Chapter one – The Tollan Factor
Colonel Harry Maybourne was not a nice man.
In fact, many people would use colourful and imaginative terms that were quite the opposite of 'nice' to describe him. Ruthless, determined, and a cunning son-of-a-bitch were probably the most complimentary.
A large portion of those people who came into contact with Harry throughout his convoluted military career, would therefore not have been surprised to find out that his primary concern regarding the 'aliens' rescued from Tollan was not their well-being, but how to get the arrogant bastards to share their technology.
So as he watched Omoc and the other Tollans walk up the ramp to the Stargate with the Nox Lya, turning their back on Earth, it would shock nobody to know that he was sorely tempted to order his men to fire.
"Wait," he called before the Tollans disappeared into the event horizon of the gate. "If you walk through that gate, you are abandoning us and every world we go to. You'll be responsible for every person who dies that your technology might have protected. Are you really going to do that – to abandoned everything?"
Omoc didn't even miss a step and kept walking. Narim paused, but then visibly hardened his resolve and moved on, disappearing with the rest of his people.
Lya, the uninvited Nox representative who's offer of a new home the Tollans accepted, began walking backwards up the ramp, watching the soldiers and their guns, until she too passed through the watery-looking surface of the wormhole, which abruptly disappeared.
"I'll take that as a yes," said Maybourne, somewhat wistfully.
SG-1, still standing on the ramp, turned to face the soldiers surrounding them.
"You can put the guns down now boys," said Jack before turning to Daniel. "You did good, Daniel."
Daniel nodded absently, his eyes looking to where Maybourne still stood at the control room window.
"Now that they have finally left the building, we can get this show on the road," Harry said, reaching into his coat to remove another set of orders from the President. "These are our new orders. You'll find them all perfectly legal and correct."
Hammond took the orders and unsealed them, quickly scanning through with the ease of long practised. His eyes widened and his mouth tightened.
"Colonel Maybourne, I protest," he said. "The Tollans made it very clear that they do not want us to have their technology. What you are proposing is to basically steal from them!"
"Salvage, not steal," said Maybourne, taking a phone from his pocket and dialling. "You heard me, Sir, I asked them if they were abandoning everything and they made their answer pretty clear by walking away."
"That's reading a lot into-"
Hammond paused as Harry held up his hand and turned slightly to speak into the phone.
"The mission is a go. Get down here yesterday," he snapped before hanging up and turning back to Hammond. "Sorry sir. Your 'friends' turned their back on us and walked away from any sort of co-operation. They have officially abandoned their home world. Whatever they left behind is up for grabs, and the President agrees."
Seeing Hammond was still internally objecting, Harry felt the need to make a point.
"General, you've seen what they can do, we cannot defeat the Goa'uld without that sort of advantage," he said, passion raising his voice. "If your team arrived on Tollan a few hours later, we would not be having this conversation and the recovery would be in full swing. SG-1 saved those people's lives and they didn't even want to say 'thank you'. Well I say 'screw them'. They are not friends of ours, and they have no right to stop us from using every means we can to protect our world."
"Dial the Gate, General," he said, looking through the windows and down onto the device that held all their hopes. "We are sending teams back to Tollan to take whatever they can find. It's not going to be pretty, but we need to try – for the sake of this planet."
A vicious wind swirled the putrid stench of sulphur, brimstone and other gasses over the ruins of the once great city that spanned the world of Tollan.
Volcanoes spewed torrents of molten rock and burning ash into the air, and giant fissures swallowed empty skyscrapers in one gulp.
Amongst this maelstrom, a small army raced against time. Like a hive of ants stripping a carcass, the gasmask wearing people pillaged the areas near the Stargate of anything they could lift, pull, or shift.
The gate was constantly active as item after item was forced through. Boxes of things pulled from homes, crates of good taken from shops, whole vehicles found sitting in garages – everything went through the gate as fast as it could be brought there.
Several flatbed trucks moved out further to pickup items found by the wide ranging motorbike scouts, but those trips were becoming less and less frequent as the planet's surface disintegrated under the internal pressures caused by tidal shifts.
Several lives had already been lost, and more would be if the operation continued for much longer, but that was not an option.
A river of lava was closing in on the Stargate.
