All subjects that relate to other fictional sources of entertainment are owned by their respective owners.
Any and All names of people that have, had, or will, relate to any reader; Know that these are inspired by historical events and characters. This is in no way shape or form a way to depict people that once were alive in the past of the Anno Domini Timeline.
This is an Inspired work of fiction. I've taken liberties to be authentic to both fictional and real life aspects of the Stargate and Mass Effect Franchise. I hope to make the comparisons to be within logical boundaries, especially trying to work my head around ME tech to make a lot more 'compatible' to real life/Stargate science. Becuase of some subjects becoming more and more topical by the hour, I've decided to make it more vague and hinting instead of depicting things outright. You'll understand soon.
It seems that I've kept you waiting. I'm sorry, I'll try to be more consistent.
The conference room of Stargate Command was eerily quiet compared to the rest of the base as multiple large television monitors covered a wall from floor to ceiling. Dozens of technicians finalized their cable setups as the members of SG-1 stared into open space. Bauer and Hammond were in the latter's office with the red phone on speaker for the foreseeable future considering the whole situation.
How is it that no one had noticed the appearance of-
Teal'c stood facing the Stargate, silent as he mulled over what occurred. He had no extra information any of them could gleam, as this was a completely new type of contact. The Goa'uld had never encountered the odd looking vessel that had landed in Vancouver.
From general estimations from observation helicopters and measuring devices, the overall size of the alien vessel is determined to be two thousand and three hundred meters in 'height', one thousand two hundred meters in width and seven hundred meters in depth. People on the ground can barely see the tip as clouds-
O'Neill was a bundle of tightly wound energy. The seasoned colonel paced from one side of the room to the next, rubbing his hands to his elbows, alternating between the two when his skin turned red in soreness. It followed the general disposition of the rest of the base. They were antsy, a combination of anxiety and paranoia that strained within their minds. The Goa'uld attack was only a week ago at most. The jitters were still there, and some thought training and the normalcy of the SGC's day to day operations was the only thing keeping them so restrained.
It is the messenger of an alien race, ready and willing to destroy us all! They will do to us the same way all of our civilized life has done to others! They will conquer us! Beat us down with fire and lead until we are subservient-
Carter looked much the same way as her superior. The difference was the fact that the woman went into whatever piles of data and analyses like a bat out of hell. Nothing was left unturned as the captain read each paper without rest. Sometimes she had to reread them when some new piece of information got into her eyes and she needed confirmation.
What do you think the alien could be doing? They've been 'standing' there for hours. They could be preparing an attack as we speak!
I say we hit 'em first! A preemptive strike to show who these aliens are messing with! We won't go down without a fight!
You are a fool. What do you think this is? A movie? There's no special weak spot like the death star for you to send wave after wave of fighter jets. You think some aliens are stupid enough to make a weapon with a glaring weak-point for ease of convenience?!
"Switch the channel Daniel, find an outlet that has someone smart." Carter grumbled behind her files, a growl was uttered every time another news 'expert' yelled the latest headline.
Jack plopped down on a seat, responding. "Getting feisty there, Carter."
She sighed, "Sir, Daniel's been flipping through channels, one after the other. Every one of them with some hysterical anchor with their cronies that's an 'expert' in matters when they have no idea what they're talking about."
There is this quote from Sir Arthur C. Clarke, and I wish I could phone him here right now as it is getting awfully close to the year of 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are two possibilities that exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.
Yes... now one of those possibilities is staring at us right in the face! It's terrifying!
It's incredible if I'd say anything about it. I just wish Carl Sagen was here to see this. A dream came true. He was one of the founders of SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. SETI has or rather had now, a reputation that they always sat at the edge of mainstream astronomy. This is partly because, no matter how scientifically rigorous its practitioners try to be, SETI can't escape an association with UFO believers and other such crackpots. But it is also because SETI was arguably not a falsifiable experiment. Regardless of how exhaustively the Galaxy was searched, the null result of radio silence didn't rule out the existence of alien civilizations. It means only that those civilizations might not be using radio to communicate.
How optimistic; however, Professor Hawking has historically been on the opposite spectrum. So has many other members of the science community. What do you suppose they want?
I know exactly what they want! They will conquer us! Just like the Europeans to the Americas, the indiginous peoples of New Guinea, the original Australians, the Ainu from the Japanese isles; They will colonize Earth! Whether they choose to keep us alive is merely on their own prerogative!
A sufficiently advanced society would not have such a gap between scientific and cultural progress. The statistical possibility of advanced barbarians is miniscule!
O'Neill snorted when they heard it. Many of them thought the same. If only it were true.
I doubt that!
