Stargate: New Frontier
Authors Note: Hi everyone sorry it has been so long since I updated this fic but I've had terrible writers block with it. I would like to personally thank bob regent for acting as an idea sounding board, it really helped me break the block on this. Thanks mate.
Federal Guard High Command
"What's the status of the Sentry Station," President Kieran Denson asked as he sat at the head of the conference table that dominated the heart of the Federal Guard's main situation room buried several hundred metres beneath the gleaming high tech metropolis of the Federation's capital city. His appearance was unusually unkempt, his hair ruffled and with stubble on his jaw – but then he had been roused out of bed in the middle of the night and been told that Sentry Station 29 was under heavy attack by a squadron of alien warships. With such an emergency to deal with there hadn't been time to make himself presentable, instead he'd quickly thrown on some clothes and accompanied as always by his bodyguards practically ran from the presidential apartments to the situation room buried several hundred metres beneath Geneva.
"Its bad mister president," Fleet Admiral Svetlana Kermanova replied grimly. "The only good news is that four alien warships that attacked the station have been destroyed, one by the stations defensive grid and the other three by the Victorious and the other ships in her battle group. But the damage has already been done."
"How bad is it, admiral?"
"We don't have a full damage and casualty report from the Victorious yet Admiral Mabuto is rightly concentrating her full attention on evacuating the station. However we do know the station is doomed the concussion from the alien weapons hitting the station has destabilised its orbit. The systems that normally maintain the stations orbit have been either disabled or destroyed; without them to correct the destabilisation it's falling into the gas giant. Within a few hours it will be no more."
"Can nothing be done," Kieran asked.
"I'm afraid not, Mr President."
"Could the task force combine there tractor beams and pull the station back into a stable orbit," Security Minister Henri Jenon asked looking as rumpled as the president, but then he to had been roused out of bed to respond to the sudden crisis.
Svetlana shook her head. "I'm afraid not minister," she replied before explaining. "Sentry Station 29 is built inside and around a twelve and a half kilometre wide nickel-iron asteroid. It masses literally tens of millions of tons of rock and refined metal alloys. Even if the ships Admiral Mabuto has combined all there power and pushed the tractor beam arrays passed acceptable safety margins they would not be able to overcome inertia and gravity enough to pull it back into a stable orbit. The station is just too big and masses too much.
"The only way to save the station would be to somehow restore power to the stations orbital maintenance and adjustment systems. That would restore the ability to create a strong enough anti-gravitic field around the station to counter inertia and the gravity of the planet and allow the stations control thrusters to manoeuvre it back into a safe and stable orbit. Unfortunately the stations main antimatter reactor has scrammed due to the loss of containment field generators and initial reports indicate that the main power grid has suffered extensive damage that is too severe to quickly repair or even temporarily patch up. There is no way we'll be able to restore main power in time to save the station."
"That is not good," Jenon commented with a worried frown. "The loss of the station is going to open quite a large gap in our surveillance network. It won't take the better organised pirate bands, mercenary and other unsavoury groups long to find out about the gap and move to exploit it."
"We can cover the gap with increased patrols until such time as a replacement for Sentry Station 29 can be constructed," Admiral James Prescott head of the Special Operations and Intelligence Directorate said leaning forward a moment. "However that is not what concerns me. The aliens who attacked the station are the same ones who attacked the Charles Darwin and murdered Ambassador Trainer when he attempted to make peaceful contact with them.
"Until now our best defence against them is they didn't know where we were, now that they've found one of our border sentry stations that defence is very shaky at best. The aliens now have a point of reference to work from and it wouldn't take them long to find one of our outer colonies from there. Given the observed aggression and intolerance of anything different shown by the aliens if that were to happen then…" he let his voice go quiet before he completed the thought.
He didn't really need to as everyone was aware of the horror that could unfold if the aliens discovered a colony. While it was true that all colony worlds had orbital defence systems they were designed more to repel pirates, mercs and attacks by terrorist groups than to repel a full scale military offensive by a force as heavily armed as the aliens seemed to be. It certainly wouldn't take long for an alien attack force to break through the standard orbital defence systems and begin landing troops on the colony or worse glassing it from orbit.
