The assembly point for the Colonial fleet had been chosen carefully by the Colonial command; their limited knowledge of the Earth ships' abilities had forced them to use a base of operations a good few hundred light years from the Earth's Solar system. With the Colonies so far from their target the fleet had been forced to create a long and complicated supply chain.
At the very end of the chain was a prefabricated base built piece by piece by the Colonial Army Corps of Engineers. Supplies, fuel, weapons, spares even fighters and Raptors had been offloaded and brought to the station, or its supply docks by the fleet trains that accompanied the fleet from each of the large supply points throughout that region of space.
Fighter and Raptor patrols flit around the deep space station watching the orbit of the small Colonial class planet that the station had been secured around, in amongst the spindly stations and the huge supply docks in orbit the base's defence ships sailed their own DRADIS scans flooding local space with electromagnetic radiation. Destroyers and cruisers drifted throughout the system powered down, their scans at minimum power watching the edges of the system.
Within the outer orbit of the planet close to the edge of the gravity well the capital ships of the defence force floated stationary in space, a small number of Battlestars and cruisers sat in formation. While much smaller than the fleet that had been dispatched only a few days ago the defence force was more than enough to fight any force the thirteenth colony would have been able to send their way after the main force mauled them.
At the command station's main dock the defence force flagship sat under refit, like the rest of the ships that remained they had been pushed harder than most in order to scout the area before the main body of the fleet had turned up. The Guardian Class Battlestar Valkyrie was docked to the command station, umbilicals and airlocks linked across its hull and throughout its flight bays.
The tranquillity of the station and its surrounding defences was stripped away as alert beacons and sirens on every Colonial facility and ship began to blare. Already the alert Vipers on the warships and command station began to deploy as more and more signals dropped into the system. DRADIS systems were already locking down the signals, guns and nuclear ordinance all trained on the unidentified signals.
Aboard the station the crew had sprung to their battle stations within seconds of the signals tripping the sentry alarms, the massive DRADIS screens were manned and ready whilst the gun batteries were answering the all crew calls. The station's Commander strode out from her office into the main Combat Control room amongst a wave of organized chaos.
The room was a massive affair much larger than any warship's Combat Center it rivalled the stations in orbit around the inner colonies of the Cyrannus sector. Readouts of each of the major stations and the defence posts strewn throughout the star system they had claimed for the liberation of the Planet Earth.
"Status Report," Commander Diane Anders ordered. She was pleased to see her crew already at their stations and transmitting standard orders throughout her base. The Station's executive officer strode up to the commander handing her a report. "Any positive identification Colonel?"
"Not yet Sir. The signals are still several light seconds out from radio range, standard hails are being transmitted as we speak."
"The Valkyrie is still undergoing refit, however Commander Adama has returned to his ship to help coordinate from there."
"Get him on the line."
"Comms channel to Valkyrie immediately."
"Valkyrie already on the line, Sir."
"Patch me through," Anders ordered, she heard the slight click as the channel was opened between her command table and the CIC aboard the flagship Battlestar. "Commander Adama, are you receiving?"
"Affirmative Command, loud and clear."
"Status of your ship Commander."
"The old girl's engines are down so is the FTL drive and the majority of the missile systems. We've got flak and defence guns only as of this time. Chief Booth has a thirty minute estimate on main systems online."
"We may need you out there Husker, get your ship as ready as you can and retake command." Anders' was interrupted by the exec signalling her. "Hang on Bill, something's up. Colonel?"
"We're getting a response from the incoming signals, Colonial IFFs."
"Already? They should still be in the Earth solar system."
"Affirmative sir, however as signals are delayed and overlapping we haven't been able to get a full count of the entire fleet. Sir we've only picked up forty three separate signals."
"The only way they could have returned this quickly was if they were sent back the same day they went in to liberate the Earth humans from their false religions. That world would not have capitulated so easily even with their small feeble ships that we have encountered."
"Count has risen to sixty three Sir. Signals are separating." The Man's hand went to his headset and nodded. "Do so, Commander the incoming ships are requesting clearance for intersystem jump to high orbit."
"Granted, send them the signal. Husker you get all that?"
"Roger Commander, the other ships have been ordered in. We're clearing the area now."
The powerful engines of the Colonial capital ships sent them well away from the orbital planes, only seconds later the first of the returning fleet appeared in the characteristic flash of their faster than light drives. The wave of escorts took their defensive positions ahead of the main group, the destroyers and frigates looked pristine and undamaged as functional as the day they left.
Then the bottom fell out.
Another group of flashes heralded the arrival of the next wave of the returning ships appeared behind the escort formation, shock rippled through the watching warships and the command stations. The Battlestars and cruisers that arrived looked in a complete mess as burns and rips decorated the sides of their hulls. Shrapnel looked imbedded or fused to the bays of many of the ships while others were missing entire sections of those same pods. Half a dozen of the Battlestars were missing one or both of their flight bays. Charred metal hanging from the remaining struts of most of the ships gave testament to the pure carnage that the fleet must have been through for such damage to be evident. Yet more ships were missing engine pods or sections of their hulls, it was amazing to the crews of the assembly point that some of the ships were even still spaceworthy let alone capable of FTL travel.
In smaller and smaller groups the rest of the returning force jumped into the inner system from the perimeter, cruisers and escorts made up the majority of the surviving ships, their hulls cracked and burnt leaking fluids and oxygen from damaged sections that had been stressed far beyond their ability to survive during the repeated FTL jumps. More Battlestars brought up the rear as the last of the sixty ships that had jumped into the system finally appeared.
The survivors were in a sorry state. Less than twenty warships were undamaged or in fully battle ready conditions. The rest of the Colonial vessels were too badly damaged or depleted to be of much use to the survivors. Paradoxically, the Battlestars were the most badly damaged as opposed to the smaller less well armoured escorts.
Few of the surviving Battlestars were capable of moving under their own power many only just capable of FTL drive use, unable to propel themselves several of the warships simply sat in space drifting away from the main fleet. A number of cables began to wheel out from the rears of the larger ships in order to tow the smaller warships or in numbers the Battlestars towards the fleet station itself.
"My gods," a voice said from the rear of the command deck. "What the frak happened?"
"I don't know," the commander growled. "But I'm sure as Hades going to find out. Valkyrie this is Command."
"We're still here, Sphinx."
"Are you getting these readings?"
"We're getting a direct DRADIS and Visual from the station's cameras. It looks like only a few of the Capital ships are even close to battle capable. We're reading an altered IFF of from the Battlestar Pegasus. She must be designated as their command ship for some reason."
