Abydos Desert

Fifty kilometers from Yon Manori crash site

Louise Ferretti was not particularly happy about his latest assignment. SG2 had been sent out along with a company of Marines to find an object that had fallen off the Yon Manori when it crashed at the location they suspected it was. He was leading the mission due to Kowalski claiming to be ill, though he would have been more upset if he could manage to get him mind off the heat. Even with his sunglasses and his entire face covered his face was still burning, and he was thankful that the transport they used had a large water tank with it because his canteen had been emptied a half hour earlier.

That transport was right on the edge of the crater the company was split between either surrounding on lookout or was currently excavating. Eight men where tasked with keeping a lookout while the rest dug the object out, the group rotating every half hour to keep their minds from wondering and to get something resembling rest.

The one odd woman out was an Alliance officer who was directing the men, a green astromech droid next to her. Ferretti walked up to the two after refilling his canteen.

"You sure this thing is going to be anything more than scrap metal once we dig it up Lieutenant Blue?"

"I do major, even if it's broken into a thousand pieces there will still likely be something that's salvageable even in the worst case scenario. We have two others so even just having extra parts would make this worth out time. And if it's functional, or able to be made functional again, that's even better." Ferretti had nothing to respond to that with, but he felt a certain unease towards her. She was one of the few aliens the Ton Manori had, a Zeltron in her case, and the features that made her people different from humans where only made more pronounced due to the similarities. Ferretti actually felt less uneasy towards a pair of Mon Calamari who were part of the Alliance crew.

There was something about her almost human features that just made her alien nature more obvious for Ferretti, and having spoken with others he was not the only one who felt that way.

His thoughts on the matter where cut short as the sound of metal hitting metal grabbed his attention. One of the Marines who had been digging was on his knees and dusting off the surface of their target, having evidently reached it. At that point it did not take long for the shape of their target to take form as more and more of the Marines managed to uncover the sand which has buried it, quickly revealing its shape over the next hour.

When its entire top half was uncovered Ferretti and the Alliance officer inspected it to see what state it was in.

"How does it look? It's in one piece but does it work?"

"I doubt it. With how long it was buried coupled with the crash it'll likely need to be fixed, but it definitely can be fixed so that's good news." She took her canteen and poured its content over part of the metal surface, sand and dust revealing yellow markings on a red surface.

"What does it say?"

She looked at Ferretti questioningly for a moment, before reminding herself of how things where. "That's right, you people don't read Basic, you read High Galactic. It says 'Manori 2' in Basic."

"That mean the other two are 'Manori 1' and 'Manori 3'?"

"Yes major. The three are named after the Yon Manori due to their role as escorts." She took step back to take a look at the small starfighter. "The A-Wings may be small, but they pack a large punch for their size. I'd take one of these over anything in the TIE series any day."

Ferretti had no idea what the TIE fighters where, but the way she spoke made him feel assured that the United States Air Force had just uncovered a useful item that could be used to protect his country against alien threats. At the end of the day, that was all that mattered.

Hammond's Office

Stargate Command

"The ship should take another two weeks to get flight worthy, with another three weeks after that to get our hyperspace engines fully operational again." Captain Dorn stretched out after making the statement, cracking noises coming from his joints. "Sorry, work's been hectic trying to get things up and running."

"I can only imagine." Hammond stated. "Coffee?"

Dorn accepted the offered cup, gave it a sniff and tried it. "That's pretty bitter." After that comment he took another few large mouthfuls before putting it on the table. "So what is the plan for once my ship is repaired?"

"We have a base in a fairly isolated location on our world currently constructing an underground hanger for the Yon Manori to land in. It should be finished by the time it's capable of reaching here."

Dorn took the coffee back and spent a few moments thinking of his next words. "Tell me General, why is there such a need for secrecy amongst your people? I understand not wanting to cause a panic, but would it not make reverse engineering our technology easier if the general public was aware of it? To say nothing of implementing it into your society."

"It's a complicated issue Captain. Outside of the problems with potential mass hysteria there are also the political problems that would have to be dealt with." Hammond explained. "We aren't a unified world; one power having access to the stargate and the potential it has could lead to god knows what."