"So what do we do about it," Jenon asked breaking the ominous silence that had descended upon the conference room.
"For a start we could increase the frequency and size of our security patrols," Svetlana replied "as well as station full battle groups in a number of strategic locations where they could respond quickly to any hostile alien incursion. We do also have stockpiles of additional sentry drones and orbital defence mines; we could begin deploying them over all colonies facing the aliens most likely axis of attack however doing so will deplete our stores."
"Do it," Denson instructed.
"Yes sir," Svetlana acknowledged using her implant to make a note of the order so she could issue the appropriate orders as soon as this meeting was completed.
"It's going to be very visible," Jenon pointed out with a concerned frown. "On top of the fact that the media will quickly notice the gap in our security coverage caused by the loss of the station it could cause a panic."
"The people already know something is going on," Admiral Prescott said joining the conversation again. "Ever since we first dispatched the Railion and a support group of destroyers from Epsilon Eridani to rescue the Charles Darwin's landing party the public has known something is going on. The media also noticed that of the six ships dispatched only the Railion and one destroyer returned both having suffered heavy damage. We've so far used the cover story that they were dispatched to destroy a large than normal pirate base, but that cover story is not going to hold for much longer. Especially in light of the alien attack on Sentry Station Twenty-Nine and as Minister Jenon points out the very visible gap its destruction is going to leave in the security tracking grid."
"Indeed, so what do you suggest we do about it admiral," Denson asked looking at the former Black Falcon commando.
"Simple mister president we need to tell the public the truth," Prescott replied.
"Are you mad," Jenon asked gaping, "if we tell the public the truth there is going to be chaos, it was cause panic all across the Federation."
"Not if its handled correctly minister," Prescott answered fighting down a momentary surge of irritation at the politicians theatrics. "What we tell them is exactly what has happened along with the fact that all our attempts to establish peaceful relations with the aliens have been futile. We should also add that the aliens massacred the diplomatic team sent to meet them in cold blood when they destroyed the Crystal Dove with all hands onboard."
"Admiral Prescott is right," Svetlana added backing up her SOID colleague. "Minister, mister president I believe it should be obvious to all of us by now that what we are looking at now is the beginning of war with the aliens. The attack on Sentry Station Twenty-Nine is certainly not going to be the last time these aliens attack us. Given their attitudes and fiercely aggressive nature then war between them and us is inevitable."
"War," Jenon repeated tasting the word in his mouth and finding it fouler than any word he had ever spoken. "How could events have led to this? These aliens are a spacefaring race, they've certainly faced similar challenges to us during their development. How can they not see that war leads to nothing but unnecessary pain and suffering?"
"I don't know minister," Prescott replied. "I wish I did, but it doesn't change the fact that we are looking at war with these hostiles no matter how much we wish we could avoid it."
"Admiral Prescott is correct," Svetlana added. "I would like avoid a war, I would rather not inflict the horror of full scale interstellar war upon our people again. But these aliens are not leaving us any other choice and if defending the people of the Federation requires that we go to war with these self styled 'gods' then the Federal Guard is prepared to do so."
"As am I though God help me if it happens," President Denson added with a sigh. "As much as we hate war these aliens seem dead set on starting one with us. I'm going to have to call a special session of the Senate, brief them on what exactly has happened in closed session before we let the public know exactly what is happening. Tell me the truth though admirals are we ready for war with these aliens?"
"No," Svetlana admitted, "not with the ships we currently have available. The bulk of our fleet are lighter combat ships like destroyers which have proven to be no match for the alien capital ships in all but squadron strength numbers and even then most will be severely damaged if not outright destroyed. We need to start refitting and recomissioning more of our larger mothballed ships as well as building newer and more powerful ships."
