Disclaimer: The characters of Stargate belong to MGM. The characters of Farscape belong to Jim Henson Productions.

Chapter 1 – Pilot

Departures

The briefing room looked just the same it did all these years but now there was a terrible sense of loneliness, a sense that something was missing. Colonel Mitchell felt it. The team was not complete now, and it will never be. He looked to the room below where the ring shaped device stood – the Stargate.

He remembered when he first arrived. He stood near it, touching it and imaging what people were doing for living – every day going into a situation of life and death. But truthfully his mind was going back to all the men he lost in the battle with the forces of Anubis, and that that day he almost died as his F-302 was hit. Then he remembered SG-1 coming to visit him telling him everything will be alright, and there was General O'Neil, his hero. But he's gone now and so is the real SG-1. Who would have thought that one mission could change all that – no one.

Mitchell closed his eyes, shutting the urge to let the tears freely fall. He couldn't take this reality that was harsh as a bitch and unforgiving. They are gone now – Colonel Carter, Daniel Jackson, Teal'c and O'Neil – all. The briefing room is indeed very empty now and life's become harder than ever. They are all gone all but Vala. She is now his comfort, his wall, his tree where he could rest his pain and find a kind word.

"Colonel Mitchell."

Mitchell opened his eyes, turning into the direction of the voice. There stood Walter, dressed in the official attire.

"We are ready." – Walter informed then sighing added. "It's time."

Mitchell looked at him, pain crossing his chest. He imagined when Walter would come he wouldn't be able to move but he had to. With effort, Mitchell walked.

The ceremony was to be held on Dakara, the capital city of the Jaffa Nation. Master Bra'tac was going to officiate it. He knew Teal'c the best. They were together since the beginning, the beginning of all – the first years before SG-1, the long years preparing the demise of the Goa'uld with the help of SG-1, the fall of the Goa'uld, the coming of the ORI and their terror on the galaxy. He knew all of SG-1 – General O'Neil, who had saved his life more than once; Daniel Jackson, who had helped and saved his life and the life of countless Jaffa; Colonel Carter also had her share of saving the Jaffa and establishing more or less good relations with the Tok'ra, and ridding the galaxy of the Replicators.

Mitchell sighed deeply, feelings colliding in him like a deadly storm. They were all gone after all these jeopardizes, dangers and crazy missions, they've fallen in the one they never expected, the one that seemed the most harmless, like you say – a walk into the park but the one mission where all hell broke loose.

The gate was dialed. Symbol after symbol lit up until all seven were activated. The shining, watery, surface appeared, and as Carter would say – the event horizon of the wormhole. The delegation from Earth was ready – representatives from the I.O.A., the chiefs of staff, Walter, all SG teams, every woman and man on the base, General Landry and President Hayes. But they all waited for him.

"Colonel Mitchell." – President Hayes called.

He knew he had to pass first so to honor the memory of SG-1, after all he was its leader for the past six years. Mitchell straightened up his uniform and climbed the ramp. Reaching the event horizon he stopped. His hand gently touched it. How smooth its surface was making wonder what the Ancients first must have though and felt when it was firstly activated. It was a sensation like no other.

Mitchell closed his eyes and stepped forward but just enough so his face can just cross the threshold in half. He opened his eyes on the other side. In a second he saw the funnel of the wormhole, and then the physics took over, and his body followed. He was instantly disintegrated. Mere seconds later, he appeared on Dakara where the honorary escort of Jaffa stood with Master Bra'tac at the head.

"Colonel Mitchell." – Bra'tac greeted.

"Master Bra'tac." – Mitchell replied taking his hand in the Jaffa way.

"This way, please."

Mitchell followed Master Bra'tac on the path to the temple. Inside it, on an ornate table, stood a crown of laurels and the symbol of SG-1, as there were no bodies. Vala and he saw it all. They were engulfed into dark flames and only fumes remained where they had stood just a second before. On the ground, they only found a few cloth fragments, which suggested that someone had stood there. Mitchell closed his eyes again; he did not want to remember this horrid moment.

