Learning the Truth
A/N: Yes! I’ve finally updated something! Wow, it’s been quite a while since I’ve updated this fic, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. Anyway, this chapter’s a bit longer than the previous ones and that’s because the conversation in here is a bit long, but I couldn’t see a way around it. But hopefully it’s not too long. Anyway, enough chattering. Now, onto the story….Previously on One Small Ride…
“Let’s start with the introductions first,” the general began once all of the folders containing the non-disclosure forms were handed back to Major Davis, “I’m Major General Hank Landry, and I believe you already have met Major Davis,” General Landry said, motioning his hand towards Major Davis who nodded. Again, General Landry motioned his hand, but this time toward Mr. Woolsey. “This is Mr. Richard Woolsey, a representative from the IOA.”
“The IOA?” McGee asked.
“It’s-” The general and Woolsey started at the same time. Woolsey stopped and looked at the general who motioned him to go ahead.
“The IOA stands for the International Oversight Advisory,” Woolsey said.
“What do you oversee?” Ziva asked curiously.
“We oversee the Stargate Program,” Woolsey answered. “The Stargate,” he continued, “is an alien device that creates wormholes to send people to other worlds.”
At that explanation, Tony and Ziva stared at him, wide eyed, while McGee’s mouth came open. Gibbs just simply raised an eyebrow at the general.------
Learning the Truth
“Other worlds?” Tony repeated, still staring at Woolsey gobsmacked. “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Out of the corner of his eye, he saw McGee close his mouth, which had literally fallen open at Woolsey’s startling statement.
“I’m afraid we’re not, Agent DiNozzo,” Woolsey said with a serious look. General Landry then gave the go-ahead and the blast door on the general’s right was lifting up. The team stared in amazement as the blast door revealed what it had been hiding- an extremely large, ancient-looking ring.
“Is that…?” Ziva trailed off, getting up, still staring at the Stargate as she and the others walked to the window to get a closer look.
“The Stargate,” Landry began as he stood slightly behind the NCIS team, looking at the Ancient device, “was first discovered in Giza by a Dr. Langford in 1928. It soon fell into the hands of the Air Force who began to study it. It wasn’t until about 11 years ago that we began to really make headway with it. An archeologist was hired to decipher the hieroglyphics on the ‘gate. It took him two weeks to decipher it when our team of archeologists couldn’t do it in two years.” Landry chuckled slightly at that.
“What was the archeologist’s name?” Gibbs asked curiously.
“His name,” Landry said, “is Dr. Daniel Jackson.”
McGee started at that. “Wait, Dr. Daniel Jackson? The one who wrote that paper theorizing that the pyramids in Egypt were actually made by aliens?” He asked incredulously.
“That’s the one,” Landry nodded. “You’ve read his papers, then?”
“Well, actually, no,” McGee admitted. “Abby…uh Abby Sciuto, our forensic scientist, read it. She’s into this kinda thing.”
Just then the ‘gate began to move startling the NCIS team, though Gibbs held his surprise better than his subordinates did.
“Scheduled off-world activation.” A voice announced over the PA system. The stargate continued to move around until it suddenly stopped and a loud kawoosh sound occurred as what looked like water stretched out and then settled back into its place in the immense ring.
While the Stargate was settling in, Landry looked around at his visitors to see their reactions. He chuckled at their astonished looks. Like his predecessor, Jack O’Neill, he enjoyed seeing the stunned reactions on the people’s faces when they first saw the ‘gate in action.
“SG-12 is right on time,” Landry noted as four people stepped out from the shimmering substance that appeared to look like water.
“How does it work?” Ziva asked curiously as she watched the activity below.
“The ‘gate actually works similar to the telephone,” Major Davis replied. “Normally, you have a series of seven symbols, and when you type in the correct address, it’ll connect to the Stargate of the planet you want. You travel to the other ‘gate through a wormhole.”
“The first six symbols act as sort of co-ordinates,” Woolsey added, “it creates three intersecting lines and the destination. The Stargate uses the seventh symbol as the point of origin.” After Woolsey spoke, they watched in silence as the people below left the gate room.
“You know what this reminds me of?” Tony asked to no one in particular.
“One of your movies, no doubt?” Ziva said.
“Actually, no,” Tony said, surprising his teammates. He grinned to himself. He knew they were expecting him to say yes and mumble off a movie name. But it was not a movie that he was thinking of, although it was similar. “This actually reminds me of a sci-fi TV show that got canceled.”
