Colonel Lionel Pendergast sat in thoughtful silence in his command chair on the cramped, dark bridge of Earth's first starship. From his position he could see out through the bridges small viewports to glimpse the swirling blue tunnel effect of hyperspace travel swirling past the ship as they sped through subspace towards the Alpha Site at speeds hundreds of times greater than light. This was only his third flight through hyperspace as the commanding officer of the Prometheus; he recalled that the first time he had seen hyperspace streaming past outside and known that they were travelling at speeds that should be impossible according to Einstein's theory of relativity he had been awed. Travelling in hyperspace had an odd sort of hypnotic beauty to it, especially with how it seemed to pick up your cares and carry them away in its shimmering fields of energy.
At least that was normally the case. Right now he couldn't stop thinking about Earth and what had happened, what Anubis had done to them. Despite the intervention of Thor and the Asgard the Goa'uld attack had inflicted horrendous damage upon his homeworld and killed God alone knew how many people across the entire globe in the thirty-one destroyed or severely damaged cities. A loss of life that was only going to get higher given that shortly before the orders to go to the Alpha Site and retrieve the satellites had come there sensors had monitored a massive quake on the San Andreas fault with an area that had been locked up for over a hundred years rupturing in a catastrophic release of energy. The quake had probably levelled what was left of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego and they had observed tsunami's rippling out across the ocean from the site of four massive earthquake triggered landslides where whole cliffs had fallen to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Could we have prevented the attack, he thought unable to stop himself is there someway we could have prevented millions of deaths at the hands of Anubis?
The only answer he could come up with when he thought about it was no. There was nothing they could have done to prevent the attack on Earth especially by a Goa'uld fleet the size of the one Anubis had brought to Earth. A fleet that had been fifteen times the size of the fleet Apophis had brought to attack Earth six years ago and had included one of the gigantic command motherships on top of basic Ancient-tech augmented Ha'tak's. By the standards of any System Lord the armada Anubis had brought to Earth was powerful and with the technology Anubis had at his disposal had been to much for them to deal with even with all the technological advances they had made over the last several years. If the Asgard hadn't shown up when they did and if SG-1 hadn't pulled yet another rabbit out of their hats then Lionel knew that Anubis would have kept up his bombardment until Earth's oceans vaporised and the very ground melted into sluggish lava.
Even knowing that the Earth was safe for now and that Anubis was almost certain to be dead – unless he could somehow survive his ship being literally torn asunder by the powerful Ancient weapons unleashed by SG-1 – didn't make his thoughts any easier. Didn't stop him feeling a profound guilt at being unable to prevent the attack and the millions of lives it had claimed. Maybe it would have been better if we'd buried the Stargate after that first mission to Abydos, he thought, true we would have been blissfully ignorant of the existence of the Goa'uld but millions of lives wouldn't have been lost because we thought we had the obligation to bring down the System Lords.
If he was brutally honest with himself Lionel had to admit that they had been nowhere near ready to go out into the galaxy. And that it had been the height of arrogance and hubris for the US Air Force to assume they had the right to endanger the whole of Earth and the very existence of the Tau'ri as a people without even having the decency to ask the rest of the planet first. They had assumed they could handle it and for seven years they seemed to have been able to – though unlike some in the program he had to admit that Stargate Command had only narrowly escaped disaster and global devastation at the hands of the Goa'uld or some other advanced alien group they'd pissed off by the skin of their teeth on numerous occasions, something that should have warned them that they were in way, way over their heads. Whether we were right or not doesn't matter now though, he thought, we can't change the decisions made in the past, no matter how much some of us might want to given what has happened. As it is I don't see how we'll be able to cover what's been going on up anymore – no one would believe one of the usual cover stories now.
The sudden bleeping of the helm console to his right jolted Lionel Pendergast out of his thoughts and brought his attention right back to the here and now. He was experienced enough now to know that sound meant that they were coming up on the Alpha Site and would soon drop out of hyperspace.
Half a second later Major Erin Gant spoke up. "Sir we're approaching the Alpha Site," she confirmed. "We'll reach our emergence coordinates in one minute thirty two seconds."
"Very good," Lionel replied. "Sound battle stations." After what had happened to Earth he wasn't about to take any chances. Though the new Alpha Site was supposedly secure he wouldn't have put it past Anubis to dispatch a secondary force of Ha'tak's to destroy the newly created base – if he'd found out where it was, again. The Prometheus could well emerge from hyperspace and find itself engaged in battle with Goa'uld forces loyal to the fallen System Lord who hadn't yet learned of their 'gods' demise. He hoped that wouldn't happen as they were not really in any shape for a protracted confrontation but he knew to be prepared. After all as the old saying went hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
"Yes sir," newly promoted Major Marks replied from the weapons console, before pressing a control on the panel.
Immediately an alarm began to sound throughout the ship, sending the crew into well rehearsed actions. Crew members sprinted to their battle stations while the engineering crew began rerouting non-essential power to the shield generators ready to raise the Asgard designed shields the moment they emerged from hyperspace. Gunnery crews prepped the ships twenty-four railgun positions for possible action while the missile crews loaded there few remaining Mark VI naquada enhanced nuclear missiles into their tubes. Finally the crews manning the main Asgard weapon picked up their pace replacing the burned out conduits and capacitors connecting the powerful particle weapon to the ships power grid – knowing if they did find themselves in battle with the forces of Anubis the main weapon would be needed as it was the only weapon they had that was capable of penetrating the powerful hybrid shields used by Anubis' vessels.
"All departments report ready for battle, sir," Marks reported. "All railgun positions are manned and operational, all operable missile tubes have been loaded and the main cannon crew are working overtime to get the weapon back online."
"Understood," Lionel replied a moment before Major Gant spoke up.
"Sir hyperspace emergence in ten seconds," she said. "Nine… eight," Lionel braced himself in the command chair for the sudden sharp deceleration to sublight velocity as the inertial dampeners weren't perfect after all. Around the bridge the rest of the crew did the same as Major Gant continued her countdown. "Three… two… one," she said and stabbed one of her controls.
Immediately a jolt – visible as a ripple in the air – ran through the whole of the Prometheus, pushing crew back in their seats. Through the bridge viewports the shimmering tunnel of hyperspace flared brilliant white before dissolving into the star studded blackness of normal space. For a few seconds the stars remained blurred as one of the quirks of all known forms of hyperspace technology was that a ship exiting hyperspace did so at close on light speed. The blur faded and vanished as the small cruisers forward thrusters fired rapidly slowing the ship down to normal cruising speed.