For a week the Earth humans worked non-stop to collect as much as they could from the abandoned planet, and yet they had barely made a dent in the local area alone. Despite having years to build and pack their migration fleet, the Tollan people simply could not take everything with them. The shear amount of technological gear left behind was far more than could be moved in several years, yet alone a week.
Still, the teams would work right up to the last minute, desperately searching for anything that might somehow help them in their war with the Goa'uld.
No matter how many more lives it cost them.
SGC BRIEFING ROOM
"So let me get this right," said Jack, playing with the Tollan armband. "The Tollan's left their front door open, so we just wandered in and took anything we wanted? That kind of doesn't make us good neighbours now, does it?"
"The Tollan abandoned their world and turned their back on us," said Maybourne. "That makes them the bad neighbours, not us. We just took the stuff they left out on the verge."
"Hmm," said Jack non-committedly. "Remind me never to park my car near your house."
"Sir, we don't even know how they work," protested Carter. "We can't begin to explain the principles they are built on, let alone how they are made. There could be a multitude of dangers we are simply unaware of and will not be able to handle."
"You take that risk every time you walk through the Stargate," said Maybourne. "Every time you pick up a rock on another planet you are taking a risk. Our scientists and engineers have worked out how to make these armbands let you walk through walls. It makes you are practically impervious to any normal attack, including Staff weapons. We recovered dozens of them, so they obviously have more functions than that, but that's the one that makes them worth using."
"So we don't know what else they do, but we are certain they do other things?" asked Daniel. "Doesn't that seem exactly like the reason the Tollans wouldn't share technology with us to begin with?"
"Look, we can sit here all day and argue, but these devices could save your life and the lives of your team mates. They could mean the difference between success and failure of your missions. Are you really going to turn your back on that just because we haven't figured out all the answers yet?"
Silence answered his question, and he knew he had them. The armbands would become standard equipment for the SGC teams most likely to encounter danger – and that meant SG-1 in particular.
ANTARTICA: SECOND GATE LOCATION
"So I was thinking," said Jack, stifling the pain of his broken ribs and leg and trying to ignore the freezing cold of the ice cavern they were trapped in. "What happens if you drop something while you are walking through a wall or something?"
Carter paused in her chipping away at the ice-bound DHD, and thought for a moment.
"We're not entirely certain," she answered. "We've been reluctant to experiment too much along those lines, since the bands only work if they are being worn, and what might happen when matter phases back into normal space inside of other matter could be catastrophic."
"Catastrophic as in, 'bang' catastrophic, or catastrophic as in 'Oh no, I'm stuck inside a wall' catastrophic?"
"The 'bang' sort. Potentially a very big bang," she answered. "It might just 'push' matter out of the way, like hitting a nail into a piece of wood, but it could also just as likely split atoms."
"As in, 'Nuclear' split atoms?"
"Yes sir," answered Carter, returning to the task of extracting the frozen DHD.
Jack settled thoughtfully for a moment.
"So, what happens when we breathe in and out? While doing the David Copperfield thing with a wall I mean. Where does the air go, or come from, for that matter?" he asked.
"It appears the armbands also act as a sort of 'survival' suit, supplying air and protecting us from the environment we are travelling through," she answered continuing her work.
"Hmm, really," said Jack. "Protecting us from the environment eh, so like stopping us from freezing maybe?"
Carter stopped and looked at Jack, astonished.
"Sir, that's brilliant," she said, then frowned. "But if you should pass out while phased, I might not be able to aid you even if I activate my phasing device."
"It's that or freeze," Jack answered, reaching for his so far rarely used armband. "I'll try it for an hour or two and see if it helps. You might want to think about if you can use it to help with the DHD, or maybe even to see if our popsicle friend over there had any tools or equipment that might help."
"Yes, Sir," she answered, checking her own armband. "Although I'll make quick recon topside first, since it will be easy to travel through the ice."
"Yeah, how does that work anyway, shouldn't we just sink through the floor?" asked Jack.
"It's er, it complicated," said Carter, not convincingly.
"You don't know," accused Jack, "None of you have worked it out yet, have you?"
"It has a lot to do with what you are thinking about," explained Carter. "You automatically expect to be able to walk on the floor, so you can. If you want to walk through a solid rock wall, you can do it any angle."
"So what, we can walk on air, if we wanted to?"
