Disclaimer: The characters of Stargate belong to MGM. The universe of Doctor Who belongs to BBC.
SG1/DW: A young archaeologist is caught inside a restricted area within Cheyenne Mountains. He makes a stunning claim of a secret chamber containing the power and knowledge of the Ancient One, road builder and healer.
The Saint Physician
Miniseries: Part I
The morning began as all mornings before that did, with a cup of steaming coffee placed on his desk by the untiring Master Sergeant Walter Harriman, alongside the folders containing the day's agenda.
General Hank Landry picked up the cup and sipped from the coffee. He put the cup back on the desk and opened the first folder. It contained the medical issues for the past week regarding all personnel on the base. The second folder pertained to the mission briefings for the day, which were…oh dear…only six.
General Landry sighed deeply putting the folders aside. He looked around his office and sighed again. The view was just the same as the first day he got here. The desk of dark wood placed perpendicularly from the corridor door and opposite the window overlooking the briefing room. The briefing room door always left slightly ajar while the corridor door stood open at all times.
The national and Air Force flag were huddled up in the left corner next to the cabinet with all the medal ceremony pictures and other recognitions. The two chairs left before the desk for sit-ins and private talks, and other things.
General Landry clearly remembered that sunny day when General Jack O'Neill came to his home and told him of the best kept secret on the planet – the Stargate Program. That day he thought O'Neill was making the greatest joke of cosmic proportions. O'Neill was known for his uncharacteristic humor. But the general was uncharacteristically honest too.
And so he took the job – Commander of the Stargate Facility located deep inside the belly of the Cheyenne Mountains complex in Colorado, and ever since then he discovered new world, a world of wonder and danger. These two seemed to really go hand by hand – wonder and danger.
Every day, teams of four ventured through a metallic shaped ring made of two concentric circles inscribed with alien symbols, surrounding a gleaming iris of overlapping steel plates that completely covered the center, which transports them to other planets light years away from Earth to look for wonders and danger.
Exploring – this is the tag line with the implied meaning of acquiring new technologies and knowledge to enrich the human race. Of course for the military that meant new weapons, defenses and other uses. For the civilians, at least that part of the oversight agency, it meant making friends and discovering our roots, and the meaning of life and stuff. Every day was a new adventure, a new experience.
The times of war had come and gone, well mostly. The only war left was with a group of mercenaries known as the Lucian Alliance. They wanted to get their hands on what little was left anyway of the Ancients' technological toys. The Ancients and as Dr. Daniel Jackson, member of SG1, had explained were in the elder days the gate builders, the teachers of roads and the most advanced race to ever inhabit the Milky Way and the Pegasus galaxy.
General Landry put his memories and thoughts aside. It was time he brought his focus back to work and today's folders. The third folder contained breaches. It happened from time to time to have some lost soul trying to get inside the mountain. The mountain was home to North American Aerospace Defense Command. As it was the command centre, NORAD, was a popular destination for visitors though they only get to see the Visitors Centre. And every time one would stick a hand asking: 'When would we get to see the inside and everything?' As if they ever would, General Landry thought amused. But it also happened to have one or two enthusiasts trying the patience of NORAD's defences.
The Mountain had been hollowed out since 1961 as the very biggest and best bomb shelter ever. It was fully operational in 1966 and all through the Cold War; Cheyenne Mountain had focused intently on the possibility of thermonuclear bombs being send from somewhere in the Communist bloc. As the skies grew more and more crowded with satellites, they had to keep an eye on those too, tracking the enemy's spy eyes and expecting death to come from space. After the Cold War was 'declared' officially over and the Berlin wall fell other countries were given the opportunity to develop nuclear weapons so they had to keep an eye on them too.
Of course, one of the side benefits of having a special relationship with Canada was that the northern country was as deeply involved in NORAD as was the US itself. Command rotated between the two. This year was US's turn.
The main focus of NORAD, always, was on the threat from other countries. It was the responsibility of their highly trained personnel to coordinate the response to any threat to North America whether coming from outside the atmosphere or inside it. It didn't matter whether they believed in China being a nuclear threat or in little green men from Mars, their job was to respond and wipe them out of North America's skies. Army, Navy, and Air Force Command all had a role here. But none of it was Hank Landry's concern.
He was not accountable to the U.S. Air Force Space Command, or the U.S. Space Command, or NORAD. His name did not appear anywhere on their Table of Organization, and he was not in their chain of command. No, General Landry and his personnel had their offices even deeper in the hollowed mountain that any of them. They weren't concerned with thermonuclear threats or the satellites in near space.
