FIC: SG-Campaigns (6/?)
“Daniel,” Wesley strode into his fellow anthropologist’s office. “I’ve been reading over some of the notes Colonel O’Neill brought back from his initial trip to Abydos. They refer to an alliance of the powers and a neutral meeting place.”
“Yes,” Daniel looked up from behind his desk, eyes narrowed and face intense. “I remember the references.”
Wesley nodded as he perched on the seat opposite the American. “Yes and in the initial reports it was dismissed as locations somewhere on Abydos. But that was before we discovered the true extent of the Stargate system. What if the references are to other planets?”
“Huh,” Daniel stared intently at him. “That’s a possibility I hadn’t considered. What do you propose?”
“Thanks to Teal’c, we have a full dictionary of Goa’uld,” Wesley replied. “We also have a list of planets on the Stargate cartography. Now, far from all of the planets are named, but we could at least look and see if any of them are called ‘meeting’, ’alliance’ or some variation there of.”
“These powers could be the Asgard or another power capable of standing up to the Goa’uld,” Daniel mused, excitement dancing in his eyes. “Let’s get started.”
* * *
Hammond finished Daniel and Wes’ report before looking up at the pair and Colonel O’Neill. “And you believe this planet might be the home planet of one of the major powers? The Asgard perhaps?”
“Even if none of the races actually live on this planet we might discover some clues,” Jackson pointed out.
“The MALP has given us a clean report, sir,” O’Neill put in. “The other side of the gate opens up into a deserted courtyard.”
Hammond grimaced. One of the main objectives as set out by the Oversight Committee was the discovery and recruitment of allies capable of both protecting them and supplying advanced technology so they could protect themselves. And this seemed like it could be the first real opportunity to do so and justify some of the considerable amount of money being pumped into the operation. Finally he nodded, letting out a slight sigh as he did so. “SG-1, you have a go.”
* * *
“Whoa,” Faith blinked as they came out of the wormhole to find themselves in the shadowy grounds of what appeared to be a castle perched dangerously on a hilltop just above a thunderous sea and beneath a bleak sky. “I vant to drink your blood!” Faith sighed and shook her head when her team-mates looked at her. “Oh come on, I can’t be the only one whose getting a serious Count Dracula vibe from this place?”
“It looks rather Edgar Allen Poeish to me,” Wesley’s mutter was barely audible above the crash of the sea’s waves.
“Sir,” everyone glanced towards Sam’s taut face. “It appears the Dial Home Device is broken.”
“Broken!” Jack was at the Captain’s side by the cracked machinery in an instant. “How broken is broken?”
The scientist shot her commanding officer a frustrated look. “Broken enough not to work, the power source has been completely frazzled.”
“Can you fix it?” Jack demanded.
“Maybe,” Sam crouched by the device in question. “I’d need Teal’c’s help to rig up an alternative power source.”
Jack grimaced. “Okay, Teal’c, you’re with Sam. Faith, take point.”
* * *
Faith crept into the crumbling building, her heart thundering with every step, the light on her submachine gun leading the way. Her lips dried as she allowed the passageways to lead their patrol ever further down. “This really is most fascinating,” she heard Wes’ whispered murmur, “this castle’s architecture is very reminiscent of 11th century Europe.”
“Given that the Goa’uld stole people from Earth, I imagine we’ll run into a lot of similarities during our travels,” Daniel replied.
“It’s an interesting argument for nature over nuture,” Wesley commented.
“Oh dear god,” Faith muttered. “Watchers, boring across the stars.”
At her shoulder Jack let out a dry chuckle as they entered and descended a winding stone staircase. Their feet echoed as they slapped against the stone steps as they made their way down into a vast, four-walled, high-ceilinged chamber. “Whoa,” Jack crouched by a tall plinth with a crystal on top in the chamber’s centre, “what is this place?” Faith started when the Colonel ran his hand over the top of the crystal, somehow turning it on, illuminating the walls and revealing four distinct patterns of alien writing etched upon them.
“This is the place,” Daniel was practically jumping up and down on the spot, “it has to be. Each of the languages is distinct, possibly like a galactic United Nations.”
“Okay,” Jack nodded. “Record everything you see on the video cameras, every word.”
“Good lord,” Wesley stepped towards one of the walls. “This has to be the Asgardian language, look at its resemblance to Nordic runes.”
“And this one looks to be some sort of early Latin,” Daniel commented. “The other two languages I can’t recognise.”
“Maybe if we can translate the Norse, it’ll tell us what the others are,” Wesley suggested. “Maybe they’re formal greetings.”
“What does this -, whoa!” Jack pressed on the plinth’s crystal then stepped back, eyes widening as a beam of light shot up and holographic spherical, multi-coloured images filled the ceiling. “I know these.” Jack looked towards the two geeks. “Periodic table, right?”
“Exactly,” Wesley nodded.
“Except,” Jack shook his head, the Colonel’s eyes narrowed. “There’s over one hundred and twenty-five elements up there, there’s only hundred and eleven elements on the periodic table.”