"How far are you from launch?"
"Still a good twenty minutes."
"Alright, get your ship as ready as you can Commander and fast. We're gonna need every hand possible out there. We'll send out as many raptors and shuttles as we can to bring the damaged ships in." She turned to the stations communications center and ordered the entire station's auxiliary craft to deploy to assist the damaged ships. "Recall all ships in system we'll need them, Adama once your ship is functional take up position with the Pegasus."
"Roger that, we'll let you know when we're a go."
"Good Luck Husker, Command out."
From the lower decks of the station as well as from the secondary stations and the functional warships secondary craft ranging from Raptors to shuttles to tugs and hospital launches began streaming out towards the crippled Colonial fleet. Those few ships with active flight decks accepted the smaller shuttles and raptors allowing the medical and damage control crews to spread out throughout the larger ships. Those ships without active bays allowed the larger medical launches and tugs to hard dock on the numerous airlocks that dotted across the ship, wounded were moved away from the makeshift hospital wards in the central sections of the vessels and out to the incoming shuttles.
The bodies of the dead had been piled up head high in some deck spaces, the rooms sealed against the inevitable smells of the dead and burnt flesh that would emanate from those bodies. When there was time the bodies would be removed by the crew and given their rightful burial that every space hand deserved. As it was the understaffed warships were desperately getting their injured and dying off the decks and to the myriad stations in the system.
More flashes of light appeared at the edge of the fleet as the recalled warships began to reappear around the newly arrived casualties, lending their assistance to their beleaguered comrades yet more shuttles and raptors steamed out from the defence force. The intact ships of the fleet were forced to separate from the crippled vessels their presence hampering the relief efforts.
The remaining flight decks of each of the capital ships were scenes of unabridged chaos as the auxiliary craft began their landings. Most had barely stopped before they were inundated with the injured and the dying. As teams of engineers and medics streamed out they were quickly replaced by those that needed care the warships couldn't provide. It was literally only minutes before the first wave of raptors launched again their hulls stuffed with the walking wounded.
Tugs and smaller warships latched onto the larger ships their cables and forced docking allowing them to steady the listing Battlestars or crippled escorts, aboard the Battlestar Pegasus the fleet's erstwhile Commander stared at the remnants of the most powerful fleet every constructed by the Colonials.
"Three hours, that's all it took."
"Yes Major, what is it?"
Major Fisk walked up to the DRADIS table a series of communiqués in his hand. "The Valkyrie has broken dock and is headed for us, Commander Adama wishes to board the Pegasus for a situation report."
"Tell him granted, then contact the Command station and tell them once we've repaired enough ships that we need to evacuate the system and return to the Colonies."
"Yes Sir, we've also had requests from several of the other ships to take on salvaged vipers if possible. At least two ships need the space and others are worried their flight bays will give out."
"How many did we pick up on the way out?"
"Two hundred twenty three, we can take on more but it'll be cramped."
"Authorize the transfer then have the rest head for the defence fleet ships or the station."
Fisk nodded and walked away from the DRADIS table and began issuing orders. Colonel Tolan returned to his place at the DRADIS table watching the scans as they picked up the other ships in the fleet. One large signal had entered the close airspace of the Pegasus herself, the signal identifying her as a Guardian Class Battlestar.
"We're going to evac Jeff," Cain whispered rubbing her red rimmed eyes weary after so little sleep since the battle. "We can't go up against that kind of firepower again."
"What happened Sir? They shouldn't have been able to hold us like they did, let alone massacre the fleet, or our fighters."
'We were arrogant Jeff. We thought we were big and powerful enough to take on one planet with minimal naval power. We were wrong and we took the casualties for our hubris. The Gods know what will happen next or what the Tau'ri will do to us if they find the station before we can leave."
"We don't have enough ships to evacuate even if we can salvage all the other ships in the fleet, not without cramming them all into the flight decks or the storerooms. We'd need to eject the Vipers and munitions to do so."
"If we have to do that, we'll do it. I will not leave anyone behind to the predilections of those psychotic Tau'ri monsters. When his raptor boards, have Commander Adama brought to my stateroom as soon as possible."
"Have the ship go to condition two and stay there until I say otherwise. I want us battle ready in case any of those warships manage to follow us. I'll be in my quarters."
With that Cain retired to her quarters, minutes later she walked into her stateroom and collapsed on the large chair she kept in her quarters. As much as she disliked chairs in her briefing rooms and command centers here she was willing to let her rules slip slightly and furnish her quarters as she saw fit. Ancient weapons and military mementos were her choice of décor. Paintings of old victories and stylized battles of the Cylon war were centerpieces as were the old Caprican black powder weapons handed down through her family.
A decanter of old and potent Canceron whisky stood on the table in front of her. She had been liquor free for a good few months ever since Garris 'Juggernaut' Cain her father had died of liver failure a few years before hand. She had been commissioned to the admiralty. Emptying a few drops into the tumbler Cain sat back and merely looked at the liquid, the bottle had been a gift from Garris on her promotion to Commander years ago. But like so much of her life the gift was almost as absent from her thoughts as her father.
Deciding against imbibing the liquid she slid the glass back onto the table and leant back again rubbing her eyes against the bone weary fatigue left after the day long adrenaline rush had finally abated. She jolted from her fugue state as a knock came from the airtight hatch to her quarters. Rubbing her eyes again she stood up and adjusted her clothing.
"Enter," she called
The door opened and Tolan walked into the room followed closely by Commander William Adama and his own executive officer Colonel Saul Tigh. She had never met either officer outside of routine communications between their respective Battlestars but knew both from their exploits at the end of the war. Adama as the CAG of her Father's original Pegasus and Tigh from his miraculous survival from two ships boarded by the Cylons.
"Admiral," Adama said
"Commander, Colonel, Mr. Tolan. Please secure the door."
As Tolan locked the door she invited the others to settle themselves wherever there was room. Two chairs sat by her desk allowing the visitors to sit however Tolan stayed at parade ease next to the hatch.
"Admiral, I've been ordered by the Command Station's Commanding officer to request a full report from the acting senior officer of this flotilla. Your IFF has been reprogrammed to acknowledge the Pegasus as fleet flagship. As such I have been authorized to request a full report from both yourself, your exec and the ship's logs."
"I'm aware of the regulations Commander, we've not had much of a chance to put down any serious reports or logs since the battle to retake Earth. The ship's records of the battle as well as those of the other ships will be bad available as soon as possible, but it will take some time to get the reports together."
