Stargate SG-1: Heir
Genre: General, Action, Adventure, Missing Scenes
Summary: Six months after Homecoming. Trouble just keeps on coming, from all directions.
Disclaimer: Only thing I own are the DVDs.
A/N: I love seeing SG-1 in action both on ground and out in space. This is a very poor attempt at trying to describe a dogfight because when I started doing this, the writers haven't really gotten into detail with the F-302s, their specs, and what they're capable of yet—and I haven't watched anything past SGA season 2. Oh, the dogfight stuff will be on the next chapter. Advance warning: English is not my native language, so please forgive me for any blunder I may have made doing this.
Chapter Spoilers: Tangent, Redemption pts. 1 & 2, Prometheus
"Anything can happen. The future is never written, only penciled in." - Dan Simmons, Endymion
Those beautiful, minute, glittering specks scattered in the velvety blanket of space, forever twinkling in merriment as they silently looked on at the passage of time. Quiet witnesses to the rise and fall of civilizations across the universe; the evolution and the extinction of life, of technology, of ideas; the birth and destruction of a planet, or entire planetary systems, without batting their heavenly eyes.
They were beautiful, and at the same time, cold and indifferent; hundreds of billions of Ice Queens in their own right sitting regally and gracefully in their heavenly thrones to watch. If they had voices, they had no intention of using it unless it was their time to perish, a heavenly swan song.
These same stars seemed to have shivered as something stirred, like someone on the thralls of waking up and surfacing from a long, deep, dreamless slumber. They shivered not of fright but of slight wonder. Something was happening and they were there, as always, to watch.
Starfield filled the cockpit of the F-302 as it came out of its third hyperspace jump. Its dull grey surface had a pair of bright, broad red stripes painted on both wings, running perpendicular to the body of the craft. The pilot glanced about, watching as the rest of his squadron appeared in twos and threes, sporting the same broad stripes on their sides.
So far, so good.
The nine fighters arrived at the light side of the planet Jupiter, the gas giant giving them ample amounts of cover and interference from any long range scanners possibly making a sweep of the immediate vicinity that very moment. He glanced down at his navigation screen. A little adjustment and they would be ready.
The lead pilot only gave a moment's notice of his zero-g surroundings before continuing on with his systems check.
"All systems checked and good to go," he announced over his helmet's boom mic. "Nine?"
"Hyperdrive is in the green and good to go, Lead."
His wingman was located off to his port side. Cobra Nine was the temporary squadron designation of Maj. Dave Andrews, leader of the Cobras who happily stepped down for this occasion in favor of their guest.
USAF Col. Jack O'Neill nodded his way. At his command, the rest of his squadron reported the same. "Next set of coordinates will be given to you shortly."
His squadron. Wow. It's been a while since he'd flown one of these babies, let alone command a squadron of it. And what's more, he's leading them into battle.
Well, it's not actually a battle; more like an exercise, mock dogfight stuff in zero-g. Still, that didn't stop the adrenaline from pumping into his system, the mounting anticipation made his heart hammer wildly against his chest.
"Alright, Cobras," Jack cleared his throat. "If anyone needs to go to the head now's the time to do it."
Everyone sniggered. Jack allowed himself a little smile. These weren't his kids, but he wanted them to feel comfortable around him enough that giving out orders would be a breeze.
When Lt. Gen. Vidrine invited him to join the military exercise three days ago, Jack immediately jumped at the opportunity, getting all giddy when he realized that he get to play with the 302s. He left that same day for Nevada to get acquainted with the pilots he would be flying with. He wanted the rest of SG-1 to come along, too, but Teal'c was currently off world, Daniel was doing some translations that he couldn't put down, and Sam was, as always, busy in her lab, tinkering with something. The exercise was to take place at the far side of Saturn, far away from prying eyes.
Jack learned earlier on that it became short of a tradition that every time the Prometheus returned to Earth from deep space exploration for maintenance and repairs, its permanent squadron of eight F-302s would be pitted against the best 302 squadron Earth could offer in a friendly competition. Currently, there were six active squadrons of twelve interceptors each, and it was only during these periods that they get to fly in zero-g, familiarize themselves with it, test their limitations, and hone their skills in vacuum.
