TITLE: Spearhead: Turning The Tide
AUTHOR: Andrew Seivewright
CATEGORY: action/adventure, future
SPOILERS: none that I can think of but I hey, I'm only human and I apologize if I error.
SEASON / SEQUEL: I dunno, take you pick, season 4, maybe 5, I'm not really referring to any episodes here...
CONTENT WARNINGS: PG-13
SUMMARY: The Goa'uld attack once more and cause the President to draw a line in the sand...
DISCLAIMER: Stargate SG-1 and its characters are the property of Showtime/Viacom, MGM/UA, Double Secret Productions, and Gekko Productions. We have written this story for entertainment purposes only and no money whatsoever has exchanged hands. No copyright infringement is intended. The original characters, situations, and story are the property of the authors. Not to be archived without permission of the authors.
AUTHOR'S NOTES: My apologies to people fond of deep character introspection, I try to avoid it now and again and this is one of the 'now' times. This is a fast, sweeping action adventure with a whole slew of characters and so much stuff happening, I probably lost a few plotlines in all the excitement...so sue me.
Spearhead: Turning The Tide
General Hammond strode quickly from his office to the control booth and arrived in time to see the Iris close. "We're not expecting SG-5 or SG-1 back for another 36 hours, are there any GDO signals coming through, Sgt Siler?"
Sgt Siler studied his display. "Not as yet, sir..."
Everyone in the Gate room and control booth looked up at the Stargate, when the Iris shook with a boom.
Siler looked up at the General. "Something just came through the wormhole and hit the Iris, sir."
The Iris shook again...and again...and again.
The shaking and booming continued even as Sgt Siler worked his computer and other technicians ran around the control booth in a controlled panic. "Sir, analysis of the incoming signals and impact residue indicates a high content of bio matter and Naquada, as well as numerous other materials found in Goa'uld technology."
General Hammond turned that one over in his mind and didn't like what he came up with. "An Jaffa invasion force."
The sound of the booming suddenly became less intense, lower pitched. Hammond looked at Siler. Siler started punching keys in an attempt to figure out what happened.
As he studied his display, his face paled. "Sir, whatever they're sending through, it's molecular residue is beginning to eat through the Iris like an acid."
Hammond studied the Iris and could see it begin to glow slightly at the centre. "Sgt Siler, put the base on full alert and lock it down."
As the alert sirens begin to blare, General Hammond walked over to the communications station and picked up the red phone. "General Stuart, please...Sir, this Hammond at the SGC, we have a Level 2 alert at this time and I have locked down the base. I would advise that you begin to mobilise assets in the event that we are unable to contain the situation..........yes, sir, that's right..........I have one company in the mountain and another on the surface to reinforce.........yes, sir, I hope so too...thank you, sir."
Hammond put the phone down and was vaguely surprised to see that his hand wasn't shaking. I've got too much to do to be afraid....yet. He walked over to Sgt Siler again. "How long until the Iris fails?" He asked as another platoon of troops took up position in the Gate room. On the security monitors, he could see troops taking up positions throughout the base.
"I think maybe ten, twelve minutes. Whatever they're doing, it's hitting the strongest part of the Iris first, although that bit of good news buys us five minutes, tops."
Hammond nodded. "I'll take what I can get." He
looked around and saw troops heading toward the control booth. "Okay
people, we're going to move to the auxiliary control station on level 22.
Transfer your controls up there and move out." He ordered.
* * * * * * * * * *
13 minutes later.
"The Iris is losing integrity, sir. It's about to fail." Sgt Siler reported.
General Hammond could see on the monitor as the Iris exploded outward into a million pieces, some of which hit the soldier directly in front of the Stargate. A short time later, two Jaffa stepped though the gate and were almost vaporised when the soldiers in the Gate room all opened fire at once. For the next twenty minutes, Hammond watched as Jaffa after Jaffa stepped through the gate, getting a single shot off and then dying in a hail of bullet. It had started to get ugly though as the Jaffa began to use the piled corpses in front of the Gate as shields to hide behind. Slowly but surely, the Jaffa began to push the defending soldiers out of the Gate room.
"It's a race." Hammond said aloud to no one in particular. "A race to see who runs out soldiers first, them or us."
A soldier stepped up beside General Hammond. "Sir, I'm Major Edward Roberts, CO of Alpha Detachment, stationed on the surface. I understand that Colonel Winters has been killed and that I'm to take command of the defence of this facility."
Hammond nodded. "That's right, son. You've been briefed on what goes on down here?"
Roberts nodded as he looked at the monitors that showed the fight spreading out into the corridors. "Yes, Sir. Eight months ago when I first arrived." The monitor that showed the Gate room displayed Jaffa pouring through the Stargate unhindered.
"Sir, am I right in thinking that the Stargate will automatically shut down after a certain period of time?" He asked.
Hammond nodded. "Yes, it will in about eleven minutes. And it will stay off for about thirty minutes while it recharges. What do you have in mind, Major?"
Roberts turned to look at a soldier standing in the doorway. The soldier nodded once and ran out into the corridor, shouting orders. Turning back to the General, Roberts explained. "Sir, when that wormhole shuts down, they're going to have no more reinforcements. I have a small timeframe in which to kill as many Jaffa as possible and try to take back the 'gate before they can open it up again."
Hammond looked grim. "Can you do it, son?"
Major Roberts looked at the monitors again before answering. "I believe so, sir. I'm going to lose people but we'll get it done." And with that, Roberts snapped to attention and gave the General a razor sharp salute.
"Carry on, Major, and good luck." Hammond replied.
* * * * * * * * * *
Dealing With The Aftermath
Three days later on P5X-338, SG-1 strolled casually towards the Stargate. They were in the middle of a grassy field that seemed to reach the horizon in every direction.
"You know, guy's...." O'Neill remarked. "I never thought I'd say this but I think I actually miss the forests that we usually get on new worlds."
Carter looked up at the Colonel. "Sir?"
O'Neill raised his hands in defence. "Don't get me wrong, Carter, I really was getting sick of all the forests and this is a nice change but..."
"It makes you feel uneasy, O'Neill." Teal'c finished.
Jack pointed at Teal'c with some relief. "There, you see. I thought it was just me but there's something about this much open space near a Stargate that's...creepy."
"Creepy?" Daniel asked with some surprise.
Sam smiled as she looked at Jack. "If it makes you feel better, Sir, I have a theory as to why there's so much open space around the 'gate."
O'Neill grimaced. "Not that I need comforting or anything, Carter, but please, enlighten us with your....theory." He said, gesturing with waggling fingers.
Smirking, Sam explained. "Whenever we look at another, inhabited world, we inevitably find civilisation near or around the Stargate. Now if the civilisation that lived here were at war and were attacked with weapons of mass destruction..."
"...They could have, conceivably been, wiped off the face of the planet along with every other higher forms of life, leaving just the grass to return." Daniel finished, intrigued at the theory. "A detailed soil analysis might give us a clue as to what weapon could have done this."
"Ah-aa-aa" Jack interrupted. "Now let's not spoil the good week we've had so far with 'techno babble', Daniel, just dial us home."
Daniel grinned as he stepped up to the DHD and started punching in the co-ordinates for Earth.
O'Neill turned to Sam as Daniel worked. "What weapon could destroy an area as large as what, twenty miles in every direction and still allow for the grass to grow back. I mean, wouldn't nukes irradiate the land?"
