Disclaimer: Stargate SG-1 belongs to Gekko Film Corporation, MGM Studios, etc, as do all o the characters mentioned or who appear here; they are not mine. Andromeda belongs to Tribune Entertainment and Fireworks Productions; it is not mine. Notes: The story picks up shortly after where "Hail the Conquering Hero" left off.
"Snake Oil" by Karen
In the conference room at the Cheyenne Mountain Base a holographic computer representation of the unknown alien fleet held the attention of the SG-1 team members, with the addition of Dr. Janet Fraiser, General Hammond, and several other uniformed air force officers and assembled civilians.
Lying flat in front of each of them where slim blue envelopes with the United States logo containing documents that contained gathered information of both the ship's estimated numbers, weapons capability, and projected targets. That they were hostile was a foregone conclusion.
Hammond stood up and walked over to the computer model projection. "As you can see here," he said pointing to a portion of the model that indicated the ship's positions and heading.
"At the rate they're going we figure that they will reach Earth in a little less than seventy two hours and forty minutes. I've been in contact with the Tok'ra and the Asgard. Neither of them have any idea of where these newcomers are from."
"I'm more worried about where they're going, then where they're from," Doctor Daniel Jackson said.
"Could Thor know more about them then he's willing to let on?" Colonel Jack O'Neill asked.
"Indeed," Teal'C said as he raised one black eyebrow and darted significant glances around at all those assembled at the conference table.
"It wouldn't be the first time. After all, he did hold out on us about the Replicators until it was almost too late for us to do anything about them."
"It's a probable, but not a likely possibility, Jack," Doctor Daniel Jackson. "And I think Thor might be more forthcoming now."
"Sir," Major Samantha Carter said. "I've gone over the systems readings from Colonel O'Neill's ship and those of the others. While I doubt any of us in this room have ever seen ships like these before."
"It's hardly a significant invasion fleet, a little over a dozen all told," said O'Neill with a disparaging sniff.
"As I was saying," Carter added. "I've come across a rather strange energy readings, while the origins of the ships and their crew are unknown at this time they do share one thing in common with ours."
"Which is?" Jack prompted.
"A significant amount of chronotron particles and it's growing by the nanosecond," replied Carter.
"Chronotron particles, is it dangerous?" Dr. Janet Fraiser asked.
"Yes and no. By itself, no, but prolonged exposure, it could be a definite problem."
Judging by the readings the computer registered before leaving the area where they were
initially sighted, that entire region of space is flooded with chronotron radiation particles."
"Are you saying," Daniel took a deep breath. "That these guys came from another time?"
"That's exactly what I'm saying, or perhaps more accurately, without further evidence to back it up, another universe." Sam replied.
"Great, just great. Why couldn't they have stayed in their own time, and stayed out of ours? Jack griped.
"Prolonged exposure to such temporal radiation could result in massive cellular decay," Doctor Fraiser added.
"It's an intriguing theory, Doctor Fraiser, and one that we should explore in more detail at a later date," Hammond replied. "At the moment we need to deal with the matter at hand."
"What plans are being made to repel the invaders," asked one of the uniformed air force officers.
"The first step is of course, is to hope that we can negotiate with them," Hammond replied. "If that fails, we are prepared to defend ourselves. We can't match them ship for ship, we simply don't have the resources."
"Who knows, maybe the System Lords will find out, intercept the newbies, and do us a favor, by getting rid of them for us," Jack muttered. "It's entirely within the realm of possibility, right, Daniel?
"Jack," Daniel sighed. "Get real. If you recall Cuchlain already came to tell us about the
problem. If they were going to do something about it, they would have done it by now."
"We have three days to figure a counter-attack plan, but it might be we'll have to wait for our next move. At this point I've yet to contact the White House on the matter." Hammond said.
"I think it's best that they we handle this ourselves, until further notice, with all due respect, Sir," Jack added.
"Agreed," Hammond replied.
