard now knew the Replicators were an Ancient invention.
"And information as to how Thor found out the origin of the Replicators?"
"Only one. This communication was intercepted not too long ago."
The AI played the communication between Heimdall and Thor. When Janus name was mentioned, the hibernation pod occupant realized the reason for her miscalculation.
"So... that Ancient. Makes sense now. The rumours about his temporal observatory were not just rumours it seems. But for what reason would this Janus AI not divulge the information on how to defeat the Replicators? Unless... he has his own agenda, that smart Ancient bastard."
She got out of the pod and stretched. For millennia she was banished by her own people. For millennia looked at as a monster. Yes, Loki broke the rules, Fenrir went even further as did the Vanir, but she was the only one willing to go as far as needed.
"Have the genetic modifications to my new body been made as I requested?"
"Yes. It took centuries to simulate the right way to fuse Ancient and Asgard DNA, but it is ready."
And that was part of the reason for her banishment. While Loki still had limitations as to what he did, she had no moral issues. For her, the Asgard race should have dominated the other races from the beginning. And even more so once the only race she feared, the Ancients went extinct. The Nox were a joke and the Furlings always 2 steps behind. And if her people had a bit more backbone, they would have put the Goa'uld in their place millennia ago, human casualties be damned!
After the banishment, or self imposed exile, cause she fled imprisonment, she wanted to find a way to punish her arrogant race and make them beg for her return. So when a primitive human race was fumbling with Ancient knowledge, she took advantage of it. She did not create the Replicators, but she did find a way to influence them, guide them. Once the Asgard found them, her AI continued influencing them, as it was instructed. Only wake the creator if the Asgard beg for her return. Or if this happens. But that opened another possibility. As the AI was influencing the Replicators thru the subspace communication link, it could also monitor Asgard communications the same way. Not all, but some.
"The primitives once called me the goddess of death. Time to see if they were right. And time to make my people pay for exiling me!" She proclaimed and walked to the chamber where her new body resided. "One last thing Niflheim. Based o this, you did upload the schematics on the Replicator android into the Replicator sub-space communication network?" She asked her ships AI.
"Of course, creator."
Earth, unknown location, hours later
The Colonial Quorum had come and gone, much to the relief to Jack O'Neill. But while for him this nuisance was now gone, there were other problems on Earth brewing.
In a dark room, Mr. Smith who had just returned from his mission, sat down behind his desk, doors behind him closing shut by the armed security guard.
He inserted a red crystal in a data port and submitted a retinal scan.
"Identity confirmed. Establishing communication link."
2 people appeared on the split screen. well, one plus a shadow.
"And?" The visible man asked.
"I think we got another ally. Mr. Zarek seems like a smart man. and if we give him what he wants..."
"Good. Someone in the ranks of the Colonials to further our cause. I have my hands full here with the political battles. Make sure he plays ball!"
"Of course, Mr. Mao."
The link to the owner of Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile on Hebridan was cut off, leaving only the 2 Earth men to talk. "Do you think we can trust this man?" The agent asked the shadow person. "Our interests align. I never trust anyone. Including our potential new asset. Keep an eye on him."
Earth, another unknown location, same time
The display shut off, as the man in the shadows now stood up as well. The door opened and he returned to his penthouse apartment from his secret room. He looked at his watch, then went to the wall to buzz his assistant.
"Marquita, it's time for my medicine again. Please bring it to me."
"Right away, Mr. Cooper!"
He turned to the wall where his picture was framed from a newspaper. 'Johnson Cooper, the future of Earth's technology sector, innovator and businessman?'
The next picture read a similar way. It was a large futuristic factory. 'Future industries plants the foundation for the biggest single manufacturing building on Earth near Seattle, making the old Boeing factory looking small. Is someone compensating for something?'
He reached his working desk and sat down. He looked at his schedule on the computer as his assistant arrived with a small box. "Here is your medicine, monsieur." She put the box on the desk and left, knowing from past experience that he wanted to be left alone when he took his medication. She assumed he, the soon to be most influential private citizen on Earth did not want to be seen as weak in front of anyone. He only nodded and opened the box, once he was sure he was alone.
The box was secured with his palm print. Once open, he removed a small device from it and injected himself into the neck area.
"Ahh, much better." He put the device back into the box and closed it. "While Athena was never as smart as she thought, this little invention of hers is quite useful." He sat back comfortably and activated a special function on his computer. The display changed from his calendar to a display showing many military blueprints. Including ones for a 501. He had access to Terran military files no civilian should.
