Aschen part 3.
1817 AD, Refuge Sector, Eratan Staging Ground at the Edge of the Aschen Confederacy, HT503, Bridge.
"Message from Flag."
Captain L'Aona glanced at her comm. officer, from the throne of her new ship.
"Phase One will start in one minute."
"Acknowledged," L'Aona said. The information from Volia had given the Empire a lot of insight into the Aschen's capabilities. They had learned that their enemies were unable to communicate between all of their planets without their communication network. Therefore the destruction of this network was the first step in their defeat.
"Show me the Stealth Fleet."
A swarm of Stealth Bombers appeared on the main screen. The ships were moving away slowly.
"Stealth Fleet entering Hyperspace."
The two hundred Stealth Bombers activated their hyperspace engines and jumped into Hyperspace.
Well, back to waiting, the Captain thought. It would take a few weeks for the entire enemy comm. network to be destroyed. Once it was destroyed, the Fleet would split and attack the Aschen's minor Systems.
By that time, the last two Advanced Ha'taks from Tara'Nor - the main Shipyards in Refuge Sector, would join them and L'Aona would have the chance to see her brother for the first time in the past two years.
One month later, Refuge Sector, Eratan Staging Ground at the Edge of the Aschen Confederacy, HT503, Bridge.
Captain Aron appeared in
L'Aona greeted her brother after.
L'Aona entered in one of her ship's ring room. She nodded at Cheng Sying - her second in command.
"Your brother is about to ring in, Captain."
The rings activated, and a man appeared in a flash of light. He smiled, walked forward and gave L'Aona a hug. "It's been a long time, little sister."
L'Aona accepted the hug and smiled. "I am glad to see you, Aron." After they separated, L'Aona made introductions. "Aron, this is my XO, Cheng Sying," she said softly. "Sying, meet my brother Aron."
Both men nodded politely at each other.
"Come, Aron. Dinner awaits." L'Aona motioned for her brother to follow her and they headed toward her quarters. "I believe congratulations are in order. You finally made Captain."
"Finally, eh?" Aron chuckled. "Well, little sister, not everyone can be as smart as you."
"True, but at least you got the last Advanced Ha'tak."
"It's not as impressive as you'd think."
L'Aona raised an eyebrow. "Oh?"
"The scientists have pretty much given up on the Ha'tak design."
"That is understandable. The Ha'tak model is a relic from the Goa'uld. It tries to do too many things at once: troop transport, carrier, capital ship, control ship, orbital bombardment, cargo ship, diplomatic ship and everything else you can think of. The only advantage it has is that it can perform in many roles. Unfortunately, it does them badly. We need more ship classes. First of all we need dedicated capital ships."
"Something that can take and give a lot of damage, without worrying about things like Death Gliders, soldiers and cargo," Aron said.
L'Aona nodded and continued. "Then, we need dedicated carriers. Next, cruisers and destroyers for fast attacks and smaller targets. The only thing we have that is close to that is the Bomber, which is not a proper Light Ship, but an oversized fighter."
"That's why the next generation of ships will be completely different," Aron said. "I've actually seen a prototype on the Shipyards on Trantor."
"Yes. Apparently it has the new Alteran techs we managed to uncover and what we managed to learn from Loki's ship. It's not going to be put into production, though; or even used to upgrade the Fleet. And from what I heard, only the Flagship has some of those prototypes. And even it has few of them."
"Understandable," L'Aona said.
Cheng Sying glanced between the siblings and L'Aona caught the look of confusion. "This way, even if the Aschen get their hands on one of our ships, they are unlikely to get anything too powerful," the Captain explained. "Even our Goa'uld tech would give them too great of an advantage. At the moment, the Aschen spend huge amounts of resources on maintenance."
"That is why secrecy is so important," Aron added. "If they get access to Goa'uld tech, or even worse, Alteran tech; not only will they get a tech boost, but all of those resources that go into military and civilian maintenance would be freed for other things."
"Things like ships."
Cheng Sying nodded in understanding. "Speaking of ships, will we get more before the attack begins?"
"That's unlikely," Aron answered. "The shipyards had to slow other constructions to get the last two Advanced Ha'taks ready, so we're not getting anymore reinforcements for almost a year. Also, Tara'Nor will concentrate on expanding the space mining facilities again, so our shipbuilding capabilities will somewhat slow."