"Scan the system," Lionel ordered. "Report any sign of enemy activity."
"Yes sir," Marks reported.
For a few moments tense silence reigned on the bridge of the Prometheus as the powerful sensor arrays provided by the Asgard during the ships last refit reached out. Invisible beams of energy swept the system, searching for any sign of Goa'uld activity anywhere in the system.
"No enemy contacts detected sir," Marks reported after a moment as the sensors came back showing the system was clean.
Lionel relaxed slightly in his command chair. "Very good," he replied. "Stand down from battle stations, Major Gant take us into planetary orbit."
Silent in the vacuum of space the two massive rear sublight thrusters came to life, sending out a strong blast of ionised xenon gas contained and accelerated to a sizeable percentage of light speed within a powerful gravitic field. With an effortless grace that belied her blocky, angular form the Prometheus began to move forward, swinging into orbit of the planet on which the SGC had been constructing a new Alpha Site to replace the one destroyed by Anubis's forces a few months previously.
In mere moments the small cruiser established a powered geostationary orbit forty thousand kilometres above the outpost. Sensor beams from the outpost began to play across the ship as groundside crews detected the contact entering orbit. Automatically the Prometheus's IFF transponder activated alerting the people on the ground that the contact was a friendly contact that meant them no harm.
"Sir we're being hailed by the outpost," Captain Womack reported from communications. "It's Colonel Richardson for you sir."
"Put him through," Lionel ordered.
One of the small screens above the bridge viewports came on showing the face of the middle aged colonel who was in command of the new base. Richardson's face was grim and from the pain and anger in the other mans grey-blue eyes Lionel guessed he already knew about the Goa'uld attack on Earth. No doubt the SGC dialled in, he thought, Weir has probably already initiated protocol eighteen. Protocol eighteen was the coded order to instruct the Alpha Site staff to prepare the emergency satellites for transport and to begin transporting as many people and medical supplies back through the Stargate to Earth as could be spared.
"Colonel Pendergast its good to see you," Richardson said. "I have to admit to having been somewhat concerned that you weren't going to get here."
"We took a bit of a battering in the battle," Lionel admitted remembering how heavy volleys of plasma fire had struck them on several occasions during the massive battle that had erupted in orbit, though the bulk of the Jaffa's attention had been occupied by the much larger threat of the Asgard warships. Especially as in the year that had passed since the loss of an Asgard Beliskner-class battlecruiser over Adara II the Asgard had upgraded their own weapons – even on the older Beliskner-class battlecruisers – so they were effective against Goa'uld shields once again, even if they weren't capable of ignoring them the way they had before Anubis returned from the abyss. Something that Lionel was sure had come as a nasty surprise to Anubis – especially when all it took was two full volleys of charged particle bolts from a Beliskner's main cannon to blow one of his enhanced Ha'tak's to smithereens shields or no shields.
"But we're intact for the most part," he continued shaking off the thoughts of the battle over Earth.
Richardson nodded. "How bad is it back there," he asked. "Doctor Weir's message didn't tell us all that much. All we know is the Goa'uld fleet bombarded multiple cities."
"Bad," Lionel admitted. "Thirty-one cities have been destroyed or severely damaged. The bombardment blew a lot of gunk into the atmosphere and there were major storms from the passage of all that plasma. The Asgard we're using their technology to clear that up, when we left the storms were abating. There has also been an earthquake on the San Andreas triggered by the bombardment, a big one."
"How bad," Richardson asked.
"Nine point three," Lionel replied. "I don't know how much more damage its done. I do know it's caused a few landslides into the ocean that have triggered tsunamis."
"Jesus," Richardson said softly knowing that those tsunamis would sow yet more death and destruction all around the Pacific Basin over the next few hours. "We're sending as many medical supplies and people back through the Stargate as we can," he added. "But from what you tell me, colonel it's not going to make much difference."
"Every little helps, colonel," Lionel replied. "Have your teams been able to get the satellites ready for transport?"
Richardson nodded. "There ready," he said. "We've attached marker beacons so you can lock your transporters onto them. I'm sending the beacon frequencies up to you now on a sub-channel."
Lionel glanced over at Captain Womack who nodded indicating that the beacons were being received; he nodded in acknowledgement before turning back to the communications screen. "Beacon signals are transmitting strong," he told Richardson. "We'll start beaming the satellites into our cargo bays immediately."
"I hope there enough to do the job they were intended for," Richardson said.
"We'll soon know," Lionel answered.
"True. Well I better get back to supervising the transfer of as medical supplies as we can spare. Good luck on your journey back to Earth, and please ask that they keep us advised of what's happening back there – I've got quite a lot of anxious people down here."
Lionel gave a small smile. "Will do," he said. Richardson smiled back before breaking the communications link between them from his end.
"Sir the last of the satellites have been beamed aboard and our secure in our cargo bay," Marks reported.
"Excellent. Major Gant break orbit, set course back to Earth and engage the hyperdrive – best speed."
Silently the Prometheus broke orbit of the planet that housed the Alpha Site and headed out into open space. Sensors watching her progress from the ground detected a sudden sharp spike in power emissions from the Earth warship as her hyperdrive powered up and began generating a subspace field.
Focusing the field forward the hyperdrive began to apply tremendous pressure to the fabric of space-time causing it to begin to warp and distort. After barely half a second the quantum fabric of normal space-time parted and the swirling aquamarine vortex of a hyperspace window burst into existence. With a surge of acceleration the Prometheus shot into the window like an arrow fired from a bow, vanishing from normal space in a flash of light and subspace energy. As soon as the ship disappeared the hyperspace window folded closed and vanished as if it had never been there as the structure of space-time returned to normal. Even as it happened Prometheus was already long gone from the system – tearing across the galaxy at speeds hundreds of times that of the speed of light – bound for Earth with her precious cargo that would allow some global communication to be restored, communication that would be essential for the coordination of relief efforts in the destroyed or damaged cities.
And that could only be a good thing.
Asgard Vessel Jack O'Neill
Earth Orbit, A Short Time Later
The first thing Colonel Jack O'Neill felt as consciousness returned was dampness and warmth – it suffused his body, bringing with it a profound sense of peace and comfort. Slowly Jack opened his eyes to find that he was in some kind of tank, with some kind of complex alien breathing apparatus over his nose and mouth. Through the thick translucent, green fluid that seemed to fill the tank he could faintly see a little grey figure moving outside the tank. Who am I, where am I, what the hell is going on here, he thought his mind feeling like it had been stuffed with cotton wool.
