You've got friends
paused for what seemed like a long drawn breath, his brain working
overtime to gather all the facts. His daughter though saw it as
stress, she knew the signs, yet she knew to he would be the last to
admit it. On the verge of saying something about it, a light rap on
the door reminded her they weren't back home and this wasn't the most
private place in the Universe. “Take a break Dad, I'm sure we have
plenty of time.” From her, that wasn't a mere request, like her
mother it was a case of 'she who must be obeyed'. Will simply nodded,
more memories gathering with each passing moment.
“Who is it?” Cate asked with her hand on the control panel.
A muffled reply came back to her from the other side. “Cate, its Sam and er, Vala, Cam, Teal'c and Daniel.”
“Oh Jesus a frigging party.” She hissed inwardly. The door slid open as she hit the panel. “Come in, may as well join us. I hope you brought snacks.”
“No we did not bring snacks Catherine MacGregor.” Teal'c intoned deeply, seeking out a place to sit without invitation. Cam sat next to him in one of the two chairs at the desk by the huge bay window, both of them looking keenly at Will.
“Don't say a word either of you.” Will shook his head negatively, they got the message as Cam held up his hands in defence.
“So, why are you all here?” Cate went back to sitting on the bed, this time at the end, thus allowing Sam, Vala and Daniel to take a place each. It was starting to look ridiculous.
Sam felt uncomfortable, it was as if she was doing something against her will. “Um, well I was outvoted Cate, it seems in the very short while you've been here, you've gathered a fan club.” Her own blue eyes drifted around to her friends one at a time.
“Oh Samantha it wasn't like that at all, we were simply concerned about both of them.” The Raven haired woman seemed sincere, that much Cate could see, Will saw it to, though he was wondering what part of 'concerned' should he be concerned about.
“Should I be worried?” The old man's expression went from grim to mildly amused.
At that point Daniel could see this was becoming a farce, he had to say something, something meaningful. “No Admiral, I wouldn't be if I were you. Cate, its like this. We're family, all of us and by that I mean the Stargate Command family. Each and everyone of us has your back whenever you need it. Vala saw through her rare glimpses of wisdom you were angry about life in general and how much that would influence your reunion with your father. At least she and I agreed on this score that all of us should be here to make things a little less stressful for you.”
“So you're all ganging up on me now?” That amused face went to one of mock horror as Will began to realise the funny side of it all. Cate saw it to, her straight face broke into a broad grin.
There was a deep rumble sounding something like a heavy diesel truck kicking over, all eyes looked at Teal'c as he began to laugh. “No Admiral MacGregor, we have not yet resorted to criminal associations.” That brought an odd puppy like tilting of the head from Cate, not used to the strange Jaffa humour.
“I'll explain later Cate.” Sam said to her, giving the other woman a friendly hand on the shoulder. “I guess now's the time to ask, can we help with anything?”
Catherine knew then that this was the moment to give her father some relief, a break and at the same time find out the rest of what she needed to know. Will briefly told them all what he had been saying to his daughter, which for him took close to forty minutes. Vala then decided to take it up from where he left off, with the rest chiming in where needed.
“I know that planet. It used to belong to Athena when she was aligned with Cronus. I don’t think there is any significant value to it now, unless it’s strategic. Besides muscles (she thumps Teal’c on the arm), shouldn’t the Jaffa be our allies now?” Vala said.
Teal’c was pensive for a moment “Indeed, except for some few who cling to the old ways. Unless another Goa’uld has surfaced after all this time. It’s believed a great many minor ones still survive”
“More bad guys eh T?” Cam gets that excited look on his face.
“It may be so.” Teal’c says pragmatically.
Sam Carter comes running up the stairs “Sir, I’ve just gone over our previous UAV scans of P5X 449, and there was something odd we didn’t pick up before.” She is not out of breath, but she does seem agitated.
“Come on Colonel out with it!” Jack said a little impatiently.
“Well sir, about ten kilometres due west of the gate there appeared to be slight energy fluctuation coming from the surface. We didn’t look into it before because Dr Lee said the solar activity from the planets sun was interfering with the UAV’s sensors. He went over the data again just now and realised it had the same energy signature as the Ori ships, but it appears to be almost submerged with the terrain !”