Adama nodded then sat back in his chair, the Admiral was tired but he had to know what had happened. He looked to Tigh who merely stood up and walked over to Tolan. Keeping his voice low he managed to get Tolan out of the room leaving just the two ship's Commanders to talk.
"What happened Admiral? You left with two hundred ships, there's nothing this side of a Cylon Armada that could have done this much damage to your ships, what happened to the rest of the fleet?"
"Bill, we royally frakked up that's what happened." Cain whispered, bringing her head up from her hands she looked Adama straight in the eyes. "We thought we were better, stronger and on a mission ordained by the Gods. Maybe we were but it seems that their mission was the greater of either of ours. They had six ships and maybe seventy odd fighters that I could see against our entire fleet."
"It should have been a massacre."
"It was, just not for them. They detonated something off the bow of the Olympus, and it shattered more than thirty ships before we even fired a shot. Their missiles were insane! Even one hit would kill a Battlestar taking anything around it. Even when they exhausted their missile stores that damned Prometheus had some kind of energy weapon that blew apart any ship it touched or simply surgically killed command and control centers. We couldn't touch them even with alpha strikes from a dozen cruisers. Bill, we hit their ships with gigatons of nukes and they just took it," she said. "Their fighters just shredded squadron after squadron of vipers from beyond our range. More were obliterated by their missiles detonating amidst the swarms of fighters we launched."
"Is this fleet all that remains of the force we sent?"
"Everything that could get our yes, I know some ships had survivors or were merely crippled but we had to save what we could. Gods know how many we were forced to leave behind dying dead or just needing help."
"Alright what about their fleet, did we do anything to them that could mean they wouldn't try to stand against us again?"
"You don't understand Commander, just one more ship, one more energy weapon or a few more squadrons of fighters and none of us would have gotten out of there alive. We took out maybe one of their ships and possibly another through suicide tactics. We couldn't even get close enough to get into gun range let alone kill them. We need to leave Bill before the Earth people come after us, because if they attack there's no way this station or anyone in this system will survive them."
"What's the chances of them finding us?"
"About as much chance as anyone, they are faster and more maneuverable than our ships and some of their fighters seem to have a form of FTL drive small enough to send them across small distances at the very least. If they have enough of them they could find us in short order, We'd be lucky to overwhelm even one of their ships with what we have left in the fleet."
"Naval Command is going to want physical reports both electronic and hard copy as soon as possible. it looks like its going to take a while to sort out the total casualties we've taken. The Valkyrie and the rest of the battle group will be at the disposal of your flagship if and when necessary. We'll reconvene a meeting on the command station in twenty four hours we'll have a more complete view of what needs to be done by then."
"Understood Commander, we'll be there."
"Until then, look after your people Helena because if I'm right then we've made one hell of a mistake and we're going to need all the help we can get."
Colonial Command Station
"Commander, the defence force has begun operations to each of the damaged ships that made it back. The Pegasus and Hamunaptra are coordinating the relief efforts of both fleets. The medical wards on each station and ship is filled to capacity and resources are being stretched thin. Doctor Howard has sent up his latest reports from sickbay…"
The station rocked as a fireball expanded outwards from the very far edge of the assembled fleet ships. One of the critically damaged Battlestars had finally lost containment on their engines. The engines and reactors had detonated lighting up the ship's fuel supplies both for the main drives and the aerospace fuel causing the rest of the ship to disappear in a fireball.
Smaller shuttles and Raptors were caught in the blast wave sending them careening into space or shredded by shrapnel. Others were blown off course crashing into the already damaged ships surrounding the now lost Battlestar. As the blast cleared there was little left of the two kilometer long warship than the twisted and burnt metal that had once made up parts of the skeletal structure.
"What the hell just happened?" the Commander shouted. "Status report."
"The Champion just went up, some kind of engine breach in her main drives. When they exploded the rest of ship went with her – no chance of survivors, sir."
"How many people were aboard?"
"Most of the crew had been killed . The majority of the wounded were already off but there was still close to five hundred people on board including medical shuttles."
"Frak" was the only answer she could give. "Any damaged ships are to shut down propulsion and primary reactors immediately. Go to secondary power if they have to but I want no more frak ups to kill our people. Launch vipers for a full search of the area SAR protocols. Get me the Pegasus."
"Pegasus online, sir."
"Pegasus this in Command Station, SITREP," she ordered.
"Command this is Pegasus, what in Hades just happened?" The voice of Major Fisk came from the speakers, in the background the echo of a voice calling Cain to the command center could be heard. "We got disruption on the DRADIS then something rocked the ship."
"Pegasus, we just lost the Champion to an engine core breach."
"Frakking hades, just what we need. What are your orders, sir."
"All damaged ships are being ordered to power down their reactors and engine systems and wait for assistance, this includes Pegasus Major."
"Our engines and reactors weren't hit in the fight Sir, we took some damage to the outer armor and minor decompression put we're fully combat capable., Fisk said. "If we shut down it'll take us hours to restart the systems."
"I'm aware of that Major, but we can't risk another explosion like that destroying more ships. Shut down your systems and go to emergency power, I need to talk to Admiral Cain and Commander Adama."
"Both have been paged to the CIC Sir. It'll take a few minutes for them to get here."
"Understood Major." She turned to the communications station. "Transfer this channel to my ready room and secure the line."
Seconds ticked by as the Commander was forced to wait on the muted channel. All she could do was stare out of the massive reinforced Plexiglas windows that made up one side of her Ready room/quarters. The images of the mauled war fleet were horrific, so much damage to so many ships crushed her. What disturbed her thoughts even more was the fact that these crippled and decimated forces were the lucky ones. The ships that had made it back after taking such immense casualties against a foe that shouldn't have been such a threat made the scene even more depressing. Streams of shuttles were still running from ship to ship, depositing what medical staff and supplies could be spared from their sisters as well as the myriad of stations that made up the forward base. They were woefully inadequate for the sheer scale of carnage that she could see.
The now empty supply and cargo bays were rapidly filling with the injured or the dead. Bodies were piled on top of each other to get them off of the ships before they could start to decompose. Once this was over they would somehow send the bodies into space towards the system's star and it would take time but that was something that they did not have in abundance.
"Commander, Admiral Cain is on the line."
"Put her through."
"Commander Anders, what's this I'm hearing about shutting down my ships' major systems?"
"That's correct all damaged ships are being shut down until we can be sure we won't have another explosion, Champion's loss caused massive damage on the periphery we can't risk that anywhere close to the intact ships. We're moving the crippled capital ships apart and the escorts are being shut down completely, we don't have much time if the reports we've been getting are correct Admiral."