"Cam!" – A voice called forcing Mitchell's eyes to open. There stood Vala in her usual black attire, her hair gently following on her shoulders. She held a garland of yellow and green flowers, Mitchell did not bother wonder what were they exactly. Vala approached and hugged him. "Everything is going to be alright, "she gently added.

"Thank you!" – Mitchell squeezed those few words.

"I…" – Vala did not continue. Mitchell saw it, she simply couldn't. Tears were falling down her cheeks. He patted her on the back. All they had now was each other.

"I know." – Mitchell comforted her. "I know."

The delegation from Earth arrived shortly after. Soon they were joined by the Jaffa leaders, the Tok'ra, the Hak'tyl and commanders of the five Earth Battle Cruisers – Colonel Ellis of the Apollo, Colonel Caldwell of the Daedalus, Colonel Petra, recently promoted, of the Odyssey, Colonel Sheppard of the Excalibur and L. Colonel Lorne of the Achilles. Dr. McKay, Dr. Jennifer Keller, Teyla and Ronon have come also from Atlantis to attend the ceremony.

Master Bra'tac took position before the ornate table holding a lit torch. Two Jaffa priests placed four candles around the laurels.

"Dear friends," – Bra'tac began. "We gathered before the eternal flame to say farewell to our dearest friends, colleagues and allies – SG-1, and the horn will sound," the gentle but sad voice of the horn sang. "Their bravery, courage, support and love shall not be forgotten until the suns grow cold. They inspired us to be better than we were. They brought us hope. O'Neil of Minnesota, he was a wise and gracious leader that provided help to those that needed it. Dr. Daniel Jackson was a kind and gentle soul, seeking knowledge and enlightenment, reaching even beyond the planes to help others. Colonel Samantha Carter was a bright and intelligent woman that brought vision and hope, and…"

Mitchell's thoughts went back to the first time he met them all – Daniel Jackson, who was packing his affects, preparing to leave for Atlantis; Teal'c on Dakara while in session with the governing council of the Jaffa, trying to bring him back to SG-1; Samantha, who was in the research division making improvements to the newly provided by the Asgards hyperspace drive, trying to convince her back into duty, and General O'Neil who was telling him that he could have any assignment, and when he choose to be part of SG-1.

And then fate intervened, Vala came through the gate and a whole new adventure began – the arrival of the ORI. Two years they fought the ORI and with the help of Morgan LeFay, they finally defeated them by finding the ancient artifact – the Ark of Truth. The Ark was still in Area 51 where it has been studied ever since. After that, Samantha became leader of the Atlantis expedition. A year later, she returned, Teal'c came also, and the team was again complete. And then… then came this horrid mission.

Mitchell returned his focus back on the ceremony. Master Bra'tac had finished his appraisal of the many good things SG-1 had accomplished, and now every leader started giving his speech. It was great that so many were honoring them, the heroes of the galaxy.

Yeah, they were the heroes but on that day even heroes couldn't have done anything to prevent the terrible event. Mitchell tried to stay focused on the ceremony, not allowing his thoughts to dwell on that mission but he couldn't. He couldn't feel anything any more his senses were numbed. His world has fallen apart. They say it is part of the job but living with it is never easy. With time people's lives are lost but all loses are taken harder by those that are the closest. They are gone now. Why had they to die – why? He shot this question to the universe – why! And he had to find a new vocation, staying in the air force was no longer an option for him. He had to find the answer to his question – why did they die and for what. Who was responsible for their death – he had to do something.

They are gone and the world would never why. Why they sacrificed everything – for a better world, for the benefit humanity, for history – no one will ever know. For every countless hero that falls every day there is a purpose but some leave a mark, an imprint in history that is not easily forgotten. Mitchell, this time, let the tears run freely. Vala, standing beside him, put an arm around his shoulders. He embraced her. The final sound of the lonely horn was squeezed out and then silence fell, and before he had realized it, the ceremony was over, the good-byes given but life goes on. A new purpose in life must be found. And he did. The decision formed steadily in his mind. He knew what he had to do whatever the cost.

Vala left his side, and strode to meet General Landry. They shook hands in silence then Vala spoke.

"I can't stay. I have to leave."

General Landry said nothing just nodded, understanding completely.

