Well here i am with my next story, this time its a continuation piece for the Atlantis series, interestingly if the movie had come out by now i probably wouldn't be writing this. Hope you all enjoy, any suggestions send them my way, but please no flames. Any mistakes, point them out and i will correct them, otherwise whats the point of the edit button.
For future reference i am classing this as an Atlantis piece because thats where i am focusing, but i may also delve into SG-1 since i have a few ideas for the Milky Way, let's see shall we.
I intend to look at all reviews and try to clear up any questions you may have, so if you have any stick them in your reviews and i will try to answer them without giving the game away at the start of each new chapter.
Timeline wise, this piece is set before Universe and shortly after the end of Atlantis.
This first chapter is a little techy, and for that i apoligise to those who aren't really a fan of that sort of thing. Basically i am trying to establish a baseline for current Tau'ri tech and get the explanations out of the way in one go. The next few chapters are where things really start to get rolling.
The George Hammond was one of the latest battle cruisers to be built by the Tau'ri. She may have been a part of what would be considered a very small fleet overall by most races standards but that in it self made each and every ship that more precious to its crew, its builders and the Tau'ri as a whole. The ship was easily dwarfed by a Ha'tak and her small size made her seem delicate and deceptively weaker than other capital ships, but was fitted with the most powerful shields and weapons of the late Asgard race. This meant the ship itself was much like the Mark IX modified nukes she carried, compact but devastatingly powerful and capable of great destruction.
At the moment the Hammond was soaring through hyperspace. Her hyperdrive, once again a gift from the Asgard, propelled her through this exotic dimension at an incredible velocity. Like her namesake the ship was entrusted with the responsibility to protect Earth, and its people, in the hope that some day the world would be ready to learn the history of the ship and its name. The death of General Hammond had been a great pain to those who knew him, and it was with no small amount of pride that Colonel Samantha Carter took command of the ship that had been given the name of a man she so deeply respected.
The Hammond's current course directed her to a planet that was known to those in the know as P4X-650, but to those on an even shorter list of people this planet was thought as the Alpha Site. Of course the name Alpha Site was a history in itself, as this was actually the third base to bear the name. The first two Alpha Site bases had both been abandoned once the locations were compromised, and in the case of the second actually blown up as a result. In other words a lot of hope was placed in this third base which was remarkably similar to the SGC in that it was also built inside a mountain.
The intercom on board the battle cruiser activated and the voice of a young airman sounded throughout the ship.
"Attention all hands, we will be arriving at our destination in one minute. That is all."
Walking along the ships corridor Rodney McKay sighed as he heard this. On a military ship that required the civilians to have a high security clearance even the ship wide announcements are need to know. Thankfully he was in the know so he knew that they were about to arrive at the Alpha Site. As he entered the bridge he felt the familiar gentle shudder under his feet as the ship re-emerged into real space.
The physicist looked around and saw that his friend Lt Colonel John Sheppard was already there, staring intently out of the forward window at the planet before them. The planet which, unknown to most, contained the future of the Atlantis Expedition.
Rodney spoke up as the ship settled into orbit. "You know you can't actually stare a hole into the window right, and this isn't the first time you've seen an alien planet."
John turned away from the window with a cocky grin on his face, "Maybe you can break it with your ego, and I hear it's gotten a lot bigger lately."
"Okay boys break it up." Both grown men turned to the woman sitting in the commander's chair. Colonel Samantha Carter rose from her chair grinning at their antics.
Anyone who knew them would know that the two were the best of friends and the jibes were the boy's way of keeping each other on their toes. The trick to seeing this was to focus on the tones and not their words.
Rodney merely grinned, his friend wasn't half wrong. He was certainly a lot more content lately, and he only had to glance at the gold band on his finger to get a confidence boost and a small smile on his face.
Anyone from the SGC who was told that Doctor Jennifer Keller was now going by the name Keller McKay would ask jokingly if her husband was a well known Doctor McKay. After they had picked their jaws up off the floor they would then ask how the guy had gotten so lucky. The answer was simple, Pegasus. Five years in another galaxy fighting off the real life equivalent of space vampires was enough to change anyone. In Doctor McKay's case he had become a lot less self serving and during the first year had almost entirely dedicated himself to others sake, with the rest of the time keeping himself alive so he could try to save everyone else later. Then in the expeditions fifth year the mans had met the woman of his dreams which made him a lot more cheerful, in his own words it was hard to be grouchy when your having breakfast with an angel every morning. Now that he was married to said angel the guy was almost unbearably smug about it.
