Title: Worldwar: Discovering the Balance
Author: Albert Green Jr.
Summary: The 'Race' has intentions of conquering Tosev Three otherwise known as Earth. They will conquer it and then colonize it. They believed that the conquest would be easy because after all Earth could never develop much in eight hundred years, Tosevites known as Humans could have never developed so quickly.
They were wrong. It was bad enough when they attack Earth and discovered a world war in progress in that other universe.
In this universe they came a bit later. It's enough to make the Race wish that they'd never heard of Tosev Three. On the other hand…
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"Stargate", "Stargate SG-1", and "Stargate: Atlantis" and all related Stargate related material, its characters and certain technological devices and/or references to such, from the television shows and movies, may be or are registered trademarks of, and may be or are copyrighted by MGM and whatever Corporation it may or may not be owned by.
'WorldWar' and the 'Worldwarrelated books', its characters, certain technological devices and/or references to such, from the book series, past present of near future, are a registered trademarks of its creator/author Harry Turtledove and the publisher Del Rey Books. Characters, names, and all related indicia are trademarks to those stated above.
Only certain characters and technologies are mine and these are the creation of the author who is solely responsible for them as such. Neither Studio nor Harry Turtledove nor Del Rey books are responsible for the content of this story.
THIS STATEMENT MUST ACCOMPANY THE STORY 'WORLDWAR: DISCOVERING THE BALANCE'. IF DISTRIBUTED. THIS STORY IS FREE OF CHARGE AND MAY NOT BE SOLD OR EXCHANGED FOR FINANCIAL RETURN IN ANY FORM. THIS DEDICATION MUST ACCOMPANY ANY DISTRUBUTION OF THIS STORY.
Dedication: Bless my wife and the girls. They bug me enough to make me hide and write in the basement. The inspiration is glorious when you're cold (smile).
Thank you Harry Turtledove for writing such an intriguing series. I can not do it justice but I will merely try to make what I write interesting, with as few editing errors as I can.
Discovering the Balance
A huge starship, silent and deadly, scanned the one hundred-five sublight ships that slowly approached the star the Humans called Sol from the planet called Tau Ceti II. The ships, unaware that they were being observed continued on their journey towards conquest. Many of the crew members, who called themselves 'The Race', were still in cryogenic sleep, or cold sleep, as they called it. Only a few of the officers were awake so far, making final preparations of the conquest and subjugation of the planet they called Tosev Three. Soon though, thousands upon thousands of their lizard species would be awake and more than eager to strike at the heart of Earth.
The crew of the starship was bemused. If 'The Race' had left fifty to seventy years earlier, they might have had a chance. But now, all of their plans were about to run into, as the Humans would say, a brick wall. Interested in the historical implications, but unconcerned about the outcome, the ship continued its scans determining the species physiology, weaponry and technology. Satisfied, they left a small probe to monitor the situation as they engaged their hyperspace drives and disappeared into the vastness of space.
Invasion Fleet Banner ship
The 127th Emperor Hetto
The huge starships slowly passed the planet known to the Tosevites as Pluto. For twenty years, the ships of the Race had traveled close to the speed of light and now that they had entered the influence of the Tosev star, they were slowing down, decelerating. Their target was Tosev Three, the third planet from the star. Probes sent eight hundred resolutions earlier had shown the primitiveness of the dominant creatures inhabiting the planet.
The Race was an ancient species originating from the star system of Tau Ceti whose civilization could be traced back more than a hundred thousand of their years. They were an orderly species, short lizard-like creatures with extended, protruding eyes that swiveled independently of one another. As their species increased in numbers, they looked outward towards space. They discovered the species called the Rabotev of Epsilon Eridani 2, a primitive species barely into the Iron Age, twenty eight thousand revolutions ago. Using killer craft and land cruisers, that world was quickly overpowered and conquered. Halless I of the Epsilon Indi 1 system was conquered eighteen thousand years later. Now it was Tosev's turn.
