13. Repercussions foreign and domestic
Disclaimer: This is a work of Fan Fiction, I make no claims to the Ownership of either BtVS, Stargate, or NBSG. All belong to their respective creators.A/N
As always; 'speech' Caprican, "Speech" English.
‘So what’s the agreement?’ Athena asked looking around the dining room. The Cylons had decided to hold this private meeting because from Cordelia’s point of view Giles had thrown them to the wolves. They would still work with Giles, and the other Earth humans, but Cordelia was done following their lead. So Helo, Athena, Cordelia, and the lead Centurion were having a private meeting about what to do.
‘We have a week before we need to do anything,’ Cordelia said simply. ‘Then all we have to do is send someone with the Raptor to their base, fly them around a bit, and let them take a look at the technology. Then we get to look at their Chappa’ai, and Stargate program.’
‘That’s it?’ Helo asked with a raised eyebrow.
‘For now.’ Cordelia responded. ‘If that meeting goes well and our rep decides that we can work with these people then we’ll start talking about tech transfer and other things.’
‘What have you given them already?’ Athena asked, slightly confrontationally. ‘I don’t think we got the limited diplomatic immunity for nothing.’
‘No I didn’t,’ Cordelia frowned as she replied. ‘Though it was easier then I thought it would be. I agreed that we would let them use the Raptor to defeat immediate threats to earth.’
‘Use the Raptor?’ Helo’s eyes widened. ‘Are you sure about that? None of them have been checked out on it, they wont be able to fly it.’
‘I know, as do they,’ Cordelia smirked as she said that. ‘It’s another way for us to get info on their program. One of you would have to fly them around.’
‘The Viper thing you were talking about, are we still doing that?’ Athena seemed more relaxed as she questioned that decision.
‘If we decide we can trust them, then yes.’ Cordelia answered. ‘I understand that Helo has Jonathan working on putting together a blue print for a Viper they could build themselves.’
‘It’s going to take some time before that’s ready though’ Helo pointed out. ‘Whomever possessed Jonathan on Halloween was a good aeronautical engineer but re working plans the way he will be takes time.’
‘That’s more of a long-term goal. If we can trust them then giving them a Viper model they can mostly build for themselves makes us look good, nets us money, and gets us another look at their program.’ Cordelia shrugged. ‘I don’t want to end up with this world being enslaved or destroyed any more then you two do. Besides, if they’re building these Vipers then they won't be able to stand up to our mark sevens.’
‘There is that,’ Athena admitted. ‘I guess I’m going to be getting checked out on the mark seven?’
‘You and Helo both,’ Cordelia said. ‘There are a lot of humans here. On the other hand if the worst comes to pass then we can always hyper away. The Viper doesn’t have a hyper drive after all.’
‘THIS IS ALL RELEVANT BUT WE STILL NEED TO DECIDE WHO GOES TO EVALUATE THEIR PROGRAM,’ the Centurion spoke up for the first time. Helo looked at the hulking war machine and grimaced. Cordelia’s inclusion of the Centurions in this meeting was a mark of her integration. Cordelia understood group dynamics better then Six ever had. It was one that he wished he didn’t have to deal with though. The Centurions would follow Cordelia’s lead now to the ends of the Earth, giving her a formidable political block that he and Sharon couldn’t match. Any vote where they disagreed with her would end up being two against eleven.
‘Me, it has to be me,’ Helo said shocking his wife.
‘Why?’ Sharon shot back, fire blazing from her eyes.
‘Because I’m wholly human,’ Helo’s voice was soft as he said that. ‘Even if this isn’t an alien threat I’ll be considered nothing more then another human. You two and the Centurions are a real threat. If the SGC is dealing with aliens then… I wont end up on the dissection table. The most they’ll do to me is lock me up and torture me for Intel.’
‘No, it has to be me,’ Helo said flatly. ‘Even if the worst comes to pass and I die then you need to be there for Faith and Dawn. If you have to run then you can work with Cordelia and the Centurions better then I can, you can look out for our kids interests in a Cylon dominated society better.’
‘Why not bring a Centurion with you?’ Athena’s voice was plaintive. She really didn’t like this, but Helo throwing himself in front of her was typical of the man. It was one of the reasons she loved him.