Of course for the sake of preventing unnecessary confusion Jennifer was still being referred to by most as Doctor Keller. Although it had been very funny at first to see the look on an injured technicians face when an irritated marine had told him to stop whining about a scratch by Pegasus standards and go and get it looked at by Doctor McKay. If a technician confined to base was injured it usually meant they had done something wrong, and if they had done something wrong it usually meant they had damaged Rodney's much loved city.
He had actually proposed to her shortly after Atlantis had returned to Earth. To his amazement she had said yes and with his information about the expeditions future he had suggested they have the wedding sooner rather than later. Thanks to the efforts of a few women, namely his sister Jeannie, Sam, interestingly enough Laura Cadman and of course Jennifer herself all Rodney ended up having to do was agree to their choices for the ceremony. Given that they planned to have the wedding within a month and that most of the people they wanted to invite now had security clearance they had decided to have the wedding on one of Atlantis's piers.
By then the city had been moved to the enclosed bay of a very private island that had previously belonged to Alec Colson before being eagerly snapped up by Homeworld Command given its features. The island had its own airfield, which was not surprising given its previous owner, as well as luxurious facilities that could be used for any extraterrestrial guests they might have in the future. The islands circular bay provided excellent cover for the city and thanks to some modified hologram emitters covering the bays entrance, generating the illusion of a rocky wall and no bay entrance, the city was almost unnoticeable. Of course if any boats even got anywhere near the island or the emitters or the back-ups failed, they could always use the cities handy cloaking device.
The guest list had featured all their friends from the SGC and the Expedition, and in the case of a certain General, Homeworld Command along with their respective family. This last addition to the list had thankfully meant that Rodney's sister and her family and Jennifer's father had all gotten security clearance to go to the city for the ceremony with ease. Of course they all had to sign a non-disclosure agreement swearing their secrecy, and it was certainly interesting explaining what she was signing to young Madison. Thankfully they hadn't had to worry when it came to photos, the wedding photos all showed a lovely background of a clear blue sky and a deep blue ocean.
"Apologies Colonel, so what is it that dragged me here and Rodney away from his new bride."
Sam laughed at his question. Sheppard had been begging her to tell him what the big secret was the entire trip from earth, and because they were friends she had restrained from pulling the rank card on him. Another reason was because it was so damn funny.
"Trust me Colonel when I say you're about to be put out of your misery." She turned to the crewmember sitting on her right. "Beam us down."
In a flash of white light the three of them disappeared from the bridge and found themselves inside a concrete walled room. The long conference table and large blast door covered window made the room seem very similar to the briefing room back at the SGC. A tall man with dark hair streaked with grey was the room's only occupant. His voice was welcoming as he spoke.
"Colonels, Doctor, welcome to the Argus shipyards."
Sam smiled, "Good to see you again Colonel Pierce, although I am surprised you're here to meet us."
Pierce chuckled, "Don't worry he's on his way. You're a little early so he should be arriving any minute now."
John stepped forward, "Nice to be here sir, and did you say shipyards?"
This question was answered by a very familiar voice.
"Yes Colonel he did, that's why you're here."
All faces turned to the just arrived Lt General Jack O'Neill. Sam smiled at the site of her old teammate and friend.
Sheppard followed her lead. "General Sir."
"Now none of that you two, when I pull rank I'll let you know." Jack hated being talked to formally when he was with people he considered to be his friends. Surprisingly this even included McKay, the guy had become that much less annoying lately. That and its really hard to actually hate a guy you once considered selfish but then turns around and comes up with a brilliant plan to save you from a load of human form replicators.
He turned to Colonel Pierce. "Thanks for keeping them company for me."
With a nod and a "No problem sir" Pierce turned and left the room.
Once the Colonel had left Sheppard spoke up, "Okay, since we're dropping formality for the time being can someone please explain all of this to me. I thought this was supposed to be the Alpha Site not a shipyard."
To his slight annoyance everyone else lightly chuckled at his bewilderment and general confusion.
"Okay what's so funny?"
Sam decided to put him out of his misery. "You see Colonel Argus is technically a separate facility from the Alpha Site. When we planned to build the facility we were considering building it on a separate planet altogether. Of course since we didn't have the available ships to permanently guard a planet while adequate defences were being built that plan went out the window, so we built it here."