The Fleetlord Atvar was a patient member of the Race and he was content that the Emperors analysts and the savant strategic specialists had performed their jobs with utmost care. Nothing was left to chance. They had even increased the number of nukes by an extra twelve percent, not that they'd need them of course. The primitives on the planet still rode hairy four-legged beasts, and used elongated pieces of hardened plant material to attack and kill each other. An armored land cruiser could remove hundreds if not thousands of such creatures without trying. It was conceivable that the Race wouldn't even lose a single soldier during the entire campaign. The fighting was expected to last no more than three months and then Atvar could begin to prepare the newly conquered world for incorporation into the Empire. In a mere three thousand years, the Tosevites could be civilized enough to be join the ranks of the Rabotevs and the Halless and become full citizens.
A ritual the Fleetlord adhered to for the past six weeks began again. The Race was consistent if nothing else. Change was their enemy, variability their foe. Events were calculated and every possibility in this endeavor taken into account. The lizards hated surprises and prepared accordingly. A small inconsistency with the killer craft's ability to effectively transition safely by sub-orbital pickup had delayed the fleet. The delay took only one hundred thirty two years as measured by the Race or sixty-six Tovesite revolutions around Tosev and the journey began. It was a small inconvenience, something that would not affect the overall plan.
"Let us examine at the new world that will become part of the Empire." A three dimensional image of Tosev Three appeared. The lizard walked around the image, he was followed by his second in command Shiplord Kirel. Atvar didn't trust Kirel as he didn't trust the rest of Shiplords who no doubted coveted his position, so Kirel was watched carefully as well as the others who coveted his position. However Kirel has so far been the model of respect so Atvar relented a bit. "It is a cold, wet egg that Tosev has hatched, but it will serve the Emperor well." At the mention of the Emperor all members of the Race lowered their eyes out of respect as was custom.
"It is a pity, indeed," Kirel said dutifully. The new world was chilly and in far too many places, water, something it had far too much of froze and fell from the sky. That was almost unheard of on the three worlds of the Empire outside of a laboratory. It was a truly alien world! But the Race was patient and would eventually turn it into a useful planet. "Perhaps we can shift the continental plates and create more land."
"That will be for future generations to contemplate," Atvar said. "But I agree. Now let us look once more upon the face of the enemy." Again another image appeared. One of the Tosevites appeared standing. It had feathers on top of its furry head and its face had small turfs of fur just above the eyes. Again it stood by one of the huge four-legged beasts they seem to be so fond of. In its hand was a spear and an axe possibly made of iron. It had covered itself with multiple layers of wrappings to protect itself from the harsh environment of Tosev Three. It carried a wooden shield of some sort to protect it from others of its kind that might attempt to harm it. The most revolting thing was that they exhibited no eyestalks. How could they see properly? "Hold that image," he ordered. "Let every one see the new face of the Empire."
"By the Emperor these creatures are ugly!" Kirel said, bowing their eyestalks in reverence. "They look violent."
"How well will these Tosevites stand up to missiles and bullets?" asked an amused Atvar.
All of the members of the Race laughed. This was no contest. It would be a slaughter. "They will come to serve the Emperor soon enough." Again all of them lowered their eyestalks.
Satisfied with the day's briefings, the Fleetlord prepared to return to his quarters when a young, terrified officer slowly entered the command center. This was not normal routine and the Race did not change patterns lightly.
"Speak, junior communications officer," growled Atvar. He didn't know the young one personally but his body paint identified his position. None of his species wore clothing, but they identified their status by elaborately painting themselves according to rank. Kirel's paint was slightly less decorative than the Fleetlord's.
"Exalted Fleetlord, kinsmale to the Emperor, as you know we move closer to Tosev three."
Atvar glared at the young officer with both eyestalks. "I have better know that," he said.
The young officer seemed ready to bolt at any given moment. "Exalted Fleetlord, I am subleader Erelwo in communications section. For the past few days I have detected radio transmissions coming fro the Tosev system. They seem to be artificial in nature." Subleader Erelwo froze for a moment as he gathered his thoughts. "Tiny doppler shifts indicate that they come from Tosev Three."