"That would cost a fortune," Jenon commented already hearing the chancellor's frustrated scream. Many of the ships in the mothball yards had been there for years or in some cases a decade or two, repairing, refitting, crewing and rearming them for service was going to be both very time consuming and expensive, very expensive. Chancellor Shin would have a fit at having to find the money for it though Jenon himself approved of it, he'd been one of the few politicians who'd argued against the reduction in the Federal Guard's heavy forces ever since he'd first become a junior senator twenty years ago.
"I know it will but unfortunately Admiral Kermanova is right," Denson said with a sigh. He hated to go against the established policies of his predecessors who'd limited the numbers of heavy ships the Federal Guard could field. But there was no choice in the matter really, the very thorough tactical analysis of there previous clash with the aliens that he'd read had shown that while powerful ships the Defiance-class destroyers that made up the bulk of the Federal Guards fleet weren't strong enough to go toe to toe with alien warships. At least not as they currently were.
"We cannot however commit to war with an enemy we know next to nothing about. We need to know more about these aliens who claim that they are gods before we even think of war with them," he continued "Admirals where do we stand on that front?"
"Admiral Mabuto reported that one of the alien fighter craft that attacked Sentry Station 29 was disabled and has since been brought aboard the Victorious," Svetlana replied noting out the corner of her eye a SOID officer come in through the door of the glass walled conference room that formed one wall of the situation room and move to speak in Admiral Prescott's ear. I wonder what that's about, she thought before continuing with her report. "The pilot surrendered peacefully to the marines who met him and has been surprisingly cooperative. He has been taken to a high security cell in the Victorious brig for the time being where he'll stay until someone can properly interrogate him."
"A cooperative prisoner," Admiral Prescott said leaning forward as the junior SOID officer quietly departed the room. "That's good we should make more progress talking with him than with the interrogation of the bomber pilot the Railion captured. Coupled with what I've just been told we should at last gain some valuable intel about whom and what it is that's been attacking us."
Prescott paused to take a breath before continuing to speak. "Mister President I've just been told that one of the four stealth cruisers to find out more information about our mystery antagonists has had an encounter that should shed considerable light on our situation," he said.
"Go on," Denson said looking at the admiral in interest. He was aware of course of the four stealth cruisers that had been deployed, Admiral Prescott had asked for his permission to do so just after he'd read Commander Larsen's debriefing report. Given the aggression and ruthlessness the aliens had shown – not to mention there seemingly total disregard for the rules of civilised warfare – he had of course given his permission.
"The stealth cruiser Cheyenne commanded by Commander Alan Lorne has encountered a small alien vessel that uses the same technology as the vessels we've previously encountered. However it is much smaller and is completely defenceless with only basic shields and no weapons of any known kind my belief is it's probably a scoutship of somekind," Prescott explained. "As instructed Commander Lorne ordered the ship be intercepted and challenged. Upon making contact with them he made a surprising discovery."
"What kind of discovery?"
"There were two aliens on the ship, one male, and one female. However they claimed not to be related to the main faction of there kind which they referred to as the Goa'uld but belonging to another group calling itself the Tok'ra. Previously the aliens we've observed have been dressed in very lavish costumes and claimed to be a god or goddess but these two were dressed in more simple clothing and the one who spoke called himself a councillor.
"From the conversation that Commander Lorne had with the councillor who identified himself as being called Selmak these Tok'ra have been looking for us ever since Commander Larsen and the Railion tangled with the Goa'uld forces over the world they refer to as Sakana. They're offering to provide us with information on the nature of our new enemy."
"And where are these two aliens now? And what kind of information are they prepared to share?"
"I currently have no information on what data they are proposing to provide. I will investigate further as soon as we are done with this meeting. As for the Tok'ra they and there craft are being taken aboard the Cheyenne as we speak," Prescott replied. "As per standing orders the aliens will be thoroughly scanned and searched for weapons before being taken to quarters unless they prove hostile."
"Good. Order the Cheyenne to return to Terra at maximum speed," Denson ordered. "Have Commander Lorne find out whatever he can from the al…Tok'ra before they arrive."
Prescott nodded. "Commander Lorne is under orders to find out what he can from the aliens, if they are prepared to volunteer any information at this time. I will order the Cheyenne to return to Terra as soon as this meeting ends."