"No. There seems to be some limited, interaction with the density of surrounding unphased matter, which is why it takes extra effort to push through rock as opposed to sand for instance."
"Oh, okay," said Jack. "Now I am worried I'm going to switch this on and sink into the centre of the Earth or something."
Carter smiled and activated her device. With its protection from the surrounding cold, they would be able to last a lot longer, although Jack's injuries still made their situation dire. Still, he had a good point about searching the rest of the cavern for supplies.
With luck, she might even find a functioning staff weapon they could use to melt water, and that would give her even longer to fix the DHD and get them out of there.
As detestable as it felt, they might owe their lives to Maybourne's insistence in recovering Tollan equipment and putting it to use even without understanding how it worked. Not that she would ever openly admit it to him though.
HARLAN'S COMPOUND: LABORATORY
Jack paused a second before answering his Harlan-manufactured robot double.
"Well they're all debating the meaning of life out there. Both Daniels think this is all fascinating. The Carters are arguing already. Teal'c feels left out. You and I have got a few things to talk about," he said. "Maybourne's plotting something, as usual."
"I'm not going to give you a hard time about who gets to go back, if that's what you mean," answered Robot Jack, a note of bitterness entering his tone.
"Good, but that's just not good enough. There is, um, a little issue of security. You know everything I know about Earth. Codes, defences, you know, important stuff," said Jack.
"I know, you have to destroy us," said Robot Jack, turning back to face the incomplete Teal'c. "Even if we bury the gate, the risk is too great. You have to kill us, but I've got to tell you, I am not at all happy about it. Not happy at all."
Jack stood silently for a moment. There wasn't really anything to say; Robot Jack was right.
"Maybe I can offer an alternative," said Harry Maybourne, walking over to join them.
"You have got to be kidding me," said Robot Jack.
"What would it hurt? You would still be part of the Stargate program, just my side of the fence instead. I can sell this to the higher ups, but it will need to be a package deal," explained Harry. "Come on, there is no way they are not going to want a second Carter and a second Daniel working for them. We convince Harlan to let us move some gear over here, make it another off world research base of sorts, Harlan gets lots of people talk to – it's all good and everybody is happy."
"Or you could just pull us and this place apart trying to figure what makes us tick-"
"Nah," interrupted Jack. "Your Carter will already be here doing that, and think about what else she might learn that Earth could use."
"Good point," admitted Robot Jack with a reluctant nod.
"You, er won't be able to go on missions or anything of course, with that battery problem-" said Jack.
"Harlan said some of his people had an energiser bunny thing they used to go away for longer."
"But none of them came back."
"Still, we'll figure something out, but even without that, you'll still be useful here, as more than just a security guard," said Harry. "We need a military mindset here to keep an eye out for potential uses of the technology, and the dangers. You both know what these scientist types can be like. Even testing new weapons and systems would be more securely done here or on another planet than on Earth."
"Yes, well, and you are stronger, and can take a bit more damage," Jack admitted, nodding towards the ugly wound on Robot Jack.
"And smarter, don't forget smarter," added Robot Jack, with a smile.
"So it's a deal then? You'll stay here but keep working for the SGC? Hell, you might even get a promotion, being in charge of an off-world base and all that, which would be good because I am not splitting my pay with you," said Jack.
Robot Jack frowned.
"A desk job - Is it too late to change my mind? Just send the bomb through."
"All right, I'll give you all the Simpson's tapes, and I'll make sure you get regular care packages, from me, not some pencil-pushing bureaucrat."
Both Jacks smiled, and then frowned, the same thought obviously crossing their mind at the same time.
"You are going to want Harlan to help with that Tollan gear, as well as share with us his own technology, aren't you?" asked Robot Jack.
"Harlan's so desperate for company I can't see that being a problem," answered Harry. "We offer to ship through a few dozen people every few months to help get his place back up to scratch, and he'll likely give us everything we want."
"Hmm. I wonder how many people he could copy," asked Robot Jack.
"We do not want to think about that," said Jack. "And I think it would be best to suggest Teal'c going 'nutso' shows Harlan can't make any more copies of anybody. That's one can of worms we do not want to open up."
The unfinished Teal'c synthetic lay silently in front of them and would likely stay that way forever, if either of them had anything to say about it.
"I agree," said Harry, surprising them both. "Keep it as an ace up our sleeve."