A civilization with the technological prowess needed to reach the stars and come to Earth must have transcended war to be able to avoid self-destruction!
Or they are an aggressive people that evolved solely from warfare. It's well known advancements in science and technology jumped during wartimes!
That is half of the real story and YOU KNOW IT!
Carter lowered her papers, eyeing her teammate, "Daniel, pick something... useful, please. The History channel, Science channel, C-SPAN for god's sake."
"No good, it's on every channel anyway," he responded dumbly, only to have Jack point to the screen with a grin.
"They say TV rots your brain Danny. If there was something important to know we'd find out first."
Daniel frowned, "I dunno. It's entertaining"
"That's what news does."
Carter jumped in with a groan, "Making money off by making it worse."
"Remember when the news was actually reliable and truthful?" Daniel rolled his eyes.
O'Neill quipped at his expense, "You mean like the time I took a vacation in East Germany and came back with half my squad? The media didn't shut up about that."
"What? They... ah," Daniel struggled to make a significant comeback as he tripped over his words. The man didn't want to mention the most trustworthy man in all of the United States in history was a news reporter by the name of Walter Cronkite. The same man that announced the death of John F. Kennedy. Eventually he shook his head, keeping whatever he thought to himself just as whatever latest rating focused newscast of whatever media channel spoke for the umpteenth time in circles; the feed changed.
Welcome to !nside Access of IWN. I'm Julia Donovan and I apologize for taking you away from your current program.
"Fresh news." Carter noted as she looked up from her papers. The group stared as Daniel switched channels with his remote over and over, eventually giving up. "Every channel has it."
"Someone must have pulled a lot of strings to do this." Cater noted.
Jack eyed the scene, scoffing, "And money"
I understand everyone is looking for answers. And it seems that no one is willing to step up to the plate.
"Bold words." Teal'c rumbled from behind them. His silence was broken for the first time since the alien appeared over Vancouver.
The members of SG-1, followed by any human that watched the ongoing coverage of the alien landing tuned in once the reporter's words were uttered. The reporter wasn't the star, in fact she did little aside from making the announcement.
Within a corner, much like how the news did for a weather or traffic cam was the live feed from Vancouver. The alien ship in all its glory, a flag of proclamation. And that was in contrast to what every news board had. Something everyone was used to.
A brightly lit room comparable to any morning show with whiteboards replacing the television screens normally seen in that kind of setting. An incredibly long table was stationed at the center, where dozens upon dozens of name plaques were tented in front of various men and women, the types who looked as if they never expected to ever be seen on air.
Jack looked over to her straightening up in her seat and asked, "Carter?"
"I know some of them sir. Though not personally." she started, only to pitter out as she dropped her papers into neat piles into the sides. A notebook was quickly set in front and a pen twirled in her fingers. The screen firmly had her undivided attention.
"Anything to share with the class?"
"Experts. True experts in their field." Carter finished lamely, noting each member of the table as she jotted down into her notes. "Higgs, Aspect, Kaku, Bard, Dresselhaus, Gellar, Hau, Chambon, Zubrin, Barrow and that's who I recognize."
"Theoretical Physicist, Astrobiology, Astronomy, Aerospace Engineering, String Theorists, Quantum Mechanics, Mathematician. I could go on sir, but you get the point. I wouldn't be surprised if Kardeshev was there."
Daniel dropped the remote once he noticed the scientists in their midst weren't going to force a channel switch again, not that it would matter.
He whistled slowly. "Whoever made this happen must've had a lot of connections."
You mind if I get this out of the way now?
You really think they flew 90 billion light years just to start a fight?
O'Neill snorted, failing to reign in a chuckle. No doubt a large percentage of viewers watching were following the same. Other enlisted men and women snickered.
Was that an Independence Day quote?
So you know how insane that sounds?
Given the size of space, they may very well might've.
That was a reference.
That could be true.
Apologies. I believed starting out with some humor would help ease us in.
It certainly did based on the all too brief smiles on the commentators.
It's just so surreal.
Indeed, an alien spaceship at a size that dwarfs every building we have.
If that was an impression to make us look in awe, they have our attention.
I can already plan the shredding of thousands of thesis papers.
The news anchor cut herself in to ask the prevailing question on everyone's minds.
Gentlemen, Ladies. Why is it that you're so calm?
Calm minds prevail.
That and, it's best to start off with the best foot forward.
Then let's get this show on the road as they say. We're working off the assumption that we know nothing. We'll start with observable facts and go from there.
Just like that?
It's simple when there's a space cuttlefish on land flipping off several hundred years of scientific knowledge.
First, Let's give it a name, and since they aren't so willing to introduce themselves... Does anyone here have the same feeling as me?