Abruptly the thick liquid around him disappeared, being evacuated from the tank he was in through slits in the floor. The front of the tank opened and Jack found himself falling forwards, he tried to stop himself but he wasn't quick enough and he hit the floor hard. Immediately he started shivering as the air around him while warm felt cold compared to the warmth of the fluid he had been in a few seconds earlier.
Slowly the fog began to lift from his thoughts and he began to realise who he was and where he was. He was Colonel Jack O'Neill and he was on an Asgard ship, the techno-Norse style of the décor made that obvious, and presumably an Asgard ship that was orbiting Earth. Huh how did I get here, he wondered as the last thing he remembered with any clarity was being in the control chair of the Ancient defence outpost in Antarctica, and under the direction of the knowledge in his head firing a mighty barrage of drone weapons at the attacking ships of Anubis, taking the pressure off Asgard forces engaged in battle against the powerful, half-ascended System Lord. After that everything had faded away as he succumbed to the intense pain of the monster headache the presence of so much information had caused and blacked out. Clearly he wasn't in the outpost anymore and he guessed that the Asgard must have transported him up to one of their ships.
As the fogginess in his head faded away completely Jack quickly realised three things. One that he was himself – Jack O'Neill again – that the knowledge of the Ancients wasn't there anymore, wasn't overriding everything that he was. Two that his body felt different, there was a strength in his limps that he had almost forgotten and none of the aches and pains he had had to get used to – including the first stabs of arthritis in his knees – as he'd gotten older weren't there anymore. Three that in addition to being cold he was completely and totally naked. Heat rushed to his cheeks as he reflexively began blushing in embarrassment. What the hell have the Asgard done with my clothes, he thought before trying to sit up. Trying being the operative word as for some reason his arms didn't seem to be working properly.
"Please relax, Colonel O'Neill," an unfamiliar Asgard voice said as some invisible force picked him up and he was suddenly suspended in the air and turned so he was looking up at the ceiling. "You will become accustomed to your clone shortly."
"Clone," Jack exclaimed his voice muffled by the breathing apparatus as an Asgard whose skin was a subtly darker shade of grey than Thor's or Heimdall's appeared over him.
"Yes," the Asgard answered as he removed the breathing apparatus. Jack coughed and gagged for a moment then began breathing on his own. "Excellent the cloning process has worked perfectly," the Asgard said.
"You cloned me, why?" Jack asked. "Though I guess that explains why I'm naked."
"Your original body was very badly damaged by the extended exposure to the knowledge of the Ancients," the Asgard doctor informed him. "Many of your neural pathways were degrading and organs in the rest of your body were failing due to a number of genetic mutations that were taking place. It was beyond even our abilities to heal so Supreme Commander Thor had your mind transferred into this ships computer while we cloned you a new body, we have filtered out the harmful mutations however you may notice some differences in your abilities now."
"What kind of differences?"
"That we do not know," the Asgard replied before running what was obviously some sort of scanner over him. It looked like the control stones and communicator stones Jack had seen before, except this one shifted colours between blue, green and white in sequence. "Your physiology has been advanced by approximately five hundred to six hundred years on your species current evolutionary path, what effects this will have we do not know."
The scanner stone gave a soft trill. "Excellent neural pathway induction is correct," the Asgard said instantly loosing Jack in the technical jargon. Damn where is Carter when you want her, he thought. "Colonel O'Neill would you mind attempting form a fist with both hands for me please?"
Jack nodded and did as he was told, forming both his hands into fists and feeling a new strength in his grip. "Good," the Asgard said. "Now move your feet a moment." Again Jack did as he was told flexing his feet and wiggling his toes. "Excellent all neuromuscular activity is now within Human normals. You should be able to stand now."
As the Asgard spoke he stepped out of view and Jack found himself rotating into a vertical position so he was looking at what was clearly the Asgard ships medical bay. It was nothing like he would have expected, he had expected something like the sickbays he saw on Federation ships whenever he watched one of the various Star Trek shows with bio beds and advanced medical instruments everywhere. Instead all he saw were a few Asgard consoles, several pod-like structures like the stasis pod a badly injured Thor had laid in when the Replicator-infested Beliskner had come to Earth orbit and a dozen tanks. Two of which were filled with the same thick green fluid that had been around him when he'd first woken up, inside those two tanks he saw the outlines of two Asgard bodies.
For a few moments he remained suspended in the air by some kind of invisible energy field then he was lowered till his feet touched the deck. Whatever energy field had been holding him suddenly released and he stumbled but recovered quickly.
"Colonel O'Neill there is what you would call a shower through that door," the Asgard doctor said pointing to a nearby set of doors. "You should go use it and remove the cloning fluid residue I will have some attire waiting for you when you return."
Jack nodded and carefully walked across to the indicated doors. Carefully because his body felt really strange, after all while he remembered the motions of how to walk and everything this particular body had never done it before. And then there was the strange feeling pervading him, a feeling of youthful strength and energy that had faded long ago. Though he had made a point to keep in shape – he was in excellent health for a man of fifty-two – he didn't have the strength he'd had as a young man. He'd never quite regained it after loosing a lot of weight in the long depression he'd suffered after Charlie shot himself with his own weapon.
As always when he thought about his son Jack felt his stomach twist in pain and felt his eyes burn with unshed tears. Even after all this time the pain of his son's needless death hadn't gone away, it never would. A part of his heart had died that day nine years ago with his son leaving a void in his soul that would never heal, a pain that would never truly go away. A pain that he especially felt whenever Charlie's birthday came around or rather what would have been Charlie's birthday. On that day he normally went to the cemetery to lay flowers at his son's grave, usually he was alone though sometimes Daniel accompanied him, his friend offering silent support.
Arriving at the doors the Asgard doctors – whose name he still didn't know – Jack pressed what he guessed to be the door control, while forcibly pushing the memories and pain of Charlie's death away. The door slid open and Jack moved into the compartment beyond where he found a raised dais in the centre of a room whose walls were polished to a mirror bright finish, they were polished so well that he could actually see his reflection in the metal.
What he saw stunned him.
