Shipping It Stargate Style
The High Ground
The Boat Graveyard.
Taylor hovered in the sky above the desolate landscape of rusted out ships, still leaking oil, and what little clear water remained.
"What the hell happened here?" Cam asked.
Taylor sighed. "You want the short version or the miserable one?"
The nominal leader of SG1 blinked. "Uh, short. Please."
Taylor nodded and turned her eyes onto the huge container ship blocking the bay. "You see that?" she asked, pointing it out with her hand.
"The giant eyesore blocking the bay?" Cam asked rhetorically.
Taylor nodded, lowering her finger. "A few years back, after Leviathan showed up, travelling on the sea became kinda… dangerous. Way too dangerous for most shipping companies," she began to explain.
"...Globally?" Sam spoke up from her medical bed.
"You're telling me your world doesn't have international shipping?!" Sam almost yelled, her voice displaying how concerned she was about that.
"We have planes, and some Capes help out, but for the most part?" Taylor answered, scoffing. "Pretty much."
Sam just stared up at Taylor's medbay'sceiling, jaw dropped.
"How- what-" she spluttered, speechless.
"What's wrong, Sam?" Cam asked, moving closer to her bed.
Sam waved him away, but her eyes were still wide. "How the hell do you have anything approaching a civilization if one of your backbones is missing?!"
Taylor was quiet for a few moments. She whirled that over in her head for a while, actually wondering. For pretty much the first time in her life, she took a good, long look at her world, at how things were progressing and what the global situation was. Things she'd brushed off or accepted as normal her whole life were returned to, using the Odyssey as a backstop to prevent dismissal, and she saw.
Her massive calculation potential, which apparently translated into a ridiculously high intelligence, was put towards the query.
Taylor's eyes widened when she realized it. Figured out what was wrong. Or… how very little wasn't.
Sam had a point. No, she had the point. Taylor on her own never could've seen it, but Odyssey had the records and sensor readings of her original Earth.
And the comparison didn't look good.
"A decade," Taylor abruptly stated.
Sam and Cam looked at each other, then back to her ceiling. "Huh?" Cam asked.
"My… our new, world, it has a decade."
Cam swallowed heavily. Sam looked grim, her mouth pressed into a line.
"I just ran a comparison between your, and my Odyssey side's, Earth, and Earth Bet. My Taylor Earth. This one." She waved around her to indicate her world, though it was a subconscious action. None of the people inside her except Vala due to her position on Taylor's Bridge could actually see her doing so. "Populations are dropping. Countries that exist on Odyssey's Earth don't exist on Taylor's. The Endbringers' attack pattern is a massive coordinated cascade failure waiting to happen. Africa is literally on fire because of Ash Beast, Siberia and Russia are who knows how compromised by The Sleeper, The United States might as well have surrendered sovereignty and military might to the PRT, London is defunct, Switzerland is quarantined… and there's more. So much more."
Cam's face started out worried and was now pale, barely any blood present. The man was a soldier, not an idiot. He wasn't as smart as Jack but it was close. "That's bad."
Sam grit her teeth and rubbed her forehead, looking defeated. "It's way more than bad, Cam, her world is about to collapse," she corrected, then caught her breath with an even more worried look. "Uhm… Taylor, how are you taking this?"
Taylor closed her eyes and clenched her fists. "The Taylor side of me isn't handling it very well, but I have Odyssey to manage myself. I'll be fine. Especially once we start fixing my planet."
The medbay was silent for a few seconds as all of them gathered themselves.
Cam was the first one to speak. "I'm in," he declared.
Sam raised her head a little and looked at him weirdly. "In what?" she asked.
"I'm in, Sam," he repeated himself, then looked at the ceiling. "Taylor. Let's fix your world."
Taylor felt her breath catch. He was willing to help her Earth? Just like that?
Sam dropped her hand, looking dumbfounded. "Cam, it's not that simple-" she began.
Cam shook his head vehemently. "Yes it is," he refuted. "We're SG-1. This is what we do. We see injustice, we fix it. You destroyed a galaxy spanning ancient empire of body stealing snakes before I even graduated, Sam. We destroyed the Ori, and they were the closest things to actual gods we've ever encountered. We can fix oneplanet."
