Author's Note: Well, the lack of reviews for the last chapter made my muse extremely sad. However, I still managed to finish the last chapter- making this my first completed normal-format story!
I'll be posting Episode 2 "The Erlkonig" in a few days. Since it takes place almost entirely on Atlantis, I decided to post it under Stargate: Atlantis instead of SG-1.
Jason exited the stargate in a state of disbelief. His first command, his first team, lost. Two good people were dead because he hadn't recognized an ambush for what it was.
"Anything to report yet, Major?" General Laundry asked over the control room loudspeaker.
"They've been at it for almost a day now. Still no sign of any useful information." he responded.
Suddenly, the Stargate began to dial in. All around the room, the red emergency lights came on as the ear-piercing "Unscheduled off-world activation" alarm began.
All around the room, Marines jumped to attention, raising weapons, throwing the safeties off, and dropping into their fighting stances. The blast doors at the entrances slammed closed. The twin automated defense turrets, which had replaced the machine guns some time ago, swung around, their weapons arming as their controllers on the surface assumed their consoles.
"Sir!" Walter reported "we're getting some sort of radio signal! It might be an IDC!"
"What do you mean, 'might be'?"
"It's extremely weak. It's being sent from quite some distance."
"Can you identify it?"
"The computer's trying, but it's badly attenuated."
"Keep the Iris closed until the computer identifies it." the general ordered, making
However, everyone was startled when a beam of light shot out of the stargate, sweeping the area before landing on the newly-installed Ring Transporter in front of the ramp.
"What's that?" Jason demanded as everyone turned to focus on the ring platform.
"I think someone's trying to ring through the gate." Walter yelled into the microphone.
The gateroom guards spun to face this incoming threat. The automated turrets armed their anti-tank rockets, prepared to vaporize the entire area.
A bright flash passed down the beam, and the platform activated. A series of rings rose into the air, leaving off an incredible light as whatever was inside them was re-assembled.
To everyone's great amazement, what appeared was not a strange alien bent on their destruction, but the missing members of SG-20, supporting another man in SGC uniform.
The debriefing turned out to be one of the most interesting meetings Jason had ever attended. Daniel Jackson had decided to sit in on the meeting, but he got very excited about halfway through and rushed off to look something up. This was unfortunate, as it brought him out the door at the same time Samantha Carter was entering it, carrying one of the team's GDO devices.
The two collided with a tremendous crunch, and Daniel was rushed off to the infirmary with a damaged nose and several apologies from Sam.
After he left, she finally got around to what had brought her to the briefing room in the first place.
"Well, as you all know, when we created the Mark 2 GDO, we added a few features."
"Like the remote dialer?" Jason put in.
"Well, there were a lot more improvements than that, but one of the major ones was adding a dialing detection circuit tied into a memory chip."
"I already know about it," Christine stated "I helped design the device, remember?"
"I remembered that. But what I thought was interesting was this."
Carter pulled a chip out of the GDO she had been carrying and slid it into the appropriate slot on the base computer. Two sets of symbols appeared on the monitor.
"Those from the planet Dryad aliens transport us to."
"I went to mark these in the database as being potentially off-limits, and I found something interesting. These are the symbols for Vorash."
"That not possible." Ka'cha'nay put in. "You blow up Vorash stargate and sun fourteen years ago."
"I thought the same thing, so I had the computer do a few calculations."
Sam hit a few buttons on the computer, and a 3-D map of part of the galaxy appeared, with a flashing dot marking a particular planet.
"Vorash was in the middle of what we call the Virgo Stellar Stream- it's the remains of a dwarf galaxy colliding with the Milky Way- and some of the 'leftover' stars there are moving at a good clip compared to the Milky way stars."
"And one of these fast-moving stars had a stargate on it, and got close enough to use Vorash's old address?" Jason asked.
"That's what I'm thinking now, so I did a few simulations to calculate what planet it originally was."
She hit a button, and the stars on the screen scrambled around as the camera zoomed out. When they finally paused again, the star in question was far above the plane of the galaxy, organized with a few hundred other stars into a small galaxy of their own."
"When the stargate on that planet was built, it would have needed an eight-symbol address to dial, particularly, this address."
A sequence of eight symbols replaced the stars on screen.
"Here's the weird thing- I've encountered this address before. Every milky way DHD has, built into it's source code, the order to never dial any address that uses this seventh chevron."
"So the ancients didn't want anyone going there, at least not accidentally. Why?" The general put in.
"Because the Dryads lived there," Daniel added in a strange voice, walking through the door with a large bandage on his nose and carrying an extremely large book under his arm.
"One of the SG personnel they...affected...mentioned Dryads." Christine stated.
"Well, from what I gather, the Ancients went to that galaxy and began exploring before they encountered a race 'of great mental power' who forced them to abandon that galaxy. Before they left, they sabotaged it's stargates." he finished.
"So this race was trapped without star gates for ten thousand years?" Laundry put in
"Unfortunately, I don't think they're trapped any more. When they connected to the Vorash address, it would have triggered a system-wide update – we have to assume their stargates are perfectly active."
"That's not the worrisome part. According to this," he laid his book on the table and flipped it open "these 'Dryads' were a race already well into the stage where they could Ascend."
"I'm no expert on this, but it isn't usually 'ascend or die'? If they were advanced enough ten thousand years ago, shouldn't they be extinct now? " Jason added.
"That's the disturbing part. According to whoever wrote this," Daniel stated, flipping a few pages before reading aloud "these Dryad were most viscous, taking any creature of sufficient mental capacity, be it human or Alteran, enslaving them with their powerful telepathy..." he flipped the page" and taking that creature's mind for their own, in such way avoiding both Death and Accention by becoming many instead of one, for their thoughts were within their slaves as well..." he flipped a few more pages and
continued "for such slaves, the only recourse was Death, for once taken, their minds belong to the Dryad that took them, and it's mind remains within them as long as they live."
Jason summed up what they were all thinking. "That's disgusting."
"Not as disgusting as listening to a Dryad running on about it." Christine stated.
"The point here is, are this species going to prove a threat?" Laundry said.
"Yes." 'Nay stated "What we do kick bee nest good."
"I think he means 'kicked up a hornet's nest' sir." Christine said, translating. "And I agree with him. From what I saw, their tech is almost as advanced as the Asgard. They won't be any weak foe."
"Well, we're going to have to try, won't we?" a voice stated from the doorway. Everyone jumped to see General Jack O'Neill leaning against the doorway.
"I just came over because Area 51 said their sensor thing just picked up a burst of hyperspace activity in the Virgo Stellar something-or-other." he stated. "I think you guys just found another big problem for this poor galaxy."
High above an unnamed planet of the former Virgo Dwarf Galaxy, twenty massive, gray-hulled starships arrayed themselves in a rough formation, awaiting orders.
The orders came.
Silently, hyperspace windows opened ahead of them, and they vanished into hyperspace, heading out into the galaxy.
Their long rest was over. A galaxy needed conquering.
Author's note: Well, what did everyone think of the first episode? Please review and let me know! (Critical reviews are extremely appreciated.)