I own neither Stargate nor the X-COM franchise. No infringement is intended, no profit is to be 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.
Farming Village – Genii Planet – September 2004
Teyla was relieved Doctor Weir had taken note of her insistence that Captain Gaston and his Combat Team not accompany them on this mission because the Genii were a simple peaceful people and she doubted they would have reacted well to the likes of Sergeant Nash. Cowen the Genii leader seemed justifiably wary of the people she had guided here but at least Major Sheppard and Lieutenant Ford still retained some understanding of human interactions beyond arrogance, condescension, bluntness and threats of violence so she might actually be able to facilitate a fair trade.
'You say you wish to trade medicines and other goods for our crops?' Cowen asked Teyla and the leader of the men with her. They were inside the village meeting place, a wooden house which matched their pre-industrial agrarian society which Rodney had sardonically referred to as the "Space Amish".
'Yes, we have recently acquired several hundred more mouths to feed and although we are establishing farms in order to meet their needs in the longer term for now we are hoping that we might purchase any excess from your harvest to support them' Teyla explained. Whilst they were able to have additional food shipped from Earth they could only receive supplies once a week and potentially every sack or grain, or side of beef sent through was one less piece of machinery or crate of weapons that couldn't be delivered. Feeding the children relocated to the Lantean mainland with local sources of food was far less of a problem logistically.
'We've heard your Kava Beans are primo tasty' Major Sheppard told Cowen, putting on his best smile.
'Tava Beans' Teyla corrected him, 'and yes they are' she confirmed. 'The Athosians have always valued our trading links with the Genii and I hope that these links will continue now that my people have come to live with our Terran friends.'
Cowen pursed his lips. 'I must confess I have never before heard of the Terran people' he admitted. 'You seem more advanced technologically that most of the societies the Genii have contact with, what with your weapons and the medicines you talk of' he said.
'We don't get out much' Sheppard replied.
'You have been hiding from the Wraith?' Cowen asked.
Sheppard grinned. 'Not really how we do things' he told him. 'We haven't really had much contact with the wraith until recently though' he said.
'Then you are fortunate' Cowen told him. 'We are a peaceful people but the wraith still come to our world and cull the Genii though we never do anything to provoke them' he said.
'Yeah that pacifism thing doesn't work out too well if you're just the next item on the menu' Sheppard commiserated. 'The Hoffans are trying to make themselves less tasty but the real solution is to be the ones higher on the food chain' he said. 'You see it all comes down to food in the end' he added with a smile.
Cowen looked thoughtful. 'We will need more than you offer' he said.
'More?' Sheppard queried.
'I don't think you understand how cool these medicines are' Ford interjected. 'We've got drugs that cure every disease, other ones that speed up how fast injuries heal...'
'You ask for much of our harvest' Cowen interrupted him. 'New crops will have to be planted in sufficient quantities to replenish our stores or it is the Genii who will starve' he continued. 'That amount of planting will require new land to be cleared. Clearing more land is slow, hard work and it will lose us a great amount of growing time between now and the next harvest season' he said.
'Okay, What if clearing land was fast and easy?' Sheppard asked.
Cowen chuckled. 'You know a quick and easy way of uprooting the stump of a three-hundred year old tree?' he asked.
'As a matter of fact, I do' Sheppard replied, turning to Ford who was grinning. 'And I think you'll like chainsaws too' he added.
Generally speaking they rarely utilised anything with as little explosive power as C4 but they usually carried a few pounds of the stuff for when a naquadah/potassium demolition charge had a little too much pep and Ford seemed to be enjoying himself as he planted the charge in the old tree-stump near the village.
The Genii were all stood around at what Sheppard told them was a safe distance as Ford joined them, a remote detonator in his hands and a grin on his face. 'This is going to be loud' Sheppard warned, putting his fingers in his ears the other Terrans and Teyla doing likewise and the villagers following suit.
'Fire in the hole' Ford called out, pressing the detonator. The resulting explosion tearing the old tree-stump apart and leaving what was left of it as a shattered mess in a shallow crater.
'It's what we call C4' Ford explained to the shocked and apparently impressed Genii.