"You just don't want the competition of another Maybourne running around," accused Jack.
Harry gave a short chuckle.
"I don't think we would get along," he said, before turning heading back over the others.
"You know-" started Robot Jack.
"No. No supermodels. No Robot Urma Thurman, no."
"Oh come on!"
HOME OF SENATOR ROBERT KINSEY
Robert was a happy man. He was about to close down the money pit the Stargate program had become, and drive another nail into the coffin of his political opponents by doing so. Once he was president he would be able to open it up again, and this time it wouldn't be military jocks running the show but his own little group of like-minded individuals.
Everything was going exactly as he had planned, until he entered his private study and discovered he was not alone.
"Hello, Senator," said the man currently seated in one of the opulent chairs in the office.
"Colonel Maybourne," snarled Kinsey. "How the hell did you get in here and what the blazes do you think you are doing."
"I am saving you from a dreadful mistake," said Maybourne.
"The Stargate," said Kinsey, "costs the USA 7.4 billion dollars a year to operate and has endangered the lives of everyone on this planet a dozen times over – not that it is any concern of yours – but as Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, I cannot allow such a wasteful-"
"Oh please," interrupted the Colonel. "Don't pretend to believe that rubbish. The NID is well aware of your true agenda and I am here to warn you not to mess with the Stargate program. It is too important to be subjected to your petty political and money grabbing games."
"Get out," yelled Kinsey. "I'll see you court marshalled for this."
"You'll do nothing of the sort, unless you want the contents of that secret drawer in the liquor cabinet to come to light."
"How dare you-"
"How dare I?" cut in Maybourne, raising his voice angrily. "How dare you put the safety of this country, this planet even, behind your ambition-"
"The Stargate has done nothing for us since the day it was opened!" yelled Kinsey, matching Maybourne's volume.
"You fool. It's the only chance we have of obtaining the technology we need to protect this planet from alien ships. Do you think they are not going to come, just because the gate is closed?"
"If we close the gate we will not longer be a threat to them-"
"While we exist we are a threat to them, or at the very least, a resource to be invaded and captured. They will come, are coming, as you would know if you have bothered to listen to Doctor Jackson."
"Even if Jackson is not just delusional, I have faith our armed forces-"
"Oh please. We have captured weapons a thousand years old that are more powerful that anything we can field. Our most powerful nukes won't scratch the paint on the ships currently on their way here. But it doesn't matter. Even if we are powerful enough to fight and win, you are still not going to shut down the Stargate program."
"Why not? What have we ever gotten to show for the money we have already spent? Isn't that the NID's job, to investigate alien technology for our use?"
"Senator, senator, senator," sighed Harry, standing up from his chair. "We are already using many of the devices brought through the gate to maintain security here on Earth, but if even one of the many technologies we are investigating was released, the economy of the world would collapse and governments would fall, our own included."
"Impossible," said Kinsey. "You have nothing like that."
"Really? I suggest you have a closer read of the SGC mission reports, in particular the one where we recovered over a hundred tons of equipment from the planet Tollan before the gate was overrun by Lava."
"I read it. The technology is too advanced for us to understand or duplicate. Another dead end waste of resources," Kinsey stated.
"We have been making great strides, but you are right, we don't understand even the basics of what we recovered. Anti-gravity, advanced ION canons capable of shooting down a Goa'uld ship from orbit, power generation on a scale undreamt of – our best scientists can't make head or tails of any of it, so far," agreed Harry. "But that doesn't stop us from using it."
Kinsey paused, mouth open, ready to argue further, but caught off guard by Maybourne's last statement.
"You have worked out how to use the Tollan equipment?" he asked.
"Some of it," admitted Harry. "Enough to make it worthwhile, but we need more. We need equipment and devices we can learn from, and we won't get those by closing the Stargate program."
"We can't justify sending soldiers willy nilly all over the universe scavenging left over bits of other people's technology. That money would be better spent on our schools and investing in our own people to develop what we need," argued Kinsey.
"We are too far behind," said Maybourne. "We need a leg up. We need to leap frog the development process and cheat our way to the front. If you close the Gate and put all of that money making sure every person can read and write, we still won't have space fighters or lasers before some Goa'uld vaporise our cities and enslave the Earth, again. Do you want to be free, or to be the best read slave in the universe?"