Sam shrugged. "If it wasn't a nuke, I doubt I could even begin to guess at a cause although I'll lay odds that it was Naquada based."
O'Neill snorted. "Ha, no bet, Major. The goddamn Universe itself seems to run on the stuff."
They were interrupted as the last chevron engaged and the event horizon of the wormhole exploded outward from the 'gate and settled back to it's rippling, liquid state.
O'Neill walked towards the Stargate's event horizon. "All right, folks, say goodbye to P5X-338 and hello..."
O'Neill stood dumbfounded as the Gate room was a scorched mess with bullet holes and staff blast scars all over the place. Dozens of troops were in the gate with some of the biggest guns O'Neill had seen in a long time. SG-1 was shaken out of their collective shock, when General Hammond's voice boomed out from the speakers.
"Welcome back, SG-1. Head immediately to the de-briefing room, a lot's happened since you've been gone."
O'Neill raised his head without taking his gaze from the soldiers that still hadn't lowered their weapons. "Aye, Sir."
O'Neill, Carter, Daniel and Teal'c walked through the corridors of the SGC in silence, unable able to believe the apparent devastation. Walls were charred and buckled from repeated staff weapon hits and grenade explosions, they also passed through barricades at several corridor junctions on their way to the debriefing room. As the entered, they saw General Hammond looking out from the window at the Stargate. Several soldiers stood along the window with M-16's, a couple of M-60's and a large crate of ammo.
As they all took their seats, Hammond began. "Five hours after you left for P5X-338, the Stargate engaged and the Goa'uld began sending a substance through that, although not managing to re-integrate fully, began eating through the Iris like an acid. The Iris was destroyed in less than hour. Jaffa then began pouring through the wormhole. The fighting was intense and we lost a lot of good people but we managed to beat them back, retake the Stargate and hold off two more attempts to send Jaffa through. We have a new Iris in place and there have since been no more assaults. We are retrieving all remaining off-world SG teams and has stopped all outgoing 'gate travel for the moment, until the President comes to his decision."
"Decision, sir?" O'Neill asked, looking worried. "The last time our Commander in Chief had to make a decision, it involved shutting us down."
Hammond nodded. "Yes, Colonel, that is one of the two options he has to choose from."
Carter asked the next question on SG-1's lips. "And the other option would be..."
Hammond gave a tight smile. "To go on the offensive. Major Roberts and I made the recommendation to create several SG assault teams. Each team consisting of around 100 troops with the mission to find Goa'uld strongholds and destroy them."
SG-1 all looked at each other with slowly spreading smiles. Teal'c smiled in that way of his and said. "General Hammond, I know I speak for everyone when I say that we find the second option most attractive."
Hammond nodded. "I though you might." Movement in the doorway to the briefing room attracted his attention. "Ah, Major Roberts, come in and meet SG-1, our premier SG team."
The Major entered the room to meet SG-1. O'Neill was the first to shake hands. "Colonel O'Neill, this is Major Carter, Dr Daniel Jackson and the big, silent guy is Teal'c."
Roberts grinned as he shook everyone's Jack, Sam and Daniel's hands and exchange a respectful nod with Teal'c. "A pleasure to meet you all."
"So you're the guy who's convinced the President to take the fight to the Goa'uld?" O'Neill asked.
Roberts nodded as he replied. "I watched a lot of my men die when we took back the Stargate. Colonel Winters and his company were wiped out almost to the last man defending this place. Those men deserve more than just having this operation shut down."
O'Neill nodded. "Do you think the President's going to give the order?"
Roberts gave him the biggest shit-eating grin he had. "That's what I came to tell the General." He turned to face the Hammond. "Sir, I just got off the phone with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The President agreed completely with our proposal. We get, initially, four teams of 125 men each and an off-world base from which to launch operations. The President is tripling our budget and giving us everything we asked for, and more. He said, and I quote, 'It's taken me too long to realise that we are at war, a war in which we will have to win. You've got the full support of our nation's resources, teach the Goa'uld that it's a bad idea to mess with the people of Earth.'"
"Wow, gotta love that guy!" O'Neill said, deadpan.
Daniel looked at the General. "How is this going to affect the operation of the SG teams? Are we going to stop exploring?"
Hammond walked over to his chair at the head of the table and indicated for everyone to sit down. "Dr Jackson, that decision has yet to be made but I understand your concern." He gave a slight sigh. "It is my belief that we should continue to send SG teams out, to explore new worlds and honour our trade agreements with the other worlds, much as we did before this attack but I think that these explorations will have more of a military reconnaissance profile."
"You mean we look around a planet and if we find any Goa'uld, we send in the assault teams and take 'em?" O'Neill asked.
Hammond nodded. "That's about the size of it, Colonel."
"I think we should note..." Major Roberts interjected, "..that we will however, have to pick our fights carefully. Since we have no interstellar transport capability, all assaults will have a single vector of attack, through the Stargate. Losing control of the Stargate means our troops being cut off on another planet. Our ability to reinforce or extract our soldiers will be non-existent."
Carter leaned forward. "Maybe we can convince the Tok'ra or the Tollan to give us transportation."
O'Neill snorted. "Good luck."
Hammond stifled a grin. "Well, it's something to think about at any rate. For now, I'm putting SG-1 on stand-down." He raised his hand to stop the obvious rush of questions. "I would like you develop a training regimen that will train these assault teams in Goa'uld weaponry and tactics, how to fight them and win. You've got this mission because you're the most experienced team we have."
Teal'c turned his head to face the General. "How long do we have in which to train these troops?"
Hammond looked to the Major. Roberts shrugged slightly. "I'd say eight weeks, tops. Two weeks to train each team. Most of the soldiers we'll be getting will be elite troops, Marine Force Recon, Rangers; maybe we can even steal some Delta's or Seal's. What I'm saying is that, these guys know their stuff, we just need to introduce them to alien battle tactics." He inclined his head at Carter. "I believe Major Carter will be able to find us an uninhabited planet we can use as an off-world base."
"We're not going to use Alpha site?" She asked.
Hammond shook his head. "No, we've decided to keep Alpha site in reserve, strictly as an evacuation colony."
"Incoming Traveller!" The voice of Sgt. Siler boomed over the P.A.
Hammond stood up. "That'll be SG-9. Well people, it looks like you've got your jobs cut out for you. I'll expect weekly reports on the training situation while I deal with the base expansion detail."
Daniel looked confused. "Expansion detail?"
Sam smiled. "Daniel, we're going to bring in five hundred troops, not including new equipment and support staff. The SGC is a big place but it's going to have to get bigger."
"Forgive my ignorance, but I don't think that even the military can hide the movement of over five hundred troops to a classified facility. Someone's going to notice."
Nodding, Roberts replied. "It's probably not going to be easy but I think we'll manage it. The British and the Russians are already aware of the SGC and have pledged a solid commitment to support our activities. We are talking with the Russians about using their 'Gate and troops as another support station for troops and supply reinforcement."
"There's a Construction Battalion being dispatched here in two days." Hammond continued. "Things are changing around here and they're going to change fast. I hope can just keep up with it all."
O'Neill smiled. "That's what comes with having the two stars, General."
"So they tell me." Hammond agreed.
