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Stargate: Do Over
Chapter 01, Politics.
March 1st, 1991
06:00 local time
Prince Sultan Air Base, Al Kharj, Saudi Arabia
Lieutenant Samantha Carter gave an unladylike stretch and yawn, she wasn't the only one.
"Wakey, Wakey!" Came the gruff loud voice from outside the wing's tent, "Flight three! shit, shower, shave and head out. You're wheels up in three hours. Flight four! You get the luxury of using your blues today, play dress-up for some brass." He snickered. "East Theater, 0900."
"Willis, Carter. Come out, come out where ever you are!" He called in sing-song.
"Major?" Came the two questioning pilots.
"Congratulations kids you made captain." He said, "There will be a ceremony later at the east theater."
They both stared.
"Well what did you expect? A parade?" He snickered, "Be sharp, east theater 0900, now git!" He turned and moved away briskly towards the next wing's tent.
They still stood there staring, when Carter remembered to speak, "Yes Sir!" The Major was already gone.
"Huh?" She yawned, "Oh, I guess." She said brain still not awake.
"Coffee. Headache! Damn party." Willis said.
"Coffee." Was her blinking response. She groaned, "Brass!"
Two and a half hours later the now awake, fed and caffeinated fourth flight, donning their dress uniforms, headed to the large multipurpose tent dubbed 'East Theater'. Today, like so often before, was another day of constant struggle of keeping the dust and sand off them. Made worse when it was their dress uniforms they had to keep clean and sharp. They were near their destination when two puddle jumpers decloacked ahead of them. Followed by a third, longer but similarly styled vessel.
Gasps and other more articulate expressions of surprise were heard from the group.
It took a moment for their brains to process what was happening. By then, the puddle jumpers were hovering inches off the ground and their back hatches were open. From the one closest to the group, out stepped... Carter?
Brigadier General George S. Hammond was still uncomfortable with the dog-and-pony show that came with being a general. He would much rather be at HQ keeping an eye on the 'retreating' Iraqi 10th infantry division, which was moving north-east instead of west. He thought the timing for this little ceremony was inappropriate, it should have been kept for later. All the politicians and the other flag officers here were playing the 'politics' game, he mentally groaned thinking he needed to learn to play that game too, and soon, if he wanted to survive as a flag officer himself. His musings were interrupted by a commotion from outside the theater.
They all heard the orders to stop, the distinct clicking sound of weapons being primed, followed by whistling sounds... A quick glance to his left and right, he saw others had the same idea as him, sidearms. This was an active zone, so of course everyone, including the generals, was carrying. With one in the chamber, they moved.
By the time he was able to peek out, a pair of soldiers were on the ground, another pair was just standing there confused and everyone else was staring, swearing, gasping and generally confused. Instinct took over and he aimed at the obvious intruders, a group of people dressed in some kind of uniform he'd never seen before. Next thing he knew, there was a blur of bright blue sparkly light and his gun was no longer there!
"Howdy campers!" One of the intruders said.
"Who are you?", "How did you do that?", "What the hell?" and other questions were sounded, along with several commands like "Freeze!", "Hands in the air!" all at the same time.
There was another round of sparkly lights around the room and any weapons disappeared, leaving behind confused people. Some of them recovered quickly though and plowed straight towards the seemingly unarmed intruders. They were quickly shot down with some kind of pulses shooting out of the intruder's fingers.
"Quiet down! Quiet down everyone! We mean you no harm!" another of them said loudly. Hammond had to look twice, the two were identical!
Another pair approached, again looking identical, carrying a stretcher of sorts. There was a man on the stretcher that looked haggard, but the weird thing that registered to Hammond was that he too looked the same as the other four. "Quiet!" He commanded at the still noisy assembly. "No harm? What about all the men you just shot? And who the hell is he?" Hammond asked pointing at the stretcher.
One of the identical men took a couple of steps forward. His posture looked calm but his eyes were alert. "General, General, Colonel, General..." He nodded to each one of the officers present, his posture stiffened and gaze darkened for a split second when he looked at one of the Senators.
"General, we came by here to drop this one off." He said pointing at the stretcher. "His name is Jack O'Neill, two Ls not one." He said turning back to Hammond, "He's one of General West's boys; got shot and captured in a mission about a week ago. Please do tell Cromwell he's an idiot. As for the... sleepyheads, they'll wake up with a bit of a headache in a few minutes."
"You all look alike. How do I know he's not just another one of you? Whoever the hell you are."