'It's a explosive made from cyclotrimethylene trinitramine mixed with a plasticiser' McKay noted, 'not that any of that makes any sense to you' he added, the X-COM Troopers not being the only blunt, undiplomatic people on the Atlantis expedition. 'It's very stable and safer to use than most other kinds of chemical explosives' he noted. 'I made some up once using my home chemistry set' he recalled. 'We would have had the best Canada Day fireworks in the street if my little sister hadn't ratted me out to Mom' he said sadly.
Cowen turned to Sheppard. 'If you can supply us with a sufficient quantity of C4, we will supply you with the crop you require' he told him.
'So, this instead of the medicine?' Sheppard replied.
'As well as the medicine' Cowen responded. 'And these chainsaws you talked of' he added.
Sheppard sighed. 'I thought you said the Genii were fair traders?' he asked Teyla.
'The Athosians have always been able to achieve a reasonable bargain' Teyla replied, 'however we were never so desperate to buy' she noted.
'The invisible hand of the free market strikes again' McKay quipped. 'Three million light-years from the nearest copy of the Wealth of Nations and Adam Smith still has us by the balls' he said.
'I'll have to go home and check with my superiors that it's okay to trade you the C4' Sheppard told Cowen.
'I'm sure we can come to terms' Cowen said confidently. 'Teyla, thank you for bringing us these new trading partners' he continued, addressing the Athosian guide. 'Please, stay as our guests' he offered. 'There will be a harvest ceremony later' he told them.
'Wonderful' Teyla said with a smile which became a grimace after Cowen turned away. The Genii were not known as being in any way a fun people.
'I'll be returning to Atlantis with you then' McKay told Sheppard brightly.
'No you won't, I promised Zelenka I'd keep you away at least another few hours' Sheppard replied. 'He says you keep interfering with his department's project.'
'His department is a joke' Rodney responded harshly. 'Once that robot sub confirmed the location of the Mobile Drilling Platform and found it was still intact I should have been the one put in charge of the mission to get a team down there and get her running again' he declared.
'Well you weren't' Sheppard told him. 'You wanted oversight over the other team recovering the wraith tech from that old Supply Ship' he pointed out. 'You can't get all the good jobs McKay.'
'I could have run both projects, and made sure the crew working on the weapon satellite, and still found time for these field-trips easily' McKay insisted.
'With or without those fancy drugs Weir doesn't like her people taking?' Sheppard asked knowingly.
'She totally exaggerates the danger of those' McKay stated. 'Worst case scenario an occasional power-nap in the sarcophagus to fix any physical damage' he said.
'Zelenka is perfectly capable of doing the work Rodney' Sheppard told him.
'I could do it quicker' McKay replied. 'Oh come on what the hell am I going to do at a harvest festival?' he asked rhetorically.
'Eat?' Sheppard suggested.
McKay blinked. 'Okay, that doesn't sound so bad' he conceded.
'And I reckon that girl Sora was giving you the eye' Sheppard lied.
'The hot blond one?' McKay asked. 'Didn't her father say she was betrothed?' he queried.
'Hey, that's still a long way from actually being married' Sheppard told him.
'You're right, we're the interesting new guys in town' McKay realised. 'I mean we, should cash in on that before they realise we aren't that cool' he reasoned.
'Now you're using that brain for something worthwhile' Sheppard told him.
'Right, you're right' McKay said, straightening up.
'And think about it Rodney' Sheppard said quietly, 'no electricity, no central heating, no cable TV... well how do you think they keep themselves warm and entertained when the sun goes down?' he asked, trying to keep a straight face.
When he returned from Atlantis later after Weir and Vaselov approved the trade, Sheppard's nagging concern that he might just possibly have talked McKay into a course of action that might result in a shotgun wedding, or perhaps a pitchfork injury was replaced by a bigger problem in that he was greeted by armed people in uniforms he hadn't seen before and was forced at gunpoint towards a barn where a concealed hatch led down to a vast bunker complex.
'Okay, so not the people we thought they were' Sheppard observed as he was pushed into a room where Teyla, Ford and McKay were sitting around a large rectangular table with Cowen at the head, wearing the same uniform as the others.
'Take a seat Major' Cowen told him, his tone indicating it wasn't an invitation so much as an order.
'Can somebody bring me up to speed?' Sheppard requested of the ret of his team.
'Rodney got very bored and decided to take a look around' Teyla replied, 'he found something I believe our hosts very much wish to be kept secret' she told him.