“Sam did you just say Ori ship? Cause that’s what I thought you said. Oh and welcome back.” Cam interrupted Sam, but she smiled and nodded to him.
“Carter are you telling me that somehow some Jaffa have got their collective hands on an Ori ship and it’s buried in the ground?”
“Yes sir, but it seems to be more swamp than actual ground.”
“Well that would explain why the place is so heavily defended..” Vala looks at Sam fondly, like a long lost sibling. “Glad to have you with us again Samantha, we missed you.”
Walter comes in to stand next to O’Neill. “Sir we’ve got the data from the second UAV.”
“Let’s have look at it then.” Walter replays the results of the aerial sweep on one of the large screens. There are large Jaffa emplacements everywhere and they can clearly see the little blue dots indicating the locator implants in the SG team.
“Sir there’s no way we can get them out with another team, or ten teams. Vala can they find cover for awhile?” Sam answers.
Vala studies the survey. “Yes I believe so, there’s a well defended little outcrop just here.” She points to a position about a kilometre east by north of the gate. “If they can make it there, they could hide for quite a while, there is water and plenty of shelter.”
“Right then. Get a message to Lt. Dreznov...send it in Russian, the radios are probably being monitored.”
“Dreznov was the only Russian team member on duty today sir, I’ll get Jackson.” Cam advises.
“Right. In the meantime we need to work out how to safely extract SG 12, Carter find out if we have any ships within range of that planet.”
“Already done sir, the Victory is about four hours away.” Sam said confidently.
“Good, get a message to them. They’re making a detour...now to see about our new arrivals, you better all come with me.”
“Do you need me as well sir?” Walter asks.
“Ah, um no Walter, you just stay here and...well, just do whatever it is you do.”
O’Neill, Carter, Mitchell, Teal’c and Vala proceed upstairs and find Daniel with the Australians. Sam gives Daniel the message and he returns to the control room. There are four personnel from each of Australia’s armed services, the commanding officer is a Naval Commodore. Jack breaks into a grin when he recognises William MacGregor and the surgeon captain standing next to him, Dr Anne MacGregor. But Sam Carter has a look of shock on her face.
Dr MacGregor approaches Sam and hugs her warmly. “Hello Sam, what a surprise this is.”
“Sam? This is Jacobs little girl? The last time we met was...yes well it was a long time ago.” Will said quietly, remembering the last time they met.
“Yes it was Aunt Anne, Uncle Mac.” (Sam has a flashback of her mother’s funeral and younger versions of the MacGregor’s standing there with her and her brother Mark and young Ben MacGregor, and his twin sister Catherine)
“Carter is there something here I should know about? Oh and welcome to Stargate Command all of you. Will, Anne what the hell are you guys doing here. Not that I mind, but you know I mean...well it is a bit of a surprise isn’t it?”
All the others look a bit uncomfortable at this apparently strange reunion of friends and what, relatives? Mitchell looks at Daniel just as he re-enters , who in turn looks at Vala. Teal’c as always appears himself.
“Ah Daniel, Cam, Vala and T; will you get these other nice folks settled in, I believe Carter and I have to have a conversation with the Commodore and the Captain.”
“Yes sir.” They look at him mysteriously.
Jack indicates toward his office, Sam follows, but the MacGregor's hold back a moment; they seem to be having some sort of debate.
“No Anne, we can’t ask him right out. Besides he wasn’t even in command when Ben was here.”
“I bloody well don’t give a damn Will. He is our son and the only reason we got this detachment was because the PM was afraid you’d call him down for not telling us when he damn well knew all about this bullshit cover up we were fed. Jack will know something Will, or he’ll help us find the truth at least.”
“Honey I know he will, but having Sam here complicates things a little.”
“How so, she’s our niece for god’s sake.”
“Exactly. Anne she’s lost her mother and Jacob dies in strange circumstances, at least that’s what we were told; how do you think she’ll react if she knows other family members lives are in jeopardy?”
“Mmm, not well. Plus she doesn’t know about Ben...does she?”