General O'Neill took over, "This entire facility is designed to operate independently from the Alpha Site for security purposes. It has its own power generation and the space to quarter all the staff here. Even though the facility is supposed to be as secret as the Alpha Site itself I made sure separate defences were assigned to both facilities. Anyone who visits the Alpha Site will not find anything there to suggest that this base exists, and even if they hear the name it won't suggest that it's located here. I also got the geeks to install some of that hologram camouflage tech to cover the place up, at least from the air anyway."
John was happy he was finally getting some answers. "So what are the specs of this place then?"
General O'Neill chuckled, "Well that's opening up a whole can of worms right there. I'll let these two field that, they came up with most of the designs anyway."
John turned to look at the two smiling scientists in disbelief, "You helped designed this place Rodney and you never mentioned it."
"Well it was something we were working on when Sam was at Atlantis. Of course she has made some major modifications in the past year once we actually got the beaming technology working properly."
One of John's eyebrow rose at this, "Beaming technology?"
Sam smiled, "All in good time Colonel, first of all there's this."
She moved over to the conference table and pressed a button on the side of a large circular disk placed in the centre. The disk lit up and a partially transparent hologram showing an external view of the Argus shipyards appeared a few inches above it. The hologram showed numerous buildings clustered together. In the middle of the cluster were four buildings, one of which was the largest on the map, the other two were similarly sized and quite close together meaning they took up about the same space as the largest building, while the fourth was smaller than the rest but not by much. At compass points to this central cluster were four smaller buildings about a third of the size of the largest while in between these were four slightly larger buildings. On the outskirts were the smallest buildings yet, there were a dozen of these arranged like numbers on a clock face. These buildings were quite spread out even on the hologram and the representations were quite small, meaning that in reality the entire facility would cover a very large area.
"Okay we'll start on the outside and we'll save the big building for last," said Sam switching into lecture mode as she indicated the outer buildings. "So each of these twelve buildings are hangers for F-302's, they both build and store them for use either on the 304's when their built or as defence for the base." She pointed to the mid region buildings. "Now these are for constructing the 304's but only the smaller ones, the bigger ones are for dedicated ship maintenance for the fleet as we build it. The beams are the same as the ones on the Odyssey just on a much larger scale and they can create matter out of pure energy so we don't have to mine the resources to create ships, however the sheer amount of power required means that it takes longer. These beams are also incorporated in the maintenance hangers but obviously can't work on the insides of the ships so we have technicians to perform these tasks. The advantage of this is that technicians who work in these buildings can then go to work on the ships themselves as this is a great way to gain experience. The buildings also allow us to upgrade all of our battlecruisers with new tech that will later be made standard on all future constructs." She finally pointed to the middle cluster, primarily indicating the smaller lone building. "This building acts as housing for everyone here so obviously it needs to be quite large. It contains several canteens and lounge areas for people who are off duty as well as living quarters. The middle two have two different jobs; one contains a shield generator which will cover this entire base which has its own generators while the other is filled entirely with generators which powers this entire base. Of course if necessary the power can be redirected to the defences, which by the way are scattered around the base and don't appear on this basic schematic."
John raised an eyebrow at this, "What kind of defences are we talking about?"
General O'Neill grinned, "Remember this list, it'll come in handy later. As I recall, and since I listed the requirements I should recall quite clearly, 10 APB's, 15 ion cannon turrets and 60 twin railgun turrets."
"Ion cannon turrets?"
Rodney spoke up, "They were engineered using information taken from the Asgard core, basically they are weaker than an APB but fire bolts rather than beams, meaning they can track a moving target and continue to fire at it. Each turret is self contained with its own generator, which by the way is a Mark II naquadah generator not operating at near overload, meaning it will provide less power but lasts a long time, unlike the last ones."
He still remembered when they tried to use the Mark II's to power the Atlantis control chair, there failing at the last minute meant that Sheppard had been looking at a suicide mission and it would have been if not for the timely arrival of the Daedalus.
"Okay just one question." He pointed at the largest building. "What's that?"
Rodney smiled, "That is where we are now."
"And as for what's in it, why don't we show you," added General O'Neill. He nodded to Sam who walked over to the blast shield covered window and pressed a button on the wall. As the blast shield rose it revealed a massive hanger that was very much filled. "Colonel say hello to your new ship."