'My scanner picked up neutron radiation coming from down here' McKay said. 'They've been skimping on the radiation shielding too so we don't want to spend too much time in the vicinity assuming we have any long-term plans for children without extra fingers and toes' he added.
'Our scientists say the radiation levels are perfectly safe' Cowen stated.
'Well they're wrong' McKay replied flatly. 'They're trying to manufacture atomic weapons, nothing special just uranium fission' he told Sheppard. 'A few tens of kilotons at best.'
'Nukes?' Sheppard replied. 'So why the hell did they want our C4?' he asked.
'They need good quality conventional explosives if they want to build an implosion type device' McKay explained. 'My guess is that they don't even have enough enriched uranium for the bombs yet but they're basically on the right track.'
'Doctor McKay seems very knowledgeable on the subject' Cowen said, greatly understanding given what he had already heard the Terran scientist say openly.
'He'd already run off at the mouth long before the Genii dragged us down here too Sir' Ford told Sheppard. 'Too late to plead ignorance.'
'Great' Sheppard replied with a sigh. 'So, assuming from the fact you haven't shot us already you're probably not going to just yet, what's the story?' he asked Cowen.
Cowen leaned forward in his chair. 'As you say, normally you would have already been shot for discovering our secret' he began. 'The Genii were once a great confederation of planets' he told them. 'Millennia ago, the Wraith had driven us to the brink of total annihilation. Our forefathers sought the protection of bunkers such as these which were originally created for wars long forgotten and it was here that a small number of our people managed to survive undetected' he said. 'Over the course of many, many years, generation after generation, we have made technological developments here in secret so that one day we might be able to once again step out into the light as who we really are' he said.
'The primitive farmer thing is just a front' Sheppard responded.
'So the Wraith do not suspect' Teyla added.
'We do have many mouths to feed so the farms are more than merely a disguise' Cowen replied, 'they help support the bulk of our population living underground' he said.
'They plan to build their atomic bombs and sneak them aboard any grounded Wraith Hives they can reach' McKay told Sheppard. 'We were talking about it before you showed up.'
Sheppard raised his eyebrows. 'Did you tell them that...'
'That we've already pulled that one ourselves?' McKay interrupted. 'Yes' he said. 'I also told them that given the size of a Hiveship their teeny-weenie fission bombs wouldn't be man enough for the job unless they were lucky enough to trigger a secondary detonation which is far from guaranteed' he said.
'Is this true?' Cowen asked Sheppard.
'I'd have to accept Rodney's word on that' Sheppard replied, looking to McKay to explain further.
'Look' McKay began, trying to explain this as patiently as he could. 'The most you can possibly
get out of a fission bomb is an explosion equivalent to five hundred thousand tons of TNT and to do that you need a huge amount of highly enriched fissile material and you'll have a device that is too big and heavy to actually use' he said. 'Realistically you'll get a useable weapon less than a tenth of that yield, more likely a twentieth, and you're trying to use that to destroy a spaceship which is up to eleven kilometres long' he said. 'Good luck' he said with a smirk.
'So how did you manage it like you say you did?' Cowen asked.
McKay looked to Sheppard for an indication he should answer, receiving a nod from the Major to let him know to continue. 'We were
lucky, we did
trigger a secondary explosion using two even smaller devices than you're constructing but they were placed deeper in the ship than you're likely to manage' he told the Genii. 'If you want a guaranteed
kill on a Wraith Hive you need something bigger than a fission device' he said. 'Frankly even a fusion warhead with a few megatons of yield might not necessarily get the job done.'
'Fusion?' Cowen responded quizzically.
'You use the heat and pressure of a fission detonation to induce the deuterium and tritium isotopes of hydrogen to fuse' McKay explained.
bigger bang' Sheppard said.
Cowen now looked extremely intrigued. 'Could you tell us how to build such an improved design?' he asked.
'Yes but it might be a while before you can' McKay replied.
'In the meantime I wouldn't worry about it anyway' Sheppard said with a smile. 'We're going to handle the wraith as soon as we can find out where they're holed up' he said confidently.
'You have a stockpile of these fusing weapons then?' Cowen inquired.
'It's "fusion" not fusing' McKay corrected him, 'and we've got something much better in mind when we go after the Wraith again' he said.
'You have even more powerful weapons than you've already described?' Cowen asked doubtfully.