" Understood, Pegasus is shutting down main drives and reactors. What about FTL systems?"
"Keep them online and tie them into emergency power, if we need to get out fast I don't want anyone left behind if we can help it. Commander Adama."
"I need the Valkyrie to stay with the Pegasus to render assistance should it become necessary. We're woefully under equipped for this scale or rescue operations this far from home. I'm sending orders to the rest of the supply chain to send us anything they can to help but it'll be a few days before anyone can get to us. Until then we're on our own."
"Sir what about the planet?" Adama asked. "Did the survey teams come back with anything?"
"It's useless to us Commander, some airborne pathogen seems to have wiped out all animal life on the surface. The survey teams didn't return."
"We're stuck with whatever equipment we have for the moment Commander. Once we have enough ships repaired, we'll send the critical cases on those that can take them without compromising our defences."
"And then?" Cain asked.
"Then Admiral, we and destroy this base and everything we have to leave behind , then return to the colonies."
Earth Fleet Flagship
Over Earth the remaining ships of the Earth's defence fleet orbited silently. They had spent most of the last few hours reloading their ammunition supplies and repairing what damage they had taken. The Korolev and Ajax had had to be carefully dropped from orbit with assistance from her sister ships. The damage received by either ship had rendered them incapable of returning to dock on their own.
The few remaining hull sections of the Apollo had been gathered up by the other ships and transported down to the tarmac outside of Area 51, even with the plainly visible battle above the planet the forces of the SGC and their allied nations still had to maintain their cover, if possible. The electronic warfare systems of the Daedalus class ships had been enough to keep most of the world from knowing the positions of the construction bays. However it was evident that they would be sought out by the public to find out the truth about the ships and those that built them.
Losses and damage had reduced the fleet to three fully operational ships and a handful of functional fighter squadrons and each crewman and pilot knew that if another attack was to take place that they would be unlikely to survive. They had lost a massive amount of their available forces to the Colonials. Even with the technological advantage they would be unable to defend Earth and its people.
The Prometheus had stayed in orbit above the impact zone within mainland Europe. Their position has allowed them to send a few thousand emergency personnel to desperate cities as well as retrieve or transfer soldiers, medical workers, injured people and supplies between different areas of the planet. Several of the more intact 302 squadrons had been rearmed and fuelled. They currently patrolled the lunar orbital plane for any signs of hidden ships or incoming signals. Any other operational fighters flitted between the three warships patrolling the orbit and taking pot shots at any unexploded ordinance or out of control Colonial craft that entered the atmosphere.
Far below the orbiting American warships the surface of the planet was in chaos. Much of the Eastern Hemisphere was clouded with dust and fire as the aftermath of the detonations became evident. Billions of tons of earth and rock had been pulverized, then scattered and thrown into the air by the shockwaves and fireballs that were the legacy of the four missiles. All of the impact sites were hidden below the clouds of smoke and dust encompassing the majority of that part of the world. Immense fires were still burning at the periphery of the craters and even the deep winter of Russia had been insufficient to totally extinguish the fire. It was fortunate that the heavy snow and wind had managed to dampen the burning fires down to almost manageable levels.
Jack O'Neill looked up from his position against the windows of the Prometheus. The devastation of the planet was on his shoulders now. He had led the combined defences of Earth against the Colonials and now millions had been murdered by the few missiles that had escaped the cordon he had thrown up around the enemy fleet.
Exhaustion was evident on his face as the true weight of what had happened had been discovered. O'Neill was still commanding the fleet especially in the hours after the cataclysm that had hit them. Already he had been in communication with the SGC allied stations worldwide as well as the ancient platform attempting to tie the defences back into some sort of order.
"What is it Major?" he asked the ship's exec
"The reports from the surface have been confirmed, the fallout is reaching fatal proportions across parts of the Eurasian continent. All vessels in the Southern Atlantic have been diverted away from the African Horn. The radiation from Johannesburg is beginning to drift out to sea."
"What's the status of the other ships in the fleet?"
Hesitating Major Boothroyd removed her hands from her keyboard, steeling herself she spoke to O'Neill already wary of his irritable and angry mood.
"Sir, permission to speak freely?"
"Go on Major."
"Sir, you've been in command since before the attack…"
"Sir, it is my opinion that you are approaching exhaustion…"
"I SAID NO!" O'Neill barked.
The bridge of the warship went silent as the shout interrupted the rest of the crew, Jack stood ramrod straight and stared at the executive officer. A stare that had cowed more than one junior officer bored into the woman's dark eyes, her gaze unflinching from his own.
"Sir, under the military articles if you do not stand down and rest I will be forced to remove you of command as I believe you to be incapable of commanding under current circumstances. Now Stand down, or I shall have you removed from the bridge under marine escort."
"I…" O'Neill's anger was palpable, however whatever tirade he was planning upon was ceased by another voice coming from the rear of the bridge itself. Communications had been established with the Pentagon and they were requesting clearance to send up an observer for the Pentagon staff.
The familiar white light of the Asgard based technology faded out leaving Major Paul Davis in her place. He had been sent to the Prometheus on behalf of the President. His position as liaison between the Pentagon and the SGC had meant he was the most capable to sort out the reports that had been coming from the fleet. O'Neill shot a glare at Boothroyd informing the officer that this was not over yet.
"Major Davis," O'Neill said. "How are things going down there."
"To be honest Sir it's not good. The upheavals of the Colonial Transmission as effected most of the world. The damage caused by the nuclear detonations is still being determined but Sir It's not good. The majority of the upper pacific rim has been swamped or covered in nuclear fallout."
"What about casualties?"
"It'll take years to get an accurate count but the earliest projections are over one hundred million dead, another fifty million within a month."
"There's a number of upsets along the tectonic plates as well as the majority of the volcano chains around the areas that were hit. The entire Vesuvius-Etna chain have begun to smoke and rumble over the last day. We may be looking at a full scale eruption of the majority of European and Asian volcanoes near the craters. It's a hell of a mess Sir, we don't have the resources to save most of the injured or dying. The President has decided that as the cat is out of the bag as it were that a certain amount of disclosure will be necessary to inform the world of what in fact happened. It appears that the first reports are already leaking out, photos of our ships landing in Nevada and off the Scottish coast have been printed in a number of newspapers."
"So we're going to disclose the Stargate?" Boothroyd asked.
"The President is leaving the final decisions for after the countries involved have started to calm down, he wants General O'Neill's input as well as that of Generals Hammond and Landry over how to approach this. We… we didn't foresee that this was how disclosure would happen, although maybe we should have."
