16. Through the Stargate and what Helo found there
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
The next two chapters have issues, I'm working on them but they aren't anywhere near ready yet. Expect the pace on updates to slow for a bit.
As always; 'speech' Caprican, "Speech" English.
“So this is the almighty Stargate? Looks like a flushing toilet,” Helo commented in an offhand manner, trying not to show how impressed he actually was.
“That’s what I said!” Jack exclaimed loudly. “Didn’t I space monkey?”
“Yes, you did,” Daniel answered in a long-suffering voice.
“What are its dimensions?” Helo thought that a Viper could fit through the ring, but he wasn’t sure. It would certainly be a close fit. A Raptor would never make it.
“Three meter radius,” Sam answered as they walked towards the gate.
“Damn… a Viper would fit but it would take one hell of a pilot to do it.” Helo commented in an offhand manner. He noted that Jack perked up when he heard that. “I’ll have Jono work on that when he’s doing the designs for you.”
“Now that’s an idea I can get behind, us having air support for a change,” Jack said excitedly. “Now you coming or just standing there till the gate closes?”
“I have thirty eight minutes,” Helo answered with a grin. “I was planning on using as much time as I felt like.”
“Get in there,” Jack rolled his eyes and walked through the gate.
Helo shrugged his pack into a more comfortable position and checked his assault rifle. He believed that this wasn’t a dimensional portal but he wasn’t completely convinced yet. It wouldn’t do for him to end up in a hell dimension and not have his weapon ready. With that thought he strode through the gate. It was a feeling he couldn’t describe, a mix of the best rollercoaster he had ever ridden and a psychedelic trip. The end result of his first time traveling via gate was him stumbling out of it and shaking his head, trying to get his bearings back.
“Trees, joy,” Jack deadpanned.
“Jack you always say that!” Daniel shot back. “What did you expect this planet is deserted, it’s why we were allowed to take Helo with us. Nothing could go wrong.”
“Gods damn it!” Helo heard that and began to check his rifle over again. “You didn’t tell me that your team mates liked to taunt Murphy!”
“Danny!” Jack shouted along with Helo. “What were you thinking!”
“Sir,” Sam just rolled her eyes at the antics of the boys. “Quit feeding the tourists.”
“SamanthaCarter is correct, if we wish to make our camp site before dark then we must hurry,” Teal’c said scanning the area for threats. He actually agreed with Jack and Helo but he knew better then to say so aloud.
Helo shrugged off his pack and took one of the javelin like poles out of its side. With a grunt he drove it into the ground right in front of the Stargate and attached a box to it. When he was done he checked what looked like a hand computer and then nodded in satisfaction. Picking up his pack he followed Jacks lead away from the gate.
“What was that?” Sam asked, curious.
“Remote sensor and a directional mine.” Helo answered. “Since someone taunted Murphy I felt it was needed.”
Sam didn’t question the alien, even though she wanted to. She just catalogued his tech mentally, she and other members of SG1 were going to be putting together a wish list when this was done and those remote sensors would defiantly be on it. It was the perfect thing to watch the gate while you went off exploring. Adding on a directional mine was a little bit paranoid, but understandable. It would act as a remote self-destruct, keeping the technology out of the hands of anyone who came across the sensor and tried to take it.
An hour later they made camp. Jack had found them a nice clearing; close to the ruins that Daniel wanted a look at, with a stream only meters away. Setting up the tents didn’t take long so Daniel got to start exploring while there was still light out. Teal’c followed the archaeologist, ensuring his safety, while Jack pestered Sam and Helo. Helo was busy setting up two sensors of some type; one looked almost like it came from earth the other didn’t look like anything human. The glowing strip of light that ran from one end to the other made it clear that it was alien. Eventually Helo got fed up with Jack’s hovering and threw him a fishing rod, telling him to go catch dinner.
“You do realize you just made his day?” Sam asked as Helo pulled out two earth radios.
“Really?” Helo asked slightly distracted as he set the radios out. “I wasn’t trying to. I just wanted something that wasn’t ration packs for dinner. That’s why I brought the rod along, after all according to the briefing almost every planet you’ve visited has had Earth species introduced to it.”