Ford laughed. 'I don't think he'd believe us if we told him' he said.
'Let's just say that we're pretty sure we can take out a Hive when we find one and leave it at that' Sheppard told him. 'The problem is finding them.'
Cowen scratched his chin. 'I'll have to talk to the rest of our leaders' he said, 'but if you can prove what you've been saying then we might be able to help each other a great deal' he told them seriously. 'You see we've known how to find the Wraith for some time, we've just never had the means to use that knowledge' he told his guests.
Sheppard, McKay, Ford and Teyla looked at each other. 'Cowen' Sheppard began, turning back to the Genii leader. 'This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship' he said.Mining Settlement - P2C-257 – October 2004
The slaves who had worked the mines didn't know why their latest Jaffa overseers had simply packed up and left through the chappa'ai one day but given that the mine was still far from spent they suspected that once again they were about to find themselves with a new god to worship.
Until a decade ago, and for as many generations as the elders knew of before that, they had belonged to Ra, digging the precious ore from the ground in order to supply his great fleets. Then when inexplicably the Supreme System Lord vanished one day they had shortly thereafter found themselves the property of his brother Apophis and laboured for him for another three years before he too lost control of their world.
Since the Jaffa of Apophis left the slaves had served other goa'uld, though only for a short time before each one in turn was replaced by a successor. To the slaves it meant little whether the Jaffa wielding the whips bore the insignia of Sokar, Baal or Morrigan, the sting on leather on flesh was the same, only the prayers they had to teach their children altered.
It had been many sunsets since the Jaffa had left, and some of the people were starting to dare to hope that none would ever be seen again. Freed from the hard labour in the mine the men were able to put more time into working the farms that fed them and by next harvest their children should eat better than they ever had before. It wasn't a harsh world to live on, it was green and lush, neither too hot nor too cold where they lived and used to back-breaking toil they would soon be able to carve out a better life for themselves from the grassland and forests. One day the more intrepid decided to bury the ring of the gods in order that they might remain free and they dug a pit beside it and toppled the ring into the hole, heaping dirt upon it so that none could ever step through again.
Like so many dreams it came to an end abruptly one day alas as a sound in the sky they knew well echoed above their heads on an overcast day. The thunder of the flying chariots of the gods was something they recognised easily and it meant that they would surely be serving a new master before nightfall. They would be forced to dig up the ring once more and likely suffer punishment for the temerity of trying to oppose the will of the gods but hopefully it would not be too severe.
Some hotheads spoke of fighting the Jaffa but they were quickly talked around by those who remembered what had happened a generation ago when others had attempted to drive off the warriors of Ra. It was suicide to try and take on the inhumanly strong Jaffa who were so skilled in battle and armed with their terrifying magical weapons, better to come to terms with the inevitable and hope this new master was not too harsh as they kneeled and swore fealty.
The village was less than a thousand paces from the mine and the slaves came together and waited for the Jaffa to come after the small flying chariot set itself down next to the stone pyramid where the larger ships the Jaffa called "Ha'tak" used to occasionally rest themselves. Four figures wearing armour seemed to be looking over the mine entrance for a while before they set out towards the village.
As they approached the villagers noted that these new Jaffa wore different armour than the ones they had seen before and although they wore metal glyphs that signified their god on their heads like the most important Jaffa it was worn on a strange blue hat not their forehead.
'We should kneel' the oldest of the slaves advised and they dropped to their knees as the Jaffa arrived. 'What god do we now serve?' he asked nervously.
'Any you like, or none at all if you want' came the reply. 'Say can you people get up, you're making this even more awkward than it would be.'
'They must think we're Jaffa' one of the other strangers suggested to the one who had already spoken.
'Wonderful' the first responded with a sigh. 'We're not Jaffa, we're just people like you' he said loudly.
'But you came from the sky' one of the slaves replied, they were all still kneeling.
'Okay, so we're people like you with fancier toys' the man conceded. 'Come on, get up' he requested again. 'You're embarrassing me' he said.
The slaves slowly started to get off their knees and a few were brave enough to raise their heads and take a better look. 'We are ready to work in the mine again and ask that we not be punished to burying the ring of the gods' the oldest slave said.