Sam looked shocked at his little speech. Her eyebrows were raised as high as they could go. "We don't know the Ori are gone, Cam-" she attempted to protest.
Taylor startled at something. There was- something was wrong, there was a feeling in her chest that shouldn't have been there, it didn't belong, she didn't even know what it was-
"Even if we messed that up, it's not our problem right now," Cam shut Sam down, for once acting the nominal team commander in a very real way. "We're in this reality now. Last time I checked we can't get back yet. If we could just go back I'm sure Odyssey would've brought it up." He paused, then looked up at her ceiling again. "Right?"
Taylor felt herself choking up with what she thought was worry. "Y-Yeah," she managed. "I wouldn't rule out Sam and I rigging up a reality drive of some kind if we spend time trying but I don't have anything on board that helps for that right now."
Cam held his hand out to the ceiling and dropped it. "There, see?" he presented to Sam. "We're stuck for now. We might as well do what we do and make it a better place while we're here. Maybe take down some bad guys at the same time."
Sam still looked conflicted, but the small smile on her lips showed she was getting talked into it. "It'll be tough, Cam," she noted. "We're cut off from backup, from supplies, from command…"
Cam shook his head and moved to put his hand on Taylor's hull. "We've got our backup and supplies right here," he negated. "The Odyssey has never let us down, and now she's a person too. The best ship just got better."
Taylor couldn't help herself. She started crying. Tears of joy, not worry, leaked out of her eyes and fell down her shirt before dropping out of sight through the air. She brought her hands around herself and hugged her stomach, feeling a warmth she had only felt from her mother before begin to ignite within her chest.
She recognized the feeling now. The two feelings, really, but blended so well that they were hard to discern. And Taylor hadn't felt one in two years… while the other was ripped from her as a young child.
Love and Hope.
Her crew loved her, and they were willing to save her planet just because they were around. Moreover they were SG-1. If anyone could do it, it was them. Even if Teal'c was missing… they could still do anything.
Sam blinked, then tilted her head. "Huh." Her eyes revealed the power of her mind whirling around, her age not remotely slowing her down. "If we can find a way to refuel, I guess Odyssey can work as a mobile base. We didn't really design the Daedalus class to do that, but we've got the Asgard core..."
Cam looked at her like an eager puppy. "So?" he pressed.
Sam sighed, closed her eyes, nodded, and looked at Cam. "Alright. I guess I'm in too."
Cam fist pumped and jumped a little, grinning wide. "Yes!"
Sam just smiled and rolled her eyes at him.
Taylor found her tears increasing as the warmth in her chest rose higher.
Cam cleared his throat and put his hands behind his back, straightening his shoulders in an attempt to look official.
It just made Sam and Taylor giggle, the latter through her tears. He sent the one of them in the medbay with him a glare.
"Taylor, put me on shipwide," he directed, an air of command to his voice.
So that was how it was going to be, huh? "Y-Yes, C-captain," she automatically said, then halted.
Nobody said anything for several long, confused seconds.
"Captain?" Sam asked in lieu of the shell-shocked Cam.
"S-Shut up Sam, it came from my ship side," Taylor fired back, stuttering even through her spluttering. Thankfully the tone of her voice that would've sounded like she was crying instead came across more like embarrassment.
Sam chuckled and shook her head. "Captain Cam, huh?" she asked again, this time teasing Cam.
Not that the target change helped. Taylor felt her tear-stained cheeks turn bright red. She really was embarrassed now.
Cam blinked, shook his head, then shook it again. "We can talk about command ranks later," he declared, seemingly the only thing he could think to say. He coughed lightly and looked back up at Taylor's ceiling. "Taylor, shipwide, please?"
"Yes!" Taylor squeaked, thankful that Cam wasn't teasing her about her slip up too. While Cam had been in command of her before, he wasn't necessarily her Captain at the moment. Taylor wasn't even sure whether she really wanted one… at least one who could tell her what to do. The warmth in her chest when she thought of having a Captain had nothing to do with the command ability and focused more on having a person she could rely on to take care of her.