‘NO CENTURION WOULD AGREE TO GO, WE WILL NOT BE SLAVES AGAIN.’
‘I agree with Helo,’ Cordelia put in softly. ‘He’s right and you know it.’
‘I know,’ Athena swallowed heavily and closed her eyes. ‘What do we tell the SGC about our history if it is legitimate? We have to deal with that damn TV show showing our history after all.’
‘We say it’s a page out of our history,’ Helo grinned lopsidedly.
‘I can see that, the question is how did we end up an integrated society. From what they know it will look strange that we have Cylons and humans working together,’ Athena pointed out mildly.
‘We say it’s a result of the long chase,’ Cordelia tapped her fingers on the table, thinking hard. ‘When the Cylon models split and joined the refugee fleet they offered an out to those humans who didn’t want to give up technology when we got to earth. Because of their presence Gaeta and Zerak’s mutiny ended with some of the fleet joining the Cylons and some settling on Earth. We come from the portion of the fleet which left.’
‘It feels wrong to turn that asshole Zerak into a hero,’ Helo commented. ‘Gaeta I don’t mind so much.’
‘So we say that Tom was only in it for the power and Felix was in it for the principle,’ Cordelia said with a shrug. ‘We push around the real events and change the time line a little and we can offer them the real logs of the second Cylon war, from the Cylon perspective of course.’
‘So we print those out and let the cards fall where they may?’ Helo asked. ‘What if they ask about where the rest of the fleet settled? And how we came into contact with the Watchers Council?’
‘We don’t know where they settled because we left before they touched down,’ Cordelia was getting into spinning this tale. ‘We came back later and couldn’t find them; worried that they had left and begun to rebuild the sick society that the colonies were we searched the globe for them. During our search we ran into the Watchers who told us about how they were destroyed as a society and decided that we needed to keep a watch on a planet full of humans so they didn’t attempt another genocide when they got into space.’
‘And our change in policy?’ Athena had been writing down the tale that Cordelia was telling and thought it was at least marginally believable.
‘Humans are getting to the point where they are going to develop their own way of getting around out there. So we decided to set up a minor tech firm to keep an eye on their development and maybe steal any good ideas for ourselves.’ Cordelia’s smile was brilliant as she said that. ‘So we throw out a few of our ideas to get ourselves established and then the firm can run on its own.’
‘Six was never this devious,’ Athena muttered as she finished writing everything down. She was awed by the story that Cordelia had come up with and could see just how it would hang together. There were no doubt advanced human civilizations that had been destroyed so the humans would find the proof of the story on their own. It also explained both their reluctance to come out into the open and why humans and Cylons were working together.
‘PREDICTIVE PROGRAMING INDICATES THAT SHOULD THE HUMANS BE TELLING THE TRUTH THEN THEY WILL DISCOVER THE ATLANTIA. REASONING BEHIND AN EMPTY BATTLESTAR BEING MOVED INTO THEIR SYSTEM AND OUR HARDWARES DATED STATUS?’ The lead Centurion brought up the hole in Cordelia’s story.
‘Military surplus,’ Helo said in a quiet voice. ‘We built the Atlantia and others like it because the Base stars sucked as capitol ships and then found we didn’t have anyone to fight.’
‘So the military stayed in stasis, and we used an older piece of military hardware as a mobile base,’ Cordelia grinned. ‘It actually would be a logical thing to do. It has limited manufacturing capability, self defense capabilities, and if we say its staffed with Centurions then it would explain why there are so few of us. Humans can’t tell one Centurion from another so with the ten we have we can convince them that the Atlantia is fully staffed.’
“So do we finally get to know why we were hustled into the clutches of Napoleon Frasier as soon as we got back to base?” Jack complained as he entered the conference room. He had spent the last three days being poked and prodded by the needle loving doctor and wasn’t afraid to show his displeasure.
“Just for that Colonel I’ll be pulling out my blunted needles for you,” Janet replied with a smirk.
“Jack,” Sam warned him. She had been forced to listen to the increasingly frustrated Colonel and wasn’t in the mood to deal with him. She had been looking forward to getting back to her lab and looking up the equations she had seen in Sunnydale and so didn’t appreciate being summoned for this meeting.
“Yes there was a reason,” General Hammond said giving his second in command a repressive glare. “If it makes you feel any better Harry Maybourne and a full platoon of NID grunts had to go through the same thing.”