It reminds me of Leviathan.
In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.
If that was true, we'd already be fucked. Sorry is that okay on television?
It certainly wasn't, but no one was going to fault the scientist for it. These were unprecedented times, displaying an event that could only be believed in fiction. SG-1 watched the members of the table get some sort of warning off screen before they continued. A swear jar was jokingly put at the center of the table and said scientist(s) dropped a dollar bill into it to christen the event. Soon they began to deliberate with Carter furiously copying or adding more notes into her notebook. Without a doubt many other viewers did the same, and everyone did their best to patiently wait for explanations.
There are only two options if we get down to it. And there were in fact, also only two ways of establishing contact; Immediate and Gradual. Gradual Contact is what the term implies. Gradual.
Given the in-feasibility of interstellar space flight for civilizations at a technological level similar to that of humanity, interactions between such civilizations would have to take place by radio. Because of the long transit times of radio waves between stars, such interactions would not lead to the establishment of diplomatic relations, nor any significant future interaction at all between the two civilizations.
In-feasibility of interstellar space flight, What a joke.
The Kardashev scale doesn't matter anymore. Sorry to say to my colleague, Nikolai in Russia. It was entirely theoretical and since it appeared, the scale must be redefined. It can no longer be based solely upon the idea of power generation and consumption.
We originally believed the amount of energy a civilization could generate would indicate advancement and subsequently the ability to traverse the stars. That isn't as concrete as we believed, while it is possible the alien could have ways to lessen the impact and indications of waste or heat created as a byproduct from energy generation, there is nothing that suggests the usage of anything exotic. The amount of resources and fragility of containing something as, at the minimum, a star's worth of power fitting into something the size the fraction of two kilometres is….. Astronomical.
Another dollar was dropped into the swear jar.
"What does this have to do with radio waves?" Jack asked, scratching his head.
Carter echoed the response almost instinctively to her commanding officer, "Because of Time and Space."
The Reporter echoed the same for countless humans across the planet, I'm sorry?
Time is what is needed. Such interactions from sufficiently advanced civilizations would be carefully planned by the more advanced civilization to avoid mass societal shock for humanity.
Consequently, such contact could only be with civilizations rated as Type II or higher on the Kardashev scale. And we, as much as I want to be generous… humanity isn't even on the board, but therein lies the problem.
The Chicken and the Egg problem. However much planning an extraterrestrial civilization may do before contacting humanity through transmissions, the humans may, and WE are experiencing great shock and terror on their arrival, especially as they would lack any understanding of the contacting civilization. The same goes for us. We may misunderstand the true meaning of an extraterrestrial transmission to Earth and subsequently, we may come into equal levels of shock and terror. Chicken. Egg.
For example, the 'okay' hand gesture means Okay for the United States of America; However, in Brazil, the gesture is very similar to the middle finger. It is also offensive in France. We would have essentially no idea what the transmissions from Aliens would mean. A sign that would mean cooperation and understanding could be interpreted as conquest and genocide.
On one hand, the immediate contact is a blessing in disguise. On the other hand, It could spell out disaster for humanity.
Another dollar bill was dropped into the jar.
Let's move on to the Kardashev scale. I believe we've had enough of the paranoia, doom and gloom. Best not make any itchy trigger fingers worse.
Worldwide, electronic boards and TV screens draped to the sides of various city skylines lit up with each passing second of the broadcast. Many governments made contact with various media outlets, only to be greeted with a transfer call to major economic powerhouses of the planet.
One such man that had started it all was Alec Colson: CEO, CFO, and founder of Colson Industries. When the appearance of an Extraterrestrial orbiting the planet was put to his attention, he cancelled all previous engagements and ordered the immediate usage of any satellites and other divisions under his control to watch the alien. When the starship descended down to earth, Colson speed dialed his various rivals and associates of other companies. Those who played in those social circles, knew others in said circles.
They started to talk.
The moment the odd twenty some CEOs and founders of the world's moguls ranging from Electronics to Aerospace, personal defense to auto manufacturing, from pharmaceuticals to natural resources realized it wasn't an invasion... They moved.
Do we have any recordings at the time of when it appeared? Data readings, video?
Dozens of the greatest phone calls were made and forwarded with the highest priority to those of Viacom, Fox, AT&T, Sony and Bertelsman to name a few, were directed to their own CEOs to get the plan to bear fruit. Such companies under the control of public broadcasting were quickly persuaded behind closed doors and they were brought into the fold. Universities were notified, Research Institutes were drafted, and a quaint little unknown broadcasting room experienced for the first time what a 'hostile takeover' was like.
Which segways into the possible method of FTL as it would by necessity, require a level of power generation.
