“Crap.” Xander muttered as he inspected the sensor readings right after he brought the cruiser, which now had the name Guardian
written upon its hull in Lantean, to a stop, hidden from anyone from Earth noticing it by the Moon. (His Inner geek had sorely tempted him to name the ship the Enterprise,
but Giles had pointed out that many people on Earth he intended to work with would fail to take him seriously if he did so.)
“What is it?” Jenny asked. “Some system failing?”
Xander grimaced. “The ship's fine. However, the sensors picked up something even the upgraded sensors on the Snail
could not. A cloaked satellite.”
The gypsy's lips twitched slightly. While they had never chosen an official name for their salvaged Goa'uld craft, Xander delighted in mocking the ship's original, slow hyperdrive by calling it names to emphasize the low speed.
“If the data I picked up from the Asgard ship is accurate, I don't think so.” Xander said with a frown. “Considering the overall level of their technology, even a stitched off sensor should have been able to pick it up. It's far more likely that it's Asgard, left to monitor the Solar system for large craft coming near. From what we know, they trust the Goa'uld about as far as Thor can throw Teal'c, and bluff or no bluff, we're the most advanced civilization under the Protected Planets Treaty, and thus the most likely target.”
“So...we cloak?” Jenny asked uncertainly.
Xander shook his head. “It's pointless. Earth can't see us, and if that thing's Asgard, there is no way it could have missed a hyperspace window of this magnitude opening this close to the planet. If the programming code of the techno – bugs I gave them has done them any good, they should be able to send a ship to investigate for a bit, at least. We can expect them to come running.”
“So if we leave now...”
“It won't do any good. To get SGC to cooperate, we need
to show them the Guardian.
And since there is no telling exactly how far this thing can pick us up from, we'd likely have to deal with the Asgard anyway. Only if we run and hide now, they'd get suspicious. No, better wait them to show up.”
At some distance above the planet Earth, well beyond the orbit of any satellite, space warped and distorted. Moments after the hyperspace window formed, a mile long spaceship emerged from it, glimmering at the light reflected from the planet. Within seconds, it came to a graceful stop.
On the bridge of his new flagship, the Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet was relieved to see that the planet below was unharmed. When the cloaked satellite they'd left behind to monitor the star system had transmitted readings indicating the arrival of a vessel at least the size of a Ha'tak, the High Council had sent him immediately, more than a little annoyed at the perceived Goa'uld audacity and fearing the worst. However, there was nothing on the planet to indicate an attack from space.
The intruder, however, was still here, and was almost instantly picked up by the O'Neill'
s sensors. A single look on the sensor readings was enough for the child – sized grey alien to realize it was no Goa'uld, despite the fact the shape of the vessel matched noting in the Asgard database. From what he could determine, the vessel's shields had sufficient power to withstand the fire of the older class Asgard motherships, and could probably be boosted even further if power was channeled from the Alteran zero – point energy power source he could detect on board. The Vessel's weapon systems were powered down, just like most of the other systems. From what Thor could determine, it just sat there. He switched to visual, and his suspicion of the vessel's origin was instantly confirmed by the writings on the hull
The being behind the Norse Thunder God opened a communication channel. “I am Thor, Supreme Commander of the Asgard fleet, aboard the cruiser O'Neill
. The high council of the Asgard has designated Earth a safe world for developing sentient species. Please state your identity and intentions.” Thor said in Alteran, hoping that this starship indeed belonged to their own allies, and this caution was unnecessary.
Suddenly, a hologram appeared directly in front of him, with an image of a human at an age most human societies considered early adulthood. “This is Alexander Harris, Commander of the starship Guardian
.” the human answered in Alteran. “This planet is my home, and I have every intention to protect it. The knowledge and technologies I used to build this craft were made available to me thanks to a phenomenon which is, to the best of my knowledge, unique to this world, and involves the ability to manipulate exotic energies in order to achieve changes in reality unexplainable by any physical laws.”
“The Asgard have encountered that phenomenon before.” Thor said in understanding. The Nox had a very long and quite confusing (For an Asgard, at least.) explanation for it. From their tales, it seemed that the horrors unleashed by the use of those energies were the main reason for the species' absolute pacifism. The Members of the Great Alliance had all believed it was after encountering a species capable of utilizing the phenomenon that the Goa'uld had gotten the idea for their 'divine' act. “It is extremely rare, encountered on only a few inhabitable planets in the known universe. It seems to be confined to those planets, and nowhere else. Because of my people's incapability of manipulating those energies, our knowledge of the phenomenon is limited, and comes only from species who do have the ability. They have warned us that using that ability held extreme danger if not done with adequate knowledge. I was not aware it could be used for acquisition of technology.”
The expression on the young man's face darkened for a few moments. 'Neither was I, until it happened. Well, at least the explanations will not be as difficult as I thought. Still, I believe it's preferable that we speak in person.”
Thor gave the Asgard equivalent of a frown as he materialized at the bridge of the Guardian
, and realized there were two
people in front to him. The sensors of his own ship had picked up only one life sign there.