Flashback, Earth, over a year ago
"Over here!" An archaeologist shouted to get the private security team to his location.
They were excavating near mount Olympus, Greece. It was the location their benefactor, one Simmons gave them. Where he got the info, no one cared. They only cared about the money, which one US senator provided. "What have you found, professor?" The lead security officer asked as his team arrived near a small crack in the mountain side.
"This is no crack. From what the colonel provided us with..." He points to the top of this small part of the mountain where a symbol was seen. Only spotted if you knew where to look for it." That is the symbol of Cronus. And if from what we learned, this must be the closed off entrance to... Tartarus!" He proclaimed excitedly.
"Good work professor. Men, get to work."
Hours later they dug the dirt and rocks aside to reveal an underground entrance. But their 'expert' was getting confused as they entered the tomb. "This makes no sense. Look at these symbols. They are part of ancient Egyptian writing, not Greek! There is something weird here." He stopped at the hieroglyphs on the wall right outside a closed door. "It reads: Only the guilty reside here. Tormented for all eternity. For their treachery, Cronus and Rs condemn them to pain and suffering. Ra and Cronus? What... This is a discovery of a life time! The first time 2 different cultures are mentioned in the same place? But why would Ra...?"
He fell to the ground, dead. Shot in the back by a silenced weapon. "Thank you professor, but your services are no longer needed." The lead security officer said, not even blinking at what he just did. He looked at the door. "Plant C4 boys. We aren't getting paid by the hour!"
As the door was blasted apart, they entered the tomb, flashlights active. It was full of gold, silver and jewels. Before his men could go and grab what they could, the boss stopped them. "Hold it! We get what we're paid for first! We can get everything else later! I don't want to have an 'accident' like the professor just did!" What they found were several Goa'uld artefacts. A sarcophagus. Still working. Several kilograms of naquadah bricks. One Eye of Cronus and other small trinkets.
But one solder was not careful. He found several small statues and began breaking them to see if there was anything in them. The others already went outside to update their benefactor. "Come on Holden! we can tomb raid later!" One of his friends shouted into the tomb.
"Just one more minute FFS!" He kept on smashing until he got to a black figurine that looked like a small demon. As he broke it, he almost panicked. It was not empty, but a living Goa'uld craved on the floor. "Hey Wesley, we...Gah..." The Goa'uld jumped into his neck, infesting him. As the man's eyes now glowed, it immediately went to a small box that everyone overlooked. He removed a device from it and injected himself with it. His eyes stopped glowing. The other solder came down, hearing the commotion.
"You OK, Holden?!" The man looked at him with a smile.
"Everything is fine. Was just frighten by a skeleton."
"Oh you mean the one in the sarcophagus we tossed out? Your such a pussy sometimes. Come on, let's get to the boss."
Days passed and no one notice him. The first chance he got he switches hosts, killing his previous one every time. Then he finally settled on this one. He would have to thank his human liberators somehow. And he did, when he let them fall on the sword. Brainwashing technology. His expertise. The reason for his imprisonment. It seemed that the other System lords needed millennia to catch up to him.
"My father. Always so short sighted. Imprisoning me in that tomb Athena sold the location to this Simmons moron was a stroke of luck for me. These humans never realized what they found. That they found Tartarus? Not so big or grandiose as the human myths make it out to be. But it was his prison."
"Who they freed. Did they really think their pathetic plans would succeed? By providing the humans with a small boost of technology I will let them deal with my problem while I subvert them and take over before they even know it. Slaves... so overrated. Slaves aren't creative, nor motivated to fight for their lord, if they get nothing from it. These humans already did so much for me. Killing so many enemies of old. Others removed by the System lords themselves. Heh. Including father and one of my brothers. Now only you remain, Zeus. Always the most power hungry, easiest to anger, but also easiest to fool." Then he turns the display to the information from New Terra about Athena and Ares. He had a sadistic look. "Oh niece and nephew. How I wish I could pay you back for your treachery all those millennia ago. Why Ra thought you, my dear bloodthirsty nephew would make a good fleet commander to lead the combined System lords against the Asgard is beyond me. You only know how to attack, never strategise. And look at both of you now." Then he switched to the info he had on the Colonials. "If only I had known about you sooner. Millennia sooner. An isolated galaxy for me to exploit with the help of a group of moronic humans. The god of death, am I now? Oh well. As the humans say, don't cry over spilled milk." Athena and Ares captured. Aphrodite, or Hator, whichever you preferred, Cronus, or father for him, Poseidon, his brother and Artemis dead. Apollo, that treacherous bastard! He will not even acknowledge him anymore! Their once great dynasty, gone. Who knows where Hera is, nor does he care. He is alone. And he will succeed alone.