'We're not going to do anything to you because you buried the stargate' the first stranger responded, 'but at least now we know why we had to fly here because we couldn't get the one at the SGC to lock to your gate coordinates' he said. 'You might even be the last people we have to tell this too, most of the inhabited worlds we've taken over got visits weeks ago.'
The stranger who appeared to be the leader reached into a pocket and pulled out a piece of thin parchment. 'Excuse me' he said, coughing to clear his throat. 'Firstly let me introduce myself' he said. 'My name is Colonel Louis Ferretti and I command SG-2, who are the people with me' he explained. 'Secondly, on behalf of the Secretary General of the United Nations of Earth I am pleased to announce that given this world lies within the area of space known to the System Lords as the Tau'ri Protectorate' he continued, looking down at his notes, 'that consequently you are now all under our care and protection and will receive any appropriate relief aid and assistance you require' he said.
'What does that mean?' the village elder asked, confused.
Ferretti put away his notes. 'It means if you dig up the stargate again we'll be able to send you food, medicine and some people to build you a nicer hut to live in' he replied, looking with some distain at their ramshackle homes. 'More importantly it means that if any Goa'uld or Jaffa son-of-a bitch ever turns up here again and tries to force you to work in that fucking deathtrap of a mine over there then we will kick his ass' the commanding officer of SG-2 stated firmly.
'I don't think they're getting it Sir' Lieutenant Sands told him, looking over their faces.
'It's never easy' Ferretti muttered to himself. 'Okay' he began again. 'This planet and every other world that lies within two-hundred and fifty light-years of my planet, which is called Earth, now belongs to Earth because of a Treaty we signed with the Goa'uld System Lords' he told them. 'Now we aren't goa'uld' he said flatly, 'we're just people, ordinary men and women like you' he said. 'You don't need to worship us or anything like that, you're free to live here exactly as you wish' he continued, 'we're just introducing ourselves, explaining the situation and offering help.'
'If you are simply men like us then why do you not serve the gods?' one of the more courageous locals asked suspiciously.
'Because they aren't gods at all, they're just aliens who pretend to be' Ferretti replied. 'They don't have magic, they just have advanced technology and tricks' he said. 'We don't serve them because our weapons are just as powerful as theirs, more so' he declared. 'They're just bullies, nothing more and we faced them down.'
'We might want to blow something up and fire off a few shots to prove it Sir' Lieutenant Sands advised.
'We'll blast a few chunks off that big statue in front of the pyramid later' Ferretti agreed. 'Before than I'm thinking hearts and minds Lieutenant' he said, smiling. 'Is anyone here sick or injured?' he asked loudly. 'If so then we'll make them better before we go and we've also got plenty of candy for the kids' he added.
'I was hoping to find a tavern' Sergeant Bell complained.
'After all my years with the stargate program I'm still hoping to find a planet full of nymphomaniacs where there's ten women for every man but I'm getting used to the disappointment' Ferretti responded. 'Also I still need a volunteer to clamber up the pyramid and raise the flag so I'd better not hear any more complaints about this mission or it won't be a voluntary assignment' he added.
'Think we'll re-open the naquadah mine Sir' Sands asked. 'I mean with modern machinery and hardhats and actual pay for the workers?'
'Not economical to mine for it when we've got the big asteroid' Ferretti replied. 'There might be something else worth digging up though, the geological survey teams will find out' he said confidently, they were getting good at that now.
'You know one day I might like to settle down on a nice planet like this, maybe here' Sergeant Bell observed. 'I mean once there's a proper town' he added as a proviso.
'I'll bet as soon as we go public, and they agree some rules on dealing with the existing populations and legal issues on legal jurisdiction and land ownership, millions of people will want to emigrate off Earth to the new colonies' Lieutenant Sands suggested. 'I mean none of these worlds are what you could call overpopulated are they?' he asked rhetorically.
'Just as long as we're fair with the natives this time when we start pushing into the new frontier' Ferretti responded, hoping that the people of P2C-257 and the other former slaves who the goa'uld had transplanted onto worlds now within the Tau'ri Protectorate weren't going to end up on reservations when the new colonists from Earth inevitably arrived.Atlantis – Pegasus Galaxy – October 2004
As the sun started to set on the horizon Tyrus found himself standing alone on one of the balconies of the main tower on Atlantis. It felt slightly strange to be wearing his Genii military uniform again after so many years in which he had mostly dressed in disguise as a primitive peasant and it was slightly snug around the middle indicating he might need to drop a few pounds. 'Good Evening Father' his daughter Sora greeted him, 'I mean Sir' she corrected herself as she joined him on the balcony, her own uniform matching his.