"What?" Atvar yelled, causing the officer to hiss in fear. "Has your brain been rattled?" The Fleetlord had been too astonished to be angry. However now, the anger began to swell within him. "What you have told me is ridiculous," he growled again. "Do you presume to tell me that those animal riding savages have discovered electronics in a historical swivel of an eye turret that has required us tens of millennia to develop?"
"Exalted Fleetlord, I presume nothing," Erelwo screeched. "But there are more transmissions and they are directed at us."
"What? Get out!"
Erelwo bolted for the door, relieved to be away from his leader's fury. Slowly, Atvar headed for the communications console followed by a wary Kirel and two others. Still inside the Command center, all eye turrets followed him as he sat to review the data. Stunned he ordered the computer to activate the communication's receiver. A voice, an alien voice greeted him and its sound shocked him to the core.
"Hello, alien space ships, you are violating the sovereign territory of Earth. Please respond before I am forced to put large holes in your ships."
This – this thing spoke the language of the Race! The constant drone of transmissions from the other ships of the fleet had suddenly ceased. Atvar understood that all of them were waiting for his response. What could he say? This wasn't planned for and he had to now make up something and the Race had never been good at spontaneous innovation.
"Activate communications," Atvar ordered. "Alien creature, I am Fleetlord Atvar. How is it that you understand the language of the Race? Who is it that dares to threaten the Race?"
"This is General Jack O'Neill of the Tau'ri. We're using a communications language translation device. We should be in visual range of your ships in five…four…three…two…one… now."
The flagship's radar hissed for attention as another ship, much smaller than their own flashed into existence, surprising every member of the Race. The ship flashed by the entire fleet and the swung around on the opposite side, flew to the front the fleet reversing its position as it did so to face the oncoming ships. It then reversed its speed relative to the fleet.
"How about turning around and going back the way you came?" the leader of the unknown ship said.
That small demonstration was enough to terrify several Shiplords of the fleet and communications chatter increased significantly. Atvar meanwhile was too stunned to notice.
"Never! We have never heard of the Tau'ri," he said slurring the word. "We discovered this planet first! It will not allow you unknowns to upset the plans of the Race," he finished.
"Fleetlord Atvar," the Tau'ri said. "I don't think so."
"Tosev Three is ours!"
"Ah, no," said the voice that for some reason Atvar instantly hated. "It's ours and we're keeping it."
Atvar understood. The transmissions coming from Tosev Three originated from these Tau'ri. They must have started the colonization of Tosev and as such they represented a threat to the Race. Home was crowded. Over population was the main reason why the Race went to other worlds. They needed the space and the new resources. Competition was not something that the Race wanted or needed.
"General O'Neill of the Tau'ri, who are you?" General may have meant Fleetlord but he wasn't sure yet. "Where to you come from?"
"We come from the Sol system," replied the alien.
"Where is the Sol system in location to Tosev?"
"If you mean Tosev as in the sun, we come from here."
Atvar had gotten so comfortable with speaking to the alien so quickly that this had to be some type of failure of the translation device they had to be using. "I want to understand what star system has hatched your Race?"
"What is a Daniel?"
"Excuse me, Fleetlord Atvar," answered another voice. "The Tau'ri, us, originate from the planet you are heading for. It is called Earth."
"It is called Tosev Three."
"It's called Earth," the new alien insisted, "or Terra, Sol Three, or the Homeworld of the Tau'ri."
"It is called Tosev Three. The Race named this system ten thousand years ago. That is the name of this world we are coming to claim."
"We will not allow your fleet into Earth space."
"Tosev Three," Atvar countered. "And you can not stop us. And when we arrive I shall prove it!"
"And what makes you think that we'll let you arrive there in one piece?"
"We are strong. The Emperor has demanded this world and I will deliver it to the Empire."
"Enough Daniel," said the voice of the General. "I am about to make an imaginary line that they bet not cross."
"The Tau'ri have launched a missile!"
"Emperor, save us!"
