"One Small Step for Man..." - TGG/ADN Multiverse S

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"One Small Step for Man..." - TGG/ADN Multiverse S

Post by Steve » 2007-01-28 04:51am

The following is a story prologue, and only in the end will the story's plot/intent be revealed.

Unlike "Anatomy of a War" and "The Decision", I may not post more of this until it's fully completed, after which I'll do daily or bi-daily updates until the story is done. Or I may just post as I complete chapters. We'll have to see.:cool:

And yes, my loyal fans, there is a surprise in this story, indeed it is the point of the story, one I think many of you will like. :cool:

Gallitep, Bajor, Cardassian Occupation Authority
Universe Designate ST-3
10 December 2153 AST

The whine of Cardassian phaser rifle fire competed with the hum and cracks of particle rifle and railgun fire when Bravo Company began it's ascent up the Gallitep Ridge, overlooking the famed gulag from the northwestern corner. Nathan Mackensen kept his head down, motioning to his men to move forward as he led Platoon B to a small ledge from which they gained cover from the intense Cardassian fire.

Over the radio, he could hear the calls of the rest of the 24th Recon as the battalion assaulted Gallitep to prevent it's commandant from murdering the Bajoran prisoners as the Cardassians had attempted in virtually every other labor and prison camp liberated by Allied Nations forces during the advance on Bajor. The Cardassians were using the ridge as a firing position, and without it taking the camp would be impossible.

Nate saw movement to his right. The strong feminine figure, tan-skinned from recent Mexican heritage, stormed up beside him, MP-10 in her arms and a Captain's bars on her uniform. Captain Danielle Sutherland gave him an angry look and said, in her demanding soprano tone, "Lieutenant, why aren't you advancing?!"
"Cardie fire is too heavy, Sir! They're chewing us up!" Above them and further up, an explosion was accompanied by several cries. Three Marines rolled passed them and back down, one unconscious, two dead, and one of the dead bore the rank insignia and name of Platoon C's Gunnery Sergeant, Roger Fuller.
Sutherland's face twisted into exasperation and anger. "I don't care if they're dropping tac-nukes over our heads, I want that ridge now! C'mon, Marines, to Hell with the Cardies and to Hell with fire support, you're not gonna live forever anyway!"

And like that, Sutherland advanced up the ridge, literally dragging Platoon C with her as the Marines followed their officer into the thick of Cardie fire. Nate looked to the sergeant commanding his MG squad, Richard Montoya, and said, "We need suppression fire from MG squad! The rest of you, you heard the Captain! To the top!"
The Marines began a steady assent, aided by fire from the 30mm cannons on the APCs at the ridge's northwestern base. The Cardassians were heavier-armed than had been expected, and an anti-vehicle phaser was brought up and used on the APCs, destroying one once the Cardies had dialed it's power up to get through the armor plate. Suppression fire up-hill was hard, and very easy for those on the high ground, and with no air support forthcoming yet due to pressing needs on other fronts the only way Bravo Company could do it's work was to take the losses and keep going.

Nate was dashing up to higher cover when a blast from a Cardassian rifle hit him in the shoulder. It was dialed high enough to vaporize a portion of armor and punch through to the flesh and bone of his left shoulder, making him cry out and fall. He dragged himself to cover, where he found himself face-to-face with the grimacing visage of his platoon's Gunnery Sergeant, Toby Michaelson. The older Marine was favoring his hip. "They got you Gunny?!"
"I'll be alright, Sir!" was the reply. "Keep going, I'll give you what cover I can!" The Gunny rested his MP-10 on the rock in front of them and began to fire upward, at the Cardassian positions on the incline of the ridge.
With a nod at Gunny MIchaelson, Nate went to continue his way upward. He hadn't even gotten to the next bit of cover when an object flew overheard and landed beside Michaelson.

It was a Cardassian plasma grenade, and before anyone had a chance to react it exploded. The plasma energies of the explosion burned through the Gunny's body armor, scorching his body to the extent that he was literally flash-fried to death.
The blast wave of the explosion blew off chunks of rock, heating them to the point that they were white-hot when they struck Nate from behind. He screamed from the pain of some of the shards being sharp enough and of the right velocity to punch into his body armor, which was meant more for deflecting high-energy shots and bullets than stopping extremely fast moving but relatively weak shards of rock. He was unable to feel his legs when he fell, the pain in his spine so severe that the world began to spin and dissolve into pure, unrelenting agony, until finally he lost all consciousness.

Quantico, Earth, United States of America
Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate SE-1
19 June 2173 AST

Nate sat up from the bed, sweating lightly and feeling agitated. The nightmare had brought it all back; Captain Sutherland's determined face, Gunny Michaelson's grimace, and the white-hot agony of a shard of rock embedded in his spine from the grenade that killed Gunny Michaelson.
Twenty years had passed since the fateful battle at Gallitep. Captain Sutherland was dead, killed that night as her Marines got to the top, but Bravo Company had succeeded in taking the ridge. Today it was called Sutherland's Ridge by the Bajorans in honor of her charge, and a monument had been erected on the ridge top in commemoration of the Marines who had died to seize it.

Outside the sun was up. The closed curtains of his hotel room kept it dark save for the borders of the windows, through which the bright sun was shining. Nate forced himself out of bed and walked into the bathroom, where he showered and washed until he was fully awake and the dream had faded. He left the bathroom and finished drying off. The next stop was to the hotel room's built-in replicator and some scrambled eggs and toast, which Nate ate while grumbling to himself at how MREs tasted better. Finally it came time to get into uniform, and in minutes Nate was in his crisp dress blues, the rank of Colonel having replaced the Lieutenant's bar he had worn that fateful day at Gallitep, and a host of ribbons and medals on his chest.

He called a taxi cab and went out to the hotel parking lot to wait for it. When it pulled up, he gave a nod to the dark-skinned man in the driver's seat, dressed in casual taxidriver garb, and slipped into the back seat. "Marine Academy," he said, and the taxi headed out.
For most of the trip, neither said anything, but then Nate noticed a Silver Cross was hanging from the rearview mirror and a multi-service Bajoran Liberation Veteran patch on the dashboard alongside a Purple Heart. "You served?"
The driver grinned. "Gunnery Sergeant Lewis Sampson, US Marine Corps, '41 to '64. Went to Bajor with the 3rd Marine Regiment, took a hit to the knee at Torvel. You?"
Nate nodded at the response, and answered, "Colonel Nate Mackensen, AN Marine Corps. I was a Lieutenant in the 24th Recon on Bajor."
Lewis whistled. "Gallitep. Damn, you must've seen some sights. Cardie bastards...."
"Oh, I did..." There was a pause. "So, where'd you get the Silver Cross?"

The driver lowered his head a tad, though his eyes kept on the road. "Not mine. It was my son Jerome's. He enlisted in the Corps during the War, decided to stay after it was over. He went in with the 22nd Assault when they landed on Betazed. Held off an entire company of the Betazoid Commies' militia with a machine gun."
Nate nodded. "The War", to him, meant what it did to most others; the "Interuniversal War", when the Alliance had fought both the Dominion and New Plymouth plus their respective allies, including Round Two with Cardassia. "What happened to him?"
"He was on one of the transports that got shot down when they evaced Betazed," Lewis answered. "Didn't even give me anything to bury."
An old pain twisted in Nate's heart again, paralyzing him. "I'm sorry," was all he could say.

"Yeah, he wanted to be like the old man," Lewis continued on. "Did a hell of a lot more than I did when I was in the Corps. Still, would've been nice to have some grandkids..."
Nate couldn't bring himself to speak again until they got to the Academy. "That'll be five bucks," Lewis said as Nate opened the door.
Knowing the amount didn't sound right, Nate looked to the ticker on the dashboard and saw that it displayed $14.59. "That's not what your fare ticker says."
Lewis smiled widely. "It's my personal discount for the Corps. Don't worry, I cover the rest."
Nate reached into his wallet and pulled out a teal-tinted $20 ADN note, one of the new ones with the face portrait of the late Nicolas Mamatmas on it with the Capitol of Washington HE-1 on the reverse side. He handed it to Lewis. "The rest is for your son, Gunny," Nate said as he slipped out of the taxi.

As he slipped out and stood next to driver's side window for a moment, he felt Lewis' hand reach into his trouser pocket. He reached in and took out a violet-tinted $10 ADN note, slightly crumpled, that hadn't been there before. "Semper Fi," was what Lewis said back, a smile on his face as he drove off before Nate could give the money back.
Nate looked down at the $10 note, this one absent of any faces but instead faced with Big Ben and with the entire British Parliament Building on the reverse side. Grinning to himself for a moment, Nate whispered, "Semper Fi," and put the bill back into his pocket. Looking away from the street, Nate walked into the Officer's Academy.
Newly-built specifically for the Alliance Marine Corps, the Marine Officers' Academy was a large facility that replaced the smaller US Marine Corps facility that had since been moved to a more favorable spot near Tampico in the State of Tamaulipas. It was the main officer academy for the Marine Corps, also containing the campus for the officer schools that junior officers took to get a chance to attain higher rank and responsibility.
Walking through the facility, Nate wound up at the football field that was used by the Academy's NCAA Division 1 team, where he joined the crowd that was attending the graduation of the Class of 2173.

He was walking through the crowd when a familiar voice made the high-toned cry, "Gampa!" The toddler-slurred "Grandpa" turned his attention to the small three year old girl that bounded up to him, wearing a pink bow in her pony-tail and a cute dress and shirt that had teddy bears placed everywhere. Nate reached down and lifted the toddler into his arms even as an older voice, that of a boy, called out "Grandpa!", after which a six year old clasped onto his leg.
Some eyes turned his way, the interest being in the fact that unlike Nate, the children had prominent Bajoran ridges upon their noses. The same was upon the nose bridges of their father and mother was the sandy-haired man walked up to Nate, a brown-haired young woman in a formal dress beside him. He paid no heed to his daughter in Nate's arms when he put his arms around Nate and said, "Dad, good to see you."
Nate exchanged the hug with his adopted son Lorva Mackensen as strong as he dare with his granddaughter Kevys in his arm. His grandson, named Nathan as well, smiled up at him while Lorva's wife Samia gave Nate a small hug. "Doctor Mackensen," Nate said to his son. "Has a nice ring to it."
"Ah ah ah, Dad, I still have to defend my thesis," Lorva replied happily.

"You'll win, Mackensens always win," Nate chuckled in reply. "Where is your brother?"
"Furel called, said he couldn't make it." Lorva frowned. "Probably doing the usual shit."
"Ooooh, Daddy said a bad word!" Nathan giggled. "Momma's gonna smack him!"
And, indeed, Samia gave Lorva a quick smack to the shoulder, drawing a "Yow!" from him and a laugh from Nate. From beyond, a voice called out, "Still letting your girl beat you around, Lorva?"
Heads turned and Furel walked up, dressed more informally than the assembled and looking very much the college student in his dirty jacket, navy blue T-shirt, and faded blue jeans. He reached into his pocket and took out American greenbacks, two fives, and handed them to his neice and nephew. "Here, kids, Uncle Furel's 'I've missed you' gift. Go buy some toys."

Lorva chuckled and Nate, again, laughed, before he embraced his younger adopted son. The twenty year old hugged him tightly. "Hey Dad," he said.
"Doing good in college?"
"Oh yeah, straight Bs." Furel smirked and then finally, under the mockingly-scolding look of his father, corrected himself. "Okay, a C.... but mostly As. I have the lack of sleep to prove how hard I've been studying. We can't all be Mister 'Fall asleep in Science class and still get an A'."
"That's my boy," Nate cackled while Lorva shook his head, in amusement, at his younger brother's teasing. "Now, let's all go get some seats."

As they headed up to the bleachers, Kevys was the one to ask, "Where Gam'ma?"
"Grandma and Step-Granddad are going to be late," Furel replied to his neice, not noticing Nate's slight frown. "They were doing something."
Lorva elbowed his younger brother in the ribs, prompting an upset look, while Nate endured the reminder of his ex-wife's newfound happiness in silence. Together they found some seats midway up the bleachers and waited for the ceremony to begin.
A band struck up a tune, and Nate joined the other active duty Marines by standing up and saluting the arrival of Harold West, Commandant of the Allied Nations Marine Corps. West saluted back from the podium and the assembled Marines in the stands and among the cadets stood or sat at ease. From there he gave a short speech, extolling the virtues of the Corps and talking about it's future represented by the Academy graduates in front of him, and then relinquished the podium to Lt. General Tamika Hudson, the Commandant of the Academy. Her ebony skin shined in the Virginian sun as she gave her own short speech - in a town even gruffer than that of the Corps Commandant - and began to call the class up in order of it's score.

They were in the latter half of the group when "Ivliya Mackensen" was called, and a lovely young blonde girl in dress blues emerged from the crowd of cadets and strode up to the podium. General Hudson placed the Lieutenant's bar on Ivliya's uniform and presented her with her degree, pronouncing her 28th in the class of '73. From the bleachers, Nate and his family stood up, Nate politely clapping with Lorva and Samia while Furel hooted and cried out, "Way to go Sis!"

It was only near the end of the ceremony that Nate noticed his ex-wife Sarah come up with her husband Jim, a school guidance counselor. Sarah didn't give him more than a look, but she did hug and kiss Lorva's kids. It fell on Furel to let her know that Ivliya had come 28th in the class, at which Sarah merely nodded.

After the ceremony, the family headed down to the reception area where Ivliya finally emerged. "Dad!" She went straight to Nate first and, without a beat, gave him a salute, which he returned cheerfully before hugging her. "Dad, I'm so happy you made it."
"I wouldn't miss this for the world, Ivvie."
"Mom, good to see you too," Ivliya said, moving to hug her mother - her stepfather was left out of the hugs and only given a slight embrace. Sarah clearly didn't take to it, but she had never been a supporter of Ivliya's decision to follow Nate into the Corps. "Are you all staying, or...?"
"I'm sorry, dear, but Jim has to get back by tomorrow," Sarah replied. "Work is heavy, as you know. And I know Furel needs to get back to school."
"Mom, I can take a day of absence to hang with my Sis," Furel replied.
"Not when we're paying for your tuition, young man," was Sarah's scornful reply, backed up by a glare from her new husband.
Furel went to argue, but Ivliya stepped up and gave her younger brother a hug. "Oh, Furel, don't worry about it. Just get your degree, I'm just happy you managed to get here."
Lorva gave her a hug as well, as did Samia. "We can stay until tomorrow," Samia told her sister-in-law. "Lorva's just waiting for the doctoral board anyway."
"That is true," Lorva said. "And the kids have been dying for a chance to see you again."
"Like I haven't! Since going into the Academy I've barely seen Nathan and only managed to hold Kevys twice!" Ivliya looked to Nate. "And you, Dad?"
"Still got a while before my next assignment." Nate smiled at his daughter. "In fact, do you want to have dinner tonight?"
"It'll have to be an early one, my roommate and some of the others invited me to a graduation party."
"An early dinner it is, then."

The family conversation went on for a bit longer before they all parted ways, except for Nate and Sarah. "You used to get mad at me being late," Nate said.
"You were always late for everything," Sarah replied. "I never was."
"Unless it was for something you never approved of," Nate retorted. "You didn't even come when she finished boot."
"Jim needed me at home, work was getting hard for him and he was suffering through a cold."
"Oh, don't give me that," scoffed Nate, and clearly Sarah saw her lie wasn't going to work. "You were mad at Ivvie because she wanted to join the Corps."
"She's a bright young girl, she could have a future anywhere, a better one than going off to become a soldier and get shot at."
"It's what she wants to do."
"No, it's what she thinks you want her to do." Sarah glared at him. "She grew up worshipping you, more than any of the others. She wants to be a Marine because you were, that's it. It's not what she wants. You're the one who pushed her into it!"
"I did no such thing! I was perfectly happy with the path Lorva took, Hell, I was ecstatic when he got the scholarship to Ikila. And Furel? I've always encouraged him to go to college. Ivvie wants to be a Marine and you just can't handle that! Ever since George..."

Sarah slapped Nate hard across the cheek. The sting was painful while the imprint of her hand remained on his cheek for a short while. "Don't you dare mention him again, not like that," Sarah said, tears in her eyes.
Nate rubbed his cheek. "You've never stopped blaming me or the Corps."
"And you've never let go," Sarah retorted. "Even Lorva, Ivvie, and Furel, even they couldn't bring you to let go of George."
"He is, was, our son, Sarah. I can't forget..."
"Neither can I, but I let go! Jim made me let go! But you, you keep running off into the service, using it to get away from what happened." Sarah put a hand to her mouth. "I just.... just.... leave me alone, Nathan. Leave me the Hell alone."
And with that, she walked off, leaving Nate alone.

The dinner with Ivliya had been nice, and all on Nate's account by his insistance. Ivliya was already angling for a Recon school slot, to come after she finished her customary first tour with a normal line unit. She insisted that within two years she would be a Recon Marine as he had been, and Nate had done the only thing he could do; voice encouragement.
After their dinner and some quiet talking, Ivliya had left to join her friends. Nate retired to the Officer's Club at the Marine Academy, where he was shortly sitting alone with a half-finished glass of Scotch in his hand.