"They are out of control!" yelled Kinsey again. "They are cowboys shooting their way into and out of trouble that they have no right involving this country in."
"But they get results," said Harry, bringing up a strange device on his arm. "So long as they are out there, they get results. Do not close down the Stargate program. Take a close look at what is means to the safety and security of this planet and stop thinking about how to line your own pockets."
Kinsey bristled and began to bluster again, spluttering threats and denials as his mind desperately searched for a way out.
"I have only the-"
"Save it senator. We've already arrested a few of those friends you don't think we know about, and I'm sure you can appreciate just how cooperative they have been," interrupted Harry.
"I don't know what you are talking about," denied Kinsey again, but his heart wasn't in it.
"If you shut down the Stargate program, when the Goa'uld get here you'll already be a prisoner, along with the rest of those friends of yours. The only reason you aren't already in prison is because we can use a man in your position to make sure nobody else tried to hijack this program."
Finally Kinsey was quite. He could see it now. He would be controlled, just he had been before and had controlled others. That was all right, he could bide his time, waiting for the moment when he could turn the tables on his new controllers.
Harry watch Kinsey's face, almost able to read the thoughts he knew would be going through the detestable man's mind. Suddenly his watch beeped.
"Oh, looks like my time is up for today. Goodbye Senator. We'll be in touch"
Before Kinsey could object, Harry turned and walked through a wall, as if it wasn't there, leaving the speechless and stunned Senator to rethink his position on the Stargate program and how he could use this new turn of events to his advantage.
KLOREL'S SHIP: GATE ROOM
In the dim light given off by the active gate, a M.A.L.P suddenly appeared. The camera and sensors on the unit panned around, making sure nothing lurked in the dark, waiting to ambush the strike team.
A few moments later, three figures appeared through the shimmering even horizon, weapons held aloft as they moved quickly into the room. Four more figures appeared, all of them heavily armed.
The wormhole collapsed almost the moment the last person was through. With the room secured, Teal'c opened a crate and seeing the contents, quickly began to pass out the small weapons inside, explaining their function as each of the others took one.
"Nice," said Robot O'Neill, taking one of the small Zats. "I suggest we send some of these back to the SGC. At the very least that will justify this trip."
"Well that'll make Maybourne's day," said Jack.
"I don't really see that as a highlight," commented Daniel thoughtfully.
"Me either," admitted Jack.
KLOREL'S SHIP: PELTAC (COMMAND CENTRE)
"A sarcophagus," said Robot Daniel.
"Now that would make Harry's year," said Jack. "Teal'c, any idea which snake-head we have here? Not that it matters, since I'm still going to weld the lid closed somehow and keep it inside."
"Sir, it appears we are on a ship," said Carter, looking at a viewscreen.
"That is correct SamanthaCarter, and we have entered Hyperspace," said Teal'c solemnly. "Probably heading for Earth."
"A ship? That would make Maybourne's century," said Robot Jack.
"Okay, new plan. We need to figure out how to control this ship, Carter, Jackson, all four of you get on it," ordered Jack. "Prioritise finding out how to dump the air out of everywhere. Meanwhile Teal'c and the two of me will scout around and see what else we can find. Our armbands will make that easy enough. And somebody call Earth on that Tollan thingy.
"But first," he said, taking out a newly acquired Zat gun and moving over next to the sarcophagus. "Let's see what's in the box? Or in this case, who's in the box."
SGC CONTROL ROOM
"Space Command reports that the warheads struck an energy field prior to impact. No damage," said Harriman, his voice ringing hollowly through the SGC.
"That's impossible!" yelled Samuels.
"NASA confirms, Sir," said Harriman. "The Goa'uld ships are still up there."
"SG-1 has contacted us using a Tollan communicator," announced Maybourne, still holding his phone to his ear. "They are onboard one of the ships and have taken control of the command centre."
"One of the ships is firing on the other," said Harriman.
"That's them," said Harry turning back to bark orders into his phone. "Target the Bogey 1, the ship that is being attacked. I repeat, target the ship that did not fire first."
Hammond and the rest of the SGC command staff held their breath as Harriman listened intently on his ear piece.
"Sir, both ships are on fire and I'm now getting reports of something striking one ship from the ground. Somebody is firing from the Earth's surface," said Harriman.