Elsewhere aboard Antony Paulinius flagship with the remainder of his fleet flanking him in a roughly fan-shaped formation, he stood behind his helmsman, his booted feet firmly planted on the rocking command deck, hands laced behind his back.
Judging by the faint smirk on his face, seemed to find things very well in hand. If the fact that the stellar clusters and planets that they passed looked almost like the ones that they had left behind in their home universe, but with significant difference.
Thus far they had not found any one to take on in a battle, and his crew was itching for a fight. Added to the fact that his engineer's had informed him that their slipstream drive did not work in this galaxy concerned him; it did not show on his face.
"I am beginning to think that this galaxy is a very dull place," remarked Antony.
"It cannot be any duller than being trapped in an temporal hiatus, Sir."
"No doubt, but still, seeing a little action would be welcome."
In the between spaces that occupy a great deal of her time and her thoughts Trance Gemini, the purple incarnation, not her gold mature self, pondered. She is very careful to make that distinction now.
It felt as if she were straddling two dimensions. As in point of fact, she is. It is an uncomfortable sensation, but one she had instinctively always known that she would one day fill.
'Make of that what you will', Trance ruefully thought in the privacy of her own mind. If she had believed in a higher power, in a divine will like her friend and former shipmate, Rev Bem believed in the Divine.
"It is like air; it is like water." Trance was reminded then of an old Earth poem, but couldn't summon the entire verse only a few snatches of a stanza or two. 'A certain recluse once said, that no bonds attached him to this life and the only thing he would regret leaving was the sky."
Her sky at the moment is quite overcast and grey. Looking out at the view screen at the moving star field that the Andromeda Ascendant glides through Trance wondered if she could have done more to prevent the temporal tunnel from opening. If so, if it was not too late to correct that particular oversight.
After all as much as a anachronistic anomaly as Captain Dylan Hunt was in this time, the wayward Nitzecheans released from the temporal tunnel into another alternate dimension would a bad idea by anyone's estimation. In the silence of her own mind, Trance, sent a message to her their friends in that alternate universe, "Good luck, my friends, you are going to need it."
Almost three days later on the dot the small but menacing-looking fleet of warships appeared in Earth orbit. So far the SG had managed to keep those who knew about it to a minimum and from leaking out to the news media, in order to prevent a panic. Hammond had been in constant contact with the United States president and received his go ahead to proceed with the plan of action formulated only late yesterday evening.
A laser mounted canon perched atop the Cheyenne Mountain summit would serve as the first line of defense if and when initial peaceful negotiations failed to turn the intruders away.
So far neither friendly species such as the Tok'ra or even the hostile races, primarily the Goa'uald, had come forward with more information as to either the newcomers identities or motives; and to Jack O'Neill's way of thinking that boded ominous.
As he stood on the summit of the mountain just across from the entrance to the bulk of the underground base, Jack thought that it was the waiting that he hated most of all, not the unknown that was the hardest; waiting for them to make their move.
"Sir, would you please stop fidgeting," Major Carter whispered out of the side of her mouth. "The plan will work."
"How certain are you that it will, Major?" asked Jack.
"I am reasonably certain as I can be, Sir, under the circumstances," Carter replied. "Now, with all due respect, please stop hovering over my shoulder?"
"Sure, not a problem," Jack replied walking off to the edge of the summit where he got the attention of one the air men assigned to guard duty and asked for long-range telescope.
The young man with only a slight blush to give away his nervousness handed the device over. Jack thanked the other with a nod and put it up to his eye to look out at the star-sprinkled night sky.
"So where are they?"
With a groan and a roar Jack received his answer to his question much sooner than expected. For the moment his field of vision was completely engulfed in a white hot stream of heat and light. When he could see again his surroundings had elongated and flattened out, much like the matte black patterns he was suddenly reminded of, taking him back to memories of art class projects from his Boy Scout days.