Movement beside caused him to turn in his seat. Another officer was seated there, this one a General; Brigadier General Miles Willington. His red hair had only slight traces of gray to them, though his beard was far grayer. Willington had a stocky frame that Nate suspected barely passed muster in the fitness exams, but he still kept the barrel chest of a solid infantryman and had the same careful look in his brown eyes. When he spoke, it was with a slight baritone. "Colonel Mackensen, fancy seeing you here. Not out with the family?"
"My ex and her new husband wanted to treat the grandkids before they leave. I didn't want to cause a problem."
"Ah, divorce. Tricky thing." Willington motioned to the bartender to pour him a small glass of tequila. He sipped at it before looking back to Nate. "I hear you're tiring of your post at New Appalachia."
Nate shrugged. "Recon School's been good, but I haven't been in the field since we got dragged into the Feddies' little civil war. I was hoping for a change of pace after six years of instruction and desks."
Willington nodded. "Well, that's why I'm here."
"Thought it was an unofficial rule that there was no post pitching in the Officer's Club?" Nate chuckled.
"General's perogative," was Willington's reply. He sipped at the tequila again, giving Nate a moment to motion for a second Scotch. "Might want to stay a bit sober when I make this pitch, it's a once in a lifetime thing. Your name's come up for a new posting. We need someone with experience, someone good at the kinds of things you Recon Marines do."
"I'm listening," Nate replied.
"It's called the Daffodil Project," Willington said before chuckling. "Some damned Brit must've thought that one up. That's the official name, but I hear the Texans call it the Hula-Hoop, so there is worse."
"Texans? FHI-8?"
"Yes. Your posting will be on Bowie, in the Planetary Defense Command Bunker System outside of Brownville. Beyond that, I can't say more. If you accept, you'll be fully briefed upon arrival."

Nate sipped at the Scotch again while Willington took a longer drink. "When would I leave?"
"You'd come by the office tomorrow and sign the paperwork, give your oath of silence, and so on. We'd expect to have your clearance granted within the week, and you'd be on your way to Bowie before you got to the flight back to New Appalachia."
Nate looked up again. "How much would I be out of contact?"
"Well, I can't say for sure, that's going too far. But communications with your kids would still be possible, and even leave I'm sure."
That drew a nod, and then a look at the bar for a moment followed by a last gulp of Scotch. "Fine. Give me the office number and I'll be there."
"That was fast," Willington remarked.
"Well, what the hell else am I gonna do? I'm tired of teaching Recon, I don't want to retire yet, and I damned sure am tired of sitting at a desk. So, yeah, I'll sign on with this.... Dandelion thing."
"Daffodil," Willington replied with a chuckle. "I damned sure hope they have a better name for it at Brownville."

Nate looked at him. "General, are you saying that even you don't know what this project is?"
Willington gave him a look and a snort. "Oh, Hell no, my clearance is just high enough to know it exists and what they want for it." He gave Nate a clap on the shoulder. "Well, Colonel, good luck." Standing, Willington walked away. "See you in the office tomorrow."
Nate looked back to his glass and decided to have another Scotch before heading back to the hotel.

Brownville, Bowie, Texan Republic
Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate FHI-8
28 June 2173

Nate met the military bus to the Bowie PDC Bunker at Reynolds AFB just after his flight had come in, being among the first to board it as the green sun of the solar system slowly crept over the horizon to the east. He found a seat midway down, noticing that most aboard were in Texan uniform save for a couple Aerospace Force officers and one Stellar Navy Petty Officer in a technician suit.
The flight had been bothersome, and Nate found sleep tugging at his eyes, so he kept closing them to get a little sleep and only opened them when a new arrival came. But only the last arrivals brought his undivided attention.
The first on the bus was big. Not just a man, but clearly not Human either; it took only a moment for Nate to recognize him as a Klingon, big and burly, with a duffel bag pulled over his shoulder and a modified uniform on that resembled, but clearly was not, that of pre-Civil War Starfleet. Behind him was a woman in a similar uniform, fair-skinned but with the spot line of a Trill running from her forehead down her hairline to her neck. Rich black hair flowed down her back, kept into a long ponytail just a bit longer than the Klingon man's, while bright blue eyes surveyed the bus. An amused smirk came to her lips as she settled beside the Klingon, putting an arm around him in such a way that Nate was certain they were intimate.

The bus finally began to move, and Nate dozed off again. He awoke to find the bus already out of Brownville and moving along a solitary mountain road. Remaining awake now, he watched silently as the road continued on and on until they arrived to a gate. The driver showed his ID and the guards let him move on.
Ahead was the entrance to the bunker, built into the face of the mountain, but even here they did not stop, but rather continued onward into the tunnel until they reached a vehicle bay.
When they arrived, the driver called for them to disembark and they all did. A group of stern-faced MPs was waiting for them, as well as a man in a Texan Army uniform with the rank insignia of a Major. He directed all of the junior officers and enlistees on the bus to follow him, leaving Nate alone with the Klingon man and Trill woman. They looked to him as well, and it was Nate who finally decided to break the impasse by saying, "Daffodil?"
The Trill woman smirked. The Klingon frowned, and then spoke in a low grumble. "I do not understand why a top secret project would be given such a.... strange name."
"Well, it's less obvious than 'Planet-Buster'," the Trill woman said in jest. She looked to Nate and extended a hand. "Commander Jadzia Dax, Federated Worlds Starfleet. This is my husband, Commander Worf, of the House of Martok."
"Colonel Nathan Mackensen, Alliance Marine Corps," Nate replied, accepting the hand and remembering that even post-Civil War, the victorious pro-Colonial forces had maintained Starfleet under their newly constituted Federation of Worlds, even if it was now called the Stellar Navy officially. Moreso, most Starfleet officers tended to be more lax, without official salutes and only standing at attention, and only in more formal situations at that. "So, again, Daffodil?"

"Your guess is as good as mine," Dax replied. "What's your specialty? Engineering? Physics?"
Nate smirked at that. "I'm Marine Recon. The only physics we care about are the ones that keep us alive and get the other guys dead."
"....Oh. Well, I wonder... I mean, I thought they wanted Worf for security, I kind of insisted that he be allowed to join the project with me..."
"I'm certain we'll find out more when we get briefed."

A few moments later, a Sergeant stomped up to them with a group of enlisted men in tow. "Colonel Mackensen, Commanders Dax and Worf. General Thompson is ready for you. My men will get your things and bring them do to your quarters."
"Well then, carry on."
"Corporal, get their things packed. Please, Sirs, follow me." With that said the Sergeant led them to one of the lifts in the vehicle bay. The Sergeant put his hand on the security ID and the system confirmed his identity, causing the lift to move into the deepest tunnels of the complex.

From the lift they went through low-ceiling corridors, past sets of blast doors, and a number of doors toward living quarters and the like. They were brought to a briefing room adorned with the flags of Texas and the Allied Nations, where an officer in a Texan Air Force uniform greeted them. Nate saluted, recognizing the two star insignia immediately, and Dax and Worf stood at attention. "Colonel Mackensen reporting, Sir."
"Colonel, Commanders, at ease," was the reply in a smooth, sophisticated drawl. The General was a man of medium height, with a head of graying, balding hair and a stocky frame; he'd been behind a desk for quite a while, Nate was sure. "I'm General Arthur Thompson, in command of the 'Hula-Hoop', as we're told to call it officially."
"Why does it have such a strange name?"
"Commander.... Worf, is it?"
"Because the higher ups don't want something more obvious," Thompson replied. "So, are you ready for your briefing?"
"Yes, Sir," Nate replied. "I've been wondering what this whole project was since I got here."
"Well, Colonel, I believe that sometimes it's best to show, not tell." Thompson motioned to a door. "Please, this way."

Thompson led them to the armored door and let them step through first. Nate found himself standing in some kind of control room with technicians at various stations and light everywhere. Ahead of them, through transsteel windows, was a larger chamber. Nate was the first to walk up to it, while Worf and Dax merely looked on in surprise. "Just what is that supposed...."
"Well, it's clearly not a daffodil or a hula-hoop," Thompson replied sarcastically. "In fact, we think it's supposed to be called a 'Stargate'."

Nate looked back to the giant metal ring in the chamber beyond the control room. It was large, looking to be around eighteen to twenty feet in diameter, with an inner ring that had a few dozen strange symbols on it, as well as seven visible chevron-shaped things along the circumference of the ring; the way they were arranged, there could likely have been more hidden by the metal walkway that led up to the ring.
From inside the control room, a Mexican-accented woman in a Texan uniform called out, "'Zynski particle charge complete. Ready to begin dialing sequence."
Another man tapped keys at his station and the inner ring laden with symbols began to move. It turned for a few moments and then stopped. One of the chevron things suddenly shifted, covering the symbol for a brief moment while it suddenly glowed red, until it retracted once more, though still lit up with red. "Chevron 1 locked."
As the ring began shifting again, Dax said, "Stargate? What is this thing?"
"They found it eighty years ago on an abandoned world, surrounded by what looked to be a sight right out of Ancient Egypt," Thompson replied. "There was a list of symbols near it, not too big a list, but they were all symbols on the Stargate itself, so the guess was that they were some kind of location things. Doctor Michaels will be along to explain later."
"Chevron 2 locked."

Thompson motioned to a vacant station. "You can log in on that, Commander Dax, if you want a look at the sensor readings when this thing activates."
As Dax settled into the seat and typed in the username and password she'd been given, the man at the main station called out, "Chevron 3 locked."
Nate watched as the dialing sequence continued.... whatever the hell it was supposed to be for. He was mostly concerned with the mention of Straczynski particles, the exotic particles that IU jump gates and jump point generators used to open jump points into other universes.
The chevron on the top shifted and glowed, and a voice said, "Chevron 7 locked."

Suddenly there was a flare of bright energy in the ring that solidified. A gush of water-like energy shot out of the ring like a geyser erupting, traveling about six feet before it suddenly "whooshed" and seemed to be sucked back into the ring. A flickering water-like pool of light and energy had appeared in the middle of the ring, as if the surface of fluid, and the bright light flickered green and gold amongst the light blue color. It was all so bright that the lights flickered even in the control room, bathing everything in green, gold, and white-blue color.
Nate's jaw lowered. "It's just like a...."
"I've never seen anything like it!" Dax's eyes were focused on the screen Thompson had directed her toward. "These readouts.... it's just like an interuniversal jump point. But, it should be impossible for something that size to project a wormhole like an IU point generator..."
"So Doctor Michaels has said before, but it does." Thompson nodded at the Stargate again, and eyes turned toward it. As they did, six uniformed and well-equipped people stepped through, one of them towing a big device of some sort. They stepped beyond the threshold of the pool and created impressions in it as they went through.

Eyes turned to a monitor that was on the wall, a camera that showed another Stargate in what looked to be a temperate climate. It too was active, and the same team that had gone through on their end was coming through on the video, their device with them. "We're tracking their IU radio signal now, sir," one of the technicians said.
"So, uh, where is that?" asked Nate. "Because I've never heard of those things being found before."
"They're in Universe Designate SRC-19."
Nate blinked. "Never heard of it."
"That's not surprising, since it's on the IUCEC Blacklist."
Dax looked up at the General. "It's on the Blacklist?"
"Yes," Thompson said. "And they found that thing, eighty years ago, in SRC-19 before it was abandoned and before it was on the Blacklist. From what we've discovered, there are thousands, maybe millions, of those things in SRC-19's Milky Way. That's one of the reasons this whole thing is top secret."
A look came over Dax's face, the kind of look that told Worf, at the very least, that her mind was racing due to the possibilities she was considering. "Can you show me where in the SRC-19 Milky Way they ended up?"
Thompson motioned to a holographic board and a technician pressed a key, an indicator showing what part of the galaxy it was by lighting up the individual star in such a way as to make it visible against the backdrop. Dax's jaw literally dropped. "They're in the Delta Quadrant?!"
"Yes. We've found systems from the rim of the Gamma Quadrant to Earth's literal backyard," Thompson answered. "In fact, this planet was chosen to hold the Gate when the project was started because it was on this world in SRC-19 that they found the Gate."

"In other words, you're using the 'Zynski particles to saturate whatever internal mechanism the Stargate uses to communicate with the other Stargates in the network. Tricking it into thinking it's back home and not in another universe and allowing for the connecting wormhole to pierce the universal barrier at the right frequency to transit to SRC-19." Dax stared intently at the Stargate for a moment, watching as the wormhole dissipated. "That... that shouldn't work."
"No, it really shouldn't. Doctor Michaels was astonished when the first test run did work. Which led him to a theory, given how similar the wormholes are to our IU jump points and how easily the Gates are converted in use...."
Dax's eyes widened. "....which could mean the technology is compatible because they have the same common base. This is... this is amazing! This Stargate could be the single greatest scientific discovery since the IU gate technology! I mean, it's been our goal, really our dream since finding the Bajoran wormhole, that we could find a way to create stable interspatial wormholes at will... and we have one right here. And it's also compatible with Interuniversal gate technology! If we found out how these things worked, maybe we could convert the existing Jump Gate Assemblies and build new ones to allow for instantaneous travel between star systems thousands of light years away, much like we use the Gate Assemblies now for interuniversal travel!"

Nate whistled. "Wow." He looked to Worf. "Is she like this all the time or...?"
"Jadzia is...." A pause from the bulky Klingon. "...passionate about such things."
"Uh, yeah, but it occurs to me that it's going to take a lot more work to find out how that, um, 'Stargate' thing works," Nate pointed out, looking to Thompson. "So, you brought the techie here to go ga-ga over the mysterious piece of technology, so what am I here for? I have trouble understanding the Gates we already have."
"Well, that brings me to the reason you're all here." Thompson pointed to the Stargate. "The one thing we haven't done so far, something that could help us learn more of how these things work, is to actually make a transit through the Stargates in the other universe, from one point to another. That's why we wanted you."
"Me?" Nate pointed to his chest. "You wanted me for that?"
"Oh, we want all of you," Thompson replied, gesturing to Jadzia and Worf. "You'll be paired with a team and sent through the Gate to one destination. Once on the other side, we'll run the translation program we set up for each Gate's symbols to find another destination we already have a record of, and when you get the new set of symbols you'll dial it from your side and go through."

"Wow, fifty thousand light years in a single step." Nate made a short, sardonic laugh.
"Why me?" Jadzia asked. "I mean, I'm honored to get a chance to do this, but... why do you need me along?"
"Oh, you were requested." Thompson motioned to a woman standing in the Stargate chamber wearing a camo uniform and waiting with another team. She had rather luscious-looking red-hair, and when she looked up with bright green eyes, she also showed very clear Trill spots. "Doctor Zaharia Herzela will be joinin' you. She's an engineer, has already done a little studyin' of the dial devices on the other end, but she wanted someone with a stronger science background to join her and give a new perspective on the dialers on the other side and on the Stargate itself."

The technician spoke up. "'Zynski particle charge complete. Ready for dialing."
Again the Stargate started up. Dax walked up to the window and looked down at the waiting team. When Dr. Herzela looked up again, she smiled and waved. "Well, I'll do it," Dax said. "How long do we have to prepare?"
"I'm introducin' you to your team tomorrow," Thompson said. "You'll have team trainin' in our holosim chambers, then in about a week, you go in."
"Ah, well, that works for me," Nate replied, taking a second look at the Trill redhead as she prepared to go through the Gate with her team. The second chevron on the Stargate locked and Nate watched it continue dialing. "I've gone from training Marines for Recon to babysitting eggheads playing with new toys we don't understand. I guess the grass really is greener on the other side..."
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Post by Vehrec » 2007-01-28 09:15am

[O'neill]Huh[/O'Neill] So, the guys over at SB convinced you to do it huh? Well, this could be very interesting. What will be MORE interesting is figuring out what year this all takes place in for the Stargate universe, and if SG-earth is even into the gate program.
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Post by dragon » 2007-01-28 09:35am

Very nice can't wait for more.

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Post by Steve » 2007-01-28 01:20pm

Vehrec wrote:[O'neill]Huh[/O'Neill] So, the guys over at SB convinced you to do it huh? Well, this could be very interesting. What will be MORE interesting is figuring out what year this all takes place in for the Stargate universe, and if SG-earth is even into the gate program.
I thought I had a good story in mind for the whole thing, and in such a way that won't badly disrupt TGG or SG1.
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Steve » 2007-02-03 03:36pm

It was the next morning when Dax first saw the lab; the expansive room with testing equipment and computers that had been assigned to her and Doctor Herzela. Worf was off doing physical training, leaving her alone to begin going through the data on the Stargate and what they knew of it.
Dax had only just begun to run an in-depth comparison model between the Stargate-created wormhole and an interuniversal jump point when the door opened again. Zaharia entered in a blue lab coat over a white blouse and knee-length skirt, looking very pretty and very geekish. Her red hair, even rarer for Trill than for Humans, shined in the light from a very recent washing and conditioning. And it was still a bit wet, given that when she turned her had quickly to look at something Dax felt a few drips of water hit her on the cheek. "I've already run eight," Zaharia said. "The data is in the system if you want to look at it."
"I just wanted to know if you ran the neutrino simulators at..."
"They're at the demanding standard you'd set them for, Commander." Zaharia stood beside her for a moment, tapping keys on a second keyboard and bringing up the models. "Can I call you Jadzia? Everyone calls me Zaria."
"Zaria? That sounds..." Dax looked at her a long moment, a memory tugging at the back of her mind - or rather the symbiont's mind. "Wait a minute, I do know you, don't I?
"Well... you you don't, but I met Curzon once."
"Yes, he was the one..." Dax looked a little uncomfortable under the gaze of Zaria's emerald eyes. "Curzon rejected you as a host candidate."
"He did."
"Well, I..." Please, please don't tell me she holds a grudge, Dax thought to herself, ignoring the flashes on the screen as her own model began to finalize it's results.