So far, the Prometheus' Icarus Squadron always came out the winner. Vidrine figured that the Earth-based pilots needed something to boost their crumbling morale after being beaten rather badly in three consecutive engagements. He thought that the colonel might be able to help in that department, adding that they have to "tamper Icarus' ego down some."
It wasn't flying the 302 that really made Jack all giddy like a kid getting what he wished for on Christmas Day. The fighter was only an added bonus. What got him to readily agree in the first place was the thought of flying again. To be free. To be up there. He missed it. The speed. The rush. Although Jack was already tied and wholly committed to Stargate Command, flying was and would always be his first love. That's why he joined this particular branch of the US Armed Forces in the first place.
"It's revenge time, Cobras," a male pilot quipped, wanting to sound serious.
"Yeah, Six," another answered. "Remember the last time? Flattened us without mercy."
Another growled. "Do you have to make us remember that again, Five?" The husky female voice belonged to Lt. Emily Stowe, squadron designation Cobra Three, one of only two female pilots in the squadron. "It was embarrassing enough to think about it and yet here you go yapping with Col. O'Neill listening in. Have you no sense of shame?"
"Well, that is if he even had one in the first place," said another.
Cobra Four laughed. "Three's such a sore loser."
"Hey, I wasn't—"
Jack had taken his mask off to address his navigator. "Alright back there, Mullen?"
Lt. Tom Mullen was the Cobra's newest and youngest member. He was assigned to the squadron barely three months ago as a navigator, and in that short time, he was already showing promise in this particular field.
"Yes, sir." He'd also taken his mask off. "I just need a minute more, colonel."
"Take your time, lieutenant," Jack assured him.
"Yes, sir," Mullen answered sheepishly.
They had to adjust their course three times to be able to reach their destination in one piece. Before leaving the ground, Jack had only given his navigator enough time to plot a course until Jupiter, saying that the kid do the Math-thing for the last jump along the way.
Plotting a hyperspace course was very risky business as Sam had told them again and again. A carelessly made one could have them end up either in pieces, inside somewhere they shouldn't be, or find themselves slamming against a planet or some other. Not a pleasant way to die.
"…ore he could even execute the most basic of evasive maneuvers," Three ended in that icy cool detached manner of hers, quickly earning her the nick "Ice" among her peers.
Laughter exploded inside the cockpit. Someone hooted out in glee. "Ouch! The cat's got her claws on ya, Four!"
Jack could clearly picture Lt. Mark Allston whose designation was Cobra Four, visibly reddening around the neck.
"That's because they got loads of zero-g fly time unlike us," he said, clearly sulking at the wash down he got from his squadron mate.
That was true. Icarus Squadron had lots of time honing their skills out there while those on the ground were not as privileged. There's a huge difference between flying a fighter at high altitudes and flying out in open space. You couldn't differentiate the up from the down just by looking, for one thing.
"They just got lucky the last time," inserted Cobra Seven. This was their squadron's second attempt at winning the exercise. She would be Lt. Kate Walters, the other female member of the team, her voice a lot like Sam's. "We won't be so lenient with them this time."
Cobra Two, Captain Carl Bauer cheered at this. "Hear! Hear!"
Just then, Mullen announced their course ready, and with Jack's permission, began sending it out to everyone's terminals.
"Everybody got it?" Cobra Nine asked a few minutes later. Seven affirmations came back to him.
"Squadron," Col. Jack O'Neill announced, "come about one-six-three degrees and depress two-eight degrees." He made one final sweep of his instruments. Everything seemed to be in order. "Jump in two."
"Uh, Lead," Seven's voice crackled in his radio. "We're ten minutes ahead of schedule. They may not like being caught with their suits down." She tried to mask the mirth in her voice.
"All the more reason not to keep them waiting, Seven," Jack answered, letting his amusement flow through. The others sniggered, highly anticipating what was to come. Who could blame them?
After securing his mask back on, Jack glanced up at his wingman who gave him the thumbs up. Jack nodded back in return.
They were battle ready.
Next stop: the far side of Saturn.