I own neither Stargate nor the X-COM franchise. No infringement is intended, no profit is to made and I'm just not worth the hassle of suing anyway unless you want a share of the wages of an underpaid Civil Servant.Cheyenne Mountain – Earth – August 2000
Commander Sharp had only met Colonel Jack O’Neill the day before but it was already apparent he was going to be trouble, not that it was remotely unexpected, he had guessed it would be the case based on both the mans file plus the vociferous warnings from General Hammond about treating the commanding officer of SG-1 with kid gloves. Frankly Sharp would have preferred to knock him on his ass wearing boxing gloves, but he was doing his best not to stir up any more trouble between his people and the SGC, there was plenty of friction already.
Another source of strife was likely about to present itself but if it was an easy job they would have given it to someone else he reasoned as the door opened and O’Neill entered the briefing room followed by Major Carter and the Jaffa turncoat.
‘You asked to see us Commander?’ O’Neill began, pointedly not moving to take a seat.
‘If by that you mean I issued an order for you to report to me then yes, yes I did’ Sharp affirmed. ‘It wasn’t that recently either’ he added checking his watch.
O’Neill narrowed his eyes, it was going to be a cold day in hell when he reported to anyone on this base that wasn’t bald, Texan and named George Hammond. ‘We’re here Sir
’ he responded, making sure to say the word in such a manner as to indicate he didn’t mean it whatsoever. These X-COM people had come waltzing in like they owned the place and acted like they expected the SGC to bend over and take it, well that wasn’t going to happen, not to SG1 anyway.
‘It’s alright Colonel’ Sharp told him. ‘I don’t expect you to like me and I can’t say it bothers me that you don’t’ he continued. ‘They might talk about you like you’re the second coming around here, but I won’t take you or anyone else in the SGC seriously until I’ve seen evidence you’re as good as they make out.’
‘With all due respect Sir’ O’Neill replied, meaning very little, ‘I could say much the same about you.’
Sharp half smiled. ‘Oh we’re a lot
better than the rumours say we are Colonel’ he responded seriously. ‘You’ll see soon enough I’m sure’ he continued, ‘on which note I would like to introduce your new team member’ he added indicating the young woman wearing the same grey coveralls he was that was stood against the far wall at parade rest. ‘SG-1 may I present your new team member Sergeant Lyudmila Andianov formerly of 216 Independent Battalion Russian Special Forces’ he said, the woman snapping to attention as he did so though more for formalities sake than anything else.
O’Neill inwardly groaned, it had to be a Russian didn’t it? A Russian on SG-1, why couldn’t Hammond have gone for the all X-COM teams instead, a few diplomatic incidents and minor wars breaking out would have been worth it surely? ‘Didn’t think there were too many women in Spetsnaz Sergeant?’ he queried.
‘Few join, even fewer pass, or perhaps in some cases I should say survive the training Colonel’ the Sergeant replied, her accent noticeable but her English better than O’Neill might have expected. ‘Of course compared to my more recent military career Spetnaz training and operations were light duty’ she told him. ‘It will take some adjustment for me to get use to an easy life again now I am assigned to your unit.’
Carter resisted the urge to roll her eyes while O’Neill didn’t bother to do the same with his smirk. ‘If you’re expecting an easy ride on SG-1 you’re in for the shock of a lifetime Sergeant’ O’Neill told her.
‘Whatever you say Sir
’ Andianov replied deliberately saying it to O’Neill the same way he had to Sharp. ‘Though I believe my own shock of a lifetime was the day I sat upon a live stunrod’ she told him straight-faced. ‘I am told I took off straight up like a Skyranger and the howling was equally reminiscent of a jet aircraft’ she continued, delivering the line completely without a change in her expression or demeanour.
‘We’ve stopped that part of the recruit hazing since’ Sharp interjected. ‘Too many electrical burns in places that made long trips on the bench seats of a Skyranger very uncomfortable’ he said with a chuckle.
‘Between that, the armour and the laser rifles the recruits are too spoiled these days Commander’ the Sergeant opined. ‘Are there any such rituals you will feel the need to inflict on me Colonel?’ she asked O’Neill.
‘We could Zat you’ Carter offered deadpan.
‘Make sure I am unarmed at the time Major’ Andianov told her. ‘I am told by those of your countrymen in the team that I have a quick draw like your Billy the Kid’ she told Carter. ‘I would not wish to shoot you by reflex.’