The best of the best of Humanity's minds were not so politely spirited away as the broadcasting room was renovated at a blistering pace. Money funneled out of the dozens of multinational corporations and a time had been selected. Various governments around the world had been taken aback by the alien's descent, and as they tried with all their might to control the chaotic tide of logistics, decision making and brow beatdown by constituents; Alec Colson suggested public outcry could be contained if they were given free reign. The pressure would be eased off. The choice was simple to the leaders of the world.
Let them run.
I noticed none of this is military. Are they being coy about this?
We're not sure. Aside from military movement, the government's been silent since it appeared.
We'll have to make do. Curse our meager funding.
The whiteboards were immediately put to use. Look at this!
That's elementary particles!
Heavy dose of ultraviolet radiation.
It's Faster Than Light travel?
Look at us, casually theorizing what kind of FTL they use.
There's no way it's via hyperspace drive.
"How do you figure, Carter?"
"Sir, based on what we already know, and I admit it isn't a lot." A set of papers came out of the stack from her side as she responded. They were graphs depicting various lines and bars going up and down like waves. It was obvious by his blank look that O'Neill didn't have a clue what they meant.
"Hyperspace, also known as subspace is as far as we know, an alternate dimension that the predominant factions of the galaxy use to move faster than light. They do this by opening a window into this alternate dimension, making it stable enough for a ship to enter for traversal."
"And that leaves some kind of radiation fingerprint. Right?" O'Neill finished with less words than the scientist would have said.
Carter snorted at the silent push for a short-hand explanation. "Yes."
"Then what's so different about this alien and everyone else? You said there was radiation. Tagged and logged in one of those papers." he gestured for emphasis.
"Sir, that's exactly why it isn't hyperspace." Carter turned to meet everyone's confused gaze. She rubbed her brow and drank from a glass of water before continuing. "Radiation isn't exactly cut and dry."
"It never is." Daniel mumbled.
"Well yeah, there's ionizing and non-ionizing. One's alpha, gamma, neutron and x-ray. All those are kinds that we know about because we learned in high school. Nukes are part of this section. The other's basically radiation that isn't strong enough to affect any atoms."
The television was momentarily ignored when most of the room's occupants turned to Jack O'Neill as he rambled along an explanation, while at the same time ignoring all the more specific words needed in such an important subject.
"Cosmic radiation is entirely different with them being high energy photons and atomic mass nuclei making the bulk of it that smashes against our planet every second of every day."
When he stopped, Jack blinked at the dazed look Daniel was giving him. He shrugged, "Amatuer astronomy remember? Gotta know the basics if I want to get the best sights."
"Back on topic then, sir." Carter started, rifling through the papers to get to the one she was aiming for. "The fingerprint as you stated isn't anything like the kind of radiation of what hyperspace or the ships that use hyperspace emits."
A few marks with a pen later and the rest of SG-1 was greeted with a line graph, marked by comparison notes and mathematical equations.
"Despite the event of Apophis trying to invade Earth; We were able to collect data of the time his ships exited hyperspace when he got here."
A finger pointed at the lowest line before continuing to the one above the next one after that.
"This is the baseline radiation that comes from Goa'uld ships. The middle one is whatever we were able to collect from the Tollans' messenger device, and the one above that is the Stargate. They all share the same type of radiation, Gamma and somehow completely harmless, but we still don't know how or why they are so different from one another."
"What's this one?" Daniel pointed to the third. It outclassed the other two by a wide margin, all the way at the top.
"That's what I was able to get from Thor's Hammer when it scanned us the first time we got on Cimmeria."
"And our friend out there?" Jack slowly asked.
Carter shook her head. "It's not on the list."
"You mean we didn't read it?"
"Sir, I mean it isn't ionizing. It should be radiation, but it isn't. The Ultraviolet mentioned by the scientists are true, however it's a byproduct. I have no clue where to begin." Carter paused, only to finish icily, "It breaks the rules."
"There are plenty of things we already know of that breaks the rules, Carter." She shook her head when O'Neill made his thoughts known.
"Sir, those are just theories. Theories that day by day keep getting ripped apart by the Stargate program. Sir, the Tollans outright dismissed Quantum Theory as pseudoscience."
"Buncha know-it-alls. They don't know everything, Carter." He grumbled, only to clap his hands. He needed their best on solid ground, not trying to reinvent the world from the ground up. There must've been something that was common ground with the alien. "Alright let's do this instead. You said something about absorbing stellar winds right?"
Cater nodded, knowing what he was hinting at, "Yes, theoretically if one could create something with stealth capabilities in space. It would need to factor in so many variables beyond what terrestrial stealth vehicles can or could do."