The Tau'ri fired a missile and the Fleetlord panicked. Death was coming. But the missile veered away from the Fleetlord's ship and instead moved in another direction so quickly that radar had trouble tracking it.
Then it detonated; a Tau'ri atomic detonation more powerful than anything the Race had ever seen. The shockwaves rocked every ship of the fleet. The EMP pulse damaged systems even through the re-enforced electronics of the Race. It required a few moments for the technicians to calculate the power of the blast. The blast had been three hundred megatons in power, more than enough to wreck the fleet with just one missile. They had nothing to counter it. No one of the Race had expected space combat would enter into the conquest plans.
Atvar stood mute, glaring at the communicator. He wanted to use his teeth and rip into the flesh of this Tau'ri creature. But they had proven that they were too strong for him at this time. The fleet was at their mercy. After an eternity he spoke slowly into the communication's device. "Tau'ri Fleetlord, what is it that you want?"
Mars: or Tosev IV (depending on your point of View)
Fleetlord Atvar's left eyestalk was beginning to hurt. No matter where he turned on the spacious bridge, that one eyestalk always pointed in the direction of the huge main monitor. That Tau'ri ship was there and its arrogant commander had forced the entire fleet to orbit Tosev IV or 'Mars as the creature called it. And there was nothing he could do about it. That one enemy ship could destroy his entire fleet, something they threatened to do if the Emperor's fleet didn't comply. The Race's ships weren't designed for space combat. No one had even imagined such a scenario could have possibly existed. The Tosevites have been conquered by another space-faring species with superior firepower. They were a threat to the Empire. Something had to be done about that. The Tau'ri had said that another of theirs ship would return soon and they would talk. Atvar hated being dictated to by an alien. And these Tau'ri could not discover the Home world of the Race.
Finally with some effort, he forced his eyestalk to turn with the rest of his body as he floated to the huge conference room where the other Shiplords waited. He as well as many members of the Race were used to the weightless environment and as such moving throughout the ship caused little difficulties for him. All one hundred five of them were there having shuttled in from their respective ships. The huge holographic interface dominated the center of the room. Smaller tables and chairs circled the interface. Many of the Shiplords were seated although a few of them were floating throughout the room about.
"Fleetlord, what have you decided?" asked Shiplord Kirel.
Atvar glared at Kirel and for a second he wondered if the male had formulated that question simply to embarrass him. But then, he decided that that Kirel was earnest. The Shiplords looked at him as if he could pull the answer from his tail stump and he truly wished he could, but he was at a loss. The alien ship had left them some time ago after its shiplord had ordered them to orbit the forth planet. And he had to obey or lose one of his vessels to the Tau'ri creature.
"I have sent a message to Home informing them of the situation we face."
"Good," Shiplord Straha announced. Immediately the Fleetlord knew his voice. The lizard was one of the more mature males. His vertical greenish stripes of his head feathers made him stand out. "They should answer in forty-four years. You should ask the Tau'ri creatures to wait for the Race's reply." Atvar didn't like this particular Shiplord whom he was sure had desired his position as Fleetlord. Unlike Kirel whom was somewhat trustworthy, Straha was not trustworthy in Atvar's mind and many of the other Shiplords looked towards him for leadership. "Other than calling Home, do you have any other plans to remove the Tau'ri from our planet?"
"I am still formulating a plan."
"The 56th Emperor Jossano has our main supply of nuclear weapons. We should show the Tau'ri that we too have the ability to make and use atomic weapons. If we show them that we are as powerful as they, then they will leave the planet before they risk war with the Race."
"Was your egg addled at birth?" asked Atvar. "If we destroy the planet, the colonization fleet will have nowhere to refuel and replenish for the journey home. We do not have any information on the origin of the aliens and how many of those," and pointed his claw towards the wall, "ships."
"We've only seen one of those ships," Straha said. "It is possible that their presence on Tosev Three is limited and their numbers are insufficient to contain the population and fight a battle. If we can detonate a series of EMP bursts over the planet, we will ruin their electronics and our soldiers can defeat them with minimal difficulty."