"Yeah we should have. We let our guard down and got bit in the ass," O'Neill grumbled
The two were interrupted by a trio of ships dropping from a hyperspace window high above the orbital plane of the planet, the view still awe inspiring even after the number of times jack had been aboard those ships. The three Asgard ships slowed to a full stop several thousand miles from the USAF warships, the huge bulk of the O'Neill class ship dwarfing its twin escorts.
Jack had to suppress a smirk as he recognized the two smaller 'science ships' of the Asgard squadron, named after his friend Daniel Jackson; a scientist name for a science ship O'Neill mused. He still preferred the O'Neill Class. It just screamed 'don't piss me off.'
"Seems we have guests," Davis said watching the three vessels hovering above the human fleet. His shocked look made Jack's day somewhat more bearable that it had been thus far. "Those are big ships."
A flash of light appeared in front of the two men the characteristic sound of the Asgard beam emitted as the passenger dropped into sight, a single Asgard sat in his command throne blinking at the human crew.
"Greetings O'Neill, Major Davis."
"Thor buddy, glad you could drop in."
"Commander Thor," Davis nodded.
"I am sorry we were unable to assist you against the enemy that invaded your space. We were unable to get any of our ships within range in time. I see now that was very much a tragedy." Thor nodded his head slowly. "We will do what we can to save those that need our assistance as well as to clean up what we can of the radiation infecting your world."
"That would be a great help Thor. It's a hell of a state down there."
"It is the least we can do after what Stargate Command has done for the Asgard race over the years. Our ships however may be detected at the ranges that we will have to drop to in order to begin efficient clean up of your world. At that distance we may be visible to visual as well as electrical scans. However with the damage your people have taken however this may be unavoidable to an extent." Thor clinked slowly then looked to the window. "We have also received the transmission that the Colonial forces sent towards Earth. This is why we have approached from range as we believed that your ships may be wary of any incoming forces."
"If anyone else saw more ships coming in from outer space the world would go into a global panic," Davis said. "The results would be catastrophic, with the losses taken since the attack it could literally be the death knell for some countries."
"We can begin small scale clean up from orbit out of range of sight, however to repair the rest of what we can will involve our ships coming closer to the surface which as Major Davis has said could be a problem."
"Sir," the shout came from the scanner station at the rear of the bridge. One of the scanner operators was on her feet typing furiously at the console. The Asgard designed scanners began taking reading after reading of the selected area of the Earth. As the resolution began to clear they saw the full view of the ground below them.
"Oh my God," Davis whispered.
The long range scan was as good as any that the warship could make from its current position but the view was unmistakable. Pools of heat had begun to grow larger from a number of spots along the Mediterranean coast. The reading began to show immense amounts of debris being flung into the air only hours behind the cataclysmic damage that the nukes had caused.
"Etna, Stromboli, Vesuvius, the whole lot are erupting," O'Neill said. "Lt How bad is it?"
The scanner operator began typing furiously trying to get more information on the eruptions, the pools of heat were still steadily flowing away from the center of each volcano. Satellite imaging could only do so much and even the powerful hybrid sensors of the human ships were barely able to map the entire flow.
"The eruptions are big sir, the nuclear strike must have disturbed the tectonic plates. The dust and pyroclastic clouds have already reached the towns close to each of the volcano. There are no life signs anywhere around the eruption points."
"What about the other volcanoes in the area?"
"No signs of eruptions sir, but a few of the dormant ones are making noises again."
"Thor, looks like we'll need you help sooner than I thought."
"We will endeavour to help as much as we can O'Neill."
"Thanks Thor, this may take a while."
Daedalus Class Warship
Colonial Debris Field.
"Status report," Colonel Caldwell ordered, taking his seat the latest information started scrolling over his monitor. "How many have we picked up so far?"
"Sixteen ships have marginal power sir but doesn't seem like they have enough for their ftl drives. Four more are on battery supplies. There are isolated numbers of survivors on more ships but there are running out of air and power quickly. We've also picked up a large number of fighter signals at station keeping around the relatively intact ships."
"Twelve thousand three hundred survivors so far. We're still scanning the other ships."
"Keep scanning, I want to know if any of the bastards are readying to escape or are about to lose all life support. Much as we hate it these 'people' are now POWs and we have to follow the rules of war."
"Bombarding the surface of a planet isn't in our rules of war Sir. The Colonies aren't covered by any of our treaties." Major Castleman of the SGC had been seconded to the Daedalus as her temporary executive officer after the losses taken by the crew in their missions to Atlantis. "No one on Earth is this stupid."
The damage taken to Earth could be seen even at this distance. Whilst the majority of the Colonial fleet had been all but wiped out by the Earth forces they had been able to cause horrific carnage on some sections of the planetary surface. Reactions from the crew had been mixed at best, horror, resignation even anger appeared on the faces of most of the crewmembers.
Caldwell and a few of the old hands had schooled their faces into masks of stone, not allowing the destruction to phase them in the slightest. The Colonel had pushed his crew back into their jobs forcibly in some cases, their missiles already exhausted long before the battle had ended they were forced to do what they could using their main and anti fighter railgun systems.
He had cursed the Asgard's refusal to allow the use of their transporters as a weapons system, had they been able to transport their missiles closer to the Colonials or strip away their crews as had been one plan. Never had Caldwell wished for a wraith cruiser more than when he had faced the Colonial fleet, as it was they would be able to take on small numbers of survivors for transport to a facility elsewhere the other ships taking who and what they could.
They passed half a dozen smaller wrecks at the edge of the destroyed formations, wedge shaped hulls of ships their own size drifted past their hulls smashed and crews already dead. Ships that small could only have been escorts according to intelligence, their lack of hanger space or flight pods gave that theory credence to Caldwell.
Scans had already confirmed that the nuclear weapons on the escorts had been depleted, both the cruisers and destroyers were dead in space and useless to any side as anything but scrap metal. Several of the smaller destroyers were torn in half by the debris from shredded Battlestars, others were missing engine blocks or command sections where the close range blasts of nuclear weapons had cracked the hulls blowing them apart.
More than one had impaled other ships fusing their hulls into almost unrecognizable wrecks, the damage to some of the ships was almost surgical their hulls seemingly undamaged until their rotation brought them into sensor range. Simple holes had been blown through the escorts by railgun fire killing the crew but leaving the ships structurally sound.
"Your right Major and that's the problem. The second anyone knows these Colonial survivors are up here they will want revenge on the stupid bastards. The brass want survivors to interrogate about the size of the colonies, their forces, defences and anything else we can get out of them, which mean we have to let some of them survive to be taken in. Much as I want to blow every single ship out of space I don't have that choice, continue scans."