Jack dropped the telescope and glanced around to check on the others gathered on the summit of the mountain, to ascertain if they too had had a similar experience, and if so, if they were all right.
"Jack!" he heard Major Carter yelling, "Colonel, Sir! Can you hear me? Are you all right?"
He pivoted around on his hell and saw that Major Carter accompanied by Teal'C and Doctor Jackson were hovering over him with equally worried and annoyed expressions on their faces. For some reason that contrast amused him and allowed a small, grim smile to slip out. "Yeah, I'm fine. It seems we have some unexpected visitors knocking on our door. Let's go and greet them, shall we?"
Carter dropped his hand and stood up. "He'll be fine."
Antony Paulinius had considered attacking the planet from low orbit, but considering
It did take him aback for the better part of five minutes to note just how woefully inadequate the planet's defenses were compared to his small attack fleet.
If it struck him as odd the technology level of the Earth-like planet worried him, he attributed it to nothing but the law of averages catching up.
In the mind of his aide, however, the facts and events of their arrival in this universe did not add up. However, familiar with his commander's ways and way of thinking it would have been as much as committing suicide to bring it to Antony Paulinuis' attention.
Antony may not have killed him outright, but the older man could have made his life a living nightmare. Nietzcheans were not known for them forbearance when it came to matters of battle and protocol. The rules were strict and unforgiving.
Meanwhile Hammond came up through the mountain's winding stairs, accompanied by the man that Jack O'Neill would very much never to have to lay eyes on ever again, Senator Kinsey.
"What's he doing here?"
"He's here at the President's explicit request," Hammond sighed. "I couldn't do anything about it. If nothing else he's here strictly in an observation capacity."
"How you handle this situation, General Hammond, might carry a lot of weight in Washington as far as extending funding for your little war-games," Kinsey replied.
"They're hardly 'games', Senator." Hammond replied. Turning to address Major Carter he asked. "Is the cannon ready to go, Major?"
"Primed and ready, on your order, Sir," she replied.
"We're assuming our 'friends' up there,' Kinsey stretched out an arm and waved at a random point in the Colorado night sky, "will launch an orbital attack, am I right?"
"Yes," Hammond replied.
At that very instant further debate on the matter was cut short but the sound of laser fire and the hiss of pneumatic hatch being opened.
A ground ship arrived its engines roaring as it came to a sputtering but precise landing on the mountain's summit. To Hammond's way of thinking it was getting awfully crowded up here.
SG-1 and the other team members as well as the guards were all armed and prepared for just about anything.
The attackers were large, heavily armed and fierce-looking, they were also remarkably human-looking, but then after several years of commanding the SGC that should hardly come as a surprise to him anymore.
The leader stepped forward, a tall sandy-haired man, followed by a contingent of approximately sixty men. "Well, well," he chuckled. "I certainly did not expect a welcoming party, but I would hate to be a rude guest, and not take advantage of the opportunity presented to me."
"Who the hell are you?" demanded Jack.
"Where are my manners today," the big man murmured. "Allow me to introduce myself, I am Antony Paulinuis, of the Sabra Jaguar Pride, and commander of the Lost Fleet late of the Battle of Witch Head Nebular. We've come to destroy you and take your planet for ourselves."
"I hate this guy, already," Jack muttered under his breath.
"You don't suffer from overconfidence or anything, do you?" Daniel asked.
"He does, but he shall even more at the hands of Teal'C."
"Well, that's torn it," Carter muttered. "There was a better than even chance we could have negotiated with him. For all Antony's stuffy pomposity; he seems like a reasonable man." In the back of her mind Sam also thought, 'here's a real charmer and he's damn gorgeous, but I figure he's the type who knows just how physically attractive he is, and never lets one forget it. Focus, Carter, Focus.'
"Teal'c, wait! Don't rush off…."Jack yelled, but either the former Jaffa warrior did not hear him over the confused sounds atop the mountain's summit or he simply chose not to hear him. Either way, the fight had begun in earnest.
