Well this is the end of this story. Our heroes will gain knowledge and technologies from Castus Lumenis in the continuation of this story - The Secrets of the Past and there as well you will see what will happen to Saran.
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Disclaimer: The characters of SG1 and Atlantis belong to MGM.
"Did you say Mars?" – Mitchell asked.
"What the heck is going on here?" – General O'Neil demanded.
"Sir, the ORI fleet is on the move." – Walter announced.
"Man your posts and prepare for battle."
The sensors were correct. The ORI fleet has shifted positions and has begun to move towards Earth. But the small craft just above Mars had maintained its position.
Shepard seemed interested more with the craft than with the impeding threat of the ORI. He was wondering why their sensors haven't picked up this vessel before. He had asked Rodney to try to find out the reason for that because somehow he was thinking it was important. And to add, his feeling was completely at place.
The ORI ships were just dozen of minutes from the Asteroid Belt between Jupiter and Mars when the craft moved out of orbit and took position at the same distance to the belt, and then the sensors of the Orion picked a distinct homing beacon signal.
The Earth defense fleets broke orbit of the Moon and begun moving as well towards the ORI but they suddenly stopped as signs of multiple hyperspace windows appeared on their sensors.
"Sir, multiple hyperspace windows are appearing." – The tactical officer of the Odysseus reported.
"What? All stop!" – Colonel Emerson shouted but then gaped.
And right he was because at this moment numerous ships came out of hyperspace somewhere behind the small craft. It was then when the Earth ships realized the purpose of the homing beacon emitted by the small craft.
Ten minutes have passed and still more ships were dropping out of hyperspace. Soon the space between Mars and the asteroid belt was filled with a great armada of ships that faced the ORI fleet and more were coming, as the long-range sensors indicated.
The ships were in all different kinds of shapes and sizes but the main fleet seemed to be of ships in triangular shape (Pitagore triangles). They were very long, large and covered in silver. One of the ships in the main fleet was almost trice as bigger as the others. Its imposing hull, which was made of unknown material shining like a star, was in horrifying blackness and that terror was present in the eyes not only of the ORI but also in the Earth defense ships.
"I feel like in Dark Star Wars." – Mitchell gasped.
"I agree." – Shepard said.
"How many are they?" – General Landry asked.
"They are about two thousand, sir." – Walter replied. "And sensors are picking more vessels coming."
"More?" – General Landry started to wonder what is going on. "Where did they come from?"
"I don't know sir." - Walter replied honestely.
"Gentlemen how do you feel about that?" – Landry asked.
"I don't know what to feel joy or real concern." – Shepard answered bewildered.
"Me neither." – Mitchell replied.
"Every move they've made so far speaks of incredible discipline." – O'Neil said calmly as he was observing them.
"I agree, sir." – Emerson confirmed. "It seems to me that they've taken defensive positions."
"Yeah, they have." – Jack continued his observation. "They are positioned like chess board pieces, each covering the other. Did you manage to scan them?"
"That is a negative, sir. They have deflected each of our scans." – Emerson responded.
"Thor?" – O'Neil asked.
"I haven't been able to scan their vessels." – Thor said in his casual tone. "They've been jamming us as well."
"Hmm." – O'Neil said. "Carter any ideas as to how to scan them?"
"I'm working on that sir." – Sam replied.
"John, the alien armada is hailing us." – Rodney announced.
"Well, open the channel." – Shepard said.
On the view screen, a mid height man appeared. He was dressed in a silver blue uniform and only on the top he was in black. Two crests were visible on his chest. The one on the right was a crown on a background of space and stars. The one on the left was a red dragon with lions on his side. He had pale skin and his dark black eyes were narrowly fixed on Colonel Shepard. His voice was deep and influential.
"I am Te'kran, Commander of the Red Dragon Squadron, lieutenant captain of the Royal Space Ship the Smog."
"I am Lieutenant Colonel Shepard of the Earth Ship the Orion." – Shepard replied.
"Colonel Shepard, you are to move your fleet back to Planet Earth, where you will remain until we've dealt with the situation in hand." – Te'kran said.
"I'm sorry I can't do that."
"I see. The fleet is not under your command."
"No, it isn't. But mind me asking…." – Shepard was cut off.
"Then tell your commander, colonel, that your fleet is not get involved. We'll deal with the aliens. Your fleet will stay to protect your planet should any of the aliens managed to slip between our fleet."
"This is Brigadier General Jack O'Neil, head of Earth Defenses. Would you mind telling us who are you and where do you come from?" – General O'Neil intervened.