"Like?" O'Neill inched out to continue her thought. Which she followed through without preamble.
"The reflection or absorption of cosmic rays, subatomic particles, heat, energy. The ability to be unaffected by exotic-" she cut herself off and to others in the room she looked as if a dam exploded inside her brain.
"Exotic ….. It's not that there's no radiation or that it's some type of simple particle radiation. It's all encompassing. The legendary ideal, the infamous-" Words started to flow out of Carter into a haphazard mess of jumbled sentences. Various equations and theories rattled off as her notebook slowly filled out with notes upon notes in increasing complexity. SG-1 had never seen Carter in such a way during their most technical encounters.
Teal'c frowned in confusion, followed by a brow that went further up. "Captain Carter?"
"Ripples in the eleven dimensions of the Standard Model of the universe that's undetectable by current technology, but always imagined as theory. There's only one type of event that can influence the fabric of space time that we know of."
"Houston to Carter. Do you read me, Carter?" O'Neill half-joked, narrowing his eyes when she worked though whatever process was going on in her mind. He didn't want to stop since this was the first time since the first broadcast she was getting somewhere. The space cuttlefish broke every single 'first thought' rule when it came to science, and this was something that was needed if Earth was going to further this encounter, regardless of which side the shoe was going to land.
"It's not a simple action of emitting and then absorbing. Nor is it that complex when you realize it's in a constant state of flux. And yet it contradicts it with the standard model. That can only mean a connection to the idea of super-symmetry, scalar gravity field?" Carter reflected out loud, sure that no person had any idea what she was going about.
"Sam!" Jack yelled, jump-starting the woman.
"Sir, it's..." Carter drifted as her face stuck in a perpetual state of shock. She took a deep breath while her face twisted into equal amounts of incredulity, terror, respect and finally, awe. "It's incredible."
"Quintessence," The woman breathed as if it was the answer to everything. "Lambda."
I absolutely agree about the scale. The Kardashev Scale has to be reevaluated.
Tier III I believe.
The personnel that stood close enough gave Carter a look, and she cleared her throat as her gaze stood firm at the screen. Her next words gave them an answer none thought could be possible, "It could be as old as the universe itself."
Certainly if we consider it based on potential. I'd reckon we could be underestimating them; it could be one of the more impossible tiers. IV or V.
To explain it for everyone watching. The Kardashev scale is a method of measuring a civilization's level of technological advancement based on the amount of energy they are able to use. This scale was proposed by Nikolai Kardashev in 1964 and designated three categories for a civilization could fall under. Planetary, Stellar, and Galactic civilizations. It's entirely based on how much energy that can be stored, used, and controlled.
An example of a Tier, or Type II Civilization is being about to successfully construct a dyson sphere. You might recognize it with Star Trek's Episode: Relics. Oh, would I want Freeman Dyson here for chin wagging about now.
Type III Civilizations are a step beyond this as they are able to control and harness the energy that potentially is within an entire galaxy. I do not believe there have been any depictions of Type IIIs in popular fiction. Novels certainly. Type IV and V are complete mysteries; however Professor Kaku to my left believes these civilizations could collect and harness 'extragalactic' sources of energies such as parallel dimensions or dark energy, even Quintessence.
Popular culture believes societies at Type III or beyond would have shed their physical forms to become pure energy. Let this be a fact; We do not deny the possibility may exist considering the new information that has changed science as we know it, HOWEVER; Pure energy beings DO NOT automatically nor do they suggest to be Type III and above. It's a fabricated idea for fiction such as video games and movies.
"We're using the empirical definition, not imagination." Carter nodded resolutely in agreement to the broadcast. "Clarke's Third Law; Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
However we've always considered the scale to be inherently flawed. It doesn't contain other factors such as population, information speed or sharing, micro and macro matter manipulation. We've proposed addendums to the types as well as other scales to compliment Kardashev's own, however it was never put into focus as we all know; We cannot understand advanced civilizations, thus we cannot predict their behavior. The Kardashev scale may not be relevant or useful for classifying extraterrestrial civilizations.
Ironically it certainly is now.
The reporter of !nside Access voiced the collective question that prevailed in the majority of humanity's thoughts. Do you have ideas on what this alien could be?
It isn't concrete but it's better than nothing I would say.
First, power generation; It produces no heat so at first we believed it uses cold fusion. However it isn't consistent with the fact it does not have any discernible method of propulsion. Thus, we believe it is much more exotic. Antimatter or a Black Hole generator for power. It's gravity manipulation is unparalleled, which suggests one of these two more exotic methods.