"I'll be leaving too."

Hank Landry looked up surprised. "Colonel?"

"I'll be going with Vala, sir."

"But Colonel Mitchell, you can't."

"I have to, sir." – Mitchell said firmly though barely controlling his emotions.

"The SGC will take…"

"No, sir." – Mitchell firmly cut the general off. "The SGC is restricted in many ways. No, I'll do this my way, with no one over my head."

"Mitchell, you can't simply…"

"I've made my mind, sir." – Mitchell cut him off again. "I'm resigning from the air force. I'll handle you my resignation tomorrow, and then I'll be leaving with Vala."

"Hmm," – Landry sighed deeply, then ceded. "Very well, colonel, although, this will still have to be approved by the I.O.A." – Landry added quickly. "I will take care of that."

"Thank you, sir!" – Mitchell saluted then joined Vala. They had much work to do, much work. The answer to his question laid somewhere in the stars. He knew it or at least he thought so. Partnering with Vala was not ideal but she had a valuable knowledge of many worlds. She was going to be a useful ally.

Mitchell and Vala left for the gate and then back to the SGC. Vala went to gather all her belongings. She had now no reason to stay, as Mitchell was leaving with her. For a moment, she thought she had finally found a place where she belonged but fate was now saying otherwise.

Mitchell left the base, heading straight home to pack. He had no roots left on Earth, and it is painful to leave his home, his home planet but he had to do it. He had a new path now. He had to find how all this happened.


The next day, he appeared before General Landry, handling his resignation. Richard Woolsey, now commander of the Atlantis expedition, Colonel Sheppard, Dr. McKay and L. Colonel Lorne had come all the way from Pegasus and were part of the discharge contingent. Mitchell was touched by his discharge ceremony he had come not to expect.

They were all gathered before the ramp to the stargate. Vala was waiting for him dressed in her usual black attire and jacket, a dazzling smile on her face. Mitchell was also in black, the attire he used to wear when he posed as a bounty hunter.

"Colonel Mitchell," – General Landry began. "It is with great honor that I present you with the discharge papers."

He handed Mitchell the official documents then added. "Officially, you will not be part of the Earth military as you have chosen to pursue your goals alone, which saddens us deeply but we understand. The International Oversight Agency, however, would like to offer you the possibility to keep your rank."

Vala looked at Mitchell and nodded. Mitchell stepped forward and said. "It has been an honor serving, General. But I can not remain on Earth serving the Military I have to find my own path. Nonetheless, I will accept the gracious offer."

"Then we can all call this a good-bye ceremony where a friend is leaving to pursue the truth by all means necessary. As you know the Military can not support officially such an action but you do have the blessing of the I.O.A." – Mr. Coleridge of the I.O.A said.

"Thank you all, I really appreciate it."

"Colonel Mitchell, God speed." – General Landry said, shaking his hand.

"Thank you, sir!" – Mitchell said, saluting for the last time.

The hand shaking over, Mitchell and Vala climbed the ramp. Mitchell turned to the control room saying. "Dial it up, Walter."

"Colonel Mitchell," – Mr. Coleridge approached. "Master Bra'tac has procured for you and Mrs. Mal Doran a Tel'tak."

"Thank you."

"You just find the answer," – Coleridge said, smiling. "And report it back. If you need any help do not hesitate to contact us. We expect regular contact every month."

"We will try." – Vala replied.

The gate was dialed. Vala and Mitchell reached the event horizon, turned one last time around, then stepped through the gate. Few seconds later, they appeared on the Alpha Site. There, they were greeted by the command officer that escorted to the hangar where the Tel'tak was waiting for them.

"This is it, Cam." – Vala said. "There is no turning back now."

"I know." – Mitchell said.

"Alright, where to now?"

Mitchell inspected the ship, seeing it was provided with enough supplies to last at least four months. "First, we go to P4S – 619 where Jackson first found the references to the Colossus Project. And then we'll see."

Vala started the engines, the cargo ship lifted off. They soon reached orbit, and without delay it jumped into hyperspace thus beginning a whole in new adventure of pursuit of an answer to the mystery that claimed the lives of SG-1.


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Lordheaven