"Oh, he's the original, I'm just a copy. One of many." he smirked.
The stretcher had been laid down by this time. One of the copies turned to an airman and said "You might wanna get him to the infirmary, but frankly all he really needs is some rest, he's just going to be stiff and groggy. We patched him up good."
One of the politicians shoved his way forward and yelled, "What is the meaning of this!?" The four oddly dressed men focused on him and their posture was instantly hostile.
"Allow me." one of them said.
"Wait!" the one closest to Hammond said, "George just to clarify. The one down there is the original, we're copies. OK?" He pointed down, "Original," Then he pointed to his chest, "Copy. Got it?"
"OK, go ahead." He said back to the other copy, dismissively.
"This is for betraying the planet; the second time!" The other Jack O'Neill copy said and threw an uppercut at the politician, who flew back into the air and into the crowd. He was out before he landed. The politician happened to be Senator Robert Kinsey.
"So, nice digs." The more talkative copy said looking around the tent. He was standing relaxed with his hands in his pockets.
"That is a U.S. Senator!"
"Yeah, I know!" He answered back with a raised eyebrow. "So, anyways. Before we go. Sorry we couldn't get you a full memory copy, but circumstances... Well these few bits and pieces will have to do."
"Can we get on with this? The base is going a bit nuts." Another one said.
"Yeah, General we'll see you again soon enough. In the mean time; Like I was saying... Ahm, this will only give you a mild headache." The talkative one continued. He stuck his hand into General Hammond's head and removed it mere moments later. Hammond gave a loud gasp.
"Jack? What the hell?" He groaned.
"Let's go then. George, you should take a nap, let your brain sift through those... memories."
One of the retreating O'Neills turned around and said, "Oh, hey, you really should push ahead to get Saddam. You're already here, so, you know... Uh, Right." And he moved away. "Try to handle the fallout from this little reunion, OK?" He yelled over his shoulder while walking away.
(Just over an Hour later)
March 1st, 01:00 local time
White House, Washington DC
In the white house situation room the air was stale, arid and full of cigarette smoke. The room has been in near continuous usage the past few months, monitoring the Gulf War. That focus changed a few minutes ago when it became apparent that the so called UFO sightings were not some elaborate hoax.
There were hundreds of reported sightings of these weird cylindrical flying vessels throughout the globe. Many were caught on video and that footage was now running on pretty much all TV stations. The TV was now showing one being followed by a helicopter, it was flying in Singapore, performing impossible maneuvers, weaving up, down, making tight corners around skyscrapers, even stopping in midair at times as if waiting for the TV helicopter to catch up!
Similar behavior was also being observed in other metropolitan cities all over the globe. Whatever these were, they wanted to be seen. And seen they were.
Fighter jets the world over have been scrambling to intercept them in several locations, but in all cases where a fighter approached they either out-maneuvered their chasers or disappeared in thin air! What was worse, in all those cases nothing registered in radar.
"What do we have?" asked the President walking in the room.
After a round of "Sir" and "Mr. President" around the table, one of them stood up.
"Mr. President, there are a dozen confirmed sightings in the U.S., more if we consider reports to the news media. And even more are being reported by international TV stations throughout the globe. London, Paris, Berlin, Beijing, Moscow, Hong Kong..."
"Who or what are they?" He interrupted.
"We don't know, sir. Uh, this is the best... picture of them we have got so far..." He said turning to a screen.
"It is disconcerting that the best information so far comes from the TV." Said another.
"They look human, sir." He continued after a pregnant pause, "The.. Uh, vessels?" He asked unsure how to call them, "Appear to be slanted cylindrical shaped. The small ones are roughly sixteen feet in diameter and thirty feet in length..."
"Wait, small ones? There are others?" Someone asked, it was news to several others as well.
"Yes, a larger version has been reported in a few locations, still unconfirmed." Someone else answered.
"Two pilots are sitting in the cockpit..." The presenter continued pointing at a screen. "They come in many colors, black, red, white, silver..."
"Enough." The president interrupted again, he wasn't hearing anything not already shown on the TV news! "What happened in Al Kharj?" He had noticed one of the video-conference screens, had turned on. The face on it was familiar as was the background, the same up-link had been used many times during this war, on the same screen. "I got one message saying the base was attacked by these things and the whole base is up in arms. I got another message saying they only went there to chat... and to give us one of our own soldiers back, who was MIA or KIA. What's your take on this Norman?" he asked facing the screen.
