Title: Destiny Anew
Author: Wicked Raygun
Summary: The crew of the Destiny have returned home, and moved on, their mission incomplete. But not all of them can leave it alone. Four of them come together to form a new team of explorers at the SGC, and reclaim their destinies.
Disclaimer: Whoever owns the rights to SG1, SGA and SGU, it sure isn't me. And I can pretty much guarantee you that this story will in no way make me money.
Spoilers: Up to the SGU Season 2 episode "Twin Destinies". Only in this universe, there was no Solar Flare and the crew made it home safely. No Rush 2.0 either.
I'll try to remain as faithful to canon for SG1, SGA and SGU as I possibly can. But since I haven't seen every single episode, and I'm not obsessive-compulsive, I might get some things wrong. Feel free to point them out. I'm a big boy. I can take it.
Distribution: Ask and you shall receive. Just email me and I'll get back to you quickly using new-fangled technology. See, I get email on my phone now. Surely jet packs and flying cars are just around the corner.
Chapter 1 – All Politics Are Local
Captain Vanessa James stared out into space from inside of the George Hammond. She was on the wrong side of the ship to see Earth, so instead all she saw was the cold, black, vastness of space. It was a sight that always humbled her.
James wished the ship was still in FTL. At least that way she could look at the beautiful colored lights cascading around the ship in their wondrous chaotic dance. It was one of her favorite pastimes when she was off-duty. It wasn't quite the same, of course, but it reminded her about being aboard the Destiny. And it often made her feel wistful.
Not to say that her days aboard the Ancient ship were stress free or whimsical. No, being aboard the Destiny had been hands-down the hardest thing she had ever done. Period. But there had been a camaraderie aboard that ship that she hadn't felt before or since. The Crew of the Destiny had been more than colleagues, or even friends. They were family. And James missed that.
It had been nearly three years since Eli perfected dialing home from within a star. Although, "perfected" might have been too strong a word. In the end, Rush had to stay onboard the Destiny to keep it from exploding. As far as James knew, Eli barely tolerated Rush at the best of times, but he still took his death hard, blaming himself.
But regardless of all that, they made it home. And initially they had all tried to keep in touch, but it was all but impossible. There were just too many of them, leading too many different lives and it wasn't as if they could open up a Facebook group. The military would have their hides, to say nothing of the NID.
In fact, the last time they had all been together was three months after they had returned for the screening of Eli's documentary. She couldn't remember laughing so much, or crying harder than she did that night. For all the grief they had given Eli about his obsession about documenting every single moment of their lives, it had been genuinely touching to see it on screen. It was a real shame that the public wouldn't see it for another fifty years or so, if at all.
Hell, it even made her miss Rush. Well, sort of, kinda – almost miss him, anyway. The guy had willingly stayed on the ship to give them a few more minutes, sacrificing himself in the process. So there was that. Of course, she still wasn't sure it really outweighed all the shifty underhanded things he had done on the ship – made it hard to remember the guy fondly.
James took a moment to rub her right arm, her fingers going over the area where her tattoo was.
On the night of the screening, it had been revealed that Eli's infamous red t-shirt had been donated to the SGC's Preservation Society. A group dedicated to chronicling the classified exploits of the SGC. Apparently, Greer had heard about this before anyone else and managed a little surprise for the Destiny's famed "Math Boy."
One of the airmen on the base was also a licensed tattoo artist, so in a flurry of movement they forced a laughing Eli to a chair so they could permanently mark the words on his skin. He had agreed, but only on the condition that they change the phrase to something a bit more fitting. Three little words:
WE ARE HOME.
After Eli had showed off his bruised, bleeding and blistered flesh, many of the crew of the Destiny followed suit and got the same words tattooed as well. James had been one of the many that night who had indulged. It was, to this day, the only tattoo she ever got, and as far as she was concerned, the only one she would ever get.
"Captain James, please report to the bridge. Captain James, please report to the bridge," a dull voice over the Hammond's ship-wide PA said.
James frowned. Technically, she was supposed to be off duty for another 2 hours. She double-timed it to the bridge. As far as she knew there were no emergencies on the horizon, but it was best not to keep the General waiting, especially since she was kind of in hot water at the moment.
During a skirmish with Lucian Alliance forces, they managed to take over a Ha'Tek ship. It had been a laughably easy victory. So easy, in fact, that they should have suspected something was amiss from the very beginning. But they didn't, and of course it ended up being a trap. Someone had stayed on board and managed to activate a stolen naquadah-enhanced warhead.