“Sweet,” Jack replied, getting a dreamy look in his eyes. He always liked hearing about Maybourne’s suffering.
“Janet?” Hammond indicated for the doctor to begin the briefing.
“Sir. When SG1 returned from Sunnydale they had clear marks of mental interference even if they didn’t know about it. Over the course of the past three days this effect has dissipated to the point where they can be allowed on duty.” Janet said simply. “If you look at these MRIs then you can clearly see excessive electrical activity in two portions of the brain, for all of SG1. What we think this foreign electrical activity was doing was effecting risk assessment and judgment. Since the NID doctors found the same thing present in their troops we theorize that there is some sort of field active in Sunnydale that effects all humans.”
“It would certainly explain just what the hell is happening in that town,” Jennifer Hailey spoke up for the first time. “I can’t think of any reason for the crime statistics to be as bad as they are and for the police to not do anything about it.”
“So you’re saying that something in that town effects humans?” Jack was suddenly all business. “Have we ever seen anything like this before?”
“Orlin,” Janet said flatly. “Samantha Carter had a similar electrical energy pushed into her brain.” Jack and Sam looked at each other in shock. Suddenly a lot of what was happening and the Cylons talk of extra dimensional beings made sense. If the Cylons and the Watchers knew about the Ascendant and didn’t like them… well that would explain things to a certain degree.
“Cordelia did curse Janus sir,” Sam reminded Jack as she saw he was just about to speak.
“So what you’re saying is we have ascendant beings operating in a small town in California?” Jack shook his head at the insanity of the idea.
“That is our best theory at the moment,” General Hammond agreed. “Lieutenant Hailey has some additional information due to her work tracing the Watchers Council.”
“The Watchers Council is old. How old we don’t know. What we do know by hacking their accounting records is that they deploy two person teams, labeled as Watchers and Slayers. What these designations mean we aren’t entirely sure of at the moment, but they tend to have one active team in the field at all times back up by at least four other more conventional teams that we can find.” Jennifer spoke firmly. “In the past three years they have lost at least a team every six months. Looking up local records on those deaths they have been ruled, by local authorities, as animal attacks, maulings, and gang violence.”
“So the locals have no clue what’s going on?” Sam asked to clarify for herself.
“Yes ma’am. Every instance shows a sharp spike in local crime, usually attributed to those three sources, followed by a steep decline once the Watcher team arrives. Even following the team’s death the crime rate doesn’t rise again. Tracing the teams that were deployed into the US we see a clear pattern of falling crime in every town and city that one of these teams visit.” Jennifer swallowed. “Although the Slayer part of the team is never mentioned the team always disbands following their death. About half the time the Watcher can be confirmed dead in the same engagement.”
“Are you saying that there is a covert war fought by the British taking place on American soil?” General Hammond's voice was positively arctic as he said that.
“While the Watchers are connected to the crown, and have heavy ties to Britain, they are a semi independent entity.” Jennifer answered quickly. “We found that there have been US teams in this war in earlier years, the last was set up during world war two with the assistance of the Watchers. They were all disbanded within five years of creation, usually with ninety percent casualties.”
“How bad are the casualties on the Watchers conventional teams?” Jack asked his eyes narrowing.
“They lose a team a year if their pay records are anything to go by.” Jennifer answered.
“Jesus,” Sam breathed out. She couldn’t really imagine that kind of war. “Do we have any idea just how long this has been going on?”
“No, their computer records only go back ten years,” Jennifer stated. “Sunnydale is even worse, nothing is available beyond the police records. Everything is offline. From the police records though this is a long-term effect. Although over the past year the crime rate in Sunnydale has begun to fall drastically. Especially since Halloween.”
“You have a theory,” Jack said shrewdly.
“Yes sir, if we take the television show as valid then Cylons are an artificial life form. We know that they deployed Centurions, more Centurions then organic personnel. If this phenomenon only affects organics…” Jennifer trailed off.
“They did say that it was an emergency redeployment,” Sam answered Jacks unasked question.
“I just wish we knew if this affects humiform Cylons and who out of their personnel is a Humiform Cylon.” Jack leaned back as he considered the problem.
“Sharon probably is a Cylon.” Sam answered while chewing her lip. “She took down Teal’c without taking any damage. Physically that wouldn’t be possible if she was a human.”
