Saturday, Scooby Mansion
Agents B and D approached from the road. Agent B asked “Are you sure this place is owned by the Summer's woman?”
“That's what the county registrar's office said. It was purchased on Monday for the asking price, plus several commissions. All taxes are paid for the next five years as well. “
“Well, let's see if anyone's home.”
The two agents walked up to the gate, and not seeing any doorbells or intercoms, tried opening the gates. Finding them unlocked, the two agents entered the property and headed for the mansion directly ahead.
Meanwhile, within the mansion itself, one of the SE4 butler droids approached Xander while he was working with one of his computers that was acting as an up-link to G95, Utopia Planetia, and Dawn's Star Destroyer. He was just checking the progress of the network of sensor and weapons arrays that Data had designed to be the first line of defense for the system. So far, eighty of the fifty meter automated vessels had been deployed. Each vehicle's sensors were networked through one of the main science labs on Utopia Planetia, and the collection of the individual sensor data gave a far more detailed resolution than would be otherwise possible, much like the Very Large Array's Earth astronomers have been using for many years with radio telescopes. Utopia Planetia would also control the ship's weapons systems, making that array Very Dangerous. While not as heavily armed as even a science vessel, they were extremely heavily armed for their size.
“Excuse me Master Xander.”
“Yes Alfred? What can I do for you?”
“There are two unannounced persons coming up the drive. Sensors indicate that they have normal body temperature and are lightly armed and armored.”
“Thank you Alfred, take three Droideka and find out what they want please. If they have honest intentions, escort them to the front hall, otherwise, take them into custody for trespassing and hold them in separate rooms.”
Moments later, three Droideka surrounded the two agents and the SE4 droid Xander had named Alfred approached. Once within speaking range of the two trespassers, Alfred stated, “Gentlemen, you are trespassing on private property. Please state your business or you will be placed under arrest for felony trespass.”
Agent B examined each of the droids before addressing the one that spoke, “I am Agent Baker, my partner is Agent Dover, we are Federal Agents conducting an official investigation. Any attack upon our persons will be met with military force. We are looking for Mrs. Joyce Summers, or her daughter, Miss Buffy Ann Summers. If they are in residence, inform them that there are two Federal Agents here to speak with them.”
Alfred examined the two agents carefully, looking for signs of deception, and discovering none, other than the understandable apprehension of facing 4 heavily armed droids, informed them “Please present your credentials.”
At the prompt, the two agents handed the droid their badges and identification cards. Alfred examined the identifications for several moments and after being unable to score a match in any of the federal databases, asked “What department do you work for?”
“We represent the Department of Fish and Game,” Agent B stated.
Alfred responded immediately, “That is incorrect. Your names and badge numbers are not within the Federal Fish and Game database. Would you care to try again?”
Agents B and D looked at each other for a moment, apparently having a brief conversation, before Agent D said, “We work for a classified branch of the federal intelligence community, and are not at liberty at present to discuss classified details with you or others in residence. We have been sent by our superiors to interview Mrs. Joyce Summers and Miss Buffy Summers specifically, and any others we feel necessary in the course of our investigation.”
“I have relayed your request to my master. Leave your weapons holstered. If you draw your weapons, you will be fired upon by the household security and defense systems. This way please.” Alfred led the procession of droids and two NID agents to the main hall to await Xander’s orders.
Two minutes later, Xander walked into the main hall wearing his Starfleet duty uniform. “Welcome to Scooby Mansion Agents, my name is Fleet Admiral Xander Harris. Next time, I suggest calling ahead, and we can avoid the unpleasantness of the armed escort.”
“We have been trying to contact you and your associates for several days.”
“Perhaps you should check with the other branches of government then, as we have been in contact with the SGC rather regularly. In any case, it is required that you make an appointment from now on. Any further acts of trespass will be met with all necessary force. Now, what can I do for the NID?”
The two agents looked at each other, slightly taken aback by the fact that the young man correctly identified the organization that they worked for. “You are in possession, or know someone who is in possession of a contraband device. We are here to confiscate that device. It appears to have two forms, one of which is that of a metallic silver briefcase sized box, the other is that of a telephone booth sized metallic silver box. Where is it?”
“Ah, you are referring to the MAU. Morphic Adaption Unit Mark Five. Yes, I have one, no, not within the mansion. It is in a safe place where people like you and your organization will not be able to get your hands on it. It would be far too dangerous in your hands. I am actually collecting them from all over the planet, trying to get them out of general circulation after an incident where an individual used them to start a crime spree. At last count we have four hundred fifty four thousand two hundred eighty nine of the devices in secure storage. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
The agents again conferred silently before agent B again took over, “Do you know how these droids were built? You can make more of them?”
“Yes, I do know how they are built, yes, I can make more of them, and several other designs as well, however the resident robotocists are Dawn Summers and Jana Calderash, both under my command.”
“By Order of the President, 1374, You, Dawn Summers, and Jana Calderash are hereby drafted into United States Military Service.”
“You can go ahead and stop right there. First of all, Slavery is illegal in this nation. As a Draft is a form of Slavery, your statement is irrelevant. Second, even if the Draft were legal, both myself and Dawn Summers are under the age requirements for service in the United States Military. Third, Miss Calderash is not a US National, as such, she cannot be drafted either. Fourth, should you make any form of physical attempt at kidnapping, conscription, or enforced servitude of any kind, I will personally make it my mission in life to destroy you, your superiors, and your organization. If you choose to make it personal, I will respond in kind."
Xander thought for half a heartbeat before continuing. “Tell me, are either of you familiar with anti-matter? Specifically, how it reacts to matter?”
Agent B answered, “Not specifically, but I know the general theory, a given amount of anti-matter will react with an identical amount of matter, releasing a massive amount of energy while the particles mutually annihilate.”
“Close enough,” Xander replied. “My ships, the ones that are currently protecting this star system, are all equipped with matter/anti-matter weapons. If you’ve seen Star Trek, you’ll be familiar with the Photon Torpedo?” Seeing their general comprehension Xander continued, “Good. Each Photon Torpedo carries one point five kilograms of anti-matter. This will yield a detonation roughly equivalent to seventy and a half megatons. All of my ships also carry the Quantum Torpedo, which is about two and a half times more powerful. Now, I should also point out that I have Transporters which are capable of teleporting a person or object from one place to another. I also know that your organization doesn’t have shielding technology that is capable of blocking my transporters, so there would really be no point in trying to kidnap one of my people, as I would very quickly locate them, remove them from your custody, and replace them with a Quantum Torpedo which would soon detonate at roughly one hundred seventy six megatons.
"The lightest class starship I currently have in orbit is a Science Frigate, and she carries six hundred Quantum Torpedoes. The Heaviest ship in the fleet is the Megaroad-class Battlefortress and she carries one hundred twenty-four thousand, eight hundred Quantum Torpedoes. Please keep these facts in mind should you decide on a course of hostile actions.
“Now, if there is no further business, I would offer the following piece of friendly advice. Leave town as soon as possible if not sooner. There are elements in this town that you do not want to deal with.”
“Is that a threat Mr. Harris?”
“Fleet Admiral. That was not a threat, as I said, it was a friendly bit of advice. Now, me telling you about photon torpedoes if anyone attempts to kidnap or enslave any of my personnel, now that was a threat. One which I strongly suggest you take very seriously as well.”
“You are aware that threatening Federal Agents is against the law?”
“You are aware that kidnapping, slavery, trafficking in humans and theft are also against the law? All of which you have stated a desire to commit during this meeting. You are supposedly Federal Agents, so you should know that you are not permitted to do such things.”
“Are you a lawyer Mr. Harris?”
“I’m sorry, but did you not hear me Agent Brain-dead? I know that I specifically introduced myself as Fleet Admiral Harris, and corrected you the last time you failed to use my title correctly. Do it again, and this meeting will be over. Now, what was your question?”
“Are you a lawyer Fleet Admiral Harris?”
“No, I’m not. Are you?”
“Are you a Federal Agent?”
“That is not an answer to my question.”
Agent B asked again, a bit more forcefully, “Are you a Federal Agent?”
“If that’s the way you wish to conduct yourselves, that will be the end of this meeting Agents.” Xander turned to Alfred, “See the gentlemen to the front gate, they will be leaving immediately. If they do not, they will be considered trespassing, and you will take them into custody as such.” Returning his attention to the two agents, “Good day gentlemen.”
“Mr. Harris, we aren’t done yet.”
“Yes, you are. Unless you would like to try your hand against my security personnel?”
“Alexander Harris, Dawn Summers, and Jana Kalderash are hereby ordered to present themselves for conscription into military service of the United States of America, furthermore, Alexander Harris is ordered to hand over all of the devices known as the Morphic Adaption Unit Mark Five immediately, as it is a contraband item and possession thereof is a felony. Comply, or be taken into custody by force.”
“You gentlemen appear to be of the opinion that Might Makes Right. As such, I am very glad that not only are we all better people than you, but vastly more powerful as well. Alfred, stun them.” Alfred relayed the order to the Droideka and they immediately opened fire upon the two agents with phasers, incapacitating the two agents effortlessly, even as they began reaching for their own weapons.
Xander tapped his com-badge, “Xander to Defiant, three to transport to the brig.”
***SGC, a few minutes earlier
Sgt. Harriman knocked on General Hammond’s door before entering, “Sir, SG-1 is on line three for you.”
“Thank you Walter.” Hammond picked up the phone, “General Hammond here.”
“Sir, we can’t find them. We’ve been to their homes, the local schools, listed places of employment, everything. Would you please call them and ask where we can meet them?”
“I’ll have Sgt. Harriman make the call and get back to you within the hour.”
As SG-1 exited their SUV, Jack comments “So this is where Harris moved to when he ran away from home? Wish I had thought of that as a kid…”
Daniel seemed to agree, “Talk about failing upwards.”
As the group approached the main doors, they opened to reveal a simple looking bronze colored droid.
“Greetings SG-1. My name is Alfred, and it is my pleasure to welcome you to Scooby Mansion. Admiral Harris is expecting you, however he was called away briefly on a matter of some urgency. We expect him back presently. If you would please come this way, I have some refreshments waiting.”
After following Alfred to the sitting room, Sam asked, “Alfred, can we ask you some questions?”
“You may ask, however, there are many that I will not be permitted to answer, except to say that I’m not permitted to answer them. There may be many more questions that I will be unable to answer due to lack of knowledge.”
“That’s fair enough. I suppose my first question then is what are you?”
“I am a droid, specifically, an SE4 Butler droid, upgraded to coordinate and assist in the defense of the mansion. The mansion itself is staffed entirely by droids.”