"Shouldn't we do the opposite," Sying asked. "We're about to enter a war. We'll need a lot more ships to deal with Aschen Prime."
"I don't think the Fleet is supposed to deal with Aschen Prime," L'Aona said. "We just need to defeat their Secondary and Tertiary worlds. If their primary world is contained, the Empress will call it a success. We'll eventually be able to deal with it, but for now, we must cripple their development."
Some time later, L'Aona, her brother and XO were finishing dinner in the Captain's quarters.
"I wonder how far we'll have to go before we can force their surrender," Sying said.
L'Aona and Aron exchanged a knowing glance. "There have been talks about the different possibilities," L'Aona said. "The Empress hasn't decided yet. It depends of how well the war goes. In a war with Goa'uld, we'd never use extreme methods."
"Extreme?" the XO asked.
"Like destroying a planet or a Sun," Aron said, making Sying grimace.
"The Goa'uld are a known quantity. We know how they think. Destroying a planet or a System is frowned upon by the Goa'uld. Unless it's an all-out war against the combined might of the System Lords, going too far with weapons of mass destruction will only drive the Goa'uld to ally against us or even worse, destroy their current society."
"Heh, and what would be so bad about that last part?" Aron asked.
"We might drive them to what they once were. If they begin to feel threatened as a species, their population might explode in numbers. In just a few days, their numbers might grow from a few tens of thousands to millions. The Goa'uld are not much of a threat to us, as long as their current society is stable."
"True," Aron grimaced. "There's another reason though. If we destroy a Goa'uld world with mass destruction weapons, we aren't going to solve anything. They have thousands more and ships that can escape through Hyperspace. The Aschen however, have one critical world, and their defenses can not flee the destruction of their world. If we deal with it, we defeat them."
L'Aona nodded. "True. And if the war starts to go bad, the Empress will probably give the order. I don't think she will, though. Other civilizations might decide to take offense to it."
"Like the Asgard?" Sying asked.
"Yes. They still consider themselves as part of the Great Alliance, even if they are the last. They take seriously their commitment to protect the Legacy of the Altera."
"They didn't do that much good," Aron sniffed.
"Do not be foolish, brother."
Aron waved a hand in dismissal. "You know I'm right, L'Aona. Their treaty with the Goa'uld protects only a few dozen worlds. And that's only as long as they are not too technologically advanced."
"That is true, however you must keep in mind that the Asgard are foreign to this galaxy. They have their genetic problems and also it is possible that they have been in a war for the past few centuries or even the past few millennia."
"That's a long time for a war. I didn't know about this. Do the Goa'uld know about this piece of information?"
"Yes and no," L'Aona said. "There are indications that the Asgard pulled out many of their ships from this Galaxy. Some Goa'uld have considered this possibility or others from time to time. Some of them believed so strongly in it that they attacked a Protected World. Every time the Asgard retaliated, though. Even if the Goa'uld System Lords suspect that the Asgard, for a reason or another, can't afford an all out war with them, they have only probed the Asgard strength. Even if the Asgard have only a few ships available, that is still plenty enough to deal much damage to the System Lords."
"The Asgard might not be too happy if we just blew up Aschen Prime. Genocide on that scale is hard to swallow, no matter our reasons. The Empress is trying to establish a good reputation for us. Sooner or later, The Goa'uld will be gone. Other Civilizations will rise. When that happens, a reputation for being malevolent might make people put us on the same category as the System Lords. Being known as "those guys who killed a few dozen billion sentients," is to be avoided."
After dinner was finished and Sying excused himself, Aron gave his sister a knowing smirk. "So..."
L'Aona narrowed her eyes slightly and frowned. "What?"
"Isn't it traditional for a visiting Captain to have dinner with most of the high ranking officers of a visiting ship?"
"You're not just a visiting Captain, you are my brother. I wanted to have a more private dinner."
"Ah. And you invited your XO to this dinner why?"
"Just what are you trying to suggest, Aron?"
"I can't believe my little sister is finally interested in someone."
"Sying is my subordinate," L'Aona protested weakly.