"That's something I still can't understand." Dorn stated. "How does a world fractured into two hundred separate nations function?"

"We find a way."

"I'll have to look into that. Your world is quite fascinating." Dorn felt a little awkward with the next statement he knew he needed to make. "Now, about your scientist. He's… quite the individual. I haven't had to deal with someone like him since the Clone Wars."

"I'm well aware of Dr. McKay's reputation for being difficult to deal with, but I'm afraid he's the best we have for helping our people understand and apply your technology with our infrastructure." Hammond replied.

"Yes well, he's a bit more abrasive then I'd hoped. I can't say I'm excited to return to my ship with him on it." Dorn explained.

"I can understand your position, but I can't help you with that. You'll have…" Hammond's statement was interrupted by a knock on his door. "Enter."

"Sir, we just got a message from Abydos, they've just had an incident." Walter stated, slightly out of breath from running.

"Why wasn't there an alert from the connection?"

"It was only a few minutes off from a scheduled one and it was coming from Abydos, so we'd thought someone had just jumped the gun on their side." Walter explained.

"I see. What type of situation are we talking about?"

"They've captured a Goa'uld."

Forward Operating Base


Jack looked over the scene in the gate chamber. After a tense standoff the calm was setting in as a pair of medics placed Kowalski on a stretcher waiting for a signal to take him through the gate to the medical facilities at the SGC. What stood out for him was Luke standing at the centre of the scene, a tight grip on the slithering creature that had caused all this, holding it at arm's length in his hand. The young symbiote was nipping at his hand and wrist in an attempt to get him to loosen his grip, but though he damaged of the prosthetic his mechanical components where unaffected, the only real difficulty was holding the small creature firmly enough to prevent its escape while not damaging it too much in the process.

"How did you do that?" Jack asked, approaching the young man.

"A mind trick. The power of suggestion is easy to use on the weak minded." He informed him. "It took all my focus to do it though, and this one isn't a mature Goa'uld. I don't think I could do this with a matured one if I came across one."

"Well that's too bad, could really change things if you could." Jack replied. He moved aside to allow a soldier holding a large jar to contain the small snake like creature in for now. "Wait, influencing the small ones might still be useful."

"What are you thinking Jack?" Luke asked, quickly retracting his hand from the jar as the soldier holding it slammed its cap on, trapping the young Goa'uld within.

"I'm trying to think how an enemy Jaffa warrior would respond to having his symbiote suddenly elects to jump out of is pouch in the middle of a fight. Plus if we're infiltrating a place it could work as a great distraction. They act as the Jaffa's immune system, having one of them jump out or just get uppity could come in handy." Jack explained. Luke didn't know what to make of the idea. It made sense to him, but he wasn't sure how effective it would be given his limitations. He also was unsure of how moral it would be.

Thankfully for him Jack did not seem to be waiting for a response, moving to Kowalski to see how he was doing. He was unconscious; however the medics assured Jack that he seemed to be in a stable condition. Just as a precaution he was being sent to back to Cheyenne for a full medical checkup.

"What do we do with this thing?" The soldier holding the Goa'uld filled jar asked, looking at the creature trying in futility to bite its way out of the container.

"What can we do with it?" Luke asked back. "As far as I can tell your world doesn't have mind reading technology, and we don't have anything like that with us, so unless you people are willing to give someone up to act as a host for interrogation, there's nothing I can think of that can be done."

"We can always dissect it. Or better yet, vivisect it." The soldier stated. In response to the statement, the Goa'uld paused before becoming more frantic in its attempt to escape. "I think he likes that idea."

"Well I don't. We've had plenty of dead Goa'uld for the doctors to pick apart. And besides, it's easier to just pass this on to Hammond to figure out what to do with it." Jack lowered himself to get a closer look at the jar, looking the creature in the eye. "Take this to the SGC, they'll find a use for him."

"If nothing else we could always use it as a backup for Teal'c" Luke stated as the soldier escorted the medics through the gate, the connection closing after they left.

