What I want to know
The little reunion with her father had gone not quite to the script, yet Cate for her part felt it was satisfactory enough..for now. Though something was bugging her and she had to know, she had to know how all this began.
As the pair of them sat on the bed, Cate's keen blue/green eyes looked at her father from the top of his head, down to his somewhat dusty boots. He'd been injured to, she wanted to know how and why. "Soooo, since I'm more or less a space virgin and you know how I hate secrets Dad, how about you tell me how we and I mean we, got into all this crap. And please, don't leave a bloody thing out!"
The old man simply looked at his daughter, his face creased in lines of pain, mental pain. "It started six months ago..." He began and then in his typical fashion, Will told her everything as if he were reading from a book.
The War with the Ori had been over for three years now. In that time the IOA had gone public with the Stargate Programme, not because their hand was forced, but because Earth seriously needed defending now and with the existing partners, resources were being spread too thin. They could no longer do it alone.
Eighteen months previously it was delivered to the UN Now, the whole world was behind the SGC. No longer exclusive to the USA, it was now a joint facility among many nations of the world whose aim was to identify and hopefully thwart, possible threats to both the Milky Way and Pegasus Galaxies.
At a top secret facility, housed in an enormous hangar within the Boeing complex in Seattle, Washington, Colonels Jack O’Neill and Samantha Carter, along with the rest of SG1, were presenting a gathering of international leaders, scientists—and of course the press—an update on the new space platforms currently being introduced. Colonel Mitchell, Vala and Teal’c handed out document folders to those gathered. Sam went on explaining, in her usual way, the advancements Earth had made. Bored out of his skull as usual, Jack opened up one of the folders and looked skywards, as if waiting for some kind of intervention. He began investigating the lint on his jacket, and hummed a tune in his mind.
At the end of a rather lengthy discourse, Sam asked for questions. There was an immediate eruption of voices all wanting to be heard. O’Neill could see trouble looming, so he stepped up to the mike, excused himself to Sam and took over. He pointed to one member of the press.
“You, sir, with the green tie,” he said. He pointed to a man of about 45 years of age wearing a tan coat with a light green shirt and dark green tie.
The fellow in question had a tag on his coat denoting he was from Consolidated Press. He stood and said bluntly, “Ah General, can the Colonel answer us this? With all these ships of immense power, what is to stop those who control them from turning on the weaker nations of Earth and coercing membership in this Alliance by any means at your disposal?”
A minister from one of the smaller countries echoed the enquiry with, “Hear, hear.”
Sam swallowed. She had expected a query such as this. But before she could answer, Richard Woolsey stepped up to the dais.
“Perhaps that is a question we can cover later, Mr. Strickham,” he said. “We are a little short on time right now and I’d like Dr Daniel Jackson to give us his review on the current state of the Stargate Alliance.” Woolsey stepped aside and turned to Daniel. “Dr Jackson, if you would, please.”
Richard motioned for Daniel to step up to the podium. Vala elbowed him somewhat severely in the ribs. At the same time both Jack and Sam breathed a sigh of relief. Mr Strickham was not pleased and vowed silently to press the matter further before the end of the meeting. Daniel’s speech was much shorter than Sam’s, yet was probably met with more awe and disbelief than hers. All these years the Stargate Programme had entered into these relationships and engaged in numerous conflicts on behalf of the entire planet. The United States and the IOA had a lot to answer for. Some believed a time of reckoning was at hand. The delegates studied Daniel’s reports much more thoroughly than they had Sam’s.
A little over fourteen months after the final Ori defeat and Ba’al’s host having been relived of his master we are at the Australian Defence Headquarters in Canberra.
Along a long corridor, a plain door stood ajar. Overseas Combat Ready Teams Commanding Officer was the sign above. Inside the office, a man in his middle to late fifties, in the summer day uniform of an Australian Naval Commodore, sat at a polished desk. The phone rang abruptly and he picked it up.
“MacGregor here,” he said sternly.
A young American female’s voice was on other end. “Commodore MacGregor, you don’t know me, my name is Henderson, Captain Julie Henderson, USMC sir.”
Mac scratched at a scar on his cheek, then answered. “No, Captain, I don’t believe I do know you. What can I do for you? More to the point, how did you get this number?”
She dodged his question and went straight to her reason for calling him. “Sir, I believe your son is still alive, he did not go MIA in Iraq. You must speak with your Defence Minister and ask him about Stargate Command in Colorado. It’s called Area 52 by the Pentagon.”
Mac’s eyes widened and he stared angrily at the phone hand piece. “What the bloody hell? Is this some kind of joke young lady, cause I’m not bloody laughing!”
“No sir, I’m serious. I know because I am engaged to Ben. Just ask. Sir, that’s all I can say: except that Area 52 is presently under the command of Generals Jack O’Neill and Hank Landry. Please sir, please help me.” She hung up the phone quickly.
Mac replaced the receiver angrily and looked at the photos on his desk. The closer one was of his wife and two children. The other one was of twelve officers sitting in front of an F15C Eagle. In the front row, in the middle, a younger Lt Commander William MacGregor was seated next to a Major Jack O’Neill. The Inscription plate read, International Air Staff Course, Wright-Patterson AFB 1987. He knew Jack O’Neill well and he also knew about ‘Area 52’. Something the former PM had briefed him on it a few years ago, about ‘Full Disclosure of the Stargate Programme’. The PM’s words echoed in his ears. “Those bloody Yanks have had this thing since 1945 and chose to tell no one, not even one of their closest allies. Even the bloody Russians, Chinese, Frogs and Poms knew before us, the bastards. And to think the little shrub had the hide to try and buy me off, with a barbecue at his bloody ranch, shake my hand and say we were the best of friends.”
Since then, though, Australian and personnel from many other countries had been fully integrated into the Stargate Programme, more so in Atlantis and on the new Daedalus class and other ships. Very few though, had made it to Stargate Command as part of an SG team (except for Atlantis) that Mac knew of, except perhaps his son. Politics, he hated it.