Instead of seeing the body of a fit man in his early fifties – as much as Jack hated to admit how old he was – the body looking back at him was that of a much younger man in his early to mid thirties. Whoa, Jack thought as the younger man looking back at him looked even better than he had at that age, at least originally, indeed he seemed to now have the body of an athlete – a glance at his right arm showed that it was surprisingly well muscled – though he did notice his skin was covered in dull green goo from the tank he'd been grown in. Grown damn that's a creepy thought he thought with a shiver that had nothing to do with the fact that he was cold. It felt downright weird to know that he was a clone, that his original body had presumably expired.
Mentally shaking himself Jack forced himself to get moving again and stepped up onto the raised circular dais – that somewhat reminded him of the holographic communications platforms he'd stood on in the past. For a moment nothing more happened then with a soft shimmer and a faint buzz of electrostatic tingle in the air a cylindrical force field appeared around the dais – half a second before three rings of white light descended from somewhere above him, and began to play up and down his new body. A strange tingling sensation came with them and to his surprise what looked to be steam started to appear in the air.
Holding up his arms he watched in shock as the horrid looking green goo covering every millimetre of his skin began to disappear – dissolving away into the steam before his very eyes. The steam got thicker as more and more of the goo dissolved away, subliming away into the atmosphere. Within a few seconds the steam evaporated away to nothing as the last of the goo disappeared leaving Jack feeling clean and refreshed – even though there had been no water involved – but then he'd expected the Asgard to have some high tech solution to showering off cloning fluid residue.
The glowing rings and the force field around the platform flashed once then vanished into nothingness. Think I prefer showering the old fashioned way with hot water and soap, Jack thought I could have taken my time and really enjoyed myself then. Stepping down from the platform he retraced his steps and went back into the medical bay, to see a table had appeared out on nowhere and on it was a perfect replica of his day to day uniform – along with underpants, socks and a pair of combat boots. As promised the Asgard doctor had gotten some appropriate attire for him – though knowing the Asgard they'd just pulled a trick out of Star Trek's book and replicated the clothes and boots for him. Shields, transporters, replicators boy was Gene Roddenberry ever right, he thought, pity he was wrong about the whole space hippie thing.
Eager to be clothed again, Jack started pulling on what the Asgard had brought him. It was only when he was pulling on the boots that he realised that the Asgard had been kind enough to leave the room affording him some privacy to dress in. Jack appreciated the gesture even though it wasn't really necessary being career military he was used to communal showers, changing rooms and so on. Despite the initial embarrassment he'd felt when he'd woken up to find himself with no clothes on – which he put down to the semi-foggy state of his thoughts at the time – he was well used to being seen naked by others. Embarrassment of such things had long since been burned out of him.
After a few more moments the doors to the Asgard medical bay opened again and the diminutive alien doctor – at least that's what Jack believed him/her/it to be – came back into the room.
"Excellent you have now clothed yourself, O'Neill," the Asgard said. "Supreme Commander Thor is waiting for you in his chambers, if you will follow me I will take you there."
Jack nodded in agreement, guessing that Thor's quarters were on this level. Otherwise knowing the Asgard as he did they would use their beaming technology to transport him straight their.
"Lead on, McDuff," he said with a grin. The Asgard doctor gave him a confused look, before turning and starting to lead the way muttering softly in his own language about how bizarre and irrelevant the Tau'ri could be and Colonel O'Neill in particular.
Still grinning Jack followed the diminutive grey alien out of the medical bay and into the rest of the ship. Not for the first time he noticed how dark the interior of Asgard ships were, the lightning muted and indirect – to his eyes it was little more than bright twilight. It shone off the ornate techno-Nordic style of the Asgard décor – which was much more pleasing on the eye than the garish, extravagant buttresses, oil burners and ornate gold panelling that made up the interior design of Goa'uld vessels – providing just enough light for Jack to see where he was going without running the risk of colliding with anything. How the Asgard managed to see where they were going he had no idea though he suspected that with their disproportionately large eyes the low light didn't present an obstacle to the small but very powerful aliens.
As he followed the Asgard through the wide corridors and hallways of the ship Jack noted that here and there was evidence of damage, some of the interior bulkheads were buckled and here and there he could see the complex technology underneath. A number of Asgard technicians were working on the systems – obviously conducting repairs.
"There's damage to this ship," he commented as he observed the Asgard engineers working and rapidly conversing with each other in their own language.
"Indeed," the doctor replied. "The battle with Anubis was a hard one; towards the end of the battle several shots including one from his particle beam weapon penetrated our shields. There is damage on several decks especially along this ships port side though compared to some of our other ships we are lucky. Four of our Beliskner cruisers are quite badly damaged and two more along with one of our O'Neill battleships were destroyed in the confrontation."
"I know," Jack replied. "I don't remember much about what happened since I looked into that head-grabbing thing but I recall seeing one of your ships explode just after I sat in that chair thing in Antarctica."
"You are referring to an Alteran Repository of Knowledge and a Control Chair," the Asgard said.
"Alteran," Jack asked not familiar with that term.
"That was what the Ancients were called as a species," the doctor told him. "They have gone by many names over the course of their fifty million year history including Lantean and of course Ancients but their species name was Alteran."
"I see," Jack replied making a mental note to tell Daniel about that later, no doubt his friend would be fascinated to know it – unless of course Daniel already knew but didn't realise that he knew. It wouldn't be the first time that Daniel would just know something like that from his time amongst the ranks of the ascended – the fact that Daniel could read Ancient and even fluently speak the language was proof of that.
Before he could say anything else they came to a corridor junction and the Asgard doctor stopped and turned to look at him, inclining his head to do so. "If you turn left here and go through the door at the end of the corridor you will reach Supreme Commander Thor's chambers," he said. "I must return to the medical bay, there are matters there that require my attention."
"Okay," he said. "Before you go I just want to say, thanks for saving me."
"You are welcome, Colonel O'Neill," the Asgard replied before walking away leaving Jack standing at the corridor junction. Jack watched the little alien retreat for a few moments before shrugging and turning down the left hand corridor as he had been instructed. At the end he found a set of doors with a control stone on the wall beside them, remembering what he'd done to open these doors when he'd been on the Beliskner he put his hand on the stone. Immediately the control stone lit up, gave a soft tone and the doors slid open.
"Greetings O'Neill," Thor said as he stepped into the room to see the Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet sitting in one of the familiar throne-like chairs.
"Hey buddy," Jack replied in greeting smiling at the diminutive alien who he counted as one of his closest friends next to the rest of SG-1. "Oh by the way thanks for the rescue."