Then he switched to another display again. Another blueprint was seen. A blue print for the device he just used on himself. It read: Goa'uld physiology suppressor. The one he used was running out of charges. The one his niece originally made. He needed a new one, soon. Or his true nature could be exposed. Too bad Quetesh was dead. She could have helped him with that, but he could not have risked his exposure by saving her. And knowing her, she would have back stabbed him sooner or later anyway.
But he also needed something else. He brought up a map of the galaxy, with all the gate addresses known to the Terran council displayed. "P11-799. I wonder if you are still in your prison, my dear Persephone?"
Tritis system, 1 hour later
In the landed command ship, the Ba'al clone had just updated the original on his status. Part of him wanted to leave as soon as possible. Anubis would not take prisoners when he arrives to reclaim his property.
But now he was killing time with pleasure.
"AHHHHHH!" Was the screams of a Thoth in agony. He was restrained by an energy field, hovering over the ground, all extremities extended from his body. A Jaffa was standing in front of him with a pain stick. He shoved it into Thoth's stomach area again.
"AHHHHH!" Thoth's eyes glowed as he again had to endure pain. "I will never serve you!"
Ba'al, sitting behind the Jaffa dong the torturing, smiled all the time. "Time, my friend. Time changes everything." He took a bite from a piece of fruit of a tablet held by a slave. "Time will even change your mind."
"Remember those words when Anubis does this to you!"
Ba'al laughed. "You still have spunk in you. Good." He took the pain stick from the Jaffa and gave him a vial of a green liquid. "Use this. Don't kill him. Yet." Ba'al then exited the room as more screams followed.
Minutes later he arrived at the cloning chamber. It was now fully powered, as he ordered.
"Report!" He ordered the head Goa'uld scientist whom he entrusted this task.
"My lord, they are ready."
He smiled even more and stepped forward." Did you program them as I instructed?"
"Of course. All you have to do now is to give them an order."
Ba'al looked from the left to the right. 1000 Kull units waiting for an order.
"Whom do you serve?"
They all shouted in one battle cry. "Lord Ba'al!"
"Excellent! Board the landed ships and await further instructions." As the Kulls moved out, Ba'al turned to his head Jaffa. "See to it that all this equipment here is brought onto my ships within 2 days, or we leave you behind!"
New Heliopolis, hours later
The council decided to send a permanent force of experts to the ring world. Should they ever need it, it would be good to fully understand it. The Colonials packed up and left, leaving only the Terrans there. Only Rush and Greer were in the command hub of the Ancient part of the ring. The others were setting up permanent quarters i the city.
"So you find anything new and useful in this computed, doc?"
"Plenty to keep me busy on New Terra for weeks. Even more so if I can get rid of 'him'."
Greer smiled at that comment. "Why, you are both similar in a way."
"I am nothing like that self indulged, posturing, skirt chasing, bad excuse of a scientist!"
"If you say so doc. You forgot to mention arrogant, loudmouthed, cranky..."
"Please be quiet Mr. Greer." Rush silenced him as he got a telemetry update from Helix. "The first test was successful."
"Yes. those hyperspace jump satellites our young time travelling pilot told us about. The council decided to test them out. The Lionheart arrived at the location 20 minutes ago where the coordinates indicate the 3rd satellite. The one in our galaxy." He put up all 3 galaxies on the display. Each having an illuminated dot, plus the 4th one in Helix cluster. The one in the Milky way was blinking. "See, that one was just used. At the edge of the galaxy. Now..." At that moment the one in the Helix cluster began blinking. "Now they just used the one there. In about 2 minutes they should appear here."
"I see. But if the Colonials scouted all of those systems, how could they have missed something like that!?"
"Beats me. My guess is they didn't bother with the stars as much, only the planets. And they used their equipment. And you ask me why I hate working with that ass. Anyway, my hope is that whoever is left in the large Magellan cloud galaxy doesn't find it."
"Where is that one located?"
"Believe it or not, less than 20 Ly from that 13th Earth, in low orbit of a red dwarf."
"That... is a little close, if anyone is still there. You know, the homicidal robots, not the good ones we have..."