The explosion wouldn't affect the Hammond since it was safely in space, but the residents of the planet however were doomed. Yes, many of them had at least supported the Lucian Alliance, if not actively helped them. But in her book, they were still civilians. She ordered her squad back to the Hammond, while she pleaded with the General to give her one chance to move the bomb away from the planet.
She got it.
She piloted the ship to a minimum safe distance and was just barely able to board a Death Glider in time to escape the explosion. The Glider took a lot of damage though, and frankly so did she. Fractured ribs were not a pleasant experience. Frankly, since it had been a minor miracle that she survived at all, that her injuries had been so relatively minor was another blessing.
On any other day, the crew would have bought her drinks and toasted her name, but it just so happened that there was an IOA liaison on board the ship at the time. And he had been very vocal about abandoning the planet that had been full of "hostiles". That put both her and the General in the hotspot. And as a concession, James had been temporarily grounded. She was confined to the ship for at least another couple of weeks, while the IOA reviewed her performance and assessed her loyalties.
And that was the part that really got under her skin, that the IOA would even hint that she might be disloyal to the SGC.
James walked onto the bridge and saluted her commanding officer, General Samantha Carter.
"At ease, Captain," she told her gently. "We just got official word from the IOA about your status aboard my ship."
James frowned. "How bad is it, General?"
"A bit of a mixed bag. Come on and step into my office first. I got a little surprise for you."
They walked the short journey to Carter's office, which was connected to the bridge. When the door opened, James noticed a woman in a business suit, facing away from them. Once the door closed behind them, the woman turned around and smiled at her.
"Camille?" James asked, dumbfounded.
"Vanessa, hello." She gave James a brief hug. "It's good to see you."
Camille Wray had been a rising star in the IOA before she ended up aboard the Destiny. James and she had had their differences on the ship, especially, in light of the attempted coup by the civilians. But, unlike Rush, Camille had eventually showed that she genuinely cared about the Crew, and had made it a priority to keep them sane. There were things that James had confessed to Camille, that no one else knew.
"It's good to see you, too, Camille. I take it you're my executioner today?" she asked wryly.
"Not exactly. I'm afraid that I'm also one of the condemned," she said with an air of amusement.
James frowned. "I don't understand."
"Well, I've been keeping tabs on all the Destiny Crew since we got back – helping them out, here and there – so when I heard about the brouhaha about you and General Carter, I got involved. And, well, some people at the IOA who aren't thrilled with me noticed and kicked up a storm.
"Long story short," Camille continued, "officially speaking, you followed the orders of your Commanding Officer and did nothing wrong."
"I'm sensing a 'but' coming."
Camille smiled wanly. "But General Carter is supposed to know better. And it's believed that perhaps she no longer can be trusted on the front lines with our war against the Lucian Alliance. This whole thing was never about you, Vanessa. It was a political strike on General Carter."
"Oh, God, General," she said, looking worriedly toward her CO.
"Relax," Carter told her. "It's actually not so bad. I'm just losing the Hammond."
"What? They can't do that! Camille, there's got to be something you can do!"
"I did do something," she said to her calmly. "And so did General O'Neil, and the DOD, and the Chief of Staff. A lot of favors were called in, believe me."
"So you're not losing the Hammond?" she asked Carter.
"No, that's still happening. But due to some political maneuvering, I get to handpick my successor. Don't worry, the ship will be in good hands."
"But what about you, General?"
She smiled. "I'm going to take over at the SGC in Cheyenne Mountain, which will be weird. But at least I know I'll never be bored."
James smiled, feeling relieved. "Man, that must've pissed off a lot of people – uh, General," she said, amending her too casual statement.
Carter stopped smiling. "It did actually. And I'm afraid you got caught up in the crossfire."
"But I thought I was okay?"
"Officially," Camille clarified.
"They were going to railroad you out of the Stargate Program, and put you out to pasture, if they could, by giving you one crappy assignment after another."
"But that's not going to happen," Carter said, calmly before James could lose it. "I couldn't keep you on this ship, but as the new head of Cheyenne Mountain, I can keep you in the program. I want you to lead a new SG team. I'll even let you handpick your team."
James was flabbergasted. "Me?"
She had always wanted to lead her own SG team, to go out and be an explorer, and here was one of the original members of the legendary SG1 herself telling her she could handpick a team and lead them. But then she frowned.
"Uh, General, I'm flattered, really. But Captains don't lead SG teams."