“Are you alive, or entirely artificial?”
“All droids are entirely artificial. We are manufactured and programmed to be of assistance to our owners, to serve them faithfully in any way we are capable.”
“That sounds an awful lot like slavery,” Daniel commented.
Alfred considered that for a brief moment, “You arrived here in a land vehicle, did you not?” it asked the archaeologist.
“Do you consider that slavery?”
“Our vehicles are incapable of communicating intelligently with us.”
“Communication skills do not a sapient creature make, and very few droids ever become sapient. All droids are programmed with a very high degree of intelligence, including myself. There is a very large difference however between intelligence, sentience, and sapience. Most animals on your planet qualify for sentient as they respond as if they are aware of their own selves, but only the species homo-sapiens has thus far qualified as sapient on this planet. Once a droid is discovered to be sapient they are granted their freedom and independence. Nobody here is a supporter of the enslavement of any life form, biological or artificial.”
“Thank you Alfred. I hope you understand our concern.”
“Only to the degree my programming allows. As a butler, I am not one of the more sophisticated models, however, I believe I do understand your concerns in dealing with a relatively unknown and new business associate. You wish to ensure that everything is legitimate.”
Again, Sam asked, “What is your power source?”
“I am afraid that I am not programmed for repairing droids. As such, I am not familiar with their inner workings. I know that I run for approximately 200 standard hours before needing to shut down for re-charging, but that is the extent of my knowledge on that subject.”
Sam was rather disappointed, while Jack and Teal’c both appeared relieved, though, only SG-1 would be able to read Teal’c’s response accurately. Daniel could at least understand why they would be relieved.
Daniel asked, “What else can you tell us about droids, keeping in mind that we’ve never met one before?”
“There are many different types of droids, each one dedicated to a specific type of task. The most plentiful types are the Protocol droids, as a butler, I am of this type. Tutorial droids, nanny droids, translator droids, administration droids, are all of this type as well. Next most common type of droid is the ubiquitous Astromech droid. They are designed to assist at a wide variety of tasks, mostly centered on repairs and space navigation, while repair droids are specialized only for repairs. There are medical droids, often amongst the most advanced droids in design, they are entrusted with the delicate task of healing sick and wounded biological units. They also have the strictest and deepest embedded programming concerning the sanctity of life. The MD series make excellent nurses, pharmacists, and lab assistants, while the 2-1B makes a far superior care provider than a biological Doctor. No one has sued a medical droid for malpractice in over five thousand years of galactic history. There are also military droids.” At this, Jack and Teal’c perked up. Having been interested in the claims for better medical care, but not sure they would trust a machine more than they would Doc Frasier. “Police droids are the most common, programmed for the apprehension of suspects, but combat droids are not rare. There are tracking droids, sentry and guard droids, probe droids, messenger droids, general labor droids, supervisor droids, housekeeping droids, exploration droids, mining droids, and a great many others. If there is a task you can think of, there is likely a droid that can perform that task, especially if that task is either dangerous for biologicals, or undesirable.”
Jack of course had to ask, “What do you mean by military droids?”
“Well, there are of course military versions of the standard types of droid, more capable of keeping military secrets, more knowledgeable of the military way of doing things, but when one refers to military droids, one is usually referring to combat droids, droids intended for use fighting skirmishes, battles, and of course wars. There are infantry droids, artillery droids, tank droids, starfighter droids, again, if there is a military application, there is likely a droid to fit that application. They of course come in every conceivable size, from small droids designed to fit in pockets, to the very large, meant to dominate battlefields and war zones. According to my database, the largest droid ever built was designed to secure a star system, a task that it successfully completed until the star itself went nova. It was the only droid of its type, as it bankrupted its builders, eventually leading to the collapse of that society.”
The very thought of such a thing left all four members of SG-1 in silent contemplation for several minutes. It was a silence that was only broken by Xander as he beamed into the room.
“Sorry I’m late. I had a run in with the NID, and was required to take out some trash.”
At this, SG-1 broke from their introspection, and stood to greet him.
After greetings, “I hope Alfred has been keeping you entertained?” Xander asked with a lopsided grin.
“Indeed,” replied Teal’c. “He was much more informative than C-3PO would have been.”
“We have droids to make our lives more convenient, not more frustrating,” Xander replied still smiling.
“Good point,” Daniel said quietly. “You said something about getting rid of the NID?”
Darkly, Xander said, “I stripped them to their underwear, and tattooed “Slaver” across their backs, implanted tracking devices into them in order to locate their bases of operation, then transported them six blocks from their headquarters. It is my intention to see that they are shut down. Permanently. Fatally if necessary, but only if necessary.”
At the slaver comment, they were confused about the relevance, so Sam asked, “Slaver?”
“Yes. They attempted to forcibly conscript several of my people, something that I consider to be slavery. Well, they said it was a draft, sounded more like kidnapping and then forced labor to me.”
Daniel and Teal’c nodded, though Sam looked conflicted. Jack just looked rather angry at yet another attempted kidnapping by the NID, though uncomfortable with Xander's intention to attack federal agents. All four of them thought that the NID agents had gotten off lightly thus far, assuming that they survived to make it back to their headquarters.
Xander continued, though much more friendly, “So, what can I do for SG-1 today?”
Teal’c answered for the team, “I have come to offer my knowledge of the Goa’uld. I have brought both Staff weapon, as well as Zat’nik’tel for your scientific endeavors.”
“Thank you Teal’c. This will go quite some ways in answering some fundamental questions we have about their space-based capabilities. We have been producing ships at minimal levels because we didn’t know if they would be effective against the Goa’uld or not. We have made a good many educated guesses based upon everything that we’ve learned, but they are only guesses. I believe that our ships are strong enough to take them on, one on one, but we do not know about specifics. How many Ha’tak would it take to overwhelm the Enterprise? In a match up between a starfighter and a Death-glider, who comes out on top? We need the answers to these questions before we risk any personnel so that we can plan strategy and dog-fighting tactics accordingly.”
“I am happy to assist your endeavors to end the threat of the Goa’uld, Fleet Admiral Harris.”
“So would you like to see the Defiant?” Xander asked. Seeing nods all around, Xander tapped his com-badge, “Xander to Defiant, five to beam up. Engage when ready.” Moments later they stood in the transporter room of the Defiant.
Not quite as impressed as they might have been had they not experienced matter-energy transporters before, both the Goa’uld version as well as the Asgard version, though the sensations were different. Goa’uld transport rings felt domineering, while the Asgard beaming technology felt cold, or clinical. Starfleet transporters felt clean & refreshing by comparison. Sam wondered if it was merely coincidence, or if their inventors had designed them that way? She brushed it off as it was a question she was unlikely to ever have an opportunity to answer. It was also unlikely that anyone but those like them, the SG-Teams and others who did similar jobs, would ever notice such subtle differences.
Everyone noticed that Teal’c was still in the transport beam, just as the droid operating the console spoke, “Welcome aboard Admiral Harris. I was unable to complete transportation of your fourth guest due to bio-containment protocol. He appears to be infested with a class 3 parasite according to the bio-filters.”
Xander walked to the transporter console. “Understood. Is he otherwise clear to finish transport?”
“Yes sir. No other dangerous organisms.”
“Complete transfer then, authorization, Harris, Alexander, now shut up and do it.” Jack smirked at Xander's authorization code, while Daniel and Sam tried to stifle chuckles.
“Aye sir, completing transport.”
Once Teal’c had finished materializing, he was disoriented briefly from the extended transport, but quickly recovered. Seeing that Teal’c would be fine, he turned back to the transporter droid, “Ensign, have cargo bay one transport the SUV in front of Scooby Mansion up. Weapons protocol override. Have the energy weapons delivered to main engineering, right away.”
The droid operating the console dutifully answered, “Aye sir. Transport with Weapons protocol override. Energy weapons will be delivered to main engineering immediately.”
Xander turned to SG-1, “Lady, gentlemen, I believe a tour had been offered?”
Again, SG-1 was very agreeable, so Xander began his tour. “The U.S.S. Defiant. Hull registry, NX-74205. One hundred seventy meters long, one hundred thirty-four meters wide, and thirty meters tall, with a mass of three hundred fifty-five thousand metric tons. She has four decks, carries fifty crew normally, but can carry an additional one hundred fifty passengers in an emergency. She’s armed with one class XII phaser bank, four class I rapid firing phaser pulse cannons, three rapid fire quantum torpedo launchers, eight rapid fire point defense rail guns, a two point five million terra-joule shield array and forty centimeters of ablative armor. She has a maximum sub-light speed of ninety-five PSL, has a sustainable top speed of warp nine point nine nine five, but an absolute maximum of nine point nine nine nine five for six hours, and is fold capable. She carries two five meter shuttles, and sufficient munitions for continuous, maximum rate of fire, for eight minutes. Energy weapons extend the actual combat time of course, and the computer only fires when there’s something to hit, so the actual time is more like thirty minutes. Also, the Defiant is an escort, and while she is a powerful ship, at the end of the day, she is still just an escort, not designed for the heavy combat roles that Akira is.” Xander took the group through the ship, stopping on the bridge, the mess hall, where Jack picked up a replicated serving of blue jello, cargo bay one, sick bay, where they were briefly scanned by the holographic doctor. He pronounced them all perfectly healthy, but if they wanted, when they were finished with their tour, he would be happy to remove the scars that they had all acquired over their careers, as well as helping Jack with both knee and recent shoulder injuries.
Eventually, they wound up in main engineering, where tests were already underway upon the staff weapons Teal’c had delivered. The engineering hologram was busy calibrating the test stand, trying to find the maximum output of the staff weapon, as well as the average output. He assured Xander that he would get all the information he could from it.
Their tour was interrupted by a call however, “Jana to Xander.”
Xander tapped his com-badge, “Go ahead.”
“We are receiving a message from the SGC for Teal’c. I think you should bring SG-1 to the bridge.”
“Understood. We are on our way.” Xander looked at the others, “Well folks, you heard the pretty lady, back to the bridge…” he joked as he lead the way back to the bridge.
Once at the bridge, a short trip as usual on such a small vessel, Jana re-established communications with the SGC. “General Hammond, Teal’c and SG-1 have arrived.”
“Thank you Commander Calderash. Teal’c, Master Bra’tac has arrived to inform you of some bad news. He wishes to do so in person.”
“Understood General Hammond. One moment please.”
Jana put the communication on mute, “Mute.”
Teal’c turned to the others, “Master Bra’tac would not have come had the news not been most important.”
Xander offered, “If I recall correctly, he is the one who trained you? You trust him implicitly?”