Hank Landry commanded the Stargate Command Complex, and his concerns were literally light years away from NORAD's and those of NORAD's commanding generals, yes, light-years away and beyond, and far more immediate. They'd be annoyed if they knew that the alien threat was not coming from space but from the deepest guts of the Cheyenne Mountain, twenty seven stores beneath their feet. No one outside his command knew other than the special department in the Pentagon, the Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the President, the Joint Chief of Staff and the Oversight Agency, or simply the I.O.A.
And of course it was so for a long time. But the IOA expanded the SGC area and created Home World Command. Many countries came onboard in a joint effort to repulse Earth's enemies.
General Landry sighed rather loudly and focused on the files inside the third folder. There were standard breaches. He sipped from his coffee and then just as he was putting the cup back to its place on the desk there was a gentle knock on the corridor door. He turned around.
It was General O'Neill. The man seemed to be filled with unending energy. Sometimes General Landry envied him.
"Jack!" – General Landry greeted standing up to shake his hand.
"Hank!" – O'Neill replied shaking his hand.
"What brings you here?"
"Can't an old friend just pass by and say hello?" – O'Neill responded, his eyes scanning everything with seemingly innocent look.
"Of course," – Landry smiled. "But I doubt it. You could easily come to visit at the cabin but you are in my office. So spill?"
"Ah, you are reading it." – O'Neill exclaimed and pulled the breaches folder and the files in it. He reached the last page and handed it to Landry.
"What?" – Landry asked but focused on the file. His eyebrows flew high up and he looked at O'Neill. "Is that serious?"
"Well, I'm here to find out."
Landry continued to read the file. "When did this happen?"
"Apparently, yesterday, while everyone was at home watching the Ball Games." – O'Neill replied emphasizing on Ball Games and Landry noticed his eyes lit up with enthusiasm. O'Neill was a hardcore fan.
"Who will conduct the questioning?"
"I thought it best we handle it." – O'Neill said. "I was thinking of Daniel. He is the resident geek on the matter at hand."
"Well, SG1 is on a mission." – Landry informed and continued reading the last paragraph of the file. "Where did security find him?"
"Well," – O'Neill trailed off. "On sublevel twenty six and heading down or so I was told."
"How did he get there?"
"Now, that is a rather curious question that many people, influential and so, would like to know. We know for certain he did not come through the front gate or the surface tubes."
"But that's impossible. How else could he get access to the base?"
"I don't know, Hank, but we are going to find out. He's held on level sixteen."
"Alright, I'll send for…"
"Hank, I want SG1 to handle this." – O'Neill interrupted.
"On mission, I heard the first time. We wait till they return."
"Alright," – General Landry ceded. "Care to join me for the morning briefing, just like old times?"
"Why not? I'll give a shoulder to the newbies and oldies."
General Landry shook head. O'Neill was not going to change anytime soon. He took the folders and moved to the adjacent room. There he sat at the head of an oblong mahogany table while O'Neill took the seat opposite him at the other end of the table.
SG1, flag team of the SGC, was on P4W-613. It was one of the planets they have not explored yet. The address was from the Ancient database they recovered from Atlantis. They found ruins just four clicks off the gate and Dr. Daniel Jackson was in full swing examining them.
Mitchell and Teal'c were going around the ruins to make sure there are no surprises. The last time they were on some planet the Lucian Alliance almost managed to capture them. It appeared they still had spies within the SGC or maybe even the IOA. It was a disconcerting thought. Their last attack was on Home World Command but thanks to Camille Wray and Ron Grier of the Destiny crew and the sacrifice of a US senator the attack was averted. Since then the Lucian Alliance had been lying low.
Vala was using the time to find secret entrances, if any, as the ruins indicated a very old city so it was bound to have something underground. Soon, she located the signs and followed them. She found herself inside a dark and old underground corridor with moss on the walls. It reminded her of one of the planets she had been before joining SG1. She was looking for a diamond necklace inside a vault. The corridors were just as dusty and old and with some nasty defenses.
Vala moved down the corridor. It continued with several dead-ends turns but she found her way. And finally, there was a door. It was massive metallic door. She tried the lock but did not succeed. Frustrated she gave the door a good kick and it fell down in pieces, which at first startled her. It turned out the door was made of wood not metal.