"Oh, don't worry." Zaria giggled girlishly. Very girlishly, adding to the geek image she was giving off. "I fought so hard to look disappointed, I actually wanted to jump up and kiss Curzon when he told me I was rejected."
Dax actually had no words to reply to that, she simply couldn't find them. Avoiding the whole question of a beautiful woman kissing the philandering Curzon, it left her completely speechless to find out that Zaria had faked disappointment and wanted to be rejected for a joining. Finally, after about five seconds of her mouth actually remaining half-opened, Dax managed to ask, "You.... you didn't want to be joined?"
"Hell no!" was the emphatic reply. "It was my mother. She was insistant that I was too bright and too smart to go unjoined. She pushed and prodded and shoved, calling in every favor she could, to get me considered by the Symbiosis Commission." Zaria tapped a few more keys, bringing up Dax's results alongside those of her own comparison models. "I'm perfectly happy being my own person, Commander Dax. And there are your results compared to mine."
Dax looked back at them, the results being pretty much similar in all respects. Conceding that point with a nod, she said, "Well, I know from some experience that joining is not for everyone, but I've never met a Trill who didn't want to be joined."
"Well, Commander Dax, now you have." Zaria smiled softly at her. "I'll be honest with you, I'm, well, I was raised on Earth and most of my friends were Human, not Trill. So I'm not the average Trill either."
"Ah." Dax nodded slowly at that.

"Anyway, to get to business..." Zaria hit a few keys and brought up a view to Dax. It was a picture of another world, with a Stargate in the background and a second object in the foreground. It was a control, with buttons topped with symbols arrayed in circular patterns around a large red sphere. "We call those the dialers. The symbols on the device correspond to those on the Stargate..."
"...and so you use it to dial a destination,", Dax finished for Zaria. "How much have you studied them?"
"Oh, we've taken extensive scans," Zaria replied. "But we still don't know everything about the device or the network itself. We're hoping that a trip through a normal Stargate wormhole will give us some readings and data to improve that."
"I'd like to get one of those devices and take it apart, but with SRC-19 on the Blacklist that wouldn't be possible." After a moment's silence, Dax asked, "Are you ever worried that you might find a malfunctioning Gate and get stuck in SRC-19?"
"Sometimes. But we do have the automated drones test the Gates first for that reason." Zaria shifted uncomfortably. "Of course, something could still go wrong, but that's the risk we're willing to take."
"The risk can be half the fun, sometimes."

Before the conversation could continue, Zaria looked at the time and said, "We'd better get going, your orientation and preliminary briefing is in just a few minutes."

The conference room from before had been chosen for the orientation. Thompson and Nate were already present when the two Trill women arrived, with Worf coming in just a few minutes later.
Seated between Thompson and Nate was a thin man with graying hair and a patrician nose, along with a bit of facial hair along his jawline. Like Zaria he was dressed in civilian wear, a white lab coat over gray jacket and black trousers. When everyone was in the room, Thompson indicated a hand to the man as he stood up. "Everyone, this is Doctor Keith Michaels, the civilian head of research for our project and the designer of the 'Zynski particle charger we use on the Stargate. Doctor MIchaels, here are Colonel Mackensen, Commander Dax, and Commander Worf."
"Ah yes. Commander Dax..." Michaels stepped up and offered her his hand. "I have read some of your work in recent years. You have a first rate mind, well, two minds I suppose. I'm certain your contribution to this project will be great."
"Thank you, Doctor Michaels. I'm looking forward to this. This could revolutionize space travel."
"That it could, Commander."
The door opened again. Walking through it was a woman in military uniform, her bun-tied hair a lighter shade of red from Zaria's with gray eyes slim enough to hint at a grandparent or great-grandparent of Oriental heritage. Her uniform was not quite standard; it was a tight-skinned suit of turquoise color with only ribbons and a name badge. Her rank insignia was also not standard, instead being a gold diamond shape that had a five-pointed silver star in the middle. She looked to Thompson and saluted. "Sir, I apologize for my tardiness, Team 4's debriefing ran late."

"That's quite alright. This is Commanders Dax and Worf and...."
"Colonel Mackensen," the woman said, her English accented in a way that Nate was only mildly familiar with. "A pleasure to serve with you, Sir."
"You're Canopian?" asked Nate.
"This is Force Major Sakura Azakusho, Magistracy Armed Forces, the equivalent of a Lieutenant Colonel" Thompson replied. "She is going to be your second on this mission and will be your chief of staff afterward."
"Yes, about that.... General, usually it's the Captains who do this kind of thing while we Colonels and Majors stay at HQ and..."
"Orders from up top, Colonel," Thompson said, cutting in. "They want the best fit senior officers heading these teams. Major Azakusho herself has led more expeditions than any other officer here, so she's going to be your second on this operation. Now, shall we begin the briefing?"
Nate took another look at Sakura as the red-haired Canopian settled herself into a seat. He slipped into the seat he'd occupied before, directly across from Doctor Michaels, who was in turn seated beside Worf and Dax - Zaria was between Nate and Sakura, allowing for an obvious contrast between the two redheads; Zaria was more relaxed, with a more average figure complete with obvious and attractive curves, while her Canopian counterpart was slim and more athletic, built like a dancer, or perhaps more appropriately, a track-and-field athlete. When they were all seated, Thompson nodded to Michaels to begin the briefing.

"In 2093 AST, the Higgins New Horizons Corporation, Universe SE-1, bought the rights to establish the first colony in Universe Designate SRC-19 in what was to be called Rebsam, a combination name from the company CEO's two newborn twin grandchildren. In this universe, Rebsam is the Texan-held planet Reilly, about four light years from here."
"Even as the colony was first getting established, advance parties of Higgins NH were moving to other systems, including SRC-19's version of this world, Bowie. And it was there that they found.... this."
Higgins hit a key and a crumbling pyramid like structure popped up. "At first it was believed alien, until one of the surveyors recognized Egyptian hieroglyphs along the walls inside. Or rather, what looked like them, as further study determined that they weren't quite Egyptian, but a close similarity to them." Above the pyramid, a diagram appeared. "A few rooms were not accessible, but later analysis indicated that a number of the rooms were in fact living quarters, or pens of some sort, while another set of rooms were very similar to the kinds of quarters that ancient kings might possess. Markings referred to the area as belonging to, or being used by, 'the servants of Ra'."

"And then, in a central chamber, they found the Stargate." Michaels indicated the chamber on the diagram while a second picture brought up images from the chamber itself. It was a room covered with gold-colored plates along the wall on which hieroglyphs were found. Michaels pointed to one in particular, showing a series of symbols in groups of seven. "Included was this list of what we assume to be sixty other Gates, of which we've tried thirty, with ten not working and two leading to planets that are uninhabitable. Of the remaining eighteen, four showed signs of Human civilization, past or present, and Team 2 actually catalogued a village from what looked to be proto-Phoenician society."
The first series of pics showed the Stargate and the "Dialer" device, while some now showed the Stargate missing. "The preliminary scans and work found that the Stargate and the dialing system, or rather what we know it was, were of a material that we had no knowledge of. After the findings were reported, the Company decided it was too risky to try and activate the Gate, so they instead had it removed and shipped to a company warehouse for study. The team remained on the planet to study the ruins."

Michaels took a drink before continuing. "They didn't get very long. About two weeks after the Stargate was removed, the U.S.S. Abigail Thompson, an explorer ship of the United States Star Navy, was cataloguing systems about fifteen light years from Rebsam when they, well..." Michael hit a key in front of them and the screen changed to show a view of space from a starship. A second key hit caused it to slightly move as a male voice began to speak. "....contact on the screen, please."
What showed up on the screen was a large-looking vessel. It's outer hull was a triangle shape of gray metal with two edges sticking out in all of the three direction. It's inner hull was literally a pyrmaid.
"....This is Captain Roger Magnusson of the United States Starship Abigail Thompson, we come in peace. I repeat, we come in pea...."
There was a flare of energy from the ship, and a bolt of what looked to be plasma or particle fire struck out and hit the screen. A host of voices now played on the audio channel.
"Deflector screens have failed!"
"....suffered damage on forward decks 2 through 5. Casualties in compart....
".....Cochrane drive not respond...."
Finally Captain Magnusson's voice returned. "...transmission to Rebsam with recorder data, now! Before they jam us!"
Everyone watched for a few moments as small shapes emerged from the ship. As they drew closer, they were visibly circular ships with small pyramid points on the top. They zoomed in and fired weapons that approached the screen rapidly. "....all hands abandon...." When they hit, the screen abruptly cut out and became black.

Michaels hit a key and the screen changed back to the Stargate room from SRC-19's Bowie. He looked back to the assembled individuals. "Naturally, an explorer ship back then wasn't the most impressively armed, but it's defenses were at the time among the most advanced that could be found. And this ship blew through their deflectors like they weren't even there. So you can understand what happened next."
"You withdrew from SRC-19," Dax answered.
"Yes. The order came down from Washington, personally signed by President MacGregor, within fifteen hours of this transmission reaching Rebsam's System Defense Command. The colonists were ordered to pack everything up and be ready to board the evacuation ships in ten hours. The researchers on SRC-19's Bowie were also recalled, and within fifteen hours of the order, our presence in SRC-19 was over. President MacGregor sent a classified report on what happened to the IUCEC, and after just one hour of deliberation the decision was passed, and for the first and only time in history, a universe was placed on the Blacklist."
"And the Stargate?" Nate asked.

"The American government confiscated it and all the records of the Bowie excavation and handsomely compensated Higgins NH, the researchers, and the colonists. Nobody knew what it was for and what it could do, so they packed it away in a weapons R&D facility in the Alpha Korva system. It stayed there until five years ago, when I finished my 'Zynski particle charge device and got President Dale to sign the Executive Order establishing the Stargate Project and moving the Stargate here."
"But in the meantime, you analyzed the Gate and found out how to find the mineral it was made out of," Dax said.
"Yes. Doctor Simon Guyver was asked to lead the analysis team, and I was one of his assistants." Michaels sighed. "He always wanted to know what this did. He thought it was a wormhole generator too, but he never got permission to test his theory. And after he died in '41, there was no one to push for more to be done on the Gate itself until President Dale found out about it."

"And so here we are," Thompson said, cutting in. "As stated before, you'll be heading through the Gate to another world, Site 5. From there you'll activate the Stargate to go to Site 3, with instruments and drones for gathering data on the wormhole from both ends. After a few openings from both ends for this purpose, you'll come back."
Nate lifted his hands a bit. "That's it? Just... a couple trips through it and a few minutes of readings?"
"Essentially, yes. For now. There will be future missions for you, Colonel, since we intend for you to take over as senior officer for the Gate Teams."
"Oh." Nate nodded at that, and then a cocky smirk came to his face. "So, um, nobody really cares about the fact of the hostile aliens who shoot at whatever crosses their path?"

"Both of the systems you'll be visiting are in the Gamma Quadrant, Colonel," Michaels explained in an assuring voice.
"Oh. Well, I guess that's a relief." Nate looked to Michaels. "Because, for a minute there, I was thinking we should really think hard about heading back to SRC-19, given the whole thing with some alien creeps kicking our asses out the last time we showed up."
"Don't worry, Sir, I'll do the job, but I think that we should be thinking a bit more seriously about what we're going to run into out there. For all we know, we could walk out of one of these things and boom, we're vaporized by some local defenses, or we run smack dab into the aliens that shoot first and ask questions later. I mean, if these Stargates really are all around the SRC-19 Milky Way in the thousands, has anyone ever considered the possibility that they use the Stargates like we want to? Hmm?" Nate looked around the table, noticing only the stoically-amused look on Sakura's face and the more annoyed expressions from Zaria, Michaels, and Thompson. "I thought so. Hey, Commander Dax, Commander Worf, what do you think?"

Dax looked to Worf for a moment before reply, "We're Starfleet, Colonel. Exploring new worlds, new civilizations, is what we're about."
"Ah, I see. Well, good for you. I'm a Marine. I follow duty because that's what I'm supposed to do, but I don't go for the exploration crap. We have enough problems as it is without looking for more trouble." Nate looked to Thompson. "Okay, General, we know the situation. When do I get to meet my team, and how many do I get?"
"Well, aside from the Commanders," Thompson nodded respectfully to Worf and Dax, "Doctor Herzela, and Major Azakusho, you'll be taking along Team 14. Major Azakusho will introduce them to you after the briefing. Now, if there are no further questions, Doctor Michaels will explain the exact details of your mission and what we know of your destinations."
"Actually, I do have a question," Dax said. "How do we know which symbols to dial in to return?"
"Oh, that's simple," Zaria spoke up. "From what we've seen, the symbols are related to constellations and specific stars in them, acting as a kind of guide. Six symbols to determine spatial coordinates, and then the seventh is...."
"....the point of origin," Dax finished for her. "It makes sense that way. The specific locations that the six initial symbols refer to are points along the galactic axis planes,and when you draw every two sets together it creates a central point, and then the seventh symbol says where you're coming from."
"Correct, and using that we've created a computer program that analyzes the stars around every site we go to and correlates them to the symbols on the Stargate, allowing for us to know the return coordinates for Brownsville. Then all we have to do is charge both gates with 'Zynski particles and dial in Brownsville to return."

"Wait, wait." Nate raised a hand. "If that's so, how come we can leave here with only our gate charged? Why not the other side."
"Probably the way the Gates communicate with each other," Dax explained. "To leave here, we need only have our Gate tell the other Gates it's available, to calculate for the planetary and stellar drift, and then send the signal through to them that a wormhole is being formed. They don't have to reply since we're the origin point of the wormhole. But for us to dial here, they need to get a return signal from the Brownsville Gate first to account for spatial drift in whatever internal computer is within the dialer."
"So we need the Gate here charged first? What happens if our IU radio gets busted?"
"It's our policy to leave the Gate charged for two out of every four and a half minutes," Thompson explained. "We've found that a single charge lasts two minutes if we don't form an outgoing wormhole. Any more questions?"
There were none.

After the briefing, Sakura led Nate into the corridors leading through the base. "Team 14 just returned from a mission to Site 15 to check up on some skeletal remains found there that appear Human. We'll be meeting them for their debriefing."
"I got that." Nate looked over at the woman. "So, um, you're Caucasian and you speak English with a Canopian accent, but you have a Japanese name. Might I ask why?"
"My mother, Umiko Kamagawa, was a refugee who fled the Draconis Combine thirty-six years ago when her father was arrested by the ISF. She stowed away on a DropShip carrying luxury goods to Canopus." Sakura didn't look at Nate. "It took her a while, but she got there, and she found another Combine expatriate family with money to help her find a job and housing. They adopted me."
"So, you don't know who your Dad is?"
"Neither did my mother. The DropShip crew allowed her to remain on board, and fed her, in return for providing them with pleasurable company whenever they desired it. And there were quite a few men during those long months that desired my mother's pleasurable company," Sakura answered wryly. "Anything else?"
"Yeah. I know that in the Canopian military officer commissions and promotions are purchased, not awarded by OCS or academy education. How'd you get to be a Force Major if your mother was a poor refugee?"
Sakura grinned widely at him. "The Azakushos are fairly wealthy. And due to the Magistracy Armed Forces Reform Acts of 3065, only half of the commissions in the MAF are open for purchase now, the rest are awarded by the Magistrix or the senior General of the MAF, though they can still be bought if nobody of sufficient merit is available to be given them." After she saw Nate nod, she smirked and added, "I know what you're thinking, Colonel. I'm Canopian, therefore I'm a slut who can't keep her legs closed."
"That reputation among Canopians is there," Nate pointed out. "But I take it that it doesn't apply to you?"
"I'm an officer first and foremost, Colonel." Her eyes glared straight at him, an old anger returning from what Nate could tell from her body language. "And I grew up watching my mother suffer the shame of getting used like a cheap whore just to get away from an ISF re-education camp. That is, until the shame was too much for her and she cut her belly open with a butcher knife. I celebrated my thirteenth birthday with my mother's fresh ashes resting in a vase on the table beside my birthday cake."

"Wow, your adopted folks were tough."
"They wanted me to see the ultimate end of shame," Sakura answered. "They drove me my entire life to make something of myself and to be more than the women around me."
"And you just... tell this part of your life to everyone who asks?" Nate inquired with an amused tone.
She smiled, and it was the kind of lethal smile that looked good with the image of cutting a person's throat open. "Oh, Colonel, I only tell those who I need to tell. There are things about me that I will not outright tell you, and will only discuss with you when you learn on your own. And there are some things I won't talk about at all, no matter how much you learn about them." The evil, violent smile was replaced by a gentler one. "So, allow me to introduce you to Team 14."