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
SG Boot Camp
"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the SGC." O'Neill stood in front of the wall screen, in the new Assault Team Briefing Room at the SGC. The place was more of a lecture theatre though, with tiers of seats that could accommodate a little over two hundred fifty soldiers. Currently, it was only half filled with the first Assault team. The rest of SG-1 and Major Roberts were sat on the podium facing the troops. The only ones really comfortable were Major Carter and Daniel Jackson, who had both lectured in front of a large body of people before.
O'Neill was nervous. He'd die a hundred times before he'd ever admit it to the team, but he was nervous. It's not the speaking part. I can handle that. It's the environment. This lecture hall thing is taking me back to the bad old days at high school.
"You've been told that this is a combat assignment. I can see from the looks on your faces that you can't exactly see how you can have a combat assignment while fifty floors under a mountain. Well, let me just say that it's very possible. They only way to explain this is to start from the beginning and so I'll pass you over to our resident field archaeologist, Dr Daniel Jackson."
Daniel stood up and walked to the front passing close to O'Neill on the way.
"Warmed 'em up for you, Danny-boy."
"Thanks, Jack." Daniel murmured in reply and then turned his attention to the 'class'. The wall screen behind him started to display various images of the Pyramids. "In 1928, an expedition to the Giza Pyramids unearthed an ancient relic unlike any other previously discovered. It was thought to be a device for travelling to the stars but no one could get it to work, until four years ago when we finally unlocked it's secrets. The Stargate, as we call it, enabled us to visit other worlds as easily as walking from one room to another." The screen behind him showed the Stargate working and pictures taken on other worlds.
"Out there, we found that we were not alone. We have
made contact with hundreds of civilisations both human and alien. We've made
quite a few friends but we also made some enemies........."
* * * * * * * * * *
In the middle of the newly expanded gym, Teal'c stood within a circle of twenty-five soldiers. He was in his First Prime battle dress, complete with 'helmet' and staff weapon. "Jaffa are trained in a form of hand to hand combat, not unlike your martial arts. They are also trained in the use of various weaponry, weaponry such as the staff and the zat'nik'atel. They are, however, fairly inflexible when it comes to new situations and they tend to rely on overwhelming numbers."
He lifted his staff and assumed a defensive stance. "The Jaffa mindset is not unlike that of your infantry during the American Civil War. They will assume a assault echelon and attack in waves until the enemy is defeated or they are all killed." He indicated several points on his armour. "These locations are weak points in the armour of which you can penetrate with a blade, any other part can be defeated by concentrated bursts of armour piercing rounds from a P-90."
"The armour can be effective but it is designed
mostly to create fear in the hearts of the enemy. Your advantage against the
Jaffa is speed and mobility. This has been proved many times and the Jaffa show
no sign of adapting. As I said before, they are inflexible. I have found your
people to be the most devious and inventive species I have ever encountered. It
is you greatest asset. I advise you to use it."
* * * * * * * * * *
"This is a second generation Naquada reactor. It can provide power equivalent to that of a Mod 5 Westinghouse Nuclear reactor, yet as you can see, will fit in a standard mil-spec container." Major Carter said as she displayed the reactor to the assembled troops. They were stood in the new Scientific Support Division's main laboratory. A large facility, its work tops and benches were covered in computer displays, tools and artefacts that were being studied and analysed by a massive array of scientists, engineers and technicians.
"It was originally based on technology from an alien culture but we have modified and improved it for our purposes. It is extremely stable and can take a relatively considerable pounding before being damaged and possibly exploding. Each of your teams will be issued with 3 reactors. It can be used to power and recharge all of your equipment and as a last resort, can be set to act as an incredibly powerful bomb."
Carter turned to face the troops with a serious glare. "Be warned. This is a HIGHLY explosive device, which will detonate with the equivalent to 5 megatons of standard nuclear force. If you have to set it off, try not to do it near a Stargate unless it's on purpose. We've never tested it on an actual Stargate but we do believe that it will vaporize one completely..."
* * * * * * * * * *
Daniel pushed his glasses back up on the ridge of his as he scanned the increasingly familiar troops. Over the weeks, he had gotten to know some of them fairly well, especially the language experts from the Seal teams. "Unless any of you are really interested, I won't be teaching you the entire Goa'uld language, but I will be teaching you key words and phrases you are likely to encounter and should know. Especially if it comes to infiltration and sabotage."
Daniel turned from the group and started displaying large-text Goa'uld script up on the wall screen of the Assault team briefing room. "This is equivalent of the Goa'uld alphabet and below is a list of words. From the top...Armoury...Auxiliary Power Supply...Barracks...Cargo Bay........."
* * * * * * * * * *
KA-SHUNK "CHEVRON FIVE, ENCODED AND LOCKED!"
O'Neill adjusted the strap of his MOLLE harness and made sure his grenades were hanging secure and his P-90 was firmly attached to his vest. "Okay folks, this is the Stargate, live and in colour."
KA-SHUNK "CHEVRON SIX, ENCODED AND LOCKED!"
"I'm sure Major Carter has explained to you how we dial out, seven symbols, yadda, yadda and such. But all you really need to know is that it works."
KA-SHUNK "CHEVRON SEVEN, ENCODED AND LOCKED!" WHIRRRRRR-FWOOOOOOOSSSHHH
The event horizon exploded from the Stargate, causing most of the closer soldiers to take a step back, and almost as quickly, the plasma energy settled back into is pool-like state.
"Ladies and gentlemen, if you would please make sure your seat backs and tray tables are in their upright and locked position, we'll be underway." O'Neill started walking up the ramp. He stepped up next to the event horizon and stopped to face the following troopers. "Oh, and one more thing, watch your first step, it's a doozy..."
* * * * * * * * *
Eight weeks later, General Hammond, SG-1, Major Roberts of the SGC Defence force and four other Colonels sat round the briefing room. The other Colonels were the CO's of the four Stargate Assault teams. A tall, striking redhead, Colonel Amanda Lewis, an ex-Marine pilot and Force Recon leader, was in charge of SG-Alpha. Sat next to her sat a lean and weathered man with dark black hair and bushy eyebrows. This was Colonel Tom Grant, ex-Navy Seals Team Leader and commander of SG-Beta. Opposite him, sat Colonel Mike Colwell, an ex-Ranger, ex-Seal and your typical silent type. He led SG-Delta. And finally, next to him sat an incredibly young looking, fair-haired, freckled and grinning Colonel called Paul Clarke, the leader of SG-Gamma.
General Hammond looked at the assembled faces. "Ladies and gentleman, I trust everybody is satisfied with what's been accomplished so far?" He asked.
Everybody nodded or murmured their assent.
"Excellent. I have read the reports of your training and I can see that we've assembled a potent force. After speaking with the President, we believe that it's time to strike back. Major Roberts has informed me that your off-world facilities are almost complete and await your arrival. SG-Alpha and -Gamma, you are assigned the off-world assault rotation first, -Beta and -Delta, you will be operating from here at the SGC."
He looked at sheet of paper in front of him. "Colonel O'Neill, SG-8 returned on Wednesday from P5X-219, with a report of heavy Jaffa activity at the base of a mountain, three miles from the Stargate. Major Wallis believes it to be a Naquada mining operation. I think this should be a good, initial operation for the Assault teams. I want SG-1 and SG-8 to go back there and make a thorough reconnaissance. Troop strengths, locations, you know the drill. Once complete, head to the off-world assault facilities and meet up with SG-Alpha and -Gamma. From there, you will plan your strike accordingly."
O'Neill nodded. "Yes, sir. Oh and by the way, sir, I believe that the off-world assault facility is being called 'Spearhead' by the construction crews."