O’Neill smiled. ‘I’d like to see…’ he began.
The Sergeant’s sidearm was in her hand, the muzzle of the laser pistol aimed directly between his eyes so fast it was almost a blur. ‘…that’ O’Neill finished. ‘Do you practice that in the mirror or something?’ he asked. Even Teal’c was surprised at her speed and reaction times, you could tell by the eyebrow raise.
‘Yes’ Andianov replied flatly, lowering and holstering the pistol. ‘It has saved my life on more than one occasion’ she told him. ‘If you wish me to demonstrate my skills I will happily accompany you to a firing range then the base gymnasium, out-shoot you then run you into the ground’ she offered.
‘That won’t be necessary thank you Sergeant’ O’Neill told her, he got the distinct impression she just might
and he didn’t need to confirm her opinions on SGC personnel before he got the chance to show her how good he
really was, in the field, not in practice where it didn’t count.
The warning claxons went off reporting an unscheduled activation, O’Neill started to move to head to the gateroom to investigate but a look from Commander Sharp stopped him in his tracks. If it was something important he would be told about it anyway.
‘I am told Commander Sharp that one of the sergeant’s duties is to assassinate me?’ Teal’c announced. O’Neill visibly flinching at the words, diplomacy and tact wasn’t in his nature either.
‘Yes’ Sharp confirmed. ‘X-COM is not as convinced as the SGC that you are reliable’ he told the Jaffa honestly. ‘I’m giving you a chance’ he said, ‘convince the Sergeant and then she might convince me’ Sharp told him. ‘If you can’t convince her then don’t ever give her cause to boil your brains with her laser because she will, right Sergeant.’
‘Yes Commander’ Andianov responded. ‘It is however nothing personal’ she told Teal’c, ‘I have not had the opportunity to develop any particular animosity to either you or your people’ she said. ‘In my two trips through our own Stargate none of the Jaffa we encountered lived long enough for me to harbour negative thoughts about them, they were completely unprepared for our weaponry’ she stated.
That was something O’Neill couldn’t help but believe. Whilst they had been at Area 51, and after sitting through an unending series of lectures that had bored him to the point of catatonia, he and other US Military personnel had watched a demonstration of the various X-COM developed Laser weapons in action, from pistols up to cannon designed to be mounted on aircraft. He had even been allowed to try out one of the rifles and after some adjustment to a completely recoilless weapon with a totally flat trajectory he was soon more than impressed, the things were unbelievably good and he was more than shocked to be told that the “Sectoid” personnel weapons were even better, some estimated perhaps twice as effective overall. ‘They’ll adjust in time’ he told her.
‘They haven’t adjusted their tactics much in response to ordinary firearms in the last couple of years from what I can tell Colonel’ Sharp responded. ‘Even something as simple as cutting down their Staff-Weapons to a more reasonable size and adding a pistol grip, a stock and some iron-sights would have narrowed the gap enormously, but they haven’t’ he continued. ‘We’ve already got a couple of those in prototype versions but they’re still inferior to our L2-A1 so it’s unlikely they’ll be bought into service.’
‘We thought about that’ Carter told him, ‘I did some of the preliminary design work but the rate of fire is too low’ she said. ‘Staff-Weapons can only rapid fire a few shots before they overheat’ she noted.
‘True but mount six of them together and add an electric motor and you’ve got yourself one hell of a Gatling-Gun’ Sharp told her with a smile. ‘The first of those mounted on a HWP arrives next week, you can put down full-auto suppressive fire almost indefinitely, the Liquid Naquadah power-cells are good for thousands of shots apiece I’m told, ideal for breaking up a charge of pissed-off Jaffa.’
Carter’s jaw dropped. ‘Why the hell didn’t we do that?’ she asked rhetorically, feeling the urge to slap the side of her own head for not doing so.
‘Damned if I know Major’ Sharp replied with a shrug. ‘We’ve also got other HWP’s planned that will mount dual Staff-Cannons for heavy support when needed, sometimes thunder and lightning has its place.’
‘Not exactly the way we do thing around here’ O’Neill told him.