They walked into the debriefing room to find the team waiting for them, all of them men and in combat camo. Their BDUs had a particular patch upon them, a simplistic representation of the Stargate with the Alliance four-colored flame and torch in the middle and the letters SPT-14 below the Stargate representation.
"Gentlemen, attention!" Sakura ordered, and the seven men stood at rigid attention. "This is Colonel Nate Mackensen, Allied Nations Marine Corps. He is the new CO of the SPT Field Group, and I am to be his Chief of Staff now. You will be following his orders from now on. Please, introduce yourselves."
A dark-haired man with light brown skin and a beard and mustache spoke first. "Major Frank Parker, Allied Nations Marine Corps. CO of Team 14, Sir!"
A brown-haired light-skinned man, shaved, spoke up next. "Captain Christopher Farrell, Australian Army, XO of Team 14, Sir!"
"Lieutenant James Tang, United States Air Force, Squad 1 Leader and Medic, Sir!" responded a man of partial Asian extraction, with a well-cut head of dark hair.
"Lieutenant Maya Colette, Alliance Army, Squad 2 Leader and Biologist, Sir!" was the reply of a youngish looking woman who, like Tang, looked at least partially Oriental. Her dark hair was shoulder length and kept in a pony tail, and she looked rather small.

Nate raised a hand. "Wait, we have a team biologist?!"
"We do go to alien worlds with life, Sir," Lieutenant Colette replied. "My purpose is to study the biosphere to make sure we don't introduce any...."
"Yes, yes, that's fine... Please, go on with the introductions."

A large barrel-chested man, with brown hair, mustache, and beard, saluted. "Sergeant Cyrus Dalton, United States Air Force, Squad 1 and Mechanics expert, Sir!"
The next man was smaller, but with keen eyes, and when he spoke it was with an English accent. "Sergeant Robert Wilson, British Army, Squad 2 and Team Sniper, Sir!"
"Corporal Marvin Reynolds, Allied Nations Marine Corps, Squad 1, Sir!"
"Russian accent, Corporal?"
"Yes, Colonel, my mother is Russian, and I was raised in Russia until my father moved us to an American city," was Corporal Reynolds' reply.
"Carry on then. Corporal, you are?"
The stocky brown-haired man replied immediately with an Australian accent, "Corporal Matthew Calgar, Alliance Army, Squad 2, Sir!"
"Specialist Thomas Cyrzanski, Alliance Army, Squad 1 and Computer man, Sir!"
"Specialist Vincent Valentino, Alliance Army, Squad 2, Sir!"
Nate nodded to them both. "As the Major said, I am Colonel Mackensen. Twenty years ago, I was a platoon CO in the 24th Recon. I was in Bravo Company on Bajor when we took Sutherland Ridge and liberated Gallitep, took a plasma-heated rock to the spine in the process. I've spent the last several years at the Marine Reconnassiance Training School on New Appalachia, so it's been a while since I've been in an active combat command. Major Azakusho will help get me up to speed on how things have been done around here. But my orders will remain the same. Every time you step through that thing, I want you to get it into your heads that we're going to the frontlines. That this is not a cake run, and that at any moment we might come under fire. Keep this mind, stay sharp, and should any shit hit the fan, it makes it more likely you'll come back here in one living piece." Nate looked over to Major Parker. "Major, what is your schedule until next week's trip?"

"Sir, after debriefing and post-mission checkups today, we were to have the next three days on leave in Brownsville, starting tomorrow, and then return on the fourth day to begin training with you for the mission."
"Wrong." Nate brought up a hand and extended his finger. "I want to start training immediately. We only have a week."
"Sir, with all due respect, we haven't had leave in months."
Nate eyed Parker for a moment before nodding a little. "Fine. You have tomorrow and the day after, but I want you back by the second night. We begin training at 0400 local in three days."
"Yes sir!"
"You can all be at ease. Remember, three days." After that, Nate walked out.

"Colonel, what can I do for you?"
Thompson's voice, and his distinct Texan drawl, were calm and composed when he responded to Nate's unscheduled entry into his office. "I trust you've met Team 14."
"Sir, with all due respect.... a team biologist? A mechanic and a computer geek, or Hell, an officer to serve as medic? Why not just assign a corpsman?" Nate sat in the seat that Thompson gestured him toward. "This is insane, Sir. I've got some half-assed squad instead of a team of real soldiers."
"All fifteen of our teams have trained hard together to be just as good as any other troops, Colonel," Thompson replied diplomatically. "And they all have biologists, mechanics, and comptuer geeks."
"Why not just train some troopers for Recon footwork? Why the specialization?"
"Because this project is classified at the highest levels of the Alliance government. Half of the Texan War Department doesn't even know what we have here. Or half of the Defense Ministry. We don't have the luxury of picking and choosing who serves here, we take anyone who volunteers for it when offered. And this isn't a normal military outfit, Colonel. We're exploring alien worlds, some of which we haven't encountered or haven't seen in the states they are in SRC-19. We need men good with equipment and with the training to do whatever it is that might need doing in any kind of situation they meet out there. If that means having a Lieutenant as a medic or a biologist, then so be it." Thompson saw that Nate was not convinced and took in a breath, leaning over and putting his arms and hands on the table. "Look, if it doesn't work, I'll have them find someone else and you can go back to New Appalachia and teach Recon again. But you're here, now, and you've been briefed on perhaps the most top secret project in the entire known Multiverse. I need you here for the mission at hand, and I'd like you to stay at least that long."

Nate sat for a moment and finally gestured surrender. "Alright, alright, I'll give it the shot and I won't complain about anything else. But I have conditions."
"You're not exactly in a good bargaining position, Colonel, but I'll listen."
"I want to begin training in three days, at 0400 sharp. I want the holodecks programmed with both worlds and with a number of variable combat and emergency situations." Nate breathed in. "And I want the others to join us in the training."
"Commanders Dax and Worf were already planning on it."
"No, I mean Doctor Herzela. She goes along, I don't want dead weight."
"Request denied, Colonel." Thompson saw the sour look on Nate's face. "Doctor Herzela is a civilian. Period. She's under no obligation to undergo military training of any kind."
"Then, with all due respect, General, she doesn't need to be working in the field. That's the military's job."
"I understand that, but she's the engineering expert, she's studied the Stargates for the past two years, and she's the closest we can get to Doctor Michaels going, and he's too old and too valuable here to send."

"Can I at least ask her to join us on the firing range?"
Thompson shrugged. "Ask away, but she doesn't have to do anything."
"So if we're out there and we get attacked by, oh, flying pigs with razor-sharp feet, then she can ignore me and do what she wants and get her and maybe some of us killed?"
"In the field, that's different, and she'll obey any orders you give in a military emergency, but she is a vital part of this project, as is Commander Dax, and I expect you to listen to both of them before making any decisions. Now, is that all?"
Nate bit into his lip and nodded slightly.
"Very good. I'll attend your final briefing the morning the mission launches. In the meantime... please, arrange an appointment." Thompson picked up a paper from a stack on his desk. "I have enough work to do as it is."
Nate stood and saluted, leaving upon being told, "You're dismissed, Colonel."
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"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Steve » 2007-02-25 12:19am

As they did on many days, Dax and Worf had taken to the gym for the workouts that kept them both fit and trim, each wearing white gi robes. First was the round of bat'leth dueling in the boxing ring that drew the stares of two SPT members who had come in afterward to box on their own. Afterward they went into a mok'bara session, drawing the occasional glance from others who'd come to run treadmills or box or simply do aerobics.
It was usually Dax who broke the silence of this part of their day, the irreverant part of her who didn't mind underminding Worf's strictness, and indeed delighted in shaking things up as she always did (and as Odo, like Worf, had so often complained about). But there was nothing to say at the moment that they hadn't already. This was an exciting new mission and it had been widely discussed between them already, in the privacy of their quarters, so Dax was content to let Worf have one day of silence during the mok'bara exercise.

As a result he was much happier (which was an emotion that only Dax had any hope in discerning from his always-stoic demeanor) when the exercise ended and they were ready to go wash up.
Then there was the sound of a body hitting a mat hard. Worf and Dax found their attention diverted to one corner of the gymnasium, a far corner, where a handful of men and women had gathered around. They went closer and found Maj. Azakusho, in full-sleeved white gi and with a black belt around her waist, picking one of the SPT men off the ground.
The fight started anew, and Sakura's movements immediately drew their attention, particularly Worf's. The SPT man was clearly skilled, but he was like an amateur compared to the Canopian woman, who blocked or dodged every strike, no matter how fast or directed, as if she was reading his mind. Ten seconds of dodging later, her hands shot up and grabbed the man's arm. She expertly twisted his arm and threw him to the mat once more.
Dax looked over to see Worf staring at her, a pleased look in his eyes, and gave him a jealous elbow to the ribs. He looked down at her and again the stoicism snapped into place. "I was merely admiring her skill."

"Commanders Dax, Worf?" They looked back to see her looking straight at them. Sakura smiled thinly. "I have heard you are both skilled combatants, would you like to help me educate the others in hand-to-hand combat?"
"Why not?" Dax said, stepping forth first. She assumed a defensive stance, recalling not only her Starfleet training in self-defense but the knowledge and training of her prior hosts, most notably Curzon's education in Klingon martial arts. Sakura, for her part, merely stood, arms calmly held and not looking at all prepared. Dax stepped forward and threw a quick jab, a testing strike, and was not completely surprised when Sakura easily deflected it with one hand.
The impact of Sakura's other hand into her stomach was a displeasing surprise, though. Dax doubled over and Sakura's hands gripped her on the right arm, using the forward momentum she had gained when advancing on Sakura to throw her to the edge of the mat. "Blocking does not mean there will be no attack," Sakura said, as if instructing the others. "The perfect fighter will be on both offensive and defensive at the same time, ready to turn any blocking maneuver into an attack and any attack into a block."
"After three hundred years I've learned there's no such thing as perfect," Dax replied.
"Of course not, Commander, and nor am I." Sakura stood and again awaited her.
This time, Dax remained perfectly still, standing defensively, waiting for an attack. Sakura finally deigned to strike at her, a testing jab with her right hand. Dax blocked it effortlessly and then the follow-up left hand jab before bringing her free arm down to smack away Sakura's knee, causing some pain from the direct impact of the bone but protecting her gut from another strike. Her mind worked fast to deflect the next attack, a slight smack, and her fist struck quick, going for Sakura's stomach. But she twisted at the last second and let the impact hit rib instead, making Dax's knuckles hurt.
Her foot flew up and caught Dax on the chin, knocking her backward. Dax back-pedaled and kept on her feet, ready for the next two attempted punches. Then Sakura's other foot slid low in an attempted roundhouse strike to sweep Dax off her feet.

Dax hopped out of the way, barely avoiding the strike, and with her opening lashed out with her foot and kicked Sakura in the shoulder, sending her to the mat. Dax stepped forward and was about to offer a hand to help Sakura up when she rolled forward and gripped Dax's partially-outstretched arm. With effort she threw herself back, using Dax's forward momentum and now her own momentum to flip Dax over and onto her back on the mat, knocking the wind out of her. Sakura was the first to her feet. "I don't suppose I have to point out that just because you're on your back or belly doesn't mean you can't strike at your foe," she said to the assembled.
Dax was getting back to her feet, with Worf moving alongside but not fast enough to help her up (which she likely would have refused anyway). "I don't suppose that you've had any genetic tinkering to move that fast, Major?"
Sakura looked back at her. "No," was her reply. "Aside from the anti-aging treatments I've had absolutely no genetic tinkering of any kind. What you see, Commander, is the result of thirty years of training." She smiled pleasantly and bowed. "It was an honor to spar with you, Dax-san."
Dax, after a moment, repeated the action. "It was a pleasure," she answered diplomatically, trying not to give in to the temptation to rub her neck. She looked to Worf. "I think I'm ready to go shower now, Doctor Herzela is waiting for me in the lab."

The couple retired to the showers, which were divided by sex, and given their common use they decided not to shower together. Dax found a stall in the female partition, semi-private, and found herself washing quickly given the rather poor quality of the liquid soap in the dispenser. She walked out to dry off and was walking by when color came to the corner of her eye and she turned to see into one of the stalls.
Sakura was washing her hair, holding it over her shoulder toward the front, and this bared her back toward the end of the stall. The upper portion of her back was covered by a tattoo, or rather a series of them. Along the right shoulder blade and back to her arm was the emblem of a white tiger from the rear, beautifully and artistically tattooed onto her fair skin. The left shoulder blade, upper back, and arm had a red dragon design. The two met just below the back of her neck, their tails intertwining and bordering a series of Japanese kanji characters in white and red, arranged vertically.

Sakura whipped her hair suddenly and turned to begin rinsing it in the stream of warm water, bringing the two women face to face, both equally naked. From the front the same dragon and tiger tattoos were visible, including the snarling, fanged visage of the tiger where Sakura's upper arm nearly reached her elbow and the clearly-Asian dragon's fanged and open mouth, complete with red fire streaming from it's nostrils, on the left arm. There was no point where the two designs met from the front, but the left side of her torso was taken up by a tattoo showing a facsimilie of her, with wind-swept hair, beheading a dark figure with a shining blade, the edge of it intertwining with the tattoo along her right side showing a kimono-clad woman on her knees and driving a dagger into her belly while a much younger visage of Sakura stood over her, sword drawn and held over the kneeling woman. Above and between the greeting of the two images, carefully placed so that the curves of Sakura's breasts did not distort the image. was the emblem of a Japanese cherry blossom tree.
All of this detail entered Dax's mind in the moment before Sakura crisply asked, "May I help you, Commander?"
"Oh, um, I was just.... I just noticed the tattoos, I didn't mean to..."

"Don't insult me, Commander, you are a scientist, it is your nature to be curious." Sakura put a bottle of hair conditioner up, and then thinking again she extended it toward Dax. "Here, it's much better than the military standard shampoo in the dispenser. If you desire skin conditioner, I have a supply of the finest from Canopus. Or is Trill skin that different from Human?"
"Well, um, not really..." Dax accepted the bottle. "I.... that must have hurt having all that put on."
"It was not all put on at once," Sakura replied calmly. "And pain is a part of life, Commander, it was nothing."
"I mean, that's some pretty graphic body art..."
"It is a custom of my people. Anything else, Commander?" Sakura's tone turned icy as she switched the water off and picked up a white towel, draping it around her body from hips to shoulders.
"Oh, nothing." Dax quickly retreated from the stall, still holding the bottle, and giving Sakura a wide berth as she headed out to the locker room. Dax found her own towel and left the showers as well.

Apart from a gymnasium and a holochamber training facility, a firing range had also been placed in the underground base, and Nate found himself there working on his marksmanship with an old-fashioned "powder round" gun, a Glock 9mm. It was a gift years before from his company, from the gun-collecting family of one of his Gunnys, and the ammunition was easily replicated at any basic military munitions replicator.
He'd let loose three clips, satisfied to see his aim was still top notch, when he noticed a nearby target was being hit by, well, someone not very good at shooting. In fact, so bad that they'd never pass a firearms test under even the laxest standards in the militaries of the Alliance.

Nate stepped over and saw that, sure enough, the shooter with such horrible accuracy was Dr. Herzela. Zaria, as she insisted to be called in informal situations, was clad in a sleeveless white blouse and knee-length green shorts adorned with roses. She turned and looked up at him, the yellow goggles obscuring the bright green color of her eyes. "Oh, hi Colonel."
"Doctor." Nate looked up at her target, noticing that only one shot managed to get onto the trunk of the target. "What do you have?"
She showed what weapon she had, and Nate groaned inwardly at the sight of the Type 2 Standard Phaser from Starfleet. It's existance was notorious amongst the Alliance military, referred to as the "Dustbuster". He put a hand on it and pulled it away from her. Looking at it and the setting buttons on top, he asked, "Just where did you get this?"
"When I left Starfleet before emigrating to the Alliance, I was able to keep my issued phaser," Zaria replied, taking it back from him. "It's so much more powerful than your guns. Cleanly vaporizes targets at the highest settings."
"Yes, assuming you can hit the target," Nate guffawed, indicating her abysmal performance. "Listen, I know it's got fancy features and at max firepower can level half a house, but it's a sidearm. It's not supposed to vaporize houses or human beings, it's supposed to be last ditch defense against an opponent in CQB situations."

"'See Cue Bee'?"
"The letters C, Q, and B. Close Quarters Battle. This is what you use when the enemy is just ten or twenty yards away, and you only need to take him down, not vaporize him." Nate reached onto his belt and pulled out his standard issue sidearm, a Colt P12. It was not nearly as sleek or asthetically pleasing as the Type 2 Phaser; it was a gray-colored pistol with a laser sight built in and below the muzzle. "Here, Colt P12 Particle Pistol, 9mm caliber. Preferred sidearm in the Corps because particle charges don't ricochet. Here, grip it."
He put it into Zaria's soft hand, and she looked back to the target on the far wall and lifted it one-handed up to the level of her eye, leaning her right arm forward. "No, no!" Nate took her arm. "It's not a Dustbuster, you don't hold it one-handed. That's half the problem with your Federation phasers in the first place. You hold it like this." She gave it to him, looking mildly irritated, while Nate took the P12 in both hands, extended his arms out to put the gun level to his eyes, and began to fire. Even without the laser targeting every hit landed in the inner torso of the target.