Hammond gave an almost exasperated smile. "Am I to assume that any other, more 'official' name, will be in all probability ignored because of this?"
"I'm afraid so, sir." O'Neill said, not looking particularly regretful in any way. "It is kind of a tradition...."
Nodding, Hammond acquiesced. "Alright, we'll
officially call the base, Spearhead. You all know what you have to do.
* * * * * * * * *
O'Neill lifted his head above the crest of the ridge and peered through his binoculars at the Goa'uld compound built into the side of a mountain. Major Carter, Daniel and Teal'c followed suit and started scanning the perimeter.
"Colonel, I count at least thirty Jaffa on the perimeter, not to mention those bunkers that create an inner defensive line. They don't guard the Stargate but from the looks of things, they don't really need to. They have solid defences." Sam reported.
Grimacing, O'Neill studied the bunkers. "What the hell are they protecting in there?"
"It is mostly likely that there is a large Goa'uld presence there, yet SG-5 reported that the slaves working the mine appeared to be of varied species." Teal'c intoned.
O'Neill took his eyes away from his binoculars to look at him. "And? So? But? Therefore?"
Daniel answered instead. "Jack, that implies that there's no native population. The Goa'uld enslave native species for slaves and to have a worshipful people. Since there is no worshipping going on and they're importing slaves, I would guess that there is some serious work going on in that facility. Especially if you factor in the amount of Jaffa around." He gestured to the facility. "It could be a research facility or a major storage depot or..."
O'Neill nodded. "I get the idea. We struck gold, eh?" He squinted as he looked through the binoculars again. "Can you tell which Goa'uld is running the show here?"
Teal'c frowned. "They appear to wear the armour of Sokar, O'Neill."
"Which means they belong to Apophis." Daniel finished.
Grimacing, O'Neill pinched the ridge of nose as if he had a headache. "Talk about your bad pennies...."
Teal'c raised an eyebrow. O'Neill gave a slight shake of his head. "Later, Teal'c. Now we take pictures, rendezvous with SG-5 and get ourselves back to Spearhead."
* * * * * * * *
The Spearhead compound was a series of pre-fab structures
built around a six-storey tower that occupied the centre of the compound.
Surrounding all this were eight smaller guard towers in an octagonal
arrangement, each connected to the other by thick, steel and concrete walls.
Fortified positions lined the perimeter of the walls as well as several heavy
machine guns locate in enfilade positions through the compound. Pre-registered
mortars, arranged in camouflaged positions around the central tower provided the
supporting artillery and multiple anti-aircraft and -missile batteries gave them
air defence. Thor had helped Major Carter find this planet and it's unique
location. The planet is completely uninhabited and practically lifeless due to
its location in a system flooded in heavy radiation from its irregular star.
This radiation meant that no vessel could enter the system without killing every
soul on board but the planets ionosphere blocked practically all of the
radiation leaving the SG troops on the surface with only the problem of
occasional, light, radio interference.
This state of affairs provided them with an almost perfect defence against orbital bombardment and meant that they only had to worry about invasion through the Stargate and a second Iris was being constructed to help in this regard. The Stargate was situated half a mile from Spearhead but was itself surrounded by a smaller compound which consisted mainly of an array of weaponry, ready to cut down anything that came through if necessary. A small pre-fab structure on one side acted as barracks for the infantry platoon assigned to guard the 'Gate. If the Goa'uld wanted to take this base, they'd make them pay for it.
Inside the planning room, O'Neill stood at the head of the large, horizontal table-display screen. Around the table-display stood the rest of SG-1, Major Wallis and the other four members of SG-8, Colonel Lewis of SG-Alpha, Colonel Clarke of SG-Gamma and their respective 2IC's.
O'Neill looked from person to person and saw them all studying the diagram of the Goa'uld compound intently. "Okay people, Daniel here tells me that we may have picked a doozy of a target. What we got here is a stronghold belonging to our good friend, Apophis. It appears that the place has, in all likelihood, a number of Goa'uld and a big bunch of Jaffa. This is the kind of place we want because it's going to get their attention when we destroy it."
He pressed a couple of buttons on the console and the display zoomed outward to show the compound, the mines and the Stargate in relation to one another. "We're going to do this two-fold; Colonel Lewis, SG-Alpha's going to take that compound while Colonel Clarke, you're going to retrieve those slaves. Major Wallis, what's the mine look like?"
Wallis scratched his jaw in contemplation. "I counted thirty four Jaffa overseeing almost a thousand slaves. The mines are about two kilometres from the compound but I saw no signs of travel between the two places." He gestured towards one of his team-mates. "Captain Headly took some thermal readings and it seems that they have a tunnel running from the mines, parallel to the base of the mountain, right into the compound."
Colonel Clarke tapped the display. "I can secure the mines and slaves and then send men through the tunnel into the rear areas. Come at them from both sides."
Lewis nodded. "I like it. Do you think we could time it to coincide with our strike?"
O'Neill shook his head. "Nah, I want to cause as much confusion as possible. We strike at both places simultaneously, with everything we got." He looked at the pictures of the compound. "Although I think you might need some more troops, Amanda, there's maybe two hundred Jaffa in that place."
Lewis looked up at her Assault teams counterpart. "Lend me a couple of platoons, Paul?"
He smiled. "Sure, you take good care of 'em though."
O'Neill looked up at Daniel and grimaced. "Daniel, I know you've seen some combat..."
Daniel just grinned. "Relax, Jack. I'm not planning on getting a rifle and storming that compound, I'll leave that to the jarheads..." He said, ducking as Colonel Lewis took a friendly swing at the back of his head. "Anyhow, I'll be more useful going with Colonel Clarke."
Colonel Clarke along with everyone except Teal'c looked up at Daniel with confusion. Daniel took his glasses off and started to wipe them with a handkerchief. "You'll need someone to talk to the slaves, won't you?"
O'Neill slapped a hand to his face while Carter just grinned. "Everyone take note..." he said. "...you can always trust Daniel to remember the little things us 'professionals' forget."
He looked around at everyone. "Okay, Daniel goes with -Gamma and gets the slaves back to the Stargate staging area. Everyone else clear on how this is going down?"
Everyone nodded. "I'll leave you all to work out the
particulars. We assemble and head out in 36 hours. Dismissed."
* * * * * * * * * *
When the odds are against you, use every trick in the book to even them...
Colonel Lewis looked over her troops as they sat at tables, studying the compound layout. Her mind was going over the approach to the compound and the defensive positions. The Jaffa were going to have clear and elevated fields of fire from the various bunkers surrounding the compound. They needed to neutralize those positions or they were going to get murdered charging that fortress. "How many qualified snipers have we got?"
Seven soldiers raised their hands. "Okay, I want you
seven to head back to the SGC and requisition .50 heavy rifles. You're going to
have a different job, tomorrow."
If you lack armour and heavy support, improvise, improvise, improvise...
O'Neill found Teal'c stood in the middle of the compound, staring at one of the 30mm anti-aircraft chain gun that were mounted on an armoured rover. Attached to either side of the chain gun was a quad Stinger air-to-air missile pod. "Whatcha doing, Teal'c?"
Teal'c turned his head to look at the Colonel. "O'Neill, I have seen this weapon in action against airborne targets. I expect it would work well against a Death Glider."
O'Neill looked confused. "That is why we brought them."