She looked inside herself for her comms system and found a way to relay a given room's audio input to the entire ship. Once she found it, she flipped it… and then decided to pipe all other rooms back into the medbay just in case Daniel or Vala wanted to respond. "You're on shipwide, Cam, and Daniel and Vala can reply."
Cam looked surprised, but nodded. "Thanks for thinking of that."
Vala and Daniel both jumped, Vala almost falling out of the command chair of Taylor's bridge. Daniel merely resumed his calm footing. Regardless, both of them looked at the ceiling. "Thanks for thinking of what?" Vala asked, recognizing Cam's voice.
Daniel sighed and reached up to rub his forehead. Sam rolled her eyes and grinned.
Cam ignored her.
"Alright team, we've got a situation," Cam announced.
Vala sat up straighter, and Daniel became much more serious. "What's wrong, Cam?" Daniel asked.
"Taylor's Earth has a decade left before it suffers total societal collapse," Sam informed them.
Cam nodded. "Yep, that."
The other two were stunned to silence for several long, processing filled moments.
"Well that's not good," came Daniel's attempt at humor.
Vala bit back at him, sarcasm in her voice. The slightest tremor of uncertainty underlying that sarcasm betrayed how she really felt. "Thank you for that wonderful summary!"
And the discussion commenced.
At the end of it, though, SG1 was all on board. And Taylor wanted so dearly to hug them it hurt.
She pledged to herself, and her crew in silence, that she would find a way to do just that.
Eventually the logistics and strategy discussion, with Taylor filling in history, came to a close. They moved on to other topics… which mostly meant more history, as Cam and Sam kept asking endless questions of Taylor about their new world.
"So I guess Amazon never took off here, then," Cam lamented, attempting a joke to lighten the mood.
Taylor cocked her head to the side. "What's Amazon? Like, the rainforest?"
Her question stirred a query to her own databanks. She received a torrent of mostly useless information on what Amazon was.
And it stunned her.
"Holy shit, a worldwide, two day capable, shipping and online shopping system?!" Taylor almost yelled over her internal comms system. "Is that real?!"
Cam grinned. "You just look it up in the ship's… your, database?" he knowingly asked.
Taylor nodded to herself. "Yeah. Your… our old world was pretty nuts, huh?" she mused, even as she recognized that she was holding herself above something that had plagued her human life with frankly ludicrous levels of gravitational thrust from parts of her ship life. And yeah, she'd included that system in her original comparison of Odyssey's Earth and Earth Bet, but it wasn't really conscious.
The concept was mind boggling to her Taylor side. That's what Earth was supposed to be like? What else was there in her databanks that would paint her world in an even worse light?
"Nuts." Cam couldn't help it, he chuckled. "That's a way to say it, sure."
"Completely crazy on a median day is better," Sam groaned.
Completely crazy. Right.
Like flying, or massing… a value that even in tons Taylor would never admit to, even in her own head (oh gods the fat jokes)... or having thrusters the radius of several school buses stacked end to end on top of each other.
Even when she started thinking about her new situation that way, considering the superpowers and capes and Endbringers of Bet, her human world was still winning awards for nuttyness over her ship one.
Because, seriously? Superheroes? Odyssey had witnessed a lot, but never quite that level of complete and utter bullshit… while Taylor lived it every day.
"Are we going to land, darling, or are you just going to hover all day?" Vala's entirely unhelpful prodding registered on her comms systems from her bridge.
Taylor shook herself out of her small funk and acknowledged that she should probably do as Vala suggested. "Yeah, we need to get these tests going. Though I'm happy that the inadvertent duration test of my atmospheric VTOL gravity engines has resulted in a favorable outcome."
"Favorable," Cam dryly parroted, "right."
Sam giggled, a true giggle. She didn't often do that, which made it that much more precious to Taylor. Especially so given their previous and rather sombre discussion.
Storing the recording in her frankly ridiculous storage space took no time at all, nor did the several times she rewatched it.
Just to check the file integrity, she swore to herself.
Daniel snickered in her Asgard Database room, but somehow sensed when she paid more attention to him and rapidly straightened his face to try and appear like the wizened old professor he liked acting as in his old age.