“That is correct Fleet Admiral Harris. He is the most trusted man I know.”
Xander nodded and decided to do likewise. “We can bring him up then, if that’s your pleasure Teal’c.”
“It would indeed please me to introduce him personally.”
“Very well then, inform him to await transport.”
Jana stated, “unmute,” and did so.
“General Hammond, where is Master Bra’tac?” Teal'c asked.
Master Bra’tac responded personally, “I am here Old Friend.”
Xander went to one of the consoles, scanned the control room, found the only humanoid with a larval symbiont, and transferred orders to beam that person directly to the bridge, bio-hazard protocol override authorized for the symbiont.
Being unused to Asgard tactics of simply beaming people aboard whom they wished to speak to, Bra’tac was unprepared for being whisked from the control room of SGC to the bridge of a starship.
Teal’c greeted the wizened old warrior, “Tec’ma’te, Master Bra’tac.”
Having almost missed his friends greeting amidst the wonders of the starship’s bridge, with the droids moving about their tasks, being that they were far too small to house even a tiny Asgard within their shells, Bra’tac made the correct guess that they were entirely artificial in nature. To be in the presence of a race that could both transport without rings, as it was rumored that the Mighty Asgard could do, as well as devise such automatons, and apparently had become friends with the Tau’ri, well, to Bra’tac the implications would take some time to process fully.
He did however turn to his friend and returned the greeting. “Tec’ma’te, Teal’c. The Tau’ri, they have new allies?”
“They do not Master Bra’tac. They have discovered the means to build this ship on their own.”
“I will admit Old Friend that that statement fills me with both hope and trepidation.”
“Come, allow me to introduce our hosts.” Teal’c lead Bra’tac to where Xander was standing, with Jana still sitting in the Captain’s chair. “Master Bra’tac, this is Fleet Admiral Xander Harris, the commander of many ships such as this, and one of his officers Commander Jana Calderash. Fleet Admiral Xander Harris, Commander Jana Calderash, this is my mentor and friend for many years, Master Bra’tac.”
“Welcome aboard the Defiant, Master Bra’tac.” Xander greeted.
“I thank you for inviting me. I have a question, if I may?”
“With Teal’c's help, I have studied much about Tau’ri and their military, but I do not recognize that particular rank.
“That is because it's not a standard Tau'ri rank. It originates from a fictional series of stories called 'Star Trek' and an organization depicted therein called 'Starfleet.' A Fleet Admiral is the admiral in charge of the entire organization, all ships, star bases, outposts, and installations. Rather like what I imagine Ra's First prime was like, or the American Secretary of Defense.”
“I see. You would then be of higher rank than Hammond of Texas?”
“In theory, yes. In practice, I could not give General Hammond an order because I am not in his chain of command. My authority does not extend to the planet Earth itself, only the rest of the star system, even though we do heavily monitor it.”
Bra'tac nodded his understanding and turned to Teal'c. “I come bearing bad news old friend.”
Teal'c became concerned at the news, “My family?”
“Drey’auc is safe, but Rya'c has been taken by Apophis.”
Jack interrupted, “Wait a sec, hold on, time out, Apophis is dead. We all saw his ship blow up. He could not have survived the explosion.”
Bra'tac nodded, “It is my understanding that he escaped through the Chappa'i just before the explosion. In that defeat, he lost most of his available troops. He is weak right now, and in truth, may never be weaker.”
Xander stepped into the conversation, “Gentlemen, ignoring the whole dead/not dead thing for a moment, if it is your intention to rescue Rya'c, I would like to offer one of my vessels for the rescue mission. We have been looking for an opportunity to engage the Goa'uld in space combat, and this might be just such an opportunity.”
Bra'tac thought for a few moments before asking, “Please, explain.”
“We believe our newly acquired technology is superior to Goa'uld technology, but we have not yet had an opportunity to test this belief. We know scientifically what our equipment is capable of, but do not have an accurate way to define what the Goa'uld are capable of. All we have are comparisons between individual Goa'uld forces and estimates of how strong any given weapon is, with the exception of the Staff and Zat’nik’tel weapons, as provided by Teal'c. The testing, now underway in main engineering, will give us an idea of what to expect from the Goa'uld, but to know for certain, we will eventually have to engage them in combat to gather the pertinent data.” Xander explained. “I of course invite the rest of SG-1 along in what ever capacity you wish to participate, either as observers, or more hands on, so long as we can obtain the information we need, we will help as much as possible.”
Bra'tac and Teal'c thought this over for a few moments. Teal'c nodded to Bra'tac, who asked, “What, then would be your plan?”
Xander nodded, thinking for a few moments, “How many ships would Apophis typically keep in orbit?”
“He currently has three ships in orbit, most of his other forces are either unavailable, or destroyed in recent conflicts with other Goa'uld.”
“What of ground based defenses?”
“There is another ship, grounded, undergoing heavy repairs. Plus the defenses of the palace itself.”
“Then I suggest we take one of my larger ships, fully loaded with all the crew I can scrape together, and go pay old Apophis a visit he'll soon regret. Once we arrive, we achieve space superiority, and demand that he surrender Rya'c and himself to stand trial for kidnapping.”
Bra'tac responded, “Apophis will of course not do so.”
“Of course not. It's in the Megalomaniac's handbook. What he will do is attack, possibly after a bit of posturing, maybe a little bit of monologueing, but he will of course be so incensed that a lower life form such as myself has dared demand anything from him, he will be incapable of thinking clearly, and will attack with everything he has.”
“Then we locate Rya'c and beam him out of there, going down in shuttles or fighters if necessary to do so. Assuming that you'd like to avoid as many Jaffa casualties as possible, it would probably be better to use starfighters and Destroids to eliminate ground based gun batteries unless it would be necessary to use ship based weapons to take them out.
“Once Apophis is dead, will the Jaffa surrender, or will they continue to fight?”
Bra'tac considered his people and the other Jaffa under Apophis' command. “I believe that the majority will surrender, as most are from Chu'lac and they will want to protect the people more than themselves, however, many I believe will not surrender, as you are not Goa'uld and would not be taking up Apophis' territory. They will believe it to be better to die in battle than whatever fate may befall them.”
“Good, any Jaffa who surrenders his weapons and armor will be permitted to leave the field of battle. Any who return to battle will be incarcerated. Stun weapons will be used wherever possible.”
***Two hours later
SG-1 and Bra'tac beamed back up to Defiant, and Xander met them in the transporter room.
Jack spoke first, “Permission to come aboard Admiral?”
“Permission granted, Colonel.”
As Jack and the rest stepped down from the transporter pads, Jack continued, “General Hammond has given us a go for a joint rescue mission, however, we need to bring Drey’auc and Rya'c back with us, as he doesn't want them to be used against Teal'c again.”
Xander nodded, “We'll be happy to have a couple extra passengers on the way back.”
Xander led the group back to the bridge. Once they arrived, Jana was still sitting in the command chair, and Xander said “Jana, we have a go for the mission. Is everyone on board?”
“Yes Admiral. Dawn was getting a few last tests finished on the Staff weapon and then rigging it for transport. Double Oh-British is with Green Lantern in the mess hall, trying to stay out of everyone else's way. Buffy is drooling over the toys in the armory. Willow teleported up a few minutes ago, and sent a message, basically demanding the opportunity that she get to try some magic against the Jaffa, if you're going to get the opportunity to technology them to pieces. The Cheerleader is still in the computer core trying desperately to re-design the uniform to fit requirements and not be, and I quote, 'Horrendously ugly.' I Should inform you that I've rigged it so that no design she submits aboard this ship will actually meet the requirements.”
“Don't like cheerleaders?” Jack asked.
“Not at all, cheerleaders are fine, just can't stand 'Queen Bitch of the Universe.' Reminds me of my Cousin Bella, long may she rot in prison.”
Xander spoke again, “Very well, set course for Vulcan, Full Impulse if you please, and once clear of Earth, kick it up to warp 2 please. Hold at the outer Marker.”
Jack interrupted, “Wait a second, you mean there really is a planet Vulcan?”
“Planet Vulcan, no, at least, not that I know of anyway. There is however, one mother of a space station that I've called 'Vulcan' after the forge god. Vulcan is fully automated, and heavily defended. His main duty is to produce war materials which we will use to fight the Goa'uld.”
Sam now interrupted, “Wait, 'His?'”
Xander nodded, “Lord Vulcan is an Artificial Sentience. He has the same rights, as far as we are concerned, that you and I do, your basic, inalienable human rights. And before anyone says anything, yes, I know, with the discovery of other sentient races in the galaxy, it's a bit racist to say things in those specific terms, but they're the only ones I've got, unless you've got some better for me?”
Sam and Daniel were quiet as they tried to fulfill their hosts request. Xander didn't want them geeking too much on Lord Vulcan's existence.
Jack picked up again, “So what exactly has Lord Vulcan been making?”
“He's been making mostly ships, droids, star fighters, small arms for soldiers, soldiers, body armor for soldiers, medical gear, food stores, pretty much anything and everything.”
Daniel finally caught up with everything Xander had just said and questioned, “Did you just say 'soldiers?'”
Xander grinned at learning that the archaeologist had picked up on that. “I did. It takes two weeks to rapid-grow a clone and an additional week to fully train one to military standards. If we wish to produce a scientific or engineering version, training takes an additional 3 days. It also takes an additional day to sequence and grow a Near-Clone. We are not currently producing clones, but Near-Clones. We are also producing Third-Type droids as rapidly as possible.”
Sam was now paying attention again and asked for clarification, “What is a Near-Clone? What's a Third-Type?”
“A Near Clone starts out as a genetic sample, just as a clone does, however, the sample is altered primarily for appearance, but also for other traits that are directly alterable through genetic engineering. No more vision problems, genetic disorders are eliminated, propensities for bad things reduced to zero, and propensities for good things turned up to maximum.
“As for Third-Type droids, well, they are droids that are indistinguishable from humans in any way. A First-type droid is any droid that is obviously a droid, such as our transporter chiefs, and most of our ships current crews. A Second-Type droid is like Captain Data. They can pass for humans unless close scrutiny is applied. Data is also artificially Sapient, but that is not a requirement of being either a Second-Type or Third-Type, though it does help in passing as a human. Third-Types can even participate in human reproduction, not just participate in, um, the act itself, like most Seconds, and even some Firsts.”
“So how does a third type differ from a human or a Near-Clone?” she asked.
“Well, humans can't be programmed. Third-Types, no matter how closely they resemble humans, are still droids that can be programmed, re-programmed, and de-programmed, essentially at will.”
“Admiral, we are at the outer marker.” Jana reported.