'Sora' Tyrus responded, turning to smile at her although it looked forced. Earlier today their joint mission with the Terrans to the Wraith Hive had gone better than he could have thought possible. They had infiltrated the grounded hive known to the Genii using small devices on their belts that actually made them invisible and it was doubtful that the Wraith even knew they had ever been there. Interfacing the memory storage device they had taken with them with the grounded hive's computer and downloading as much navigational information as they could before leaving had been simple. Generations ago the Genii had managed to shoot down and salvage a Wraith Dart and among the technology was the data storage and recording device which had contained the location of the hive the dart came from, now it held far more valuable intelligence, perhaps where every hiveship could be found.
It had gone so smoothly it was almost anticlimactic in fact. Tyrus and Sora as the Genii on the mission team had been expecting some
action but the Terrans simply did the job quickly and quietly without fuss or seemingly without any display of nerves. They seemed confident during the mission briefing beforehand that even if they were
discovered they could readily shoot their way out anyway, with the threat of possibly hundreds of Wraith opponents blocking their exit route fazing them not one bit, but in the event it had not been necessary to unleash their unfeasibly powerful hand-weapons on the enemy. After sneaking back out of the hiveship they had flown back to Atlantis in what they called a "Puddle Jumper" undetected and unmolested and now their scientists were going over the data carefully somewhere else in the city.
'You are troubled' Sora observed. Her father's moods were an open book to her, after the death of her mother some years ago he had been her world.
The Genii officer sighed. 'These people concern me' he said honestly.
'How so?' Sora queried, 'from what we have seen they will be the mightiest allies against the Wraith the Genii have ever had' she said.
Tyrus looked out at the sunset once more. 'You were there when they demonstrated the power of their personal weapons' he said. 'Stood beside me earlier today when those fighter craft performed impossible manoeuvres overhead at speeds which eclipse any we have seen a Wraith Dart manage' he continued before frowning. 'Sora they are not just living in the Lost City of the Ancestors and using their devices they are improving
upon technologies we could only dream
'The Terrans are very advanced' Sora agreed.
'Advanced?' Tyrus repeated, turning back to Sora. 'They're terrifying
' he declared. 'They could crush us like insects at a whim' he stated flatly. 'Worse than that the X-COM Colonel practically told us outright that they would
if we ever crossed them' he added.
'They are so few' Sora noted, there were a few hundred of them in the city at best.
'With the resources of billions of people and many worlds supporting them' Tyrus replied. 'We are so far behind them that the best the Genii might hope for to become a loyal vassal, perhaps a source of cheap cannon-fodder against the Wraith or other human societies that don't want to accept Terran domination.'
'You think them conquerors?' Sora asked. 'They do not strike me that way' she said. 'Unless it was all an elaborate act I can't envision their leader Weir as harbouring imperialist ambitions.'
'I looked in her eyes' Tyrus told his daughter. 'There's an iron strength of will under that well-meaning pacifist facade mark my words' he said. 'She's the type that would concede an argument for the sake of diplomacy, sacrifice some of her gains for peace and share rewards and credit with those who didn't deserve it but I'm afraid that some of our own leaders would seek to exploit that as weakness and overplay their hand' he continued. 'Push her too far and she's going to come back out fighting and when she does she'll let the leash off her attack dogs.'
'For thousands of years the goal of the Genii has been to defeat the Wraith' Sora said. 'Live openly under the sun once more.'
'The goal of the Genii has been for our civilisation to survive' Tyrus corrected her, 'defeating the Wraith was just seen as the best way to accomplish that and also allow us to re-establish the Genii Confederation as a leading power in this galaxy' he said. 'Let's say the Terrans do manage to defeat the Wraith where the Ancestors failed, what then?' he asked rhetorically. 'Do you think Elizabeth Weir would allow us to reassert our authority over worlds we lost centuries ago if the people there preferred to remain independent?' he continued. 'Looking at what we could offer them would neutral planets choose to align themselves with the Genii or the Terrans?' he wondered.
'But they aren't even from this galaxy' Sora exclaimed. 'They're foreigners.'