"A facility this important would undoubtedly have several Death Gliders for air support."
O'Neill and Teal'c looked at each other for a second and
then both turned to stare at the gun.
Use every advantage you can get, for nothing is fair in war
Daniel walked up to Colonel Clarke who was talking to his 2IC and a couple of his platoon leaders.
"Colonel, excuse me for interrupting but can I show you something?"
Clarke's eyes fell on an armful of clothes the archaeologist carried. "What have you got there, Dr Jackson?"
Daniel held them up for inspection. "I procured a bunch of these from Supplies. These clothes look similar to what the slaves in SG-8's photos were wearing. You may be able to infiltrate a bunch of your men into the mines and get close to the guards." He looked embarrassed. "Element of surprise and all that..."
Clarke and his men were all smiling broadly. "Dr
Jackson, you're a genius. Thank you."
You can't plan for everything, do as much as possible
and leave the rest to fate...
* * * * * * * * *
The staging area near the Stargate on P5X-219 was quiet. It was dawn there, the sun just rising above the mountain, cast long shadows over the milling troops. Over two hundred and fifty soldiers checking their gear, loading up on extra ammo and going over their plans one last time.
Colonel O'Neill stood away from the troops with Colonel Lewis and Colonel Clarke. They were admiring the sunrise in their last remaining moment of peace for a while. Clarke sighed and turned to the other two. The low sun making his freckles look even more prominent. He offered his hand to O'Neill who took it and returned a firm shake. "Well guys, this is it. I need to move out now." He turned and shook Lewis's hand as well. "Once more unto the breach, and all that..."
Lewis grimaced. "That's all sorts of corny, Paul."
O'Neill agreed. "It is that. You take care, Paul and we'll see you in a little while."
Clarke gave a slight smile and a casual but no less respectful salute, which the others returned. He then turned back to the troops and practically bounced off, picking up his men in his wake.
Lewis shook her head, watching him leave. "He had to have lied about his age. He looks far too young to be a Colonel." She looked at her watch. "We give him a hour and then we head off to our own step off positions."
"Yeahsureyabetcha...." Jack said as he strolled back towards the troops.
Amanda just looked at him and then rolled her eyes.
"I'm surrounded by kids..." and then jogged off to catch up with him.
The chinking of pickaxe against rock echoed off the mountainside. The slaves shuffled from place to place, heaving their backbreaking loads with no complaint. Jaffa stood tall and imposingly on ledges, ready to crack down on anybody not working to their satisfaction. For all their watching, the Jaffa guards didn't notice that a number of slaves weren't as thin or as weak as the others, or that their gait was a little more upright and tense. The 'slaves' were actually members of SG-Gamma, ready and waiting to pounce on their un-suspecting overseers.
In the tree line, the rest of SG-Gamma waited while everybody moved into position. Colonel Clarke studied the mine entrance and the slaves working in the enclave around the entrance. Everybody was almost in position. He watched one of his men shuffle a largish boulder into a cart near a trio of Jaffa when his whisper-mike crackled suddenly.
"Knife-Six-Actual to Gamma-Six, we just had a visit from a Jaffa patrol. We took 'em quietly but someone's going to miss them soon I imagine."
With almost a hundred men hiding in the forest, it was inevitable that Murphy would strike and patrol would decide to scout out the area. He was just thankful that his men had taken them quietly. They still had surprise on their side. It was time to use it. "Roger that, Knife-Six and good work. Break. All units, this is Gamma-Six-Actual, move in and take 'em down!"
Throughout the mine compound, previously shuffling, beaten slaves dropped their axes and cargoes and suddenly held P-90's and M-60's, spitting fire at the Jaffa overseers. As more Jaffa flooded out of the mine and barracks complex, the rest of Gamma team stormed out of the tree line and into the mine area. Fanning out, the began pushing the slaves behind cover and trying to take out the Jaffa overseers as they made their towards the mine entrance. The Jaffa, having taken heavy losses, showed barely any sign of shock and began to fire at the invaders.
Staff weapon fire flew in one direction and bullets flew back in return. The troops of Gamma went to ground as the Jaffa guards regrouped in short order, beneath a heavy cannon mounted on a ridge next to the mountainside entrance. The Jaffa indiscriminately started blasting at anybody and everybody, slaves that tried to make a break for it were shot in the back and several Gamma soldiers fell when the heavy cannon blast penetrated whatever cover they were using.
Daniel dived behind a large boulder as a heavy cannon blast landed a short distance to his right. Two slaves were already huddled behind there, a man and a woman. Daniel rested his hand on the gaunt man's shoulder. "It's okay, we're here to free you!"
The man looked at the woman questioningly, and then back to Daniel. "Nu rishtoo, di fen nu pri?"
Daniel flinched as another blast hit close to their position. "Di fen nu pri....nu pri....sounds like a variation on ancient Attic..." He put a hand to his chest. "Nu pri Daniel, di nu tomarr sen shavarr." As he spoke he gestured towards the tree line in the direction of the Stargate.
The man's mouth dropped and his once again looked to the woman. She nodded firmly, her mouth forming a thin line making her thin features look even more emaciated. "Te nu sen shavarr, Dan-ee-el. Fuseen nu domar."
Daniel translated this as, 'We will go there, Daniel, we will tell the others.' Daniel nodded. He looked up from behind the boulder and saw Colonel Clarke crouched behind a Goa'uld cargo hauler. A massive box-like structure that hovered about half a foot off the floor even though it carried close to a ton of excavated ore. The heavy cannon was currently hitting the side of the hauler but causing no appreciable harm to the Colonel.
"Colonel!" Daniel shouted. He gathered himself up and ran towards the Colonel's position. Clarke turned in time to see Daniel running towards him, regardless of the weapons fire filling the air. The youthful Colonel grimaced and leaned out from behind the hauler. "Covering fire!"
He pointed his weapon in the direction of a heavy cannon unit and fired three grenades as the Gamma troops open up with such an volume of fire, the Jaffa were overwhelmed and several were killed instantly. Clarke ducked back as the Jaffa recovered slightly and sent staff blasts back at him which impacted on the surface of the hauler and then, as Daniel slid next to him in a cloud of dust, three successive explosions signalled the destruction of the Jaffa position. Clarke adjusted his helmet as Daniel looked up at him. "Howdy Dr Jackson, how's your morning been so far?"
Daniel smiled slightly as he brushed himself off. "Not too bad, Colonel, although I'd kill for a cup of coffee right about now."
Clarke snorted in amusement at the doctor's humour as more of his troops ran past his position, firing from the hip.
"I've just made contact with one of the slaves and told them to head towards the tree line where the rest of the men are waiting. The word is spreading fast. We just need to finish up with the Jaffa." Daniel reported.
Clarke was listening with one ear; the other ear was listening to the reports coming in over the radio. "Yeah, Dr Jackson, we got the remaining Jaffa pinned down but they're being stubborn. These guys don't surrender do they?"
Daniel shook his head.
"Figures." Clarke peered over the edge of the hauler to see at least twelve Jaffa behind another cargo hauler. Despite being completely outnumbered, they continued to fire at any target that presented itself. Clarke touched the earpiece of his radio headset. "Grenadiers, load anti-personnel rounds and saturate that position, everyone else, take cover!"
Daniel shuffled further inside the protection of the hauler, next to Clarke, as he heard a series of THUNKS from various directions. The 40mm grenades arced through the air and landed in and around the Jaffa, who suddenly seemed to explode as a million, metal, flechettes ripped through their bodies.