‘Not the way you used
to do things’ Commander Sharp responded with a wry smile. ‘X-COM is a tiny bit more proactive than you’re used to’ he said. ‘We’re going to start taking the war to them, not too
hard at first, at least not until we’ve got the hardware to contest them in orbit, but the softly-softly shit is right out the window’ he declared.
‘Indeed’ Teal’c commented with clear approval of the sentiment, if accompanied by some serious personal reservations regarding the idea of having a sword, or rather a laser, hanging over him from now on. There was something in the Sergeant’s eyes that was more than disturbing, he had heard the Tau’ri call it the “thousand yard stare” though the Jaffa had their own word for a warrior that had seen too much action in too short a space of time. A knock at the door broke his concentration.
‘Come in’ Sharp responded, Master Sergeant Harriman stepping through, an expression of concern over his face.
‘Commander Sharp, Colonel O’Neill’ Walter began, ‘the General sent me to find you, the unscheduled activation, it was Doctor Rothman coming through from P3X-888.’
‘The planet Daniel’s digging up?’ O’Neill queried.
‘Yes Sir’ the Master Sergeant responded. ‘He says that an Unas took Doctor Jackson and the rest of his team had gone off in pursuit.’
‘When?’ O’Neill asked urgently.
‘Three hours ago Sir’ Harriman replied. ‘General Hammond has authorised you to lead SG-1 there immediately.’
‘Sir…’ Carter began, looking to Commander Sharp.
‘Don’t “Sir” me Major, get your ass in gear’ Sharp told her. ‘Sergeant you’re with SG-1 as of now, go with them and retrieve Doctor Jackson from the hostile’ he said. ‘I’ll have a full squad ready to go if you require backup’ he added.
They were already running towards the armoury when Sergeant Lyudmila Andianov realised she had absolutely no idea what the hell an “Unas” was.Stargate – P3X-888 – August 2000
Reinforced by SG-2 they had deployed into a defensive formation around the gate as soon as they arrived, following on from the UAV that had come through beforehand. O’Neill tried getting hold of both Daniel and SG-11 on the radio to no avail and ordered Major Coburn to keep the gate secure before setting off with Doctor Rothman heading to where Daniel had been taken.
‘Teal’c take point’ O’Neill ordered. ‘Pierce, you and Sergeant Andianov watch our six’ he continued indicating one of the members of SG-2, the others would stay with Coburn their Commanding Officer to guard the gate.
‘Yes Sir’ Pierce responded, at least the Russian chick wasn’t bad looking although that armour she was wearing was less than flattering he decided. At least she wasn’t wearing the full ensemble, X-COM armour was okay for the short vicious firefights they usually got involved in but you wouldn’t want to hike anywhere in it. Fortunately it was modular by design which meant she had simply gone for the torso and upper arms sections, the normal blue metallic finish painted over by a light brown khaki that matched her coveralls. Much to his amusement written across the back of the armour, just above where her light field pack rested was stencilled her name plus “Ex-Commie” underneath in brackets.
The SG personnel were carrying P90’s which had recently been adopted by Stargate Command as a supplement to the normal MP5’s. They might in fact themselves be shortly phased out once the teams were trained and equipped with the new lasers but for now only Andianov was carrying them, preferring both the bulky pistol at her side and the boxy-looking rifle in her hands to projectile weapons. Pierce wasn’t convinced, he’d heard the stories but high-velocity lead had served him damn well in the past and still edged out high-tech in his mind as they followed the others along the trail.
‘Have you encountered an Unas before?’ the Russian asked, keeping her voice down and continually turning her head to scan the environment.
‘No but I hear you have to weigh them down with lead to stop them’ Pierce replied. ‘If it’s got a Goa’uld in it the thing will heal fast too’ he added.
‘The Research Teams will likely be interested in a live specimen’ Andianov stated. ‘I have both a stun rod and a Zat gun in my pack’ she told him.
‘Priority is saving SG-11 and Doctor Jackson’ Pierce responded.
‘Of course’ Andianov replied. ‘But if the opportunity presents itself and I am disabled the stun-rod has a simple control, simply turn up the dial to the required voltage and press the button when you touch it to the target’ she advised. ‘If these Unas are as tough as you make out a full power jolt may be required, do not touch the electrode at the tip, it may be powerful enough to stop your heart and will certainly both burn and cause convulsions.’
