17:49 June 26th 2008
Pentagon, Washington D.C.
In a somewhat inconspicuous office, inside the head of all United States military operations, where seemingly mixed with the hundreds of other officers, writing up, reading over, and filling reports by the bucket load, was a middle aged Major General. While he, like many others inside this building, had the unfortunate duty of going over the latest tactical report in a war far away from his position. Most would be worried about the dozens of military coups popping up in the middle east, and the unsuccessful peace keeping operations, but this man was reading reports from across the galaxy. Be they a Battlecruiser returning to earth for repairs, reports from off-world mining outposts, or hell, even interstellar contact, such is the life of General O'Neill, and the wonderful job being the head of Homeworld Security.
The man was becoming frustrated, his table full of reports of all sort. The sterile smell of the room filled his sinuses, the bland looking walls surrounding him. You would think that a man in his position would at least have a window. His stomach growled. All he felt like was something actually edible to eat, not like the stale half eaten sandwich in front of him. In fact, he decided, that's exactly what he was going to do.
As he barely raised himself from his chair the telephone rang. He sighed in protest, wondering if it was worth it to just ignore the call or not. By the fourth ring, he reluctantly picked up the receiver, and putting it to his ear he said in a bored monotone voice, "O'Neill."
"Sir, its Carter, I just got back from Area 51, you might want to have a look at the new beam weapon. They are having a test fire tomorrow," she said, now full colonel had been temporarily transferred to Nellis to help Thor reverse engineer those big honking space guns of his. Five times he had traveled across the country, and five times had the thing had either collapsed, died, or in one case, exploded, and suffice to say, he didn't have much faith in tomorrows test.
While trying to reason with his former second in command, he was frantically going through his schedule, "Gee Carter, I'd love too, but the thing is I've got this thing going on, like tomorrow or something." Looking for some sort of excuse, he found none.
"I've read your schedule sir, you've got nothing." You could almost sense the smirk on her face, he just had no idea how she knew.
"How did you…?" he asked casually, if a colonel, even one with top-level clearance, had access to his account.
"General Landry owed me a favour." Well that made more sense, Beau had been working more and more with O'Neill ever since the plans for disclosure were put under way. He just didn't know what would shock the public more, the stargate, or the fleet? Ronson and Landry often bickered about it. He for one thought the public would be much more shocked that the 3 men commanding all the spacefaring forces constantly bickered on who commanded the better force. All round O'Neill won, since he commanded both of them. They stated it was unfair, but he always smirked and said typically O'Neill like, "Tough."
"Sir?" Carter asked concerned at his silence.
'Ah yes, carters new toy,' shaking the precious thoughts off quickly, he came back to reality. "Sorry I was thinking. Well as long as this thing doesn't go the way Felger's tinker-toy did…" Not a second later he mentally kicked himself, he knew where this was leading…
"No sir, but if your interested we've made massive strides with the plasma cannon, apparently the rel…" her explanation was sickeningly enthusiastic, little did she know, he took quite an interest in reading the new tech reports, too bad he didn't like hearing it twice.
Rubbing a hand through his hair he groaned slightly, "Carter..."
"Sorry sir," even after 10 years, her over explanations still managed to both enlighten and irritate him. "In any case we decided to make your trip somewhat special, the Theseus will transport you from DC to Nellis." Great, now he couldn't even take a plane like a normal person, he had to take the big starship to work. 'Oh well,' he sighed 'its better then walking.'
"You've planned this haven't you?" He asked, just now catching onto her little plan.
Once again, he could sense the smirk on her face, 'oh she will pay for this!' "For 2 weeks sir, have your transporter relay ready by then," she said. "The Theseus will be ready for at 10 am tomorrow, see you soon."
'Ah, at least it's only the jump to and from, I don't think the President would like a nice big Daedalus Class landing in front of the pentagon, I'm sure his plans for disclosure, were a little more subtle.' O'Neill thought as he said, "Bye Carter." He hung up the phone, and then realized that he was still hungry. His day at the office nearly over, he reluctantly stuffed the sandwich in his mouth, and packed up ready to head back to his hotel room. "Just another day in the life of General Jack O'Neill," he commented to the empty room.