"You are most welcome, O'Neill," Thor answered getting up from his chair and approaching the Human who had earned his trust, friendship and respect. Though O'Neill could be maddeningly irrelevant in conversation he knew the Tau'ri officer was a good man, a credit to his race. "Indeed we should thank you," he added.
"Why's that," Jack asked.
"For ridding the developing sentient species of this galaxy of one of their greatest enemies," Thor replied. "The destruction of Anubis is an important victory even though he did break the Protected Planets Treaty. We have since reminded the Goa'uld of the foolishness of such behaviour, they will not forget again in a hurry." Jack inwardly shivered knowing what Thor meant by that – the Asgard had launched a punishment attack on the System Lords, reminding them just how powerful the Asgard were and the risk the Goa'uld took whenever they broke the treaty, the risk of a war that as far as the System Lords knew the Goa'uld could not hope to win.
"It was past time that the Goa'uld learned that we will no longer tolerate any treaty violations. My only regret," Thor continued "is that we did not arrive here quickly enough to prevent Anubis bombarding Earth."
Jack swallowed loudly, bracing himself for bad news as he asked Thor a question that he dreaded to ask but whose answer he had to know. "How bad is it," he asked.
"I am afraid that the damage to Earth is quite severe, O'Neill," Thor replied sympathetically. "Our sensors have confirmed the destruction or near total destruction of thirty-one cities across multiple continents. There was also severe atmospheric ionisation and pollution from the fallout of the blasts however we have since dealt with that situation."
"What about casualties," Jack asked feeling as through someone had just punched him hard in the stomach. He was afraid to ask that question but he had to, even though he already had some idea of what the answer would be.
"I am afraid that I do not have that information, O'Neill," Thor answered. "However going on the difference between our records and the number of life forms our sensors now reveal then casualties will be very high."
Jack nodded but didn't respond. Instead like the rest of his team before him he closed his eyes as pain and grief threatened to overwhelm him. Unknowingly like many others in the program he wondered just how they could have let this happen, where had they gone wrong? They'd always been able to prevent Goa'uld attacks on Earth in the past, how had they failed this time?
Before though the Goa'uld have always sent single or pairs of ships, a little voice said from somewhere deep within him. This was the first time in over six thousand years that a Goa'uld brought a full scale attack fleet to Earth, what chance do you think nuclear missiles, railguns and guerrilla style space warfare had against a fleet like that? You've been dependent on the fear of the Asgards wrath to protect Earth, you didn't count on an even greater fear driving Anubis to risk it and bring an armada to Earth to destroy it.
Reluctantly Jack had to acknowledge that that part of him right. Even with the development of the Prometheus their whole Earth defence strategy had been dependent on the Protected Planets Treaty and the System Lords being to terrified of the Asgard Fleets wrath to risk openly violating it. A dependence that had now been proven by Anubis to be fatally flawed – that in some situations a System Lord would openly violate the treaty and destroy them and risk incurring the Asgards fury. Situations like us possibly finding our way to Atlantis or getting our hands on Ancient weapons technology, he thought, either of which would be the stuff of Goa'uld nightmares. If the snakes even have nightmares.
With effort Jack pushed the pain away, there would be time to mourn the dead later. Right now he needed to get down there and help in anyway he could. "I need to go down there," he said.
"I anticipated as much," Thor replied. "I will transport you down to Stargate Command from here. But I believed it important that we speak first, especially as I would like you to convey a message from the Asgard High Council to the leaders of your planet."
"What kind of message," Jack asked.
"A message that we will not abandon you in your hour of need," Thor replied. "You have much rebuilding to do and we will help you as much as we can."
"That's very generous."
"It is the least we can do. Even though the Replicators have been destroyed the legacy of damage to our fleet remains, thus our resources are currently quite limited however we will help as much as we are able to. This we promise you, O'Neill."
"Thank you, Thor," Jack answered touched, he knew how badly weakened the Asgard were by the war with the Replicators the fact that they were willing to share as many resources as they could to help them rebuild was the mark of a true friend.
Thor gave a subtle Asgard nod of acknowledgement before moving with his species normal grace across the room to the pedestal like control console. "I will transport you to Stargate Command now," Thor said moving one of the control stones to another position on the console and then tapping a few of the runic symbols that appeared on the console in the right sequence.
Jack took one last quick look around Thor's chambers, before everything dissolved in the familiar silver-white light of an Asgard transporter beam. For a moment out of time all Jack saw was the light and felt a pronounced rushing sensation as he his molecules were instantly transported a huge distance. Then it was gone, the light faded to reveal the bare concrete walls of the embarkation room in Stargate Command. Suddenly from behind him he heard shouts and spun around to find that he was standing on the top of the embarkation ramp in front of the gate and facing him were a dozen marines wielding M16A4 assault rifles.
All of which were pointed right at him.
"Howdy folks," he said with a cheeky grin. "I'm home."
For a few moments tension reigned in the room and Jack began to sweat a little as the rifles remained pointed right at his head. He supposed it was understandable that the marines hadn't lowered their rifles when they saw him, after all he didn't exactly look the way they had remembered. Thor should have thought of that before beaming me into the middle of the gateroom, he thought, I'm just lucky none of these guys are trigger happy.
Over the tops of the marine's heads he saw the right hand side blast door open and Daniel came through accompanied by someone else who he couldn't see beyond a flash of dark hair.
"Stand down," a female voice ordered. Instantly the marines obeyed moving their weapons to an at ease position and moving aside to let the woman through – though Jack was aware that there were a great many suspicious eyes trained his way. He couldn't blame the marines – they were only doing their jobs and couldn't be sure that he wasn't a threat to them.
"Jack," Daniel said in disbelief as he approached with the dark haired woman who Jack finally recognised as Doctor Elizabeth Weir there new boss.
"Hey, Daniel," Jack replied. "What's with the guns?"
"You'll have to forgive the marines, colonel," Weir said. "They are somewhat jumpy I'm sure you can understand why. I have to admit you look… different. I know the Asgard were cloning you a new body but this…" she gestured at Jack's new younger looking body.
"Hey I'm not complaining, its not everyday you wake up and find yourself in a new body that looks twenty years younger."
"Yes I can see that," Weir replied. "Still I want our doctors here to have a look over you, just in case."
Jack scowled at the thought of the bases doctors poking and prodding him but he knew better than to argue. It was protocol after all that anyone coming back from off world get subjected to a thorough medical examination, just to make sure they weren't carrying some horrible contagion or picked up an unwanted snake hitchhiker.