‘Thanks for the warning’ Pierce told her, the accent was pretty nice to listen to as well he decided, even if she did look kinda stern.
Up ahead Captain Griff had been landed with the job of keeping Doctor Rothman moving which wasn’t exactly to his liking but when a Colonel gives you a job you do it, especially when his name is O’Neill. SG-2 had a decent reputation in the SGC and Griff was proud to be second in command after Major Coburn but SG-1 were considered the elite, well they were by everyone except the new X-COM people, none of whom were assigned to SG-2 yet thank God.
‘Sir’ Carter announced suddenly.
‘Yeah?’ O’Neill responded.
‘Fairly strong RDF signal. It's gone now not long enough to triangulate’ Carter told him looking up from her receiver.
‘So what, what, what, what does that mean?’ Rothman asked.
‘Daniel might have tried to use his radio’ Carter explained.
‘It could be SG-11’ Griff pointed out, just as likely to be them as Doctor Jackson though of course Carter, O’Neill and Teal’c would be more concerned for their team-mate.
‘UAV picked up something. I can’t explain why it died out’ Carter said.
‘Alright let’s pick it up’ O’Neill ordered. A signal meant at least one person was around to be doing the transmitting, the fact it was cut off might indicate they were in trouble.
Captain Griff heard Rothman quietly moan at the idea of moving any faster than they already were, well at least in the worst case scenario he wasn’t the lowest ranked one here and could always order Pierce, or maybe the Russian Sergeant, to carry Rothman instead.
When they arrived at the dig site Rothman pointed out where Loder from his team had been killed before Daniel was dragged away, Teal’c confirmed from the corpse that he had been killed by a very strong creature judging by the injuries and that the tracks were consistent with an Unas. SG-11 had left behind a large number of spent cartridge casings which caused Captain Griff to inwardly wonder if they had panicked or the fire needed to bring down a Unas was even greater than he thought.
Pierce and Andianov were scouting the edges of the dig site, Pierce returned with a slightly glazed looking Major Hawkins from SG-11. ‘I found him just standin’ there, starin’ off into space’ he reported.
‘Colonel’ Hawkins said.
‘Where’s the rest of your men?’ O’Neill wanted to know.
‘We were attacked’ Hawkins replied. ‘Sanchez is dead for sure. I don’t know what happened after that. We got split up. I was hoping some of them might’ve made it back’ he reported.
‘Oh God’ Rothman said in shock, he knew these people, they were his team, some even his friends.
Carter took a breath. ‘Major we’ve been trying to contact you for the last few hours’ she told him.
Hawkins blinked. ‘My men are dead aren’t they?’ he asked quietly, staring into space.
O’Neill felt a pang of sympathy, losing someone you were responsible for hurt worse than hell, he’d usually wished it was him instead when it happened but they didn’t have time for this right now. They could get his head straight back at the SGC but for now they needed to try and make sure nobody else was going to die. Look, Hawkins we can’t, spare anybody to take you back to the Stargate’ he told him, having already dismissed the idea of sending only one or two along with him as being too risky given the risk of another ambush. ‘You’re gonna have to stick with us. Can you do that?’ he asked.
‘Whatever you say, sir’ Hawkins responded, sounding a little more sure of himself.
‘Let’s move out’ O’Neill ordered and with Teal’c tracking the Unas trail they started off again at a fast pace, Griff still having to chivvy on Rothman and Pierce keeping an eye on Major Hawkins. Sergeant Andianov was herself keeping an eye on Teal’c but for somewhat different reasons.
The trail led to a river and with Rothman wheezing, O’Neill ordered them to rest as night approached, Rothman gratefully slumped back against a tree just inside the forest bordering the river and took a drink from the canteen Pierce offered before settling down to sleep, his short lived slumber ended an hour later by O’Neill who wanted his opinion on Hawkins who was definitely acting weird.
Lyudmila Andianov considered they were all more than a little weird and kept both her distance and her Rifle ready as she tried to make herself comfortable in her armour and failed miserably. The damn stuff chafed like crazy, especially for the female members of X-COM, a sports bra just wasn’t up to the job sometimes she thought ruefully as she eventually drifted off to sleep.
Shortly after dawn O’Neill nearly shot her. Teal’c was at the river bank, she was nearby watching him and O’Neill was watching her. Suddenly as Teal’c started to swing his staff around she snapped her rifle up and a laser beam sliced through the air right next to the Jaffa.