'Foreigners who carry within themselves the genetic legacy of the Ancestors' Tyrus responded. 'Hardly any of the humans who live in this galaxy can use Ancestor devices because we lack the gene to make it work' he said. 'The reason why Major Sheppard and other Terrans can
is obviously, as they themselves theorise, because some of the Ancestors who fled this city for Terra ended up interbreeding with the humans there.'
'They truly are
the children of the Ancestors' Sora realised.
'More than we are at least' her father replied. 'The Ancestors merely made us in their image but the Terrans descend in part from the builders of this wondrous place' he said. 'They are
the Ancestors returning and we can't possibly compete with that kind of propaganda gift' he added glumly before another thought occurred and he laughed humourlessly. 'I trust you noted that they let us both keep our sidearms' he asked his daughter, indicating the standard issue Genii pistols they both had holstered on their belts.
'I think that was to make us more comfortable' Sora reasoned.
'It's telling us they don't really think we're a threat Sora' Tyrus told her. 'When they told us they can bring the dead back to life as the Ancestors could in the old tales I think they meant it' he said. 'Earlier I made a joke to Captain Gaston about what they'd do if we wanted to steal a piece of technology and took a hostage to try and force them to let us go' he told her, 'he said they'd shoot us through
the hostage heal them afterwards and throw our corpses into the sea.'
Sora pursed her lips. 'So what do you think we should do?' she asked.
'I'm going to advise Cowen that we help them fight the Wraith in any way we can and try not to provoke them until we discover some means to prevent them immediately crushing us in retaliation' Tyrus replied. 'In the meantime, and though it pains me as a father to suggest this, perhaps you could use your charms to get to know Major Sheppard' he said. 'He seemed to be attracted to you when we first met' he noted.
'When you immediately told him I was betrothed you mean?' Sora responded, smiling.
'Well we were still pretending to be peasant farmers at the time' Tyrus replied, 'I couldn't exactly tell him if he asked you on a date that you were about to rotate duty assignments and were going to be to be underground teaching junior cadets knife-fighting techniques for the next few weeks now could I?' he asked reasonably.
In his laboratory in one of the other towers Rodney McKay noticed Weir and Vaselov arriving and he looked up from his computer. 'Just in time' he told them. 'Major Sheppard only just got here himself' he added, indicating the pilot who was currently helping himself to some of McKay's special coffee blend.
'So what can you tell us Rodney?' Weir asked.
McKay turned in his chair. 'Well surprisingly despite their ignorant messing with it for all these years the memory storage the Genii gave us was clearly still working well enough for the Major and his team to carry out their mission successfully' he replied.
'You've got the coordinates of all the Wraith Hives?' Sheppard asked, adding creamer to his cup.
'No, unfortunately the hiveship you boarded only knew the location of the others within the quadrant of the galaxy both ourselves and the Genii inhabit' McKay replied.
'How many are there Doctor McKay?' Colonel Vaselov asked.
'Twenty-one' McKay replied, 'twenty actually because one of them is the one we already nuked' he told them. 'We could be looking at sixty or more in the whole galaxy.'
Vaselov smiled. 'It is a pity we do not have the locations of all of them but twenty will do for now' he said.
'Some of them are on the move' McKay told him. 'We're looking at fourteen either on the ground or orbiting planets with stargates' he said.
'Not enough jumpers to take out all fourteen at once' Sheppard said to Vaselov.
The Russian nodded. 'As long as we make sure to destroy the ones in orbit first any on the surface are unlikely to be able to take off before we can launch a second wave of attacks' he said.
Sheppard nodded. 'If we deploy seven jumpers, each with two warheads aboard, we could deliver the first strikes then each one travels straight to its next target' he said. 'Take out nearly a quarter of all the hiveships in the Pegasus Galaxy in an afternoon.'
'Killing untold numbers of Wraith in the process plus any humans aboard those ships' Weir pointed out.
'We cannot possibly free all those prisoners and if we try we risk the success of the mission' Vaselov told her sternly. 'A surprise attack is the best guarantee of success' he stated. 'The Wraith do not deserve our concern and the humans who will die are simply collateral damage.'
'Heartless of you' Weir replied as a rebuke.
'Those hiveships will kill far more if we do not launch this attack' Vaselov replied. 'We sacrifice a few thousand perhaps to save millions.'