As the echo from the explosions faded and silence fell, the troops and surviving slaves looked up from their positions and took stock of the carnage. Jaffa, slaves and several Gamma troopers lay unmoving, testament to enemy accuracy or sheer bad luck.
Clarke voice echoed off the mountainside as he gave out orders. "1st platoon, secure the entrance to the mine, 2nd platoon, perimeter security, fan out and check your targets, we may have slaves out there." He strode out from cover and headed for the centre of the mine area. Daniel followed behind him, helping up the slaves as the troops started running around following their Colonel's orders. "3rd platoon, escort the slaves to the Stargate and 4th platoon, police our bodies and that of the slaves. Leave the Jaffa for the birds."
Daniel walked up to the Colonel. "I'm going to go with 3rd platoon and the slaves back to the Stargate."
Clarke nodded. "Very well, Doctor. We're going to
finish up here and then go and help out SG-Alpha at the compound." He
winced as his earpiece transmitted a tinny but recognisable sound of voice
chatter and an explosion. "It sounds as if they could use some
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
O'Neill coughed as he breathed in the dirt kicked up from the large blast that landed ten feet in front of his position. He cursed as he looked to his left and right and saw that everyone else was as pinned down as he was.
The initial assault had gone well, they had crept in close and then hit the perimeter positions with a combination of bullets, 40mm grenades and mortars. The exposed guard positions had fallen quickly and large gaps had been opened in the fence. Unfortunately, these gaps were covered by the bunkers, which had proved to be harder to kill, as they had been armoured well enough to withstand even a direct hit from a 81mm mortar shell. They were spitting out heavy staff cannon blasts and were doing a good job of preventing the troops of Alpha from moving forward and assaulting the compound proper.
Carter let loose a burst of fire from her P-90 but the bullets just bounced off the bunker. O'Neill just shook his head slightly. "Save it, Carter. Lewis has something in mind for the bunkers."
Their radio's crackled to life. It was Colonel Lewis. "All units, prepare to move forward as soon as our long rifles have cleansed those bunkers."
Spread out along the front, the seven snipers of SG-Alpha
relaxed as only a good sniper can as they took aim at the firing slits of the
bunkers. One of the snipers, Petty Officer Frank Warren of the US Navy Seals,
popped his well-chewed gum as he settled his scope on the Jaffa manning the
heavy cannon in the bunker. Piece of cake.
Letting out his breath, he pulled slightly on his trigger finger and sent a .50 round, a bullet bigger than his thumb, screaming toward the bunker at twice the speed of sound. The armour-piercing round exploded the Jaffa like a wet meat balloon and carried on its course, creating a fist size hole in the opposite wall.
Similar events happened with all the other snipers, and left the Jaffa manning the bunkers stunned into inaction. They had never seen the likes of it before. Energy weapons invariably burned or disintegrated, they never shattered a body into meat chunks that sprayed a room red with blood.
O'Neill watched with grim humour as the fire from seven of the bunkers stopped. Even when several of the bunkers started firing again, he immediately noticed that the fire was sporadic and far from accurate. After five minutes, the snipers had neutralised all of the bunkers and the troops of Alpha got up from cover and stormed forward.
"Let's go, Major!" He grunted, as he rose up and ran toward the compound.
The troops poured through the gaps in the fence and fanned out, taken up defensive positions around the shattered bunkers as they progressed closer to the main entrance of the facility. Colonel Lewis, along with a squad of her troops, jumped into a trench, a hundred meters from the large door set in the front of the building when the ground began to rumble.
"Earthquake?" She asked?
Major Ranjeer, her 2IC shrugged slightly, the gesture almost lost in his bulky body armour and helmet. "Shitty timing if it is."
One of the other troops along the trench swore. "Look at that!"
Lewis and Ranjeer raised their heads above the side of the trench and were struck dumb at the sight of six 'pillars' rise from the ground in front of the facility. At the top of each of these pillars sat a Jaffa soldier in an armoured heavy cannon pod. Almost immediately, the cannons fired rapid bursts of energy, which sent the troops flying for cover. Almost simultaneously, four Death Gliders flew out from the top of the base, cannons spitting fire in all directions.
Panicked screams and shouts came from all directions as troops caught flatfooted by this unpleasant surprise were hit by cannon blasts.
"Shit, those things are killing us!" Major Ranjeer shouted as he fired a quick burst at the gun pod of the nearest tower. The bullets bounced off leaving barely a scratch. "And they're armoured six ways to Sunday, we can't scratch 'em with what we've got."
Colonel Lewis grimaced. "It's time for the big
guns..." She gripped her radio unit and pressed the button on the side.
"Teal'c, we got Glider and Cannon emplacements that need taking out. You
have weapons release at this time."
* * * * * * * * * *
In the tree line, Teal'c, by all outward appearances seemed to be his usual stoic self but inside, he was impatiently raging to join in. His comrades were dying and yet he stood here, doing nothing. When the Colonel's call came over the radio, he almost cheered.
"Acknowledged, Colonel Lewis, Teal'c out." He turned to Captain at his side. "Captain West, bring your guns up and engage the Death Gliders, then have your missile teams target the cannon towers."
The Captain gave a slight nod. "Yes, sir." He turned to the spread out clusters of troops, anxiously torn between watching the battle and watching their commander's wait for the word to open fire. "Alright people, listen up. Anti-Air group, bring your tracks forward and engage those Gliders. Javelin teams One through Six, target those towers and fire at will."
Teal'c watched as the Chain Gun/Stinger units rolled forward from the dense forest cover out towards the tree line. The unit's acquisition sensors immediately began to track on the nearest Death Glider. The trooper with the control board for the AA unit looked up at the Control officer for the AA group. "I have a lock with the 30mm gun."
The Control officer nodded. "Fire."
In response, the Chain Gun swung from it's horizontal position and aimed itself at a point in front of the path of a swooping Glider and let loose a searing volley. The stream of bullets, highlighted by tracers, arced in and impacted right on the underside of the Glider. For a moment, nothing appeared to happen and then the armour on the Glider peeled back and blossomed into a small but intense white explosion. More cannon fire and explosive blooms signified the destruction of two of the other Gliders. The fourth and final Glider was flown by a more experience pilot and as soon as he saw the death of the first Glider, he had yank his craft into a series of manoeuvres that the cannon of the AA unit had been unable to follow with any accuracy, it's burst of fire had missed by several metres.
The Glider pilot smiled grimly as he swooped in low and turned towards the tree line. Having identified on the gun that had shot at him, his thumbed his trigger, sending out blasts of energy into the ground in front of the gun. He held on to the trigger and raised the nose of his Glider, walking the cannon fire into the small gun. The troops manning the gun saw the fire heading towards them and scattered as the first burst impacted on the frontal armour of the gun. The armour was insufficient to the task and gave way immediately, allowing the energy burst to detonate the unit's missile pack. The resulting explosion sent shrapnel flying through the forest, causing injury to the soldiers that were slow to take cover.
The AA crew farthest from this action had however, managed to keep their positions and arm their Stinger missile packs. The targeting unit achieved a lock as the glider flew almost vertical into the air as it performed its trademark hammerhead-stall manoeuvre. As the pilot brought the nose swinging around to face the ground, the AA crew ripple fired all four of the Stinger missiles. The missiles streaked away on individual winding courses but all headed in the direction of the Glider. The first two missiles flew straight into the Gliders left flank and blew it's wing off, causing the craft to tumbling uncontrollably, the third missile hit the body and tore the remains of the Glider into pieces as the fourth missile flew straight into the explosion and minutely compounded it's destruction.
