A/N: No, this does not mean that the series is closed. Merely that there is a definite conclusion to the arc and those stories and events depicted in the other elements mean something. I do not own Buffy, Stargate or any other fandom referenced in any of the Code Ragnarok stories. They are the property of their associated creators.Code Ragnarok: Aftermath
Andrews Air Force Base
July, 3rd 2004
1900 hours Two weeks after the Cleveland Hellmouth was resealed.
Henry Hayes looked out over the assembled audience. Normally speeches such as the one he clutched a back-up hard copy of in his hand would be given from the behind the battleship of a desk he had inherited from previous holders of his office, or more likely from behind the podium in the House, but events of the last several months had lead to a decision that required more than a little use of theatrics.
Thus, for the first time since the War of 1812, the Congress of the United States was assembled, elsewhere than in their hallowed halls, in this case the open expanse of the Andrew's tarmac.
“Mr. President.” A portly Air Force Lieutenant General walked over. “DAEDALUS, PROMETHEUS, and ODYSSEY are in position.”
The President took the General's shoulders in both his hands. “Thank you George. I bet you never thought you'd see today come.”
General Hammond chuckled. “No Sir. But I'm damn glad I'm... we're
all here to get to see it.”
“Well, I'd better get this show rolling.” He flashed a wave to the White House protocol officer to get things started. “Guess I'm not going to have any legacy issues after tonight.”
“No Sir. That you won't.”~~~***~~~
In spite of the odd surroundings the White House, Congressional and Air Force protocol professionals would have to be pleased with how things had gone. On time and on cue President Hayes had stepped out of the VIP Hangar, progressing smartly through the ranks of Congressmen and Senators. Stepping behind the podium he double-checked the first screen on the teleprompter against his hard copy. Swallowing a sip of water from the glass on the podium he looked out over the assembled government officials and guests.
During the pause the assembled crowd settled. He noted the section where most of his invitees were seated and cast a subtle nod and smile in their direction as he straightened his papers. Looking out over the crowd he focused on the primary camera, took a deep breath, closed his eyes and prepared himself to change the world.
“My fellow Americans.
“I am speaking to you tonight to attempt to explain recent events in northern Ohio, but more than that I am speaking to reassure not only you, but the world at large. So please indulge me as I restate my greeting.
“My fellow citizens of Planet Earth!
“Today finds me facing you with trepidation as recent events have made it clear that, whether we are truly ready to embrace the knowledge or not, it is no longer possible to maintain certain secrets from the global populace.
“These secrets were not kept lightly, nor were they kept from the people out of some nefarious scheme to exercise control over the population. These secrets were kept to protect humanity from her own baser instincts. As recently as sixty-five years ago, parts of this nation were thrown into panic by an entertainment radio broadcast that was misinterpreted as an alien invasion.
“In light of that, we have all seen footage of the battles that were being fought in and around Cleveland. I have never been more proud than I am today to tell the world that I am an American, because from the beginning of April until just a few short days ago a war was being waged around that city, not for the possession of a city or this nation or even this planet. Our people did not panic, they dug in, they reached out to our allies and they persevered. Ladies and Gentlemen, on the shores of Lake Erie we, the people of Earth, fought a war against foes who were firmly set on the extermination of the human race. And! We! Won!
“But we did not win alone. And this is where we, the world's governments, must reveal secrets that we have kept to protect you. Because our enemy were not humans, nor were they aliens from other planets. Our enemies were of what many of you would call a Biblical nature.
“As someone whom I have come to trust says it. Contrary to popular belief, the world did not begin as a paradise. Extradimensional beings we refer to as demons once claimed this world as their home. They were driven from power and exiled at the dawn of humanity. Legend has it that the last pure demon mixed his blood with that of a human creating the many races of demons that now exist across the multiverse. Over time some of these beings have become more like us while others have become dedicated to our destruction. The oldest and most fearsome of the demon human hybrids still haunt our nightmares to this day. These are the beings known in mythology and literature as Vampires.
“Over the many thousands of years since the last pure demons were driven from our world there has been an organization that has existed to stand firm between humanity and the darkness. Consisting of mystical warriors known as Vampire Slayers, demon hunters, researchers, and record keepers, this organization has managed to police and thwart the violent members of demon society. Over the centuries it has been known by many names. Today that organization is the International Slayers and Watchers Council. The ISWC's slayers are who took the lead against the Cleveland invasion.
“This knowledge has been known by the heads of every government AND major religion since antiquity. By international agreement pounded out over the last month, after today, every one of these bodies will freely acknowledge this as the true history and make available to accredited researchers any files they possess relating to demonology.”
The speaker in his right ear squawked. “DAEDALUS is on approach. Five minutes.”
“This revelation leads me to my next one. Roughly ten thousand years ago, a race of aliens visited our world. These aliens, a parasitical, worm-like life-form known as the Goa'uld enslaved much of the ancient world, taking humans as hosts and posing as the gods of antiquity. Records in the possession of the ISWC chronicle humanity's fight to free themselves from these invaders.
“In 1920, an archeological dig on the Giza plateau uncovered the device by which these aliens came to Earth. Nine years ago some very smart scientists, engineers, and a talented archaeologist were able to decipher what that device did and were able to make it operate.
