City of the Daleks.
John came down the steps from the Jumper Bay and into the control room; 'And that's that.'
'W... What about the window' the dark haired girl asked.
McKay jumped in. 'No problem, we found an automated factory on the city plan. It's not the first time we've had to replace a bit of glass. Perhaps you'd like to see it working I could arrange something.' John tried not to notice that Rodney was, now the disaster was over, trying to get her attention but she was on to him.
She smiled nervously, but politely 'No thanks Doctor McKay. I'll take your word for it.' Her Scottish friend, Ronon and Carson of all people sent withering glare at the annoying little man
'Well I better see to it anyway.' Rodney mumbled glancing at the three of them and left. John was more interested at the look the Doctor was giving the smashed window and open sky.
'Something wrong?' he asked
The Doctor replied with a panicked look. 'There is? Oh dear, oh dear I don't like this.'
'Like what?' Elisabeth asked, coming up to them.
'It was too easy. Far, far too easy. There must be something we didn't think of, but what?'
'Almost twenty people dead and you call that easy?' John burst out. 'Some of those people were our friends.'
'I know and I'm terribly sorry for them but three Daleks should have done much more damage.'
'Maybe we got lucky?'
John looked at Elisabeth; 'Lucky, we don't get lucky, at least not in that way. You think they left us a little present? A computer virus or something like that?'
The Doctor looked at him, horrified. 'That's exactly the sort of thing they would do!'
John wasn't going to give the murdering dustbins the chance. He took a team to investigate the area. They searched everywhere the Daleks had been but it looked like the desperate plan had worked. Their hasty conceived plan had drawn the Daleks out too quickly. They didn't have a chance to set up any tricks or sabotage.
As they spent time searching every square inch for a bomb or anything else they could come up with John had a terrible realisation; just who was keeping an eye on the Doctor. Then he remembered Ronon was doing that. When he called his friend to check the response John got was. 'I thought you were doing it.'
The two of them ran all the way back to the stargate, John bumping into Ronon right next to the main transporter in the sector. Tapping his head set 'Elisabeth, where is the Doctor?'
'He's right... where...?'
John almost swore as Ronon jabbed the control. They ran into the Gate room in time to hear the last note of the blue box vanishing. 'This is just not our day.' John punched his hand.
'How did he do that?' Ronon just had to ask
'A good magician, Ronon, knows the benefit of a distraction.' Elisabeth hopped down the stairs. 'My uncle was a stage magician, he could pull rabbits out of hat's and saw me in half with the best of them.' Ronon blinked at her and she managed a rueful smile. 'Its a trick. You distract with one hand and...' She snapped her fingers.
'John saw what she was doing but Ronon hadn't. He half jumped back. 'Nice trick.'
'Oh if I had time I'm sure I could make you swear I had cut John in half. I might even try it with Rodney one day. That's not the point, find anything or was it all just a wild goose chase?'
'Nothing. Looks like they could have tried but we knew as much when they stared using the radios.'
Elisabeth watched the clouds roll by out side the gaping hole that was a window. 'I feel like we were stuck in the middle of something a lot bigger than us. The classified records, just why the Doctor came here in the first place, who the Daleks really are and why they were in this galaxy. Too many questions and not enough answers. We've been reeling back for mistake after mistake and been making bigger ones because we had no idea what we were up against.
'Call back your search teams John and meet me in the conference room.' Elisabeth looked around before touching her headset. 'Rodney, Radek. I want both of you in the conference room, right now. Carson, you too please.'
The group met in the Conference room and Elisabeth didn't bother to sit down as she came in last. 'Rodney, I want you to go though the Ancient database with a fine tooth comb. John, help him. You're looking for anything more on this Doctor or his people.
'Carson, Radek; I want the two of you to compile everything we know about these Daleks. Full report, including how they kill and whatever research you got through.
'Ronon your coming with me, we're going to Earth and finding out everything we can about UNIT. How they had access to SGC files. Who they are and just what connection they have to the Doctor. Get going people.' With that she left, Ronon quickly following behind her.
Rodney had finished his third cup of coffee. 'Still no luck. I can't even find the original reference file. How about you... Shepherd?' Looking around his monitor he saw the colonel with a set of head phones on dancing on his seat.
Reaching around he pulled the jack out and cut back in the main speakers. The Colonel was playing a video game. 'Rodney! what are you doing?' he asked sparing a moment to look up and pull out the earphones.
