I was planning to start on a proper sequel to The Report, but the plot revolved around a terrorist attack on London.
I hope you can all understand why I decided against it.
The New Guys, part 5
"This is one thing I've not missed about England: the weather." O'Neill lamented as he stamped his feet to keep warm, "And this is supposed to be the summer?"
"The English weather is the best defence we have ever had." McPherson smiled, "And try not to fall over the cliff: I'd hate to explain it to Major Carter."
"How can you see anything in this fog?" O'Neill blinked, "I've never seen anything so thick!"
"Aye, it's a real pea-souper, that's for sure." Sergeant Garang appeared out of the haze, a steaming mug of tea in each hand, "Compliments of General Clarke: he said you might need warming up."
"Good man." McPherson took one offered mug and sipped at the hot, sweet tea, "Any idea how much longer the boffins are going to be?"
"Should be any time now." Garang nodded, "I've got to go: Jonas is babysitting Teal'c. He said something about a drinking game…" He disappeared into the fog.
"We should probably head back then." McPherson started back along the footpath, "It may be a little overcast, but at least it's not as hot as Australia was…"
"Will you drop that?" O'Neill rolled his eyes, "It was one silly mistake."
"That almost got you shot. There are safer things to do on holiday than try and break into the Woomera Prohibited Range. I had to do some fast talking to stop them deporting the two of you…"
"Don't remind me: Sam brings it up every chance she gets. And I will point out that it was Hammond's idea in the first place: He's the one who said the place might be of interest…"
"So you decided to try and sneak into the most secured area in the southern hemisphere?"
"Look, can we talk about something else? Like how centuries of archaeologists missed something as big and impressive as a Stargate burred in Cornwall?"
"Dumb luck I guess." McPherson shrugged as they reached the encampment, "We didn't even know to look until we found out that they even existed."
A mobile crane was poised above a deep pit dug into the soft earth. Soldiers in SGC and SAS uniforms milled around, many armed. O'Neill could see Generals Hammond and Clarke standing just inside the tent that served as the command post, talking.
Carter and Jonas were down in the bottom of the pit with a number of British military scientists, examining the newly uncovered Stargate. The DHD it was attached to sat to one side, a sheet of tarpaulin protecting it from the elements.
"And to think, everyone else believes that this is a security exercise." O'Neill smiled, "How on earth did you guys pull that off?"
"Easy: it's the sort of training exercise we do every few years." McPherson explained, "And the Duke was only to happy to help when President Ryan asked him."
"Yeah, that was very fast: how'd they pull it off?"
"The Duke of Cornwall is otherwise known as His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales. I believe even you know how he met President Ryan."
"Yeah, I was in Germany at the time, but it was all over the T.V. The President did well, for a Marine."
"I'd be careful not to say that too loud; he's very popular with our military." McPherson walked over to the command tent, "Colonel O'Neill is growing impatient, and would like to know when the Stargate is going to be moved."
"I've just been in contact with Ding: he says the transport is almost here." General Clarke put down his coffee, "We can proceed as soon as Major Carter and Mr Quinn give the say so."
"Yo, Sam: hustle will you?" O'Neill yelled down into the pit, "We're burning what little daylight we have!"
"One more crack like that, sir, and you're sleeping on the sofa!" Came back the reply, making everyone but O'Neill smile.
"Never get involved with a subordinate." The Colonel shook his head.
"I think we're ready to proceed." Hammond looked at his watch, "Captain, if you would be so good as to call in the transport."
"Sir." McPherson pulled a radio from his belt, "Eagle 1, this is mission control: come on down."
"Rodger that mission control, starting decent now." A thick Australian accent replied, "Dropping the cloak, now!"
The air rippled as the Tel'tak lowered itself over the uncovered Stargate and hovered effortlessly in midair.
"The number of mission I've done where we could have used one of those…" General Clarke shook his head.
There was a hum as the ships transporter rings descended. A flash later, and Major Domingo 'Ding' Chavez stood grinning in the middle of the pit.
"We have SO got to get one of these for Rainbow!" He yelled up at his CO.
"I'm working on it Ding, I'm working on it." Clarke smiled, "You guys all set?"
"The Australians seem to think that they can extend the cloak to encompass the Stargate once we've rigged it up." Carter climbed up the ladder leading out of the pit, "Unfortunately, it won't fit into the cargo-bay, so we need rig up a net."
"Shouldn't be that hard?" McPherson smiled.
"Well, it 'ain't pretty, but it'll do." The Tel'tak's Australian pilot, Squadron Leader Max Rockatansky, looked at the web of steal cables that held the Stargate to the underside of his ship, "I just hope it'll hold till we reach Woomera."
"We would be more happy having it at Area 51." Hammond sighed, "But we understand that it is the property of the British Government."
"Relax: it's being kept in storage in case we ever need it." Clarke smiled, "Ok, who wants to go see just what they're up to down-under?"
"You telling me they'll let us into Woomera?" O'Neill blinked.
"The President asked real nice and smoothed things over." The General smiled, "He has a knack for getting what he wants."
"Woomera control, this is Eagle 1: starting our approach now." Rockatansky reported as the Tel'tak skimmed over the seemingly endless Outback.
"Confirmed Eagle 1, bay 2 is open and ready." The controller reported, "Welcome home."
"It's good to be back." Rockatansky smiled, before turning to his passengers, "Ok Sirs, try not to gawp too much!"
The Tel'tak dived down towards what looked like a patch of desert, only to pass harmlessly through it, coming out in a large underground cavern.
"This is a natural cavern that was first used as a storage area back when they tested ICBM's here in the 50's." Rockatansky explained, "The tech-boys have rigged up a holographic projector to hide the doors when they open."
Another Tel'tak and an Al-Kesh sat on landing pads across the other side of the cavern, but the bulk of the space was taken up by what looked like two Prometheus class Battlecruiser's.
"Where did you guys get those?" O'Neill asked, leaning forward as far as he could.
"We built them." McPherson explained, "The Warrior and Victory over there are the first two ships in the Commonwealth Space Fleet. The Warrior as a hyperdrive we selvedge from an Ha'Tak, but we don't have anything for the Victory yet."
"How many ships do you have in total?" Carter asked.
"Just those two at the moment: they each cost almost a years budget, so it'll be a while before we can build any more." McPherson shrugged, "We're hoping to grab some more Tel'tak shuttles and Al-Kesh bombers to make up the deference a little."
"You do realise that we only have the Prometheus operational at the moment." O'Neill looked at the English officer, "You've more than doubled our fleet!"
"Don't get too excited, Sir." McPherson shook his head, "Neither ship is considered operational as of yet: we don't have trained crew, and they lack the advanced technology the Asgard gave the Prometheus."
"Fighters?" Carter asked.
"Two squadrons, #617 and #633, of slightly modified X-302's that we call Spitfires." Rockatansky explained as he landed the shuttle on a specially constructed cradle with ease, "I can take you up in one if you like."
"I think we'll pass: you've been up in one super-advanced fighter, you've been up in them all." O'Neill made his way out of the now open hatch and down a ramp that had been wheeled into location, "But it's nice to know that we have some backup should we ever need it…"