"Good then I want you to lease with the diplomatic service to work out a means of talking with these two aliens if they prove to be more friendly than the others of there kind have been."
Svetlana Kermanova had to choke back a laugh as her SOID colleague made a face at the mention of working with the diplomatic service. No one in the Federal Guard liked to really work with the diplomats if they could avoid it as they were soldiers and not politicians. And SOID was even more reluctant than most of the Guard to work with the diplomats which was understandable considering the dark, murky world that Special Operations regular worked in. She had to admit it was funny seeing the spook fidget uncomfortably.
"Yes sir," Prescott acknowledged the presidents order noting out the corner of his eyes Svetlana struggling not to laugh at his obvious discomfort. She's not going to let me hear the end of this for awhile, he thought with a mental sigh resigning himself to some good natured teasing from the fleet admiral; though the regular Federal Guard and SOID generally got on well – they had a lot of bleed through on some issues especially when Black Falcon special forces units needed to be deployed –they weren't above teasing each other and having friendly rivalries in the tradition of all different military branches throughout Terran history.
"Good. Now then is there any further business to discuss?" Denson asked looking around the table and getting negatives in response. "Then this meeting is adjourned. Admirals Kermanova and Prescott keep me appraised of any and all developments regarding the attack on Sentry Station Twenty-Nine and the 'guests' picked up by both the Victorious and the Cheyenne."
That Same Time
Selmak felt the butterflies of nerves fluttering about in his host's stomach as the Terran's tractor beam drew them ever closer to the Cheyenne. He had to admit he shared his host, Daylen's, unease about the meeting that was sure to take place onboard the alien warship, and he knew he had good reason to be nervous. Especially as the Tok'ra had absolutely no knowledge of the mysterious human nation; they knew was that they were likely to be the modern descendants of the long lost Tau'ri and that they're technology was apparently very advanced and had seemingly taken some radically different directions to the galactic norm. They knew the Terrans had powerful weapons capable of pounding down the current generation of Goa'uld shield technology in very short order.
But other than that they knew nothing.
Certainly they knew nothing about Terran society or culture, how many worlds they controlled, how large their standing military was – though it appeared to be very well equipped, how many warships they had, none of that information was available. Thus in many ways the Terrans were an unknown and that made them dangerous, very dangerous. Had circumstances allowed otherwise Selmak would have preferred to have kept to the High Council's plan and observe the mysterious group of humans for awhile, learning about them and their society before deciding if the Tok'ra should make formal contact with them but apparently fate, the universe or some random ascended being had had other plans and forced a meeting now.
"Do you think they're going to interrogate us Selmak," Daylen asked him as the Cheyenne's underside swept passed above them.
"I believe that is likely to be inevitable, Daylen," Selmak admitted as the tractor beam angled them towards an opening pair of hanger bay doors two thirds of the way along the cruisers length.
"Will they torture us?"
"I doubt it. From what Commander Lorne said they'll likely just ask us some very pointed questions," Selmak assured his worried host, "a more in depth interrogation is likely not to take place till we're on the Terran homeworld."
"You think they're going to take us there?"
"I believe that is very likely. If these people are indeed descendants of the first world it will be interesting to see how much it has changed from how it was all those millennia ago when the rebellion forced Ra to abandon it."
Before Daylen could speak again a soft shudder ran through the deck as the tractor beam deposited the Tel'tac down on the hard metal deck of the Terran cruisers hanger bay. The computer gave a small crystalline chime as the tractor beam disengaged a moment before the holographic HUD materialised showing somekind of energy field forming around the Tel'tac, presumably to prevent them lifting off without authorisation. Not that escape would be possible, Selmak thought as the HUD also showed the hanger bay doors were closing rapidly even as a dozen figures jogged up to the side of the ship.
"Open the airlock," Selmak instructed Anise. His fellow Tok'ra complied without speaking but Selmak could see in her hosts body language that Anise was both nervous about this meeting and eager at the same time. He didn't doubt that Anise would be hoping to get a good look at at least some of the Terrans technology up close even if she didn't immediately understand how some of it worked. Scientists, he thought in amusement as the sound of the airlock cycling drew his attention.
