Telos, Sol System
Blue flashes of light illuminated the interior of a large domed chamber. The members of the SGC strike team glance around at the room around them, absorbing the scenery as best they can in the dim lighting. The walls are a slick grey metal, covered with a thin layer of frost; across the ceiling run multiple rows of thin blue light strands, just enough to give a grey ambient background glow to the room. Rows of human shaped operating tables fill the center of the room, and as the SGC teams watch, they begin to activate, mechanical operating arms moving in activation sequences. The lights in the room explode on, temporarily blinding the strike squad.
"Alright, let's get out here. We have a lot of ground to cover," Mitchell whispered. "Radio silence at all times, unless you run into unavoidable trouble. Daniel and Sam, you're with me. We'll be heading toward the energy source coming from deeper within the planet." Mitchell paused and looked and each group member, a resolute expression coming to his face. "We have a tough job ahead of us. These things are resistant to most of our arms so don't waste shots firing at them unless you have a clear kill shot." Mitchell paused, and then cracked a smile: "Alright, let's save the Earth." He turned toward the door and beckoned to Jackson and Carter to follow. They headed out quickly and quietly, into the murky blue darkness beyond the chamber's doors.
Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Earth
The Doctor and Ace shimmered into existence in Carter's lab, surrounded by armed soldiers. "Hello, I'm the Doctor, an this is my friend Ace. What seems to be the trouble?" He strode through the soldiers up to Gen. Landry, and then glared right into his face. "General, I think we've been through this once before. Also," the Doctor huffed, "I don't like guns, so please put them down. Oh, and where are those Cybermen? I am here to help you put a stop to them, or at least that's what the message said. I assume you sent the message?" He turned suddenly, spinning to look at Ace, "Or was it you that sent me the distress call?"
"It wasn't me Professor," Ace frowned as she pushed aside the guns pointed at her.
"I don't even know who you are, why should I trust you to help me deal with this Cyber-man problem, when you could very well be related to the cause?" Landry barked out, causing the Doctor to jump slightly.
"Because you don't really have a choice," Ace cut in, snidely. "We know how to deal with them." She snarkily smiled.
"I'm sorry, ma'am, but you are mistaken. We currently have multiple ways of taking down the Cybermen, and we have ships assaulting the surface of their planet now. What do we need you for?"
Ace's face rapidly deflated, but she covered it up quickly, not letting it show. The Doctor, however, had a puzzled expression on his face. He mumbled to himself under his breath, "If Ace didn't call me… And these humans didn't call me… Then who called me?" He paced forward, nearly running into Landry and several other soldiers. "I've got it!" he suddenly shouted, beaming. "That must be how the Cybermen got here in the first place. They have some kind of time sensitive creature on their, what did you say?" The Doctor spun around again, this time peering at Landry. "What did you say your ships were attacking?"
"A planet, but what do you meant 'time sensitive?'" Landry responded, but the Doctor kept right on going as soon as he heard the answer.
"Planet, planet, planet, that means that they're going to be draining power off the Earth to keep up with the growth of infrastructure that a full scale invasion requires. All right, next… Wait, did you say you already had sent men to the planet? Yes, of course you did, good, now all we need to do is get rid of the Cybermen here. By the way, where is your reactor core for this base? I assume you use a self-contained reactor, correct?"
"Well, I.." Landry began, but the Doctor cut him off before he could continue.
"Yes, yes, just take me there, I need to get an oscillating frequency going to block out their transmats." The Doctor stood expectantly looking at Landry, who shrugged his shoulders and glared at the Doctor.
"Alright, you can go 'oscillate the whatever,' but there'll be a guard on you at all times. Your friend over here-"
"I have a name, you know," Ace grumbled.
"-Your friend over here will accompany my men back to the cells so that you don't try anything."
"Oh no, I've had enough of this, I have some Cybermen to destroy, that's why I came here." Ace snapped her fingers and one of her smart bombs hovered up into the air. She grabbed it and one of her pistols still lying on the table, and vanished. All the soldiers spun their weapons toward the Doctor, who sheepishly held his hands up in the air.
Level 26, SGC, Cheyenne Mountain
The soldiers had pulled back into hallways, after using grenades to take out the connecting stairwells, effectively trapping themselves in the level if they couldn't get the elevators to work. However, Teal'c wasn't worried yet, and simply kept fighting, hitting another Cyberman in the chest with his staff weapon. He stood up and shouted, "Now!" and jumped backwards, as the floor around the Cybermen exploded, sending them crashing into the level below. "Keep firing, we need to push them back!" Teal'c shouted as he shot another Cyberman's chest out. "We will win this day!" With a renewed sense of determination, the soldiers pushed forward, pushing the Cybermen back.