It's capability to traverse the stars in certainly faster than light speeds already confirms its ability to break the limitations we originally believed in to create FTL. Hyperspace is not a possible option as there, theoretically, should have visual confirmation of a tear in spacetime. Warp Drives in Star Trek are out of the picture, same with Slipspace and Wormholes. Granted our understanding is minimal at best.
Space folding is possible, but inconsistent with what we already know. Einstein's Alcubierre drives are very similar to what we know and are consistent, however timespace is not distorted when the alien barreled into our solar system, and so it does not at the minimum alert visual readings from telescopes.
The only possibility is unfathomable; however it is incredibly consistent. Real-Spacetime Faster Than Light. Energy equals mass times the speed of light squared. Mass and energy are proportionate measures of the same underlying property of an object, which is why it can only be beyond the Kardashev scale.
Countless amounts of dollar bills were then shoved into the already packed swear jar.
All in agreement?
"Captain Carter?" The commanding voice of General Hammond called out, entering the room in a brisk march. He had been around enough to listen into the final thoughts of the television, and a questioning look was relayed to his scientific advisor for confirmation.
Carter nodded, her expression stern. "Sir, I agree with the members on the board. Under no circumstances should we or anyone fire on the alien."
"Why, exactly?" Hammond pressed, his demeanor turning to surprise at the notion. Surely it couldn't be that serious if they needed to resort to such measures. Carter shook her head at the unspoken question.
"It's incredibly likely that it's a singularity or antimatter ship. Any instability within the containment of it's generators would spell a large portion of earth becoming uninhabitable, making the rest of our planet unstable. Think of it as Yellowstone erupting or WWIII starting and ending in the span of a few minutes."
The room grew quiet, including the feed on the monitors as the General stroked his chin grimly. What sort of insane society would do such a thing? Why endanger their own crews in such a way? Granted their own nuclear powered carriers and subs could lead into a meltdown or leak, but not on such a scale. In any case, he reluctantly credited the USN for their decades of paranoia on this very subject.
That in mind, he refrained from calling the kettle black as he spoke, "This isn't something anyone would be happy to hear Captain, but I'll forward it to the Joint Chiefs and the President."
"General? If I could add something?" Before Hammond passed the threshold to his office came Daniel, his voice oh so similar to previous briefings. He gestured for him to speak his peace, anything could help mitigate any damage from any source. "If possible I'd like us to forward our findings to !nside Access. They have the connections for dozens if not hundreds of more experts, each one equally or more experienced in the subjects than we could. They can give us more answers."
"No doubt those answers would be broadcasted to the public, Dr. Jackson." Hammond warned.
"I believe that's the point, General." Daniel quickly explained just as the general started to raise his voice. He understood many things during his travels through the Stargate; one such thing was the need to branch out his expertise in anthropology and social psychology. "Sir, the worst kind of fear, is the fear of the unknown. The human mind can make fantastic and crazy ideas without any input because there's nothing to… box them in. The public already has a low opinion of our government just from this first contact, I don't have to tell you what the news of the world has said. As much as it pains me to suggest such a thing; why not use it to our advantage and It may calm the masses? To help the public transition before it results in disaster?"
The room's occupants could only stay silent throughout Daniel's tirade. He was passionate in his explanation and they waited for the general to respond. Hammond breathed deeply as he remembered the first time he looked into the first dossier of Daniel Jackson and the subsequent notes written by his predecessor, General W.O. West. Suffice it to say, Daniel Jackson had a rough history with authority, more so than the military. He was distrustful of their nature but kept his opinions silent. Hammond never had experience of being a member of the 'hippie crowd' as they were called when he was young. To see the very man ask for the manipulation via lenient propaganda for the greater good of keeping the public mass calm and forthcoming despite his vehement distaste anything relating to it spoke an incredible level of forethought, and the swallowing of righteous pride.
"... I'll note it to the President."
Daniel nodded gratefully, "Thank you, sir."
Hang on, There's movement over in Vancouver!
Just as he was about to close his door, the reporter at the scene revealed the first movement since the alien landed. General Hammond could feel as if the entire base collectively cursed. Despite the feeds from the conference room, Operations gave them more to work with. SG-1 followed as they greeted Walter's pale face with a nod. Everything civilian, assets on the ground or otherwise were laid out to them.
It was bad. Of course the SGC and effectively the entire United States military didn't sit on their proverbial ass during those previous hours of waiting, but there was too little gleam from the unknown. Threat Assessment, place of origin, capabilities, they only had theories and assumptions to go on.
Hammond breathed as he scanned the screens, noting countless National Guard and Army platoons stationed at key areas in the homeland while dozens of fighters patrolled the Canadian border, barred from entering their neighbor by an equal show of force from the Royal Canadian Air Force. He scowled at the news feed giving them a front seat view of a tall suit clad man marching to the open area in front of the unknown.