"I'm more concerned with those frost humanoid things we know will arrive there sooner or later. And unlike these Cylons they will now how to use it!" The console began beeping. Seconds later the sensors detected a hyperspace rift appear. A 401 appeared in orbit of the star.
"I guess it worked."
Rush agreed. He could not wait for the crew report.
Atlantis, same time
The gate was still active as SGA-1 returned from Indra. Rodney was engrossed into his laptop, not looking where he was going.
"McKay! Watch it!" Sheppard grabbed him by the sleeves to prevent him tripping on the stairs. "I know you love your new toys, but give it a break for an hour, would you."
"Are you kidding. I can't wait for me and Carter to make these bugs build ships for us! Too bad I can't take them with us."
"And why is that anyway. The ones the Asgard are fighting have no such issues." Sheppard asked as he saluted Ronon and the other marines and dismissed them.
"I'll use small words. Unlike the run out of control ones our grey skinned friends are dealing with, these are directly linked and controlled by that large computer core. If one leaves the range of the core, the blocks collapse and shut down. A security measure."
"So if I want to shut them all off, all I have to do is shoot the core?"
"In essence, yes, but why always the hammer approach?"
"Why not? It works with you? Besides , I can't believe you named one of them!"
"Hey, leave Timmy alone!"
New Terra, 1 day later
Karl and Lee stood at the 'dry dock' area, observing all the Terran ships landing. What they looked more closely was the battle damage.
"Frak, they look like we did after a few rounds with the Cylons." Karl remarked, looking at the hull breaches of a 501 that just landed.
"we would not have lasted for a few minutes in that fire-fight. Anyway..." He points to 2 ships beginning their landing approach. "Those 2 must be where Kara is."
"Damn, you see that. one of them is missing an entire engine!"
"And I bet Kara is on that thing!" Sam added as he joined them while hundreds of personnel were moving around the area, driving vehicles, moving cargo, helping the injured that just got off ship. Usually transporting these things was a preferred choice, but with so much traffic, they had to do many things old fashioned.
"Glad you could join us." Lee nodded to Sam. "Knowing her, I agree with you."
"And you Lee? any news on your request for officer status after you get the whole ifo download thing and virtual training. And does it sound as stupid to you as it does to me?"
"It does, yes. No idea yet. Hell, they were all so busy lately, I can't expect an answer on the spot anyway."
"Hey guys!" Karl bumped Lee into his shoulder to get his attention. Kara just arrived on a transporter platform, alongside Caprica. Seeing her friends, she just squealed and ran to them.
"Frak Sam! Lee, Karl! So good to see all of you." She hugged Sam and continued laughing. "So did you all come to see if I am well?"
"That and to see what trouble you got yourself into this time. Again." Karl nudged her as she punched him back, both laughing.
"Oh, nothing much, just lit a few gigaton fire crackers and then did the same to a planet, right Caprica!" Caprica was too exhausted to be part of this celebration, so she just nodded. And you, had fun?"
Lee, when his shock wore off, since no one besides Caprica and Kara were briefed on their mission, so they couldn't know, wanted to return the favour. "Meaning making sure Baltar stays out of trouble, well more than usual, we found... a ring world."
"A what now?"
"Believe me, you have to see it to believe it."
PX9-077, same time
Nerus was in a cell. He was hungry. He was scared out of his mind. He thought that he chose the winning side. But his old master and the humans were more insidious as he thought.
"Hello? Anyone there? I'm really hungry!" No response. "I could use some meat. And eggs. And fruit. And sweets. Some alcohol would be good as well." Still nothing. "I can be useful to your lord. I supplied him with valuable technologies!" Again silence.
What Nerus did not know was that all of this was being recorded. In the command room of this base, Anubis was looking over the status of his forces. And he was seething. He wanted to make an example. and Nerus would be it. But with Thoth and Athena gone, he was in need of another scientist. But Nerus... how repulsive can you get? But that was also an opportunity. Leverage. He would not need torture, intimidation or brainwashing. only hunger and Nerus will work.
He left the command room down the lower floors. He reached his first destination. A large cloning room filled with stasis chambers. But there were no Kulls in them. But they were filled with other, familiar faces. He motioned his assistants to get to work.
"As usual, revive one of each and insert the last memories recorded." As he moved out, the assistants, mostly Jaffa, went to work, removing one Her'ak clone from a stasis pod on one side of the room and one Khalek clone from the other side.