‘Drop it’ O’Neill screamed at her.
‘No O’Neill’ Teal’c’s voice boomed out and he inexplicably turned and aimed his staff at the team members who all came running. ‘I sensed there were Goa’uld in the river, one launched itself at me but before I could shoot it down the Sergeant did so’ he said. He didn’t add that the accuracy and reactions it must have taken her at that range were almost astonishing. ‘Any of you may have been taken as a host’ he continued, covering them with his staff.
Shortly thereafter, her hands and feet tied together Andianov wondered if she should have stayed on Earth and fought the damn bugs because this was nothing short of humiliating. Teal’c made a decent case in that what she knew of the Goa’uld and Jaffa confirmed he was the only one present that couldn’t
be a host, but nevertheless she was still bound and her armour was even less comfortable stuck in this position. Teal’c had radioed the rest of SG-2 at the gate to collect them but it would be many hours until they could and by then she would not only be sore, hungry and thirsty she was already dying to go to the toilet and therefore increasingly cranky. Teal’c himself had resumed searching for Doctor Jackson alone.
‘This is ridiculous I’m not a Goa’uld’ Rothman stated.
‘Well then why didn't you say so? We could have straightened this whole thing out’ O’Neill responded sarcastically.
Andianov muttered something in Russian, the words were unfamiliar but the way she said them made the meaning abundantly clear.
‘So which one of you is it?’ Captain Griff asked, looking around.
O’Neill struggled against his bonds. ‘All right, anybody with a snake in their head raise their hands’ he declared wryly.
Major Hawkins eyes glowed and Sergeant Andianov’s widened as he snapped his bonds easily and stood up. ‘Next time I am going to simply shoot the entire lot of you’ she declared, hoping fervently there was going to be
a next time, this was going to be a humiliating way to die she thought sadly, better to go down in a blaze of glory on your feet, not tied up and sitting on your ass.
‘Good idea’ O’Neill responded as Hawkins went to retrieve a P90. ‘Teal’c’ he said loudly to no response. ‘TEAL’C’ he repeated several times with increasing volume.
Hawkins picked up the weapon and was taking aim when the first of several staff-weapon blasts slammed into his body causing him to collapse to the ground as the Jaffa appeared.
It was a decent plan Andianov considered as Teal’c explained only a Goa’uld host would have been able to break the bonds. She was rubbing her own wrists when Teal’c untied Rothman whose own eyes suddenly glowed and he knocked the Jaffa aside and snatched up the Staff-Weapon Teal’c had put down in order to remove their bonds.
Andianov was already moving before Rothman could level the staff at the nearest target which was Captain Griff. Her reaction times had tested out as far above average and she was quick on her feet too, not only that she was in armour and threw herself between them just as Rothman fired, the blast striking her square in the chest and knocking her backwards with the impact. Before he could fire again O’Neill, the first one who had been untied, had snatched up his P90 and emptied half a clip into Rothman who fell to the ground riddled with holes.
‘Sergeant’ O’Neill said urgently as Andianov rolled onto her back, the front of her armour blackened by the staff blast.
‘I am unwounded though I will be spending several hours polishing my armour’ she responded reaching around to touch the point of impact pulling her finger away instantly. ‘It’s hot’ she said. ‘I am only grateful the weapon lacks penetration, most Sectoid plasma weapons would have likely killed me’ she said as O’Neill offered her a hand up.
‘That took balls’ O’Neill told her.
‘Better the weapon struck me than Captain Griff who would have likely suffered serious injury or death’ she replied evenly.
‘Could have hit you in the head’ Griff pointed out. ‘I owe you one Sergeant’ he told her.
‘I will make sure to collect Captain’ she replied in her usual deadpan manner.
‘Right, now we go get Daniel’ O’Neill declared. ‘We’ve lost too many people on this planet already.’
‘Pierce and I will bury them’ Captain Griff announced. ‘They deserve that.’
‘Right’ O’Neill agreed. ‘Teal’c you’re on point and double-time it’ he ordered. ‘Andianov watch our six’ he continued as the Russian retrieved her own weapons.
‘Are you sure you’re okay Sergeant?’ Carter asked her.