“Excellent, on screen please,” Xander requested. “Lady and Gentlemen, we are currently at five thousand kilometers from Vulcan. The main hub is twenty-five miles in diameter, and each of the smaller structures are two miles in diameter. The main hub contains all of the living quarters, and other support structures for the factory. It is capable of generating an artificial gravity field, or operating at zero gravity, depending on what would be more advantageous for construction. It is armed with a heavy quantum reaction canon, one hundred sixty quantum torpedo launchers, two hundred Class-XII phaser strips, one hundred pulse phaser canons, one hundred rapid fire point defense rail guns, one hundred forty planetary-class ion canons, and one hundred heavy ion canons. And that's just the main hub.”
Daniel interrupted to ask, “What's a quantum reaction cannon?”
Xander answered, “You know of course that smaller than the atomic scale is the quantum scale, all of the tiny particles that make up the elements that most people are familiar with. The quantum reaction cannons emit an energy beam that interacts at the quantum level, and destabilizes the current structure.” Sam gasped in shock at the inevitable result. “For those of us who aren't as quick as Doctor Carter, that basically means that it will disintegrate anything that the beam comes into contact with that isn't sufficiently shielded. Which for Vulcan, is approximately eight kilometers, by eight kilometers, by three hundred thousand kilometers.” Xander gave everyone a moment to come to terms with that level of lethality before continuing. “Each of the smaller pods has approximately half the weapons that the main hub does. In addition, by the end of next week, Vulcan's primary defense fleet of roughly eleven hundred capital ships will be completed, fully staffed and armed. We will be taking but one of those ships, already completed, to Chu'lak. Unless we have drastically underestimated Goa'uld firepower, this star system is currently safe from anything but the entire Goa'uld armada attacking en mass.”
Jana piped in with, “Don't forget the VDA.”
Xander nodded, “Right, the VDA, or Very Dangerous Array is a very large array of satellites surrounding this star system at various distances and densities. Each has a sensor array about the equivalent of a runabout. Each is also armed with a phaser array and a quantum torpedo launcher, with very few rounds to save space. They also have shields, armor, and a rather impressive sub-light drive, which will take it very near the speed of light. While I doubt very much that they individually would take out more than a couple death gliders, their strength comes in sheer numbers. Several hundred can make it to any engagement area in the solar system in a matter of minutes. And given their sensor resolution, even an Asgard ship can be intercepted before it comes within firing range of the a potential target.”
It was apparent that Xander was quite proud of everything that he had accomplished in the week and a half that they'd had the MAU. Far more than anyone else had done, he was certain. SG-1 was even quite impressed with his efforts, and only wished that even one of the devices had fallen into Air Force hands so that they could replicate Xander's efforts.
It was certainly a lot of power in the hands of a civilian, and like all civilians, they weren't certain that Xander and his group would always be on the side of the angels.
“Now, normally, we would simply transport to the ship we are going to take to Chu'lak, but I wanted you to have the chance to see the ship launch. Jana, please send the launch command, and center the screen on the docking bay.”
Jana quickly complied, and shortly the massive docking bay doors slid apart, and the equally massive form of a Megaroad-Class Battlefortress slid between them. First to come out were the twin boom of the main heavy quantum disruption canon that composed a little over the front quarter of the ship. Next, the main body of the vessel slipped from the massive factory. It was where most of her weapons were located. It was also apparent that this was where her fighters were launched from, as several launched as soon as she cleared the hangar doors. The conning tower cleared the doors quickly, and not long after, so too did the engines at the aft of the sixteen hundred meter long ship. Once fully clear, the docking bay doors slid shut, and once closed, the massive ship increased speed rapidly, showing no sign that it realized just how massive it really was.
“She may only be as long as an Imperial Star Destroyer, but she's designed as a battlefortress, and has more than ten times the internal space. Energy weapons are the only thing that should be able to get past her interceptors, and for those, she has very heavy shields and armor. She carries over a thousand starfighters, and nearly fifteen hundred Destroids.” Again, Xander was interrupted, and again it was Sam.
“What's a Destroid?”
“A Destroid is a twenty five to one hundred foot tall walking, bipedal, non-transformable, war machine. Faster and more maneuverable than any modern main battle tank or APC, able to take more damage, as well as being highly capable of delivering the bad guys a world of hurt. Most are about forty feet tall and armed with a variety of weapons, similar in many ways to most of our starfighters. The advantage our starfighters have is increased mobility and speed. The advantages of the Destroids are more firepower and much heavier shields and armor. Destroids also have a very powerful short range sensor suite, but only a basic long range sensor suite, opposed to the starfighters who have better long range sensors and only average short range. Like a starfighter, they are usually piloted by a single operator.” Seeing that her curiosity had been satisfied for the time being, and likely was more than a little overwhelmed by all that they were learning, he left it at that.
“Now then, if you will accompany me to the transporter room, we'll beam over.” After they all acknowledged his request and headed for the turbolift, Xander turned to Jana and said, “Please inform everyone who wishes to go to beam over now. We'll be folding as soon as we reach safe distance.”
Jana nodded and activated ship-wide. "Attention: All hands wishing to attend the party at Chu'lac, please transport aboard The Skysaber now. That is all."
Xander looked around the bridge, noting everyone who was there. “Did anyone forget anything?” After waiting thirty seconds and not hearing anyone speaking up, he turned to the droid captain of the vessel and continued. “Excellent. Captain, you may initiate a hull conformal fold to the coordinates given.”
“Yes Admiral.” Moments later, after it had verified that everything was in fact ready for the fold that they had been preparing for, it gave the command, “Ship Wide. Attention all hands, this is the captain speaking. Stand by for immediate space fold. That is all. Close ship wide. Initiate Space Fold for Chu'lak system.”
Mere fractions of a second later, they emerged from space fold in the Chu'lak system, though, everyone but the droids felt as though different amounts of time had actually passed. Sam, Dawn, and Willow had even carried on a lengthy conversation, discussing the various merits of magic, technology, and psionics, even though nothing had physically happened, and it occurred entirely on a mental plane of existence that none of them had previously theorized had existed, in a serious way at any rate.
Eventually they came to the agreement that the fraction of a second that it took to cross the thousands of light years between the Sol and Chu'lak star systems was spent in much the same way that some spiritually sensitive individuals described Stargate travel. While their bodies may become non-significant, their consciousness, or soul, or whatever you wanted to call it, still experienced some amount of time. They figured that that time was likely spent in what the Aborigines of Australia and Native American Indians called “Dream Time.”
The others had similarly spent the trip in discussion, Each according to their particular tastes and preferences. Jack and Xander discussed anti-Goa'uld tactics that had worked, and what hadn't. Daniel and Giles discussed history and how the common held events thought of as history, weren't worth the paper it was written on. Egyptology kept creeping into both men's lamentations as a common point of reference. Joyce played with her ring the whole trip, trying to figure out why she could access certain functions, but others were unavailable. For example, she could create constructs, but the AI was definitely off line.
“Fold Complete Admiral. We are currently two light years from Chu'lak, and awaiting orders.”
“Thank you captain. Recon the system please, active sensors, active cloaking. I want to know everything about this system within twenty four hours.”
Xander turned to the rest of the group, “Anyone who wants to go lay the smack down on some Goa'uld, please follow me.” While everyone may have been expecting Xander to lead them to a shuttle bay for some kind of cloaked insertion, instead he led them to the medical section.
“My doctors have made the request that should you find yourselves with an opportunity to acquire any additional larval Goa'uld, such as from dead Jaffa, we would appreciate their capture. We don't know much about their biology, and need to remedy that. Our database contains several anti-parasite inoculations, and we need to know if any of them will work.
“Teal'c, if you will allow it, the doctors here would like to get a detailed scan of your symbiont. This would allow them to get a bit of a head start on their research, without harming either you or your symbiont.”
Teal'c agreed and was scanned rather extensively by several doctors and scientists, while everyone else received inoculations against a wide range of potential pathogens.
Everyone also had sufficient samples taken and brain scans recorded so that should anything unfortunate occur, well, it wouldn't be permanent.
Once everyone was done, Xander lead everyone to a room off one of the cloning bays. It was where clones went to be educated once they were decanted from a cloning chamber. These however had been modified for use by people looking for additional skills, so instead of slots for wheelchairs, these had normal chairs attached to them.
“What we will be learning over the next several hours, is how to operate the majority of our technology. Once completed, there will be several hours of simulator operations to prove to you that you do in fact know how to operate the technology. These stations are somewhat similar to some of the Virtual Reality Technology that SG-1 has encountered off-world. Unlike most of that technology, there are several safeties in place. First, it will automatically eject users if their health becomes threatened. Second, you can mentally order a disconnect. Third, the operations officer can eject you if they detect a problem. Fourth, the machines themselves will eject you if there is any sign of a potential failure of any of the systems. Another point of safety that I should point out is that, while it may be a bit jarring, simply cutting the power to these systems will cause no harm to its occupants. That was a key design feature, once we finished going through your mission reports. Oh, and dying in game, won't hurt you in the real world.
“With all that covered, if nobody has any questions, please grab a seat, and we'll begin.” With Xander being the first to sit down, the Sunnydale group quickly followed, and a bit more slowly, the members of SG-1 and Bra'tac followed, finally taking up about one quarter of the available learning machines. “It might feel a little odd at first, but it should quickly become a drowsy feeling, and you should fall asleep rapidly. Once the programs have finished, you should awake feeling like you've had a full night’s sleep. After a quick shower and a meal, we'll tackle the simulators that the droids are even now programming for us based upon our curriculum.”
As the training cycles kicked in, Daniel finally thought to ask “What will we be learn...” was about as far as he got into his question before he fell asleep and started snoring. Everyone else fell asleep within a few seconds of him.
While asleep in the learning machines, typically used to educate rapid-grown clones from blank slates to fully operational soldiers in a week's time, the twelve people quickly learned, or re-learned in some cases, basic military hand to hand combat, which progressed to Tai Chi Chuan, Judo, and a combat form of Kendo with a little Iaido mixed in. Then came the ranged weapons training, which included all three types of phaser currently aboard ship. Then was the personal body armor designed to stop several powerful plasma blasts, such as that which come from a staff weapon. Then came the really fun items, like the operations of Valkyrie’s, Tie Defenders, Destroids, and Garlands (really big motorcycles that transformed into power armor). Next they all received a brief course in military science, why things worked the way they did in the military, as well as a touch of military etiquette and protocol, with focuses on Starfleet and The US Air Force. Finally, everyone got a basic primer on starship operations. Xander figured that Daniel and Teal'c would appreciate the additional perspective.