“The story begins with a Lantean weapons experiment in the Pegasus galaxy, where they were at war with the Wraith, an enemy who was vastly inferior, however, came at them in overwhelming numbers at every turn. Since brute force did not appear to be working, some of their scientists created a weapon that could destroy their enemies from within, in a form of nanites that could assimilate organic matter and replicate. And they did. However, something happened that the Lanteans did not expect. As the nanites grew in numbers, they began grouping together, forming more complex form, until the end result was a form identical to the Lanteans themselves. But even in that form, the core programming remained. And it included aggression code, as could be expected for a weapon. However, the separate nanite groupings had formed their own personalities, and having mimicked the Lanteans in just about everything else, they wished for the right to choose, and begged their creators to remove the code that was fueling them with rage they could not understand. But the Lanteans were desperate, so they refused. When it became clear that the nanites would never be the weapon their creators wanted, the laboratory they were created was destroyed. But a few nanites survived, and began replicating. Thus, the Asurans came to be. For the ten thousand years since that time, they have rebuilt, successfully duplicating every bit of technology the Lanteans had up to the point of the Asurans' creation. However, since they are machines, the Wraith managed to influence their programming enough to force them to confine themselves to a single planet.”
The Commander of the Guardian
rose from the Control Chair and began pacing
“A few years ago, I began having dreams of a Lantean city – ship. In the dream, it was sometimes empty, and sometimes crewed. By humans. Or so I thought.” the young man smiled slightly. “My friends used to make jokes at my expense when I told them about it. IT all changed less than two years ago, when a certain individual decided to make use of a custom that has a great deal of children and teenagers wear costumes of fictional creatures for a night to play a prank.” the past word was spat in disgust. “A practical joke involving the transformation of those wearing costumes into
the costumes for a period of time. For the most part, there were no lasting consequences.“ Thor was horrified to see the 'human's' hand shift into metallic color for a few seconds. “The identity of the Asuran I was dressed as faded. But I never transformed back.”
Silence ensued in the bridge of the Guardian
as the Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet processed the information he was just given.
“You were the one who helped when the Replicators took control of the Bilskirnir.” Thor stated at last, receiving a nod in confirmation.
“I never had a choice in the matter. The things linked with me through subspace and attempted to take me over. They failed, and I seized control of them instead.”
'I see.” Thor said. This was one mystery solved, as the Ancients were one of the civilizations who did have the knowledge to build transports like the ones the Asgard used. However, the tale he was just told left one matter that just had to be mentioned... “If you possess the majority of the technological expertise of the Ancients, you would have had little trouble building the apparatus to transfer your consciousness into an organic body.”
“I have. It's in my base of operations on the planet. I also have a record of my original DNA code, so I could grow an identical copy of my original body. H hesitated to give up the knowledge as I felt there was one very important question to be answered first: How did a human dream of a failed weapon experiment of the Lanteans?”
“Have you found the answer?”
“No,” the machine in human form answered. “Although considering that of those still amongst us, the only ones who did know of the existence of the Asurans before this happened were the Wraith and the Asurans themselves, the only thing that makes sense is an intervention of a Higher power. Most likely one of the Ascended, who wished the mess his people left behind cleaned up. Why would they choose me, I don't know. Had I been left to my own devices, the things would have been far messier than they are now.”
“What do you mean, Xander? The woman present at the meeting asked, speaking for the first time since Thor's appearance on-board. “You're doing fine.”
“With help from Giles, you and Diana.” Guardian's
Commander pointed out. “At first, I was all enthusiasm, little thought and even less planning. I would have probably released something big from the very beginning without considering the consequences, more than likely disrupting the balance of power and throwing th world into chaos. Considering what else was unleashed that night...”
The woman winced. “Probably nobody would have realized there was a problem before it was too late.”
“Supreme Commander Thor.” the man' said, returning his attention to the short grey alien. “Before any further explanations are made, I'd like to inform you that this vessel is equipped with an emitter capable of firing an energy pulse that can permanently disrupt the links between the individual cells of the constructs you call Replicators. I am willing to provide a number of units that can be installed on your ships, with the capacity striking other ships or, with appropriate power supplied, a planet – scale strike. The units will be tamper – proofed and linked to each other, so if even one is manipulated in any way, all of them would cease to function. In exchange, I would like your people's help in analyzing, and hopefully finding a counter, to some technologies that were brought into existence by the same incident that turned me into what I am today, as their nature practically invites abuse.” That
got Thor's undivided attention.
Had his return to Ida not been already nearly twelve Earth hours overdue, Thor would have considered slowing down the hyperdrive in order to have more time to analyze the discoveries made in the journey that had begun as nothing more than an inspection of a protected world.
The Supreme Commander of the Asgard Fleet didn't doubt the High Council would be more than a little alarmed at the news that an Earth human had gained a considerable portion of the knowledge of the Ancients, despite the fact the said human was providing his people with the means to put an end to the relentless tide of death that were the Replicators, or that the human had asked for someone to advise him. It was likely that the Council would send Hermiod or Kvasir to keep an eye on the human... and help him unravel the mysteries of the mind control technology that had been accidentally brought into existence. There was little doubt the other Asgard would be about as pleased by such technology as the Nox were when he'd contacted them to verify the plausibility of the boy's story, even though it would have made little sense for the boy to lie (If the boy wished ill to the Asgard people, he would have not provided them with any sort of help)
One thing was certain; Like the Tau'ri would say, there was a new player in the galaxy the Ancients called Avalon, one that could completely overturn the status quo. Thor hoped that the aid that was asked from his people would help make sure that the change was for the better. A/n: Jeez. The part where the universes actually first meet is proving harder than I thought. About this chapter – I don't see how an old race such as the Asgard would not know about true magic in a universe where it does exist, even if their strictly scientific minds would have difficulty comprehending it. Xander gives the Replicator disruptor technology because, well, why not? He should be able to create a tamper -proofing that would resist quite a few attempts to figure out even from the Asgard, and he would have little trouble making himself immune to the disruptor frequency he'd be giving them. And such an act would gain him a great deal of good will with the 'Roswell Greys', something that could never hurt.