After five shots, Nate handed it back to Zaria. She mimicked his stance from before. "Press your thumb against the back of the barrel to activate the laser sight." Zaria obeyed Nate without a word and a red dot appeared on the opposite target. She began to pull the trigger, and out of six rapid shots she managed to get three into the trunk of the target, though nowhere near each other. "Why is it pushing against...." Zaria stopped herself in mid-sentence. "Reaction force, duh."
"Yeah, duh, Miss Engineer," Nate answered. "Once you get used to recoil you should be able to empty an entire clip into a target's rib cage."
"Well, sure, but it's not my gun. I don't have one."
"I'll have you issued one. I don't want you going unarmed out in the field." Zaria gestured to the hip holster where she'd placed her phaser, and Nate shook his head. "No, that doesn't count."
"I can take care of myself with it," Zaria complained.
"Of course," Nate remarked sarcastically. "Well, Doctor, if you'll excuse me, I have some paperwork to go over and training sessions to plan."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Steve » 2007-03-11 06:37am

The rustling of leaves and the crunch of boots on grass and twigs was the only sound that joined that of panting and strong breaths as Squad 2 led Dax and Worf out of the forest and to the clearing of the Stargate at Site 5. As they ran up, Colette shouted, "Corporal, get the charger ready! Everyone take defensive positions!"
The other members of Squad 2 hit the ground while Worf and Dax joined Corporal Calgar at the Stargate itself. Standing beside it, Calgar helped them unpack the three components of the charger from their satchels. Dax didn't show her relief at being relieved of the extra weight; she'd never expected this to entail carrying a hundred pounds of gear and was hiding her exhaustion.

Soon the enemy emerged through the woods. They had no body armor but they did have the weapons to penetrate the armor being worn by the survivors of SPT-14. They came under fire from the three concealed members of Squad 2 immediately and retreated after taking several losses.
"C'mon, c'mon," Calgar muttered, trying to slip the charger's grooves into place. "Bloody damned thing!"
"Perhaps you are not strong enough to press it together," Worf rumbled. "Allow me."
As Calgar's pleas went unanswered, Worf snatched both pieces of the incomplete charger device out of his hands. The first two pieces were the "foundation" of the device, where the two batteries were kept and, when hooked up, would operate properly. The third piece was the 'Zynski particle collector itself and a clamp that would allow it to conduct it's particles into the Stargate; this was the fifteen pound piece that Dax was still holding, huddled up against the Gate to avoid enemy fire.
Worf took a piece in each hand and pressed them together, hard. So hard that after ten seconds of still not giving, the fitting grooves snapped and fell to the ground. Worf shouted a Klingon curse and nearly threw the pieces down.

Everyone looked up and saw what Colette was warning them about. Aircraft descended upon them, looking much like those in the final transmission of the Abigail Thompson. They flew overhead and dropped explosives that ripped through the air with a deafening boom, throwing the six around like rag dolls.
When the bombing ended, everyone present was dead.

Hmm, wonder what happened? Stay tuned for the next update. :twisted:
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Vehrec » 2007-03-11 10:29am

*eyebrow raise* Those Jaffa fell back under fire. They obviously don't know how Jaffa act in this training simulation.
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Post by Enigma » 2007-03-11 01:58pm

holo training mission? :)

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Post by Steve » 2007-03-11 03:22pm

Nate's face was about to turn red when he stormed out of the corner of the holochamber, which had kept him, Azakusho, and the other members of SPT-14 hidden while the remaining mission team had been wiped out. The holographic systems disengaged and the simulated foes had disappeared. "Technicals! They're a bunch of technicals with magrifles and you got your asses creamed!"
"Technicals with big friggin' bombers," Colette replied in a mumble while lifting herself off of the ground. The others moved as well, standing up from where the holodeck's systems had knocked them down during the simulated explosions.
"That's not when you lost, that was the end-game I had programmed in if you took too damned long!" Nate shouted. "We bought you eight minutes to get back to the Stargate. Eight minutes! You should have had that thing assembled and been out of here!"
"Sir, the portable charger takes four minutes to properly assemble," replied Calger.
"Yeah, and in this case, that was too long, and look at what happened. You're dead. Dead DEAD. Kaput, shuffled off this mortal coil, etc etc." Nate turned his angry glare to Worf and Dax. "And you two, I thought the Fed World Starfleet had physical requirements better than that of a corporate Athletic Club! Hell, you look like you're about to fall over, Commander Dax! And you, Commander Worf, just doomed your entire team by breaking the God damned thing!"

"It was made of unnecessarily weak materials, Sir."
"Unnecessarily weak? Anything stronger and it'd be as heavy as a normal rolled unit and you'd be having that much more trouble in carrying it!" Nate turned to the others. "Okay, form up, we're going to try this again!"
"Sir?" Cyrzanski looked rather ill at the prospect. "We've ran this sim four times."
"And each time you got yourselves killed."
"Sir, maybe it'd help if you didn't keep throwing in new wrinkles," Dax said, cutting in. "Every time it's something new. Larger enemy units, better weapons, changed terrain.... We get used to the area and suddenly you throw in a new enemy position or aerial scouts or a new ambush!"
"I'm getting you ready for the unexpected. I thought that was what Starfleet was about, Commander?"
"Yes, but it's not about raising the bar arbitrarily just because you don't like the makeup of this unit. And is it really necessary for us to all carry this much gear? We're not going on a long-range mission, Sir, we're staying right at the Gate. You're making the simulations different just to justify running us ragged, and frankly I am tired of it."

"You can be tired all you want, Commander, but as long as you're under my command you'll do as ordered."
"I never agreed to any such thing. I'm here as a science advisor, not as another one of your Marines," Dax shot back. "The only reason Worf and I are in this holodeck is because we want to get better at working with the rest of the unit, not because we're under any obligation to go through this exercise in sadism!"
Nate was finding himself near his breaking point with the Starfleeters, both of them. "You know, maybe this is why the Federation Starfleet couldn't fight it's way out of a piss-soaked paper bag. You've been too busy exploring space and not busy enough training to deal with the kind of threats you find in it!"

"Oh please, the Federation has been around a lot longer than your Alliance..."
"Was around, Commander, was," Nate retorted.
Dax's nostrils fumed and she resisted the temptation to go along with the line of argument Nate was stringing out. "That has nothing to do with the issue here. And that issue is that we are all exhausted and frustrated and you keep raising the bar on these missions without reason. I mean, if you're going to train us for a fight, why not have us defend the Stargate under fire? Why force us to march ten miles evading enemy attack?"
"Because, Commander, you never know what's out there and you never know what will happen. Say I do train us to merely defend the Stargate under fire? What do we do if we wind up on a hostile world and are forced to withdraw from the Gate and evade the enemy in rough terrain? What do we do then, I ask? This training helps get us all used to the idea that things go wrong. That the intel is never one hundred percent right, that the enemy may not think the same way we do, and quite frankly, that sometimes survival comes down to blind dumb luck!" Nate and Dax continued their stare-off while the assembled observed but did nothing else. He could see that she was, at the very least, just as stubborn and willful as he was.
Which didn't matter, because he knew he was right.
And so was she.

"You're right, Commander Dax, that everyone is tired and frustrated. So we will adjourn training for the moment. Everyone report to the mess for grub and for two hours R&R. Then we're starting our next series of training exercises. We're going to work on the time needed to assemble the portable chargers. I want to shave it in half. If you manage to knock just a minute off I might even give everyone the night off of training before we head out." Nate gestured to the door. "You're all dismissed."
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"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Steve » 2007-03-14 05:14am

With three days left until SPT-14's next mission, Major Parker had taken the time to arrange a meeting with General Thompson and had brought Lieutenant Commander Hillman, CO of SPT-5, with him. The two men stood at attention and kept their salutes while Thompson set down a folder in his hands and looked up. "At ease, gentlemen. May I ask what the problem is?"
Because of his higher seniority, Cmdr. Hillman spoke first. "Sir, Major Parker and I talked and, well, we have some problems with Colonel Mackensen's training system."
"What kind of problems?"
"To put it frankly, sir, not a single SPT team has actually won a wargame under his system," Parker pointed out. "We've trained ourselves to near perfection, sir, and that doesn't seem good enough for him."
"Sir, he also tends to change the simulations at random, with no real apparent purpose to the change other than to make us fail. Things that don't make sense from any point of view..."

Thompson put a hand up. "I understand that, Commander. I understand all too well. Do you know what they call Colonel Mackensen at Camp Wilcox?"
"No, Sir, what?"
"'Colonel F'. He fails everyone. Only about 10% of graduates ever pass a scenario test of his once, and only one out of ten of those passes more than once. Among those to have never passed a Mackensen scenario are ten out of the last five years' top ten graduates out of Quantico." Thompson folded his hands on the table. "He's seen action, more action than most of you have, and he knows better than anyone in this Command how badly things can turn in combat. What he's trying to teach you is how to adapt to circumstances, how to get the job done despite bad or faulty intel, and quite frankly how to accept taking losses and even failing a mission. And if you ask me, that's just what this command needs. We're going to find things out there that we may not be ready for, gentlemen, and I'm hoping Colonel Mackensen's training prepares you and your men for that."
Hillman and Parker remained silent for a moment. "Sir, I have no problems with that," Parker said, "but the Colonel seems to single out our specialists for abuse, like Lieutenant Colette and Specialist Cyrzanski."

"I understand that he's not sold on the SPT team concept, but it's something we'll have to..."
Thompson was interrupted by the blaring of alert klaxons and a flash of red lights. "All personnel to standby stations! Unscheduled gate activation in progress!"
"You gentlemen are dismissed," Thompson said abruptly, standing and heading out the side door of his office to the briefing room and from there to the control room overlooking the Stargate chamber. "Sergeant, report."

The brown-haired Sergeant at the main station looked back. "Sir, we've gotten a signal from SPT-3. They're evacuating Site 32 under fire and say they have wounded."
"Raise defense screens." Thompson took the mic for the base PA and said, "We need medical teams in the Embarkation Room, ASAP."
While armed soldiers took up positions around the Gate, holding MP-10s and manning a couple of M40 MGs, a defensive field popped up near the Gate entrance, one that would allow human-shaped figures moving at a specific speed to slip through but which would stop bullets, particle blasts, and assorted other weapons fire that the Stargate might allow through.
The seven chevrons on the Stargate finished lighting up and the expected "whoosh" appeared. The first man through was one of SPT-3's Squad 1 members, bringing the team's 'Zynski particle charger with him. But those behind him were clearly not SPT personnel; they were light and tanned humans wearing primitive-looking clothing that had a Mediterrenean look to it. As they poured through, so did the occasional other member of SPT-3. After several moments red blasts of energy also began to pour through the Gate, hitting and dissipating against the power of the defense screen.
"Prepare to repel incursion," Thompson said over the PA. "This is not a drill!"

At that moment Nate entered the command room, having been attracted by the alert. "What's happening?"
"We sent out SPT-3 two days ago to survey Site 32," Thompson answered. "They're coming back under hostile fire, and it looks like they've brought some refugees with them."
Two figures came through the gate, a short tan-skinned woman leaning against an Oriental woman in SPT-uniform. "I'm the last, close the Gate!"
At the press of a button, a solid tritanium iris closed around the Stargate opening, blanking out the light that had been flooding the Control Room. After about four seconds the wormhole terminated itself.
"Major Dominguez, get your team cleaned up and report for immediate debriefing," Thompson ordered over the Gate Room comm while another tech asked for even more medical personnel and began to find space for the dozens of people now huddling in the Gate Room.

"These people have been living on the planet for centuries," Dominguez explained to those assembled in the conference room; Thompson, Nate, Zaria, Dax, and Worf. Our equipment already verified them as Human and we had just been in the process of informing SPC when we came under aerial attack and then ground fire."
"From whom?" Thompson asked, preventing Dax and Zaria asking about the inhabitants being Human.
"The inhabitants call them Diablo. Demons. They are taken by these Demons every handful of years. Their community used to be much larger, but in recent years the Demon raids had grown more frequent. Now they're nothing more than a village and would probably have died out, and they know this."
"You can speak to them? Do they speak English?"
"No sir. Spanish, and an old dialect at that." Dominguez had a partially amused look on his face. "They were afraid of me when I said I was Mexican. They thought I was a cannibal and pagan worshipper at first, an ally of the Demons. I had to convince their only priest that I was a practicing Catholic."
"So how did these ye old Spanish wind up on a planet three thousand light years from Earth?" asked Nate.
"According to what we learned from them before the attack came down, their ancestors were on a ship bound for New Spain when the Demons took them. They swallowed their ship whole, they claimed, and took them to that world. Every year the Demons would come and demand a quantity of metal from a nearby mine. According to Lieutenant Kowalski, the metal is a high quality form of Guyverite."

Zaria and Dax looked on intently. "But, I thought Guyverite only occurred naturally on asteroids and rocky worlds," Zaria said.
"No, it's been found on inhabitable worlds," Thompson interjected. "We found a rich vein of it here on Bowie, not too far from Farrell City. It's existance has been classified by the Defense Ministry until we can determine if it's truly natural or if it was artificially placed."
"So... who are these Demons?" asked Nate.
"They inhabit Human bodies, who's eyes flash with power from time to time. The Demons can throw a dozen men to the ground without touching them and can bring a man to his knees, drawing his entire soul out of them, or so they say. The Demons themselves rarely appear, though, but rather send their minions. 'Jaffa' is what the inhabitants know them as. They're the ground forces we tangled with, large men with tattooed foreheads and wearing metal chain mail that carry what look to be blaster sticks."
"Wow, bizarre," Nate remarked. "How do they fight?"
A grin crossed Dominguez's face. "We took out at least fifty of them with little effort. Their armor can't stop particle bolts and their blaster sticks aren't very capable of accurate or sustained fire. Their air support was a different matter, though. Some kind of swept-down fixed wing air fighters, perhaps aerospace fighters, with larger versions of the particle blasters on the Jaffa weapons. We shot down one with our MANPAD while evacuating these people. But we knew we couldn't fight them off, not when the ship showed up."
"Yes. It was enormous, with a pyramid as the main hull. I knew we'd be goners if we didn't get to the Gate."

Everyone at the table looked at each other. "Pyramid for a main hull, huh?" Nate had a smug look on his face as he said, "Does that remind anyone of anything?"
"The ship that destroyed the Abigail Thompson," replied Michaels.
"Uh huh. I hate saying 'I told you so', so I won't." Nate kept his hands folded at the table. "So, we put this planet on a blacklist. I'd recommend putting every other planet in the area on the same list."
Zaria raised her voice in dissent, saying, "Colonel, over half of the planets we've done preliminary surveys on are within that general region of space."
"Oh well. Listen, the last thing we need is some encounter with these people to cause a FUBAR situation..."
"We'll avoid those planets for the time being," Thompson said. "But I want to know more of these... 'demon' things before I give the President a full recommendation. If these really are the aliens who wrecked the Abigail Thompson, they don't look that impressive on the ground. I want more information on their space capabilities. Keep that in mind on all further missions."
"Yes sir," Nate answered.
"Okay, gentlemen, you are all dismissed."
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Post by Vehrec » 2007-03-14 10:08am

*nods* Good to see that you kept the many worlds-many cultures element of Stargate even more intact than the show did. It's unrealisitic to expect English speakers on every planet, especially english speaking Goa'uld.
On a side note, looking back at the criticism of the dustbuster, I wonder what kind of review the Zat' will get from Col Nate. He'd probably wonder why the damn thing isn't standard issue instead of the Staff Weapon. Hell, sometimes I wonder about that.

Also, I just noticed somthing. Lieutenant Kowalski any relation to a infamous Major from the first episode? :wink:
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Post by Steve » 2007-03-19 02:02pm

SPT-14 lined up together with Dax and Worf standing beside them, all of them in full uniform and with gear. Nate entered the holochamber last, dressed similarly to them. "Gentlemen and Ladies, we have two days before we leave, and some training to do in the meantime. But first, allow me to introduce you to someone."
At the press of a button, the holochamber created a new figure in their midst. It was apparently human, male, at least six feet tall with a silvery headcap of some sort, broad metal shoulderboards and hip pieces, and what looked to be metal chain mail armor. In his hand he held a staff with a segmented tip. "This, according to the Spanish-descended refugees from Site 32, is a Jaffa. It is the minion, presumably warrior caste, of an unknown race currently only known as the Diablo. And given the vessel that SPT-3 spotted before getting out of Site 32, these 'Diablo' are most likely the race that destroyed the Abigail Thompson about eighty years ago. In other words people..." Nate put a hand up on the ugly metal shoulderpiece of the figure. "This is the Enemy. With Major Dominguez's help I have incorporated these 'Jaffa' into our holosims, so we have an idea of what to expect out there. Questions?"

"What are their capabilities, Sir?" asked Sgt. Wilson.
"For now, we know they have excellent endurance and stamina given their pursuit of SPT-3 over rough terrain. Their weapons, however, leave much to be desired." At the cue, the holosim's AI caused the holo-Jaffa to level his staff with both hands. The segmented tip spread outward with a mechanical clunk and the area within the segments suddenly lit up, producing a bolt of red plasma that erupted from the staff and hit the far end of the holosim chamber. "This is the only weapon we have observed them using. It is quite demonstratably inferior to any infantry weapon in our arsenal, but all the same, we believe a blast could at least injure even with protective armor given the power of the bolts. So take advantage of the horrible aim these things allow and do not get hit. Alright, fall in, we're going to do another hot evac scenario, ten mile march!"

Some hours later Nate was seated alone in the central holosimulator control room, the room dark with most of the light being that of the main display that was reflecting off of his furrowed brow.
SPT-14 had finally succeeded a scenario, the first team to do so, and Nate honestly couldn't tell if it was because they'd improved or if it was because they were the first to face the holo-Jaffa, who for all of his efforts could not fully compete against the armed technicals he'd used in prior sims. He had to admit, they had improved, a lot, and even the "specialists" like Lieutenant Colette were proving better than he'd expected.