Sam and Dawn however also received a bit of technical training on their equipment, while Daniel and Cordelia, at her own request, received medical training equivalent to that of a corpsmen. Cordelia had already used the MAU to learn most of the healing magic from the various gaming systems they had available to them, but hadn't thought to add actual medical knowledge, until Xander had asked her if there was anything she wanted extra in this training session. Xander also realized that he did need some formal leadership training, so that was included in his session.
Cordelia had really been a surprise for most of the Scoobies, until she decided to explain it to them. Simply put, she was opposed to being dead. And while that meant she was generally opposed to putting herself at risk, she was even more opposed to the world ending, as that meant she would be dead anyway, or worse. This was why she helped the others out as she did. She in no way wanted to be a front line combatant, as they had way too high a casualty count, but as a support type, like a medic, she could make sure that the others were more capable of keeping her and the rest of the world alive and spinning just a little bit longer. Besides, it was uncivilized to shoot medics. She did also learn enough martial arts and gymnastics to make her look like Laura Croft, but that was just to make her a better cheerleader, any additional threat she was to the Fang Gangs was merely bonus as far as she was willing to admit.
About twelve hours later, people started waking up. As promised, once awake, there were droids to lead everyone to the officer's mess hall, and once caffeinated and fed, were lead to showers. Upon leaving the showers, most didn't realize that they had dressed in combat and survival gear rather than their typical uniforms. First, it started off with Still Suits, patterned off those from Dune. Then came flexible, energy resistant body armor that doubled as a combat uniform and light space suit. Finally came deployable light power armor reminiscent of the recent Lost In Space movie, where everything got lost, including the plot. This last bit even included a light force field. While there was a lot of 'light' in what they were wearing, they were all very well protected from, well, pretty much anything except anti-tank weapons. Each of them could take several staff weapon hits, and maybe even a staff cannon hit or two, before having to withdraw from combat. They certainly couldn't stand up against an Al'kesh or a Ha'tak. All in all, they had a high degree of mobility for the amount of protection they were wearing.
Once everyone was happily fed, Xander lead everyone to the holodecks. “Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to the holodecks. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the technology, these rooms simulate real environments so accurately that you will not be able to tell them apart from the real thing. If you can tell the difference or notice an error, please let one of the droids know at once, and the defect will be repaired.
“Next, I would like to point out that everyone here is wearing the standard light combat gear worn by Valkyrie pilots, and is doing so correctly.” At this, SG-1 noticed that they weren't wearing their normal uniforms. Many of the Sunnydale residents also realize that they were in uniform, rather than their typical mode of dress, something that shocked and horrified Cordelia. “What we will be doing in the next few hours is essentially playing video games with real life equipment. We will start out with the antiquated Super VF-1S in strike configuration, then move through the VF-2 SS SAP Special Valkyrie II, the VF-11 Thunderbolt, to the VF-19 Excalibur and VF-22 Sturmvogel. We have many of each design on board, with the exception of the Super VF-1S which we now use as a trainer should it become necessary, so you may choose the craft of your choice for later exercises and in combat with the Goa'uld. Each shares a very similar cockpit layout, and all other major features, such as the detaching Garland cockpit, shields, Warp and Impulse drives, phasers, micro-photon torpedoes, ablative armor, beam sabers, and all the rest are of course very similar in each fighter. The Sturmvogel, as a heavy assault fighter is of course, heavier and slower than the light fighters like the Excalibur and the Valkyrie II, but also with comparatively heavier weapons, shields, and armor. The Thunderbolt is pretty much an all-purpose starfighter, which essentially means it excels in no particular area compared to the others, but it also has fewer weaknesses overall. The Valkyrie II is slightly heavier than the Excalibur, but that is compensated for by having a lot more thrust, she has the best sensors of the group and can control multiple attack drones. She's actually a bit more maneuverable due to her smaller physical size, but the Excalibur has the better weapons, armor, and stealth.
“Now then, the first group of simulations will be simple carrier operations, followed by simple one on one combat with an enemy ship. They will be shooting back. Then it'll be two on two combat, then the odds go up from there to one vs. twelve, and finally, we'll do some force on force combat, with capitol ships in the mix as well.
“Pilots, to your planes please.” Xander turned and stepped into the nearest holodeck and took the first cockpit pod, as everyone else did likewise.
As soon as a pilot indicated their readiness, the computer initiated their training missions, recording their skills assessments and making recommendations for improvements in the next sim.
Sam did the best out of everyone, as she had been a pilot earlier in her career. Buffy came in next, and those who knew her figured it was likely an effect of being the slayer. The real surprise though was that Cordelia came in third. Teal'c, Jack, Bra'tac, and Xander were next, and Daniel was in the mix with the rest of the Scoobies, average, but not stellar.
“Now that we've played with the toys, does anyone here doubt that the training machines worked?” Xander asked once they had all gathered together again.
Arriving at the bulkhead doors for the hangar deck, Xander again addressed the group. “Ladies and Gentlemen, beyond these doors lies Valkyrie Fighter Squadron Zero Zero, also known as Skull Squadron. You will each have an opportunity to choose one of the available planes, based upon your scores in the simulators. There are plenty of craft available, so don't worry about not getting your first choice. If there's any particular color or scheme you want on your plane, let the droids know, and they'll have it squared away before we launch. Any tweaking you want done, and changes made, again, let the droids know, and they'll do their best to tweak it to your specs. Then we'll go out and test the changes, and by then, we should have the system recon'ed, and know everything we need to know in order to prosecute this attack with the fewest lost craft.
“Until then, I give you, Skull Squadron.” Xander motioned at the doors and they parted exactly on his cue.
While the sight in front of them wasn't as impressive as it would have been had they not just spent the better part of five hours flying starfighters very similar to these, it was rather impressive to see them all lined up, ready for their inspection. There were droids running back and forth across the hangar deck performing some seemingly random tasks.
“There are one hundred starfighters in this hangar, all dedicated to the twenty four pilots that will eventually comprise Skull Squadron. These were specially assembled by Lord Vulcan for our use. These are the absolute best starfighters to have come from his assembly lines. Lord Vulcan can produce nearly perfect copies of starfighters, roughly seven hundred forty starfighters every hour, and they would be magnificent examples of machine precision, these he took four times as long to build, with an entire magnitude of precision greater than usual.”
As Sam had first choice, she selected one of the Valkyrie II's, requesting it be painted Air Force Blue. Buffy, second from the simulator exercises, selected a Sturmvogel and insisted on painting it bubblegum pink, since Joyce wouldn't let her have a pink car. Cordelia chose an Excalibur and had it painted Ferrari Red. Teal'c, Jack, Bra'tac, and Xander also chose Excalibur, but in Black, OD Green, Brown, and Emerald Green. Daniel, Giles, Jana, and Joyce chose the Sturmvogel, Daniel chose to leave the paint scheme standard, while Giles chose British Racing Green, just as Jana had predicted. Jana had the droids paint hers navy blue, and Joyce chose to have hers done in 'Green Lantern' Green. Dawn and Willow would have both preferred different selections entirely, but reluctantly chose Thunderbolts in green, thinking that at least Xander wouldn't have to have them repainted if he wanted to use them once they got a chance to get back into their own starfighters, namely Dawn's Tie Defenders, which Willow had grown fond of.
Shortly thereafter, the group heard “Fleet Admiral Harris, please contact The Bridge. Fleet Admiral Harris, please contact The Bridge,” come over the loud speakers.
A few minutes later, Xander called everyone together, “Okay folks, Recon's in. They are setting up a briefing room now to give us the rundown on what they've found.”
***Main Briefing Hall, 20 minutes later
Once everyone had seated themselves, an analysis droid walked down the throat of a U-shaped table that the Scoobies and SG-1 were seated around. “Fleet Admiral Harris, pursuant to your orders, we have finished reconnaissance of this star system and have confirmed the presence of multiple hostile vessels, installations, and troops, as follows.”
A large hologram appeared above the droid of three Ha'tak. “In orbit of the planet Chu'lac, the second in the system from the primary star and the only planet capable of supporting life in the system, there are three Ha'tak class starships. We have confirmed that they are primarily troop transports with a moderate number of plasma batteries, currently powered down. All three vessels have shield emitters, currently powered down. We have confirmed also that they do carry starfighters, but cannot determine the maximum capacity currently. Each Ha'tak appears to be built slightly differently, which will make establishing a baseline for the class a difficult proposition.”
The hologram changed to a Ha'tak on the planet's surface. “On the surface of the planet, we have detected a fourth Ha'tak, which is nearly totally dormant, apparently due to extensive battle damage that is currently undergoing repairs. We estimate a combat capacity of roughly thirty percent of the three ships in orbit. Scans indicate that this ship is geared more towards ship to ship combat, than carrying either troops or starfighters, though she does have both those capabilities. It is believed that she carries only twenty starfighters and only a small force of troops, likely equal to a regiment in size.”
The hologram changed again to a fortress like complex. “This is believed to be Apophis' base of operations. He is currently in residence. We do not know of his current plans, however a light force guards the Stargate itself. We are unsure as to the meaning of this, as it does not conform to any known Goa'uld patterns. The complex itself currently houses one thousand fifty four Jaffa of a possible three thousand six hundred and a total of 65 starfighters. It is currently defended by a significant array of plasma cannon batteries of various sizes. The largest sizes we believe to be primarily ground-to-orbit anti-ship batteries, and the medium sized ones to be surface-to-air anti-starfighter batteries. There are also choke points covered by smaller plasma cannon turrets, we believe to repel a ground attack by infantry. There are transport rings scattered throughout the area, including one five hundred meters from the Stargate itself.”
The hologram changed again to depict five other installations. “These are outlying fortresses, not as heavily defended as the main fortress, but clearly intended to provide additional support to the primary fortress across all ranges of combat. They are currently staffed at seventeen percent maximum capacity.”
“We also believe that less than twenty percent of all guns are currently manned. We believe that, should Apophis have sufficient warning, he can bring less than half to combat readiness before all batteries would be destroyed.”
Again the hologram shifted to display the Stargate itself. “Finally, the Stargate itself needs to be a primary objective to prevent Apophis from fleeing. It is recommended that once the area is secured, the primary crystal be pulled and delivered to this vessel until all objectives are met.”
The hologram changed again, this time to an animation, “Precision Phaser strikes are recommended to eliminate the main plasma batteries while a column of Destroids eliminate both the ground and air defenses from range.” The animation displayed the droids words taking place. “Once clear, we recommend deploying battle droids or Garland riders to break enemy morale and to subdue the populace.” Again, the hologram showed several thousand battle droids escorted by hundreds of Droideka and several Destroids surrounding and controlling the populous.