“No...not more than we did anyway. They wrote a lot to each other you know”
“Yeah, I know.”
O’Neill “Well this is cosy isn’t it? Carter can you tell me why you just referred to my old friends here as Aunt and Uncle?
Sam is about to speak but Anne beats her to it. “I am Jacob Carter’s younger sister. When my mother, Sam’s grandmother, was expecting me, my father was killed in Korea. Mum had a young son and another child on the way; dad never had much, he was a bit of a gambler, though according to my mother a good man. Anyway, mum did not have the resources or support here in the States to raise two children, so she returned to Australia. But Dad’s brother convinced mum to leave Jacob with him and his wife, which she reluctantly did. It was something she regretted her whole life.”
Jack sits there totally gobsmacked. “Um ah, this...is difficult isn’t it?”
“I can’t see a problem, do you Sam?”
Sam looks at the wide gold shoulder bar on Mac’s white shirt, then answers. “I don’t think so, no...sir.”
In a passage way leading to the infirmary, Teal’c and Cameron are with the four Aust. Army team members.
“So captain how did you enjoy the SGC training camp?” Cam inquires.
“Not bad sir, though it was pretty easy...at least the physical part was. I guess the hardest part was learning all about the universe we once thought we were alone in sir. And doing our training ‘off-world’ was a bit weird. Col. Reynolds took good care of us and the Tokra and Jaffa we met were great folks.” Captain Kyle Baker, replies.
“Amen to that Captain. Wait, you said the physical part was easy?”
“We’re SAS sir and the others, well two of em’ are divers, top of the the ladder those are sir. And the two pilots sir had just completed an SAS survival course before this.” That was all he needed to say. Sergeant Robert Fraser answered for his CO.
“Ah yes the famous SAS, I have read many stories of your unit’s exploits. Both of the British and Australian. Brave warriors indeed Mitchell.” Teal’c says knowingly.
The Aussies all just gave Teal’c a look of satisfaction, like predatory cats in a way.
“So Mr. Teal’c, you’re Jaffa as well sir?” The young Corporal, Amy Sutton asks.
“Please corporal, just address me as Teal’c. Yes I am, but now I serve the Tauri.” (Teal’c then gives a brief discourse on the history of the Jaffa and the Goa’uld that had enslaved them for centuries and his relationship with Earth.)
They reach the infirmary, where Vala and Daniel are there with the other Australians.
“Oh good you’re just in time. Dr Lam is going to give you all a little gift.” He says mischievously. Daniel says joyfully.
An Air Force Flt. Lt John Toralev has reservations. . “Not more vaccinations is it? Seemed to me the alpha site was seventy percent training and thirty percent injections.” The red headed A/F-18 pilot grinned broadly.
Vala glides over to him and loops her arm through his. “You’ll get used to it.” Toralev grins sheepishly.
Dr Lam wheels a trolley over, a tray on top contains twelve tiny blue metallic looking capsules. Personal beacon locators, injected into a fleshy part of the body; all the Australians look at one another in a resigned kind of way.
Aboard the BB16 Victory, in the bridge. The Commander, US Naval Captain Sarah Connolly, sat uncomfortably in her seat.
“Major Chung, I want the ship cloaked the moment we drop out of hyper-space, then run a full surface scan around the gate area. Lt. Adams run a broad area search for any other ships in the area, I want to avoid getting our brand new ship scratched if possible.”
Lt. Paul Adams and Maj. Leanne Chung acknowledge their commander. “Yes Ma’am.”
The ship bursts out of hyper-space, immediately cloaking. The planet below looking vaguely like many others, other than three small moons orbiting...and three Hataks above the area where the gate and settlements would be.
“Captain, we’ve located SG12. They’re grouped together not far from the gate, we can get in a bit closer and beam them aboard, if you should wish.” The XO asks her boss.
“Do it. As soon as they are aboard Adams, get us out of here.”
A day later back in the Gate room. SG-7 returns from a mission, the marines leading the four Australian SASR. Colonel Mitchell and Teal’c are there to greet them.
“Well, how’d it go Baker?” Cam is the first to greet them.
“Great sir. Trees, trees and more trees. But truly sir it was good.”