Carter waved her hand dismissively and grinned like a Cheshire cat as she stood up and headed toward her door. "It's funny you should mention that, Captain. To paraphrase an old friend of mine, being the boss has its privileges. One of them being that occasionally, I can do cool stuff like this—"
Carter opened her office door and stepped out. As she did a voice boomed, "General on Deck!" And then there was a scuffle as everyone on the bridge stood at attention. Someone handed Carter an official looking envelope, and she made her way to the front of the bridge.
"Captain James, Vanessa! Report!" Carter said in her clipped command tone.
James stiffened and immediately moved to stand in front of her CO.
"Captain James, for excellence in conduct, performance and heroism above and beyond the call of duty, and in accordance of the Rules and Regulations of the United States Marine Corps, and Stargate Command, I hereby promote you to the rank of Major."
The next few moments passed by for James in a blur as Carter stripped her old rank from her uniform, and applied her new one. When that was done with, the entire crew on the bridge started clapping.
And she couldn't stop smiling.
Camille Wray turned around. Once James had been promoted, and General Carter announced her own reassignment back to Colorado, she thought it best if she quietly slipped out.
"Major James," she said back with a smile. "How can I help you?"
"I just spoke to the General. She told me what you gave up? I can't believe the IOA is firing you."
"They're not. Technically, I'm merely resigning."
"It's not fair."
Camille shrugged. "It's politics. Fair had nothing to do with it. Someone had to get caught holding the bag. That's just how these things work. I've stuck my neck out for the Destiny Crew too many times since we got back, and some people in the IOA think that shows a lack of commitment."
"What you mean is, someone who didn't like you used this opportunity to get you drummed out?"
Camille grinned at her. "It amounts to the same thing."
"Why did you come here anyway?"
"I wanted to see you, make sure I made the right decision to back you up. And, well, get one last shot at seeing Earth from space. I always liked the view."
"And did you? Do the right thing?"
"Yes. You risked your life to help people despite the fact some of them could be enemies. That kind of bravery shouldn't be curtailed. The SGC needs more people like you, Major. Besides, I'm pretty sure you saved my life more than once on that old ship. And it feels good to return the favor."
James smiled. "What are you going to do, now?"
"Join the civilian sector, and make a lot more money doing, well, pretty much whatever the hell I want. I'm ridiculously over-qualified, you know," Camille answered with a shrug.
James looked thoughtful for a moment and then asked her, "What's your take on the current war with the Lucian Alliance?"
Camille gave her an odd look. "That's coming a little out of left field, don't you think?"
"Just humor me."
Camille shrugged. "I think we're going about it the wrong way. We need more diplomacy. We're losing a lot of allies by only focusing on the ones that are potential trading partners, allowing the Lucians to swoop in and make their pitch. The less developed worlds are supporting the Lucians in droves, in part, because we're leaving them hanging out to dry. Oh, sure, we protect them from potential attacks by patrolling their systems, but that's part of the problem as well.
"The Lucians are painting us as an occupying force hell bent on an intergalactic empire like the old System Lords," Camille continued. "We need to win the hearts and minds, and we can't do that the way we used to. We no longer have a common enemy to unite us. We need open trade policies, and strong economic incentives, at the very least, to make these planets think twice about joining up with the Lucians."
James smirked as she spoke behind her. "Did you get that, General?"
General Carter appeared from behind a pillar, a thoughtful look on her face. "I did indeed, Major."
"I'm telling you, General, my team needs a diplomat more than we need an archeologist, especially, if I'm going to be doing the bulk of the First Contacts. Besides she reads ancient, knows like seven languages and she even has a minor in anthropology."
Carter looked at Camille oddly. "You have a minor in anthropology?"
"I was trying to date this TA in the anthropology department," she answered stiltedly. "Uh, what's going on here?"
Carter looked over to James. "It's your call. But I'll back your play."
"Camille Wray, how would you like to join my team?"
End of Chapter 1
Author's Notes: My first attempt at a story in the Stargate Fandom. I'm writing this mostly because I really am kind of bummed that SGU isn't going to continue. I was really digging the family vibe of the show. I have no idea how long I'll write this for. But it puts a smile on my face to write about these characters, so for a little while at least.
Oh, I'm going to need a number for Major James new team. I'm not giving her SG1, because I've decided that the SGC will retire team numbers the way sports teams do. So that also means I can't use any other number associated with an important team from the series. As a matter of fact, if someone could give me an idea as to how many SG Teams the SGC employs at any one time, I'd be grateful.
So, come on, people and join in my Stargate Bingo Contest. Daddy needs a number!