Everyone watched the animation run a second time before Xander spoke, "Thank you. Please leave the data. You are dismissed." As soon as the droid was gone, he addressed the rest of the group. "Ok, that's what we are up against. This is how I think it'll play out, and those of you who know the Goa'uld, please feel free to interrupt.
"Teal'c has informed us that the average Ha’tak has a maximum cannon range of eighty five thousand kilometers, but prefers to stay within thirty thousand kilometers where their plasma bolts and gunners start to lose their effectiveness. This is well within our maximum weapons range of three hundred thousand kilometers for Phasers, and half-million kilometers for quantum torpedoes. Our main cannon, a Heavy Quantum Reaction Cannon, has a maximum range of a quarter million kilometers.
"Given what we have learned from Teal'c's staff weapons, the droids in Analysis are predicting that our shields will hold against a sustained bombardment from three ships for approximately forty-five minutes.
"I think we should enter the system under warp, and enter orbit around Chu'lac, coming to rest relative to the three Ha'tak at fifty thousand kilometers. Once there, we hail Apophis, demand that he turn the child over to his father, order his forces to stand down, and that he surrender himself peacefully, to stand trial for his crimes against the people of this galaxy. If a Miracle occurs, and he actually complies, are there sufficient Jaffa leaders to prevent anarchy from setting in?
Bra'tac answered, "In the rare event where a Goa'uld was removed from power, it is usually the Goa’uld’s First Prime who takes control, however in a situation such as this one, it would be the Jaffa Council who would make what you would refer to as the civilian decisions, while the First Prime maintains military control, until he aggravates the Jaffa Council too greatly."
"Good. No Anarchy. Nice and peaceful.
"The possibility also exists that he will simply ignore us. In such a case, I suggest we simply beam all the children from the palace, find the snake-head and introduce him to a prison cell. Results should be similar to those in the first, unlikely, possibility.
"The most likely scenario we are faced with is that he will try to fight us. After all, he has numerical superiority as far as he can tell. We have one ship, he has three. He has a planet full of Jaffa, we have whatever we might have on this ship, which, according to his way of thinking, won't be much, if we can take out three Ha'tak, we won't have much in the way of troop capacity.
"So, he will respond with violence, which is exactly what we want him to do. Our sensors will be running the entire time, recording everything. We will learn everything about them that we can, from actual, measured weapons strength, to shield strength, to recharge rates. Right now, we have guesses. Tomorrow, we will have facts.
"If possible, we will disable weapons, shields, and propulsion, and come back for prisoners later.
"Willow has requested that she be allowed to engage the ground forces with magic. Willow and SG-1 will be our opening salvo in the ground campaign. Willow will teleport down to the vicinity of the Stargate, distracting the insertion of SG-1 via transporters. Together, you will secure the Stargate and the DHD, to ensure that Apophis doesn't escape. As stated in the brief, expect light resistance at the Stargate, likely just the single squad, unless you happen upon a shift change. Once that mission is completed, the rest of the scoobies will concentrate on eliminating ground based weapons batteries from orbit via ship based weaponry and then from Valkyrie once we shift to smaller targets. Once the major batteries are cleared out, we send in the droids to secure the populous while SG-1 & the Scoobies secure Rya’c and Apophis. Apophis is preferred to be taken alive, but given his history, do not hesitate to kill him if the situation calls for it.
"Cordelia and the medics will remain aboard ship unless needed. Green Lantern, Giles, and Jana will remain aboard ship as back up should it be needed, and to protect the medics should they be needed.
"Questions, comments, disputes?"
Sam asked, "That's it?"
"That's it. The simpler the plan, the longer it survives in the face of the enemy. Plan every little detail, and your plan won't last 5 seconds, partly because nobody can remember what the plan entailed when they are busy taking fire, and partly because the enemy will make the rest of it invalid. KISS principle applied to combat."
Sam liked the response as did the other career military people in the room.
Jack piped in "Good plan."
Daniel followed up with "I like it." before turning to Jack and saying "It's better than your usual plans."
Jack decided to take umbrage with that comment, "I'll have you know that the reason it sounds better than my usual plans is that I usually don't make plans. Hard for the enemy to screw something up when it doesn't exist."
Daniel turns to Sam and with a very plaintive tone, "That explains SO much of our lives."
Sam tried and failed to keep the smile off her face. Jack was a senior officer after all.
Xander turned back to Willow and asked, "How much time do you need to prepare?"
Willow thought for a moment, "Magically speaking, I'm ready to go now, but I'd like about ten minutes to grab some additional equipment."
Xander nodded. "Unless anyone has any other concerns then, we'll start to head in system immediately." Seeing no further concerns or suggestions, "Alright, I'll inform the Captain, and we will begin moving in system. Everyone, prep for your missions please. SG-1 and Willow, please assemble in the transporter room. Scoobies, please assemble in the Skull Squadron Hanger, ready for the ground assault. I'll be on the bridge being berated by the snake head. Cordelia, Giles, Jana, and G.L., please assemble in the Transporter room as well. Please be heavily armed in case the brown sticky stuff meets the rotary air circulation device."
Teal'c still didn't understand that particular euphemism, sure it would be a time consuming clean up job, but sometimes the human phrases just didn't make sense unless one knew the original usage. Bra'tac clearly didn't understand the reference at all, but wasn't going to bring it up at this particular moment. Other things were more important.
"I will remind everyone, that our top warp speed is warp nine point nine, and we are two light years from our target. That means that we won't be in orbit for almost six hours. Please plan accordingly. Dismissed."
***Apophis' throne room, Chu'lac
Apophis' First Prime turned from the pedestal he was observing approached the throne and knelt.
"Speak." Apophis commanded.
"My lord, a ship approaches in a most unusual fashion. They are traveling faster than light speed, but are not using hyperspace. I have never seen their method of travel before, and it is not in your lordship's database. Assuming they maintain current course and speed, they will arrive in approximately four hours."
Apophis thought about this a few minutes. They were clearly at a lower technological level as they did not yet have hyperspace travel, instead using whatever this primitive form of travel was. They should be easy to capture, then I will have them interrogated, find their home world, and enslave it. That will help me replenish my resources and provide another source of slaves and future Jaffa.
Eventually, he replied, "You will do nothing to indicate we have seen their approach. Once they arrive you will scan their vessel and gather all data possible before it becomes too damaged. You will allow them to make the first move. Then, we will capture them and extract their knowledge. They will be of use to me in regaining the strength I recently lost."
Xander transmitted his orders to the captain, then spent the next four hours with his two girlfriends. Armor had been shed, but most of their clothing had stayed on. It was three very contented piles of goo who finally left the lounge that they had made private territory for a lengthy make out session. A shower, meal, and final prep later, saw Xander on the bridge again, and everyone else either in a transporter room or the Skull Squadron hanger bay.
Xander walked over to the captain's chair and addressed the captain, "How far out are we Captain?"
"Five Minutes, Admiral." was the immediate reply.
"Very well, Admiral has the bridge."
"Aye sir, Admiral has the bridge."
"Ship wide." Xander waited a few moments before continuing. "All Hands, this is the Admiral speaking, Red Alert. Stand by to engage enemy vessels. Five minutes to Chu'lac Orbit. SG-1 and Scoobies, stand by for deployment." Xander sat in the Captain's chair and closed the channel. "Helm, take us out of warp on schedule."
Minutes later, the helms officer took them out of warp, precisely on schedule and reported, "We have dropped to sub-light, Admiral, currently at twenty five PSL."
Tactical also reported, "Admiral, three enemy contacts in orbit of the planet, as expected. Passive locks established. Targets are running shields at minimal and weapons down as expected."
Xander looked to communications, "Hail the palace."
"Channel open, they are receiving."
"This is Fleet Admiral Harris of Starfleet Seventh Fleet to the Goa'uld known as System Lord Apophis. You stand accused of multiple crimes against humanity, the most recent of which is kidnapping and conspiracy to commit murder. As such, you are hereby ordered to stand down all your forces, return the child known as Rya’c to the child's rightful guardians, and surrender yourself to stand trial for your crimes. Failure to comply will result in the destruction of all hostile forces. You have five minutes to comply."
Thirty seconds later, they received a reply, in visual, from Apophis himself. "I am your God, Apophis. You will surrender my new vessel or be destroyed."
Xander signaled for mute, the droid at communications replied "Mute, Admiral."
"Do we have a transporter lock on him?"
Tactical replied, "Yes sir, however, the palace shields are up, and significant enough to prevent transport."
Xander returned to the communications droid, "Put us back on." at the droid's signal, "You are no God. You are a parasite, and one that will soon be removed from the face of the galaxy. Get that delusional creature off my screen."
"Channel closed," the communications droid replied after the screen had gone back to a tactical display.
Tactical called out from its station, "They are scanning us quite heavily."
"Return the favor. Go to active targeting. Lock all three ships. What is our weapons status?" Xander replied.
"Sensors Active, Aye. Locking weapons on targets. Phaser arrays armed and ready, full charge. Pulse Phaser turrets armed and ready, full charge. Ion cannon turrets armed and ready, full charge. Torpedo tubes loaded with Quantum Torpedoes, armed and outer doors open and ready to fire. One hundred twenty four thousand seven hundred seventy four torpedoes remaining in the armory. Point defense rail guns armed and ready, fully charged and fully loaded, reloads standing by. Main gun armed and ready, full charge."
"Status of enemy Weapons?"
"Enemy weapons have just armed, and appear to draw directly from their main reactors. They are launching fighters, count eighty two. They are firing." It took several seconds for the plasma bolts to cross the fifty thousand kilometers. "Registering shield impacts. Damage is minor, and is regenerating. At this volume of fire and at this range, they will not be able to overcome our shield recharge rate."
"Advise Willow and SG-1 that they have a Go for Stargate capture." Xander observed the tactical display for several seconds. "Launch Defender groups Red, Gold, and Blue. Set Ion Cannons to point defense, target enemy fighters should they penetrate starfighter defense."
"Aye, Admiral. Red Group launching. Gold Group and Blue Group moving to launch positions."
"Good. Phaser Arrays, destroy all enemy weapons mounts, then disable their shields and engines. If you get a clear shot at their life support, take it. I want them to understand what Space Dominance really is."
"Aye, Admiral. Firing."