A moment later five of the figures that had jogged up to the side of the ship came into the cockpit. Each was tall and broad shouldered though it was impossible to make out any real details about them because each was wearing a full suite of advanced looking armour complete with a helmet whose only feature was a single glowing bar across the front at eye-level. Each figure was armed carrying a large, intimidating rifle-style weapon that looked slightly different to the rifles described by their operative among the Jaffa on Sakana. Presumably these were a more advanced, more powerful version of the already lethal plasma pulse rifles.
Slowly as not to cause alarm Selmak carefully stood up and put his host's hands in the air in the universal gesture of surrender. Beside him Anise did the same and for another few moments no one in the cockpit moved. Selmak took a moment to examine the armour of the Terran soldiers standing before him.
It seemed to consist of two separate layers. The outermost layer seemed to be composed of faceted black armour plates that gave off an odd opalescent sheen where the lights struck them and which was inset here and there with lines of soft blue light. A strange symbol in silver was located on the right hand side of each soldier's chest – a bird of prey of somekind against a starry background holding what looked like a lightning bolt in its talons. Beneath the armour panels was somekind of black suite that was covered in a pattern similar to that of human musculature, which itself was covered by a thinner mesh version of the black armour panels, presumably designed to allow those areas to flex easily.
All in all the armour looked powerful and advanced while giving off a sense of cool functionality at the same time. When combined with the obvious size of the soldiers wearing it the armour was definitely intimidating.
"Please lower your arms and surrender your sidearms," one of the soldiers said at last, the voice coming out unsurprisingly as male but with a slightly synthetic tone which indicated it was being routed through a translation system.
Selmak calmly did as instructed, lowering Daylen's arms before removing his zat'nik'atel sidearm and dropping it to the floor. Beside him Anise did the same, both of them kicking the sidearms towards one of the waiting soldiers who bent down and carefully picked them up.
"Now what," Selmak asked.
"Put these on," another soldier said holding out four small devices. "Place them behind your ears, it will enable you to understand us without needing to use a helmet translator all the time."
Selmak did as instructed, taking two of the devices from the soldier and slipping them into position behind Daylen's ears, out of the corner of his eyes he noticed Anise doing the same behind Kaira's ears – though she had to flick Kaira's long brown hair out of the way first to do so. He hid a smile as he was forever telling Anise and Kaira to get a haircut but for some reason both symbiote and host liked having long hair, which was bizarre to his way of thinking. Even when he'd had female hosts he'd preferred to have his hair short, long hair was just too much of a bother to maintain.
"Excellent," the first soldier who'd spoken said as soon as they were finished, before at some silent command the helmet split apart into three distinct sections that folded down into the collar of the soldier's armour in a similar way to the helmets elite Jaffa guards did allowing Selmak to get his first glimpse at the face of a Terran. The face that looked back at him was that of a young man, with very short cropped brown hair, warm hazel coloured eyes and a strong jaw.
"Please follow us," he instructed his voice no longer having the odd synthetic tone of the helmet translator instead coming through clearly in Daylen's ears. "Commander Lorne is waiting for you in one of the conference rooms, as you can imagine we have a lot of questions for you."
"Understandable," Selmak replied and watched as the Terran turned away and led the way out of the Tel'tac, Selmak and Anise followed with the other soldiers – there helmets also retracting – falling into formation around them.
"This way," the first soldier said as they stepped out onto the hanger deck. Selmak followed the Terran soldier as he led the way across the hanger deck towards a door that connected to the rest of the ship. As he walked Selmak carefully scanned the deck, noting the presence of eight sleek black fighters that had the same general configuration as the cruiser did and a number of more beetle-like landing craft though they were made of the same unknown black metal as the others. A black metal that seemed to make his eyes want to slide right off it making it an effective if somewhat crude passive stealth capability designed to fool the good old mark one eyeball.