"Yes Sir. Most of the remaining fighters and smaller ships will run out of oxygen pretty soon. Should I inform Space Command that we'll need to begin taking them off of their ships?"
"How many ships do they have that are stable?"
"Not that many sir, maybe a dozen larger ships could take on an increased load a few smaller ones could take on pilots. I doubt we'll get everyone on board their still active ships…"
"I'm not having them on my ship Major, put them on whatever ships are capable of supporting them and let the crews sort it out. If and only if we can't get them all we'll start transporting them groundside, a pacific island should do until we figure out what to do with them."
"Alright, what's the situation here General?"
General Hank Landry sat at the head of the briefing room table his seat had been turned around to the main screen. Hayes had been put through during the battle against the Colonial fleet. Now hours later he had been put through again as the consequences of the battle was becoming clear.
"Not good Sir. The confirmed reports from the Prometheus and Odyssey confirm that four of the Colonial fleet's anti ship nukes impacted across the eastern hemisphere at the end of the battle. The detonation of a number of other weapons blinded our ship's sensors long enough to stop us from seeing those last few until it was too late."
"Shit, the land line between the white house and the Kremlin is dead so are the majority of the satellite links. Britain and China have both been in contact to help co-ordinate the relief efforts when and if we can get them going." A folder was laid in front of the president by one of his staff members, "General O'Neill has just sent down a message confirming the arrival of Asgard forces in system. Their ships are standing by to assist with clean up efforts for as long as they can."
"That's a relief, we'll need their help."
"More than we thought General. A number of volcanoes in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Africa have all begun to erupt. Tectonic shifts have been reported as far away from the impacts as Australia, Greenland and the Netherlands."
"We've contacted the Tok'ra, Jaffa and as many other off world allies as we can to assist but not many will be able to get any significant supplies to us for a while. The Jaffa are sending a dozen ships with relief supplies as well as for defence of the system until we can get our own house back in order."
"How bad is it Colonel? I've only had fragmented reports of our losses."
"I won't sugarcoat it sir, our forces are in pretty bad shape. The loss of two ships from the fleet has damaged our ability to defend ourselves against any attack over the next few weeks. The Korolev and Ajax will need months to come up to full capacity and the loss of the Apollo took a significant chunk of the pool of trained crew for our warships."
"What about the fighters?"
"They acquitted themselves well sir, however our losses were quite severe. We won't know the full losses for a few days. We're not much better off that the Colonials were when they bugged out."
Hayes nodded distractedly as he read through another folder on his desk. Signing off on something he handed the paperwork to another aide at the side of the desk. More folders came up as Hayes finished with the others in front of him, dropping his glasses onto the desk the president rubbed his eyes.
"This is a real problem. We can't fend of another attack like this if they decide to try again. I want you to begin planning a counterattack at the Colonials as soon as possible. They've declared war General and I want to see to it that they know just what they've stepped into.'
"I'll get on it, sir."
"I want full reports from the surviving ships command staff and from Stargate Command. I want to know what we dealt with and how."
"Yes sir, the majority of our forces worked well we just didn't have enough of them to take on the Colonials at this level. We've sent a request to Atlantis for Jumpers to reinforce our lines for the moment, the city's ZPM should be enough for them to send us a squadron or so."
"Isn't that risking Atlantis' power supply?"
"It could be Sir. Once we're in a position to do so we'll begin sending ships to complete the transgalactic Bridge. It'll make reinforcing us or the city a lot easier. For now however we don't have a choice if we're going to keep the Colonials from coming back at us."
"Alright get on to Atlantis and find out when we can expect them, keep me apprised of this General, oh and one last thing General bring the Prometheus and Daedalus down here. Their crews have been up there nonstop since before the battle, let them known this is a presidential order to get some rest and that includes O'Neill am I understood?"
"Yes Sir, SGC out."
A flash of light appeared within the room, Landry turned to see the figures of O'Neill and Thor materialize.
"Greetings General Landry."
"What's the latest from up top?" O'Neill asked.
"The term clusterfuck comes to mind. We're still getting partial reports from stations worldwide of riots scared civilians flooding into countries at the periphery of the detonations. Most of the information we're getting is from the NSA sats and our ships, it's going to be months before we know everything about this."
"The Asgard will assist in any way possible General. The Jackson, and O'Neill will maintain position within the Earth's Solar system for the time being. Our advanced technology should allow us to help clear much of the dust from the air. However we will be unable to fully heal the damage that your world has taken, even our technology will be of limited use around the impact sites."
"We can only ask for what help you can Thor. You've done more than enough to help us over the years." Landry answered.
"Nonetheless the humans of Earth have come to our assistance many times over the last eight years. It is with the blessing of the Council that my ships will remain in system. With the last few replicator swarms eliminated we have a small number of ships spare to continue our myriad of missions within our purview. I for one believe that we owe your people too much not to help."
"Thank you Commander, this will be of immense help."
"Talk to the president yet?" O'Neill asked.
Landry sat back in his chair and looked at the screen, the usual spinning SGC logo had been replaced with data views coming from Area 51, McMurdo Base and the other defensive posts that made up the Homeworld Security branch of the world's armed forces.
"He wants a counter attack planned as soon as possible. I said I'd get our people working on it. It'll take a while with our fleet units in disarray with luck we'll have the other ships repaired or finished before we take the attack to the Colonies."
"Yeah well that's not our only problem," he said. "Daedalus is currently doing a full fly by of what was left of that Colonial fleet and picked up at least ten thousand life signs still aboard their ships, more aboard fighters and those shuttle like things they've got. Most of the ships seem to be ok for now but a lot are starting to lose their systems."
"That will not be a problem for long," Thor said.
O'Neill turned to his friend's chair. "Thor buddy, what are you thinking?"
"The Colonials are a problem that we will remove as soon as possible. It is a simple matter."
"Hold on a sec, you mean beam them out right?" O'Neill questioned.
"In a matter of speaking, yes."
O'Neill shared a look with Landry. The Asgard's version of removing a problem usually came in two ways either overwhelming fire from their capital ships or the use of the beaming technology to 'disappear' the problem quickly and efficiently. O'Neill had never got up the courage to ask Thor what exactly happened to the people or ships beamed away by their ships and to be truthful he wasn't sure he wanted to know.
"Unfortunately as much as they have done to us Earth has a set of rules about treatment of Prisoners of War," Landry began. "If it was up to me I'd use them for target practice or give them to the Jaffa as slave labor in their mines or forges, but we need to follow the rules for this one."