***Transporter room 18
Willow was watching the console for the message that they had entered orbit & had proceeded to taunt the latest big-bad. Once that was accomplished, she was ready to teleport down to the surface, and had all her gear ready. Her G-M pack was attached to her Battle Bikini under her Mage robes. She of course had on her weapons belt with lightsaber, pulse pistol, and tricorder. Daniel was currently focused on her staff, trying to figure out what language the inscriptions were in. Willow noticed that the message from Xander that she could proceed came in, and she brought up the sensor array on the transporter panel, focusing it on where the Stargate was supposed to be. Using the visual array, she gained enough information to Teleport herself exactly where she wanted to go. "Daniel?"
"Yes Willow?" he replied absent mindedly, while still focused entirely upon the staff.
Very sweetly, and with an amused smile on her face, "I need my staff back now. It's time to kick some Goa'uld ass."
"My Staff? Time to kill bad guys?"
"Oh! Right! Sorry." Daniel handed it over.
As soon as the staff was back in her hand, the headpiece lit up with an inner fire. "Transporter chief, as soon as I leave, wait thirty seconds, then transport SG-1 down to the surface, please use the coordinates provided."
Willow stepped several feet away from any other objects, tapped the staff to the floor, and disappeared.
Sam stared for several seconds, "Ok, now I really want to know how she did that."
The transporter chief responded "Lt. Commander Rosenberg has sufficient knowledge of magic to allow herself to teleport without the aid of mechanical devices."
Sam's automatic response of "There's no such thing as magic" slipped out as she was still trying to figure out what technology Willow had used.
The droid responded "I do apologize for my lack of programming on this subject, however, according to my database, there is indeed Magic, and Lt. Commander Rosenberg and Commander Calderash are the senior magical officers in the fleet." The droid waited a few seconds, "It has now been thirty seconds. Please step onto the transporter pads, and I'll send you to the surface."
Without further argument, they did so, though Sam did resolve to figure out what Willow was doing later.
***Stargate Clearing, Planet Chu'lac, several feet up
As soon as Willow materialized, she used her gravity manipulation pack to stop herself from falling. She then controlled her decent so that she came to a stop about ten feet up and about fifteen feet from the Jaffa that were guarding the gate. With her staff glowing in her left hand, and floating in midair, she commanded, "Jaffa, kree! Lay down your weapons and surrender yourselves and you will not be harmed. Resistance is futile."
The Jaffa responded by opening fire with their staff weapons. All of the plasma bolts appeared to strike, but apparently did no damage. After several strikes each to apparently no effect, the Jaffa gave up. When they did, Willow simply pulled the staff weapons from their hands and laid them on the ground below her.
Willow cast Dominate from her staff on the lead Jaffa and commanded, "Now, go over there, and sit down. You will cause no difficulty for my friends who will be showing up shortly." She gave him a little push with telekinesis, and the Jaffa, while still confused as to what happened and completely out of their element, did as they were told. After they began moving, SG-1 transported down to appear next to the DHD.
"Colonel O’Neill, you may tag the devices for transport. These Jaffa will cause us no problems." Jack nodded and headed to do just that.
"How are you flying like that?" Sam asked.
"Gravity Manipulation," was Willows response. "One of the first toys I got from the MAU was a backpack that allows me an interesting amount of control over gravity in my immediate area. Quite a few things can be done with simple gravity manipulation, flight is one of the simplest. And, yes, I am willing to show you the theory later."
"Thank you!" She may have said something about finally running into someone who wasn't stuck up about having advanced technology, but nobody would confirm it if they were asked.
Jack had finished setting the beacons on both the Stargate and the DHD. "All set here, Willow."
Willow tapped her comm-badge, "Rosenberg to Skysaber"
"Skysaber here, go ahead Rosenberg."
"You should have lock on the DHD and Stargate now. Transport when ready." Both devices disappeared in short order.
"We have them. Do you wish to return now?"
"Negative Skysaber, advise the Admiral that we are going hunting. Rosenberg out." Willow tapped the comm-badge again to close the channel.
Teal'c began examining the area around the 'Gate for the set of rings that would be Apophis's escape strategy. Once found, Teal'c pointed them out to the others.
The group of six began preparing their ambush for when Apophis would make his inevitable escape.
"Status?" Xander called to the bridge from the captain’s chair.
"Admiral, sixty-five percent of enemy weapons destroyed, all of which are facing us and we are unable to get line of sight on the remaining weapons emplacements. Enemy shields are off-line. All three enemy ships primary and secondary drives off-line. All enemy fighters have been either disabled or destroyed. We have lost two Tie Defenders to ramming attacks. Our shields are at 100%. Phaser capacitors at 85% and recharging. Ion cannon turrets armed and ready, full charge. Torpedo tubes loaded with Quantum Torpedoes, armed and outer doors open and ready to fire. One hundred twenty four thousand seven hundred seventy four torpedoes remaining in the armory. Point defense rail guns armed and ready, fully charged and fully loaded, reloads standing by. Main gun armed and ready, full charge."
"Launch rescue shuttles & retrieve the pilots of the disabled craft. All fighters, return to hangers for recharge. Drop ships and Valkyrie squadrons to launch positions."
The droid at sensors called out in alarm, "Admiral, we have a hyperspace event, bearing zero-three-four by three-one-five, range eighty-five thousand kilometers. Another Ha'tak class vessel has just left hyperspace. We are being targeted. They are firing."
“Excellent! I was afraid I wouldn't get to give this order. Lock sensors on the new target. Give me bore-sight on the target. Main gun to fire as she bears. Time to explain just how out matched they really are."
Ten seconds later, "We have achieved bore-sight on enemy target five. Main gun firing. Target destroyed at two percent. Main gun shutting down for recharge. Main gun will be ready to fire in two minutes."
***Apophis' throne room
"Kel nok!?"*1* Apophis exclaimed in surprise as the newly arrived Ha’tak was destroyed with but a single shot from the primitive ship. "What treachery is this?"
"It seems impossible my lord, but it was of an energy type I have never seen before. Sensors indicate that the blast would require at least thirty Ha'tak worth of power to generate."
Apophis pondered this for several moments, "Ya'isid ma'gue."*2* Apophis stood and walked to the ring transporters in his throne room. "Jaffa, re."*3* Once his five Jaffa were with him, he activated the ring transporter to take him to the Stargate clearing.
Upon arriving at the clearing however, two of his Jaffa were struck down almost immediately by unknown energy weapons, and the other three were eliminated a few seconds later.
Apophis immediately activated his personal shield then shot a pulse of energy from his Kara Kesh *4* towards where the energy streams had come from, missing completely. The return fire however did not miss, impacting on his shield causing it to waiver briefly. A few more shots broke it completely, much to Apophis' surprise.
As SG-1 and Bra’tac walked out of the bushes, and Willow dropped her invisibility spell, five with phaser rifles still trained on him, and Willow holding a spell in her hand, just waiting for an excuse to throw it, Apophis stood still, but very clearly upset at his situation. Goa'uld supremacy hadn't been challenged this badly since the Asgard took over for the Great Races Alliance. How in the universe had the pitiful Tau'ri managed this?
Six of the annoying monkey-creatures approached, one of which was flying, another was his former first prime, the Shol'va, and the third was apparently Master Bra'tac, his best trainer! A Shol'va?! Then of course came the members of that annoying group of Tau'ri that called themselves SG-1. Of course they were involved, who else would it be? The day just kept getting better and better, he thought sarcastically.
The floating one approached, "By order of Starfleet, I hereby place the Goa'uld known as Apophis under arrest. You will be tried under international law for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and kidnapping. Even if found innocent on all charges, you will be removed from your host and turned over to the other Goa'uld, if any can be found that aren't also wanted on similar charges. To he who hosts Apophis, your nightmare is nearing its end, you shall soon be free."
At that statement, Apophis had to fight his host for control, so powerful was the burst of hope from the slave. He was also unable to keep his eyes from glowing briefly.
"You will pay for your insolence with a thousand deaths!" Apophis snarled as Willow cast a paralysis spell upon him, causing him to fall to the ground, limp.
"Never gonna happen," replied Jack before setting the rifle to stun and putting a shot into Apophis' chest. "Can we get him out of here now?"
"Willow to Skysaber, six to beam up. Energize when ready." After a brief moment, SG-1, Apophis, and Bra'tac left the clearing via transporter, while Willow cast another Teleport spell through her staff. Only the unconscious Jaffa were left in the now peaceful clearing.
1 What is this
2 We must leave
3 Jaffa, come.
4 Kara Kesh is the name for the ribbon-like hand device that almost all Goa'uld use as their primary personal weapon.
"Admiral, Commander Rosenberg, SG-1, and Master Bra'tac have returned to the ship with System Lord Apophis. Commander Rosenberg over-rode the bio-filter hazard protocols on System Lord Apophis and ordered security to secure him in the Brig," one of the droids on the bridge reported.
"Excellent. Communications, open a channel to the planet. Get me as many receivers as possible. Broadcast only please."
"One moment please Admiral." The droid worked steadily for a few moments before speaking again, "Channel open Admiral, you may proceed when ready."
"Planet Chu'lac, I am Admiral Harris of Starfleet. Your current leader, System Lord Apophis, has been taken into custody on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, kidnapping, slavery, and several other very serious matters.
"If I am correct in my understanding of your government, then that means that the Jaffa Council is currently in charge. As such, we ask that they stand down all military forces.
"We will be landing a peace keeping force shortly in order to help maintain law and order while your government is in transition between the Goa'uld lead dictatorship, and a free Jaffa-lead system of your own devising.
"Food and medical supplies will be available to any and all who need them. Anyone firing upon the peacekeeping force will be eliminated. Your weapons technology is insufficient to harm most of our units, so please do not commit suicide by attacking our forces.
"Drop ships and shuttles will be landing shortly to assess your needs. Please cooperate with the medical personnel. They will be trying to ensure your liberation from Goa'uld slavery.
"I would like to open a dialog with the Jaffa Council as soon as possible. Hopefully, some of them are watching this broadcast. If so, please present yourselves publicly to a patrol leader, and they will get you in touch with me.
"We are not here to cause panic, chaos, or disorder. We will try to interfere in your lives as little as possible, until you request otherwise, or you prove incapable of managing your own affairs yourselves.
"That is all for now, Thank you for your time."
"Channel closed Admiral."
"Thank you. Launch Valkyrie squadrons. Be on the lookout for active anti-air batteries. Eliminate any and all hostile forces, but offer any and all combatants to surrender. Hostile units surrendering will be honored as soon as they cease firing."
***Four Hours Later, Admiral's Briefing Room
Xander looks around the table at the gathered group, both SG-1 and the Scoobies. "Ok, We have Apophis in custody. Rya'c, Drey'auc, and Fro'tak are currently installed in secure quarters, awaiting the cessation of hostilities before we really need to do anything with them. I am willing to give this missions primary objectives a complete, and move on to the secondaries. Any objections?"