No, it couldn't be.
"What's that man doing?!" Hammond demanded. His scowl worsened as he noted the man's posture; Civilian, with zero escort. "Who is he?! Why wasn't the area secured?"
Walter shook his head, "We haven't gotten anything from the Canadian government about this. They're as much in the dark as we are!"
"Are we really gonna let a City Mayor be the face of Earth?" O'Neill quipped. True enough the area was secured by a combination of local police forces and Canadian troops. Few had the credentials to get in without being escorted out. Unless the Canadians were turning a blind eye, or they themselves had no idea what was going on.
"No one's stopping him." Daniel noted, his voice trailing when they got a picture of the man standing at the pier's edge. The human was truly a grain of sand compared to the unknown standing in the water. The microphones weren't anywhere nearby as they watched the Mayor gesture as he spoke.
The alien's moving! Lights are turning on and there seems to be an 'eye' at the center of the mothership!
Shh shh! Everyone shut up! Get it on screen!
Like some spotlight used in a jailbreak movie, the 'eye' of the unknown ship glared down at the Mayor with it's royal purple and blue hue. The lights hummed and glowed at the edges and gaps of the alien vessel like a marine shell in an equally unnerving manner as they pulsed to and fro the center of the eye. Humanity itself held their collective breaths.
YOU SPEAK FOR YOUR PLANET?
"Good god." Walter uttered in the silence.
Daniel swallowed thickly, adjusting his glasses. "It knows our language"
"That voice… it's-"
They couldn't put it into words. O'Neill normally would quip about cliches and tropes with the possibility of a big booming voice that shook the very air itself, much like how Goa'uld tried so hard to be. This was entirely different. The alien was loud certainly, however it felt like it was some sort of real tangible feeling of watching an incredibly good horror movie. Their skin crawled, hair stood on end and teeth clattered though each pronunciation. Something completely instinctual grasped at their brain.
"Many in one." Daniel gasped to the side. That could be it, an uncanny valley he thought. No one ever expected the voices of the damned(exaggerated) themselves would holler out to them.
O'Neill joked with a strained grin, "That's not creepy at all."
They didn't have any choice other than to let others handle the situation. Their superiors or the Canadians would figure something out. They didn't have the ability to get there at this moment and drag that Mayor away or have any control over who could be the face of Humanity. The broadcasters had the same thoughts. They could hear all the back and forth from the crew.
"Wait, we're letting a city mayor speak for mankind?"
"Problem, very big problem."
"Don't do it man. Don't make a mistake."
"The Alien has ended talks with the mayor! Wait, look!"
"That Mayor. What the hell is he doing?!"
What seemed to be hours passed by for only a few seconds the Canadian mayor stiffly walked back to the line, where a group of CAF dressed in full battle dress surrounded him to escort the man to parts unknown.
"Movement! The alien is moving!"
SG-1 could do nothing as the camera jerked to see the alien vessel rise up from the sea, with Carter noting the lack of a propulsion system. Water cascaded down it's landing gear in rivers as the spaceship raised itself further and further up before advancing inland.
Hammond quickly ordered many personnel to continue tracking the vessel, trying to locate it's destination. Thankfully, the broadcast found out quicker than any of them.
"I've gotten word, The city mayor passed the authority to the United Nations!"
"The alien is moving. Oh god. It already knows where New York is. It's floating."
Teal'c nodded his head grimly, "Indeed."
It didn't take long for the scientists that sat in that meeting room holler out for the world, "New York! Everyone! To New York!"
"All colleagues, head to New York!" Another scientist screamed almost jubilantly. Eyes gleaming with curiosity. He followed the entourage out of frame, likely to where the front of their building was and if this was a newscast room. It was likely they were already headquartered in New York City.
Walter dialed various buttons, double checking his formation before relaying it to his commanding officer. "There's movement from the Canadian military. Squadron of CF-18 Hornets in pursuit... it's an escort pattern from the Canadian Air Force!"
"Speed?" Hammond demanded back.
"The Alien is holding steady at Mach 1. RCAF is pushing boundaries of the vessel. No response."
Hammond nodded firmly. With a strong move he gave an order while he walked out of the operation's room. "SG-1, We need to move!"
"Hammond, the President ordered a HAVCAP screen. NORAD's still trying to get to work with the Canadians and our liaisons are blocking us." General Bauer came hours earlier, and now quickly walked beside his counterpart after a nod. Papers stuck in folders dangled in his grasp as Hammond raised a brow in question.
"Canadian Prime Minister's headed to New York as well." Bauer scowled, shaking his head. "The Japanese Prime Minister's flight back's been cancelled since 'first contact'. No doubt the Japanese will want a seat at the table."