The Javelin Anti-Tank missile crews saw the final explosion and, heaving a sigh of relief, rose up from cover, intent on completing their mission. One by one, the missile gunners lifted their launchers on their shoulders and settled their sights on the towers. To prevent confusion and the targeting of more than one missile on the same target, a plan was laid down in the mission briefing. As the crews were position in the tree line from left to right, any targets assigned would be hit left to right. The leftmost gunner would fire on the leftmost target; the next gunner in line would fire on the next target in line. This simple rule, laid down almost as an afterthought, meant zero confusion when attacking the enemy.
Almost as one, the gunners fired the Javelin missiles.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Colonel Lewis flinched as the tower guns let loose another volley of fire around her position. Her 2IC stifled a groan as she pulled the tourniquet she had just attached to his leg tighter. As the second Glider had been destroyed, it's wreckage had spread across her troops positions and, as a result, Major Ranjeer had caught a piece in his lower thigh. The only other soldier escorting her was not so lucky for he caught a piece of shrapnel in his forehead, killing him instantly.
"Of all the lousy ways to get hit.....stupid, jerk, dumbass Jaffa pilots......" Major Ranjeer was in pain and to prevent him from screaming he had let loose with a near continuous string of curses aimed at the Goa'uld, the Jaffa and their dubious parentage. Lewis was fairly impressed at his ability to go several minutes without repeating himself.
Her attention was torn away from her currently pissed Major as she began to hear the roar of a nearby missile. Practically overhead, a Javelin missile shot by causing her to instinctively rise to watch it, regardless of the incoming cannon fire and of the moans of pain coming from Major Ranjeer as she jerked his tourniquet. She would reflect later that this wasn't one of her better moments. This meant, however, that she had a clear view of the missile fly into the leftmost tower. The missile in fact, hit the cannon pod head on, causing the pod to explode violently, vaporizing the Jaffa at the controls and thoroughly decapitating the tower. Explosions rocked the area in front of the compound as all of the towers were destroyed.
Lewis's face split into a feral grin as she activated her radio. "All right, platoons five and six, lay down cover fire...everyone else, push forward!"
She looked down at her 2IC. "Hold here, Major, the medic's will be along shortly."
Major Ranjeer was crestfallen but reluctantly nodded his agreement. "Yes, sir. Be careful, Colonel and give 'em some for me, will ya?"
Lewis placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled. "You got it, Major." And with that, Lewis leapt nimbly over the edge of the trench and ran towards the Goa'uld outpost with the rest of her troops. Large breaches had been opened in the side of the building, allowing the soldiers to enter in multiple places.
Lieutenant Rachel Bannon, in charge of 2nd platoon, was running towards a large hole in the side of the outpost when saw the Colonel running on her own, towards one of the other breaches. Bannon then turned to her Sergeant and pointed towards the Colonel. "Sergeant Powell, we're going to go in with the Colonel."
Powell nodded in agreement. He turned to face the rest of the platoon. "Alright you apes, you heard the Lieutenant, double time it!"
The remaining twenty-one men and women of 2nd platoon altered the direction of their charge and aimed themselves at the same gap as Colonel Lewis was headed towards. Colonel Lewis reached the hole in the wall and placed her back to the wall while she reloaded her P-90. Moments later, Lt Bannon and her troops pulled up next to the Colonel in a cloud of dust.
Lt Bannon grinned madly as she gave the Colonel a sharp salute. "Need some more guns, ma'am?"
Lewis smiled as she returned the salute. "Always, Lieutenant, always."
Bannon looked at one of her men and pointed at the hole in the wall. "Jenkins, satchel charge. Clear the room." She turned to her Sergeant. "1st and 2nd squads go in before the dust settles."
The Sergeant simply yanked the bolt on his P-90 as a response as he and the rest of the troops moved into position. Corporal Jenkins slid past the Colonel to stand next to the hole in the wall and with little fanfare, pulled the trigger cord on the satchel explosive pack and threw it into the hole. He quickly moved out of the way as he mentally counted down the time. Three. Two. One.
The explosion rocked the wall the soldiers were leaning against and threw debris out of the hole for quite a distance. As ordered, the dust hadn't a chance to settle before 1st and 2nd Platoons were charging in through the hole, weapons scanning in all directions for surviving Jaffa. Colonel Lewis was right in there behind 2nd Platoon, Lt Bannon beside her. Lewis scanned the dust filled room. Scorched containers and barrels indicated that this was a storage room.
The Colonel activated her radio. "All units, check in."
"Dagger-Six, all clear."
"Knife-Six, all clear."
"Switchblade-Six, all clear."
"Sword-Six, all clear."
"Cutlass-Six, all clear."
"Ivanhoe-Six-zzzzz-we are taking fire-zzzzzzzzzz-need backup."
Colonel Lewis turned to Lt Bannon, who was listening in on the exchange. Bannon frowned. "Sword unit is closest." She suggested.
Lewis nodded and activated her mike. "Sword-Six, this
is Gamma-Six-Actual. Move out and reinforce Ivanhoe. Break. Everyone else, fan
out and clear out this compound. Remember, we want any and all Goa'uld alive for
Intel, if possible, but don't risk yourselves to do it. Gamma-Six-Actual
* * * * * * * * * * * * *
Eight Jaffa were stood between the doorway and the three Goa'uld who were trying to communicate with Apophis. The corridors outside the door were filled with dead Jaffa and several Goa'uld who were unlucky enough to get caught in the crossfire.
The lead Goa'uld was frantically working the control pad, placed before a floating, bronze communication sphere about two feet wide.
28,000 light years away, Apophis stood before a similar comm-sphere in his throne room. The image that appeared before him was unstable but allowed him to make out his lead scientist at the Naquada refining research facility. "Te'kun! What is happening, Te'kun?"
The image wavered slightly before Te'kun responded. "Lord Apophis, the Tau'ri are attacking us!"
Apophis' face clouded. The damn Tau'ri! "Fight back! Crush them!"
The image clouded in static and then reformed. "My Lord, they are here in great numbers! We have lost every...."
Apophis could see in the image, the door behind the three scientists, explode outwards. He watched as the pestilent Tau'ri soldiers swarmed into the room, guns blazing. He watched as Te'kun and his associates fell, killed from a fusillade of bullets. The channel stayed opened and he continued to watch as the dust settled and the voices of the Tau'ri soldiers became louder. He saw two of the Tau'ri appear in the foreground, point towards the image and then beckon to someone off-screen. The soldiers stepped back as a familiar face stepped into view.
"O'Neill!" Apophis roared.
"Hey old buddy!" O'Neill cheerfully replied. "We're having a little party down here with all you buddies, why don't you come and join us? I'm afraid you friends are just all pooped out. They can't seem to take it like you can."
Apophis' face turned red with anger. "I will make you suffer the agonies of a thousand worlds for what you have done today! You insolent slave!"
O'Neill's face became a picture of innocence. "Who, me?"
The signal went dead and Apophis swung his fist in anger,
smashing an ornament off a nearby pedestal.
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Smoke was still billowing into the sky, obscuring the now setting sun, on P5X-219. The mine area and compound were now quiet. Craters and dead Jaffa littered both landscapes, testaments to the intent of the SGC. Apophis was sure to get the message.