"Is that really necessary," he asked trying to get out of it, after all he'd only just come from an Asgard ship. He was most unlikely to have picked up anything nasty there, nor were the Asgard likely to let a Goa'uld parasite get aboard one of their ships.
"Better to be safe than sorry, colonel as you well know," Weir replied.
Jack sighed. "Alright I'll go," he said before starting down the ramp to the gateroom floor.
"Come on, Jack I'll take you," Daniel said. "I've got a few things to fill you in on, once the doctors have cleared you."
"What kind of things, Daniel?"
"You'll see, Jack," Daniel replied mysteriously leading him out of the gateroom. "You'll see."
Elizabeth Weir watched the two men leave the gateroom. She could guess what Daniel was going to tell the suddenly younger Jack O'Neill about once he got cleared by the doctors. If he gets cleared, she thought. While she knew that the Asgard were supposedly Earth's allies she didn't know enough about them yet to be sure that they wouldn't try something. Quietly she made a mental note to read more of the mission reports on the Asgard as soon as she had five minutes free to do so.
This didn't look like it was going to happen anytime soon, even though she'd sent a large chunk of personnel off the base to help search for survivors in Colorado Springs. The fact that the Alpha Site was carrying out protocol eighteen was keeping the Stargate busy, and there was always the possibility that the Goa'uld might try something to take advantage of their weakened state. Even though they would be foolish to do so what with the Asgard Fleet in orbit.
"Doctor Weir," Walter Harriman's voice abruptly said from the wall speakers.
"What is it Walter," Weir asked turning in place to look at the sergeant on the other side of the thick bullet proof glass that separated the control room from the gateroom.
"The Prometheus has just come out of hyperspace in orbit," Walter replied. "They're requesting permission to begin satellite deployment."
"Permission granted. Inform the presidential emergency bunker," Weir instructed. "I'll be in the infirmary if anyone needs me."
Confident that Walter would carry out her instructions with the speed and efficiency that he was well regarded for in the program Elizabeth left the gateroom to head down to the infirmary. She had to admit to being very curious about what the doctors were going to find when they checked over Colonel O'Neill. Despite herself she couldn't help but be curious if there were any major differences between the original Jack O'Neill and the newly cloned one, she had a feeling that there might be but she couldn't be sure. Hopefully there would be nothing major wrong and he'd be cleared for duty so she could put him to work here. She could certainly use his counsel.
She supposed she would know soon enough.
Presidential Emergency Bunker
A Few Minutes Later
President Henry Hayes allowed himself a small smile as he read over one of the first reports back from the search teams entering the damaged or levelled cities across his country. It had been delivered to his desk by a softly smiling SO a few moments ago, and now he understood why.
The rescue teams were finding survivors. Despite the Goa'uld's best efforts some people in the cities had survived the orbital bombardment and were starting to make their way out of the shattered ruins of the places that had been their home. Though there losses had been high as reports of casualties were starting to come in as well as reports of survivors, it was a sign of the most precious commodity of all in times like this.
It was a sign of hope.
Putting the report down he sighed in relief. It was nice to know that there were survivors being found – only a few at the moment but he was sure the numbers would rise. In his experience the American people were nothing if not resilient, and this only provided more proof of that resilience. Despite what the Goa'uld had done to them, they would recover and so would the rest of the world. Though what kind of world will it be, he thought, as nothing can go back to the way it was. Not now, not after what has happened.
It was at that moment that there was a knock at the door. "Come in," he called looking over at the door set in its crystalline frame – he was finally getting used to the idea that this whole facility had literally been grown using alien technology. A fact that was impossible to forget as you only had to look at the spun glass effect of the crystalline walls to know this place was made of custom grown crystals. The door opened and General George Hammond appeared in the doorway.
"Yes, George," he asked as his old friend came into the room. "What is it?"
"Mr President we've received word from the SGC," Hammond reported. "The Prometheus has returned from the Alpha Site, they're beginning to deploy the satellites in orbit."
"Excellent. How long till were able to get some global communication back?" Hayes asked.
"No more than an hour, Mr President," Hammond replied.
"That's good news, it will coordinating relief efforts globally a lot easier when we've got communications back."
"Is there more, George?"
"Yes sir. Colonel O'Neill has been returned from the Asgard ships, but he's been cloned."
"Apparently the Asgard determined that Jack's original body was to badly damaged by his exposure to the Ancients knowledge. So they cloned him a new body."
"Indeed, from the report Jack appears to be thirty years younger than he was a few days ago. He's currently being examined by the doctors at the SGC – after our last experience with Asgard cloning technology Doctor Weir is apparently not taking any chances."
"Yes sir. We've also received a fresh report from the search teams in Washington DC. I have news of the vice president."
"He's dead isn't he," Hayes asked.
"I'm afraid so sir," Hammond replied sounding genuinely saddened by Kinsey's death. Though the man had been a grade-a asshole he didn't deserve to die the way he did. "His motorcade was caught by an explosion in the bombardment of Washington. Most of them were killed outright – flash burned to death."
Hayes winced. That was a truly horrible way for someone to die, literally being enveloped in a superhot fireball, though mercifully quick. "And Kinsey," he asked.
"Vice President Kinsey survived the blast, the reinforced trinium-titanium cage that's been retrofitted on all government limousines protected him from the worst of the blast. But he was very badly wounded. From the report he died shortly after one of the rescue teams making their way into the city found the remains of his motorcade."
"I see," Hayes replied, he wouldn't miss Kinsey that much. He knew how much of an arrogant fool the power hungry vice president had been, though he wouldn't have wished the way Kinsey and his motorcade had died on his worst enemy. And did have to concede that Kinsey had had a point when he said that the Stargate was to dangerous to operate – but only to a point. If anything this attack proved that protecting the planet was a duty that fell to every nation and thus everybody needed to know about the gate and to share in the knowledge gained from its use. Its just a pity it took something like this to make everyone realise how much over our heads we've been getting, he thought, and that manifest destiny is not always going to get us through.
"What about the Asgard ships general what are they doing at the moment," Hayes asked at last.
"At the moment there just sitting there in orbit, Mr President. The probes they deployed into the atmosphere have been recalled. There is no pollution or fallout left in the atmosphere."
"None at all?"
"None. According to the sensors on the Asgard sentry satellites the atmosphere is now cleaner than it has been since before the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century."