As laser fire began to criss-cross across the rocky face of the summit, members of both sides had been forced to dodge, weave and alternately take cover. At first Major Carter had been reluctant to leave her post beside the laser cannon, however, with some coaxing and tugging on her uniformed sleeve, Jack convinced her to move away from it.
Meanwhile, Teal'c had squared off with the big sandy-haired man who called Antony. They traded blows and for at lest the first few opening rounds discovered that not only were they evenly matched, but each was something unique in a fighter.
Antony debated on wether or not to employ his Nietzchean bone blades, but the big man dark-skinned fighter was holding his own and it seemed somehow less than sporting to play his ace in the hole, to borrow an Old-Earth cliché so early on in the battle.
Screams and clouds of dust filled the night time air, along with mingled shouts of the combantants in either pain or anger. In the distant Antony noted when one of his men fell, or in a few rare cases tumbled headlong down and down to the mountain's base.
In what could have days later, as it was only hours later, he realized that these particular humans were something different and quite unalike the ones had had known and enslaved in his own universe; they were determined, brave and willingly to give everything to protect themselves and their world.
At the top of his genetically-engineered lungs Antony called out to the defenders. "I hereby, call an end to the hositilies. There will be no more war here today. You have won Antony Paulinius's respect."
"I speak not only for myself and my people here," Hammond said as he stepped forward.
"That we accept your offer."
"Why did they know to attack here?" asked Daniel. "It's not likely any of our galactic neighbors would have tipped them off about our operations here on Earth."
"My guess is this their ship's sensors must have locked onto the largest concentration of energy as a likely target, figuring that it would cripple the planet's population in the process." Carter sighed. "All the same, I think they were getting desperate."
"What do you mean?" Teal'C asked. He had fought one of the so-called Nietzcheans in hand-to-hand combat, and he had not been impressed. At the moment, they occupied cells in the mountain's many holding areas.
"Janet, do you want to field this one?" Carter asked.
"Of course, thank you." Dr. Frasier turned to look at everyone assembled around the table. "Facts and events have borne out that our 'visitors' were in fact alien, genetically engineered aliens from an alternate universe."
"What they were uh 'designed" for?" gulped Daniel who was not entirely certain he wanted to know the answer to that particular question but his native curiosity got in the way of his better judgment.
"Combat, and for some reason I haven't yet discovered," Dr. Fraiser sighed. "breeding."
"Sure, it makes sense, in its own odd and wacky fashion, Jack added. "Where else are you gonna get more little soldiers from?"
"Jack, please," Hammond chided.
"As far as I'm concerned, good riddance to bad rubbish," Jack griped. "Those Nietzscheism had some nerve, busting over into our universe and then launching an attack on Earth."
"I'm sure certain members of the White House Senate would agree with you on the zero tolerance policy on immigration, O'Neill." General Hammond replied.
"Don't start with me, Daniel."
"There's one thing I don't get," Daniel said.
"Which is?" Jack asked with a sigh.
"Why anyone would go to all the trouble of creating genetically engineered warriors and then leaving them for so long in what effectively was a temporal hiatus."
"Major Carter, I'm sure that's something we'll never know," Hammond shook his head and scratched his chin. "But if anyone does figure out an answer to that puzzle I am certain that it will be you."
"You give me too much credit, Sir."
"We could use the gravitational force to slingshot around the sun and send the Nietzcheans back to their own time and universe."
"Barring that we can't hold them indefinitely, there's always the option of sending them through the gate to the Beta site," Hammond said.
"In the meantime, Dr. Fraiser work with Major Carter on exploring the other option of recreating the time tunnel." He sighed. "Preferably without endangering anyone here or in any of our neighbors."
"Understood, Sir," Carter sighed.
Elsewhere, a purple-skinned girl watered her plants and smiled, from the calm expression on her face, she seemed to find things well in hand.