Jack spoke up, "Not an objection, but what exactly are the secondary objectives?"
"Well, it seems to me that with great power comes the greater responsibility to use it properly, and deal with the ramifications of that power's use or non-use." Cordelia groaned over Xander quoting one of the most over-used lines in comic-book history.
Giles spoke up in his defense, "Now Cordelia, unlike most comic book enthusiasts, Xander at least demonstrates that he actually understands the underlying message. You should not be so quick to find fault with those trying to exhibit proper leadership attitudes, especially when you are just as quick to find fault with their failures. This attitude and understanding of that line from Spiderman is not a fault, I assure you. It shows that he is taking his responsibilities seriously, and actually thinking about them."
"Mr. Giles, it's not the attitude, it's the geekiness. I guess you can take the dweeb out of Sunnydale, but you can't take the dweeb out of the boy."
Giles was about to rebut the cheerleader, but Xander interrupted, "I appreciate your efforts Giles, but you can't force someone to grow up. Now, I believe I was trying to answer a question." Giles nodded, Cordelia looked as if she was going to object to being called a child, but pretty much everyone was glaring at her to shut the hell up. "As everyone here knows, we are currently securing the planet, making sure that the Goa'uld do not attempt to retake the planet, making sure that the people have enough food, water, and medical supplies while they form their own government and can once again, take care of themselves outside the rule of the Goa'uld. If we had captured Apophis and just left, the planet would quickly be swallowed up by one of the other Goa'uld, especially due to the fact that Chu'lac has such a large population compared to other Jaffa planets. No Naquada mines, but it's a real nice place to raise a family. Good soil, temperate weather, long growing seasons. From a Goa'uld perspective, it's a great place to put your Jaffa slaves so that they will want to make more slaves for you.
"There were several assaults on our ground forces in the first half hour or so, but nothing since then. I believe that they now understand that attacking our mecha and infantry is a fatal decision. Thirty-five Jaffa have been killed in those raids, with seven being taken alive. Another seventeen may be saved by the medical droids, but I haven't seen that report yet, apparently surgery is still ongoing.
"Master Bra’tac has gone down to the planet in order to arrange a meeting with the Jaffa Council. It is his belief that they will take the request for a meeting between us a lot better from him in person, than from my previous transmission. I have asked him to set the meeting up for nine hours from now which is about an hour after sunrise in the Stargate clearing. He believed that would give him enough time to locate all the council members and convince them to attend.
"Other than that, everything is going according to plan." Xander didn't say, but did think to himself that if he had been just a bit more paranoid, he might be tempted to taunt Murphy.
Joyce asked, "Are the operations being performed on planet or aboard ship?"
Cordy butted in as the ranking medical officer present. "Security has not given the all clear for medical personnel on the planet yet, so the operations are being performed aboard ship. I've resurrected six Jaffa so far, and I am exhausted. I should however be able to resurrect the rest of them before the time limit expires. I will have to regenerate a couple of limbs and some burns. Other than that, scarring is the only permanent result, provided that no additional Jaffa decide to attack." Cordelia turned to Buffy, "Please ensure no additional fatalities, I almost have too many for the next two months as it is."
"I can't promise that Cordy. Even heavy stun has very little effect against a Jaffa in full armor and the helmet in place. Without the helmet, only a head shot has effect, and they do not stay stunned long due to the symbiont's healing abilities." Buffy replied.
Dawn had been thinking for a few moments and finally struck on a thought, "Teal'c, didn't your initial armaments debrief contain a Jaffa stun device?"
"Indeed there are two such weapons, the Zat’nik’tel, which you have two examples of, and the Tok'kal, a spherical device approximately eight inches in diameter. The Tok'kal is used much like the Tau'ri flash-bang, except that it does induce loss of consciousness in all subjects within twenty five meters of the device. The pulse is stopped however by walls, bulkheads, and doors."
Buffy heard this and perked up immediately. "Are there any stockpiles of these Zit Nickles or Tokers that we can raid?"
Teal'c and Giles winced. Daniel tried to swallow a chuckle at the tokers, but everyone else desperately tried to ignore the mispronunciation that was bad enough that even Jack had to stop and wonder. Teal'c looked at Jack who just shrugged in reply. "If there are any armories, they would likely be in the palace and the outer defense stations. Jaffa resistance forces would know of those locations and would have raided them by now."
Buffy slumped back down at not getting to play with the new toys.
"Any other questions?"
Jana decided to ask an important one, "When do we leave?" Xander and the rest of the Sunnydale group just kinda looked at her as though they hadn't actually thought that far ahead. That was mainly because they hadn't. Jack just gave this tiny little smirk that just screamed 'gotcha' and the rest of SG-1 looked at the Scoobies expectantly.
"Um, that's a good question."
Author's Technical Notes:
Distance between Earth and Chulak: 40,000 LY, (20 minutes by Asgard Hyperdrive) instant journey by Fold Drive, or 7 years, 75 days at warp 9.975. By Goa’uld Hyperdrive (equivalent warp 80) 28d 12:50:37.5.
Combined forces total SG Kit: (for joint operations only)
VFX of choice depending on personal preference (X model incorporates a modified Garland Robotic Power Armor as the cockpit/escape module and also hold limited emergency gear)
S5 security blaster sidearm
Type IIIc Pulse Phaser Rifle attached to pilot's gravity-couch
Lightsaber (only if trained in the Jedi Arts)
Pilot tactical life support body armor
Emergency survival gear: Federation first aid kit w/ 2 capsules, emergency shelter (capsule 1), portable fusion reactor/long range subspace transceiver/emergency replicator (capsule 2)
Standard: Basic, multi-purpose sensor tool. Your basic, mass-produced tricorder that includes all the standard functions at the standard ranges. Did I mention basic?
Enhanced: Upgraded multi-purpose sensor tool, almost as good as a specialized unit, but lack the advanced specialized sensors.
Specialized - Medical: specialized sensor tool, capable of all the basic functions of a standard unit, but include specialized sensors, databases and programming for medical use.
Specialized - Engineering: specialized sensor tool, capable of all the basic functions of a standard unit, but include specialized sensors, databases and programming for engineering use.
Specialized - Science: specialized sensor tool, capable of all the basic functions of a standard unit, but include specialized sensors, databases and programming for scientific use. This unit is designed to be modular & highly programmable, allowing a science officer to reconfigure the tricorder to their experimental needs.
“Anyone identified as possessing knowledge of the construction of advanced devices or knowledge of advanced sciences is hereby drafted into military service by Executive Order 1374" Signed President Franklyn D. Roosevelt, 8 December 1941.
***Omake - Xander's Tactical Briefing
“Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to Red Squadron, currently comprised of VFX-19 and VFX-21 Starfighter Systems. I say Systems because everything from the pilot’s tactical life support body armor and flight helmet to the rest of the craft work together to provide the best performance known in this galaxy. For those of you who don’t know what they are, VF stands for Variable Fighter, and there are VBs as well, which predictably stands for Variable Bomber.
“The Pilot’s tactical life support body armor can stop multiple rounds from all known projectile based small arms as well as Jaffa Staff weapons. They are also highly resistant to Zat’nik’tel pulses. The suit incorporates a waldo harness that is required to operate the Valkyries in their humanoid form. Of course, the suit also incorporates a G-Suit and full life support for operations in the vacuum of deep space.
“The pilot’s flight helmet includes sensors that pick up brain waves allowing the pilot to control some of the more exotic aspects of the craft in ways that a conventional control system are simply incapable of duplicating. It also incorporates a heads up display that shows the pilot what’s going on outside the cockpit, even in places that he wouldn’t normally be able to see, like directly below. You’ll notice that the helmet is open-faced. In the event of a significant drop or rise in pressure, the helmet will automatically seal to protect the pilot. It can also be closed manually should the pilot wish to do so.
“Attached to the pilot’s body armor is an S5 Security Blaster, which if you've seen the recent Star Wars movie, may be familiar to you, standard tricorder, com-badge, first aid kit, and two Capsule Corp Capsules. The Capsules contain an Emergency Shelter and a portable fusion reactor with a built in long range subspace transceiver and emergency replicator. The selection provided by the replicator is rather limited, but it can be personalized should you choose to do so. The emergency shelter is designed to survive a direct hit by an EF6 Tornado or a Class 5 Typhoon. The shelter itself is also air tight, air-lock-able and with the assistance of the fusion reactor can recharge the life support of the pilots tactical life support body armor. The shelters are capable of networking together for greater capacity and capabilities. The fusion reactor runs on hydrogen, but can fuse heavier elements at less efficiency, and both the reactor itself and the replicator’s multi-purpose goo can be replenished by the addition of common environmental materials, plants, rocks, just about anything, and it’s a good idea to recycle all your dishes and cutlery as well as it will stretch the time between re-fueling.
“Once inside the body armor, the pilot straps themselves into the cockpit module which can detach from the main body of the starfighter to function as an ejection capsule if the starfighter is severely damaged, or when the pilot needs powered armor but can’t maneuver the Valkyrie in tighter spaces. The cockpit itself has two additional modes besides the ability to function as the Valkyrie’s cockpit. In mode two, it is a hovercycle, capable of speeds up to one hundred fifty miles per hour. In mode three, it is a three and a half meter tall robot with multiple weapons available including an appropriately sized beam-saber and phaser emitters. When separated, the sensor suite is quite limited, and little better than is found in the enhanced tricorder. Attached to the pilot’s gravity couch is a Type IIIc phaser rifle.
“When connected to the main body of the Valkyrie, there are no known starfighters that can out maneuver them. With their impulse drives, they can put out more Delta-V than any other design currently known about by a very healthy margin, propelling them to a maximum velocity of 85 psl. With their warp drives, they can also travel at up to warp 6 to either enter or exit a combat zone very rapidly, or patrol a star system, or whatever they need to do. For faster speeds or longer journeys, they rely on a mother ship or an attachable Fold Booster.
“The differences between the 19 and the 21 are small, and it’s mostly a personal preference. The 19 is faster and slightly more maneuverable. She carries a couple of extra photon torpedoes as well. The 21 has a built in cloaking device to augment the very impressive passive stealth capabilities of the 19 and 21. Valkyrie tradition dictates that the pilot chooses the plane’s colors and which FAST packs are attached on each given mission. There are packs for extra speed, heavy weapons, heavy armor, and a sensor booster. Of course, for some mission types, ones that require stealth, the 21 is the obvious choice, while others will obviously require the 19’s speed and maneuverability.
"This is the same gear that your own personnel use when on missions with Starfleet, with modifications for desired livery, paint and camouflage options."