Atvar's voice was dry when he spoke. "We do not know what forces these Tau'ri have and how many there are on the Tosev Three. Do you wish to start a war for which we are not prepared?"
"At least I am attempting to find a solution to your inactivity!"
"Your attempt makes me glad that I am the Fleetlord instead of you!" the leader hissed.
"We should continue to Tosev Three and complete our subjugation of the planet!"
As the Shiplord spoke, Atvar grew more and more irritated. "I know my duties. But we need information before I can implement my plan."
"So you do have a plan?" asked Shiplords Hassov asked. He was one of the more politically moderate commanders who could be swayed if given the right argument..
"Yes," Atvar said sounding as confident as he could manage. "I am the Fleetlord. The first thing we will do is to talk to these Tau'ri and get information necessary for the conquest of Tosev Three.
Two days later
There was a flash and suddenly, the Race's radar picked up another vessel identical to the first. It was over three thousand kilometers distant but the rate that it closed towards the fleet was alarming. Relativistic speeds seem not to affect the ship as it banked like an atmospheric killer craft. All too quickly, the ship slowed until it was only fifty kilometers from the Fleetlord's ship.
"Fleetlord, the Tau'ri are communicating with us. They are ready to come onboard."
"Tell them they may proceed," he said. 'This was a good thing', he thought. Atvar would have better control of the direction of the conversation. The power of the Race would dominate over these Tau'ri allowing the Fleetlord to demand information that could help the Race.
"The Tau'ri are coming now," subleader Erelwo announced quickly.
"Direct their shuttle to the docking bay as far away from the bridge as possible. Have our soldiers escort them here."
"It shall be done."
"I want them to see the magnificence of the Race and allow them to be awed – by…BY THE EMPEROR!!"
There was a sudden light bright enough to burn his eyes and then – and then – and then… There were Tau'ri on the bridge! Not holograms, but real aliens! They were big. They were ugly!
"Howdy there, lizard people," the General said into a hand-held device which automatically translated his words into Race standard. Surprised one of the lizards took a device that was handed to him and listened amazed that the device translated the language so easily into something he had no trouble understanding.
"Jack," Daniel hissed. "They're already scared enough."
"Just trying to be friendly," the General protested. "It's the first time I've talked to short lizard-like, ah, things before." He looked around the ship and the startled creatures in front of him. They seemed ready to flee any way they could. "Is it me or is it hot in here?"
"What trickery is this, Fleetlord?" Kirel demanded. "What form of travel did they use to get here?" he asked no one in particular. He was still examining the translation device. It was very advanced technology and the implications were enormous. But he didn't dwell on that for long. There were far more important things to consider such as: "They are Tosevites!"
"Ah, we're Humans," clarified Daniel.
"Tau'ri," huffed Teal'c.
"Terrans," said colonel Carter.
"No," O'Neill growled. "We're the ones with the big honkin' guns pointed at your oversized ships."
"What deceit is this?" the Fleetlord demanded. "Tosevites do not have the capability of spaceflight. They can not construct radio communications equipment. Tosevites are at an agricultural level of development. Our probes have confirmed this. How did you get here!?"
"Excuse me, Fleetlord, when did you send your probes?"
"Sixteen hundred years," Kirel jumped in answering for the Fleetlord. "Eight hundred in Tosev revolutions."
"Tosevites could have never developed so quickly. It is impossible," Atvar said with absolute conviction. Several soldiers of the Race entered the bridge stunned by the sight of aliens already there. "If you are Tosevites then you must have obtained help from an outside source," Atvar reasoned. As soon as the soldiers arrived he suppressed a hiss of relief.
"Yes," Straha managed to add. He and several other shiplords entered the spacious bridge. None of them could believe what was being told to them. They had to see it for themselves. Security was non existent on the vessel as no one ever imagined it would be needed before the fleet arrived at Tosev. "This is a deceit. What is the name of the Race that has subverted the Tosevites. We demand to speak to them. We demand that they return our property."