In the ground in front of Teal'c, there was a flash and a woman whom Teal'c recognized as the prisoner appeared. She whipped up a pistol and fired some energy blasts at the Cybermen, blowing holes through two Cybermen's helmets, and burning several others. She jumped back to Teal'c and cover, and rolled to a stop beside him.
She looked at him and smiled, "The name's Ace, nice to meet you." She looked over the barricade and fired off a couple more shots at the Cybermen. Teal'c nodded in acknowledgement, more preoccupied with the fight than with questioning the escaped prisoner, who for now appeared to be on Stargate Command's side.
Telos, Solar System
Low blue light cast a shroud over the murky mist that seemed to hang in the corridors, forcing SG-1 to proceed at a slower than normal pace. The hallways seemed endless, branching out on either side of the hallway through which they stalked at regular intervals. Every once in a while, noises of machinery would echo down the metallic corridors, almost causing them to jump out of their skin.
"Sam, Jackson, does this feel wrong to you? I mean, there aren't any of those Cybermen around, and we're in their giant planet," Mitchell whispered.
Carter glanced behind them, then ahead. "In don't see anything, but you're right, this doesn't feel right. Jackson, what does the scanner say?"
Jackons glanced at the scanner in his hand, then whispered back, "Ten life forms directly ahead, cybernetic."
They stepped into a large room, and immediately quit talking. The ceiling shot upwards, into a neat point. Suspended about 30 feet down from the point, but still at least 50 feet above the ground, was a silver orb, looking to have a radius of about 8 feet. It hung from thick, grey metal chains, and a stream of energy flowed from around it straight down into a mass of things that looked like Tesla coils and circuits, set directly beneath the sphere. The energy around the sphere pulsed blue, with the occasional red, spiral convulsion.
Around the machinery at the base were about ten Cybermen, heavily armored, and slowly deactivating the machinery on the floor.
"Process almost complete. The pilot will be deactivated and deleted within 10 minutes," one of the Cybermen stated.
Another one this one in more streamlined armor, and less bulky, straightened up. "Sensors detect life forms in the room. Delete them; they must not free the pilot."
Three of the large, armored Cybermen stood up, and turned towards the entrance of the room, where Mitchell, Jackson, and Carter stood. All three pulled out their Zats, blasting the Cybermen, full on in the chest. The three Cybermen moved jerkily, slowing but not actually stopping. Mitchell let out another shot, this one actually driving home and stopping a Cyberman, but the Cyberman's weapon arm still functioned, and it was able to get off a blast. The blast went wide, but the members of SG-1 still took that moment to dive for cover behind some machinery at the edges of the room. They hit the other two Cybermen, stunning them, then moved forward, ducking from blasts as they picked off the others. They cornered the smoother, more streamlined looking Cyberman in the center of the room, held at Zat point.
"Alright, tin can, what is this thing," Mitchell barked, gesturing at the metal sphere.
"That information is classified," the Cyberman intoned, "You must be deleted." Its eyes started to flash green, and its limbs began to seize up.
Jackson, the closest, was momentarily shocked, but managed to kick the Cyberman into the stream of energy coming from the sphere, grunting as he almost couldn't get the massive metal carcass to move. A massive wave of energy flew up toward the sphere, hitting it. One of the chains snapped, and the sphere plunged toward the ground, falling open as it did. Mitchell grabbed Carter out of the way and dived to the ground, barely dodging a metal box that flew out of the sphere, which hit the ground and skid to a stop. The box cracked open, and a pale, thin human hand reached out and grabbed the side. A sickly woman emerged, hair matted with dust and grime, a single golden crown adorning her head. As she collapsed on the floor, Jackson and Carter were able electrical wires jutting out from her spine, trailing back into the box.
Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Earth
General Landry glared at the Doctor, almost as if he was willing the man to break. But, to Landry's chagrin, the Doctor just stared back, smiling a cocky, self-assured grin, legs crossed and hand resting on one of his knees.
"You realize that the longer you keep me down here, the more Cybermen are just going to transmit down, right?"
"Stop talking, prisoner," Landry barked out, but for some reason he felt uncomfortable shouting at this man. Maybe it was the way he carried himself, but Landry found himself almost wanting to trust the man.