‘I am fine Major, thank you for your concern’ she replied with a nod. ‘The sooner we can retrieve Doctor Jackson the sooner we can return home’ she said then paused. ‘Colonel O’Neill I have heard you enjoy fishing’ she said randomly.
‘Yeah?’ O’Neill responded quizzically.
‘Have you ever done so with dynamite?’ she asked taking a grenade from a pouch on her gear and half nodding towards the river.
‘Sergeant I like the way you think’ O’Neill told her, grinning. The water would deaden the noise and the gunfire had already alerted anyone nearby to their presence anyway.
Andianov pulled the pin and pitched the grenade into the river, it exploded pushing up a jet of water and soon a number of dead Goa’uld were floating to the surface. It was more than satisfying as they went to retrieve Jackson, eventually finding him making nice with a bunch of tribal Unas although the Sergeant did have to burn a hole in one of them with her laser rifle, she beat O'Neill to the trigger by a good half second.Cheyenne Mountain - Earth - September 2000
Lyudmila Andianov was still grumbling something to herself in Russian when they returned through the Stargate from P53-381. Helping the Enkarans was just social work to begin with, and just when things were getting interesting Doctor Jackson figured out a solution that didn’t
end in the remains of the Gadmeer vessel being available for recovery, research and back-engineering. Assuming of course that the overloaded Naquadah Generator Major Carter had rigged to explode would have left any chunks big enough to study once it detonated.
‘Look at it this way Sergeant’ Daniel told her, ‘the Gadmeer seem like a reasonable, intelligent and peaceful race’ he said. ‘They might prove to be a welcome ally in the future.’
Andianov looked at him askance and muttered something that caused the archaeologist to stop dead in his tracks at the bottom of the ramp letting her go on ahead, Russian was a surprisingly good language for profanity, they had a national history that promoted such a development, the devastation wrought by Nazi Germany in the Second World War and the economic collapse that followed the fall of communism were just the most recent in a long line of events that had taught the Russian people the need to be able to really swear well.
‘I don’t think she likes me very much’ Daniel stated as the Russian headed towards the armoury to offload her rifle and armour.
‘At least she does not keep you under constant surveillance in order to decide whether or not to shoot you Daniel Jackson’ Teal’c responded flatly.
‘She’s growing on me’ O’Neill declared.
‘That’s just because when you came up with the idea of nuking the Gadmeer she was all for it’ Carter observed wryly.
‘Yeah well it’s another vote on the team for the “kill ‘em all let God sort ‘em out” school of thought’ O’Neill responded. ‘It’s refreshing’ he continued, trying not to chuckle.
Daniel rolled his eyes. ‘You’ll forgive my disagreement on that’ he replied. ‘In any case I think she’s an atheist.’
‘Okay so it’s “kill ‘em all, Darwinian selection in action” instead’ O’Neill corrected himself. ‘It’s all good’ he added, ‘well not so much good
An airman approached and saluted. ‘Colonel O’Neill, General Hammond would like you and Major Carter to report to the briefing room after you’ve unloaded your equipment’ he said. ‘He also says you’ve got time for a shower and it might be appreciated if you took one’ he added, trying not to grin.
‘Very well Airman, carry on’ O’Neill responded, returning the salute. ‘Forget to put on deodorant during one mission to a jungle planet and they’ll be moaning about it forever’ he complained as the Airman moved off.
‘Be fair Sir you were pretty ripe’ Carter pointed out, holding back a grin of her own.
‘Et tu Major?’ O’Neill asked her rhetorically as they headed towards the door leading out from the gateroom. He was sure it was this damn X-COM armour that was the problem, you couldn’t help but sweat underneath it even if they only tended to wear the torso section as a rule.
Twenty minutes later, and smelling of cologne, O’Neill was sat across from General Hammond and Commander Sharp wondering if he was in trouble, or if they had a mission for him that might mean he was in serious
trouble. O’Neill and Carter couldn’t help but envy Sharp for being able to wear the utilitarian coveralls instead of a proper uniform, it was scruffy but looked damn comfortable as he sat there reading through a file on the table in front of him.
‘We want you to go back to P3X-989’ Hammond told them.
‘Altair? Harlans world?’ Carter queried, how she remembered all those codes O’Neill never understood.
‘Correct Major’ Hammond replied. ‘Commander Sharp has suggested we offer Harlan and the duplicates he made of SG-1 a number of our new naquadah reactors in order to solve their power problems in return for access to their advanced technology’ he told them.