'What am I doing, what are you not doing?' Rodney jumped up and recognised the game. It looked like Asteroids. 'Elisabeth told you to help.'
John was looking intently at the screen. 'I am helping, just having a break.'
The little ship thing drifted past a little rock and spun, blowing it away. 'Ohh nice shot.'
'Thanks it's my high score. So what have you found out?'
'Nothing. Ohh watch out for the...' a big warbling thing came in from the side of the screen.
Shepherd's little triangle darted forward again and spun, snapping off two quick shots before disappearing and reappearing safe elsewhere 'I saw it. What do you mean nothing? It was there, we all saw it.'
Rodney watched the little triangle fly between two big bumpy things and snap off another couple of shots blowing them up. 'It swallowed it back up. You know what it's like trying to find your way though this system. You think you get some where and it vanishes.'
'I know. You said it was fragmented. Just run a defrag.'
Rodney watched the little triangle move around, dodging and destroying more bad graphics. 'It would take years to put it all back together. Even longer, it still works and the core program is intact so there's no reason. Besides Atlantis doesn't have a defrag program' There was something tickling the back of his thoughts. Shepherd blew up another rock, scattering little rocks everywhere. The little triangle jumped again. 'No, that would be...' Then it hit. Oh it was brilliant, he had to be brilliant just to think it was possible. Whoever did it must have been one of the best minds in the universe. It only stood to reason because Rodney had only just grasped it.
Shepherd didn't' notice his friends revelation. 'Would be what?' he asked trying to follow the sudden left u-turn the discussion had taken. Rodney didn't answer, he just jumped back to his computer. There was something he had to find...
Ronon watched their pilot as he guided the ship up and into the hanger they had designed. Earth, his first trip there. He didn't expect much but a drab grey concrete wasn't it. It looked like the Ancestors were the only ones not to use grey in their construction. A couple of people stood in the hanger, one in a blue shirt uniform and another in a sort of dull green uniform. The one in green pulled off his glasses, it was Dr Jackson. 'Doctor Weir, Ronon. Welcome to Earth.'
'Dr Jackson, General Landry. We've just had a interesting day, three things identified as Daleks were found.'
'Daleks?' Landry asked but Dr Jackson had gone suddenly pale.
'What happened?' he asked.
'Not much, we lost over twenty good people and got a lot of unanswered questions. Including who the Doctor is.'
Dr Jackson was very quiet and even paler than before. General Landry just looked at him. 'What do you know Jackson?' he asked.
'I know enough to be afraid. we need a meeting in my office. No radios, I've got to keep this from Vala somehow...' He left the little hanger quickly.
'Dr Jackson, what's this about?' Dr Weir asked, shouting after him.
'The Doctor.' he called back.
Carson supervised the movement of the bodies with a wince. Good people, a cursory inspection of them showed no scaring, cuts or bruising. No evidence of how they died but they were dead, from the feel of it their internal organs were full of liquid. Wincing again he made sure the last person's eyes were closed before waving the two assistants on.
Turning back to the lab he went in and looked in on Radek. The smell of ozone and death were strong. It was a fact that on death the body lost bowl and bladder control, one of the more demeaning things about dying. 'Radek?'
'I'm coming, I'm coming Carson.' He said muffled. The scientist came out with a folder under his arm and a paper towel over his nose. 'Ohh Bad, bad, bad. These were all the notes we were able to make and a few samples we took from their...' he muttered something in his native language. 'Outer... casing.'
'Well Elisabeth wanted us to work together. I don't know how much help I'll be to you but I might need your help with the method of death. It's got me stumped.'
'That,' another bust of Czech, this time cursing, 'smell?'
Carson managed a smile. 'The bodies will be cleaned and prepared. You don't have to...'
'I will. they are, were my friends.' Radek nodded sombrely before juggling the weight of the folder.
'Just don't tell Rodney.' Carson joked
Radek was able to smile. 'My lips are sealed.'
A day or so later Elisabeth walked into the Conference Room she was shaken by what she and Ronon had found out. Rodney looked ready to jump out of his skin with some brand new discovery.
Carson and Radek weren't as happy. In fact they looked down right ill. Sitting at the centre of the table at her usual seat Elisabeth looked over at John to her right. 'What's up with those two.'
He shrugged 'Don't know, haven't seen them all day. Rodney's ready to pitch a fit though. You will not believe what he found out.'