"They caught us with our pants down sir. We're still not clear on exactly what happened, they did not register at all on any radar screen. The base is on high alert right now, and all possible assets are in the air. Several pilots tried to give chase but these things... Sir, the pilots that chased them had to rely on their own eyesight, no radar returns at all. They also report they disappeared into thin air!"
"Yes, we've got the same from elsewhere. What about the attack, how bad?"
"The attack." He said, "It. Uh. Whatever they did, it was a surgical mission. There are no reported dead, but several men are unconscious." He said and paused. "It was, quick. We have some footage ready... There were many reporters in the scene." He nodded outside the screen, The screen changed to show footage from inside a theater tent from the base.
The footage played showing the incident inside the tent, "Can't we fix the audio?" Someone asked after a minute.
No one said anything intelligible when the screen showed weapons disappearing in sparkles of light. They sat and watched open-mouthed as the intruders shot down anyone attempting to head them off.
They watched as one of the intruders punched Senator Kinsey and sent him flying, then some words were exchanged with one of the Generals and then one of the intruders stuck his hand in the General's head! Only to pull it out again, but there was no apparent injury to the man.
After the intruders left there was a jumble of movement towards the downed people... the feed cut off back to the control room again.
"Let's play that again, only try to fix the volume this time." Asked the president. "Norman, you said there were no dead? What about the people that got shot?"
"Most have already recovered Mr. President. They were only knocked unconscious. Whatever they used doesn't appear to have been lethal. The only one seriously injured is Senator Kinsey. He's got a broken jaw, several broken teeth and a concussion." Norman's voice was heard from the link.
The video had started playing again, the volume was much higher and the audio was still barely intelligible but a technician was on a console, modifying the audio so it was getting a bit better.
Though muffled, they clearly heard it this time, "This is for betraying the planet; the second time!" Right before the punch.
The video kept on until the end, when someone asked, "That was George Hammond, wasn't it?"
A couple of affirmative nods came from around the table, "A hand... in the head, but he still lives? Can we speak to him?" The president asked.
"Sir, I have relieved him of duty. He's under guard right now. He has been talking crazy since the attack." Answered the general over the video up-link.
"He says he remembers things about a... Stargate?, which he says is a device that makes wormholes to other planets; a device which we supposedly have under Cheyenne mountain. He mentioned some names... oh, and he keeps asking us if it's really 1991?" He said quizzically, "He's disoriented and agitated to say the least, sir."
"Cheyenne mountain." Whispered the president while rubbing his eyes. "Put him on."
"Yes sir, it will take a minute."
The president signaled one of the aides to approach, "Paul, give Cheyenne a call, ask to be patched through to, Uh... project Giza. Ask if there has been any activity by the device." he whispered. "If the answer is anything other than no, patch it through here."
Soon enough, the General in question showed up in the conference screen.
"General Hammond, what's your take on this attack?"
"Attack, sir? I wouldn't call it an attack."
"What would you call it? They attacked you, shot several men and physically attacked a U.S. Senator!" Said one of the attending politicians, Senator Fischer.
"If they had attacked us we wouldn't be having this conversation right now, their level of technology is centuries ahead of ours."
"Let's back up for a second," interrupted the president, "I want to know what you know, and how you know it."
"One of them stuck his hand in my head and downloaded some... memories." Hammond stated.
"We watched the video, I still can not understand how that could happen and yet you still live."
"Well sir, they are replicators. Machines, made up out of nanites."
"Nanites?" someone asked.
"Tiny machines, millions of them."
"What kind of memories do you think they took from you?" asked another.
"That's not what I meant. They... put some stuff in. I'm still trying to sort through it all. Most of it is about the Stargate Program, after-action reports and such. Apparently they couldn't get me a full memory download but he did not elaborate about that." Hammond said.
"Stargate program?" The president asked.
"Ahm, well it's 1991, so it's probably still called Project Giza at the moment. It's an ancient device, a big metal ring, that allows near instantaneous travel between planets throughout the galaxy. It will be another few years before we figure out how it works, although with them here that might change."
"That's crazy talk." Said the senator.
"Is it?" he shrugged, "You get used to it. You'll have to ask one of the scientists with the program for details about the Stargate." He answered seriously. "That's not even the crazy part. I think the... visitors are friendly. At least I assume they are because I remember a lot about them and 'cause if they were hostile, we'd be dead by now." He paused, "Anyway, I think it's another of SG-1's crazy plans to save the day."