After O'Neill stopped laughing: "Sixteen hundred years?"
"Eight hundred of our years, Sir," Carter answered. "He does have a point," she continued. "Many of the planets we've visited have societies that haven't developed past the agricultural level. In many cases, the Goa'uld have perpetuated those conditions, but we've seen many cases where technological development at a much slower pace than Earth. We had no interference in our development. Many other worlds can't say the same."
Straha and the others looked at her, surprised that this creature could or would even agree with them. But what the creature had said had surprised them even more. "You claim to have been to other worlds?"
"Yes, quite a few actually."
"How long have you been traveling to other planets?" Kirel asked.
"About eight years or so."
"You speak untruths!" Atvar answered. "I demand to speak to the conquerors of Tosev Three!"
O'Neill shook his head. "We don't have any masters, Fleetlord. We do have hyperspace travel, which means we can travel faster than light, a lot faster. And we can see where we're going, too. Let me tell you a story. Actually I'm going to let Daniel here, our resident storyteller tell you a story. I want you to listen to him carefully because I am not going to force him to repeat it. Daniel, you're on."
"Five thousand years ago, ten thousand using your years, Earth was visited by an alien species called the Goa'uld…"
"Stop it!" Atvar hissed. "General O'Neill, your lies will not save Tosev from taking its rightful place in the Empire. You big ugly creatures will adjust to serve the Race and the thieves that have stolen Tosev Three will reveal themselves to us, return our world, or there will be war."
Astonished by the statements, the other Shiplords looked at Atvar. Straha seem to approve of the stance but he was one of only a few of the Shiplords gathered that appeared confident of Atvar's apparent threat.
General O'Neill sighed and moved towards the Fleetlord. It was just a single step forward but the leader of the Race jumped back as if stung and immediately several armed lizards pointed their small but impressive looking weapons at the human group.
"You will remain where you are," Atvar hissed. "If you make any threatening move my protectors will shoot you. Now, you will surrender your ship to the Race and we will determine the truth of these matters. Contact your ship and inform them of your status. Any deception and you will be killed."
Straha and the others looked on with approval at the action.
In front of them one of the Race's soldiers asked another very quietly, "what are they?"
"Giant, savage, ugly-looking aliens from Tosev Three," he responded.
"How did they get here?"
"How would I know that? I got here at the same time as you."
"You will surrender yourself to the Race," the Fleetlord demanded.
"No," O'Neill said.
"Then I will give the order to shoot you," Atvar responded after a moment's hesitation. He didn't expect the O'Neill creature to say no. He should have surrendered. Why hadn't he surrendered?"
"If you shoot us," O'Neill said, "then our ships will wipe out your fleet and for good measure the colonization fleet you have coming here in about 20 years." There was coldness in the alien's voice that Atvar could not fail to miss. "Then Earth will be…"
"Unhappy?" supplied Daniel.
"Yes; what Daniel said. Unhappy and they might go to Home and, I don't know, maybe blow up a few of your cities?"
"But you will not be alive to see it," Atvar countered. This was not going the way he envisioned. They should have immediately capitulated when faced with such threats. The history books concerning political diplomacy had said that would be the reaction. Of course the situation now was not quite the same but still the application of such threats should have produced the desired outcome. And how did they know about the colonization fleet?
"This is why Star trek: the next generation does not allow their commanders to initiate first contact," Teal'c said.
"Tell me about it," muttered O'Neill. "And I am trying to be nice."
"Your vessels may arrive at Home only to face our defenses and they will not survive," Atvar continued, not liking being ignored. "Already we have sent messages to Home. By the time your ships come Home will be ready."
"Oh, please. You're sending messages at light speed. Our ships can make it to your world in a matter of hours, if we take our time. Home will never see us coming until it is too late."
"You are lying. Will you contact your ships and tell them to surrender to the Race or will I give the order to have you shot?"
O'Neill nodded his head. "I will contact my ships."
"That is a wise thing that you do."
"Odyssey, this is General O'Neill.