"Yes, but that won't last for too much longer," Aron said dismissively. "After this war, the Fleet will be expanded again. He'll probably get his own ship then."
"And when that happens," she sighed, "even if we want to pursue a relationship, we'll probably be too far away."
"Now you're grasping at straws, sister. With all the enhancements we have, we're guaranteed to live for at least a few thousand years. We're pretty lucky. We can first do our duty to the Empire and still be young enough to start a family. We can watch them grow and we'll still be young. Sying appears to be a nice enough fellow. If you like him, I'd say to go for it."
L'Aona gave her brother a soft smile. "Thank you brother. After this war ends, I believe I'll do that."
1817 AD, Refuge Sector, Eratan Staging Ground at the Edge of the Aschen Confederacy, HT001, Flag Bridge.
"Fleet Admiral, Stealth Fleet reported back. Mission accomplished."
Eerie, nodded from her throne on the Flagship's flag bridge. "Very well. Begin Phase two."
The Fleet had thirty-two Ha'taks and forty Advanced Ha'taks besides the Flagship. That made nine squadrons, each with eight ships. Each Ha'tak squadron paired with an Advanced Ha'tak squadron and jumped into hyperspace. The remainder eight Advanced Ha'tak positioned themselves around the flagship.
With a sudden lurch, the remaining nine ships jumped into hyperspace.
Eerie rose from her throne and moved toward Priscilla. The Flagship was the only ship in the Fleet that had some of the most advanced tech Eratna had developed. Some of the additions like the new shield generators and the improved power generators were Alteran, and a control chair was the best way to use and control them. Others, like the new sensors developed from what they learned from the Asgard and, further developed with the help of the Alteran databases, could be processed far better with access to the chair. Even the lower Goa'uld tech could be better controlled by the chair.
One of the many chairs found after the discovery of the Alteran Outpost on Tau'ri was installed on the Flagship.
Despite the fact that all Eratans had the Alteran gene that allowed the activation and control of Ancient tech, only a few people had a passable ability to control the chair. The best of them were the princesses - Erika and Astrid, Lilith and Priscilla. Priscilla however was able to use the chair to its full capabilities, due to her Alteran physiology and her symbiote's presence.
For that reason it was decided that Priscilla would be present on the Flagship.
Priscilla looked to Eerie, who moved behind her.
"It has begun," the Alteran female said softly. "I just hope we're not getting overextended."
"Are you worried for our planets?" Eerie asked.
"A bit. I can't help but worry about Refuge and Eratna. The Aschen might discover Refuge, or somehow learn of its location. With our current technology we should be able to survive a biological attack like their first one. But... there are other ways to devastate a planet. The Aschen are intelligent and ruthless enough to use them. Eratna is in a similar risk. When Lilith conquered it, it was a mud-ball. At first its loss would have cost us nothing. In the case of a powerful attack, we could have handled a fighting retreat. We could have taken all of our people and critical resources off and destroyed the rest without too much economical losses. But now, we have invested too much into Eratna."
"It could not be helped," Eerie said. "With the Aschen danger in the Refuge sector, we could not give up to a developed Eratna."
"True, it could not be helped. Choosing another sector and developing there was not feasible. A third expansion would require resources."
"And we could not ensure that it would not have its own dangers anyway," Eerie added.
"Yes. And now, we can't simply give up half a century of industrial development. When Bastet attacked us, we were able to capture her Flagship. With that, we ensured our protection from her. She no longer had the forces to defeat us. But because of the Alteran plague, Lilith was forced to call the Asgard in the presence of the System Lords."
"We attracted their attention," Eerie said. "I still wonder if that is a good or bad thing. On the one hand, we let them know that we develop advance tech and that we have some influence with the Asgard. Due to our Trade Worlds, the Goa'uld believe that we sell all, or at least, most of our tech. That offers us some protection. It is in their best interest to have good relations with us. Not just because we might decide to supply resources to the enemy of a System Lord that annoyed us, but because we represent the best way for new ways to preserve their immortality."
"The Sarcophagus," Priscilla sighed. "Even a Goa'uld symbiote has its limit. There are plenty of Goa'uld who died of old age, even if they had access to a sarcophagus. An improved sarcophagus would mean longer lives for the Goa'uld. They know that even if a Goa'uld System Lord were to attack us, the attacker would have to ensure that this new technology is not lost."