“Not to mention the sixteen Ori soldiers whose souls are now realising that that origin crap they were fed about ascension was just that..Crap.” Marine Lt. Len Sanders replies.
“You encountered Ori Lt. Sanders?”
“Not us; these guys did.” He shoved his thumb back toward the Australians. “There’s still a lot of Ori stragglers out there sir, both small and large groups on many planets. But generally they’ve been pretty friendly. Yet just recently there’s been a few groups that are showing signs of that good old Ori hostility we’ve come to know and love.” He explains with his Kentucky drawl.
“Hostile? So, um...how did you guys take down sixteen of em’” He looked to toward the SAS group. Cam raises his eyebrow almost Teal’c like, as if the wool were being pulled over his eyes
Corporal Amy Sutton smiled and hefted her SR-98 sniper rifle and held up four fingers.
Captain Kyle Baker and Sergeant Robert Fraser just rested their arms over their M4's, each held up five fingers a piece.
Teal’c. “Fourteen.” He murmured.
Lastly Trooper Alan Nguyen withdrew his para-blade and wiped it calmly on his sleeve.
All this was observed from the control room by O’Neill and Mac, the last grinning broadly and turning to Jack. “So, do you think they’ll do alright Jack?”
“Oh they’ll do alright Mac.” He leaned toward the coms mike. “Briefing room in ten minutes Lt. Sanders.
“Yes sir!” Came a chorus of reply.
“Jack, I’ll just go down and see how Sam’s doing if that’s alright”.
“Of course Mac, go on ahead.”
Back on board the Victory, with SG12 on board, all with some injuries. The vessel is in hyper-space once again.
An Airman approaches Connolly. “Ma’am, they’re alive, all wounded. Major Swane is in very bad shape; Lt. Dreznov has a serious wound to his left shoulder and hand, Captain Henderson has a concussion. Corporal Aboud has a busted right knee and burns to her back and chest; except for the Major, the others will be ok ma’am. Lt. Dreznov has something to show you Captain, he thinks it is important.”
Sarah enters infirmary, she pauses to look at the Royal Marine Major, Swane; she remembers meeting him once or twice before. She sees that his left leg is missing below the knee, his head is heavily bandaged and wonders what could have been so important on that planet for this team to have put themselves in such harms way? The air force tech corporal is sedated, bandages cover her torso and a leg cast is on her right limb. The young Marine Capt. Henderson seems to be the least injured, though she is unconscious at this time; Sarah holds the woman’s hand for a brief moment. At the last bed she approaches Lt. Alexi Dreznov, systems and communication specialist, Russian Navy.
“How are feeling Lieutenant?”
“Fine ma’am. And thank you for saving us back there. They had made our position several times; each time we moved, they seemed to be waiting for us.” He winces in pain.
“Take it easy..” She looks at the tag above his bed. “..Alexi. Take your time.”
“I’m sorry Ma’am; I don’t think we have much time...you must look at the film I recorded on my camera. It’s in my pack..please Captain.” He lapsed into a morphined induced sleep.
Back on the Victory’s bridge, Sarah has Dreznov’s camera plugged into a monitor. Herself and several of the bridge crew watch as the film displays what SG12 had seen.
The first images show many Jaffa guarding a work gang, sandbagging and shoring up what appears to be a large space vessel, trapped in a swamp or bog. Scanning the scene, the camera shows the work gang to be mainly human, a few Jaffa amongst them...they’re all chained. Slaves. Slowly the lens pans around and focuses on one slave, you can hear Capt. Henderson’s voice whispering in the background..“Over there Alexi, get a close up.”
The whirring of the telephoto stops, a young man, bearded, stoops to lift another sandbag, his shoulder coming into focus, an American eagle is tattooed there. As the lens retreats, his face is revealed in detail. Angry, afraid.
Suddenly a commotion is heard near the young man. A robed figured strides his way; Jaffa guarding him. The robed figure points toward the camera lens and as he does so, his hood falls back to reveal the all too familiar face of a Prior. In the moment before the first staff blast comes toward the camera, the Prior’s eyes glow in another all too familiar way, it’s voice issuing commands in Goa’uld.