She crossed the threshold and there was light. It was coming from a stained glass. The image was very colorful. She was attracted to it though. It depicted some angelic battle. There was a sky with heavy, fluffy white clouds. On top of the clouds was displayed some ugly figure that resembled the dragon they encountered on the Grail planet spitting something that could be described as fire. Beneath, there was a city and its citizens praying and hiding from the horrid flames.
In the left down corner of the image, there was the strangest object – a blue box. And on the opposite side was depicted a sword or whip Vala couldn't tell whose light was bright but shown in verdant blue and in the middle of the picture, a handsome young warrior with a stick or a sword in hand. Its point was shining with bright green and pointed at the grotesque monster. There were also some markings but she had no idea what they mean. Vala took a picture of the stained glass' image. She looked around but saw nothing else worth around. She left this tiny room and proceeded around the corridors' maze.
Dr. Daniel Jackson was not having much success in deciphering the symbols on the ruins. They were of some unknown language though he felt it looked more like a code. All it needed was a keyword. He spent all his time looking for the damn thing with no luck.
There was one other strange thing, a symbol. It was very odd one. It resembled a box or a crate and it appeared all over the writings. He had hard time understanding what it could possibly mean. In all his travels and study of ancient writings and symbols he had never seen that one before.
He sat on the ground and tried to clear his thoughts placing both hands on his head. A gust of wind ruffled his brown hair and an odd sound broke the silence around. He lifted his head and focused onto the sound but it was gone. He frowned. The sound was indeed an odd one. If he could describe it, he would probably say – high pitched, stalling engine. But he must have imagined it as it was gone as soon as he heard it. There was no point in sitting. He promptly stood up and focused his attention back to the ruins and the odd writings.
Vala appeared soon. She was carrying the camera and seemed eager to share what she had discovered.
"Yes?" – Daniel looked at her.
"You got to see this." – She said and presented him the picture and short video she had made of the stained glass.
Daniel sighing deeply watched it. And something immediately caught his interest. It was the odd symbol. It turned out it was a blue box. The image therein depicted a battle between an old evil creature and, if he read the markings on the stained glass correctly, – The Saint Physician, the Ancient One.
Now, Daniel knew what the keyword was. He returned to his ruins. The wall described a time when great evil ascended upon the city and its dwellers. Evil creatures came to the city breathing fire and destruction. The people were desperate.
As answer to their prayer, the Saint Physician descended from the skies. He fought off the creatures. He offered them sanctuary at first, reasoned with them. But the creatures did not listen and so the Saint Physician summoned his power – the blue box. From it he took his mighty sword and defeated the evil creatures. The people hence called in his honor their city – the Oncoming Storm.
The text also said that from time to time, in great need, the Saint Physician will come down from the skies to heal and help the people. It was said he was protector of all. He was always young, never aging.
"Found anything interesting then?" – Vala asked.
Daniel did not respond as he did not hear her. He was so absorbed by the writings on the wall. Even though he had found the keyword, there was much to read, much more.
Vala had to slap him on the head to get his attention.
"What was that for?" – He protested at this rude interruptive act.
"I asked did you find anything interesting." – Vala repeated patiently while picking up some of the stuff he had taken out of his backpack.
"Yes, I did." – Daniel replied and took the book she had in hand and put it back to where she had picked it up. "Now, go away. I have a work to do."
"Daniel, do I have to take the words out of you one at the time?"
"What the hell are talking about?"
Vala sighed frustrated. Sometimes, the poor Daniel zoomed so far 'out there' that his reasoning was out of commission.
"The ruins – something interesting – hello – share with the rest of the class?" – Vala said.
"Oh!" – Daniel exclaimed finally getting back to reality. "Um, not yet,"
Vala sighed deeply, shaking head.
"Jackson, anything interesting?" – Colonel Mitchell asked as he and Teal'c came back to Daniel's position.
"Apparently, not yet," – Vala replied instead mimicking Daniel.
"NOT YET!" – Daniel answered belligerently.
"Oh, hold your horses!" – Mitchell stepped back raising his hands before him. "What did you do to him?" He turned at Vala.
"Nothing," – Vala replied offended. "I found him this wonderful place, solve his little problem in understanding the ruins and now he is all…Daniel!" And she stormed away.
Teal'c raised an eyebrow. Mitchell sighed and went after her.
"What?" – Daniel asked as Teal'c continued to stare at him. "She's bugging me." Teal'c's eyebrow grew to a new height. Daniel sighed. "I know. I could have been nicer. It's just these past few weeks have been harder."