?” McGee asked.
“What? No.” Tony frowned at McGee. “I was actually thinking of Farscape
that one about some guy who accidentally gets himself sent to a distant part of the galaxy?” Ziva asked. “Through a wormhole, if I’m not mistaken.”
Tony, Gibbs, and McGee looked at Ziva in surprise.
“Ziva, I thought you didn’t own a TV,” Tony said, looking at the Mossad liaison.
“Just because I don’t own a television set doesn’t mean I don’t know about the TV shows out there,” Ziva retorted.
Landry chuckled at the conversation between the NCIS team. To him, they seemed to be as close, or nearly as close, as SG-1. “As interesting as this conversation is,” he said, getting their attention, “let’s go back to the table, shall we? We still have much to talk about.” They started heading back to the table. “Oh, and Agent McGee was closer than Agent DiNozzo was.” He added when they were almost at the table. Tony and Ziva looked at McGee who looked just as surprised as them.
“Wait, so Wormhole X-Treme
was based on this?” McGee asked astonished.
“The Air Force thought it was a good idea to let it go through,” Major Davis said.
“That way in case if any people got to close to the truth, nobody would take them too seriously because of the show,” Gibbs realized.
Landry nodded. “That’s what the Air Force thought.” He sat down in his chair.
“General, I have to ask, does my country know about this?” Ziva asked when they were all seated.
“Yes,” Landry said.
“We have informed the majority of our NATO and Major non-NATO allies about the discovery of the Stargate,” Woolsey said.
“In fact, there are some Israeli soldiers and scientists who are members of the Atlantis Expedition.” Landry added.
“The what?” Tony asked looking at Landry. Landry nodded at Davis to speak.
“We’ve known for quite some time that the Stargate network was built by an incredibly advanced civilization we call the Ancients.” Major Davis explained. “A couple of years ago, we discovered that they had built a city which was, at the time, located at Antarctica.
“But several thousand of years ago, the Ancients left Earth and took the city with them,” Landry said.
Tony stared at him. “Took the city? How did they do that?”
“They had built the city with the ability to fly,” Landry said.
“A flying city?” McGee said in disbelief. The general nodded.
“In their native language, the Ancients called the city Atlantus,” Major Davis said. “In our language, we call it—”
“Atlantis,” Ziva said, interrupting him. Davis nodded.
“Atlantis?” Tony said incredulously, leaning forward. “As in lost city comma the?”
Landry nodded. “That’s the one.”
“I can’t believe the lost city of Atlantis is real!” Tony exclaimed sitting back in his seat. He looked at McGee who, he saw, was frowning.
“I thought Atlantis was a legend from Ancient Greece?” McGee said, thinking aloud.
“Our theory is that when the Ancients abandoned Atlantis, they settled in that area where the Ancient Greeks learned of Atlantis from them.” Woolsey said.
“That makes sense,” Gibbs mused.
“Wait,” Ziva said, frowning as she thought about what the general had said earlier about Atlantis, “you said that the Ancients flew the city from Earth. Where did they go?”
“Why did they leave?” Tony added.
“We speculate they left Earth because they were dying from a plague,” Major Davis said. “However, we can’t be sure that that is the truth. As for where they went, well, they flew the city to a nearby galaxy we call the Pegasus Galaxy.”
His statement was met with surprised looks from the NCIS team.
“Pegasus? The dwarf galaxy?” McGee said, stunned. Of all the places… or planets he could think of, he had not even considered another galaxy.
“Lt. Ford was part of this expedition, wasn’t he?” Gibbs stated. It was obvious that the lieutenant was part of the Atlantis Expedition, why else would General Landry be telling him and his team about it otherwise?
Landry nodded. “That’s correct. Lt. Ford had been apart of the Stargate program for a couple of years prior to his joining the Expedition. When the opportunity came to join the expedition, he went for it.”
“What went wrong?” Ziva asked. “Why is Lt. Ford MIA?”
“Soon after the Expedition arrived at Atlantis, they encountered a race which you might describe as the local bad guys. They call themselves the Wraith.” Landry explained.
Ziva, McGee, and Tony looked at each other in surprise.
“Wraith?” Tony said. “As in creepy looking space vampires who suck out your life essence- that kinda Wraith?”
“Let me guess, you play Wraith Wars,” Landry said dryly. It wasn’t surprising that one of the NCIS agents happened to play that game. After the game had hit the Earth market, it became an instant popular computer game for both children and adults alike.