“You have to expect them to know more of the basic elements that make up the universe, the basic building blocks of -,” Daniel’s jaw dropped open. “Of course! How do you ensure universal communication? You reduce the method of communication to the most basic elements common to everyone and everything that exists in the universe. Jack, this is a true universal language.”
Faith let out a yawn. God, these geeks made interstellar travel dull. “Sir,” she glanced towards Jack, “perhaps it would be best if I secured the rest of the castle.”
Jack grinned wryly, clearly the war veteran was under no illusion as to her true motivation. “Sure, but keep in radio contact.”
* * *
“Huh,” Carter shook her head as she finished her inspection of the broken DHD. Finally she looked up at the muscle-man looming over her. “I think the problem is with the power source.”
“I believe you are correct,” intoned the alien.
Carter shook her head. “It will take years to figure out how to put these crystals back properly. I think we might be able to figure out some way to rig the power source directly to the 'gate and then dial in manually.” Carter’s voice trailed off as she realised Teal’c was looking up into the sky. “What’s wrong?”
“A tel’tak is coming in to land at the far side of the castle.”
Sam’s breath caught. “You mean…”
“A Goa’uld is here.”
* * *
“We have landed Sindar.”
Sindar nodded at the pilot’s report before looking towards the half a dozen warriors that formed his personal guard having been sent here by their god, Cronus, to claim this planet for him. “We will inspect the structure to the east of our position, see if there is anything that our lord can make use of.”
“For the glory of Lord Cronus!” his guards intoned as the tel’tak’s door hissed open.
* * *
“Have you been able to get through?”
Teal’c shook his head. “The storm’s static is interfering with the communicator’s reception.”
Sam pursed her lips, shivering slightly as the rain continued to pour down, wind and thunder roaring overhead. “Okay, well the best way we can help them is by getting the gate up and running. Shoot your staff weapon into the energy source.”
“Will that not damage it?” Teal’c queried as he readied his staff.
“No, the element the gate is made up of is a superconductor, it’ll absorb energy in any form, it’s just a question of having enough energy.”
Teal’c nodded. “As you wish.” Energy blossomed from the alien’s staff and into the power source.
Sam’s hopes rose as the power source briefly brightened then plummeted as the power source dulled again. “Damn.” Sam grimaced as she looked up at the stormy sky. “Maybe if we rig up something to attract a lightning strike?”
* * *
Faith whistled as she strode through the shadowy castle, bored out of her tiny mind. When she’d been recruited into the SGC, she’d never figured it would so dull. “Star Wars was never like this,” she groused. Hell, there weren’t even any Ewoks.
Faith stopped, brow furrowing as a chilly finger ran up and down her back. Her heart suddenly racing, she eased the trigger off her submachine gun and turned its torch off before continuing through the passageway, straining with her Slayer-enhanced senses to detect what had disturbed her.
She crouched at a corner as she heard the sound of approaching feet. After a lick of her suddenly dry lips, she stuck her head around the corner to see seven Jaffa led by a shaven-headed white guy with the same type of forehead sigil as Teal’c, denoting he was somebody’s First Prime. “Wicked.”
“Faith,” Faith looked down with chagrin as her radio crackled into life, “where are you?”
“Oh wicked,” Faith grimaced as the Jaffa started towards him, her hand shooting down to quickly turn the radio off, “if his timing is like this with every woman, it’s no fucking wonder he’s divorced! SHIT!” Faith squealed as a staff blast blew a furrow through the corner just above her head, showering her with brick. Instantly she returned fire, her lungs filling with cordite and ears pounding as the FN90 bucked in her hands. She spewed through an entire magazine in seconds, killing two of the seven men and putting down a third, but then she was retreating, forced back by the enemy fire peppering the air around her. “SHIT! SHIT!” she squealed as she fell on her ass and dragged her backwards and around another corner before clambering onto one knee.
Turning on her radio, she shouted down it. “Taking fire from a number of Jaffa!” Faith pulled in her head as a staff blast hit the corner above her head, once again spraying her with rubble. “Fuck! Fuck!” She caught another Jaffa square in the chest with a blast, sparks flying from his breastplate as the warrior fell on his ass, his companions reaching around to drag him back.
If they found a way around her, a passageway she’d missed, and out-flanked her, she was screwed. Faith jammed a new magazine and then started retreating back to where she’d left the others.
She was a few hundred feet from the chamber when O’Neill raced around the corner, only a quick sidestep by Faith preventing the pair of them from crashing into one another. “We heard shooting!”
“Yeah,” Faith drawled, “that’d be me duelling with half a dozen plus Jaffa.”
“Damn,” Jack turned back the way he’d come. “How many?”
Despite her far shorter stride pattern, Faith easily kept up with the middle-aged warrior. “There was seven, but now there’s either just four or five.”
“Okay,” Jack shot her an approving look before looking up as they entered the chamber. “Daniel, Wes, we’re going to have to hustle, the Goa’uld are on their way. We’re going to have to blow this place up.”