"But we don't have the technology to do that," protested Samuels.
Harry smiled. "That we don't, but others we have encountered through the gate most certainly do."
"Sir! Reports from all over the world. A giant fireball in the sky. One of the ships has been destroyed. The other one is moving away."
Cheers erupted through the centre.
Hammond was glad, very glad indeed, but he knew Maybourne was going to be insufferable.
After all, it appears he managed to have at least one of the recovered Tollan Ion canons working in time, and could possibly have taken out both attacking ships with it.
Still, so long as the Earth was safe, Hammond wasn't about to complain, and since it was SG-1 and their Robot counterparts who had captured the surviving ship, had the better bragging rights.
"If my people are not released, the imprisonment of the members of SG-1 will be considered a hostile act. Peaceful relations between our two worlds will end, right here, right now," warned Hammond.
"Our laws are immutable," aid a male voice from the darkness.
"Your law is unjust," said Hammond.
"Sir," began Kovacek. "I'm not sure if this is-"
"What's it going to be?" demanded Hammond.
"Release is impossible," stated a female voice.
"Why?" asked Hammond angrily.
"There are no returns from Hadante…for anyone," explained a male voice from the darkness.
"That is not your decision to make," Hammond answered. "You have unjustly sent my people somewhere. Either you tell me where or I will be forced to take action against you to find out."
No voice answered Hammond.
"So be it," he said, turning and briskly walking away, Kovacek racing to catch up.
"Colonel Maybourne?" said Hammond into his Tollan communicator as soon as they were away a distance. "We are a go on plan Alcatraz 1."
His didn't even wait for a response before issuing orders to Kovcek.
"Activate your phase device and find the gate address of where SG-1 has been sent. I'll send another team to back you up, but I get the feeling you are not going to have a long wait before they use the Stargate to sentence somebody else. Hell, have one of your team get convicted just to get the address."
"Yes, Sir," said Kovacek, a cold sweat breaking out on his forehead.
"Once you have the address, get it back to the NID as soon as possible, they'll take it from there. understand?"
"Yes, Sir," confirmed Kovacek.
"And if anybody tries to stop you, shoot them."
Hadante – the Prison Planet
The activation of the gate, so soon after the last time, caught most people by surprise. A trio of well armed soldiers exiting, instead of more prisoners, caused a near stampede away from the gate.
Very quickly, only SG-1 and a few brave or curious others were left.
"About time you guys got here," said Jack, walking over to where SG-3 was guiding a pallet of goods through the gate.
"Sorry, Jack," said Makepeace. "We sent an NID taxi for you, but it's a few months away. We figured you might want a few comforts from home. MRE anybody?"
"Nah, I was kind of getting used to the whole grey slop for every meal thing," answered Jack. "It's doing wonders for my weight."
"I'll take one," said Daniel, stepping up to take the offered package.
"I don't suppose you have a generator in your little bag there powerful enough to run the gate?" asked Jack as the two teams moved away from the gate and further into the tunnels of the prison. "I really don't want to wait around here for a month, and I think this glowing root thing is giving me hives. Can you be allergic to a cold fusion plant?"
"Again, we thank you. You have given us a whole new world of beauty and future experiences," said one of the now free residents previously kept in the virtual reality world of the Game Keeper.
"Well you've still got a lot of work to do, but we are very interested in trading with you. We can supply many of the things you need to get you back on your feet," said O'Neill.
He almost felt dirty thinking about how much Maybourne was going love the things this planet had to offer. The stasis pods, the biodome, and advanced computers that lasted a thousand years, just to start with. Even the annoying android, the Keeper, had potential. An artificial intelligence of that sophistication had many possibilities, despite its personality.
Speaking of the devil, Jack watched as the subject of his less than appreciative musing ran back.
"They are ruining everything," the Keeper complained, glaring at Jack. "Do you know they are actually picking the flowers? Picking them! My flowers. It's taken me a thousand years to get them right, and they are just picking them!"
Yeah, thought Jack. Maybe he'd suggest they not trade for the technology behind the Keeper. Or better yet, convince Harry to get one as a personal assistant.
"Tell them to lower their weapons. They will kill him," said the woman Daniel just stopped from jumping off the cliff.
"You know what? I am thoroughly sick of getting captured," Jack said, moving his had from his weapon and onto his armband.