Area 51, Fleet Yard
While not much of a yard per say, the massive underground bunkers that were ever growing to support the additional ships in the ever-expanding fleet of the United States Air Force. Now the specially designed repair bays; that would make repairing the giant starships that much easier, held, what was considered the pride and joy of the American fleet, the USAF Daedalus. Three years of making the Earth to Atlantis run had let it see surprisingly more action then any other ship in the fleet. When the others were dealing with the goa'uld, it was dealing with the wraith, a threat that was easily much larger then the parasites that once plagued this galaxy. Through these constant battles, her hull was starting to tear, and as much as her captain the higher ups like Brigadier General Ronson, and Admiral Keyes saw differently. It was about time she had a major refit.
On the base surface Colonel Cardwell, captain of the Daedalus had at least another week before his ship could leave the yards and enter service again. Usually when not on his ship, he spent his time on Atlantis, exploring to seemingly endless city, however being in another galaxy put a stop to those plans. Shepard had finally taken his leave on earth. 'It was a good thing too,' the colonel thought. 'The man could finally have a break.' However as Cardwell was now watching, Lieutenant Colonel John Shepard was doing anything but relaxing.
Zooming across the skyline in a seemingly insignificant golden speck, was the prototype multi-vector gunship. Thankfully there were no reporters, or UFO skeptics/fanatics, and the test flight was living up to expectations. The twin anti-gravity engines placed on the gunship's sides allowed for an off the charts level of agility. Now the gunship moved itself into a hovering position above the base. The colonel could see where the design was based from, its shape matched that of standard helicopters used today besides the two large, but surprisingly flat Goa'uld based gravity drives along the sides and the lack of any rotors.
His small comlink picked up the radio chatter coming from the flight tower above, "Okay Colonel you are clear to land, nice flying up there."
"Thank you control it's been a pleasure, now anything special you want? I'm feeling a bit cocky here." No doubt this was Cardwell, he remembered some of the stuff the man did, or tried to do at the battle of Atlantis three years ago.
He could hear the slight chuckle from the flight operator, "Standard landing will do Colonel."
"Roger that, Anti-Grav engines are powering down," He sounded slightly disappointed, and Cardwell knew it was sincere, that man loved his flying.
Slowly descending to the surface, the dust that had settled across the concrete surface jumped away from the constant pushing force of the engines. Landing gear dropping, the gunship put down extremely smoothly, he couldn't even see the slightest bounce as it touched the surface. As the canopy opened, the flight crews rushed a mobile ladder towards the deactivated gunship, slowly the lieutenant colonel climbed down still wearing the jumpsuits used by almost all Atlantis personal, his helmet half undone.
Now he was walking towards the colonel, as he finished removing his helmet in the process, leaving a goofy grin in its place, "Did you like?"
Nodding at the question, "Yes one of the first actual craft to not have a fault on its test flight."
The grin grew wider at the thought, "They call it the O'Neill Effect you know."
Now that brought a smirk to his solemn face, "That makes sense, anything advanced that man touches seems to explode."
"He's not as bad as Beckett at least," Shepherd said now putting his gloves into his helmet.
"True," The smirk growing into a full sized smile, but then quickly took a dive into curiosity. "What are they planning on calling it? AH-307 doesn't really have a nice ring to it," he said as they both walked towards the installations direction.
That thought caused a look of concern and concentration on Shepard's face, in the end he shrugged it off with the slightest smile, "I don't know... kinda hope they call it the orca."
That raised the colonels eyebrows, "Oh?" looking back at the gunship's direction, trying to find for whatever reason he thought it would be an appropriate name. "Looks nothing like a whale."
Shepard continued to grin, he himself looking at the gunship, not making the connection himself, "Sounds like one."
Now that was just down right stupid, "Your kidding right?" At the still remaining grin he knew he wasn't. He then gave the typical smartarse response. "In any case your since your so keen in using your vacation time to test out new toys, the research staff have been itching for you to test out some of the ancient technology gathered, in the meantime, I have a new XO to meet," as the colonel walked in the other direction, leaving John Shepherd shrugging, as he left his equipment at the supply station next to him. He liked to play with his 'toys' he thought as he headed to the R&D hanger.