They always thought they were the original. They were always wrong and expendable. Too bad he could not clone Thoth that way. But copying his intellect and genius was not as simple as these morons. and he would not copy Nerus, that fat slob.
His attack on the other System lords was only partially successful. Amaterasu was on her knees. As was Morrigan. Ares was gone as far as he knew. Zeus was crippled. Only Yu and Ba'al remained strong. And he would bet it was Ba'al that took Tritis. He will deal with him sooner or later.
He reached his final destination. A large hall, one of many on this arid planet. Inside was his army assembled. Or at least an impressive part of it.
"All hail lord Anubis!" yelled several thousand Kull solders. Besides them were several hundred Khalek clones. The regular ones. the ones who knew they were a clone. The ones with the genetic defect. They too yelled out the same battle cry, just not as enthusiastically.
They want war? This was only a minor setback. He will rebuild. and he still has 2 dozen power crystals as well as the original 6. But his talk with Surtur worried him. He needed to hurry before his lackeys arrive.
Pegasus galaxy, sector black near Asuras, same time
"You done yet!?" Heraz asked, getting more and more impatient. "I don't want to stay so close to those machines any longer than needed.
The wraith who rescued Guide had a cruiser stop at the station from where the shut down program was transmitted to they needed Guide to operate the station.
"Patience is a virtue. I learned that one when I was starving in that cell!"
Heraz motioned one of the droned to react to that outburst. It did by pointing it's weapon at guide's head, who was currently working hart at the bio-interface control station.
"Kill me now and you learn nothing!"
Again Heraz motioned the drone, only now to stand down. "Yes, but at some point I will evaluate your life as not worth the issues you give me!"
Guide continued working. Finally he found what he was looking for. Back-up security footage. On it the Traveler ships were seen with a new class of ships. A type not seen by the Wratih before.
"Who are those?" Heraz asked Guide.
"Unknown, but I can tell you they partially hacked the station."
That was not good. The Wratih do not tolerate anyone having any tech that can counter them.
"And the machines?"
"Docile, like intended."
"Good, make sure they remain like that."
Before Heraz could leave to report ho the lead male to evaluate if they dare risk waking their queen for this, Guide grabbed him by the hand.
"Do you think it is wise to wake her? She'll be hungry and the food supply needs several centuries longer to recover."
Heraz pulled his hand from Guide. "I know that! But we need to wake at least one for guidance!"
"Then tell the only one still awake. The watcher who protects all the ones sleeping!"
"You know how volatile she is!"
"Like your queen will be any less if you wake her for this trinket of information!"
Heraz hated it when Guide made a point. He just walked out, not bothering to keep arguing with him, leaving the drones behind to watch him.
Left without any intelligent oversight, guide went to work and accessed the link to Asuras.
"Have you noticed anything my friends?"
Planet Asuras, same time
Oberoth, like all human form replicators noticed the intrusion into their systems. Whoever it was, was clever. But they had millennia to upgrade their defences. They would locate the location of the cyber hack.
And they did. In their Cyber link, Oberoth ordered the only Aurora they currently had functional to leave orbit and investigate the location. They were still influenced by the stand down order, but their self defence protocol allowed such actions.
Pegasus galaxy, sector black near Asuras, minutes later
As Heraz returned to the control room, he saw 4 dead drones lying on the ground and Guide... was nowhere to be found. He tapped the communication control to hail his cruiser.
"Guide has escaped! Send more transport ships here with drones! We need to find him!"
"Commander, we just detected a launch of a transport ship from the station!"
"It has to be him! Shoot him down!"
In space as the cruiser was beginning to engage the transport ship, it's attention got diverted when an Aurora jumped into the vicinity of the station. The cruiser crew panicked and began firing everything they had on the Asuran ship. To no avail as a swarm of droned decimated the Wraith ship. during all of this, the transport ship made it's escape into hyperspace.
On the station Heraz saw what had just happened. He knew he was dead. As he was to resign to his fate, a monitor in the room lit up. It was Guide.
"I thank you for freeing me, 'old friend'. And I leave you with a parting gift." The screen showed a countdown. 20 seconds remain. "While I have you, I'm not as blind to allow the Replicators to get their hands on the shut down code. So I hope that you learned your lesson today. Never underestimate me. Now, have a nice life. Hahaha!"
The station went up in a large explosion, leaving the Asurans puzzled, since they did not open fire on it.
Johnson Cooper - Malcolm McDowell