Lt. Adams is the first to speak, albeit softly. “What the hell...I thought all these guys were friendly. And now this, one with a Goa’uld stuck in his head?”
One of the other crew members speaks out, Master Sergeant Bob Taylor. “Captain, I know that guy. Lt. Liddel, he was with an SG team that went MIA several years ago.”
The captain’s eye’s grow wide as she stares intently at the screen image. But only momentarily.
“Major send an encrypted message to the SGC. From the Victory. Am returning to rendezvous vector delta six tango; relay to Orion to return. Transferring cargo and personnel to Orion, delay to Atlantis. Forward message to Atlantis, apologise for said delay. Must return to Earth, priority Zulu November.”
“Captain? Orion’s been out and back to the Pegasus galaxy twice already Ma’am; we can’t ask her to return again can we?” The XO asks somewhat anxiously.
“Can’t be helped Major. This is too important to screw up relaying messages back and forth between commanders. Colonel Ellis and his crew will just have to suck it down like the rest of us. Send the message.”
“Yes Captain, delta six tango, eighteen hours away Ma’am.”
Back in Sam’s lab at the SGC. “Sam what’s bothering you? I know we haven’t seen you for a long time, but I still know my brother’s daughter.”
“It’s complicated Aunt Anne. You...you should know a lot more about dad, how he died and everything, but it’s really too much. So many people I’ve gotten close to over the years...well to have you both here just frightens me. Mark was all the real family I thought I had left and I always knew he would be safe and I was content with that. Now..now you’re here, it changes everything. In my job and all that this base entails; well I just don’t think it’s right that I have to be looking over my shoulder, worried about someone I care for because of my job.” She was visibly upset.
“Sweetheart, look kid, in the line of work we do, including you, there’s always an element of fear we carry. Until the day we stop doing this, we’ll always carry it. I thought Anne, Ben and Cate would always be safe at home and God willing, I’d go home to them in one piece each time, after my last job was done. But Ben joined up, we couldn’t stop that, we didn’t try to stop him, as I’m sure Jacob would not have tried to stop you.”
Sam looked at him in a way she would have looked at her father when he was saying something profound.
“In the end, when the second Gulf war started, Anne was recalled from the reserves to full-time duty and my fears came to haunt me all at once...But you know Sam? The man upstairs just gave me a little push and I faced my fears, as hard as that was. We’re still here.”
“What about Ben?”
The MacGregor’s looked at one another.
“He could be alive somewhere Sam, but it’s not Iraq or Iran or even Afghanistan.”
“What do you mean? I know he was on exchange with our Marines here in the States and Ben wrote to me often from his base in Florida; he was going to see me...but then I got the news from a friend of mine at the Pentagon, the unit Ben was attached to had been sent on a special mission to the Middle East. But that was before the second Gulf, that was the last I heard of him. I wanted to call you both but I got involved in something...here, and the by time I got back, things just got so crazy for next few years. I’m so sorry to you both.”
“It’s not your doing Sam. But there’s more. We know where Ben went missing from. And yes it was well before Gulf two.” Mac replies.
“Here.” Anne said bluntly.
“What, you’re joking.” She saw the look in their faces. “You’re not are you? But how, we had no foreign personnel here at that time, except for scientists who were mostly American citizens in any case.”
“We did some digging Sam.” They wouldn’t tell her of their inside source. “Ben swapped ID’s with a marine Lieutenant of the same name, they were near the same age, size, even looked a little similar. The men in Ben’s unit were in on it; the other fellow actually got shipped out to Iraq and did go missing. That was the first screw up. But somehow Ben managed to get all the way to America’s most secret posting and no one ever back checked him. Screw up number two. Your cousin has an amazing talent for digging Sam ”
“I never saw him here Aunt Anne. Surely at some time I would have. And how did Cate find out anyway.” She asks
“She’s ah, in a government department Sam, attached to the diplomatic corps, and besides would you have recognised Ben. You hadn’t seen him since he was six or seven and photo’s exchanged over the years just would not hold up in the flesh. He avoided you Sam and from what we managed found out, he was only here six months when he went missing.” Mac said, hoping not to give too much away about his daughter, who in truth was an ASIS operative.