“Actually, I play it,” McGee broke in as Tony opened his mouth to reply. “So the Wraith aren’t fictional villains?” He asked, ignoring the annoyed look Tony had given him.
“I wish,” Landry said.
“Are the Wraith from the game exactly like the ones in real life?” McGee wondered aloud.
“Yes,” Landry nodded. “Would you care to give your teammates an explanation?” He asked McGee.
“Okay,” McGee said, and took a breath. “Basically, the Wraith, as Tony noted, are our version of vampires. However, instead of sucking your blood, they basically take away your life.” After he said that, he looked at General Landry who nodded.
“As short as that explanation was, that is mostly correct,” Landry said. “In the Pegasus Galaxy, the Wraith are known and feared by humans across the galaxy. The Expedition has crossed paths with the Wraith on numerous occasions, and has succeeded in pissing them off. About a year after they’d been in the Pegasus Galaxy, the Wraith attacked Atlantis.”
“During the attack, Lt. Ford was cornered by a Wraith,” Major Davis said, continuing where the general had left. “Apparently the Wraith had just started to feed on him and then they were blown into the ocean. Lt. Ford and the Wraith were in the ocean for nearly an hour before they were recovered.”
“And the lieutenant was alive when he was recovered?” Ziva inquired.
“Yes,” Major Davis said nodding his head.
“Isn’t that impossible?” McGee asked.
“Normally, yes,” Major Davis replied. “However, these were not normal circumstances.”
“Because of this incident, we discovered that when the Wraith feed on humans, they release an enzyme that strengthens the victim, otherwise they would die.” Woolsey explained.
“Because Lt. Ford was in the water for an hour with a Wraith attached to him, a lot of this enzyme was injected into him.” Major Davis said. “Dr. Beckett, the chief medical doctor on Atlantis, attempted to help Lt. Ford, but Ford became paranoid and thought that the people in Atlantis were afraid of him and so he managed to escape.”
“So, Lt. Ford could be anywhere in the Pegasus Galaxy?” Tony asked.
“We’re not sure,” Major Davis admitted.
“A few months after Lt. Ford escaped, we had an encounter with him,” General Landry explained. “You’ll be able to read more of that encounter in the reports. To make a long story short, there was a battle, and our people lost sighting of Lt. Ford. We’re not sure how he could have survived the battle.”
“So, for all we know, Ford could be dead,” Gibbs said.
“Could be, yes,” Landry said.
“But as there is no proof he is dead, we haven’t labeled him as deceased yet,” Major Davis said.
“Moving on, I assume you wish to speak with the people Lt. Ford worked with?” Landry asked Gibbs.
“To conduct as thorough of an investigation as we can, yes.” Gibbs said with a slight nod.
“I assumed so,” Landry said. “Which is why I have arranged transportation for you to the Pegasus Galaxy.”
“You mean we’re not going through the Stargate?” Tony asked, feeling disappointed. Since he had been told about the alien device, he had been itching to go through it.
“I’m afraid not,” Landry said. “To open the ‘gate to Atlantis requires a lot of power through a device we call Zero Point Module. And we, unfortunately, have an extremely short supply of them. Atlantis is running on one Z.P.M at the moment, and we’d like to conserve as much power as possible.”
“Atlantis does have a scheduled check-up, but it’s not for another couple of days.” Woolsey added.
“How are we getting there if we’re not going through the Stargate?” Ziva wondered.
“The old fashioned way,” Landry said.
Tony gaped at him. “We have a spaceship?!”
“We have a couple of spaceships,” Major Davis said. “The one you’ll be on is called the Daedalus.”
“Before you board the Daedalus, we ask that you stop by the infirmary for a check-up,” Landry said. “Anybody who goes off-world gets checked by Dr. Lam more as a safety precaution.”
“Understandable,” Gibbs said. After that, the meeting was adjourned and Major Davis and Woolsey escorted the NCIS team to the infirmary.
Finally done with this chapter! I’m sorry if the conversation was long, or too long for your liking, but I could see no way around it. I didn’t plan for that to happen, but it just did. I was originally going to end this chapter at another spot, but since the conversation was so long, it got pushed back into the next chapter (which hopefully won’t take so long to write).
Oh, and NATO stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization. It’s a military alliance. Basically, the organization established a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
A major non-NATO ally is a name given by the United States government to exceptionally close allies who have close strategic working relationships with American forces but are not members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. I would suggest you go wikipedia(dot)org to if you want to learn more about these organizations.