'You know as soon as we do this every other Wraith ship in Pegasus is going to be running for cover in deep space wondering what the hell just happened' McKay spoke up.
'Yeah, their entire race is going to collectively crap themselves' Sheppard agreed, grinning. 'Assuming that's something they can actually do
' he added.
'Well we know from dissecting them that the digestive system is there they just don't use it' McKay told him.
Colonel Vaselov crossed his arms. 'Doctor Weir you have the authority to approve this mission' he said. 'We have sufficient warheads, the means to deliver them and now the location of our targets' he continued. 'If you give the go-ahead we are ready to deal a blow against the Wraith harder than they have experienced in millennia at least, perhaps the most devastating ever' he told her, hoping she would give the green light herself and he wouldn't have to go over her head.
'I never thought I would ever be in a position to unleash Armageddon' Weir replied. 'It's like the greatest power-trip ever, accompanied by an urge to throw up' she said.
'As your military commander I strongly urge you to approve this operation' Vaselov told her, bringing himself to attention.
McKay looked at Weir's expression. 'As the Chief Scientist on the Atlantis expedition I concur' he said simply.
Sheppard smiled at Weir. 'I'd like to think of myself as your friend' he told her, 'it's the right call Elizabeth' he advised. 'These things use people for food, hunt us for pleasure' he said. 'They've been terrorising and preying on the humans of Pegasus since before people on Earth learned how to farm crops' he continued, 'they've got to go' he declared.
Elizabeth Weir looked down and collected her thoughts, she took an intake of breath then raised her head again to look Vaselov in the eyes. 'Take them out' she ordered, 'every Wraith ship you can' she continued, 'I'll leave the how entirely in your hands but I want them gone' she told him.
'As you order, so it shall be done' Vaselov responded then saluted her. 'Major Sheppard we need to plan and prepare immediately' he told his second-in-command.
As the military officers departed Weir turned to McKay. 'I think I just authorised the attempted genocide of a sapient species' she said sadly.
McKay shrugged. 'Maybe we can figure out another way to deal with them eventually' he replied, 'but for now nuclear incineration looks like the best option, unless you don't mind all the lives of the people they'll eat on your conscience if we don't
do this' he said.
'Rodney, I don't normally swear but if it's a choice between us or them getting fucked-over I choose them' Weir replied. 'And it's not like they haven't had it coming for a while.'
Note from the Author:The Genii led by Cowen were first encountered in SGA episode 1.08 Underground. They had been hiding their society from the Wraith for centuries pretending to be simple farmers whilst stockpiling weaponry and training troops in vast underground bunkers. In 2004 they were perhaps five years away from completing their atomic weapons program and were at the stage of designing the devices and trying to enrich uranium to put in them. In canon the Atlantis people had a lot of trouble with the Genii over the years, their relationship in this situation however is likely to be far more amicable since they are both bringing something very useful to the table. Wraith Hive Ships are truly gigantic, far larger than Atlantis they measure 11km in length and are extremely tough, being able to absorb a great deal of punishment to the hull. I don't think it's realistic to believe that a device that measures merely in the kiloton range would always take one out, even if detonated on the inside. The huge naquadah-enhanced warheads used by Stargate Earth on the other hand are ideal for the jobP2C-257 was a goa'uld controlled world with a naquadah mine mentioned in SG1 episode 4.12 Tangent. It was said to be within a day or so of Earth, travelling by Tel'tak, which would put it well inside the zone agreed to be ceded to Earth by the System Lords. The human slaves on these worlds are going to find it bewildering that they don't belong to a goa'uld any more. Quite the culture shock for them when these Tau'ri from a planet they may have never even heard of show up and turn their world upside down. I pegged P2C-257 as originally belonging to Ra because it is so close to Earth and both this planet and Abydos (also relatively nearby) were ruled by him at one timeTyrus and his daughter Sora were Genii who helped infiltrate a Wraith Hive and download the locations of several others. That operation went much better than in canon thanks to the use of personal cloaks. Given that the Wraith cannot detect cloaked Puddle Jumpers sneaking up on them and blowing them all to hell with naquadah-enhanced warheads is a very easy way to get rid of them if you catch one. 1.2 gigaton (twelve-hundred megaton) nuclear devices feature several times in SG1/SGA, they seem to be a standard high-yield warhead