The wall pager sounds. “Colonel Carter, General O’Neill would like to see you in the briefing room. He asks if the Commodore would come also.”
Sam looks at her Aunt. “It’s okay Sam, William, go. I wanted to see Dr Lam anyway. I’ll catch up later...go.”
They left together, in the hall Sam speaks into her personal coms unit. “Tell the General we’re on our way.”
“Do you have any idea what this might be about?”
“Probably something to do with SG-7 and your SAS troopers.”
“SG-16 Sam, that’s the tag I overheard your Colonel Mitchell give them.”
“Oh, yeah right.”
In the Briefing Room, Jack O’Neill is standing near a monitor, SG-7 and 16 are seated, along with Mitchell, Vala, Daniel and Teal’c. Sam and Mac enter from side staircase; Walter Harriman stands near O’Neill.
“Thank you for joining us Carter, everything ok?”
“Yes sir.” She gives him a ‘Don’t ask look.’
Jack just shakes his head and carries on.
“Good. Lt. Sanders give your report. It’s alright son..go on.”
Lt. Sanders stands. “Well it was only to be a simple orientation for the new guys. Meet and greet sort of thing, to P9K 778, one of the worlds the Ori had converted, but the folks there since found their way back, or so we thought.” He picked up the remote for the monitor. “We were supposed to meet with Hela the town mayor I suppose you could call her. She wasn’t at the gate so we just figured she was late, we decided to head out and probably find her along the way.” He clicked the monitor on.
“Continue please Lieutenant.”
“We were about three clicks away from the town, in the thick of the forest, when Corporal Sutton here said she could smell smoke. I didn’t question it sir, I know how good SAS training is. Baker suggested we split into two units and I agreed. We fanned out and when my team came to the ridge overlooking the town we found this.” He pressed the remote start button.
What they all saw was where a sizeable town once stood was now nothing but rubble, still burning. The camera panned about and zoomed in...bodies everywhere. The camera replays the events from SG-7's perspective.
“Next, we heard energy weapons and 16's fire fight. By the time we got there it was over, Baker and his team were already searching the bodies. They found this.” He held out a small silver/ grey sphere.
“What would Ori soldiers be doing with a Goa’uld long range communication device?” Vala asks.
“Good question. Sanders...”
“Yes sir. But at this point Captain Baker should fill us in, if that’s alright sir?”
“Of course. Captain.” The big Australian stands.
“We spread out through the trees, Cpl Sutton went to look for high ground. The rest of us waited for Sutton to find her position and give us a mark. About three minutes later she gave a coded squawk on the coms that indicated hostiles about three hundred metres ahead, bearing left of us, toward the gate.” The captain waited for a response, but they all just sat and Jack nodded to him a sign to continue.
“Not knowing for sure if they were actually hostiles or not, Fraser and Nguyen split from my position and dispersed into the trees. I continued straight on until I had a visual on Sutton’s ‘hostiles’. About a hundred metres away I saw the encampment of ‘Ori’ soldiers; they’d not at this point detected my approach sir.” He stopped.
“Why’d you do that Captain?”
“Well sir, I needed to know their intent. True they did turn out to be hostile but at this point I did not want to be responsible for killing people who might just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time sir.”
“Captain, how did you find out they were actually hostiles?”
“I called to them to drop their weapons, stand and face me.”
“What all sixteen of them, or couldn’t you see them all?” Daniel, looks at him curiously.
“Sutton was giving us a head count and dispersal the whole time, once she was in situ, sir.”
“So how did they react Captain?” Sam said to him.
“As expected Ma’am. They shot at me!” He said calmly.
“That was risky standing out in the open like that, or stupid.” Vala weighs the story somewhat with caution.
“I’m sorry Ma’am, but there was one thing we learnt at the beta site; energy based weapons were about as precise as spitting in the wind at anything beyond seventy odd metres or so. Baker knew what he was doing Ma’am.” The dark young woman said respectfully.
“Alright then Baker, you can fill in the details in your report. Now about this Goa’uld communicator? Anyone, guesses?” Jack said.