Landry's comm buzzed, and Teal'c voice crackled, "The woman prisoner is with me and the other SG teams, helping to fight off the Cybermen. She says to trust the Doctor. She seems willing to put her neck on the line to help us, and I am inclined to trust her."
Understood, Teal'c, I will take that into consideration. Thank you for the input," Landry curtly responded.
The Doctor stood up and smiled. "Now, where's that reactor room. We have some Cybermen to stop." Before the Doctor could turn to the Door, though, two blue flashes of light lit the room, and two Cybermen, heavily armored and armed, appeared. Landry immediately dropped to the floor, as the Doctor whipped out a long white and gold wand like device, with a glowing green tip. He aimed it at the Cybermen, and pushed a button on it, and the Cybermen collapsed. The Doctor strode over to Landry and offered him a hand.
Landry gritted his teeth, pushed down his pride and suspicion, and took the Doctor's hand. As he got to his feet, he rushed to the door, dragging the Doctor behind him. "The reactor is down in the lower levels, but I don't see how you're going to get down there." Landry shoved the Doctor down and whipped out his pistol, sending several shots right into the faceplate of a newly appeared Cyberman. He pistol-whipped the Cyberman in the head, buying time to pull himself and the Doctor back to the other soldiers on that level.
The Doctor stood up and brushed himself off. "I can oscillate the reactors frequency from any major power relay station. Where's the nearest one on-" but the Doctor was cut off as a blast from a Cyber-weapon nearly hit him, forcing him to dive for cover. "As I was saying," the Doctor continued, unperturbed by the firefight around him, "where is the nearest power relay station?"
"Down the hall," Landry barked, "but how are you going to.. Doctor, STOP!" Landry barked as the Doctor sprinted out from behind cover, weaving through the rows of Cybermen.
On every level of the Cheyenne Mountain Complex, soldiers fought for their lives against the slowly appearing Cybermen.
Above Earth, the B304s continued to pound the surface of Telos, inhibiting complete re-thawing of the Cybermen.
Within Telos, Jackson and Carter knelt over the injured woman, who continually mumbled the words "Time Vortex."
Telos, Sol System
"Are you all right?" Mitchell asked the woman, rapidly glancing from her to the door, and back again. "Can you understand me?"
She coughed again, hacking up blood and bile. She remained silent, though.
"Sam, Daniel, what can you tell me about her," Mitchell asked. He stood up and trained his gun on the door, the sound of stomping feet coming from the hall.
"She's human," Carter answered, "but I can't tell much else. Daniel, does that capsule thing she was in have any writing on it?"
Jackson jumped up and walked around the metal looking sphere and box, studying designs in it. "Nothing here appears to be any form of meaningful writing," he called, "just some really intricate spiral patterns." The box was covered in swirls that looked like trees, each different from any other on the box. "I can't make heads or tales of it, I'll need more time."
"They're heading this way," Mitchell barked at Carter, "We have inbound Cybermen. Get that woman and let get out of here!" Mitchell sent off two shots with his Zat at the first Cyberman to enter the room, its metal body casing sparkling blue for half a second before it stumbled to the ground. Mitchell sent off two more shots, knocking the Cyberman flat and frying the next one that walked into the room. The lingering sent of ozone drifted through the room, evidence of the fight.
Jackson rushed over to Carter and helped her heave the woman over their shoulders, and they sprinted over to Mitchell. "So, back where we arrived, or do we want to leave this woman somewhere and finish the mission?" Daniel asked with concern etched on his face.
"I say we find a spot to hide her, and then continue with the mission. Landry is counting on us," Carter whispered as she followed Mitchell out the door. She had to turn sideways so Daniel was able to keep holding the woman with her.
Mitchell spun around in the hallway; alternating which direction he faced, he trained his Zat on both ends of the corridors. "I agree with Sam, stow this woman somewhere safe and let's finish this mission." Mitchell crept forward, turning his back to Carter and Jackson, eyes and ears searching for any sign of Cybermen. "Nothing coming this way yet, get that woman moved to one of the side rooms near where we beamed in. I got this covered."
Jackson and Carter picked up the woman and turned, trudging back toward the storeroom where they had beamed in. "I forgot to take pictures of those symbols!" Daniel shouted, nearly throwing the woman off his shoulders. He fumbled, and caught the woman before her weight pulled Carter to the ground with her. "I need to get back to take pictures before-"
"Daniel, we need to put this woman somewhere safe first, and then we have a mission to accomplish. The pictures will have to wait."