"This is Odyssey. Sir, are you okay?"
"Yes, we are okay but if I don't contact you in five minutes, then that means that the Fleetlord has decided to shoot us. If that happens please nuke every ship out here."
"Understood, Sir. Shall we transport you out?"
"Negative, I want this soup to boil a bit longer."
"Understood, Odyssey out."
"What have you done!?" Atvar hissed, adding his to most of the other Shiplords. "You said you would surrender!"
"No. I said I would call my ship," O'Neill corrected. "If anything happens to us your oversized ships will be turned into scrap. You can try to fight back, but we've fought against a lot more dangerous than these. So, Fleetlord Atvar, what do you plan to do?"
Atvar froze, not knowing what to do. He could feel the eyestalks of dozens of his Shiplords staring at him waiting for a decision. The Tosevites could be lying, but he wasn't sure. They had incredible nukes but would they use them? It would be impossible to destroy the colonization fleet before they slowed down from the significant fraction of light they were traveling at, wasn't it? Ships moving that fast was impossible, wasn't it? This was too much pressure for him. The Race took long, measures steps and did nothing in rash manners. The Race was not known for coming to and acting on those decisions quickly. Actions needed to be studied carefully in order to access their full potential. But now he was in completely unfamiliar territory. Thinking quickly and then acting just as quickly had never been part of his training. Right now, he didn't have the time. But he had to make a decision quickly.
He didn't know what to do.
Oh, how did things come to this?
"I will not order my soldiers to shoot you, General O'Neill," Atvar hissed through the translation device. "And in return I ask you not to attack my ships." There, he said it. He hated to say it but he did for the sake of the defenseless military fleet under his command. "You Tau'ri are a threat to the Race. You compete with us and there can be no peace because of what you have done. Know that you have made an enemy of the Race and we never forget."
The General straightened up and glared at the Fleetlord. The Fleetlord in return recognized the gesture as a threat and nearly backed away frightened by the display of aggression by the big, ugly Tosevite. However by some miracle of will he stopped himself from moving.
"Fleetlord Atvar, before you start a war you do not have a chance of winning, consider your position. If by some miracle you survive and get past our ships without being blown back Home, let's suppose you make it to Earth…"
"My Home world," O'Neill said. "You'll have about five thousand missiles waiting to blow you out of orbit and that's just my people. There are a whole lot of countries that are even more hostile than we are and they will not take kindly to a bunch of lizards trying to take over their territory. If you try to nuke us, it'll just make us mad and we'll turn your ENTIRE PLANET into pieces not much bigger than your tail. We will turn your people into nothing more than a memory. You've seen our nukes," he said. "What do you think will happen when we start using big ones?" He let that sink in for a few seconds. "Or," he suggested, "we could talk first and try to defuse the situation."
"I want to hear what you have to say to us," Shiplord Straha said.
Atvar was furious for him daring to interfere but it would give him some time to think. These Tau'ri had shown their power and he wasn't sure if the one called O'Neill was telling, or would tell the truth. So he decided to change tactics a little to learn more about these creatures. "I do not understand your term 'my people'. How many kinds of people are on Tosev Three."
Tosev Three," Atvar insisted.
"You are not going to let that go, are you?"
"No," he hissed, "and you did not answer my question. How many different kinds of Tau'ri are there?"
"Just one…Daniel, please answer Atvar, because if he calls a Tosevite one more time…"
"There is only one type of intelligent species on Earth or as you call Tosev Three."
"Sorry Jack, just trying to get my point across. Fleetlord Atvar, there are different governments but only one species on our planet."
"I do not understand the term 'different countries'. Who is your Emperor and when can I speak with him?"
"We ah, don't have an Emperor. We have a president who is elected to office for a period of time. The Earth is not unified under one leader."
"No Emperor? There is no united government? Then how can your society survive? And what is a President?"
"The President is the elected leader of our people."
"Elected?" That word had to be bounced over a few times before the concept took. "You count snouts in order to choose your leaders of your…your not-Empire? You Big Uglies are truly mad!"