"That's a good point." Jack chose to change the subject at that moment. "You know kid, since you've assured me that I probably can't be taught how to do all these tricks, maybe you could consider joining SG-1. If I can't do them we may as well have someone who can on the team, and there's no rule that says our SG teams have to be four people."

Luke thought about it for a moment. He was a general in the Alliance to Restore the Republic, the highest ranking member of their forces present. However that being said, he was also the only person in the Alliance who was not a regular part of the crew of the ship, instead he was an outsider who was simply a passenger. While he had been helping around the base he had no real purpose in what he was doing, and day to day operations would certainly not notice his absence. With that he had no reason to reject the offer. It would give him an opportunity to see this new galaxy he now called home, and to once again be a real contribution in the fight against the dark side.

Abydos Base interrogation room

One month later

Through the hastily made two sided mirror, a man who looked like Jack O'neill was being questioned as the real Jack and the rest of SG1 watched.

"Out of curiosity, how exactly did you know he wasn't me?"

"Everyone has their own mark on the force. It's like a fingerprint, or a scent, we all have our own, and it is uniquely ours and no one else's. While it can change over time, in the time you were separated from us out there was not enough time for you to have changed so dramatically." As Luke explained it, he looked into the eyes of the other O'neill as the other answered questions slowly. "We shouldn't be too weary of him though. He isn't a threat, I can sense goodness in him. He's curious and afraid, he fears us and wants to understand us to see if we will do to his people what the Goa'uld did before."

"The Goa'uld did before, that means… oh god." Daniel's hand went to his face as he put the pieces together. "That place wasn't some disaster area or a natural phenomenon, it was the site of a massacre."

"Dear god." Sam walked to Jack as she realised what they had done. "Colonel, we need to send the crystal be brought with us back."

"Yeah, I realize that too."

The next few hours where a bit of a blur for Luke. The other O'neill and the crystal they had recovered where sent back to their homeworld with a contact package and a radio for possible contact in the future should they want to open relations. The few Alliance members on the base where hopeful that relations could be opened, but most of the Earth born personnel where more realistic in their beliefs that the aliens would likely become isolationist. Luke wanted to be hopeful, but given how alien they were even by the standards of his own galaxy and how species that where of a similar nature tended to act towards humanoids he was not optimistic.

Sitting outside the pyramid during the dark Abydosian night he reflected on what had happened in their short time exploring, the odd adventures reminding him of the ones he had gone through before being stationed at Echo Base. As he gazed at the unfamiliar stars that memory made him subconsciously feel at his face, his fingers tracing along the scar he had been given on that ice world.

The memory did not last long, the stars and the cool desert night instead reminding him of his old farm home.

"You look like you're enjoying yourself, mind if I join you?" Luke turned his attention to the new voice, he saw Lieutenant Blue standing over him.

"Go ahead Lieutenant, I have no right to stop you if you want to stargaze."

"Please, I'm off duty, call me Margret." She took a seat on one of the large stones about arms distance from the spot Luke was sitting. "The stars are quite beautiful on worlds without industry."

"Yes, I suppose they are."

"I'm going to miss this, the Yon Manori is going to Earth tomorrow and from what I'm told the region we're going to has quite a lot of light pollution." She let out a sigh as she let her eyes wander from one star to the next. "I wonder how things are back home. Are we still being hunted down by the Empire, or have we managed to go on the offensive?" By her tone Luke understood she did not expect an answer to that, so he said nothing. A few moments later, she continued. "Are you absolutely certain the Goa'uld are evil, that they're of the dark side?"

"Yes, there's no doubt in my mind given all the ones we've come across so far."

"Good. I want to fight against the darkness, but this conflict is still new to us. We had our whole lives to see the evil of the Empire, I wouldn't want to join the wrong side of a war I don't really know much about."

Luke could agree to that sentiment, and for the next hour the two continued to talk about their old lives, about what they did before joining the Alliance, of their time in it, and of what they thought of their new allies.

Author's notes

Well, haven't updated this one in quite some time. Hopefully it won't take anywhere near as long to do so, and that the result will be better. Bit of a heavy focus on Luke in this one, but that shouldn't be too much of what happens in later chapters.