After the Jaffa had been wiped out, the Goa'uld captured and the combat areas secured; an entire company of engineers, technicians and scientist swept through the compound like locusts. Uprooting and removing any thing that remotely had value, as well as quite a lot of equipment with no value at all. Within eight hours, everything had been picked clean. They also retrieved their dead as well, for burial back on Earth.
The Jaffa, they left for the scavengers.
The Stargate was active and the remaining -Alpha troops were filtering through the event horizon, back to Spearhead. Colonel O'Neill was stood by the DHD with Colonel Lewis and Colonel Clarke. Clarke was briefing them both on the evacuation of the slaves.
"We set up a camp just outside the perimeter of Spearhead and Doctor Jackson and Major Frasier, along with a large contingent of med- and psych- docs are there now helping those folks out. We hope to figure out where they all come from and start moving them out by the end of the week."
O'Neill nodded. "And the captured Goa'uld?"
Lewis answered that. "Of the five we sent back to the SGC, two died of their wounds. The snakes were unable to keep them alive long enough to heal them. Of the two, one of the snakes actually survived and tried to grab a new host....", she raised her hands in a calming gesture when their faces turned to horror. "...we got it contained. Hammond and the Joint Chiefs are thinking about giving the symbiote to the Tok'ra."
Clarke raised an eyebrow. "Why?"
"Because an exposed snake poses little risk to a bunch of people that already have their own snakes." O'Neill replied. "Can't imagine how they might be able to get information from an un-joined snake but then, the Tok'ra aren't exactly forthcoming about their methods. I'll lay odds they have a way."
"But will we they pass on that information?"
O'Neill shrugged. "Given past history, probably not. But that don't matter much because we still got three live hosts."
Lewis nodded her agreement. "That's right. They're being shipped to a secure facility at Area 51 as soon as the security arrangements have been made. Major Carter has finished a preliminary analysis of the contents found in the facility. It seems they were doing Naquada research, especially into mining and weapons-grade refining techniques. She thinks we may be able to duplicate the process or at the very least, improve our own methods considerably."
The conversation stopped as Lt Bannon stepped up next to Colonel Lewis and saluted. The young female looked tired but jubilant. Her face still bore grime from the smoke and her left upper arm bore a bandage where she had been clipped by a staff blast. "Ma'am, all troopers accounted for. We're all that's left on this side of the 'Gate."
Colonel Lewis turned to O'Neill. "Shall we move out, gentlemen?"
O'Neill inclined his head and gestured for her to go first. "By all means. I think we've done enough here."
They all walked up the steps toward and event horizon and Lt Bannon, walking next to Colonel Lewis, stepped through. Clarke paused at the top, causing O'Neill to turn.
"Something wrong, Paul?", he asked.
Clarke shook his head as he watched the setting sun and the pillars of smoke. "Just wondering how this is going to play out. We did some damage here today and I don't think Apophis is going to lie down for it."
O'Neill shrugged. "What can he do? Earth's protected by the Asgard and Spearhead can't be approached by space even if he did know the location, which by the way, he doesn't. So there's not a lot he can do."
"So why do I feel we just stirred up a hornet's nest?"
O'Neill snorted. "I believe that was pretty much the whole point of the exercise." He swung an arm round the other man's shoulders and guided him towards the 'Gate. "C'mon, I got a few ideas I want to work on for our next attack. Our mobility in this fight wasn't all that great and we could use something like the.....
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The two Assault teams, SG-Alpha and -Gamma, were assembled in the main yard of the Spearhead compound. In front of the Command Centre, a large stand had been erected and decorated with American flags, the SGC flag and the unit flags of Alpha and Gamma. On the stand sat Lieutenant General Hammond, alongside General Stuart, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and the rest of the JCS. At the podium stood the President who was just winding up his speech after decorating several soldiers for the efforts on P5X-219.
"...you have all performed magnificently and I have no doubt, no doubt at all that, thanks to men and women like yourselves, the human race will not just endure in the face of the Goa'uld threat, we will thrive!"
He turned to Hammond. "General Hammond, if you please?" He indicated for the General to come stand beside him. "Not many people in our military know of the SGC and it's exploits. Major General Hammond was appointed the charge of the Stargate project as final task before retirement, a task that primarily involved the dismantlement of the Stargate project. After the intervention of the Goa'uld, Major General Hammond, through his Herculean efforts, has taken this small, forgotten project and turned it into something that has changed the course of human history."
An aide appeared from the side and handed the President a small box. "It is with great pleasure that I hereby promote you to Lieutenant General, with all the privileges and responsibilities commensurate with that rank."
He opened the box and removed two silver stars. He attached one to each shoulder board, making three stars on each board. He finished quickly and shook Hammond's hand while smiling at his slightly shocked expression. "Congratulations, Lieutenant General Hammond."
The entire assembly broke into applause. Loud, though the applause was, the President was sure that the four members of SG-1, Colonel O'Neill in particular, were clapping the loudest. After several minutes, he gestured for quiet.
"Ladies and gentlemen. Here at Spearhead, you have yourselves a small community, a family even. You fight in battles and it's a sad thing but you have, and will continue to lose people. You are in a war and such things are inevitable. New recruits will not only be coming in from branches of the United States Armed Forces but also, I am pleased to announce, the armed forces of Great Britain. Our British cousins have known about the Stargate for sometime and are more than willing to make a commitment in terms of troops and support forces. As we speak, elements of the SAS, SBS and Royal Marines are being profiled for inclusion into your community. Which brings me to my final point. All communities need a leader. One such man has been with the project since the beginning, the first man through the Stargate and the last one to come back. A man who has on more than one occasion, bent the rules to lost comrades home."
By this point, there was little doubt as to whom the President was referring to but Daniel leaned in close to O'Neill and said, "Do you know who he's talking about, Jack?"
O'Neill simply shook his head slightly and mentally calculated the chances of making a run for the 'Gate before the sandbag dropped.
The President had been scanning the crowd as he talked but now he focussed right in on Jack. "Colonel O'Neill, would you please join me?"
Jack began muttering under his breath while plastering a small grin on his face. "Aww crap..."
As O'Neill stepped up next to the President, the aide returned with another box, which he handed to the President. "Colonel O'Neill, General Hammond, the Joint Chiefs and I are agreed on this matter. You are the only man fit to lead the people here at Spearhead and so it is with great pleasure that I hereby promote you to Brigadier General, with all the privileges and responsibilities commensurate with that rank." He removed the O'Neill's silver eagles insignia and replaced them with single stars and then shook his hand. "Congratulations, General O'Neill."
With that everyone broke ranks and applauded and cheered
so loud you swore you could hear it from orbit.
* * * * * * * * * * *
Onboard his Mothership, Apophis looked grimly satisfied. Jaffa stood either side of him and his First Prime stood opposite him. In between them all lay a charred figure. It was a captured Tok'ra spy who had just been tortured to death. He had given up few secrets but what he had provided was enough to satisfy Apophis.
"So, the Tau'ri think this 'Spearhead' facility allows them to attack me with impunity, do they?"
The First Prime took a step forward. "My Lord, we shall begin operations to locate Spearhead immediately."
Apophis nodded. "Yes, do so. This place does not come
under the Asgard's protection so when you find it....destroy them."
Continues in Spearhead: Falling Back........coming soon.
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