“Blow this place up!” Daniel looked horror-struck. “The potential knowledge-.”
Jack shot the anthropologist an exasperated look. “Do you want the Goa’uld getting hold of this?”
Daniel let out a defeated grunt. “I’ll help you lay the explosives.”
“Here,” Jack threw the C4 to the anthropologist. “Faith and I’ll check where the Goa’uld are. Radio me when you’ve set the explosives, then head to the gate.”
“I can hustle back faster on my own,” Faith objected.
“Maybe so,” Jack pushed her out of the room, “but you’re part of my team, and that means you’re never left to hang on your own.”
Faith concealed the warm glow she felt at being part of something behind a snappy salute. “Yes sir.”
* * *
“This is where I broke off,” the Slayer paused, an impish grin dancing on her rosebud lips. “Which is code for run like hell.”
“Huh.” Jack squinted as he noted the scorch marks in the chipped wall and spent shells adorning the floor. “Seems like the Jaffa retreated.”
“Teal’c said Jaffa don’t retreat.”
“Yeah.” Jack glanced down at the teen by his side. “Maybe that’s just Teal’c though.”
“Yeah,” amusement glimmered in the teen’s dark orbs, “he is kinda unstoppable.” The Slayer’s eyes narrowed. “But if the Jaffa really do believe the Goa’uld are their gods, they ain’t gonna risk their wrath by failin’ in their mission.
Once again the Slayer proved whatever her lack of education, she certainly wasn’t dumb. “So either they retreated for reinforcements or….”
“They went to find another way around into the castle,” Jack finished for the Slayer.
“Shit,” Faith’s eyes widened. “Carter and Teal’c! The gate!”
“It’ll take them some time to regroup and find their way around the castle,” Jack soothed. “Nevertheless we should hurry back to the others.”
* * *
“Are you Ben Franklining it?” Jack queried as he led Faith and a still grumbling Wes and Daniel to find what looked to be a steel aerial attached to the DHD.
“Ben Franklin-,” Sam nodded, her confusion clearing. “Oh yes sir, you see the gate is like a super-cond-.”
“I don’t need the science, Captain,” Jack replied. “All I need to know is how long?”
“I can’t control how quickly lightning strikes, sir.”
“O’Neill, there are Jaffa here,” Teal’c interrupted.
“I know,” Jack glanced at the Slayer, “Faith ran into them. Best guess is they’re making the way around the castle to come at us from-.” Jack dropped to his knees behind a stone wall as a staff blasted through the air above his head. “This side!”
“Shit!” Faith squealed as she forward rolled to his side then peered around the corner. “Shit! They must have got reinforcements from their ship, there’s eight of them now!”
“Yeah,” Jack grimaced, two of them in the centre were blasting them, forcing them to cover, while the others were breaking into trios and attempting an out-flanking motion, using the castle’s shadows to the left and the crumbling masonry to the right. Real good tactics, as long as you weren’t on the receiving end.
“Sir!” He glanced over his shoulder in time to see lightning strike Sam’s makeshift aerial and the gate splutter into life, Daniel taking his life into his own hands to dive across the open space and hurriedly stab in Earth’s address.
“Everyone through the gate, I’ll cover you!” Jack shook his head at Faith’s opening mouth. “No Slayer, no arguing. Just hustle!”
* * *
“The Chinese have sent a list of candidates to command their two SG teams,” Pearce continued. “And the latest recruits to our biological division, have arrived – USAMRIID virologist Colonel Sam Daniels, FBI Special Agent Stanley Goodspeed, and Colonel Robert Neville.”
“It seems things are coming together,” Hammond nodded. He didn’t much like the idea of biological warfare, but if they could find some way of killing the Goa’uld, he’d take it. “What about our recruitments for our anthropology positions?”
“Lady Croft and Sydney Fox have both agreed to join us, as have a Flynn Carsen,” replied Pearce. “However Dr. Temperance Brennan and Dr Gillian Magwilde both turned us down.” Pearce glanced at his notes before continuing. “The request to expand the medical department to go with the expansion of teams has been partially approved.”
Hammond raised an eyebrow. “Partially?”
“We’ve gone up from ten active teams to fifteen, but medical funding has only gone up 25%.”
“Huh,” Hammond grunted. It was his experience that politicians regardless of affiliation put far too cheap a price on any life that wasn’t their own.
“I also have the report from SG-1’s most recent mission,” Pearce continued. Hammond raised an eyebrow, wordlessly prompting the Englishman to continue.
“According to the translation that Wesley and Daniel made of the Asgardian, it appears it was the meeting place for these four powers. The Asgard, the Nox, the Ancients, and the Furlings.”
Hammond let out a non-committal grunt. The Nox had proved unreceptive to their approach and the Asgardians only slightly less so, but the Ancients and Furlings were new possibilities. “And are there any clues as to who these two peoples are or where they came from?”
Pearce shook his head. “Not as yet. Teal’c has said that if the Goa’uld knew of these races, they kept the knowledge to themselves.”