“Jack has a bit of an obsession with fishing,” Sam commented as she recognized what Helo was doing. “Solid state radios? Really?”
“Know of a better test to see if the universal constants have changed? Quickly I mean. We’re only supposed to be here for a day.” Helo answered easily.
“I would have expected you to use your own version, not earth versions.” Sam said.
“Ours are a touch more robust,” Helo answered as he switched the radios on. “Trust me on that.”
“Really?” Sam raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, your bread board and chip based stuff isn’t as EMP resistant as ours is. We use metal-based chips and boards; lead encased, stuff lasts forever even if it isn’t as fast or powerful. Cylon style systems are optical, synthetic diamond based, and they’re even better.” Helo shrugged as he listened to the radios work. “Good we’re not in a dimension without the same physical constants.”
“You still are on about dimensional travel?” Sam asked.
“Not really, but I have to gather all the evidence for my report. I can’t exactly expect command to take gut feeling as a legitimate reason why this is interstellar instead of inter-dimensional.” Helo smirked. “Besides, admit it, you want to see me play with my toys.”
“Actually I want to know what your toys do,” Sam replied evenly.
“Measure EM spectrum, Gravity, Air, all sorts of stuff. Most of which I can’t analyze.” Helo answered shutting off the radios. “I’m going to be looking at the stars later, see if I can get a hyper fix for this planet based on the gate address you punched in. If it’s close enough we’ll jump back here and make sure that the planet is here using our jump drive.”
Sharon sipped her coffee and muttered under her breath. She didn’t want to take this meeting but she knew that she needed to. After all she had been putting it off for two days. First she had to analyze the result of the great vampire drive, which had been disappointing. Even if the cannon worked against the vamps it was inefficient and way too noisy. Two out of every three of her targets had escaped and then she had been forced to evacuate the area quickly when the police showed up. Apparently the police department’s apathy didn’t extend to firing a cannon in town.
Then she had spent a second day repairing the Centurion the vampires had shot at close range. The bullet hadn’t destroyed it, but it had damaged its sensors and some of its processors. Cordelia and the other Centurions had been worried that it would go crazy unless fully repaired, which Sharon agreed was a real worry, but it had taken time. Adding to her irritation was the fact her husband wasn’t home. She missed him, missed sleeping with him, and missed waking up to him being there.
Still she couldn’t let her annoyance get out of hand. From what Giles had said over the phone this was big news. Apparently there was a second slayer out there and he wanted them to meet before they slayer mistook the feeling of an alien for the feeling of a demon. Considering that Buffy had made that same mistake it was a very good idea. The last thing they need were blue on blue casualties. Especially since someone in the demon underworld was starting to wise up and use modern weapons.
“Ah, Sharon, good of you to make it,” Giles said as he entered the deserted coffee shop. “Long couple of nights?”
“You can say that again,” Sharon’s voice was heavy. “Had to deal with the results of the great stampede, repair the heavy raider, and repair one of the centurions before it was driven insane on top of my normal work load.”
“How did the stampede work out?” Giles inquired mildly as a pair of humans followed him over to the table. Sharon noted that the girl positioned herself between Sharon and the man.
“Not as well as we hoped. The cannon did a number on anything it hit but the rate of fire was too slow to achieve what we wanted and the noise brought the cops in record time for Sunnyhell.” Sharon shook her head. “On top of that someone on the other side is getting smart. Some of the vamps were issued modern weapons.”
“That is a rather alarming development,” the man put in. “Is it common here?”
“This is the second time it has happened.” Giles said with a frown. “A rather worrying trend.”
“And who are these people?” Sharon asked mildly.
“Ah, pardon my rudeness,” Giles perked up. “Sharon Agathon meet Sam Zabuto and Kendra Young.”
“Pleased to make your acquaintance,” Sharon held out her hand.
“What are you?” Kendra cocked her head to the side and looked ready to attack. “You feel like a demon.”