I don't believe what I found out John. I doubt I'm going to be surprised by whatever Rodney discovered.'
He just smirked back. She shook her head and stood up. 'All right, here we go. Everyone, I've talked to you individually and we've all agreed.' She looked pointedly at Rodney. 'However reluctantly. To present our findings. Radek, Carson you're up first.
'But, but...' Rodney tried to argue but was stared down.
Carson stood up, visibly shaken and ill 'R... Radek will go over what we learned from the scans taken before they were recharged.'
After a brief burst of Czech Radek started. 'Well what we know. Um. armour. Their armour is an hyper advanced alloy.' he pushed up his glasses. 'From the samples taken they,' burst of his native language. 'Partake. Absorb. Can absorb energy. It also has elements in common with memory alloys. It can self repair.'
Radek took of his glasses and bent them in half. Letting them go they bounced back into shape. Elisabeth had seen adverts for glasses like them. 'Memory alloys are difficult. This one uses the energy absorbed to help.'
Rodney waved a finger. 'You're saying they use the energy absorbed to boost the structural integrity. Make it stronger and self repairing. We're in trouble.''Yes we are.' Radek agreed, waving a finger importantly. 'But there is a way around this. I believe, from what we saw, that it is not an instant conversion. A sudden and powerful impact would crack and destroy their armour. Before it can absorb the energy. That is what the Drone did.'
John shrugged 'Sabot rounds should do it.'
'105 shells, anti-tank cannon rounds with a magnesium hot load to burn through tanks.' John shrugged. 'That should put a big enough hole in whatever they use. We haven't got any on hand at the moment but I could request some.'
'I'll see to it John.' Elisabeth nodded.
'Isn't that like using a bazooka to take out a Reliant Robin?' Carson asked. 'A really badly made car.' He explained. 'Then again we haven't even got to the bad part yet.'
Rodney frowned; 'What bad part?'
'Their guns' the two of them answered at once. 'Carson, your turn.'
'Aye.' the Scottish doctor stood as Radek sat down. 'Well I can safely say that what these things do to the human body has got to be the worst thing I've ever heard of. I've never seen anything like it. When I examined the victims bodies I didn't find any injuries. I opened the first body and found... I found... I'm sorry.' Carson looked away before swallowing and looking up again.
Completely professional Carson looked Elisabeth dead in the eye before looking at each of them. 'The effect of the weapon is to completely destroy the cell wall of the soft tissue in a human body. While not a hundred percent effective the final result is the liquefaction of all internal organs. The bone structure and skin remains intact, as does the brain. As far as I can tell the person is still alive after the process is complete.
'Somehow the brain remains intact as does a significant portion of the nerve system. The subject... The... they die later from the effects. Possibly still in pain.'
Elisabeth just looked at him. it was the truth, the horrible truth. 'What do you mean by "not a hundred percent effective"?' Ronon asked.
'The organs become a thin broth like substance. Held together in the body by the skin and in shape by the bones. When I started the autopsy the body burst like a balloon full of water.' Carson's face said it all Elisabeth didn't bother saying anything. She couldn't. Fleeing the room she ran to the nearest bathroom where she simply threw up.
John wasn't feeling very well. As one of the worst ways to go that one sounded like a winner.
Sabot rounds were the way to go, blow the bastards up on sight. Elisabeth came back in looking pale and drawn. 'Thank you Carson.' She croaked.
'Don't worry about it love, I threw up too.' he said sympathetically
Radek nodded. 'He did, as did I.'
'I don't blame you.' John agreed. Sitting down gingerly Elisabeth eased herself into her seat.
'Thank you, it's not every day most of your command staff sympathise with... well.
'Rodney it's your turn.' she finished with a wan smile
Johns irritating friend jumped up and typed out a few commands on his tablet PC 'Okay, I can't out gross Carson's findings and I don't want to try but this is bigger, way bigger. So, who here want's to know who built Atlantis. More importantly, why is it so hard to get anything out of the mess that is the Ancient Database.'
'I thought the Ancients built Atlantis Rodney.' Carson pointed out.
'They did, and an Ancient was the Architect. But he had help.'
'The Doctor.' John explained. 'but he did more than just lend a hand. Rodney tell em'
End chapter 5
No I'm not going to make the Ancients some second fiddle group to the Doctor. They are still going to be the biggest race on the block, I'm just going to give them a richer history that's all