‘If this Harlan can produce exact android replicas which are actually sentient copies of people it would open up new areas of research into robotics and artificial intelligence’ Commander Sharp declared, ‘not to mention all the other technologies we might find of use, their tech base generally must be very high to have developed such equipment.’’
‘That kind of technology is at least decades, maybe centuries beyond us Sir’ Carter told him, you had to be realistic she thought.
‘You may be right but the R&D people are already salivating at the prospect I’m told’ Sharp replied. ‘It was also suggested by a Doctor Zelenka that the power-cells and capacitors used for our portable laser weapons might be as valuable a trade item as the reactors’ he said.
‘Putting a few of them together to act as portable power-packs for Harlan and the duplicates’ Carter surmised, thinking about it. ‘They do hold an enormous amount of charge’ she noted. ‘Good idea.’
‘I hate to change the subject but have we heard from the Asgard yet Sir?’ O’Neill asked the General.
Hammond nodded. ‘SG-4 managed to get in contact via the chamber you found on P3X-974’ he replied. ‘A local named Gairwyn they ran into said to say hello incidentally.’
O’Neill nodded. ‘What did Thor say?’ he asked.
‘It wasn’t him that answered the call’ Hammond replied. ‘Another Asgard told SG-4 that because of the losses incurred against the Replicators their Fleet is completely tied up and they can’t spare a vessel to come to Earth at present, although they were very interested in the news we told them regarding the Sectoids’ he continued. ‘Hopefully an Asgard vessel will be freed up in the next couple of weeks.’
‘Giving them plenty of time to come up with a convincing cover story’ Commander Sharp commented.
Carter sighed. ‘If the Asgard meant us harm they could arrive in orbit and pulverise our entire planet from there’ she told him. ‘We just don’t buy the idea that their High Council would either do the things the Sectoids are or have to go about it in as low-tech a fashion’ she said. ‘It just doesn’t make any sense, they could abduct people by teleport from radar invisible ships in space, they don’t need to fly down and risk getting tagged by your interceptors.’
‘Maybe you’re right but X-COM remains unconvinced and the stakes are considered too high to take the risk’ Sharp replied. ‘It’s just a pity the satellite defence system is at least two years away.’
O’Neill grinned. ‘What make’s you think you have a chance of putting anything in space that could hurt the Asgard?’ he asked sarcastically.
‘Oh I think a few naquadah-enhanced ten-thousand megaton bomb-pumped X-Ray Lasers would at least give them pause for thought Colonel’ Sharp responded flatly.
X-Ray lasers’ Carter repeated, her eyes widening.
‘Only ten times the yield of the Goa’uld-Busters you’ve used before Major’ Sharp replied evenly, ‘nothing too outrageous, and well within our capability if we get enough naquadah… and they can figure out how to make it work.’
‘What’s an X-Ray Laser?’ O’Neill wanted to know.
Carter looked at him. ‘You detonate a hydrogen bomb as the power source for a cluster of lasers’ she explained. ‘They’re destroyed of course but before the entire unit ceases to exist you get an immensely powerful beam with a wavelength thousands of times shorter than an ordinary laser, X-Ray’s instead of visible, ultra-violet or infra-red light’ she continued. ‘Even if only a fraction of the energy ends up in the beams it’s still a colossal amount of energy focused at one point.’
‘Our big hitters’ Sharp agreed, ‘but only part of the network which will include hundreds of smaller satellites mounting scaled-up versions of the lasers we’ve developed for aircraft plus a missile battery.’
Carter smiled. ‘I think you’re underestimating the problem, it’s lack of spacelift capacity that will prevent anything on that scale.’
‘Oh our spacelift capacity is near infinite Major Carter’ Sharp told her with a chuckle. ‘You just haven’t thought it through.’
‘He looks smug’ O’Neill declared, ‘better let him get it off his chest’ he suggested to Carter.
Commander Sharp grinned. ‘We haul the second stargate currently housed in X-COM Europe plus it's DHD into high orbit’ he said. ‘Transfer the material we want around Earth to the Alpha site through the gate here at Cheyenne Mountain’ he continued, ‘then we plug in the DHD to the gate in orbit which will then override the system making the orbital gate the primary…’
‘And simply send the equipment at the Alpha site back
through the gate to Earth but instead of returning to the SGC it ends up in Earth Orbit instead’ Carter interrupted, shaking her head. ‘It’s so simple I can’t believe I didn’t think of it.’