Nodding to Daniel, he activated his Tollan Phase device, as did Teal'c and Carter, with Daniel following a moment later. Staff weapon blasts shot from the Jaffa and passed through, leaving them untouched.
PRYUS's SHIP'S PELTAC
"You are not a Goa'uld," said Jack. "But you act just like one."
"Who sent you?" screamed the self-styled King and God Slayer, Pryus. "What Goa'uld do you serve?"
"We've told you already," said Daniel. "We serve no Goa'uld."
"Liars! Thieves," yelled Pryus. "Throw them in the mines."
The fake-Jaffa stood by, looking unsure. They couldn't even touch the strangers, so how could they follow their orders?
"Please," cried Shyla. "My father is old. He doesn't understand-"
"Oh he understands enough to keep his own people enslaved," said Jack.
"Please - He was once the greatest of men. But, he can rule no longer. He lives only to see me married."
"Shyla, what are you saying?" roared Pryus.
"Father, it's the sarcophagus. It's changed you, made you callous and cruel!" cried Shyla, running to her father and putting her arms around him. "You must stop!"
For a moment, Pryus seemed to hesitate, perhaps to consider his daughters words, but quickly the madness returned.
"No," he yelled, pushing her away from him. "You're one of them. You've been taken by a Goa'uld. Guards, shoot her! Shoot them all!"
SG-1 automatically brought their weapons to bear, despite being out of phase with the people around them. Daniel went one step further and jumped in front of Shyla in a vain attempt to protect her.
The Staff weapon blasts flew through him, striking Shyla, tossing her backwards to the floor.
"What have you done?" screamed Daniel at Pryus.
The sight of his beloved daughter on the ground dead, was the last straw. Pyrus staggered, falling to his knees beside his daughter before he too collapsed; the shock of seeing his daughter's death proving too much for his mind and body to handle.
The fake-jaffa, seeing their leaders dead, panicked, dropping their weapons and running from the room.
"Quick," said Daniel, deactivating his armband. "Help me get her to the Sarcophagus."
"Sorry about your father," said Daniel.
"He was very old," said Shyla, wiping tears from her face. "The Sarcophagus could no longer help him. I am the ruler here now."
"We'd like to help," said Daniel. "We can show your people better ways to mine, a way that will let them be free. You won't have to work yourselves to death to make your quota anymore, and we can help you build a better society."
"We might even go through the gate and take care of that Goa'uld on the other side for you too," offered Jack.
"And what will you want in return?" she asked.
Even in the depth of her sorrow, and with the shock of her father's death still present, she knew what she had to do. She was the planet's ruler now, it was up to her to make sure they were all taken care of – that was immediately obvious.
"Some of the extra Naquadah you'll be mining," said Carter. "We already have a couple of planets we are trading with for Naquadah. You could visit Abydos and see how our arrangement with them works."
"And this ship," added Jack, almost as an afterthought. "We'll take this ship."
The other members of SG-1 looked at him in surprise, caught off guard by the audacity of O'Neill's demand. Teal'c even raised an eyebrow.
"What?" asked Jack. "It's not like she is using it for more than a fancy palace anyway, and Maybourne will marry her if that's what it takes!"
"Tell me again why we are back here?" asked Jack as the group of Vikings chanted Thor's name loudly. "It doesn't seem like such a great idea now that I am here."
Carter was saved from answering by the nearby obelisk sending a beam of light to scan them. An instant later, the flash of the Asgard Teleporter swept them away.
It took a few moments for O'Neill to regain consciousness. As expected, he was back in the same dripping cave he and Teal'c originally found themselves in the first time they had visited this planet.
"And please tell me again why we had to do that rather than just walk here?" he asked, sitting up.
Daniel groaned from his prone position as Carter struggled to sit up and began consulting the various devices hanging from her vest.
"I was hoping to get some readings on the transporter," she explained. "It works in a completely different manner to the Goa'uld Rings."
"And did you?" asked Jack slowly climbing to his feet and offering her a hand.
"Yes, Sir, although I'll have to take them back to the SGC to analyse."
Daniel groaned again, raising a hand to his forehead.
"Can I at least get rid of this thing now?" asked O'Neill, reaching into a pocket to withdraw an oddly long container.
A faint squealing and thumping came from inside.