Daniel returned to his work. Life used to be easier somewhat when they were fighting the Goa'uld, the galaxy's resident menace. Nowadays, life was more difficult. They had no idea whom they are fighting and why, although why that was known – technology, mostly Lantean.
The rest of the freed galaxy resented the fact that Earth had taken possession of all the Ancients had left behind. The Ancients were the most advanced civilization and they were the gate builders. And Earth had taken hold of the city of the Ancients – Atlantis and now of Destiny, a ship so far away that the only of communication was through yet another Ancient device – the memory stones. They could transport one man's consciousness across vast distances.
But all of this was not what was bothering Daniel. It was only part of what bothered him. His work at the SGC was everything an archeologist could possibly dream of – the chance to see and explore other worlds with old ruins, meet new races, new civilizations. But it was also taking its toll – life and death all the time. Sometimes it was too much.
He had lost so much – his wife Share. Well, she was of another world – Abidos, and he lost her to the Goa'uld. In some aspect Vala was a new possibility for him to find warmness and possibly love but Vala…well she was reckless, at times insensitive – alien but mostly annoying.
Daniel's thought processing came to a halt. He realized he was going on the defensive. He definitely had some deeper feelings for her. They were not so much defined they were still in the instinct area or maybe not.
He remembered the first time they met. The new X303, dubbed Prometheus, a ship capable of intergalactic travel, was heading to Atlantis in the Pegasus Galaxy. The SGC had not heard of the expedition for a long time and decided to investigate.
They were still in the Milky Way Galaxy when they received a distress call and answered it but it turned out to be a clever trap. They were overtaken by what appeared to be a foot soldier, the ones used by the Goa'uld Anubis. Their armor could absorb all forms of energy weapons. And Daniel was captured by it.
The soldier tried to say he liked him and this freaked Daniel a great deal while it was trying to take possession of the ship's systems. When the soldier removed its helmet it turned out to be Vala, interstellar menace. They played cat and mouse for a while until he managed to regain control of the ship. Of course, she slipped him some boggy story and he got caught in its web and it almost led to the destruction of the ship. General Hammond and the rest of crew managed to catch up and rescue them and then she escaped. Yes, it was quite the encounter.
The next time, he was going to Atlantis fate send Vala again. This time she offered the treasures of King Arthur. Daniel sighed. Sometimes, he wished they never did as back then came face to face with the worst enemy this galaxy had ever seen – the ORI. The ORI were distant cousins of the Ancients. They had ascended to a higher plane of existence but had stayed close enough in order to rule. They extracted the belief out of their followers in order to maintain their power.
After Daniel's and Vala's visit to their galaxy they came into the Milky Way. The war raged for over two years. Many worlds were lost, many civilizations wiped out. Victory came but it was not sweet it was rather bitter.
During that time, Vala had changed a lot, for the good that is but in many areas she was still the same – annoying comes to mind. Daniel stopped the reflection. He definitely had deeper feelings. He was again the defensive. And it occurred to him he would have to apologize.
The blue box – Daniel returned his focus to the ruins at hand. The oddest symbol he had ever found – a box. He wondered of the meaning. What could it possibly be? Well, it was obvious it was idiographic but still he missed something. Why would anyone use this particular idea – a blue box? It made no sense.
He looked again at the writings – the Saint Physician. It was essential a healer, a doctor. And then the obvious question came to mind – how would this doctor defeat the evil creature? What did he do talk him to death? But then, the doctor was portrayed holding a sword. Well, yeah, some doctors can hold their weapons but this was pushing it. Maybe there was another meaning, some other explanation that he had not grasped yet.
To a point, it was odd because this doctor looked more like a warrior. He was described so and yet he was a doctor, the universal definition for a Wiseman and a healer. Something here was off. Who was this doctor?
"Jackson, wrap it up!" – Mitchell called as he returned with Vala. "We got company."
"Huh? What? Who?"
"Four ships just landed. We better get to the gate before they do otherwise leaving would be a problem."
Reaching the gate however they discovered the members of the Lucian Alliance had beaten them to it.
"Oh, crap," – Mitchell exclaimed. "How did they get here so fast?"
SG1 hid behind the tree line. There were fortunately enough places to hide around and enough to set an ambush too.
"With a ship – maybe?" – Daniel suggested.
"Or maybe they know we are here?" – Vala supposed.