‘The gate’s over five metres across in internal diameter, so we can send most satellites through in one piece then we transfer them to the orbits we want from there’ Sharp said. ‘It’s hauling the stuff up from Earth that’s the hard part, once you’re in space moving things is easy I’m told.’
Carter nodded. ‘We could use it to build orbital shipyards too, assemble them like the International Space Station’ she suggested. ‘If we construct vessels in orbit they could be far larger than anything we could build on Earth.’
‘That’s what they tell me’ Sharp replied.
‘Asteroid mining’ Carter continued randomly. ‘If you can get the infrastructure into space to start with you can start thinking about asteroid mining’ she continued. ‘And then orbiting power satellites, huge solar arrays beaming energy to ground stations’ she continued, ‘infinite clean power.’
‘Weaponry first, environmentalism second’ General Hammond told her. ‘Talking of which, how are you finding the new lasers yourselves?’ he inquired.
‘Hard to get used to’ O’Neill replied, ‘but I pity the next Goa’uld patrol we meet’ he added. They were weird to use after a lifetime of conventional firearms but he had to admit it, they really kicked ass.
‘SG-8 ran into a company of Jaffa yesterday’ Hammond told them. ‘They were throwing Staff-Weapons through the gate for a good ten minutes after they cleared up’ he continued, ‘we’re running out of storage for the things’ he declared. Area 51 was having to build a new hanger to store the materials coming from both SGC and X-COM missions.
‘I was happy to see that the SGC people have fully embraced our looting and pillaging ways’ Commander Sharp joked. ‘As for putting those things to use we’ve tried out one of the Gatling-Staff HWP’s against a saucer that landed in South America’ he added. ‘X-COM is having to replant a large area of the Amazon’ he said with a mock grimace, ‘it chopped through the jungle like a lumberjack on speed according to the report, best fire-support ever, pure intimidation, the bugs just duck and stay ducked while you flank them.’
‘The other war going well then?’ O’Neill asked.
‘Enhanced Avalanches are swatting them out of the sky like flies’ Sharp responded happily. ‘Anything too fast for the Interceptors gets met on the ground by our troops, and between the lasers, the Zat’s and the new HWP’s we’re really kicking ET’s ass there too, losses cut by more than a third’ he noted, which still made them damn high by anyone’s standards, except of course those of X-COM.
‘The Zat’s work on the other aliens then Commander?’ Carter queried with interest.
‘Not fatally as a rule Major, we think it’s a difference in their nervous systems’ Sharp told her. ‘Some of the bastards need a few shots to stun them too, ‘Chryssalids especially, and they don’t work well at all against Cyberdiscs, the little hovertanks Sectoids keep around I mean, but overall they’ve helped a lot’ he answered. ‘Floaters are supposed to be hilarious when you Zat them’ he added with a grin. ‘The discharge sometimes does something to the control mechanism on the anti-gravity unit that lets them fly, so they either crash straight to the ground or else start spinning like a gyroscope’ he said. ‘Which taught us something else’ he added, ‘Floaters puke when they’re dizzy’ he told them. ‘Who knew?’ he asked with a chuckle.
O’Neill laughed, he was wondering if maybe he should bring along some things for the duplicate of himself? A DVD player, a small TV and the last couple of seasons of the Simpsons would probably get a warmer welcome than the reactors he decided.
Note from the Author:As of the start of this chapter and the Stargate Timeline Daniel Jackson would have been on P3X-888 featured in episode 4:08 The First Ones for the previous three weeks which is why he hasn't featured until now. Lyudmila Andianov is one of my X-COM grunts in the game I've had running a while (and she does have freakishly good reaction times). The SG-1 copies appeared again at the end of Season 4 of Stargate SG-1 which would be a few months later but X-COM would have been interested in the technology so it's likely they would have decided to investigate as soon as they got the chance.The Enkarans and the Gadmeer appeared in episode 4:09 Scorched Earth.If anyone else has come up with the Gatling-Staff I haven't seen it but I'm sure someone must have, ditto using the two gates to haul stuff to orbit.