"Settle down, junior," said O'Neill, shaking the bottle. "You'd think a Goa'uld would be used to getting flung around the place by now. I mean they spend all their childhood inside a Jaffa's belly."
"They are probably still upset at getting torn out of a dead Jaffa and stuck into a metal bottle," said Daniel. "I know I'd be a bit less than happy, and you know just how gentle the NID would have been with them."
"Well at least they have earned their keep," said Jack, putting his trapped Goa'uld bottle back into his pocket. "You were right, Carter, the transporter worked exactly like you said it would. Now, let's get out of here. I don't want to run into another one of those uno things."
"I think the Unas was the only one here," said Daniel, finally struggling to his feet.
"Yeah well, maybe, but I do not want to take the chance."
The hologram of the Norse version of Thor began his speech, the same one O'Neill previously heard.
Daniel rushed to get his camcorder going to record as much of the message as he could, swearing at missing the first few words, while Sam used a few other devices to take readings.
Jack sighed and began investigating the tunnels, hoping to find the way out a lot easier this time, and without any nasty surprises.
"So, we are just going to take it then?" asked Daniel as he helped Jack lower the Thor's Hammer to the ground.
The large hole burned in the side where he shot it to allow Teal'c to escape had jagged edges, so he had to be careful where he grabbed it.
"Well, it is broken," pointed out Jack, as he strained.
"Because we shot it," puffed Daniel.
"You were the one who shot it."
"Because you told me too."
"Well you weren't going to leave Teal'c here to die were you?" grunted jack as they finally got the heavy unit onto the ground.
"Still. It just seems wrong. We broke it, and now we are going to steal it."
"SG-3 three is on their way," said Sam, walking through the wall of the cave and deactivating her armband. "E.T.A. twenty minutes."
"I hope they remember to bring a wheelbarrow with them," said Jack, leaning against the wall to catch his breath. "It's a bit heavier than I expected."
"So," said Daniel. "Stealing...?"
"We may be able to fix it, or if we can find out how it works, we might be able to construct a new device. This technology could protect Earth from infiltration."
"But if we fix it, will we bring it back?" asked Daniel. "I mean I can't really see Maybourne letting it go once he has his hands on it, but what if the Asgard come back and find we've taken this planet's only protection? We're probably already on their wrong side for breaking it."
"It's not like they are going to come back any time soon, is it?" asked Jack. "I mean, they haven't dropped in to say hello for like a thousand years, right? Maybe we can give these people some of the new guns and other things the NID have come up with, or showers and soap or something - a razor blade even."
"There are indications the Asgard may have left something else here," said Daniel. "Gairwyn said there is a place called the 'Hall of Thor's Might' where Thor supposedly left all of his powers in order to protect the planet.
"Let me guess, you want to go looking for it," said Jack.
"The SGC has already forwarded a request from Colonel Maybourne to have it investigated," explained Carter. "It might be another Asgard weapon, or weapons."
"No surprises there," stated Jack. "Okay, first we get this back to the SGC, then we go looking for Thor's Hall. Hell, maybe he'll have beer, and well-endowed Valkyries – that's part of the legends too, right?"
CIMMERIA: THOR'S HALL
"On the contrary. My image is a living transmission. I am communicating to you from my quarters aboard the Asgard ship Biliskner," said the small grey alien.
"You mean, you're the real Thor?" asked Daniel.
Thor blinked, turning his head to look at all three SG-1 members present.
"Er, well this is great," said Daniel.
"We would be very interested being, er, friends," said Jack. "See, we've got this little Goa'uld problem, and you seem to be sort of opposed to them and all, so maybe we could pool our resources, and you know, er,"
"Form an alliance," finished Daniel.
"Yes, form an alliance. Between you, er, guys, and us, against the Goa'uld," finished Jack lamely.
"My scans are indicating the Hammer is no longer functioning," said Thor, his expression unreadable.
"Yeah, we sort of broke it," said Daniel. "I don't suppose you could tell us how to fix it at all?"
Jack sighed. This was going to make for a long report when he got back to the base, that was for sure.
And there were no Valkyries or beer.
Thanks to Alphafightclub, JBern in particular for helping this story get written. This will not be a 100k word story, sorry. Just a few chapters of ideas.
Somehow I managed to overwrite this chapter, so this is the replacement without the corrections.