“Alien,” Sharon answered shortly. “According to Buffy I feel weird not icky.”
“You can verify this watcher Giles?” Samuel asked with widened eyes.
“Ah yes,” Giles pulled off his glasses and started cleaning them. “A chaos spell gone rather wrong.”
“Very well,” Samuel took Sharon’s outstretched hand. “It is always good to meet another being involved in the fight against darkness. You mentioned something about a stampede?”
“Yeah, the Centurions tried to drive the demons in the warehouse district into a killing field. It worked to a degree, but not as well as we had hoped.” Sharon shrugged.
“I saw that,” Kendra sank warily into a chair. “These Centurions are they metal, look like mobile suits of powered armour?”
“That’s them,” Sharon felt a smile flit across her face. “They are rather effective against vampires.”
“According to the latest underworld rumors the vamps and demons have taken to calling them the Armoured Death.” Giles put in with a slight laugh.
“So, now that our visitor has returned, and indicated that he intends to give a favorable report, thoughts.” General Hammond said mildly.
“They’re lying about themselves,” Jack spoke up first. “I don’t think its anything that will effect us, but they are lying.”
“Agreed,” Sam put in. “I don’t think that we can let that get in our way though. Their technological base is radically different from anything we’ve seen out there. Some of their tech is primitive, especially compared to what the ancients could achieve, but it appears to be effective.”
“You look like you have more to say,” Hammond said mildly.
“Yes sir, as I said it’s a radically different tech base. Their ideas and methods are different and because of that they have some systems that are much more advanced then anything we’ve seen. Their Dradis tech for instance is a type of scanner any Goa’uld or even an Asgard would kill for.” Sam chewed her lip for a moment before continuing. “I think what we’re seeing here is a home grown tech base that evolved without anyone to follow. They took a different path to hyper and scanning then anyone else.”
“Is it usable?” Hammond probed.
“Very, from what I understand their tech would be easy for a modern defense contractor to duplicate. In fact, judging by a couple of my conversations with Colonel Agathon, they plan on doing just that. Apparently their putting together an open blue print for a modified Viper that we could build.” Sam shook her head. “According to Karl they would have to supply three pieces for the first year or two, until we could make them on our own.”
“What pieces?” Jack asked.
“Engines, Dradis, and something they call the grav plate system. An unknown type of gravity manipulation. Karl thought that we could get the engine soon enough but the complex metallurgy of the grav plates and Dradis would take longer.” Sam shrugged. “One thing I really want that they aren’t ready to give us access to, is their hyper engine.”
“Their war book didn’t have anything on their hyper method?” Daniel asked.
“Nope,” Jack responded. “It was a pretty standard thing, list of armaments and armour for their known opponents. From reading it they never got shield tech so they focused on armour and maneuverability. I think one of their big ships could stand up to a Ha’tak for a bit, but it couldn’t win.”
“They don’t have energy weapons either,” Sam commented. “They’ve refined projectile weapons to a truly awesome height, but nothing energy based. I think one of their big rail guns could pound down a Ha’tak’s shield but it would take them a long time.”
“No it wouldn’t,” Jack grimaced. “They would just start flinging nukes by the dozen. Everything they make mounts nukes, and I do mean everything. The Viper, their short ranged fighter, even has mounts designed so it can bring along a nuke or three.”
“Their doctrine was evolved in a genocidal war and never changed.” Daniel shrugged as he said that. “Their history book makes that clear. Having a big fleet and an aggressive style is instinctual for them. That’s my read on the situation.”
“Well, whatever the reason Agathon has been in a radiation heavy environment several times.” Janet Frasier spoke up for the first time. “What ever they use as anti rad meds work though. I would dearly love some for our infirmary.”
“Could that be why they evolved a nuke first attitude?” Hammond wanted to move on, but he thought it important to let this discussion continue to the end.
“No, I think its more an expression of just how long they’ve had space flight. Losing a world or two to fallout, is less of an issue for them.” Daniel shook his head sadly. “Being able to move their population onto an uncontaminated world was and is a very real possibility for them. Their medical knowledge just means that their surviving population is healthier when they get there.”