"Either way, we have to go home." – Mitchell said. "Teal'c, let's check the area around. If it is only those we can take them. You two, remain here."
Teal'c and Mitchell lying low circled around the gate's position using the trees and small bushes for cover.
"Ah, Vala," – Daniel turned to her. She ignored him. "Ah, Vala!" Daniel repeated.
"Ah…um…" – Daniel scratched his head. "Um…I'm sorry about before. I didn't mean to come at you this mean. I'm sorry."
Vala eyed him for a time sternly. Daniel withstood her gaze.
"Apology accepted." – She said after a while.
The silence was broken by fierce shouting and fast lightning flashes.
"Oh, that's not good," – Vala observed.
Both Mitchell and Teal'c were surrounded by more than twenty members of the Lucian Alliance.
"Where is the rest of your team, Colonel?"
"I have no idea what you are babbling about." – Mitchell replied hoping Daniel and Vala will remain unseen.
"SG1 is always together Colonel. Where are the other three?"
"On a world full of irresistible ruins – you two are alone? Ha, oh, come on, Colonel, at the very least Dr. Jackson is here, right?"
"Dr. Jackson and Vala are on another world and no, I'm not going to tell you which. Colonel Carter has a different assignment." – Mitchell replied sharply.
"And you are here because?"
"That's what we do. We explore worlds."
"Of course, my mistake," – The Lucian leader said. "Take them to Peltak and scour the area. If you happen to find the others bring them to me."
Mitchell and Teal'c were taken away.
"This is definitely not good." – Daniel agreed.
"We should go to higher ground." – Vala said. She looked around and found a perfect spot to climb a tree. She moved to it and jumped onto the first branch and made her way up. Daniel remained behind to cover their tracks and then joined her.
"I'm not used to being a monkey."
The Lucian Alliance patrols kept sweeping the area around the gate but found nothing. A few times they passed by Daniel and Vala's hideout. Nightfall came.
The gate suddenly activated. Four guards showed up but nothing passed through.
"SG1 come in, this is SGC 1."
"Don't respond!" – Vala warned. "They might be monitoring the frequencies."
"SG1 come in!"
The gate deactivated.
"We have to do something." – Daniel whispered. "We can't stay here forever."
"And we will by midnight." – Vala said. "We need more coverage."
And they waited. Midnight came quickly. The SGC did not make any other contacts. Vala preceded first down. She scouted the area around and then signaled Daniel to come.
"Where to first?"
"They've made camp somewhere."
"Yes, they are still expecting us." – Daniel agreed.
"So we need to find Cam and Teal'c. If they are smart they are going to keep them on the ship." – Vala said and smiled.
"What are you up to?"
"Well, if they are on the ship, we will take the ship."
"You think they will be that stupid."
"Hey, they can't think we'd be able to overpower them."
"Your idea just gave me another."
"Well, can you make the ship fly on its own?"
"I don't understand."
"Ok, we overpower them and the ship takes off, follow me so far?"
"But we are not on the ship."
"Oh, we set a course put on autopilot they follow and we go through the gate."
"They are never going to fall for that." – Vala shook head.
Back at the SGC, as SG1 grew late, General Landry ordered the planet his team was on to be dialed at once. Sergeant Harriman obeyed and a few minutes later, the gate was active.
"SG1 come in, this Stargate Command." – Harriman called on the radio. "SG1 come in! They are not responding, sir."
"How long are they overdue?"
"More than eight hours, sir."
"Prepare to send a probe."
"Yes, sir," – Harriman was about to close the connection when he noticed interference on the radio frequencies. "Ah, sir?"
"Yes, Sergeant," – General Landry said.
"Um, this is very odd. I'm picking up frequencies interference."
"WHAT?" – The general said and came to Harriman's console. "Is it possible their radios are on the fritz?"
"I'm not sure, sir. It sounds like someone is tampering with them."
"Shut the gate!" – General Landry ordered. "Get me SG2 and 4."
"Yes, sir." – Harriman said and started dialing again. SG2 and 4 were on P2X139 on recon mission. The planet was a suspected Lucian Alliance stronghold. "SG2 and 4 this is Stargate Command, Major Borne, come in!"
"This is SG2 leader. Go ahead SGC."
"We have a priority one situation."
"Major, this is General Landry. SG1 may be in a hot zone."
"May be, sir?"
"They are not responding and we have evidence of tampering with their radios. It is possible they have been compromised."