"Then we shall ascertain how many survivors there are in the fleet and where we may be able to settle them until such time as your governments decide on their fates. When it comes to it we will gladly assist with whatever you decide to do. The Colonials have made an enemy of the Asgard as much as the humans of Earth, however for the moment, we may only give humanitarian aid to your people."
"Thank you Thor," Landry said. "Have your ships been able to ascertain any more information around the impact zones. Our own sensors are blocked by the debris clouds and radiation."
"Our sensors have ground level readings that we are correlating with our records of your planet's terrain. It will take several minutes to compare and modify the information for your computer systems to use." Thor pressed a button on his chair using the communications system to link the SGC's mainframe to the Daniel Jackson in orbit above them. "The damage is quite severe both in the upper crust around the detonations and the lower crust along the fault lines in the areas effected."
The two computer systems linked up and began the projection of the damaged portions of the surface in detail. Clouds of ash and dust still spewed from the volcanoes smothering the entire area in thick merciless debris. Close ups of the actual craters were easily picked out due to the still glowing edges, it was only somewhat fortunate that the weapons had not been 'dirty' nukes otherwise the fallout could have been much worse.
More shots of the surrounding area came up showing entire towns and cities flattened for hundreds of miles in all directions. No life could have possibly survived in those areas destroyed by the shockwaves. Most of Europe and Asia was covered in increasing amounts of ash and cloud cover whilst yet more of the areas around the volcanoes were being bogged down by the ash.
"We estimate that more then sixty percent of the volcanoes and fault lines within one hundred miles of each impact or eruption will have some form of upheaval in the next six months. We shall endeavour to stop these eruptions before they can destroy more of the Earth. It is a relatively simple process that we have already begun on the active vents."
"Hell of a mess down there. Most of Italy will have to be evacuated so will the survivors around Hong Kong and possibly Johannesburg. I've heard the Russians have already begun their own evacs to the interior of the country until the debris settles down."
"Then it may be a good idea to begin repairs on the areas that have been cleared or are less damaged from the impacts."
"The pacific islands are a complete loss; the tidal waves and fallout has destroyed most of the area. China has offered assistance to get those that can out of the way, but their own country is taking a hell of a beating from the fallout." Landry continued. "SEATO Allies have begun mobilization of naval and aerial based assets but for now most people will be stuck where they are."
"We could use the fleet but it would mean risking more security breaches, although to tell the truth I doubt that matter much anymore. After all, this I think lets the cat's out of the bag as it is. People are gonna be royally pissed at us when they find out about the gate."
"Excuse me Sirs, Commander," Walter said from the door. "We have new signals approaching the solar system, size and speed seems to suggest Jaffa Ha'taks incoming from the galactic center."
"If you'll excuse me gentlemen but duty calls," Landry said.
"No problem Hank, we'll come with you. See who they've sent to 'help' this time."
"I am needed back aboard my ship for the moment, I shall return once our scans have been completed." With another flash of light Thor disappeared.
"I love those things, would make it so easy to get between here and my cabin," Jack mused as he followed Landry back to the control room. Climbing down the stairs he watched as the signals of the incoming flotilla began to decelerate, the basics size of this indicated the Ha'taks that they were expecting.
"All stations this is Stargate command, Condition Yellow. Repeat condition yellow," Walter spoke into the microphone. "Unidentified warships have entered Earth Space, all stations to Condition Yellow."
"Just precautions Jack. If this is anything like the Colonials again we might have problems. Chief, get me the Prometheus."
"Aye Sir, Prometheus is already online."
"Pendergast, this is Landry."
"Keep a fix on those ships if they make any sudden moves shoot them first. We can ask the survivors any questions."
"Aye Sir, missile stocks are loaded, primary weapon is still at depleted strength however. A number of the components have been overloaded in the last battle. Thor's crew is seeing what they can do with it."
"Damn, do what you can Colonel. The Asgard should be able to back you up if we need them."
"The Daedalus is still doing a dedicated search of each of the Colonial wrecks. We've called them back into position. They should rejoin us before the Ha'tak arrive."
"Understood, keep a channel open to us at all times."
"Roger that Sir, Prometheus out." The voice of the Colonel disappeared as the channel was muted. Landry turned to Walter who merely answered with a two minute warning for the reversion of the incoming ships. The boards lit up as the signals dropped into space several thousand miles outside of Lunar orbit, as twelve Jaffa Nation Ha'tak vessels had dropped in formation well away from the engagement zone.
"We has confirmation sir. It's Bre'tac's forces; he's requesting communications."
"Put him through Chief."
The screen changed to the face of the old warrior
"Bre'tac you old dog good of you to join us."
"O'Neill, it is good to see you still live. I must apologize for the lateness of our arrival, we were unable to spare many ships to assist our friends among the Tau'ri until recently. Tell me what the condition of your people is."
"Pretty bad, we're kinda screwed on the ships front. You've appeared right on time to help out though."
"We have humanitarian supplies and fighter squadrons to assist with the defence of your world, it seems however many of your problems are in the hands of other allies."
"Don't be too sure old man," O'Neill smiled. "We're glad to see you and I'm damn glad you're here to help."
"Indeed, we will begin when we are needed."
The Oval office was a scene of unbridled chaos as aides, soldiers, even chiefs of staff of the armed forces came and went. Folders, reports, printouts, photographs, anything and everything that the United States and its allies were able to discover about the attack and it's repercussions over the last day.
One of the president's press secretaries popped her head around the door and garnered his attention.
"Sir we've established communications with the Russian and Chinese premieres."
"About time, alright people out. Give me a minute then put them through Michelle."
"Yes Mr.. President."
The myriad of people in the room were ushered out by his secret services personnel allowing Hayes to put his thoughts in order. As the door closed he centered himself and took a long drink of the whisky someone had left him. Hitting a button on his desk, Hayes was put through to a three way conversation between himself and the other world leaders, taking a deep breath he now wished that he had contacted one of his allied leaders before his all went ahead he could have used the support especially from the other members of the IOA.
"Good Evening Mr.. President."
"I've been receiving periodic updates from your countries. I'm sorry were unable to stop the missiles from impacting on your countries. We tried everything we could to stop the Colonials from damaging our world. We were lucky that only so few hit us otherwise we could be looking at total destruction of our civilization."
"Mr.. President. Dimitri Kasparov Premier of the Russian Republic. We thank you for your words. It is both fortunate and unfortunate that the missile hit where it did. There are few survivors in the area that was hit the time of year. What few survivors we will have to remove will be easily resettled elsewhere."
