Part 8 Of The Thundersdawn Series
By Chaoseternus

Chapter 12: Counting The Cost

The gate spitted and crackling, the wormhole flickering as the furiously running warriors charged out of the gate into the lush forests of the land of the light. Behind them came Sanguinius, the gate flashing out with a bone-shaking screech as he dived through, throwing the wounded soldiers out in front of him. A sharp pain reached up into the depths of Sanguinius's mind as he attempted to stand back up and shocked he noticed that the armoured sole of his right boot was gone, the skin of his foot gone with it.

Cursing like the Fourth Generation Marine he was he sat back down on the ground. He was alive, that was what mattered, and his foot would heal but with a sinking heart he knew the cost of this operation had been high, and he knew many who would argue that the Tok'ra were not worth it.

And if the Tok'ra kept up with their fair-weather alliance after this, he may just end up being one of them.

Carter cursed as she typed the sequence into the dialling computer for the tenth time, the gate spinning and locking chevrons under her control.

"Chevron 5 is encoded…

Chevron 6 is encoded…

Chevron 7 will not encode. Not receiving a busy signal off the gate's subsystem either"

Carter sighed as she turned with weary eyes back towards General Hammond, "I'm sorry sir, there no-longer appears to be a gate at the address"

Grimly, Hammond nodded, tears glistening in his eyes.

"Sir…" a hesitant voice spoke up from beside Carter, as Carters young prodigy swept her leg in its cast to rest back on the chair Carter had just left, "if they knew they were in trouble, wouldn't they have tried to dial out to another address, maybe one of our allies?"

Startled, Carter smiled approvingly at Hailey, "Its certainly possible, sir we should… Incoming wormhole" Carter snapped out as an alert flashed on her display, emphasised by the rumbling of the StarGate itself.

"Receiving GDO, its RSG-1 sir"

"Open the iris, put the base on full alert" Hammond ordered.

Tobias stepped through the gate onto Earth with a happy, slightly hysterical laugh, "General Hammond, we need a bloody shit load of medical sent to the Land Of The Light , like yesterday"

Major General Hammonds Office, 3 Days Later

Major Hammond grimaced, holding his aching head in his hands as he contemplated the report in front of him, and his future. Neither one was particularly bright. The Gatecrashers had lost 3 people in all, with the entire group injured too lesser or greater degrees.

SG-11 was gone, once again wiped out. That number would never be used again, and 17 more of his people had been lost. The Free Jaffa had lost 12 and they were angry, they saw no reason why they should have lost people for a group they saw as being no better than the Goa'uld they claimed to hate so much.

The Tok'ra had been devastated, 21 operatives had died and random testing had shown Zatarc's amongst the surviving members, a full sweep was being conducted, but Maktenos had totally compromised the Tok'ra, no question. Their days as spies were over.

That, despite their distrust of the Tok'ra, was still their biggest source of intelligence gone.

And it still left half his ground forces in the hospital, or on medical leave.

Hammond nodded to himself, his decision made. He would set everything up for his successor, then step down. He would have to make a call though, he knew who the best person for the job was, and he wanted to be sure he got it.