"You'll be informed of everything you need to know in time, General O'Neil. For the time being your fleet is not to get involved into the battle. We are the Castus Bellatoris of the Kingdom of Castus Lumenis."
"What?" – Jack O'Neil exclaimed. "A, Daniel?"
"What the heck that means?"
"Well he says that they are the Holy Warriors from the Kingdom of Pure Light."
"Aha. Couldn't they have said it this way, it sounds much more easier."
"It seems no."
"Ok. Why do you want us to stay away?" – O'Neil turned to Te'kran.
"General O'Neil, you ask too many questions."
"Maybe but you haven't answered them."
"It is because it is not my place to answer them."
"Then whose place it is?"
"Ha ha." – Te'kran chuckled. "Now, I believe you understood me?"
"Well, yes I did but…."
"It is very simple, general. Stay away from the battle."
"Or what?" – Jack asked teasingly.
"Or you might force us to keep you out of it." – Te'kran hissed with an impassive threat in his voice. "You have your warning, General. Te'kran out."
The link was severed and it leaved General O'Neil quite baffled, well not only him. The alien armada turned some of its ships in direction of Earth and soon they created a defensive line.
Rodney however had just noticed the expression on John Shepard's face. He turned to him.
"John is something wrong?"
"Get Colonel Mitchell here." – John ordered. "And get me the display of Te'kran again. I'm sure I've missed something."
Colonel Mitchell was transported on the Orion. He entered into the bridge and found Shepard in a very thinking position on the command chair.
"Yeah. What is all this about?"
"Rodney." – John called on.
The view screen reappeared with Te'kran on it. John fixed its gaze and told Rodney to increase the resolution of the image and run the conversation again. There was something that John has spotted, something familiar.
"There! Freeze it." – John shouted and turned to Mitchell. "What do you see there on his left shoulder?"
Mitchell looked at the spot John was pointing and gaped. "It can't be," he said.
"I thought I saw it but I wasn't sure. Now I am."
"John, it simply can't be." – Mitchell whispered.
"Would someone tell me what are you two talking about?" – Rodney asked.
"The crest on his left shoulder." – Shepard answered.
"We have seen it before."
"On Earth, a long time ago." – Mitchell exhaled and looked at Shepard.
Rodney did notice the way they were looking at each other. Their faces were showing beside total disbelief and surprise a side of fear. He wondered why but the two said no word.
"Contact General O'Neil." – John told Rodney.
A few minutes later, on the screen John and Cameron were telling O'Neil what they have discovered. The facial expression of O'Neil had changed dramatically. He was now taking seriously the warning he was given earlier. O'Neil ordered the Earth ships to maintain their positions near the Moon. The Asgards and To'kra obeyed them as well. General Landry, on the other hand, had no idea what prompted O'Neil's decision.
"General O'Neil would you care to explain to me what are you doing?"
"Of course, General Landry. We are complying with the demands of the alien fleet to stay out of the battle." – O'Neil responded.
"Mind me asking what changed your mind?"
"I'll tell you another time, general."
Meanwhile on the command ship of the Castus Lumenis, a tall man dressed all in black was pacing back and forth. His mantle was sweeping the floor but it seemed this was not bothering him. His gaze was turned to the ORI fleet until his walk was interrupted.
"Milord, the Earth ships have returned to their previous positions." – Lieutenant Perat announced.
"Excellent." – Lord Fulgur hissed. "Contact the leading alien vessel at once!"
"The alien vessel is responding."
"On view screen."
The white dressed high templar Saran appeared on the screen. He was examining with curiosity his opponent before he spoke, as Lord Fulgur was waiting patiently for him.
"I am High Templar of the ORI – Saran."
"Hmm." – Lord Fulgur mumbled.
"All unbelievers who fail to recognize the power of the ORI shall perish." – Saran began his incantations.
"I am Lord Fulgur. Lord of the Universe. You're trespassing in my territories. Withdraw your fleet immediately."
"All unbelievers shall…" – But Fulgur interrupted.
"I have no interest in your praying and speeches, Saran. I don't care what your religion is or what it stands for. All I know is that you are in violation of my space so do yourself a favor and get out of it or suffer the consequences of your insolence."
"The ORI can not be defeated by mere mortals." – Saran snapped. "The power of the ORI can not be challenged by some fools."
"You have half of the Earth hour to turn your fleet away and get out of the Solar Sector or pay for your insolence you will. I will not tolerate your presence here anymore." – Lord Fulgur said calmly in cold fury and the link was severed.