“The device is called a Stargate and it enables transportation between it and similar devices located on planets spread throughout our galaxy. Imagine our surprise when we went out there and discovered that humans were living on some of these other planets.
“Humans who had been taken from Earth as slaves during the time of the Goa'uld. Humans who were still slaves to these evil beings. We left Earth as peaceful explorers, but the Goa'uld were jealous of their positions of power. Among the stars they still posed as those gods of old. Those old myths of the jealousies of the ancient gods have more than a small token of truth in them.
“As a result, our mere existence as a technologically advanced race of humans was viewed as a threat. Like the ancient story of Pandora's Box, closing the gate was not an option. The Goa'uld not only use the gate but they also have ships. So we used the gate to find the means to defend ourselves.
“And defend ourselves we did!”
A whine began to build behind him and he smiled as several of the cameras began to pan upward. As he looked over the crowd he could see the PROMETHEUS circling the capital.
“People of Earth, allow me to present the DAEDALUS and the PROMETHEUS, just two of the ships with which we now defend our world against Extraterrestrial threats and explore those parts of the galaxy that are not reachable by Stargate.”
The battlecruisers lowered themselves to land on the far side of the base.
“In the battle at Cleveland it was not just the World's Militaries, Slayers and friendly demon species who stood shoulder to should in our defense. As said, the invasion was intended to exterminate humanity across the universe. In defending our world from extraterrestrial threats we have long sought allies to bolster our defenses. Those allies acknowledged the threat we faced and stood with us in Cleveland. To the Free Jaffa Nation and to the Tok'ra, humanity offers our thanks.
“As mentioned previously, this invasion was of an extradimensional nature and thus the threat was not to ourselves and our universe alone. Some of our allies in this endeavor have chosen not to be identified as they are versions of us from alternate dimensions. People with the same hopes and dreams, fears and weaknesses as our own. Some stand here today, silent among us, others have already returned to rebuild their homes damaged by the spillover from Cleveland. We extend our thanks to them as well.
“And now, I would like to introduce you to some of our defenders.”
Looking to the sky theatrically, he raised a hand to the wire in his ear.
“ODYSSEY, this is the President. Are you ready to send down our guests?”“This is ODYSSEY Mr. President. We are transporting your party now.”
A flash of light occurred between the crowd and the podium, and when it faded, a small group of people were standing where no one had been standing before.
“Humanity, allow me to introduce you to those who have been defending you and to one of our closest allies. I also extend to them a heartfelt and long long overdue PUBLIC thank you!
“Miss Buffy Summers, Chairwoman of the ISWC and her CEO, Rupert Giles. Their organization has stood between humanity and extinction on untold countless occasions over the millenia, however I can personally verify that Miss Summers and her team have stopped no fewer than seven potentially world ending calamities since she accepted her calling. Including the permanent closure of a dimensional rift beneath the town of Sunnydale California as well as the resealing of the rift that was recently opened in Cleveland.”
The petite blonde blushed a brilliant red and waved meekly at the assembled dignitaries.
“To her right are Major General Jack O'Neill, Lieutenant Colonel Samantha Carter, Doctor Daniel Jackson and Teal'c of Chulak. Before accepting promotion to the head of Stargate Command, General O'Neill lead this group as the premier exploration team through the Earth's Stargate. As with Miss Summers, the world owes a tremendous debt to the team known across three galaxies and now uncounted universes as SG-1.
“Finally, on the far right, I present Master Bra'tac of Chulak, representing the Free Jaffa Nation. As a fellow head of state, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude for the assistance his people have provided not only in this most recent incident but over the course of our engagement with the Goa'uld. He has asked to be allowed a moment to address our world.”
The proud elder warrior in his dress armor strode to the podium looking somewhat uncomfortable to be addressing so many. Taking a moment he gave a respectful bow to the audience.
“People of the Tau'ri. The Jaffa are a proud race of warriors and it was an honor that we were allowed to fight by your side in defense of this world. But that is only a small return for the freedom your people have enabled to spread amongst mine. No longer are we slaves to the false gods! For that we thank you and call you honored friends.”
Henry stepped up, extending his arm to accept a warriors hand-clasp from the old Jaffa who then stepped off the stage to take a seat with the Slayer, her Watcher and SG-1.
“People of Earth, tonight we have revealed two closely held secrets. Secrets whose exposure has the potential to turn society on its ear. Prove to the naysayers that humanity has the maturity to take the next great step. Let all seven billion of us cry out as one in WELCOME to the great adventure that now lays before us!
“Tonight, I invite those assembled here to tour the two ships that have landed behind me. Tomorrow the DAEDALUS will begin a world tour so that others may see what we have learned in nine short years.
“Finally, the recent event in Cleveland has exposed just how precarious our existence on this planet is. Under the auspices of the International Oversight Authority, Stargate Command currently operates bases on three worlds, currently known as the Alpha, Beta and Gamma sites. These are permanent bases that were established to help protect Earth early in the fight against the Goa'uld. I will be forwarding legislation to this body to establish a subsidiary command within the SGC to be known as the Stargate Colonization Authority. The legislation will specify that these colonies are to be set up with a process to become self governing entities that will eventually take their own seats among the sovereign powers of the galaxy.
“Fellow humans, friends and allies. I thank you for your time this evening. Please remember to thank our friends and heroes. Good night.”