“I don’t know…” Sam answered. “If they know about this phenomenon then they probably chose personnel who are resistant to it.”
“This is all very interesting, but I have to ask; is this an SGC matter?” General Hammond interrupted the speculation.
“Sir, beyond the Cylons presence and their efforts to uplift us? I would say not. From everything that Lieutenant Hailey has reported then there already is a human organization fighting this war. If we get involved we will be stepping on their toes and, frankly? It’s been going on for a long time, we’d be a junior partner and it would take the focus off our off world activities,” Sam said firmly.
“I agree with Sam sir, we pass this info along and let the proper people take care of it. It’s connected to but not in our mandate.” Jack shook his head. “We set up some form of monitoring to make sure it doesn’t effect the personnel of our project but we don’t get involved.”
“I will pass along our recommendations,” Hammond said nodding in agreement. “Now moving on, what did you agree to with these Cylons?”
“For now temporary diplomatic status, to be evaluated at a later date. They agreed to send a representative by with examples of their technology in exchange for a look at the SGC. Mostly they seem worried that we’re involved in there war, and that we’re going to experiment on them.” Jack said quickly. “Beyond that we agreed to talk about it later. Since we are both on planet and in the same country I felt it best to get a minor agreement as a lead in and build trust over time.”
“You forgot you got them to agree to let us use at least one of their ships if there is a clear and present threat to the planet sir,” Sam reminded her superior officer.
“Yeah that…” Jack broke off for a second before continuing. “They are offering to sell us two space fighters if we check out.”
“Just two?” Hammond clarified.
“For the moment, they were throwing around the idea of selling us blueprints for a fighter that we could build,” Sam commented. “They had one of their people working on research to find out what we could do and how it matched up to their systems.”
“So they’re looking to help us develop our own native space capabilities not just sell us finished products.” Hammond nodded as he spoke. “That makes selling the idea of diplomatic status for these Cylons much easier. Do we have an idea of their history?”
“Not at this time sir,” Jack answered with a grimace. “They’re playing everything close to their chests.”
Quentin Travers ground his teeth together as he sat in the high council meeting. Despite being the head of the council there were days when he really disliked the meetings he had to attend. Today would be a good day though; he finally had a reason to fire Giles. So he listened to the administrative crap with relative equanimity. Still the sheer amount of crap that Roger Wyndam was spewing over the most recent budget projections was enough to make him grind his teeth together. The other reason he was grinding his teeth was because of Roger’s appearance before the council his father and father in law were here.
At any normal time those two were bad enough, as the moral heart of the reformist movement they only came to the council meetings to mock. Travers and the other traditionalists had succeeded in marginalizing them to the point where that was all they could do. Today though it was a bad thing that they were here. Given his reasoning for sacking Giles they would be able to make trouble. Idly Travers wondered what it would take to get the two octogenarians off the council.
In his mind they didn’t deserve to be here. Wyndam had let two of his sons, the older two, find lives outside the council. One was a bureaucrat of some kind, working for the prime minister; the other was a brigadier with the RAF. Only his third son, the least capable of his brood, had gone to the council. Even then he wasn’t a true Watcher, just the man who watched the money. Travers could feel his lips curl in distaste for the family. In his mind they had betrayed the sacred trust, Watchers children should become Watchers there was no other way. Pryce was just as bad. His sons had moved out of the council’s circle and into the government, only his daughter had remained even tangentially connected to the Watchers. She had married Roger Wyndam, doing her duty as a good daughter of a Watcher family, but she spent most of her time at charity balls and other high society functions.
Rogers’s son had been headed for a different career before Roger had stepped in and put a stop to that. After that incident the man had actually shown a backbone for once in his life. He had banned both his father and father in law from seeing or interacting with his son. Travers actually approved of that move. If the man were less of an accountant and more of a Watcher then he would have been nominated for the council. After all he was the son and son in law of two of the most respected council members. Never mind that his politics were strict traditionalist as opposed to the reformist politics of the older men. Finally Roger finished his report.
Quentin took a sip of water as the provost called for any other business. He didn’t think there would be any, but it never hurt to observe the forms. Besides, his turn to speak was next.