"What would you order, milord?"
"Place all Interdictors around the Solar Sector. May no enemy escape. Contact Commander Te'kran."
"Yes, Milord." – Perat obeyed.
"Has the Falcon arrived?"
"They will reach their position in forty minutes."
The fleet of Castus Lumenis was growing constantly until it reached four thousand ships. They formed a semi-circle positioned as General O'Neil observed still in the known chessboard like style. The deadline given by Lord Fulgur has almost elapsed. The ORI had decided to drive their opponents to move first but as they have never faced Lord Fulgur in the past they had no idea who could wait more patiently than him.
The ORI leader Saran decided to provoke his opponent as several ORI ships moved out of formation and began their approach. However, Lord Fulgur did not show any signs that he had noticed their maneuver.
All defenders of Earth were monitoring the maneuvers of the ORI on long-range sensors. Mitchell and Shepard had already started to predict Lord Fulgur's reaction, however O'Neil was absolutely sure that he would not move.
"Sir, do you think the aliens know what kind of power the ORI possess?" – Mitchell asked.
"No, I don't think so because if they did by now they would have done something. But they are not going to move either. The ORI are obviously trying to provoke them." – O'Neil answered.
"And they'll succeed." – Mitchell added. "We could at least warn them what to expect."
"No, we will not get involved. Besides I don't think they'll listen to us. I do believe their commander has a plan, who wouldn't. I'll say that he is studying them."
"But sir, we should tell them."
"Mitchell." – O'Neil slightly raised his voice.
The ORI ships passed the belt and armed their weapons. They were fast approaching the first lines of Castus Lumenis. The Prior on board enhanced the ORI blasters with the power of the ORI and they fired. The blasts passed through the shields of their opponents and the ships exploded. Then the ORI ships turned around and went straight back to their fleet obviously expecting pursuit but they were very mistaken as nothing of the kind happened.
"Why haven't they moved I mean they were attacked?" – Mitchell exclaimed after the ORI maneuver.
"Hmm." – O'Neil said thoughtfully.
"We should tell them." – Mitchell insisted.
"Maybe we should have tried but by now they have seen it so there is no point."
"Thor tried to reach them but they ignored him." – Sam said.
"Which only proves that their commander is either foolish or he has a plan." – O'Neil stated. "Carter, have you analyzed the debris field?"
"Yes, ships were destroyed." - Sam replied. "I don't understand…"
"Yeah, we don't." – O'Neil cut her off.
"Sir, the entire ORI fleet is on the move." – Emerson announced.
"All good, it is getting interesting now."
When the strike ORI ships returned, Lord Fulgur contacted Saran one last time.
"High Templar Saran, your fleet is still within my territories and your time is up. What is going to be?"
"The unbelievers shall perish by the power of the ORI. It is their will." – Saran responded.
"Unbelievers or believers, matters not. Withdraw your fleetor you will regret it."
"You are outnumbered and outgunned, Lord Fulgur. No one can stop the power of the ORI." – Saran snapped with supremacy in his voice.
"What makes you believe that?" – Lord Fulgur asked back mischievously.
"Your ships could not withstand the power of …"
"Of the ORI, yes, we know that. There is no need to repeat a thousand times. However, Master Saran, you are very mistaken and very delusional. First of all, you are the one outnumbered…" – Lord Fulgur paused then continued with a smile. "…and outgunned."
"Ha ha!" – Saran laughed sinisterly. "One of your ships facing three of ours and given that you can't withstand our power I don't possibly see how you can be so misguided."
Lord Fulgur threw a narrow look at Saran and a dark smile appeared on his face.
"And I see the terror in your soldiers' eyes, Lord Fulgur. Your feeble attempts to invoke trouble or even fear in us are ridiculous. You'll be swept away." – Saran snorted disparagingly.
Lord Fulgur did not respond at first but the smile on his face has grown darker, then changed completely to a mocking smile and at last he laughed. His laugh was so sinister and diabolic that Saran even stepped back and the very terror Saran was describing could have been seen in his soldiers' looks.
"Is that what you think?" – Lord Fulgur whispered but Saran could feel the mockery and the threat in his voice. "Hmm," and then Saran saw it. It looked like lightening has passed, for a second, in his eyes.