USAF Prometheus, Alpha Centuari System
On an extremely Terran like planet in Earths closest star system, was the growing and thriving Alpha Centuari Colony. A collection of portable buildings surrounded the so far, sole permanent facility. It was huge, holding a hanger bay, command centre, deep space radar, warehouse and lab faculties, such that you would expect of a growing military outpost.
On the long recently dug out runway, held the massive form of the Prometheus. The still active Battlecruiser took up much of the empty land, but unlike the bigger Daedalus class, the Prometheus class was the only thing that fit in the heavily forested area. Pendergast was starting to wonder why they decided to set up here anyway.
With the flash of the Asgard transporters, he remembered, Trinium. The sixth and final shipment was quickly moved off the transporter pads and moved into the cargo bays. That was it and it was time to go.
The video screens above the bridge window jumped to life, all displaying Colonel Jefferson from 'Farpoint's' command station. Apparently some trekkies got the option of naming the colony. Despite that it seemed fitting to Pendergast, "That's it Prometheus, just let our people out of there and you can be on your way." The colonel on station was barely giving the view station any attention, obviously caught up with whatever he was typing below.
The colonel quickly returned to the captain's chair, as all other crew members were doing the same to their stations, "Roger that Farpoint, preparing launch sequence."
"Just don't miss the deadline this time, or you'll have 4000 angry men and woman wondering where their food is." Jefferson said jokingly, still typing away.
Pendergast grinned, because the Alpha Centauri system was inside Earths section of space, it was the same stargate address, and as such could not have its own. This forced Earth to make regular shipments of supplies, and resources between the colony and Earth, and as the colonel just pointed out. "That was Avengers fault Farpoint, yell at them next week."
Finally looking up, Jefferson said in mock seriousness, "Oh we will, tell them to expect an earful, in any case, all personal are clear..." Turning to see the blast doors close around the control centres windows. A good idea considering the Prometheus was literally on their doorstep, and there's always room for caution when a 270 metre Battlecruiser is about to launch, "You are free to launch."
Nodding the captain looked at Lieutenant Colonel Erin Grant, she herself looking over the final reports from engineering, nodding to the captain "We're ready sir, on your orders."
Facing the patient man on the video screens the captain gave a casual wave "Acknowledged Farpoint, see you next week." The screens instantly turned off and together the crew now awaited the final orders, "Anti-gravity engines online. Take us out, standard procedure."
The helm acknowledged, with the tap of just a few keys, a low humming sound emitted by the inbuilt engines below the ship, "Aye sir, primary engines on standby."
The first capital ship of earth slowly rose from the somewhat bare airstrip with a billowing of dust and dirt. Slowly it rose, without much sound over then the constant hum of the gravity drives, but as it held itself roughly 200 metres from the surface. The primary engines roared to life, sending a thunderous clap echoing into the skies, the blaze of ionized energy in the engines, grew with intensity, and the Battlecruiser slowly pushed into the sky, leaving the small outpost behind.
From the bridge, the bright blue sky gradually grew darker and darker with each passing second. Before anyone realized, they were out of the planets atmosphere. Leaving the sparkling planetary blue orb behind them, the ship continued to fly into a higher orbit and into the twilight of space.
"Estimated time till we leave Alpha Fours gravity well?" Pendergast asked to Grant. Grant, while ship XO, was also in charge of calculating hyper-jumps. Since jumping inside a gravity well was basically insane, or in advanced races opinions, merely difficult, the question fell under her job description.
A quick readout on her console gave the answer, "Roughly 50 seconds, shall I calculate the jump path to Sol now?" on his nod she brought up another window on the small touch screen, and quickly typed in the data necessary for the jump.
Pendergast himself tried to get comfortable in the surprisingly unpadded command chair, "And now we wait."
Hundreds of thousands of kilometres away, a cloaked ship waited, and watched. The raging storm of hyperspace opened in a furious but beautiful display of light. The Tau'ri ship plunged in, no doubt heading for their Homeworld, no matter, it made the job of scanning that much easier. Little did the fools know, Baal would make his return, and the Tau'ri will take the first blow.