"That pod thing is probably going to be gone by the time we finish the mission, and I won't have another chance," Daniel retorted.
"Daniel, we can talk about this after we, *urrggh*," Carter heaved as she set the woman down on the floor of the storeroom the SG teams had arrived in. The temperature had risen slightly since they had arrived, and the frost was starting to melt on the crates and metal piping. "-after we finish finding a way to stop this planet." Carter stopped and smiled to herself. "You know how crazy this sounds, us trying to actually stop a planet from moving. But hey, you're mister "I've died and come back twice," so this is probably nothing." Carter smiled, and pulled out her Zat. "Let's meet up with Mitchell, we have work to do."
Stargate Command, Cheyenne Mountain Complex, Earth
The Doctor weaved through the appearing Cybermen, ducking under energy blasts and dodging physical blows. He leapt and tumbled on the floor, rolling into the door to the electrical room. He fumbled with the door handle, opening it just as a Cyberman shot at him. The blast grazed his shoulder, but he dived through the door and swung it shut behind him, locking it with his sonic screwdriver, before any more shots could hit him. "Whew, that was close," he mused aloud. "Alright, now where's that power relay station?" He looked around the room, settling his eyes on the giant metal doors built into the far side. He smiled, "that must be it," and trained his sonic screwdriver on it.
The effects were instantaneous. All around the complex transmat beams collided with themselves and other already materialized Cybermen, throwing the invading force into disarray. Landry seized the moment to fire a shot directly into the neck joint of the Cyberman nearest him, managing to punch a hole into its insides. He let loose several more shots, dropping it. "Now, while we have the chance, hit 'em with all we've got," Landry shouted, empty another pistol into a half-materialized Cyberman further down the corridor. He kicked open the stairwell door, and dropped several more, before he ran out of ammo and guns. He bent down and grabbed one of the guns the Cybermen had been carrying. He aimed it at the stairwell wall and fired, releasing a blue ring of energy the hit the wall and left burn marks and an ozone smell in the air. "Let's see what this thing can do," he chuckled, and slowly walked down the stairs, allowing his men to catch up.
Levels below Landry, Teal'c's team was fighting back, using the confusion to their advantage. "Left flank, pull ahead, scan those office rooms," Teal'c barked, "right flank, check that hallway and storage rooms. The rest of you, follow me." Teal'c marched forward, Zat out and ready to shoot anything that moved.
Ace followed, quickly falling into step with Teal'c, and then pulling ahead. "I got it from here," she barked, irritation clearly evidenced in her voice, "I didn't come all this way to let a bunch of soldier grunts do my job for me." She jumped through the hole they had blown in the floor, landing in a crouch in the level below. She whipped out her gun, blasting three Cybermen through the head, dropping them all cleanly.
"Try to keep up," she smirked under her breath, and she strode off into the Cybermen infested hallways below.
Teal'c did not follow, instead directing his team to clear out the rooms immediately surrounding the stairwell. He moved toward the hole in the floor, and shot a still moving, partially materialized Cyberman in the chest, twice. It ceased moving.
"All clear here," one of Teal'c's squad called out, and those in the other rooms near Teal'c echoed his shout. Teal'c's walkie-talkie buzzed, and he received confirmation from the two other teams that their areas were clear as well.
"Alright, we clear out, and move down to the lower levels, but slowly, we don't want to miss any Cybermen." Teal'c moved forward, down the broken and mangled chunks of construction material and into the level below.
Several Levels above
The Doctor smiled as he heard the sound of misfiring transmats. He flipped his sonic screwdriver into the air, and turned to walk out. He froze, though, as a large metal arm was pointing a wrist-mounted blaster at the back of his head.
"You will come with us, Doctor, the Controller will have need of your services," the Cyberman barked, priming the wrist weapon.
"I will not," the Doctor retorted, "I have a planet to save. Two planets actually, though with yours I'm planning on sending it somewhere where it won't cause a problem. How 'bout the year one hundred eleven billion, one hundred eleven million, one hundred eleven thousand, one hundred eleven? I love all the ones it, it's so much fun to say, it just rolls right off the tongue."
"You will cease your prattle, Doctor, and come with me," the Cyberman intoned. It grabbed the Doctor's shoulder, gripping tightly, and pushed him into the hallway, toward the stairwell.
