Author's Note: The usual disclaimers. As I was watching "The Other Side", I started wondering how the Eurondans' enemies (who I named the Guershan) felt about the war and the assistance of SG-1. Also Elar is Alar's father.


Change of Heart

I remember that day like it was yesterday: the day an enemy had a change of heart. At that point, our war with the Eurondans had been raging for many years. My father had already died, and my mother fretted daily about the fact that both my brother and I were in the Guershan military.

I guess you could say that we, the nation of Guersha, started the war. For years we had coexisted peacefully with the Eurondans, sharing what we had in a mutual exchange of knowledge and technology. The nation of Euronda actually grew out of the Guershan population; the original Eurondans were Guershan citizens who opted to form a new state so that they had more control over their scientific experiments, particularly their research into cloning. In the space of several decades, they managed to grow into a nation equivalent to Guersha in many ways. That peace changed on the day that a Guershan military man found evidence of a plan of genocide against us.

Relations had been a little strained for the previous four years, ever since Elar had been elected the new leader of Euronda. This plan was his way of getting rid of those he saw as "unclean" and "abominations". It called for the Eurondans to gas the surface of our world to wipe out the Guershan population. According to our sources, the Eurondans had already begun synthesizing the poison and storing it in the middle of their capital city.

Our civilian and military leaders met to discuss plans of action. After several attempts at diplomatic solutions and negotiations had failed, our military had no choice but to authorize a series of bombing runs on the Eurondan capital. Their purpose was to attempt to destroy the poison before it could be released. Unfortunately, we weren't fast enough.

I was fifteen when the Eurondans gassed the surface. Because of this attack, the last few years of my childhood were spent underground, in tunnels that had been started when the threat from Euronda was learned of. At the age of seventeen, I signed up for the military, joining my father and brother. My father was a bomber pilot who died a few months after I joined up. My brother was part of a Builder squadron; they were responsible for expanding our underground city and for constructing bombers, reconnaissance drones, and other articles of war. I followed in my father's footsteps and became a bomber pilot.

By the age of twenty-three, I had led many attacks against the Eurondans. One of our greatest victories came when we successfully drove them away from the Jorsa Lake. (This lake served as a source of power for the nations, in the form of salt water from which deuterium was derived.) Unfortunately, they still had enough power to maintain a shield around their underground command center.

The Day of Victory did not start out as such. We sent out a reconnaissance drone which was destroyed by Eurondan fightercraft. We also sent a bomber for another attempt to penetrate the Eurondan command center. The bomber reported a series of hits that appeared to have weakened the shield, then pursuit by fightercraft. (These fightercraft were the worst of our enemy's defenses: unmanned fighters that were ground-controlled by the best of Euronda's pilots.) We were in contact when Dax, the pilot, reported that one of the fighter craft was on a collision course. When the last word was cut off abruptly, I knew that I would be making a visit to Dax's family that night.

After reporting to my superiors about the incident, I was ordered to lead a bomber group for an all-out airstrike on the Eurondan stronghold. Less than an hour later I was in the air, leading the 13th Bomber Group towards enemy airspace. My communicator crackled as we got closer.

"Commander, instruments show enemy fightercraft dead ahead."

"I see them." They were right ahead of us: four trios of deadly machinery. "Evasive patterns but drop the loads if possible." Acknowledgements came through from the rest of the group. "Be ready with defensive weapons," I warned my co-pilot. Through the windshield I could see the fightercraft coming closer and closer. "Why aren't they firing?"

My puzzlement changed to awe as one of the fightercraft fired on another, then flew into formation with our bombers. Five others did the same.

"Commander?" came a startled voice over the communicator.

"Just go with it," I responded, acting on instinct. "Fire on targets." The squad obeyed, guarded by the Eurondan fightercraft that had had a change of heart. As we completed our strafing runs, I witnessed the turncoat fightercraft crash themselves into the ground over the command center. "Farewell, my friends," I saluted them.

We were hailed as heroes on our return to Guersha. Ground troops had moved in and seized any Eurondans who had survived, ending a war that had dragged on for far too long.

I sometimes wonder who those pilots were, and what had caused them to come over to our way of thinking. I wished to thank them in person, but they were not among those who surrendered, and no one admitted to knowing them. Whoever they are and wherever they are now, they will always have our undying gratitude for what they did.