"Wow," Hayes said softly stunned both by the that the Asgard could manipulate the atmosphere of a planet to such a degree and that in cleaning up the fallout the Asgard had also inadvertently delivered a mortal blow to rampant global warming. Without the excess greenhouse gasses from industry and cars in the atmosphere the world's climate should in theory now return to what it had been before the industrial revolution began the process of stepping on the global warming accelerator pedal, turning a slow, steady natural process into a raging monster that had threatened to cause climatic chaos.
He was about to speak again when there came a knock at the door. Turning in place Hammond looked back to see Major Davis in the doorway. "General, Mr President we've just received a message from Supreme Commander Thor," he said. "He wants to know what the satellites being deployed in orbit by the Prometheus are."
"Tell him what they are then," Hayes said.
"We already have sir, and the Asgard have just made us an offer."
"What kind of offer?" Hayes asked.
"Thor said that if we can provide them with the specifications for the satellites the Asgard would be glad to manufacture as many as we need and deploy them in orbit for us."
"That is very generous," Hayes said thoughtfully. "General Hammond do we have the specs for the satellites available?"
"Yes sir," Hammond replied.
"Then have them transmitted to the Asgard and thank Commander Thor for me," Hayes instructed.
"And as soon as we get some global communications back get me the leaders of France, the United Kingdom, Russia and China on the line. We have a lot to talk about, we cannot keep the rest of the world in the dark about who attacked us and why."
"Mr President are you sure that is wise," Davis asked in concern. The very reason they'd kept the existence of the Stargate and all the wonders and dangers that came with it a secret was because the world wasn't ready to know of its existence. If the truth got out there would be chaos worldwide. At least that's what we've told ourselves for years, a treacherous part of him thought.
"The world deserves to know, major," Hayes replied. "They have the right to know why millions have people have been slaughtered in their homes, offices and schools by an enemy they couldn't even see let alone fight back against. All hope of continuing to keep the Stargate Program a secret died when Anubis began his bombardment."
"I understand your concern major and to be honest I share it," Hammond admitted. "The world may not be really ready to know of the existence of the gate, certainly we weren't ready to open the damned thing in the first place, but this attack has forced our hand. There is no way a cover story would be believed, not anymore and if we don't tell the rest of the world about what really happened and why then you can bet the other countries in the know will."
"General Hammond is correct, major," Hayes added. "I had intended to increase international participation in all manner of the Stargate Program over the course of my administration while keeping it all secret, but now keeping the gate a secret is no longer possible. Plus a lot of people the world over will have seen the Goa'uld fighters and bombers in the atmosphere and possibly seen the motherships through telescopes, secrecy is no longer possible."
"I see your point, sirs," Davis admitted knowing that both Hayes and Hammond were correct, disclosure had to happen now – far, far sooner than anyone would have liked. "But Mr President might I suggest we keep international focus on relief efforts for the next few months, we can always reveal the existence of the Stargate when the injured have been cared for and the dead mourned."
"I intend to, major," Hayes replied. "But make no mistake the Stargate will be revealed to the people of this planet as soon as the relief situation becomes less urgent. I know the military won't like it and you won't like sharing all your high-tech alien inspired toys with the rest of the world's armed forces but there is no choice now. The gene is out of the bottle major it cannot and will not go back in.
"In away the Goa'uld may well have done us a favour with this attack," he continued. "It's been a kick to our arrogance and complacency, and the revelation of a common enemy and that we are not alone in the universe should at long last unite this planet."
"It might or it might destroy us," Davis pointed out. "But your right there is no choice now, the truth must be known. We were foolish and arrogant to think we could deal with the threat of the Goa'uld alone. And now that arrogance and belief in our own manifest destiny has led to millions of deaths."
"Exactly, now go one gentlemen see to my instructions," Hayes said.
"Yes sir," Hammond and Davis said in unison before leaving the office, shutting the door behind them.
Alone in the office once more Hayes sighed, leaned back in his chair and thought about Major Davis last words. That's what it really comes down to doesn't it, he thought, our history of manifest destiny and believing that we can do what we want without consequence because we are American, and now that childish arrogance has brought about what's probably the greatest single loss of Human life since the Second World War. After a moment he sighed again, they were going to have to make up for that now, reveal the truth and accept whatever consequences the people of the world decided they deserved for endangering them all without even having the decency to ask. We have behaved like children, he thought, but now we must show the maturity and responsibility of adults and accept our own responsibility for what has befallen our world, but first we must help all those caught up in this holocaust. Taking responsibility and showing a true maturity was going to mean a sharp change in attitude for a lot of people but he was confident that they would manage it, because at the end of the day they had no choice.
No choice at all.
Ba'al's Throne World
That Same Time
"He did WHAT," Ba'al thundered glaring down from his golden throne at Eris in shock disbelief and horror.
He had been surprised when a few hours ago Eris had appeared through the chappa'ai on one of his outposts, claiming she was fleeing the destruction of one of Anubis facilities by the Asgard and offering her services and knowledge to him. Knowledge that included full specifications for some of the equipment used by Anubis' deadly Kull Warrior drones, such as the energy absorbing armour that made them so deadly. Eris deserting Anubis had puzzled him enough that he'd had her brought here to his throne world to interrogate her himself.
"Anubis took his elite forces to attack the Tau'ri," Eris replied.
"Why would he do such a thing? Anubis knows full well that attacking the Tau'ri is strictly forbidden by the Protected Planets Treaty," Ba'al demanded furiously. He didn't understand why Anubis would do such a thing even as powerful as he was. As breaking the treaty could well lead to something that was amongst the greatest nightmares of Goa'uld everywhere. It could lead to war with the Asgard, a war that the Goa'uld would have little to no chance of winning, the Asgards power was just far too great for them, their technology to far above their own. He could only conclude that Anubis had finally gone mad if he was willing to risk provoking the wrath of their ancient, diminutive adversaries.
"Anubis believed that the Tau'ri had acquired the weapons of the Ancients and had learned the location of a lost Ancient city my lord," Eris answered drawing a gasp from Ba'al as the Tau'ri getting their hands on the weapons of the most powerful race to ever walk the stars was almost as big a nightmare as war between the Goa'uld and the Asgard.
"And have they?" Ba'al asked.