“Sir, they weren’t all Ori sir. At least six of em’ were Jaffa.” Lt. Sanders adds to the tally.
Everyone in the room, except the two SG teams just stared at him.
Jack cleared his throat and dismissed them all, wishing all this would just go away and he could go fishing.
A little later back in Sam’s lab. O’Neill, Mitchell and Sam are there.
.“We’ve done a lot of research on these things and we’ve managed to extrapolate a program that...”
“Sam stop. I just wanna know if you can make it work without the other guys know you’re calling?”
“Yes sir. It has a matrix memory built into it, sort of last caller number if you will. Though they are aligned to only one receiver, we can see who that person was, without them knowing.”
“Thank you.” Jack says in exasperation.
Sam attaches two leads to the device. An image is replayed on her computer monitor. A familiar looking figure speaking in Goa’uld.
“That is a Prior, unless I’m still in my bed dreaming sir.” Cam said candidly.
“You don’t say.” Jack replies in his usual manner. “Does anyone know what he’s saying, my Goa’uld’s a little hazy.”
A voice from near the door answers his question. “He’s asking if the target has been eliminated, sir.”
The three in the room turn to see Cpl. Sutton standing there.
“Oh I’m sorry for interrupting Ma’am. I was looking for Dr. Jackson when I overheard the General from the hall.”
“Do I speak that loudly Carter? Don’t answer.” He adds.
“Come on in corporal.”
The young woman approaches the workbench.
“How’d you know what this guy was saying?” Cam looks at the small woman.
“I’m a linguist sir. All the Australians coming here were selected for their abilities other than combat skills sir. At the beta site, I studied Goa’uld and Ancient for the whole time I was there.”
“You must be a quick learner, or you didn’t have much spare time...ah Amy isn’t it?”
“Yes Ma’am. It’s a skill I’ve always had, besides Major Danska and the Tokra people were good teachers. And no Ma’am, I didn’t have any spare time...I figured I needed to learn as much as I could in the three months we had there.”
Jack ignored the present conversation. “Then he must have been speaking about the town. But why? Why not just take over like always with these guys.” He looked genuinely bothered.
“It wasn’t just the town sir. He wanted to know if all the inhabitants had been destroyed as well.” Amy wanted them to know the full extent, which had Cam intrigued.
“Well this just gets crazier by the minute. Why go to all that trouble, and what value did it have to kill all those people?”
“We’ve seen it before Cam. No witnesses. Somebody is planning something big for that planet. These are not Ori tactics, they’re Goa’uld.” Sam spread her hands for emphasis.
At that moment Daniel and Vala enter. They both start to speak as one, but Daniel gives Vala that disapproving look. “It’s a staging base. After Abydos was eliminated, that planet is the next closest to Earth.”
Walter pops his head in. “Sir we have a deep space transmission from Victory.”
“What’s it say Walter?” The master sergeant reads out the message.
“Sounds bad sir. How far away is she?” Sam was implying the worst.
Walter. “A few hours only Colonel.”
“Mmm..Sam we can’t wait that long; if this is going to go the way I’m thinking, we need that intel now. Mitchell, an F307D is much faster in short hyper jumps than our carriers isn’t it?”
“Yes sir and I know what you’re thinking. I’m already on to it.”
“Not alone. Take Commodore MacGregor with you, he can bring the Victory home. Mitchell I want you to bring Capt. Connolly back with her intel.”
“Sir shouldn’t I go, I mean the Commodore has barely settled in and certainly he hasn’t any flight time on our 310's, especially not in command.”
“Carter I need you here and Will MacGregor is one of the most experienced commanders in anyone’s navy or Air Force, a space ship will be no different for him than a destroyer. Sam the Australians travelled to the Beta site and back on a 310 and he had the skipper’s seat all the way back as I understand. Says here on his file, Mac passed command status as above average. Besides the Victory has a good XO doesn’t it. ”
“Major Chung, yes sir, she’s good.”
“There you go. Lighten up Carter, it’ll be fine. Oh and Walter, get a message to whoever might be close to Victory’s location, she’ll need an escort!”
Walter. “Yes sir.” The little sergeant scampers away.