Then the hanger gave way to a corridor. It was immediately obvious that the Terrans were not a species that went in for excessive, gaudy decoration of the interior of their warships. Instead of the gaudy, hieroglyphic encrusted golden walls of a Goa'uld built vessel the walls of the spacious corridor were quite plane. Instead the walls were made of a soft grey metal that both Tok'ra recognised as being highly refined trinium and it appeared to be perfectly smooth, there were certainly no join lines that could be immediately seen. It was the same everywhere in the corridor, the bulkheads seeming to merge with the deck and ceiling without any visible join line. Illumination came from strips of set into the bottom, middle and tops of the bulkheads, they flooded the corridor with a soft yellowish-white light that felt almost like an artificial form of sunlight.
After a short way the corridor joined two more in a three way junction. In the centre of the open area formed by the junction a console stood with a single Terran in a black and grey uniform operating it. Translucent holographic screens floated in the air around the officer who was definitely female. The officer seemed to ignore them as they walked passed taking the corridor to the right, though Selmak was will to bet that the officers ignorance was only an act, she was certainly following all their movements ready to intervene should they try anything stupid even surrounded as they were by a posse of Black Falcon commandos.
As they began walking down the next corridor a soft shiver ran through the deck accompanied by a distant whirr of sound. "Have we just jumped into hyperspace," Anise asked vaguely recognising the whirring of an engine powering up.
"Yes," the first soldier who'd spoken to them answered as they approached one of the stations for the internal maglev network. The doors of the station opened immediately as they approached revealing a car patiently waiting for them. "Get in," he instructed the two aliens, as soon as they were all in he used his implant to silently order the car to begin moving.
"How did you do that," Anise asked as the car began moving though she hadn't seen the Terran touch any form of control and he certainly hadn't issued a verbal command to start this car moving.
"All in good time," the soldier answered evasively. "All your questions will be answered in good time Miss…"
"Anise, though you can drop the miss part. Anise will do."
"Anise then," the soldier replied. "You may call me Scott, Lieutenant Scott. I would ask you save your questions, there will be time enough for them to be answered later. Once you have earned the right of answers."
In other words when they know they can trust us, Anise thought with a mental sigh of frustration. Though she knew she couldn't blame the Terran for not answering her questions. There was a lot of mistrust and suspicion to be overcome before they would be willing to give her any real answers about them or their technology.
"Still doesn't stop you being curious though does it, Anise," Kaira said to her.
"No it doesn't,"Anise replied letting her host sense her frustration, "I just wish they would give me some answers sooner rather than later."
"I know but we must be patient. These people after all don't trust us yet. And I can't really blame them given the false gods have attacked them every single time they've met."
"Neither can I but its still frustrating isn't it?"
A Few Minutes Later
Commander Alan Lorne waited patiently for his two 'guests' to arrive in the conference room he'd set aside for their initial debriefing. The orders he'd received directly from Admiral Prescott's office had been clear, he was only to ask some basic questions about the Tok'ra and the Goa'uld before having Selmak and Anise taken to guest quarters for the rest of the journey home to Terra. A journey that at most would take just over a day at the top speed the Cheyenne was capable of.
He looked up at the sound of the door opening to see Lieutenant Scott's squad come into the room surrounding the two 'Tok'ra' who currently hovered in the space between being guests and prisoners. "Ah welcome," he said standing up and gesturing to two seats across from him. "Please be seated. Lieutenant Scott you may remain the rest of your squad however must wait outside."
"Aye sir," Scott acknowledged and nodded to the rest of his squad who quickly slipped out of the room. For his part Scott went and stood where he could see the two Tok'ra ready to intervene should they threaten his commanding officer in some way, not that his assistance would be massively needed. Commander Lorne had been a Falcon himself once and had the same enhanced abilities that Scott did, even though he wasn't wearing Tribune armour with its strength boosting nano-fibres Scott knew that Lorne would be a lot stronger than his two hundred and forth pound physique would suggest and more than capable of killing the aliens with his bare hands if needs be. Still it never hurt to be prepared.