Nate brought up his wrist and saw that the time was 2000 hours GST. Thirty-eight hours until he took his first step through the Stargate on what looked to be a cake run escort. Still hours of training ahead with his people to ensure they were ready, especially after the recent encounter with the people who kicked them out of SRC-19 the last time.
With his apprehensions already high, Nate was bewildered when one of the holochambers activated. Seeing and confirming that no exercise was scheduled, Nate looked to the monitor and activated the internal sensors, bringing up an image of who was inside on the nearby screen.
The lone occupant of the holochamber was, surprisingly, Zaria. She was also dressed unconventionally. She had on a red bodice-like garment that showed her navel, and the spot lines running to either side of it, and a brown vest over it that still beared her lean arms and opened enough to show the very upper edge of her cleavage. She wore full-length blue trousers with hip and rear pockets and small pockets on the lower leg, as well as a belt around her waist with a few pouches and several knives placed into slots. Her feet were covered in primitive-looking sandals, showing her toes. Most prominently, a foot-long blade was hanging from her right hip.
She looked around at a moment and said, "Computer, load Herzela Recreation 1, Start New Module, Authorization Herzela Zulu Delta November Delta Foxtrot Romeo."

Nate could see the monitor for Holochamber 2 flash and show a program being loaded. He took a look and saw it was being loaded from an isolinear flash drive that had been physically connected to the Holochamber's imaging and control system. The holochamber assembled what looked to be a classical medieval town, with random people milling about wearing pre-industrial style clothing. He reached over and flipped the intercom to speak into the chamber. "Doctor, this is Colonel Mackensen. You know that these simulators are for military use only, right?"
To his surprise, the holographic people started to react, milling everywhere in fright and asking if "gods" or "sorcerers" were responsible for the voice from the sky. An irritated look came over Zaria's face and she said, "Computer, suspend program and restart, turning off complete environment settings."
The panic ended, the people vanished, and then suddenly reappeared where they'd started, this time in complete ignorance of Zaria. "Colonel, if you must know, General Thompson approved my request to use these chambers for recreation months ago."
"Did he?" Nate put a hand on his head. "So he lets you use millions of dollars in military simulator equipment to play medieval peasant?"
Zaria crossed her arms, looking up though not directly toward him, as there was no camera per se to look into. "It's Dungeons and Dragons, if you must know, and I'm a Fighter, not a peasant. 2172 edition holo-RPG. And the answer is yes, he does, because I asked nicely and because they also happen to help keep me in shape and hones my hand-to-hand skills."

Biting down a growing contempt for how Thompson was running the SPC, Nate laughed sarcastically. "Oh really? I'd like to see it."
A smile crossed Zaria's face. "Well, sir, stop interrupting me and I'll let you watch me work this module until my next save point. Afterward, I might hit you up for a late dinner."
"Is that a date, Doctor Herzela?"
"No, just a friendly dinner." Zaria grinned wickedly. "You're not my type."
Nate chuckled once more. "Fine, show me what you can do."

He leaned back in his seat and watched Zaria commence her scenario. Most of it was boring as she did various conversations with holographic figures, but when she ended up out of the town and dealing with a crowd of brigands, it got interesting.
She was handling her light sword with good finesse and skill, and her hand-to-hand abilities were far better than Nate had expected. He was most interested, however, when she stopped a fleeing enemy by taking a knife from her belt and throwing it so that it pinned his sleeve against a nearby tree.
Nah, gotta be some trick to it. It's a game, it probably cheats so that people can win like that....

"I wasn't cheating."
There was nobody in the mess hall to see the two eating together, or rather what passed for eating. As it was late, Nate had opted for a corn beef sandwhich and Zaria for a small plate of potato salad from the day's mess meal. She had showered and changed into an SPT civilian's jumpsuit, with "DR. HERZELA" written on the upper right breast.
Now Nate was staring at her with some disbelief. "What I saw takes years of training."
"I've been playing these things for forty years, Colonel, and that's a long time to learn how to throw a knife." Zaria took a bite of her late meal and swallowed. "Yes, the game does allow for settings where the holodeck takes a character's stats into account and determines if that means a hit or not, but I have that set to a minimum. The game is so much funner that way."
"If you say so..." Nate took a bite as well and waited until Zaria finished her's before adding, "So, what's our ultimate goal anyway? We can't establish a presence in SRC-19 without breaking one of the most important treaties we've ever written. Is this just research?"
"Well, there's a qualifier to that, Colonel." Zaria crossed her hands together on the table. "SRC-19 is blacklisted because these 'Diablo' blew up a ship and displayed superior technology in doing so. Eighty years ago there was no desire to risk a major interstellar conflict against a possibly-superior race in a backwater colony universe, so the IUCEC blacklisted SRC-19 and left it at that. But if we find evidence that the Diablo aren't nearly so powerful, and that we can defend against them just with the threat of force, we might be able to get the IUCEC to remove it from the Blacklist."

"But then we'd have to tell them about the Stargate, and admit we violated the treaty."
Zaria grinned at that. "Colonel, the Treaty and the Blacklist only mean that you can't jump into SRC-19 with IU drives. We're not. We're using the Stargate for that thanks to the ZPC, and the ZPC doesn't fall under the IUCEC because, without the Stargate, it's nothing more than a... research toy, if that."
"Well, I can't argue with that." Nate shrugged. "Listen, I'll be honest, I'm not... sure about this whole setup. I think we could end up wasting a lot of lives for a very questionable reason."
"Those refugees might disagree with you, Colonel," Zaria replied. "What would have happened to them without us?"
Nate didn't reply save to shrug his shoulders a bit, ceding the argument. "Yeah, well.... that brings up something else."
"Earth. What if it has a Stargate? In SRC-19 that is."
Zaria looked at Nate a moment and shrugged. "Well, we... we never tried to dial Earth. It's not on the list we got from the Gate Chamber on Bowie SRC-19, so we just kind of assumed it might not have a Gate and that the Humans we found on other worlds were transplants by ship."
"And if you're wrong?"
"Well, it would change things I suppose, but it's just as likely that Earth's Gate is buried. And they're not that advanced anyway."
"The Earth Survey did eighty years ago, a couple of months before the Abigail Thompson was lost, determined that Earth was in the early 20th Century. In fact, I believe one of the probe photos showed a major military conflict being waged in Europe that analysts believed to be the First World War."
"So SRC-19 Earth would be... about 1999, 2000 now. Not too advanced, no...." A thought came to Nate and he looked up. "Presuming their history matches Earth General enough.... think they could be using the Stargate if they've found it?"
"I hope not," Zaria said. "With these 'Diablo' out there, not to mention any other potentially hostile species.... they'd just be asking for trouble."

Stargate Command, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado
United States of America, Earth
Universe Designate SRC-19
28 Hours Before SPT-14 Departure

With the customary flair that Sgt. Siler and General Hammond were all too accustomed to now, the seventh chevron on the Stargate lit up and the always-spectacular wormhole formed inside the Stargate, the defensive iris covering it preventing the "whoosh" effect that always erupted from the stablizing event horizon of the wormhole..
"Receiving Tok'ra IDC, Sir."
"Open the iris."
The iris slid open and revealed the bright watery event horizon of the Stargate's active wormhole. After a moment a figure stepped through, immediately recognizable as Jacob Carter, former USAF General and now a respected Tok'ra operative and host to Selmak, a senior Tok'ra symbiote.
Hammond leaned over to get closer to the mic in the control room and spoke. "Welcome home, Jacob."
"Glad to be home, George." Jacob raised a small device. "Got some intelligence updates for you straight from the Tok'ra High Council." He grinned while bringing the device back down. "So, how are the refugees from Loutana?"

Hammond blinked and replied, "Loutana?"
"Yeah, um, it's a world in this quarter of the galaxy, has some naquadah mines near the Stargate and an isolated population used by Cronus as slaves for mining them. Your people just got the entire population out before Sokar's troops could capture them."
Hammond looked down at Siler. "Sergeant.... have there been any missions I wasn't told about?"
"None, sir. All SG teams have reported in and there have been no hostile contacts with the Goa'uld in over a week."
Hammond went back to the mic. "Um, Jacob, we have a bit of a problem...."

Not twenty minutes later, Hammond and Jacob had been joined in the Briefing Room by all of SG-1 and Col. Makepeace of SG-3. They had assembled expecting a new suicidal mission to be foisted on them by the Tok'ra, much to Jack O'Neill's usual sarcastic "delight", but instead found they were being given credit for something they hadn't done.
"It wasn't you?"
"I think I'd remember being chased by a battalion of Jaffa," Jack answered in that customary sardonic manner, the kind that his friends tolerated and other people didn't.
Jacob shifted in his seat, and the others were very interested now. "Well, I guess that explains a few things."
It was his daughter, Sam, who spoke up by asking, "Such as?"
"We were told it was you by an operative we had working on the ship Sokar sent to take the people of Loutana," Jacob explained. "We figured they were just errors, but he said that there were ten of your people there evacuating the Loutanians, which we flogged as odd since all the SG teams are four-man units. It was also reported that the Jaffa said their weapons were causing energy flashes and weren't the same as your's."

"Are you sure they weren't just unused to muzzle flashes?" Makepeace asked.
"The operative made it clear that they were energy weapons. Their shots caused excessive burning on the bodies of Jaffa around the wound point. He thought that maybe you had reverse-engineered the intars you recovered from Apophis."
"We haven't even thought of it. We were going to use them for training exercises," answered Sam.
"Well, if it wasn't you...." Jacob slipped back in his seat. "Selmak has no knowledge of any other Human civilization with Stargate access that is capable of this."

"There are areas of the galaxy that the Goa'uld don't have access to, right? Former slave colonies that buried their Gates and everything. Who knows how many human civilizations could be out there?" Daniel Jackson leaned forward a bit in his seat. "Maybe there's someone out there more advanced than we are who are also exploring the galaxy now that they've unburied their Stargate? And they could have just started, like we have, which is why the Goa'uld and Tok'ra have never heard of them."
None were surprised at the first thought to come from Teal'c on the manner. "Such a people may make valuable allies against the Goa'uld."
Hammond nodded at that. "I agree, Teal'c. But finding them is an entirely different problem. I figure it's like looking for a needle in a haystack the size of Cheyenne Mountain."

"Well...." Sam was the first to speak up on the matter, which usually meant a solution was already in the works. "We have a number of addresses from the Abydos Cartouche and the Library of the Ancients that we haven't been able to dial into, we could re-test them to see if any have become active recently. And to narrow it down, with some help from the Tok'ra we could find which systems are in areas of space that the Goa'uld do not or no longer inhabit."
"Sounds like a plan. Jacob?"
"Selmak knows a lot of that, I'm sure we can help."
"That's good. For the time being, I'll keep SG-1 inactive so that you can be ready to test any potential sites we find. Colonel Makepeace, SG-3 will be taking over the expedition to P5R-002."
"Yes sir."
"You are all dismissed." Hammond stood from his seat, prompting the others to do the same and then disperse.
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"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

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Post by Agent Fisher » 2007-03-19 02:37pm


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Post by Coalition » 2007-03-19 10:19pm

This should be "interesting".

Especially when SG-1 says they are from Earth, and the Megaverse crews ask, "Which one?"

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Post by Burak Gazan » 2007-03-19 11:08pm

Excellent :D
They had assembled expecting a new suicidal mission to be foisted on them by the Tok'ra, much to Jack O'Neill's usual sarcastic "delight"

Yeah, that's Jack alright
"Of course, what would really happen is that in Game 7, with the Red Sox winning 20-0 in the 9th inning, with two outs and two strikes on the last Cubs batter, a previously unseen meteor would strike the earth, instantly and forever wiping out all life on the planet, and forever denying the Red Sox a World Series victory..."

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Post by Vehrec » 2007-03-19 11:39pm

Coalition wrote:This should be "interesting".

Especially when SG-1 says they are from Earth, and the Megaverse crews ask, "Which one?"
They'll probably know enough to figure out that it's the local earth, though they might comments somthing like "You crazy bastards! Mind if we have a look at some of that swag you're carrying? That hyperdrive looks cool."
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Post by Steve » 2007-03-29 07:53am

Brownsville SPT Facility, Brownsville, Bowie
Republic of Texas, Alliance of Democratic Nations
Universe Designate FHI-8
Minutes before SPT-14 Departure

Nate was one of the first to the Gate Room after the briefing, with the others coming right behind them with gear in tow. Everyone carried the usual pack of emergency supplies, equipment, and ammunition, with Worf and Dax carrying their light mek'leth Klingon blades and Cyrzanski carrying the IU radio. The towable 'Zynski particle charger was being pulled by Sergeant Dalton and Major Parker, Worf, and Corporal Calgar were carrying the parts to the backup portable ZPC. Tang and Wilson were overloaded themselves, carrying and dragging along the pack of sensor equipment that would be placed at both Gates for use in the study.
Zaria was the last to arrive, carrying a pack of portable sensor equipment and other supplies, with her Type II Phaser ("Dustbuster", the assembled ADN personnel thought immediately), and some knives fixed on her belt. This brought some looks, but Nate nodded in understanding when she looked to him.

"'Zynski particle charge complete," spoke the tech in the Gate Control Room. "Beginning dialing sequence now."
As the Gate's inner ring rotated and the dialing sequence initiated, Nate drew in a breath and said, "So, what's it like?"
Parker was the first to speak. "Sir?"
"Going through this thing, I mean. What's it like?"
"Well, it's a bit hard to describe," Parker replied. "You'll have to find out for yourself."
The seventh chevron lit up and Nate almost leaned backward at the giant "whoosh" that erupted from the Gate. He nodded and Colette walked forward, leading Squad 2 through the Gate first, with Major Parker and Squad 1 taking up the rear. Nate watched Dax hesitate for just a second, out of instinct, before Worf stepped up beside her and they exchanged a look. Together the couple stepped through the green and gold-hued blue rippling surface of the Stargate's active event horizon.
Nate was being followed by Zaria, who looked at him and smiled. "You first," she said with a girlish, mischievous expression.
He smiled back. "And here I was trying to be a gentleman." Taking a breath, he stepped through the event horizon.

Parker was right. The feeling wasn't easily described. Nate could feel a sensation throughout his entire body, not quite like METting but close enough, joined with the visual image of a long stretch of blue and white whipping by his vision until, after what seemed to be only a second, the sensation ended, leaving only a strong cold sensation within him.
They were not in a field but, as the briefing had indicated, a slight valley. For whatever reason the Site 5 Stargate was at the end of a valley, with a sheer rock face shortly behind it and a path leading due east of the Stargate toward hills. Surrounding them was a temperate forest, with only the very bed of the valley uncovered by trees; tree cover was only about a hundred or so yards away at the nearest point. It was, to Nate, not an enviable position, and his mind immediately processed the danger of attack by concealed enemy.
But his concern was soon directed to something else, something he only now noticed as he turned his head to look at where Colette, Dax, and Zaria were standing. Not even four yards away from the Site 5 Gate's Dialing Device was something else, something obviously not in SPT-2's report.

It was a small wheeled vehicle with a grappler arm on top, a sensor dish, and a rotating camera mount. It was inactive and simply sitting there, but it was clear to Nate from it's wheel tracks that it had not been there for long. "Locals are primitives, right?"
"Yes, according to SPT-2 they're little past the Bronze Age technology wise," Colette remarked. "Closest village is about five miles from here, out on the plain."
"So this obviously isn't their's. Doesn't look alien to me either."
"Well, it's clearly late 20th Century in tech level," Zaria remarked, putting a hand on the metallic surface. She looked right at the camera. "Pre-holographic. Could be digital, though. Maybe early 21st Century at most." She paused for a moment and looked up at Nate. "It would closely match the technological level of SRC-19 Earth, presuming no major historical or technological diversion."

"You mean indig Earth could have found a Stargate?" asked Parker.
"Certainly possible," Zaria answered.
Nate had by then come to a decision, and turned to Cyrzanski and spoke immediately after Zaria. "Call up SPC and let General Thompson know we're diverting from plan. We'll use Site 3 instead and pick another site for Position 2."
"Yes sir."
"If I may, Sir, why are we diverting from plan?"
"Simple, Corporal Reynolds," Sakura spoke up suddenly, her right hand gripping the handle and trigger grip of the MP-10 slung over her shoulder. Her red hair was now pulled back into a bun at the back of her head, leaving Zaria as the only woman in the group to have loose hair. "This thing was just put here. Whoever sent it could be coming any time now, and it's better if we avoid contact for now."
Dax looked up while Zaria accessed her handcomp to get the symbols to dial Site 3. "What if they're already here?"
As Zaria's hand pressed on the dialer, a "shunk" sound filling the air for every symbol pressed, Nate answered, "All the more reason to get out of here. I'm not good at first contact situations, Commander."

SPT-14 stood by and waited for Zaria to finish dialing Site 3. She finished and pressed down on the glowing red orb at the center of the dialer, activating the Stargate with the customary whoosh effect. They began to file through the Gate one by one.
Before stepping to follow, Dax turned to see Worf staring intently at some trees at a slight elevation above their's, along the valley line. She said, "What's wrong?"
He took a deep breath. "I believe I spotted someone spying on us from the trees."
"Might just be a local. Come on." Dax took his arm and Worf let her pull him through. Wilson had remained standing at the Gate, an arm inside of it, to keep it open for them, and he was the last through, at which time the wormhole terminated.