"Stargate team one, our flagship team." He rubbed his balding head, "General Jack O'Neill, or, I think he's a Colonel at the moment; Though I'm not sure; some of the memories I've been given show him as Lieutenant General... Was the first leader of the team. His 2IC was Samantha Carter and I know she just became a captain, or she was supposed to at the ceremony today. My... their memories have her at Brigadier General..." He blinked and shook his head.
"It's a bit confusing having those memories in my head, I get some conflicting recall. There's also Doctor Daniel Jackson, he's an archeologist and a linguist. He's the one that originally figured out how to dial the Stargate." another pause, "And then there's Teal'c. He's... an alien."
"I can't believe we're hearing this nonsense!" Interrupted Senator Fischer.
"Settle down Senator." Called the president.
There was some shuffling on the other side
"Excuse me sirs, if I may?" Someone from the video-conference screen said, "You mentioned Jack O'Neill and Samantha Carter. Well, they're both in the infirmary right now."
"What's their condition?" Hammond asked her.
"Stable. I think." She said, picked out two folders from a pile she was holding and handed them over.
"Ah, here we go, 'patient unresponsive', 'vitals stable', 'continuous REM'." He flipped open the other folder, "Same for Carter. The doctor has noted 'witnesses claim an intruder inserted a hand into the patient's head, but there is no discernible injury', well that makes sense." He spoke more to himself, "One of these days, Jack, your plans are gonna give me a heart attack..."
"REM? What's that?" asked someone.
"Rapid Eye Movement." said someone else under his breath.
General Hammond had stiffened and was looking on the side, lost in his own thoughts.
He blinked a couple of times, "Heart attack. That's why they couldn't get me a full memory download, I was dead." he mumbled.
He took a deep breath and shrugged the thought aside, "REM stands for rapid eye movement. They're dreaming." His eyes unfocused and he looked to the side again, "And I think that's what I should be doing right now, Jack said I should take a nap."
"General, before you go, what's your threat assessment of these... vessels that are flying all over the world?" The president asked.
"The puddle jumpers, are..."
"Puddle jumpers?" The president interrupted.
"Yes sir, that's what we called them, or will call them, or have... Uh..." He shrugged, "Moving on, the puddle jumpers are small sized shuttles, they're basically flying personnel carriers sir. As for weapons, they only have about a dozen drones or so..." He raised his palms to stop them from interrupting him, "On their own, they're short range only, meaning they don't have a hyperdrive. So, they didn't get here on their own power. Their bigger vessels are probably up there right now in orbit, Sir. Unless they all came through the Stargate in Cheyenne Mountain?"
There were several around the room with expressions bewilderment, many had 'Oh shit' clearly written on their faces, others had utter confusion.
"So this is an invasion then." stated one General.
"Perhaps, but I doubt it." answered Hammond, "Like I said, if they were hostile... Well, they would have already landed en masse and began consuming every piece of technology and every mineral in sight." He said.
An aide approached the president and handed him a note, then passed on several copies to the attending general. After the moment of silence it took for them to look over the notes, the assembly broke in several remarks.
"Damn.", "Oh, hell.", "When it rains, it pours."
"Let's get the Soviets on the line, shall we?" Said the president.
"Soviets?" Asked Hammond, "Oh, Right, 1991! March 1991... Interesting."
"Well, The Soviet Union is supposed to formally dissolve, in December."
Silence followed. A dropped pin would be heard in the White house situation room and the CiC at Al Kharj Base.
Alien invasion was one thing, but the fall of Soviet Union? Two years ago this would have been considered impossible! Even with recent events in the last two years, they were not so hopeful as to believe such a thing was in the realm of possibility.
"Or, well, it was supposed to. Now with this, who knows. So, what did they do?"
"This man is telling us exactly what we would like to hear! Feeding us disinformation. Why are we still listening to him? He is obviously compromised." The Senator erupted again. "These... machines did something to him, they've turned him into something, something else!" he spat, unsure of the right words to use.
"Maybe. Maybe not, we'll see." The president said, "The message pertained to several of the Soviet missile silo doors opening. So, DEFCON 3?"
"Well that's bad. They think those jumpers are ours." Hammond blinked, "Well they may be ours, but..."
"The replicator did look and behave like Jack O'Neill, sir. So in essence he... they are ours. Just not of our own making."
"I believe your input in this matter is not helpful at this time." said one of the generals sternly towards the video screen. "Sir, we should move to DEFCON 2 and proceed to the bunker." he said turning back to the president.
"Go to DEFCON 3 and let's monitor the situation, we'll decide in a minute, where's that damn phone call?" The president yelled irritated at his technicians.