"Where are they?"
"They are on P4W-613. They are eight hours overdue."
"P4W, huh? We can steal a ship and go there."
"Recon and extraction protocols,"
"Yes, sir. SG2 leader, out!"
The gate deactivated.
"Is there a problem?"
General Landry turned around. It was General O'Neill.
"Yes, SG1 may be captured."
"Oh, those Lucians, they are starting to get on my nerves." – O'Neill gritted his teeth. "How did they even know our people are there?"
"Doubtful, this mission was not on the usual rooster." – O'Neill replied.
"So we are back at we have a mole situation?"
"I've sent SG2 and 4 to recover them."
"We need eyes on P4W."
"Sergeant, prepare the probe." – Landry ordered.
Meanwhile, on level sixteen, guest quarters, the young man that had been caught sneaking around was getting restless. He had been in this room for the past twenty hours. How long were they going to keep him? Well, the answer was pretty logical anyway. He had been caught in a restricted military area. They could hold him there forever and no one was going to see him every again.
On one side the whole thing seemed very stupid but on the other it was worth it. The military would be stunned when they discover what he has to offer them. That is if they ever get to that point.
But these twenty hours were exhausting the young man's nerves. He has to get out of here before he loses it. He peaked out of his door. There was only one guard. He knocked on the tiny window. The guard looked and he made it clear he wanted a word. The door opened.
"I have to visit the little boy's facilities." – The young man said. "Unless you prefer I do it in here."
"This way," – The guard airman said.
He led down the hallway. They stopped before the restroom. The airman came with him.
"Ah, I don't need supervision for this unless you like the smell." – The young man countered.
The Airman eyed him suspiciously but remained outside.
"Thank you," – The young man said. "Geez, these guys are sensitive."
The restroom was standard. There was no way out. The young man stopped to think for a moment. If he did what he was up to he would be in even bigger trouble but he figured at this point he had nothing to lose.
He weighed the options of what to do next. No one expected him to be very smart. They probably figured he was smuggled in. This could work to his advantage but he had other thoughts.
He took some soap mixed with water and placed in a cup. He found a fuming compound in the cupboard and set it off. He hid in the cubic. Not long after the mixture started to fume and the fire alarm went on.
The airman outside came in promptly. The young man was down on the floor gasping for air. He helped him up. The moment he did that the young man made his move. Ironically the Vulcan death grip worked every time. The airman collapsed.
The door to the restroom opened and the young man left with the airman's uniform carrying the airman. He put him back at where he had been held and locked the door. So far so good, the young man said to himself.
He had to reach the last sublevel. He entered the elevator but stopped it in mid descent. He climbed to the roof hatch and left the elevator. It was a risky endeavor but it was better than being snagged in a cage.
When the fire alarm went off, General Landry and O'Neill were at the gate room weighing their options on saving SG1. They had just unleashed the air probe and got some very bad results from it. The entire are around the gate was crawling with Lucian Alliance members and a few ships. The probe had been shot down just a minute after.
"What the devils is going on?" – General Landry exclaimed.
Sergeant Harriman walked in hurriedly. "Sir, the fire alarm on level sixteen had just been activated."
"Oh, crap," – O'Neill exclaimed.
"What?" – General Landry looked at him not understanding.
"The young lad we have in custody."
"You don't think he did it?"
"Right away, sir,"
A few minutes later, Harriman returned looking very pale.
"He's missing. He has taken the uniform of Airman Mitchells."
"How?" – General Landry asked.
"Apparently, he had gone to the bathroom and created the fire. Airman Mitchells entered the bathroom and found him on the floor. When he was helping him up, the young man attacked and then put him in the quarters he had occupied."
"Very clever," – O'Neill exclaimed despite himself.
"I want that ID flagged and the perpetrator found. Lock the base."
"Yes, sir," – Harriman said and left the gate room.
"How the devil did he pull this one off?" – Landry turned to O'Neill. "You said he was not military just a civilian."
"A resourceful civilian, apparently," – O'Neill observed. "I think he made the right conclusions."
"We think he's smuggled in."
"Right, and if he came on his own,"
"No, just highly improbable,"
General Landry did not think that was possible. No civilian without help could get in this facility. But he had little time to ponder either, as the door to his office opened and an airman flew in closing the door promptly. Seeing the two Generals in the briefing room, the airman walked in and sat down at the head of the table.
