SLIP, SLIDING AWAY

A Sliders/Stargate: SG-1 Crossover Tale

By Robert Perkins

CHAPTER ONE

STARGATE COMMAND, JULY 17, 1998, 0900 HOURS

Colonel Jack O'Neill stood in the Gateroom of Stargate Command, along with the rest of his exploration team, SG-1...Dr. Daniel Jackson, Captain Samantha Carter, and the Jaffa Teal'c, former First Prime of the Goa'uld System Lord, Apophis…as they waited for General George Hammond to order the Stargate opened. O'Neill, a tall, middle-aged man with graying brown hair and deep brown eyes, clutched his Heckler and Koch MP5A3 submachine gun close to his body. Their destination, this time, was Planet P7J-989. He had no idea what they'd find there. But then, he thought to himself wryly, that's the adventure.

Of course, General Hammond had sent a Mobile Analytic Laboratory Probe, or, as it was usually known, a "MALP,"[1] through the gate previously, which had verified that there was nothing obviously dangerous that would kill them as soon as they stepped through the gate. But he knew, from hard experience, that the MALP told them next to nothing about what they would actually find once they got there. For all he knew, the whole planet could be crawling with "Snakes"…the derogatory term by which he referred to the Goa'uld, a race of parasitic beings who controlled a vast interstellar empire which spanned most of the Milky Way Galaxy and were deadly enemies of the humans of Earth, whom the Goa'uld called the Tau'ri.

O'Neill, a tough-as-nails military man with an engaging, self-effacing sense of humor that endeared him to those who worked with him, knew that, like as not, the planet was occupied by one or another of the Goa'uld system lords. O'Neill found the idea of finding himself on another planet full of the "Snakes" and their Jaffa warrior slaves about as exciting as finding a large boil on his nether regions. But the exploration of other planets was his job, and he did it because he was absolutely convinced that it was vital to the security of Earth. Besides, he thought to himself, maybe we'll find a cool raygun this time. Then his mood brightened a bit, and he smiled slightly in a Mona-Lisaesque way. If we do, we'll have a big party, he mused. Maybe there'll be cake!

As O'Neill fantasized about rayguns and cake, Dr. Daniel Jackson was having very different thoughts. Jackson, a bit shorter than O'Neill, had light blue eyes and sported an unruly shock of longish brown hair, making him look like something of a hippie. He was a former archaeologist, and he approached visits to other worlds with a sense of almost childlike wonder and the inquisitiveness of a scientist. Rather than dwelling on the threats they might face once there, his mind was focused on the mysteries they were about to unveil.

In that, he had much in common with Captain Carter, who, though a soldier like O'Neill (or rather Airman…they were both members of the United States Air Force prior to joining Stargate Command), was also possessed of a brilliant scientific mind. Carter, a pretty young woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, glanced over at Colonel O'Neill. She was gradually developing an attraction for Colonel O'Neill which she was not sure he shared. And even if he did, both of them knew nothing could ever come of that, at least while both of them were still in the Air Force. She deeply respected O'Neill for his bravery and leadership abilities, and the last thing she wanted to do was to let personal romantic feelings get in the way of their professional relationship. But still, she couldn't help but steal a glance, now and then, and wonder if he felt the same way about her.

Meanwhile, the stolid Jaffa named Teal'c was first and foremost a soldier. He had served as First Prime of Apophis, leading the forces of that System Lord to many victories over his foes. Now, he fought for a different cause…freedom for his people from Goa'uld slavery. To achieve that goal, he had abandoned his oath to Apophis and joined with the Tau'ri, a transgression that had led to his being branded a Shol'va…a traitor and a heretic…by most of his own people. He considered O'Neill a true and loyal friend, and a leader for whom he would gladly give his life. To him, these missions held out the hope of finding the ultimate weapon which would allow him to defeat the Goa'uld and free his people, and he focused all his attention on the presently upcoming mission. In that, he and Colonel O'Neill were of like mind.

As the four members of SG-1 waited, lost in their own reveries, they heard Sergeant Harriman, the technician who operated the computers which activated the Stargate, begin the countdown. The giant wheel of the Stargate began to spin as the gate symbols were entered into the dialing program. Then, as the last symbol was entered, the gate suddenly stopped spinning and emitted a shower of sparks which sent everyone in the Gateroom scurrying for cover. And then, it happened.