"It's coming through now sir, ten seconds."
The phone call did come through and a Russian answered. The interpreter translated, though there was not much to translate.
"General this is George Bush, calling for Mikhail Gorbachev."
"Mister Gorbachev is not going to be available, you will speak to me. I am in charge here."
The president hit the mute button and asked with a raised eyebrow, "What the hell is that supposed to mean?" He looked at one of the staff at one of the consoles further away, "Are you sure you got that right?" To which the interpreter nodded grimly.
"Damn!" He said and pressed the mute button again.
"Well General, I'm calling to ask about any information you may have had about..." A little quick thinking there, "these weird vessels that have shown up all over the place." He wasn't the president by accident, he knew he could ask the real question directly but a different approach might bring better results.
"Why are you asking me? They are your planes."
"No they are not." He squinted his eyes at the video conference monitor still showing General Hammond. "The United States does not currently have the technology to build these vessels." That was true, and even if, as Hammond suggests, those may be friendly forces or even 'ours' as he put it.
"That is a lie. You command these planes, I have seen photos of them attacking an Iraqi military facility."
"Maybe you're confusing the location with a base in Al Kharj, that's where they attacked us." He doubted he was confused, but he got the point across. 'We were attacked too.' He snapped his fingers to get the attention of the NSA liaison present, and pointed at the phone and then asked him silently to figure out what attack he meant.
"More lies, your forces will not be allowed to invade my country without a response, next time one of them comes near it will be shot down."
"Our wounded would agree with that sentiment. Like I said, they attacked us in Al Kharj, they sent several American soldiers to the infirmary. We do not control these vessels!" He paused, time to cut to the chase. "Where is Mikhail? I want to talk to him, and ask him... why so many of your nuclear missile silos have opened their doors." At the very least he'd know if there had been a coup. He picked up his pen and wrote 'Prepare bunker' on a piece of paper; and passed it on to a General, who promptly stood and left.
"He is no more. Things have changed, I am in charge."
Something on the television caught the eye of the president momentarily and he paused. "General, you have satellite TV there?"
"Then turn it on IWN; and explain to me why, those same vessels you say are ours; Why is it they attacked some place right here in the United States?" He turned to an aide, "Put the volume up on that and put it on all screens."
There was a two minute pause on the room and the phone line, as they watched a reporter talk about an 'alien attack' in Washington State on a private ranch. The text ribbon under the reporter in capital letters read 'ALIENS ATTACK!'.
"More lies and propaganda. We will not bow to western imperialism! Recall your planes or we will act." And he hung up.
Everyone remained quiet for a moment absorbing what they just heard.
Then they all started talking at the same time.
"Quiet!" He waited to be heard, "Go to DEFCON 2. We're moving this meeting to the bunker downstairs." He stood up, "Have General Hammond relieved of duty. Then send him stateside, under guard... Same for the other three he mentioned. O'Neill... Carter and Jackson. Get them, bring them here somewhere. And find out what the hell happened in that ranch!" He ordered. "Let's go!" and he walked off.
The president was already out of the room when there was a flash of light in the room.
"Hello-ooo, is this thing on?" Said someone loudly enough to cut through the jabber. "Hi! Just wanted to come in and say that, I wouldn't worry too much..." He paused and looked around, "Will someone call him back?" He pointed at the door, "Anyone?... Anyone?"
A/N: I am assuming the events of the Stargate movie took place in 1996, one year before the Series.
I'm not entirely certain I got the ranks 'downgraded' properly to account for the ranks people would have in 1991.
For those that don't remember their history: The USSR officially dissolved on December 1991. Though, I bet many people assumed it was gonna happen already on March 1st... Or even a year or two before that. Since some states had already split... Let's pretend these guys did not 'know' that as a certainty.
Also for those historically challenged: The president is George Bush Senior, this is 1991.
The Gulf War, in theory, officially ended on February 28th. But that does not mean all activity immediately ceased. The U.S. military presence 'started' leaving on March 10th. This story starts on March 1st.
I'm not sure any such dog-and-pony show/ceremony would normally take place during a still active conflict even at a 'safe' location such as that base. Logic says it wouldn't, but when politics are involved... meh!
There actually is a (retired) General named Nabidaidze. There's absolutely NO relation, the name was picked completely at random... Right... So... if you're reading this please don't send commandos to break down my door, kthnxbye!
Many Thanks to my beta readers.
Please review to feed my muse.