The group moved out to the viewing platform with John looking as wide eyed as a kid on Christmas morning, staring in awe at the massive ship before him. At a rough guess she appeared to be about 1100 metres long, 350 metres high and 400 metres wide.
"What did you people do, cross breed an Aurora and a 304?" John asked in amusement, referring to the two hangers and the general shape of the ship.
"What can I say this is what the design team came up with for the purpose of the ship," Sam said casually. "Although it does kind of remind me of an Aurora."
"So what is she?" John asked. "Or better yet what is she called?"
"She is a BC-306," O'Neill replied. "And no the BC doesn't stand for battlecruiser."
"So what does it stand for?" John asked.
"Battle carrier," O'Neill answered. "She can hold one hundred and twenty eight 302's and twenty transport shuttles. This ship is designed to be a roaming fortress and allow you to survive in Pegasus without a base to retreat to."
"In other words we aren't getting Atlantis back," Sheppard stated.
O'Neill sighed. "Look Sheppard I know how you feel. Personally Woolsey and I couldn't agree with you more but for the time being Atlantis needs to stay here. The drone platform was our last line of defence and with the chair gone Atlantis is the only thing that can change that. I promise you though that the second that changes Atlantis will be back in Pegasus where she belongs."
"Oh and to answer your other question she is called the Weir," Rodney added.
Sheppard's breath momentarily hitched. "As in Elizabeth Weir?"
Rodney nodded. "With General O'Neill's personal seal of approval."
"Thank you sir," Sheppard said gratefully.
"Don't mention it, now on with the show."
"So what makes this ship a base?" Sheppard asked.
"You mean aside from the numerous science labs, construction areas, food synthesisers and the ship construction area?" Rodney asked.
"Ship construction area, seriously?"
"Oh yeah," Rodney said. "The Weir was built with industrial beaming technology which is a version of the transporter beams designed to re-arrange the molecules of raw materials into whatever shape we want. Those same beams are present in the construction hanger which can build three battlecruisers at a time."
"With enough raw materials and power we were able to build this ship in a month," Sam said. "But we could also build a single battlecruiser in a week."
Sheppard let out a low whistle. "And if power is limited?"
"Aside from the four neutrino ion generators, built from plans taken from the Asgard computer core, that power the ship there are several Mark II naquadah generators as back ups. The primaries, while not being the most advanced models, can build a single battecruiser in a week but the back-ups would require three."
"She really is a mobile base," Sheppard said in wonder.
"Yep and she has teeth too," O'Neill said with a grin.
"Big honking space guns sir?" Sheppard asked, mirroring his bosses grin.
"Oh definitely, and one very big gun in particular. The Weir has the same weapons as this entire shipyard does."
"Damn! That is a hell of a lot of firepower."
"It should be," O'Neill said. "The most important thing this ship requires is protection. We can't have all that advanced technology falling into the wrong hands."
"No sir we can't," Sheppard said.
The memory of that super hive was still all too fresh in mind, even after two months.
"Of course that is just a minimum," Sam added. "There are still a few other toys this ship has."
"Well for one thing a massive plasma beam," Rodney said.
"The barrel has a thirty metre diameter and it has a three to ten power ratio when compared to our regular plasma beams."
"So what do you call this big honking space gun?"
"Well since it stores a lot more power than it needs in a capacitor like that Ancient defence satellite we've taken to calling it the Grodin."
"Good choice," Sheppard said solemnly.
"I thought so."
"Ready to here about the rest?" Sam asked.
"There's more?" Sheppard asked, surprised considering the amount of firepower already present.
"It's a big ship that General O'Neill approved of," Sam replied. "Of course there is more."
"Now now Carter, I said to forget rank," O'Neill chastised.
"There is a small missile bay beneath the nose of the ship," Sam explained.
"How small?" Sheppard asked.
"Big enough to hold a few Horizons and the nukes to stock them," McKay replied.
"Cool. So what else?" Sheppard asked.
"Two thousand drones," Sam replied.
"As in ancient drones?"
"Only in appearance," Rodney replied. "They're silver and also glow white. But they don't have the shield phase technology or the high temperature plasma field. They do still make a pretty impressive boom though, and that's it for the weapons."
"How powerful are the shields?" Sheppard asked.
"Well with the two new generators the Hammond will be getting she'll have double her original shield strength," Sam explained. "The Weir on the other hand will have five times that amount."