"Selling an improved Sarcophagus is still a blade with two edges," Eerie said. "Yes, it gives us protection, but it will also preserve the lives of the System Lords. The worst thing though, is that their mental instability given by the old Sarcophaguses will end. I like my enemies as stupid as possible."
Priscilla chuckled softly. "Yes, there is that. However, our long term plans require the new generations of Goa'uld to be sane. We want buffers. Soon we will have a good enough genetic mix for the third Goa'uld genetic strain."
"I just hope it won't prove itself more dangerous than the System Lords," Eerie sighed. "If we need a buffer, we could just give the Tok'ra their queen. With their ability to breed, and a little covert help, they would surely keep the Goa'uld occupied."
"That is true, Eerie. Unfortunately, we can't expect Egeria not to screw up. She was, after all, foolish enough to start her rebellion before she was ready. Also, even if the Tok'ra get their queen back, that won't necessarily mean that they'll change their strategy. They may be too entrenched into their current way of life. Even if they can't breed without a queen, they could have found other ways. They could have cloned themselves. Yes, their cloning process may not be entirely perfect, but at the very least, they could have created Goa'uld symbiotes that would live at least a few centuries even without further medical intervention. They could have created Harcesis. Yes, it is not the same thing as the spawn of a proper queen, and yes, it is a morally questionable method to breed, but it is more than they have now."
"We do not know that much about them," Eerie said. "It could be that they tried it. Maybe they succeeded and hid it from the Goa'uld, or perhaps it failed."
"Perhaps," Priscilla conceded. "I highly doubt it, however. In any case, the Tok'ra have never gave any sign that they can be more than what they now are - spies, assassins and saboteurs. While their methods are efficient enough, given their lack of resources, I cannot see them as successful empire-builders. Egeria did something to them to turn them away from this path."
"And the third strain would not have this deficiency," Eerie added. "There are still dangers, though. Their difference from the System Lords, their similarity to the Lady Lilith and Cybele, may make them as successful as us. There are risks to that as well."
"True, but they won't be that grave. To destroy the System Lords, we need something better to take their place. We're not going to do it, so we need someone else to do it. As it is now, if all Goa'uld were to die, the Jaffa and human slaves would take their place. They would not be better rulers, they would be worse. By the time the third strain is created, and the first few of their number rise to any position of power, we should be far stronger than we now are. By that time, we'll have reduced the number of Alteran artifacts from the galaxy. We will have superior numbers, economy, military might, and technology advanced enough to rival the Asgard. The third strain, Jaffa, humans and other species will rise with the fall of the System Lords. The risk of a malevolent Goa'uld population explosion will be reduced. With our Trade Worlds, it will be easy to help the new powers that oppose the System Lords. We'll gain the gratitude of these new powers. We'll be rid of the System Lords without doing all the fighting. The Asgard will also owe us for helping the younger races. We'll have a relatively stable galaxy, and with a little care, we'll be able to ensure that the new powers will gather into smaller, individual powers and not into a colossal one that might pose a danger to us."
"But until then, we must deal with the Aschen."
Author's Note: Sorry about the late update. I had a bit of writer's block with this last chapter. It took me a while to properly set and decide the ending of this Aschen ark. Not a very exciting chapter, I think, but I hope it was interesting. I had to introduce yet another OC - Captain L'Aona (remember her for the future and distant future... and the next chapter as well). I hope you haven't got too confused with all of these original characters. It had to be done, though. I just couldn't justify having only four or five main characters that would be able to be everywhere and do everything - leading, exploring, fighting (ground and space), research and so on.
And on that note, there should be a list of characters on my author page.
Next chapter should end this Aschen Ark. I just know some of you will send me hate reviews next chapter. I wonder if anyone can guess why.
On Egeria: Yes she was found some years ago. I kind of skipped it. I just couldn't find anything interesting to say about this mission. Had I done it, it would have just been boring filler.
On the third strain: it will be Goa'uld that aren't evil. That however, does not mean that they'll be nice.
And on that note, (if you had the patience to read my notes,) can you give some suggestions for the name of this Goa'uld genetic strain?
Published: January 23, 2011.