Vala collapsed back into her Captain's chair, blowing air out of her mouth. "Thank you! Standing up here is killing me!"
You didn't have to stand up the whole time, I'm the one hovering, Taylor thought, though she managed to keep it from her comms system. She was getting better at isolating her new senses and abilities, that was for sure.
Yes, they and her old world was nuts, but SG-1 was her crew. Odyssey wouldn't have it any other way.
Her new world was a shithole, but it could be fixed. That very crew was on board with not that much hesitation in the pledge. What little there was only applied to the difficulty of the task, not whether it could or should be done. Those were givens.
Taylor hadn't felt anything like that in her life. Her world likely didn't have the concept of such selfless attitudes. She found herself liking it, especially as she herself felt like it was an obvious answer to a stupid question from her Odyssey side.
Odyssey already loved them. And due to their selfless and vehement pledge, Taylor wasn't far behind.
Earth Bet didn't deserve SG-1. But that was okay. They saved people anyways. Because that's what their real job had become, what they had ended up gravitating into regardless of their official missions.
The Tau'ri saved the galaxy. And now, they were going to save Taylor's world.
Come hell or high water, storm or rain, egomaniacal overlord aliens, space monsters, turmoil or strife, and even if the gods themselves objected; the Tau'ri, and their ship, would fix it all.
With that conviction roaring in her heart, Taylor knew what she was going to do.
She would test her powers, do some calibration… tell her Dad, no matter how much her Taylor side disagreed, and then…
"Let's go save the world, SG-1," she declared.
Their cheers felt like the best thing ever.
Taylor dropped through the air like a slightly heavy feather. She was carefully watching her gravity thrust system to make sure she didn't accelerate any faster than she wanted to. Given how much she now weighed… a high speed impact would be rather disastrous for at least the nearby beach, if not the ship graveyard as a whole.
Though it didn't seem to be correct even then. She was able to roughly figure out how much she seemed to weigh based on the gravity she was having to negate via counterthrust. A pass over herself with her sensors showed that the calculations were pretty close to accurate, so she didn't doubt the math she'd come up with on the fly.
Taylor snorted and grinned to herself. Heh, on the fly. Because I figured it out while flying. Taylor, why?
Anyways, she was roughly having to counteract around 250 pounds, give or take.
Taylor had always been tall. But she was also very skinny, as… Emma had taken so many chances to underscore for her during her time at Winslow.
No way did she weigh that much. Half that, maybe. So there was clearly some kind of aspect of her true mass as Odyssey bleeding over to her human form. The fact her 'new' weight matched what her records showed of her weight in orbit of Earth in number, if not magnitude, lent credence to the assumption.
Just…, Taylor winced to herself. Just short by several decimal places. Two and a half trillion- nope, so not thinking about it. Really, Odyssey?! And I thought the fat jokes were bad before!
She wasn't sure which weight would impact the beach if she just dropped. Her new apparently more human weight… or her true weight.
Thus the worries of the beach literally exploding. And the very careful touchdown procedure.
No matter how careful she was, though, her minimum thrust speed kicked in again. She slammed into the sand, both her shoes sinking deep enough to leave foot holes.
"One small step for a ship…" Taylor found herself almost automatically quoting as she looked down to her knees meeting the beach.
She cut off her thrusters and experimentally yanked her leg up. It took a bit more oomph than she needed to walk normally, and thus the ship in girl form accidentally overrode her thrust limiters for a moment.
The sand between her legs and the flat beach ceased to exist. A short burst of plasma fired off away from her on a forward and slightly up vector. A sound like a shotgun rung around all the massive wrecks of the Graveyard, petering out and turning slightly high pitched as it traveled away from her.
She was left standing in a small crater with the sand blasted back, glass around her shoes, and a small trail of more glass and scorched sand leading away from her.
"...One giant kick for us," Cam managed to add. All of SG-1 had been watching her sensors, Daniel changing focus back and forth between his database reading and the screen she projected for him.
"Sam, would you mind adding a confirmation window to my thrust limiters, please?" Taylor deadpanned.
"Yeah…" Sam gulped, gazing out at the casual devastation, "I should probably do that."