"So she has powerful shields, a heck of a lot of firepower and is essentially a mobile base," Sheppard summarised. "Don't tell me, she is as slow as heck right?"
"Actually with the new generators the Hammond could reach Pegasus in six days," Sam replied. "The Weir can do the same trip in half the time."
"She sure is one hell of a ship," Sheppard said.
"She is a flying fortress and a great command centre," General O'Neill said, smiling. "That's why I am getting the next one."
They all chuckled at that, everyone knew how much the General wanted a great big space ship, and soon he would have it. Of course it also meant he could get out from behind a desk.
"So when do I get to take her for a test flight?"
"Patience Colonel, there's still someone you have to meet," O'Neill said.
John raised an eyebrow, "Who?"
Jack had a knowing smile on his face, "ISIS."
"Who's Isis, I'm pretty sure she wasn't on the list of crewman you gave me." During the briefing he had been presented with a list of personnel who would be serving on the ship, but he would have thought he would have remembered a name like Isis.
"I'll let Doctor McKay introduce you."
He nodded to McKay, who tapped his headset. "ISIS can you come you join us on the main viewing platform."
"What can I do for you Doctor McKay," said a soft, female, and surprisingly familiar voice behind them.
Sheppard darted round in surprise at the sudden appearance. But he was even more surprised when he found himself looking at FRAN.
He rounded on Rodney, "Rodney I seem to recall a little discussion we had at making replicators."
If it wasn't for the fact that John was glaring at him Rodney would probably be grinning as much as Sam and Jack, as it was his grin was slightly dampened.
"She is not a replicator, and she's not FRAN," he said hurriedly.
ISIS spoke, "Indeed Commander I am not the one you knew as FRAN, however her image was used to create this avatar."
"Okay then what are you?"
"I am an Interactive Ship Interface System, otherwise known as ISIS. I was created to act as a direct link to the ships systems. However I will only accept commands from those with authorisation. As the ships commander you have the highest authorisation so I will accept all your commands."
Sheppard still looked a bit doubtful, which not surprising his experience with intelligent computers hadn't been brilliant. But he knew that he didn't know enough to make this decision by himself so he turned to one person he knew he could not doubt, Rodney.
"Tell me that this is completely safe and that nothing can go wrong."
Rodney replied seriously, "The very core of the programming for ISIS is to obey commands according to authority. In any case the only decisions that ISIS can make without confirmation are those that already exist in the fail-safe systems for the ship. In other words; if a weapon would overload ISIS can abort the firing, if the hull breaches or there is a radiation leak or even an explosion ISIS will close the bulkheads, if the hanger bay door opens while our people are inside ISIS will activate the emergency shields. This core programming cannot be changed or altered even if you order it. Sam and I have done everything to make sure that this is safe, and if it's any consolation this thing is based on the interactive systems of the Asgard Computer Core and we have yet to have any problems with that."
There were some people that Sheppard would assign a certain level of doubt just to be on the safe side, even McKay was one of them on those rare and far between occasions. The Asgard might just scrape their way onto the list when it came to dealing with the replicators, if only because they themselves admitted they lacked the necessary thinking to fight them effectively. However when it came to their programming abilities they were second to none and the Asgard Computer Core was a testament to that ability, as such he was willing to accept ISIS if she had a near enough Asgard seal of approval. Besides even if he was feeling the slightest inkling of doubt he wasn't about to question the programming skills of Earths greatest ally in front of General O'Neill of all people. The man had been a living legend amongst the Asgard to the point where they named the most advanced class of warship they had after him, if it hadn't been for him and his team it was unlikely the Asgard would have been so generous with their most advanced technology. The passing of the Asgard was a recognised loss to the universe, if only by some hope they had found a way to avoid their tragic demise. It was a small mercy that the Asgard had accepted their fate at the end and that they had chosen the path that they had taken but it was still tragic that such a great race was no longer amongst them. What made it worse though was that their cousins the Vanir were in Pegasus, and bore the image of their now gone allies whilst going against the very ideals that had made the Asgard such a great and noble race.
He made up his mind and turned to ISIS with an aura of acceptance for the first time.
"Thank you ISIS, I look forward to working with you."
The AI nodded curtly. "I look forward to serving you Commander," she said before vanishing.
General O'Neill turned to Sheppard. "Well now that we have the introduction out of the way its time to give you what's coming to you."
"Sir?" Sheppard's voice actually shook slightly.
O'Neill grinned, "It's time for your promotion ceremony."