A large blue, swirling vortex, whose appearance was reminiscent of the appearance of the wormhole which a Stargate produced…when seen from the inside…suddenly opened, not within the circle of the Stargate, but in mid-air, about ten feet above and as many forward of the gate. To the amazement of Colonel O'Neill, the other members of SG-1, and everyone else in the Gateroom or the Operations Room behind it, four people suddenly dropped out of the mouth of this vortex and fell, abruptly and obviously painfully, onto the floor of the Gateroom. The four intruders landed in a pile on the floor, cursing and complaining about the severity of the landing.

"Man, can't you do something about that? I feel like I just did a swan dive into an empty pool," one of them, a middle-aged black man dressed in a tan leisure suit which had obviously seen better days, groused as he sat up, rubbing a goose egg on the back of his head.

"Sorry," said a tall, thin but strongly built young man, obviously in his early twenties, with a mane of wavy brown hair and green eyes.

"Get off me, Arturo!," wailed an attractive young woman with red hair and green eyes who'd had the unfortunate luck to end up at the bottom of the heap. "Your ass is in my face!"

"I'm sorry, my dear. Please forgive me," said the one evidently called Arturo, a portly middle-aged man dressed in a brown sport jacket and trousers, with curly brown hair, brown eyes, and whose face was framed by an equally curly beard and a mustache. He quickly rolled to one side, allowing the woman to sit up as well.

General Hammond, a short, stocky, balding man with intense blue eyes, immediately sprang into action. "Seal the Gateroom!," he commanded. Sergeant Harriman immediately obeyed. The hard, metallic clank of the locks as the Gateroom doors were sealed reverberated through the room. Colonel O'Neill and the members of SG-1, meanwhile, quickly recovered from the shock of the sudden entry of these uninvited guests. Within seconds, the four new arrivals found themselves staring into the barrels of several deadly-looking automatic weapons.

"Whoa!," the young man said upon being confronted with this sight. He held up his hands, palm outward. "We're unarmed," he protested. He slowly stood up and backed away a step from the threatening weapons.

"Who are you?," General Hammond's voice thundered through the speaker system. "What are you doing here?"

"My name is Quinn Mallory," the young man said. Pointing to the others, one by one, he said "These are my traveling companions, Professor Maximilian Arturo, Rembrandt Brown, and Wade Welles." He looked around in wonder. "And to be honest, we don't know where we are, so I can't say what we're doing here."

The other intruders slowly stood up, and took their places next to the one called Mallory. Colonel O'Neill stepped forward and patted them down for weapons. Finding an odd-looking device which resembled a television remote control in the pocket of Quinn Mallory's jeans, he held it up. Seeing the blinking numbers of what was obviously a timer, his face got hard.

"What's this, a bomb?," he growled.

Mallory shrugged and smiled sheepishly. "No, it's not a bomb, but as for what it is, well, that's a long story," he said.

"Well," O'Neill said, "You'll have plenty of time to tell it." He handed the device to Captain Carter, who began to examine it with interest. Then he looked up at Hammond, who stood in the window of the Operations Room, peering at the new arrivals.

"They're clean, Sir, except for that…thing-a-ma-bob thingy," O'Neill said. He looked at Carter. "You have any idea what it is?" Carter shook her head.

"No, Sir," she said.

Hammond picked up a phone. "Dr. Fraser," he said, "Come to the Gateroom immediately. Bring a Decon Team with you."

Looking down at the intruders, Hammond said, "We're going to have you decontaminated, just in case you brought in any unwanted microbes from wherever you came from, and then we're going to have Dr. Fraser check you out as well. And then, I want some better answers than the ones you just gave us, Mr. Mallory. Do I make myself clear?"

Colonel O'Neill leaned forward in a conspiratorial manner. "I'd do as he says," he said to Quinn in a low voice. "General Hammond has a bad temper."

Quinn quickly nodded. "Yes, Sir. Clear as crystal." The other intruders nodded in agreement.

"Good," Hammond said. He turned and walked away from the window.

"What have we gotten ourselves into now?," Wade Welles whispered to Quinn, tugging on his sleeve.

"I don't know," Quinn said helplessly.

"Evidently," Arturo said, overhearing them and looking around him, "we've inadvertently intruded into a highly sensitive military installation of some kind."

"No shit, Sherlock," Rembrandt said, looking pointedly at the automatic weapons still pointedly aimed at them. "What was your first clue?"

"Well, wherever we are, we're in big trouble," Quinn said.

"No shit, Sherlock," Rembrandt said, shaking his head. "No shit."

[1] A MALP, for those not familiar with Stargate SG-1, is a small mobile platform mounting sensors and cameras which tested the conditions and verified there were no hostile aliens in the vicinity of the stargate on whatever planet the team was about to visit.