“I have new business for the council,” Ethan Wyndam said firmly, interrupting Quentin’s train of thought. “Would the head of the council care to explain just why we came up on MI6, The Ministry of Defense, the Prime Ministers office, and the office of the Queens schedules in the past day?” Even delivered in the mild tone it was the question was devastating. Quentin had been taking a second sip of water and in his shock he spit it across the agenda laid out in front of him.
“WHAT?” Quentin couldn’t help but shout the question.
“Oh yes,” Allen Pryce moved in for the kill. “It seems that we are going to be required to hand over all our records of the Goo’uld and Jaffa demons, all of our interactions, and every place we have encountered them since the rebellion in Egypt.”
“You cannot be serious,” Quentin was flustered. “They are clearly within our remit by treaty with the Crown!”
“It seems that they are not,” Ethan said, a grin playing across his face. “Recent events have brought this to the attention of the Crown. Tell me Quinton, where is the Chappa’ai?”
“Buried in Giza at last check,” Quentin responded, very puzzled by where this was going.
“Oh, so your grandfather didn’t authorize its excavation and transport to the United States back in 27? It isn’t your fathers signature on the transfer of ownership forms to one Langford?” Allen joined in the attack with obvious relish. “Would you care to explain where the thirty thousand pounds for it went? Because I know that they didn’t end up in the councils coffers.”
“I will have to look into your allegations, and should my father have acted improperly you can be assured that the funds will be repaid,” Travers managed with some dignity.
“All three million?” Ethan asked, sliding his verbal dagger in excellently. “I was unaware that you had access to that kind of money Travers.”
“Three million?” Quentin could feel his heart sinking as he heard the sum. “I heard thirty thousand.”
“That’s before you take into account the inflation,” Allen volley with his partner. “Isn’t that right Roger?”
“Actually the sum would come to three million two hundred and fifty thousand,” Roger said evenly, despite the sweat that was beading his brow. He had never considered the amount of political damage his father and father in law were capable of doing when they put their minds to it. They had mostly retired before he reached a level where he reported to the high council. Even as politically and socially tone deaf as he was Roger wasn’t an idiot. He could see the way the wind was blowing and knew better then to get in the way of the two sharks who had just revealed themselves to the room.
“That is a rather large sum,” Allen mused aloud. “I rather think that we need to officially call a review of all council artifacts and funds. If the Travers have stolen from the council then other families very well might have as well.”
“Protocol is clear,” Ethan smirked at his old friend. “The high council has officially been notified of a theft of over a million pounds, the review is automatic.”
Dead silence greeted this pronouncement. Members of the high council knew that their family had stolen something from the council over the years. There was a reason why the last review, in 1703, had caused the council to up the amount for an automatic review from a thousand pounds to a million. The reformists had just guaranteed that they were going to ruin most of their traditionalist opponents.
Most watchers were not bound by magical oath, simply by their honour and the oaths they had taken on that. After the great relocation in 1620 away from the chaos of the thirty years war, the high council had been forced to take magical oaths. Simply put the high council of the time had screwed up for personal gain and it had deeply affected the Council as a whole. Since no one had wanted a repeat of that the Watchers had instituted the magical oath system for the high council. In modern terms it meant that all of the high council, or the families of those once on the high council in the past, would be compelled to pay back the debts they had incurred.
Worse anyone under such a geas was prohibited from serving on the high council until such a time that the geas was lifted. Travers knew that he would be able to pay this back and keep his seat, but he doubted that any of the other council members would be able to. He would only be able to do so because he intercepted some of the retrieval teams finds before they made it to the Council. It was one of the sources of his power on the Council, and it had traditionally been the source of his family’s wealth. He just hoped that the council auditing team didn’t find more examples of his family screwing up and selling something already logged by the councils artifact division.
Even as these thoughts ran through his head the high council erupted into chaos as everyone else figured out just what this meant for them. Ethan and Allan were just sitting back and enjoying the chaos they had unleashed. They wore matching smirks and Travers was certain that he would not be getting his way for a good long time after this. The high council was, as of this moment, incapable of doing anything until the audit was complete. Silently he vowed that by the end of the month those two… he couldn’t think of a curse foul enough for the two men… men’s grandson would be on the hell mouth. Required training be damned, the little shit would pay for his grandfathers arrogance. Hopefully the death of their grandchild would hurt the two old men.