“Any clues if they have done so in the past?” Sam asked with a cock of her head.
“Yes, the colonial portion of their civilization started out from one planet, nuked itself silly, and split up into twelve planets in the aftermath. There are minor indications that Picon and Aerlon may have both been relocated at some point in their history but nothing definitive.”
“Indications Doctor Jackson?”
“Picon and Aerlon both are indicated as having prolonged periods of lost records, massive disruptions, and radical changes in climate following wars.” Daniel shrugged. “The problem is we don’t have access to their records beyond what they’ve given us and it’s more of a text book then a real history book.”
“So to sum up everything I’m hearing these people are highly advanced in ways we haven’t seen before, aggressive, and more then willing to throw nukes at a planet.” Hammond shook his head. “I’m not sure I like the picture you’re painting here.”
“General, a lot of this is speculation,” Daniel spoke carefully. “What we’re seeing here is a military sponsored team, one that is studying a world where they have a real fear that they will be dissected due to their last contact with pure humanity.”
“You’re thinking maskirovka?” Jack frowned as he considered the idea. “Might be, they made themselves out to look like an eight hundred pound gorilla and yet they haven’t met the Goa’uld or the ancients.”
“Considering those two species affects on the galaxy…” Sam frowned as she thought about it. “Sir I think it likely that they have a smaller population base then we do.”
“Sir from everything we’ve heard from them and from Daniels speculations about Minoan civilization their starting population was probably around ten or twelve thousand humans, at most, and an unknown number of Cylons.” Sam bent and did some quick calculations. “Even if humans and Cylons can interbreed, the numbers don’t add to a massive population. They probably have one system, no more.”
“I can give you a second data point to support that population theory,” Janet looked up. “Karl Agathon has at least one grandparent who was from earth.”
“They’ve been kidnapping people?” Hammond sounded outraged.
“I don’t think so,” Janet shuffled her files for a second before continuing. “I would say that they have been getting genetic material from earth. How hard would it be to tranq a guy and get some sperm out of him? Given that they told us that two of the Cylon models who split from the other Cylons were female…”
“IVF,” Sam nodded her head. “From the way they were talking at least half, probably more of their starting population was Cylon. Cylon's are all genetically the same, that severely limited their genetic pool.”
“So they got around the problem by getting baby batter from earth,” Jack shook his head. “Bet you ten dollars that if we look at fertility clinics we’ll find a pattern of large purchases disappearing.”
“No bet,” Hammond shook his head. “Would that be a valid secondary or even primary reason for them to have a mission to earth?”
“Sir, I would need to get with a reputable geneticist but I would say so.” Janet tried and failed to imagine the problems that these Cylons faced.
“Very well, while disconcerting that information only reduces the threat to us,” Daniel said, brightly.
“It did till we introduced them to the gate system.” Jack frowned. “They now know that there are lots of humans out their in the galaxy. It also puts a bit of weight on my civil war theory, this could be a result of a drastic population crash they’re trying to recover from.”
“No other planet is as advanced and convenient for getting genetic material. You might be on to something with the population crash theory though,” Janet disagreed. “If they did suffer a war that caused a population crash this might be a survival imperative for them, or not. That’s why I need to talk to a geneticist and an evolutionary biologist. I don’t know the effect of a constant injection of the same DNA into a population, but I think it would affect the fifty, five hundred rule.”
“Or would create a new species,” Hammond said firmly. “Is there anything else about Colonel Agathon's medical we should know?”
“Nothing at this time, I am having the sample shipped out a genetics lab though, if there story is true then they might, I repeat might, be more closely related to the Alterans then we are.” Janet shrugged. “That’s just speculation at this point though.”
“I thought that it was agreed that they haven’t run into the ancients before?” Hammond raised an eyebrow.
“My theory,” Daniel admitted slightly abashed. “We know that the Alterans came before us and died out due to a plague. I speculated that these Cylons were descended from a crashed ship that no one found. I guess Janet took the possibility seriously.”