Lorne gave a subtle nod to Scott in approval of his positioning before turning his full attention to his two now seating 'guests'. "Welcome aboard the Cheyenne," he said in greeting as he sat back down. "I assume my soldiers weren't to rough with you."
"They were fine with us commander," Selmak replied. "I believe that you have questions for us."
"That I do Councillor Selmak."
"Just Selmak will do commander."
"Very well, I have been ordered by my superiors to ask you a few questions prior to allowing you to settle into what VIP quarters we have onboard this ship," Lorne replied. "Whereupon you will be allowed to rest during our voyage back to Terra, I assume that will be fine with you?"
"That will be fine commander."
"Good. This debriefing should only take a couple of minutes and any refusal to answer questions will not be tolerated and will result in you spending this journey in our holding cells. Is that understood." When both Tok'ra nodded in understanding Lorne allowed himself a small smile before using his implant to remotely activate the data recorder he'd set down in the centre of the table. It would record both the conversation and a number of biological readings from the two Tok'ra. "For the record please state your names."
"I am Councillor Selmak, my hosts name is Daylen," Selmak replied.
"I am Anise, my hosts name is Kaira," Anise added.
"Explain what you mean by hosts, are you some kind of parasites."
"No," Selmak replied, "my species once we reach maturity – a process that takes approximately ten standard years from birth – requires a blending with another life form in order to survive, this is a biological fact that we are unfortunately unable to change. Instead we have embraced it and live in symbiosis with a host, this can be a human or any other life form with a compatible nervous system. We share the body equally with our host's consciousness and they make have control whenever they wish, to our hosts we provide a number of benefits including a massively extended lifespan, perfect health and enhanced physical capabilities."
"When we hailed your ship you identified yourselves as being Tok'ra and that those who have been attacking us are Goa'uld. Can you explain the difference as from our scans the technology on your ship and the technology of the Goa'uld warships is identical."
"It's complicated but the basic answer is that biologically we and the Goa'uld are the same species," Selmak replied, "though neither of us really likes to admit it. The biggest difference between us is how we choose to live and how we treat our hosts. Tok'ra like me and Anise believe in living in symbiosis with our hosts and giving them equal control and rights. The Goa'uld does not share this view and behave in a far more parasitic fashion."
"The Goa'uld believe that they are superior to all other life forms – indeed they like to believe that they are living, breathing gods and require that any non-Goa'uld worship them as such. Once inside a host the Goa'uld completely suppress the host personality, forcing the host to literally become a prisoner in his or her own body, able to see and hear everything that is happening around them but unable to interact with the world. Due to this and a number of other factors including the fact that the Goa'uld are extremely cruel and vindictive the host will soon go insane."
"And the Tok'ra do not enslave their hosts?"
"No we don't. If you wish you may speak with my host."
"I would appreciate that."
Selmak nodded and for a moment looked down at the polished metal surface of the table. A silent chime sounded inside Lorne head as the recorder detected and relayed to his implant that the Tok'ra's neural electric pattern was changing. A moment later Selmak's head came back up and for a moment blinked and looked around uncertain.
"Um hello," Daylen said nervous about speaking with Commander Lorne despite the support he could feel Selmak giving him.
"Hello you are Daylen?"
"Yes," Daylen replied still nervous. He'd always been quiet and talking to the Terran opposite was hard work, the man was huge and intimidating. "Um can Selmak speak to you again now please? I'm afraid I'm not very good at talking to strangers."
"Alright," Lorne agreed seeing how nervous and unsure Daylen was. Guess my size is intimidating him, he thought.
"Thank you," Daylen replied before closing his eyes a moment and felt his thoughts be gently picked up and set aside as Selmak took over control again. "I'm sorry he scares me, he looks too much like the Jaffa in the mines did."
"It's quite alright Daylen," Selmak told his host before opening Daylen's eyes again and speaking to Commander Lorne. "I apologise commander, Daylen was a Goa'uld slave in one of Ra's naquada mines for many years until we rescued him when we destroyed the mining facility. I'm afraid your size reminds him to much of the Jaffa overseers."
"The Goa'uld practice slavery?"