Site 5, Universe Designate SRC-19
Two hours before SPT-14's Arrival

The village was like any other village Jack O'Neill had seen in his time with the SGC. People in raggedy clothing running about performing tedious daily chores to stay alive in a dreary, though not always harsh, climate. He turned and looked at Sam, who remained with him near the village as they waited for Daniel and Teal'c to finish speaking with the villagers. "Why didn't the Ancients put any Stargates on a nice, breezy tropical island?"
After a moment's thought, Sam decided that she had no good comeback to that and merely said, "Who knows?"
"I mean, I've spent a lot of time in Minnesota and I'll admit that it's nice, but I'd like a little variety..."

"Sir, they're coming back."
Jack turned and watched Teal'c and Daniel walk up. "How did it go?"
"Well, I have good news and bad news." Daniel crossed his arms. "The bad news is that these people aren't the ones we were looking for."
"Wow, I'm shocked," Jack replied sarcastically.
"Yeah, they're, um, Phoenicians, or rather proto-Phoenicians of a sort, who worship Ba'al."
"One of the Goa'uld, right?"
Teal'c replied first. "Yes O'Neill. Ba'al is among the most powerful of the System Lords. The loss of this planet was likely of little consequence to him."
Daniel added, "According to their legends, a 'False God' pretending to be Ba'al once tried to rule them, until his ruse was discovered and his minions were driven out. Their ancestors must have buried the Stargate and not mentioned it in their history, because about a year ago it was revealed by a mud-slide and they didn't bother re-burying it."

At that, O'Neill could only nod, not particularly interested in the small finer details. "Okay, so, what's the good news?"
"Well, we're not the first off-worlders they've met," Daniel said. "Over the past six months, they've had a couple visits from other off-worlders, ones they say are dressed like us and which had weapons that look like our's which fire blue lightning. First visit they stopped a predator attacking a local farmer, and in their second visit they stopped a plague of what I assume to be a variance of the flu."
"So they come back?" Sam asked.
"Their leader promised to keep an eye on them, and in a few months they think the local lord might even have an envoy here to greet them." Before Jack could speak, Daniel raised a hand. "I already asked them if they'd tell the others about us and that we wanted to talk."
"So, at least this trip wasn't a total loss. Let's go report back to General Hammond."

SG-1 returned to the forest, moving through at a reasonable pace given the undergrowth and arriving at the Stargate in due time. They approached from the north, coming out at the tree line when Jack saw the Stargate light up. "Back, take cover!" The four retreated back into the tree line, finding brush to hide behind. Jack and Sam took up their binoculars and watched as the Stargate whooshed and the wormhole finished forming.
One after the other, a number of figures began to walk out, some bearing equipment, and it was only after the fifteenth person emerged that the wormhole dispersed. The last figures through turned their immediate attention to the M.A.L.P. while the others took up defensive positions around the Gate. "I wonder if that's a full expedition for them?"
"Major, I'm more concerned in how friendly they are. The question is, should we reveal ourselves?"
"If they are hostile, we are at a significant disadvantage."
"Always the ray of light, aren't you Teal'c?" Jack looked back into his binocs as one of them began to talk into a radio. "Um, the Stargate is closed. How is he talking to... whoever it is he's talking to?"
"Maybe they have an observation post somewhere on this world and they're letting them know about the M.A.L.P.?"
One of the figures went to the Gate, and Sam watched her begin dialing. Jack's sight passed between them until his eyes came down on the largest figure. The figure turned up toward them and Jack got a full look at his face.
He lowered the binoculars and blinked. No, I did not just see that. "Am I just seeing things, or is that big guy a Klingon?"

Daniel gave him a bewildered look, as did Sam when she finally turned away. In the distance the Stargate activated and the unknown expedition began to return through it, taking their equipment with them. "Jack, I'm the one who's supposed to be the geek, not you," he said, half-joking and half-confused.
"Well, look at him! Forehead ridges..."
"I agree," Teal'c said from his position. "He looks much like the Klingons that are in O'Neill's favorite television program."
Sam beat Daniel's "Favorite?" with her own by about a second.
"And I believe he has spotted us."
Jack turned his attention back in time to see the apparent Klingon apprehensively turn away from looking in their direction and follow a dark-haired woman into the Stargate. The last figure when through it and the wormhole deactivated a moment later.

SG-1 emerged from the trees and went to the Gate. "I saw which symbols they dialed," Sam said. "Should we follow?"
"After we check in with General Hammond."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Steve » 2007-04-01 06:44am

Site 3

Site 3 was less hospitable than Site 5. Desertification had struck the area centuries before, so aside from some bushes most of the view was of rock and dirt that was starting to become desert sand.
Once on the other side, SPT-14 busied themselves with erecting the sensor gear to record the Stargate activations planned for their tests. Nate held the radio microphone on Cyrzanki's IU radio unit. "Any other locations you have for us?"
"We're finding one for you now, sir." There was a pause, during which Nate watched the sensor dish being fitted on the base with the computer systems that operated the sensors. Zaria was seated cross-legged on the dirt, her fingers moving over the keyboard of the laptop system linked to the sensor gear. She competed her final checks and activated the system. "Well, we're ready," she said. "Now we just need a destination side."
"Working on that." Nate held the mic back to his mouth. "Got that location yet?"
"Yes sir, transmitting now."
The transmission went through and the IU radio immediately routed the data to Zaria's unit. She stood up, dusting herself off in the process, and lifted the unit up. Holding it with her left hand, she went up to the Stargate and located the symbols. "Everyone ready?"
"One moment...." Dalton finished tightening a bolt on the dish. "There, we're set."
"Okay, usual formation. Squad 1 at point." Parker motioned to them and Tang and his men took the foremost position. Zaria pressed the symbol sequence she'd been shown and activated the Stargate. It came alive, this time absent the gold and green hues that appeared whenever a wormhole back to Universe FHI-8 was established. "On we go people."

Site 5

"Understood Sir. We'll get right on it." Jack lowered the radio and watched the Stargate deactivate after SG-4 came out of it. Nodding and exchanging greetings with Major Rush and his team, Jack watched them head out to begin a survey of the planet, newly-designated P7R-205. "They dialed P7M-567, so at least we know where we're heading."
"SG-2 explored that world almost two years ago," Sam said. "They didn't find any signs of civilization."
"Well, maybe they go on jaunts to multiple planets before heading home?"
"We're about to find out, Daniel." Jack nodded to Sam, who began operating the DHD. When she dialed the seventh chevron she pressed down on the red orb to activate the Stargate.
Nothing happened.
Jack looked to Sam. "Something wrong?"
"I know I dialed it right." Sam reached out and dialed the address again. This time, when she finished and pressed the red orb, the Stargate fired right up.
"Hope that wasn't them leaving," Jack mumbled as he and Teal'c approached the event horizon. They stepped through without a pause and had the usual transit experience before emerging on the other end, surrounded by an arid plain with almost no vegatation. "I really want a tropical island someday," Jack muttered while Sam and Daniel stepped through.

The sound of Teal'c's voice caused everyone to look to their left, where Teal'c was standing beside a device of unknown origin. It had a simple base set into the dirt and a dish and other obvious sensor devices built into it's upper quarter. "What do you think it is, Major?"
"If I had to guess, sir, it's some kind of sensor device meant to record activity from the Stargate." Sam walked up to it and began to visually examine it. "Maybe they want to see both sides of a wormhole to get readings on it?"
"Why would they want to do that?"
"Well, they're clearly more advanced than we are, Sir. If their understanding of wormhole physics is far ahead of our's they may be trying to work out the technology to use for themselves."

"Since we have no way of knowing where they went, I guess that means we stay here," Daniel said, clearly disliking the prospect. "Should we call home?"
"Not a good idea," Sam said, still examining the sensor device. "If they try to come back and can't because we have an active wormhole to Earth, they'll know someone's here and they might not come back."
"Are you suggesting that we just sit here and shout 'Surprise!' when some of them come back for that thing?" Jack asked, pointing to the device. "I don't know about you, but that sounds to me like something that will get us all shot at."
"Have any brighter ideas, Jack?"
Jack looked at Daniel and was silent for a moment. "I'm still working on it," he finally admitted.

Site 29

The new world looked better than the prior one, Nate had to admit. The Stargate at Site 29 was in an open field with a dirt road leading away from it and toward the west. Nate looked around and smiled. "Ah, that's more like it." He watched Cyrzanski.and Dalton putting up the sensor device while Zaria and Dax set up it's software and looked to Sakura. "What do we know about this planet, Major?"
"We were here about three weeks ago, Sir. Long-range scans indicated a city nearby, but we never got near it."
"How far?"
"About a mile and a half, Sir. Over the hills. Got a great view, I bet," answered Parker.
Nate nodded at that. "Major Parker, you stay here with your team. You can send Squad 2 through whenever you're ready. Major Azakusho, Commander Worf, Captain O'Farrell, you're with me."
"Where are we going, Sir?", asked O'Farrell.
"We're going to get a look at that town." Nate adjusted the shoulder strap for his MP-10 and led them down the road. He called back, "Keep in radio contact, let us know if any shit hits the fan."
"Yes sir!" Parker replied.

Walking along the dirt road, Nate kept looking at Worf as he fiddled with a Starfleet-issue tricorder. "See anything interesting on that thing, Commander?"
"It is reading an impressive energy signature from the direction of the town," Worf replied. "I recommend we keep our distance."
"We're only going up to the hills for a peek, Commander." To demonstrate that, Nate stepped off the road and led them into the slight forest covering. "Just keep an eye on life sensors to make sure that nobody heads to the Stargate. It shouldn't take us long at all."

Dax reached up and wiped a bit of sweat off her brow, left over from the heat of Site 3, while helping Zaria finish the attachments to allow her laptop access to the sensor unit's operating systems. "Do you do this often?"
"Oh yes. I've even opened up those dialers before. They use a really cool crystalline technology that I'd love to analyze more." Zaria tapped a few keys. "Neutrino sensors online. Gravitic distortion sensors are next, uploading operating software." Zaria looked to Parker. "Major, we'll be ready to send Lieutenant Colette through in a minute."
Parker nodded.
"I'd love to take one of those things open myself," Dax admitted.
"I'll see about making that our next mission," Zaria replied. She hit a key. "Gravitics are up." She continued working on the upload.

As she finished, Dax asked, "You know, if you're right, and the Earth of this universe has started using a Stargate, shouldn't we find them and warn them about what's out here? About these 'Demon' aliens?"
"We're under orders to avoid contact unless necessary," Zaria reminded her. "This whole operation is a bit tricky, legally, since SRC-19 is blacklisted. Even if we contacted them, we couldn't maintain relations except with the Stargate. And it'd be.... really, really hard to set something up just using that. Can't move an IU gate assembly here with a Stargate, after all."
"But your government could go to the IUCEC and ask for it's removal from the Blacklist. The Alliance controls most of the Committee seats anyway."
"No, actually, that's just counting every member nation that has a seat on the Committee. And even if those nations are in the Alliance, their governments and their seat-holders tend to act really, really independent and guard that pretty strongly. The government would have to disclose everything to the IUCEC, and that would require it having to be public and non-secret. Which is what the Alliance government does not want concerning the Stargate." Zaria pressed a few keys. "Ah, there we go. We're ready."
Parker looked at Colette and nodded while Zaria went up to the dialer and began dialing Site 3 again. Squad 2 came together and stayed just out of range of the "whoosh" as it erupted from the Stargate. "We're getting readings," Dax said.
Zaria walked up beside Colette and gestured, as if to say "After you." Colette and her squad entered with Zaria barely a step behind.

Site 3

It wasn't a very long wait for SG-1 before the Stargate suddenly began to light up. "Wow, that didn't take long," Jack said as he stood from the steps of the Stargate platform. He kept his right hand on his M5, but left it lowered, both Sam and Teal'c picking up on that to keep their weapons down as well.
They waited for the last chevron to light up and then stood back and allowed for the "whoosh" to lash out and be sucked back into the forming event horizon. Five figures stepped out. A dark-haired Oriental woman in the lead with three Caucasian men around her, all in uniform and with weapons of their own. The final figure was an unarmed light-skinned woman with spots along her forehead and down her neck. She had red hair flowing down to her upper back; she too was in camo and had a backpack.
The Stargate dissipated and the two groups stood, neither really moving much for a few movements and a look of surprise on the newcomers. The silence was finally broken when Jack took his right hand off the handle and trigger guard of his M5 and raised it in a wave. Smiling slightly, he said, "Howdy folks. Not from around here, are you?"

Site 29

Nate was satisfied with his ability to clamber up the hill quickly, emerging from the forest before any of the others. Worf was behind him, almost right beside him, with Sakura in a close third and O'Farrell at the rear. "Well, this has been a good workout at least," Nate said with a wide grin as he neared the crest of the hill.
"Indeed it has," Worf agreed. Sakura and O'Farrell remained silent, though Sakura had something of a smug grin on herself, hiding the fact that she had been holding herself back to let them get up there first.
Nate crested the hill with his grin remaining wide. But Sakura could see something was wrong when his body stiffened. She ran up beside him, looking at his face and seeing the grin having disappeared and, surprisingly for him, pure undiluted fear having replaced it.
Then she looked at the city.
It didn't seem that bad when one counted the sprawled out buildings, likely homes and small shops, but at the center of it all was an unexpected sight given the slightly-Grecian architecture of the rest.
In the center of the city was a giant pyramid.
It was more than a pyramid, in fact. It had almost indistinct lights along it's surface, indicating it was not just a structure but a ship.
Their attention soon turned to a new feature, namely the dirt road that led from the Stargate to the city. Dust was clearly rising from the road and all four turned their heads toward it, Sakura and Nate raising their binoculars. In almost perfect sync the two zoomed their binocs' in to see what was on the road. With the aid of digital enhancers on the devices could clearly make out the rows of armored troops with staff weapons. They were obviously the 'Jaffa' encountered by SPT-3, save for the lightning bolt tattoo on their foreheads being different from those that had been on the Jaffa that attacked Site 32. Above the Jaffa flew aircraft, racing on in the general direction of the Stargate.
As Sakura reached for her radio to warn the others, Nate muttered, "Oh hell."
”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Vehrec » 2007-04-01 09:40am

Oh dear. This could be bad for the Extra Universals. Maybe there is a reason that smaller less obvious SG teams. They don't attract as big of a response. After all, the refire rate of the staff weapon can be impressive, so avoid a unit size that will attract a unit large enough to take advantage of the law of averages.
Also, good Jack. Writing good Jack can be tricky.
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Post by Burak Gazan » 2007-04-02 12:50pm

Nice :) This is why I like using wireless to check in from the boat ;)
"Of course, what would really happen is that in Game 7, with the Red Sox winning 20-0 in the 9th inning, with two outs and two strikes on the last Cubs batter, a previously unseen meteor would strike the earth, instantly and forever wiping out all life on the planet, and forever denying the Red Sox a World Series victory..."

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Post by Steve » 2007-04-04 10:13pm

Site 29

"We've got hostiles incoming! Prepare to dial out immed...."
Parker was listening to Sakura's order when a shout from Corporal Reynolds directed his attention to the ground surrounding the Stargate. Turrets rose from the ground to about fifteen or twenty feet in the air, after which red particle blasts began to erupt from them.
Everyone ran for the cover of the nearby trees, but Cyrzanski didn't make it. A particle blast grazed him from behind and he fell, prompting Dalton to emerge from cover and carry his wounded buddy back to the trees.
"Major Azakusho, this is Parker. Automated defenses have emerged from the ground and have us pinned down in the forest! We can't get to the Stargate!"
There was several seconds before there was a reply. "We'll be there soon. Have satchel charges ready, we'll see if we can use those on them."

Nate heard the report from Parker and cursed. "Remind me when we get back to hurt whoever gave us this address."
"If we get back, sir, I'll help," Sakura promised as she ducked a branch. Worf and O'Farrell took up the rear, an eye out for any Jaffa advancing through the forest.
"How many mines do we have?"
"I'm carrying two and O'Farrell has four," Sakura replied.
"See if you can get them set on the road. We'll set up an ambush close to the Gate and try to hold them off a bit longer." Nate led them up to where the trees closely followed the road. There was no sign of Jaffa yet, but he could hear them in the distance. "You won't have much time, let's get this done."

Slipping quickly through the forest, they came upon a length of road after a curve, giving them some tree cover before the Jaffa would see them. Using hand signals, Nate ordered Worf to stay on their side of the road while he entered it with Sakura and O'Farrell. They split up the mines between them and made proper space so that one mine would not set off the next unless they wanted it too. After that O'Farrell and Sakura went to the other side of the road, holding up their MP-10s, while Nate rejoined Worf and took up a position in the trees.
It was only about twenty seconds later that the first ranks of Jaffa came around the corner. They were staying on the road so far, but Nate was certain they would spread out as soon as the shooting started. He lifted the MP-10 to eye-level, slipped off the safety and set it to full-auto.
Sakura had the detonator, and Nate gritted his teeth as he watched the Jaffa enter the hastily-planted minefield. They showed little concern for the upraised dirt patches where the mines had been hastily buried. However, as they approached the blast radius of the sixth mine, one of the Jaffa raised a hand. Looking to be among the oldest among them, Nate was certain that he'd caught on. As the Jaffa stopped his finger went to the trigger....