It was more than obvious he did not belong in that uniform but the sheer act of audacity was impressive enough. The two generals stood with their mouths open. O'Neill snapped out of it first.
"Very impressive – Vulcan death grip?"
The young man eyed him for a moment. "Yeah, a classic is a classic."
"Yes," – O'Neill said and sat close to him. "But…"
"Being in trouble is being in bigger trouble."
"Yes, it is."
"I know." – The young man nodded. "But you have to listen to me nonetheless."
"Do we now?" – General Landry said snapping out of the initial shock too.
"Yes, you do." – The young man replied and bonded on his feet starting pacing around. "I heard you have a missing team on a hostile infested planet. Only the Saint Physician can help them now."
General Landry's mouth opened and closed. He was at a loss of words. This civilian not only managed to bypass their security perimeter getting access to a highly restricted area, not he had managed to slip and get here but he also spoke of other planets like they were a fact. The odd word Saint Physician just barely registered in the midst of all that.
Of course, other planets and so on were a fact but civilians are not supposed to know yet alone believe even if they heard in passing unless he already knew everything. And it made the general wonder that sent him here anyway.
Like a predicting clock, the young man laid the general's suspicions to rest. "I'm sure you are over thinking everything but it is perfectly logical for someone at your position. I imagine there are a lot of people that want your seat and therefore your head on a silver platter. And what best compromising position than a civilian breaching the most guarded secret on the planet on his own. I'd admit this would be rather cool but I have no part in it. My information has nothing to do with your rivalries."
"Then how?" – O'Neill got straight to the burning point.
"It is rather complicated but it suffices to say I have a map of this place. It is older than you can imagine. There are a series of tunnels that intersect with the facility your people built all these years ago. I imagine you thought I gained access because someone told how to bypass your security, right?"
O'Neill only nodded.
"Well, you'd be wrong. I used the entrance point south of the main gate. From afar it looks like a cave-in hidden a by a dozen bushes and their branches. But it leads down a tunnel system three thousand years old."
"That's not possible!" – General Landry finally said.
"I told you, you want to hear me out."
"Well, you got our attention but not now. We have a missing team." – O'Neill said.
"Yes, now, General, now is the time. I told you only the Saint Physician can rescue your people now."
"And you'd know this how?"
"Well, I've seen on your database. Even if you had people ready to go you can't send them through the gate. They'd be either dead when they arrive or captured as well. And if your people by ships they would be intercepted in orbit by the motherships and your operation will be busted anyway."
"Motherships?" – O'Neill exclaimed. "We have no intel of motherships."
"Given they knew you were coming you think they came with only a few transport vessels. You think they are that stupid?"
The young man's reasoning was perfectly logical though not necessarily true. But if there was even the slightest chance he was right then more than one team would be in danger. The problem was their ships were on missions and couldn't come to assist.
"Let's say you are right though outnumbered has never been an issue for us how do you suppose we proceed?"
"Physician," – O'Neill cut him off. He was getting tired of this saint or whatever the hell he was. "Essentially a doctor is going to save my people?"
"You could say that."
"Alright, who the hell is that?"
"The Saint Physician is the patron of the planet your people are on although he is the patron of many other planets including Earth. In times of great need, the Saint Physician shall come to those who ask for his help."
"Aha and how do we get in touch with him?" – O'Neill was playing along though he was not certain why. He could not imagine how this magical doctor would be of any help.
"The only way to contact him is true the chamber of power."
"And the chamber is here in the mountain. It is somewhere on the level below."
"Of course, it is."
"You don't believe me."
"How do you think it looks from my point of view?"
"To say the least,"
"I can prove it. I can tell your people exactly how to reach the level they found me in from the outside."
"I really want to believe you I do but…"
"Then you have nothing to lose by trying…" – The young man countered.
O'Neill sighed. The man got a point. He looked at Landry who nodded in agreement.
"Sergeant!" – The general called and Harriman appeared promptly. "Tell him how."
"Tell me what?" – Harriman asked.
The young man smiled and pulled Harriman aside telling him exactly what to do. Harriman then looked at the generals for approval and they nodded.
An hour later, Harriman appeared on sublevel twenty six and briefed the two generals. The information was genuine as astounding as it all sounded. The tunnel system as Harriman reported was indeed vast and it seemed to pierce the mountain everywhere. Of course exploring the mountain's mysteries would take second place now.
O'Neill and Landry spoke alone for a very long time. They of course owned the young man nothing. They could easily put him away if it was not for the nagging feeling of curiosity. Exploration never gets old.