"Yes," Selmak replied. "The Goa'uld have enslaved many species across a large part of this galaxy though the majority are human due to the quick human reproductive rate. In their world view other species are only useful as slaves or as hosts."
"How do the Goa'uld have so many human slaves? As far as I know our species have never met before now."
"It is a very long story commander."
"We have plenty of time."
"That we do. Very well I will tell you," Selmak replied. "It began nine millennia ago, long before the Tok'ra split off from the Goa'uld. The Goa'uld back then used a species called the Unas as hosts, a species from the same world as the Goa'uld themselves. Over time the Unas host species evolved to reject the symbiotes as a result the Goa'uld began dying off. In desperation the leader of the Goa'uld the Supreme System Lord Ra began searching the galaxy for a new species to use as hosts.
"Eventually after much searching Ra discovered a world populated by recently evolved, primitive humans. He landed and took a young boy as his new host and in the process discovered that human bodies are unusually compatible with our species. He invited other Goa'uld to come to the world – Tau'ri as he called it – and take humans as new hosts. They then took others and biologically altered them into a race of foot soldiers known as the Jaffa, yet more were taken from Tau'ri and seeded among the stars to serve the new Goa'uld Empire as slaves or potential hosts."
"Terra," Lorne breathed softly sharing a startled look with Lieutenant Scott as they both realised exactly what Selmak was saying.
"Commander," Selmak asked.
"The world Ra came to from your narrative, it's now called Terra or Earth in some circles."
"We suspected that would be the case that you would be the descendants of the Tau'ri," Anise said speaking for the first time. "It has been so long since any Goa'uld or Tok'ra walked on your world that you would have had plenty of time to have evolved into the technologically advanced species you are today."
"Do the Goa'uld know where our world is?"
"No," Selmak replied, "the coordinates of Tau'ri, of Terra have been lost to the Goa'uld for nearly eight millennia ever since the Goa'uld were driven from there by a slave uprising."
"One up for our ancestors," Scott said grinning.
"Indeed. I do not know why the Goa'uld did not return to Tau'ri to exact revenge for the uprising. By then the Tok'ra had split off from the Goa'uld but whatever it was it made sure the coordinates were lost to the System Lords. Until now, now that they know of your existence it is only a matter of time before they find your world once again."
"And what happens when they do?"
"They will attack you with every bit of strength they can muster. You're level of technology marks you down as a threat to them, and the Goa'uld do not tolerate such things. They will attempt to conquer you but if that fails then they will not hesitate to blast your species into extinction and glass your worlds."
"Can the Tok'ra help us against them?" Lorne asked shivering at the thought of Terran worlds, even Terra herself, being glassed at the hands of these Goa'uld, was to horrible to even think about. One thing is for sure we would fight with everything we've got to stop that from happening, he thought, the A.I's learned how aggressively we'll defend ourselves a hundred and fifty years ago when they tried to wipe us out. So will these Goa'uld.
"Not directly," Selmak admitted. "We do not have the numbers or military resources required to openly challenge the Goa'uld. All our moves against them have to be carried out through subterfuge and deceit using the feudal nature of the individual System Lords against them. What we can do however is offer advice and counsel on how to fight them, provide intelligence and even put you in contact with other worlds in this galaxy that are as advanced as you or more so."
"I see," Lorne replied before using his implant to stop the data recorder. "That will be all for now, Selmak. Lieutenant Scott will escort you and Anise to your quarters. In the meantime I will contact my superiors and relay what you have told me, no doubt they will want to know more from you when we reach home."
"We understand commander," Selmak replied before standing up with a polite nod of his head. Beside him Anise did the same thing.
"This way please," Lieutenant Scott said stepping forward before leading the two Tok'ra out of the room and back into the maze of corridors that filled the interior of the cruiser, leaving Alan alone in the conference room.
As soon as the door closed on the commando and the Tok'ra Alan Lorne tapped his wristcomm. "Bridge, Commander Lorne. Contact Federal Guard command on Terra immediately. I need to speak with both Admiral Prescott and Fleet Admiral Kermanova immediately."