Sakura's finger must have hit at that moment, because in a split second a shower of high-energy plasma erupted from the ground, throwing Jaffa back as it scorched them alive. The mines mixed the plasma explosive with high-quality metal fragments that resisted disintegration from the plasma, causing a spray of hot shrapnel directed back down the road to more of the Jaffa coming on. In one moment they had turned the Jaffa march into a scene of carnage, dead and wounded Jaffa littered everywhere as their compatriots marched on, only just beginning to react.
A voice cried out, "Jaffa! Jaffa Kree!", and Nate could see a figure - directly in his gunsights - pointing to both ends of the forest, but as "Kree" left the Jaffa's mouth a stream of blue particle bursts erupted from the other side of the forest and ripped through his torso, sending him to the ground. Nate directed his aim to another group of Jaffa and pulled the trigger. The recoil on the MP-10 was easily bearable as it's muzzle erupted in blue lightning, spraying the Jaffa ranks with particle bursts that acted more like liquid metal bullets than an energy weapon blast (since that was essentially what they were - tightly-contained high-energy particles in a short-lived magnetic field that collapsed upon penetration of a target).

The first ranks of Jaffa went down under the fire of the four MP-10s held by Nate and his crew, but that was not the end of the battle. Even now Nate was certain they were spreading into the forest to outflank his ambush, and so he motioned to Worf to begin falling back and, over the radio, called out to Sakura and O'Farrell to do the same.
Now he had to hope that they'd manage to retake the Stargate and escape from this nasty planet.

Everyone was in cover, but that didn't stop the turrets from blasting around the trees. "We've been under the gun this entire time and didn't know it," mumbled Reynolds, a satchel in his hand as he awaited the order to head out and try to get them on the turrets.
Nearby Tang was huddled over Cyrzanski, who was only half-conscious from the drugs in his system. "The IU radio is shot," Tang told Parker as he crept forward a bit, so close that the heat of the next blast washed over him. Like Reynolds, Parker held a satchel in his hand, a charge ready to take out one of the turrets.
"Well, whoopdee damn do," muttered Parker as he motioned to Dax and Reynolds to get ready. They slipped in opposite directions away from Dalton, Tang, and Cyrzanski, using the forest as cover, and when Parker noticed that the turrets hadn't followed him he shouted, "Now!"

The three of them emerged from cover almost simultaneously and ran straight for the nearest turrets. The turrets tracked to follow them, but not enough, as the particle bursts only kicked up some dust behind them as each shot missed. The satchels were easy charges, and needed to only be pressed against a turret structure and a single button pressed to arm a seven second fuse. Each of them did this and ran to get back to cover.
Dax was within twenty feet of a tree when the hot pain shot up her right calf and throughout her leg. She stumbled from the hit, her right leg immobile from the pain of the hit. With a fierce grimace on her face she planted a hand in the dirt to force herself onward.
A particle burst struck out again and this time hit her lower left side. The pain was so intense Dax cried out as she collapsed, falling unconscious a moment later.
As Dax fell, the satchels went off. The explosions ripped up the structures holding up the turrets and send them falling to the ground, the impact taking them out completely.

The remaining turrets, three in all, began to ignore her and returned their attentions to the spots of forest where Reynolds and Parker had hidden themselves. As they did so, Dalton emerged from the trees with the team's SRG-10. The large RPG looked smaller on Dalton's shoulder as he held it up, aimed it, and fired it at a turret. The smart-rocket adjusted for Dalton's aim and struck a turret dead on, the explosion ripping it apart.
As Dalton slipped back into the cover, Nate appeared from the woods along the road, firing behind him at approaching Jaffa. He took a moment to lift his radio and give the order, "Everyone to the road! We've got enemy units coming in!"
Worf suddenly raced beside him, having spotted Dax and all other concerns being overridden. He leaned over her and lifted her into his arms as the two remaining turrets twisted to face him. They fired as he moved back to cover, one blast searing his right shoulder as he got into the protective covering of the trees.

Partially re-formed, SPT-14 gathered at the road and focused fire on the oncoming Jaffa, who were firing back through the trees, their fire rapid enough to force most of SPT-14 to remain in cover. "How many turrets left?!" shouted Nate.
"Two, sir!"
"Any more satchels?!"
"No sir, only with Squad 2!"
Nate bit into his lips while his hand reached for another charge clip for his depleted MP-10. He shoved it into place and pulled on the locking mechanism to keep it in place, lifting it in the same movement so that he could resume firing, his shots bringing down a bald Jaffa and his comrades as they attempted a charge.
"Someone go get that Stargate activ...." A series of sounds from the Stargate interrupted them, and Nate and Parker both turned to see the chevron lights on it activate.
"Well, hope that's the cavalry," O'Farrell muttered before turning his attention back to the onrushing Jaffa.

Site 3

"Howdy folks. Not from around here, are you?"
Zaria and the members of Squad 2 remained still even after the older man of the four before them gave the innocent-sounding greeting and waved. He, a blonde-haired woman, a brown-haired man, and a bald man with African-complexion and an unusual gold snake symbol on his forehead stood in front of them, wearing camo fatigues and carrying automatics of some sort, save for the bald man who was instead carrying a strange form of staff.
When they didn't say anything, the four looked amongst each other and the younger brown-haired man stepped forward. "Uh, hello. My name is Doctor Daniel Jackson, and these are my friends, Colonel Jack O'Neill, Major Samantha Carter, and Teal'c. We represent a planet called Earth."
"You first, Doctor," Maya whispered to Zaria.
At this point Sam spoke up. "We were hoping to meet your people, we heard about you from the natives of the last world you visited and we think our people could be friends, or even allies."
Zaria grinned at him. "Well, um.... Doctor Jackson. Just who do you think we are?"

Daniel blinked, but not bothering to ask about such a strange question for a first contact situation, he answered, "Well, we've never encountered your race before, ma'am, but we believe your human friends are the descendants of Humans taken from Earth thousands of years ago by various aliens, most likely a race of aliens called the Goa'uld."
"The Goa'uld?", asked Maya.
"Yeah, really nasty snake people," Jack said. "Big on killing and enslaving and all sorts of really, um, nasty things. Just plain old... nasty."
Daniel bit a little into his lip at Jack's interjection, but ignored it and explained, "Um, the Goa'uld are a race of parasites that use human bodies as hosts. They've enslaved thousands of worlds across the Galaxy. We think your people kicked them off your world hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago. You probably have some leftover knowledge of them from your myths, your legends, and some histories. You were probably left alone because your ancestors buried their Stargate."

Before Zaria could respond, Calgar asked, "These Go'ud, they wouldn't happen to have really ugly pyramid ships, would they?"
"Yes, actually, they do."
"Doctor, you might as well tell them now," Maya said. "They'll find out sooner or later."
"Tell us what?", asked Jack.
Zaria drew in a breath. "Well, um, what I'm about to tell you will probably seem.... impossible...."
"I've been turned into a caveman before, so try me...."
I really, really didn't want to know that, Zaria thought to herself at Jack's remark. Out loud, after suppressing a chuckle, she said, "My name is Doctor Zaharia Herzela, and this is Lieutenant Maya Colette and her team. We are, well..." Zaria smiled sheepishly as she tried to think of the best way to explain it. "...we are not from your universe. We are representatives of an inter-universal government of mostly Human nations called the Alliance of Democratic Nations. It is just one among many governments that use interuniversal jump gate technology to travel between universes, though how we've come to your universe is slightly more... complicated. In the known Multiverse, your universe is only one of sixty-eight we have on catalogue, and we've settled about fifty of them. The universes we know of represent Earth time periods ranging from the 4th Century B.C. to the 33rd Century."

There was complete silence from SG-1. "You, uh, well.... yeah, that does seem unbelievable," Jack conceded. "So, what are you doing here?"
"We are studying the Stargates," Zaria replied. "We believe they may have some basic similarities to the Interuniversal Jump Gates we use that would allow for us to eventually reverse engineer them and use our jump gates for interstellar as well as interuniversal travel."
"How long have your people been doing this?" Carter asked, having one of those looks that told Jack she was on the verge of a complete "geekout" at what they'd just been told.
"My universe's Multiversal Contact was only twenty one years ago," Zaria answered. "The first Multiversal Contact was about one hundred and fifty years ago when scientists from Universes PA-6 and SE-1 made contact via Interuniversal Radio, both using designs recovered from alien ruins of ancient origin found about one thousand light years from Earth. The first Interuniversal Jump Gates were built within a decade of that contact, and the first ship-based interuniversal jump point generators, or wormhole generators if you prefer, were built a decade afterward."
Sam opened her mouth to speak but it was Teal'c who beat her to the punch, asking, "You earlier said that contact with our universe was not the same as with the others you know of. What is different about it?"
"I'd love to tell you, but first, do you mind if we open a wormhole back to Site 29?" Zaria pointed to the Stargate. "The rest of the team is there and we're a bit overdue on returning."

"By all means...." Jack gestured to the DHD and allowed Zaria to step up to it. As her hand went to the first key, he suddenly asked, "That big guy with your group, the one with the ridged forehead, what kind of alien is he anyway?"
"Oh, Commander Worf? He's a Klingon."
Zaria was intent on the DHD, but Maya and the members of Squad 2 noticed how far down Jack's jaw was hanging and the looks on SG-1's collective faces. Whispering, Valentino asked Wilson, "Hey, Sarge, should we tell them about the whole 'infinite universes means fiction can be true' thing?"
"No, Specialist, we'll leave that to the eggheads," Wilson replied.
"I get dibs on calling Colonel O'Neill 'MacGuyver'," Maya whispered to bring the conversation to an end.

Everyone stood back as the last symbols were dialed. Standing to Zaria's right, Daniel noticed a look come across Teal'c's face. "Is something wrong?"
"I believe I recognize that address," Teal'c replied. "If I am right, the world they call 'Site 29' is a Goa'uld homeworld."
Zaria pressed down on the orb and allowed the wormhole to form before picking up her radio. "This is Doctor Herzela, I...."
"Lieutenant Colette, get your satchel charges ready immediately," they heard Nate say over the radio, sounds of particle fire and other weapons in the background. "We are under heavy attack by Jaffa and there are two defense turrets protecting the Gate. We need you to take them out, at the two hundred and three hundred degree marks from the Gate."
"Roger that," Maya said. She looked to Calgar and Valentino, who pulled satchel charges out of their packs. She looked to Zaria and said, "Wait here."
"Hey, if you're under Jaffa attack, we can help," Jack said.
Maya nodded. "Yes, Sir. We'd appreciate that."

Site 29

The Stargate opened and the turrets were drawn to it like moths to flame. Jack and Maya had barely had time to emerge when the blasts started raining down around them, and the rest of Squad 2 and SG-1 took what little cover was available while making their way to the others. Valentino and Maya hefted their satchel charges and ran straight to the turrets.
"Daniel, dial home!", Jack shouted. "Carter, Teal'c, you're with me!" They followed him toward the forest line where SPT-14 had their positions, using crossfire to keep the road clear of Jaffa.
Behind them, the first explosion erupted as Maya's satchel went off and destroyed one of the two remaining turrets. Valentino's failed to go off, and when he got back to the Gate beside Maya he shouted, "The fusing must've been bad!"
There was a sudden burst of red energy from the area of the DHD, a solid beam that cut into the turret and vaporized the entire structure from top to bottom. They turned to see Zaria leaning forward, her phaser in hand.
"Wow, a Dustbuster was good for something," Wilson muttered.
Maya picked up her radio. "Sir, turrets down! I'm getting the ZPC!" She ran to it and began to detach it from the Stargate.
"Get down! Gliders!"
Daniel's warning made her look up a split second early enough that she rolled out of the way as particle blasts from strafing Death Gliders missed her. As she got up, she saw movement in the trees opposite and shouted, "Enemy behind us!" a moment before a particle blast whipped out and hit her in the belly. Maya collapsed to the ground.
Reacting, Valentino and Zaria ran to her defense, Valentino's MP-10 spraying the woods with particle fire and causing Jaffa to fall just out of the cover. Zaria knelt down beside her and helped Maya to her feet. "We've got wounded! Tang, we have wounded!"
It was at that moment that Dalton emerged from the forest cover, the SRG-10 on his shoulder again. He looked up and pointed it at the Death Glider as it came back around, firing before it could begin another strafing run. The smart rocket smashed into it and detonated the grenade head, blowing the Death Glider in half. Tang emerged with Cyrzanski on his shoulder, running to the Gate. With the skies clear, Daniel twisted around, stood partially, and began to dial Earth. "You know, I'm not exactly an expert at this," he muttered as his hand hit the fourth symbol. "This is usually Sam's job...."

"That's it, folks, time to bail!"
At that order SPT-14 began to pull back to the Stargate, Dalton taking the time to remove the enemy's scant air support before bringing his MP-10 back up and laying down cover fire on the flanks. The Jaffa had been on the verge of outflanking them, and already had some positions on their backs, so this came just in time.
Worf, hurting from the one hit he had suffered, blocked out all the pain he felt to lift Dax into his arms. As he moved from forest cover he was forced back into it by staff fire from Jaffa on the main road. Uttering a Klingon curse, he was preparing to run for it when Teal'c moved out of cover, crouching with his staff weapon raised. Burst after burst came from it's end, striking Jaffa and forcing the others to take cover or fire toward Teal'c instead. "Go now!," Teal'c said. "I will cover you!"
In appreciation, Worf grumbled, "Thank you," and left cover to get to the Stargate with Dax.

From a joint position at the edge of the road, not far from the Stargate, Nate and Jack stood side-by-side as SG-1 and SPT-14 retreated around them toward the Gate as it went active. "SGC, this is Colonel O'Neill!", Jack shouted into his radio, his other hand holding his M5 and still inaccurately spraying bullets at the Jaffa in the woods and on the road. "We have Jaffa on our rears and about fifteen friendlies to evacuate with wounded!"
"Roger that, Colonel O'Neill, we're ready," was the response from General Hammond.
"Coming?!," Jack asked Nate.
"After you, Colonel!", was Nate's reply as his MP-10 mowed down a pair of Jaffa who came from the forest line. He backed up a bit slower than Jack until they both turned and ran, under the cover fire of Sam, Parker, and O'Farrell.

As Nate entered the Stargate, he couldn't help but feel something was wrong....

Stargate Command, Earth

"Close the iris!"
At Sam's command, the control room techs slid closed the protective iris that prevented unfriendly incursions through the Stargate. The Gate Room was packed with the members of SPT-14, SG-1, and the armed guards who watched it during alerts, as well as the medical teams as they began to tend to Maya, Cyrzanski, Dax, and Worf. As Sam and Parker went down the metal plank that led up to the Stargate, the door to the Gate Room opened and General Hammond came out. "That's all of us, Sir," Parker assured Nate as he walked up to him.

"Good." Nate turned and saw Hammond, and out of instinct in the presence of a general's stars, he saluted and the rest of the team still standing did the same.
Hammond, after a moment, returned the salute, obviously not expecting such a reaction. "Colonel, what happened?"
"Oh, we ran into these folks here and they accidentally went to a Goa'uld homeworld," Jack replied. He looked to Nate. The man's torch-design rank insignia was unfamiliar to him, so he asked, "You're the guy in charge?"
"I assume Doctor Herzela explained who we are?"
"Oh, she did."
Nate nodded at that. "Good, I hate first contact situations. I'm Colonel Nate Mackensen, field team commander for the Stargate Project Command."
"Colonel Jack O'Neill, commander of SG-1, and this is General Hammond, commander of the SGC."
Before Hammond could finish the sentence, Zaria looked around wildly. "Sir, who got the ZPC?!"
The members of SPT-14 looked at each other while Jack and the SG-1 members showed only blank looks. "ZPC?" asked Jack.
"The device we had hooked up to the Stargate, the one Lieutenant Colette was injured trying to retrieve."
Jack nodded for a moment. "Um.... we figured it was a sensor device, I... I didn't get it. Did anyone?"
Nobody in the room responded save to shake their head.
"Oh hell," Nate muttered.
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Post by Academia Nut » 2007-04-04 10:51pm

Very nice, although I have one point I have to make. Unless this story is set before the end of Season 1, and since despite their usefulness the turrets only appeared once at the end of Season 2, then SG-1 has already encountered other universes, so I would expect their reaction to be along the lines of "How do you prevent the entropic cascade caused by existing in a parallel universe?"
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Post by Steve » 2007-04-05 09:17am

Academia Nut wrote:Very nice, although I have one point I have to make. Unless this story is set before the end of Season 1, and since despite their usefulness the turrets only appeared once at the end of Season 2, then SG-1 has already encountered other universes, so I would expect their reaction to be along the lines of "How do you prevent the entropic cascade caused by existing in a parallel universe?"
They've been to alternate timelines, not alternate universes. The SPT team clearly has different kit and more advanced tech than they do, which wouldn't fit with an "alternate" SG-1 Earth, and on top of that Zaria directly told them that the Multiverse's universes were at different timeframes. But don't worry, I'll touch on that in the next update.
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"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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Post by Vehrec » 2007-04-06 08:47am

the Good news: Goa'uld seldom smash new technology.
The Bad News: Goa'uld often Study new technology, and make plot devices out of it.
The REALY bad news: We might have to deal with the Tok'ra to get back the ZPC.
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