"This is not so for my people," the Chinese Chairman Pei Hui Huang spoke up, "The detonation has destroyed the island of Hong Kong and sent tidal waves into the coastal regions of our mainland. Hundreds of thousands of miles of farmlands and food processing has been destroyed. More and more of my people are dying of radiation fall out and the dust clouds. We will need help Mr.. President or my people will be decimated by the lack of food and shelter."
"Alright Mr. Chairman. We'll help as much as possible, we have off world allies coming to our assistance as we speak…"
"More aliens. It is you reliance upon aliens and the American belief in their superiority that has caused this catastrophe. Your unwillingness to leave them alone has brought these people upon us," Huang spoke up. "In addition your delay in allowing the member countries the information to build your space going warships has stopped us from defending the planet as we should."
Kasparov interrupted the chairman with a cough. "If I am not incorrect Chairman but only two of the Chinese 302 squadrons were involved in the battle as it was. Every fighter the Americans, British, French, German and our own forces had participated but only a limited number of yours were involved. If they had all been there then perhaps none of the missiles would have been able to impact on the surface."
"That is untrue; all of the forces we could spare were at the battle. We were forced to hold back some for the defence of our country in the case that the American's incompetent forces were to allow enemy forces through to our airspace," Huang countered. "What of your supposed defences such as the drone platform you invested so much time and effort on. You promised us with our support that our countries would not only share in the fruits of the project but that we would be seen as full partners in this yet not one Chinese scientist or soldier is part of that station or the Atlantis project. The incompetence of the 'superior' American military has cost the lives of millions of my people."
"I am sorry but none of your people were satisfactorily passed through the security of the projects. In addition Mr.. Chairman that when the call went out no one else kept their space going forces behind except you..." Hayes said. "Now I understand that you wanted to protect your country but the 302s and our space fleet were designed and produced under the guarantee that all of the forces assembled would be used to defend the planet as a whole. Now with the dissemination of information about the F302 to our allies we should have been able to build a lot more fighters than we sent up. We know that more exist but there are not enough pilots to fly them. But your country has been building and training as long as England and the rest have yet you sent up only a fraction everyone else did."
"Our airspace needed defending…"
"You are dragging your feet," Kasparov derided. "We have all begun building warships and squadrons of ships yet you have not even begun construction of a single warship since the technical specifications of the Prometheus and Daedalus class ships were given to each of our allies. Maybe it is better for you to leave this war to the real soldiers, those who know better how to fight this kind of enemy."
"You dare dispute the honor and courage of our armed forces! We would build ships if the Americans would allow us access to the proper materials, but so far we have been denied access because we will not allow observers and technical experts to be put in place throughout our construction facilities. We unlike you, are not so spineless to roll over for the Americans."
"No, you would merely wait until we have fought to the last before stabbing us all in the back with the ships that you would hoard even as the world was set ablaze by our enemies. It is simple-you were afraid of them, afraid that your vaunted pilots would not be up for the battle," Kasperov shouted. "Dozens of our best pilots died up there, more are scarred for life and our prize warship has been crippled by the enemy. And yet you – you claim that you could not send your pilots and you will not build ships because of your cowardice. You are so very lucky we are not able to send the Korolev to teach you a lesson."
"It is you who needs a lesson Kasperov, any forces you send will be…"
"ENOUGH." Hayes shouted slamming his hands on his desk, "The both of you, be quiet, I am damned aware of what happened out there. My country lost a warship and a huge number of our qualified pilots against those damned Colonial bastards. We've lost contact with outposts and bases in Africa and Europe close to the other impact sites. It is unfortunate what has happened but this is not the time to argue about who's fault it is. The fate of hundreds of millions worldwide hangs on the edge. Every country we have been able to contact has begun mobilizing their forces. And humanitarian efforts have already begun thanks to the Asgard and our own ships. Right now we need to get people away from the danger zones and into allied territory."
Stopping to take a breath and calm down he noticed neither of the other leaders had begun talking again. Taking this as a sign he was being listened to, he began again in a more calm controlled manner.
"I know that neither of your countries has suitable reserves to fully remove the injured and those in danger from the strikes however you will be receiving aid as and when we can get it in position. Within the next day I shall be informing the world of what happened here. We shall disclose what the public needs to know and why this happened."
"You can not be serious!" the Russian spoke up. "This will cause panic worldwide if the fact the Stargate exists. The fallout, pardon the expression, will be chaotic as people will demand to know why they have been kept in the dark all this time. You and many of us will be under fire from our respective parties."
"Believe me Dimitri I am well aware of the implications of this. I've got the Joint chiefs on my ass, the SGC, Vandenberg and God knows who else trying to co-ordinate our efforts. This is the last thing I want to have to do, but in order to explain how we're fixing this mess we have to explain who and what happened up there and that's something I really don't want to do."
Silence reigned as the three heads of state realized the implications of full disclosure. None of the countries of the IOA would be safe from the inevitable catastrophe that would come from the Americans finally admitting their use of the Stargate. Worse still would be the fact of the worldwide conspiracy to keep it from the world's population at large, time was not on their side at all.
"How can we help Mr. President?" Huang asked.
"I'm going to call an assembly of the United Nations Security council. We'll send out a worldwide transmission as soon as possible to explain what happened here and why. I'll have the orbiting ships beam the leaders of the five core IOA countries to Washington then to New York."
"I think it will be a bad decision to reveal the Stargate to the public Mr.. President." Huang said before forestalling any interruption. "I am aware that my country was the first to request full disclosure to the world at large. But at this time the knowledge of the Stargate and its full impact on Earth, coupled with the full scale of the Colonial attack would be dangerous. I apologies for my harsh words, my people are on a precipice and the reports on our losses are still coming in."
"Apology accepted Chairman, its not been easy on any of us today." Hayes sat back in his chair. "I think disclosure is our best bet."
"It may not be Mr.. President, I agree with Chairman Huang. It is too dangerous to let the world as a whole know about the Stargate. The damage it caused to international relations when it was merely the core countries was unfortunate. With the gate public knowledge some countries will wonder what else has been hidden from their eyes."
"What do you suggest Premier?" Hayes asked. "The fact that the Colonials were stopped as well as the inevitable sightings of our warships and fighter squadrons over the next few days will let the cat out of the bag. The Asgard and Jaffa will have to be allowed into low orbit or lower to help out our own people. I can't see us not letting the world know."
"I am not sure Mr. President, but a full disclosure is not an option."
"Maybe not, Mr. President I may have an answer," Huang replied.