"I believe the former is very likely," Eris replied. "I do not know the status of the force Anubis took to the Tau'ri homeworld but I can only assume that the attack failed and that the fleet was destroyed. Because a short time later a fleet of Asgard warships larger than any we have seen since the last Great War struck at the throne world. They destroyed the remaining elite Ha'tak's in orbit before proceeding to destroy all groundside ships, munitions factories and shipyards. Shortly after that they came to Tartarus and destroyed the Kull Warrior facilities there. I was only just able to escape with my life; the facility was exploding as I entered the chappa'ai."
Ba'al frowned thoughtfully. Such an attack by the Asgard Fleet had all the hallmarks of a punishment raid, had the Asgard been mounting an all out attack then Ba'al knew that they would not have stopped with attacks on just Tartarus and Anubis' throne world. They would have struck the rest of the System Lords as well, with multiple fleets of their deadly warships sowing terror and panic among the ranks of the System Lords. The only reason for the Asgard to stop their attack at those two targets was if they were delivering both retribution for a failed treaty violation and reminding the greater Goa'uld race of what could happen if they violated the treaty.
The question was though, if Anubis had failed had he failed because he had been intercepted by the Asgard and been destroyed in an engagement with them? Or had Anubis reached Earth and been destroyed by the Tau'ri using weapons created by the Ancients? Either was not good news though Ba'al was leaning more towards the former – that the Asgard had found out what Anubis was up to and put a stop to his attack at the point of their particle cannons. The latter was just too horrible to consider.
"Rise," he instructed and watched as Eris stood up. "You are not stupid, Eris what do you believe is the likely outcome of Anubis' attack?"
"I believe he was intercepted by an Asgard battle phalanx and destroyed, my lord," Eris replied. "Either way I believe the High Council of the System Lords should be informed."
"Indeed if the Asgard are once more aggressively enforcing the treaty then the others need to know," Ba'al agreed. "I will call for the council to gather at Hazara. I appreciate you bringing me this information, Eris. There is a place for you in my court if you wish it as a reward."
"I wish it," Eris replied before going down on one knee as the ritual and protocol for matters such as this demanded. "I pledge myself, my knowledge and my skills to your service, Lord Ba'al."
Ba'al smiled slightly, stood up from his throne and descended to the bottom of the dais before placing his host's hands on the shoulders of Eris's host in the ritual response to a minor Goa'uld offering a pledge of service to a System Lord. "I accept your pledge," he responded in the proper response. "Know that I will reward loyalty with honour, valour with glory, deceit with vengeance. Do you accept this?"
"I do my lord."
"Then I accept you into my service," Ba'al replied before removing his hands and returning to his throne. "Arise Lady Eris," he ordered, Eris immediately complied returning to her feet. Ba'al gestured to his lotar. "See to all of Lady Eris's needs."
"As my lord commands," the enslaved Human answered with a bow to his master, before descending to join Eris at the foot of the dais.
"Follow my lotar," Ba'al instructed Eris. "He will see to assignment of quarters and your future duties here."
"Yes my lord," Eris replied before the Human began leading her out of the throne room, leaving Ba'al alone with only the flickering flames of the oil burners so beloved by the Goa'uld for company. So far her hastily conceived plan seemed to be working and she'd gotten into Ba'al's service. Eventually she would be able to get into Ba'al's inner circle of lieutenants and possibly eventually slay Ba'al and reclaim the rank and power that Cronos had taken from her so many years ago; the rank of System Lord.
But that was for the future. For now she would be content just to live and prove her worth to Lord Ba'al, only then would she gain his trust – at least as much trust as it was possible for one Goa'uld to extend to another. Once that goal was accomplished much would become possible, starting with the elimination of that disgustingly obese fool Nerus. A faint smile teased at the edges of her host's lips at the thought of eliminating Nerus and finally getting her revenge on him for betraying her to Cronos all those years ago. Revenge was after all like the finest wine, it had to be fermented until the time was right to take it. She would wait awhile longer and when the time was right she would take great pleasure in terminating Nerus and taking his rank and power in Ba'al's inner circle for herself.
And that was something she really looked forward to.
Ba'al watched as Eris and his lotar left his throne room, leaving him alone. He wondered how long it would take for Nerus to learn she was here, the fat scientists reaction when he found out would be entertaining to say the least. Ba'al was aware of the history between Eris and Nerus, Eris presence would keep the obese fool on his toes and out of the kitchen for once. It would be most enjoyable to watch Nerus looking over his shoulder constantly wondering from where Eris's knife would come as it surely would eventually.
But for now there were other matters to attend to. Calmly he touched a hidden control on his throne and the sound of a gong being struck echoed through the cavernous throne room. Within seconds one of the doors to the room opened and his First Prime, a big dark skinned Jaffa named Dra'nay entered the room and walked up to the front of the throne dais and dropping to one knee.
"What is thy bidding my lord," Dra'nay asked his head bowed in respect to his god.
"Send a subspace message to the other System Lords," Ba'al ordered. "Request a meeting at the Hazara station to convene as soon as possible. Once you have done that send a message to my fleet commanders, have them report to me at once."
"As my lord commands," Dra'nay responded.
"Dismissed," Ba'al said.
"Yes my lord," Dra'nay answered getting to his feet but keeping his head bowed as he left the throne room until Ba'al was once again alone.
Leaning back as much as he could on his throne Ba'al smiled slightly. He knew that the other System Lords would agree to the council, especially as the rumours about what had happened to Anubis were bound to start circulating very soon now. All Goa'uld spied on each other after all; it was their way, a way that had served them well for many thousands of years. But in the meantime there was another opportunity, one that he would be a fool to ignore.
With the demise of Anubis a number territories would be up for grabs, especially as soon Anubis' lieutenants would begin fighting amongst themselves, trying to carve out their own little empires. If his fleet moved quickly to take advantage of the fighting when it began he could conceivably capture several sectors and the resource rich systems they contained before the other System Lords could; which would only help fuel his ambitions to rise to the top of the Goa'uld hierarchy and claim the crown that had been vacant ever since Ra's unfortunate demise, the crown of Supreme System Lord.
As for the Tau'ri, he would deal with them when the time came. One way or another they would accept and bow down to him as their god. It was inevitable after all, the Goa'uld always eventually conquered Human societies, no matter how advanced they were – something so recently learned by the Tollan when they fell to Anubis. And so it would be with the Tau'ri, though it might take quite sometime. But that didn't matter to him. He was a god after all he had all the time in the universe.
And so ends the first story in this series, the series will continued in Altered Destiny: After the Fire.