"High Templar Saran." – Lord Fulgur whisper was growing. "It is you who is very delusional. You have no idea who you are facing. So you think I am outnumbered? Hmm. Well I can tell you, I don't need a great number to squash you but as for the occasion that I had to travel through many galaxies – well – lets just say that I brought back with me a tiny part of my fleet perhaps just to prove you very wrong, very wrong."
Lord Fulgur turned his communicator on and said: "Admiral La Tare, de-cloak!" Suddenly Saran and the ORI fleet were able to see, the fleet Lord Fulgur had really brought as another six thousand ships de-cloaked.
"All Interdictors are in position, Milord." – Perat announced.
"Have them activate." – Lord Fulgur commanded. "Your time is up. You had a chance to go back and I would have left you, Saran – High Templar of the ORI, but now it is too late."
"We'll see." – Saran shot and severed the link.
The entire ORI fleet powered their engines and advanced towards Castus Lumenis. The tension had grown. All ORI ships had to pass through the asteroid belt before reaching their opponents. At the time they reached almost the end of it, their ships began to explode. They soon realized that the belt was mined.
"Milord, the Flacon has arrived." – Perat informed.
"Excellent. Have them follow the ORI and when I give the mark to attack them. This will be the day the ORI will remember for a very long time, very long time. No one defies Planet Earth." – Lord Fulgur hissed.
The ORI leader Saran was furious for this outrage and he ordered all his ships to engage the unbelievers' fleet. The Priors enhanced the weapons and the shields. And now the people standing in the Earth defending fleet and especially Mitchell, Sam and Daniel were sure that the ORI would strike down the alien ships but as Saran was proven wrong for the number he was facing the SG1 team was proven wrong for the easy defeat of Castus Lumenis.
The ORI ships stroke with full force but the ships of Castus Lumenis withstood the blasts for the ORI's great surprise. It seemed Lord Fulgur had a few surprises in his sleeve. Then came the counter attack. The ORI vessels were struck down by powerful blasts that destabilized their shields on the second touch and on the third the ships were destroyed. Now it was clear that the battle would not seem so easy victory for the ORI as they predicted.
SG1 team, the Asgards and To'kra were quite for a surprise as well as Saran when another ten thousand vessels de-cloaked behind the ORI forces. The new wave of ships pressed the ORI, which were surrounded and in the crossfire their ships became vulnerable. Then there were two distinct large explosions. It seemed that someone has detonated the naquadah bombs but it did not stop there, as there were at least hundred more explosions, which were even more powerful and devastating. The ranks of the ORI were beginning to brake under the furious fire and it was clear that the power of the ORI gods was not sufficient to drive back or to stop the warriors of Castus Lumenis.
The battle continued three hours before the ORI fleet was destroyed, although several of their ships including Saran'stried to escape but they were due for the surprise and realization of the impossibility of their desire. Few minutes later almost all of those ships were destroyed and Saran's ship was captured.
The main ships of Castus Lumenis broke formation and headed for Earth with Saran's ship in the middle. They reached Earth and contacted the Odysseus where General O'Neil was.
"This is Colonel Emerson of the Earth ship Odysseus." – Emerson introduced himself.
"Nice to meet you, Colonel. Could I speak to General O'Neil?"
"Hi!"- O'Neil saluted and added. "Who are you?"
"I am Lord Fulgur, Lord of the Universe. It is a pleasure to finally meet with you general O'Neil. Supreme Commander Thor has spoken highly of you."
"Has he now?" – O'Neil said surprised.
"Yes, he values the aid Earth has provided for him and his people." – Fulgur replied.
"Hmm. Thor." – O'Neil turned to Thor questioningly.
"It is agreeable to see you again, your majesty." – Thor greeted.
"As it is to see you. Supreme Commander." – Lord Fulgur replied politely.
"So you know each other I gather?" – O'Neil asked.
"Yes." – Lord Fulgur nodded. "General O'Neil would you, general Landry, SG1 and colonel Shepard and Dr. McKay join me on my ship?"
"What for if might ask?"
"You might." – Fulgur said with a smile. "We have a lot to discuss and to form a lasting relationship. I have what to offer you, general. Something that will enable you in the future to be much more prepared for a situation such as this."
"Like an alliance?" – O'Neil suggested.
"No. We are one and we will help each other. After all I will never repeat the same mistake of leaving my home planet defenseless again."
"What?" – O'Neil asked disbelieving what he had just heard.
Lord Fulgur just smiled and said: "I am sending you transport coordinates."
"We will be there." – O'Neil gracefully accepted.
"I'll be waiting."
Again, what are your favorite episodes in SG1 – 9th season so far!
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