"Alright, you've proven your point. Now where it is this secret chamber?"
"On the level below,"
"The gate room…" – Landry looked up.
"No, below it."
"Below the gate room, it is not possible. There is nothing below that."
"Oh, there is trust me."
The two generals looked at each other. There were of course another few floors. The immediate floor below however was more or less a half floor and very few people even on the base knew anything about it let alone a civilian and it was supposed to be top secret.
"You don't hide it well, gentlemen." – The young man said with a victorious smile.
"Very well," – O'Neill ceded. Landry looked at him surprised. "Follow me!"
General O'Neill proceeded to the elevator with the young man toeing him and Landry behind them both. O'Neill entered the elevator and closed the doors. He opened a secret panel at the back and pressed a combination on the key pad. The light within the elevator switched to luminescent.
Even within the mountain that housed the most secret place on the planet there was another secret, a secret no one within the base, within the SGC knew anything about. It was one of the reasons why the Stargate was here in the first place.
The elevator doors opened. O'Neill stepped out and memories flooded in. He remembered when General Hammond, a few weeks after he had accepted the promotion in Washington had come to him. He told him of a secret floor beneath the gate room.
O'Neill had responded in his usual casual way and made a big joke but Hammond wasn't kidding. They had come down the same he was now going with this young man that has managed to breach their security like it was not even there.
The elevator doors opened to a dimly lit corridor. The walls of it were very, very old. That much was clear. There were some strange markings on every ten or so feet. The SGC top secret advisory board had determined the markings were traces of old languages but just not any languages – the oldest languages spoken on Earth – Cimmerian, Babylonian, Hindu, North American Indian ideograms, Norse, Phoenician, and others. A few languages of the Ancient world were not present, among them Egyptian, Mayan, Aztec and Ancient.
The corridor proceeded ahead for more than a hundred meters. The markings looked more and more like an alphabet or a story. Even Landry stopped to look at it at one point. He had managed to notice a strange symbol. It was a symbol that kept repeating but it did not look like a symbol. Who would put an oblong box all around these old writings, everywhere? It just made no sense.
The corridor made a sharp turn left and reached an opening. It led to an open space filled with altars of different cultures and civilizations. On every single one of them, the three could see a familiar shape – the Stargate. The Stargate had no symbols, no star constellations but it was still familiar as it was the exact look of the first gates the Ancients had ever built. The first gates deposited all across the universe by the seed ships.
And then amidst all that there it was again the odd symbol – the strange oblong box but this time it was colored – a blue box with a light atop. What was the significance of that? Why would all these civilizations put this symbol here? Why? General Landry's brain hurt of the effort to account for the many possible reasons of such oddity's existence. It was indeed even more puzzling than the gate itself.
"Well, we are here." – O'Neill said and turned to their young guest. "You said there is something else here."
The young man did not seem to have heard the general. His eyes were glowing with joy and happiness that the last ten years were not a figment of his imagination. It has taken him this long to find this place. It is very odd when you have flashes or memories of a place you simply can't put your finger on. He had to go through thousands of legends and myths just to find this small hidden place within the heart of the mountain preserved over millennia to hold a great and wondrous secret.
He took out a small pocket watch out of his pocket and looked at it. He knew deep down, he knew deep down that something had gone wrong. It was not the usual way it happened. He was not supposed to open it but eventually he did and nothing happened. That's when he knew something had gone wrong, horribly wrong.
His only comfort during that bad time was her. She was incredible. She was like no other woman ever, not even the daughter of his best friends compared to her. He had never seen a woman of such power and presence, a presence so powerful that it overshadowed him in every aspect. After all these years, he never thought he would be the one to feel ever again. And yet, she is the one comfort he had. She was the one that pushed to believe he could catch up with what was lost.
It was like she was sent from above to help him find the way, his way back, to everything that used to be normal for him.
And now he was standing probably a few feet away from that glorious moment. But hesitation hit. Would he be the same loving man? Would he remain that way or would he change into his usual oblivious self unable to love, unable to feel anything for others, be his usual selfish person? Those questions tore through him like disease, like a tornado of diseases. Would he?
Closing his eyes images started to parade before him. They were all sketchy like seen through a foggy glass, incomplete but sufficient for him to find. And now that he was here doubts were consuming his essence. What to do? It was so human.
To be continued…
And don't forget to review. It only takes a couple of minutes. Thank you!