"Get your hand off of me," the Doctor spluttered out, but the Cyberman did not relent. It shoved him into the stairwell, and plodded after him. However, the Doctor managed to catch himself, and he swung his leg back and hit the Cyberman's knee, tripping it down the stairs. "Well, now that that's done," the Doctor smiled as he wiped his hands on his jacket, "where did that general get off to?" He turned to look over his should up the stairs, but heard the Cyberman's footsteps below. With a yelp, he hurried up the stairs and slammed the door shut.
He jogged through the hallways, and flinched as he heard the door shatter behind him. He turned into a dead end, and skidded to a stop. He rubbed his fingers on his temples, and sighed. "Why do I always have to stop running these days?" He turned and whipped his Sonic Screwdriver out, seizing up the pursuing Cyberman.
He looked at its crippled form, then stalked off, still looking for the general.
Several Levels Below
Ace dodged another Cyberman blast and shot it through the head, dropping it. She paused her charge, surveying the wreckage around her. "That was easier than expected," Ace mused, staring at the dead Cybermen around her. She glanced at the LCD display on the back of her gun, noted the flashing red light, and holstered it. She quickly looked around the room, and grabbed the closest Cybermen weapon she saw. The floor creaked behind her, just out of sight behind a doorway. She spun around and trained the weapon on the door. Teal'c stepped out cautiously, followed by several soldiers.
"You are an excellent warrior, 'Ace,' although you missed two Cybermen just several rooms back. My men and I took them out."
"Thanks," Ace coldly responder, "but I would have gotten them eventually." She turned, and moved on toward the stairwell, to finish what she had come here for.
Teal'c watched her stalk off and then motioned for several of his squad to come with him and follow her.
"Sir, why are we watching her back? She obviously doesn't care, and we don't even know if we can trust her."
That is precisely why we are going to watch her back," Teal'c responded. He grabbed one of Cybermen's weapons and slung it over his shoulder, and strode to the stairs. He pushed the door open cautiously, and crept in, Zat and Cyberman weapon trained ahead of him.
Telos, Sol System
Mitchell crept forward, flinching and aiming his gun at every sound. He wiped sweat from his brow and turned to see Carter and Jackson jogging up the hallway toward him. "Is it just me, or did it suddenly get really warm in here?"
"No, the temperature has risen," Jackson answered, "Though I don't know why it would be. Unless something is going wrong with their systems."
"Or maybe it's me," Mitchell quipped. He turned around, and stealthily moved down the hallway, inspecting each door and opening that he passed. Behind him, Jackson and Carter followed, weapons held at the ready. The hall was silent save for their breathing.
After several minutes, they came to a large row of immense elevators, each big enough to hold several dozen large human. The elevators stood towering over an immense cavern, the top too high for the SG team to make out. The sides of the cavern were perfectly curved, and inlayed with a glyph-like Cyberman head every couple feet. The stench of burnt metal and ozone filled the air, and the whirring of many machines was a cacophony that shook the room to its artificial rhythm.
"Guys, how did we miss this sound?" Jackson asked, slack jawed. He stepped out the room, then stepped back in, then stepped out again. He broke into laughter. "There's some kind of sound blocking field that keeps sound from being heard outside this room from this room." He laughed again, and stepped in and out of the room one more time. Mitchell followed, and he cracked a smile after he did it a couple times.
Carter, though, had run up to the elevators and was checking over their control mechanisms. "If you boys are quite finished, I think I know how to operate these. Mitchell, set the charges on the bases of the others, and I'll get this one ready to use."
"Wait, charges?" Jackson asked, spinning around to face Carter. "I need to get pictures of those symbols, and we need to get the woman to safety."
"We can beam her out, I left a RFID tag on her," Carter responded, "and shutting down all this stuff matters more than a bunch of symbols, at the moment."
"But, I ne-," Jackson began, but was cut off by Mitchell. "We have more pressing concerns Daniel, and Sam's right. If we have a chance we can come back."
"Let me just run back and get them," Jackson began, and jogged back, leaving the room and heading down the hallway. He sprinted the second he got out of the doorway.
"Daniel," Mitchell shouted, but it was pointless. Jackson wouldn't hear him. Mitchell, grubbled, and turned to start laying the charges, but a rumbling nearly knocked him off his feet. One of the elevators was descending. Mitchell and Carter grabbed the charges and pulled back into the shadows.
The elevator stopped with a resounding thud, echoing through the chamber. Three tall, and heavily armed and amored, Cyberman stepped out, silver and chrome armor shining in the light of the room. They marched toward the door, and exited.
Does it seem like I gave Jackson the idiot ball? I thought it felt in character for him, but what do you think?