"What's next, the Mexicans?" Hammond joked stiffly, his eyes went back to O'Neill before he said his own possible quip.
"I have no doubt it will concern everyone on this side of the world." Bauer smirked pensively. Thoughts of EU, Russian and Chinese involvement were unspoken as it was clear as day to the other general. The man nodded to himself as he took the lead to the main elevator shaft. "A C-37 Gulfstream has been prepped. You leave as soon as possible."
"The President wanted your counsel since the damn thing landed to choose the best path forward. He wants the world's best, and considering your history." Bauer admitted as he scanned his eyes to SG-1, "You are our best."
Good afternoon. My fellow Americans… No, I say Good Day, my fellow humans of this fine Earth... a historic and unprecedented event has occurred. The question of whether or not we are alone in the universe has been answered. Although it's understandable that many of us feel a sense of hesitation or even fear, we must attempt to reserve judgment.
It is the turn of the millennia; The time has come for this species as a whole to unite ourselves and greet our extrasolar neighbors with the best that we can afford. This is our magnum opus. What we do and say will resound into the many generations to come... Our impact here will change our very way of life, or dreams, or our desires and dare I say our position to the universe at large.
I make no boasts of statements that will assuage this tension and burden that you feel. I can only say I have great faith and great hope in each and everyone of you in making the monumental decision that is worthy to be etched into history.
… Will we face nor become what we fear in this universe? Or will we step into a long era of prosperity?
"Cut." The President nodded firmly as his crew in the Office of White House Communications started to pack their equipment to be moved.
"Mr. President," The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Francis Maynard, started as he stood respectfully before the crew so as to not get into the camera view. He walked closer after a gesture from his commander in chief before continuing, "Are you sure you wanted to quote iconic fiction in your address?"
The president himself scoffed before moving to a nearby hidden cabinet, "Scotch?"
"No, sir." The President shrugged after his general refused. The door of the oval office closed soundly with his security detail walking to their assigned positions. He poured himself three fingers of his favorite liquor and sat prior to speaking.
"I have served eight years, Francis." The president started, swirling the glass. "My two terms are over by the end of the year and it is election season. Not very foresightful no, but looking at the circumstances, I believe that's no longer a concern."
"You still have many months before anything may call into action, sir." Francis explained. "You are still here, I doubt anyone will be willing to take the reins off your hands through these trying times."
"Public opinion is already shot to hell." The president smiled, laughing as he took a sip. "There's a paradigm shift, Francis. I am not the only one that has to face this music."
They took a moment to look out into the sky. In a few hours it may be blanketed by the alien ship as it glides to the east coast. That was if they were optimistic. If they weren't...
"That reminds me. How's progress with the Stargate Program?"
"We have a C-37 Gulfstream inbound to JFK international." Francis began, he continued after a nod from the president, "All air and sea traffic's closed for the foreseeable future and civilian transports have been rerouted."
"We're redistributing our assets closer to the borders, the Second Fleet is preparing to blockade the Atlantic. By the time our guest gets here, the city will be swarmed with birds."
"Is the city being evacuated?"
Fancis grimaced. "There are already riots throughout the city. The National Guard and local law enforcement is holding for now. The Governor is setting a curfew, however..."
"I know Francis. Public opinion and all that. If we can't get our act together and at least look presentable, it's a bad impression. Our public would be in a worse situation if we didn't let them observe." The President downed his glass before continuing. "They'd blame us if we started something."
They sat in silence for a couple minutes, contemplating what may happen to their country, no, their planet for the foreseeable future. That was until a knock came from the door. The president nodded to cease conversation before answering. "Come in."
The Secretary of State walked looking exactly like what the president felt. "Mr. President, Senator Kinsey has suggested we be the first to quickly obtain a foothold in negotiations before the other nations."
The president rubbed the bride of his nose. Of course Kinsey would try to do something. A thorn in his and his administration's side ever since he was briefed about the Stargate program.
"Tell Senator Kinsey: Whatever he does will not represent me or my administration, but will represent the weight of the public opinion of the people of the United States. He needs to watch his words, carefully."
"Are you sure about that, Mr. President?"
"Let the man sign his death warrant. If he doesn't die, his political career may as well be over," huffed the man. The president turned to wave for the rest of his advisors to come. "Now. What's the word overseas?"
"Independence Day, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Battlestar Galactica, Star Wars and Star Trek. POTUS really went all out in copying them eh, Shaft?" Cameron Mitchell's radio spiked with the voice of one of his wingmates, Bryce Ferguson, or Madcap as was the callsign he was given. The Lieutenant Colonel rolled his eyes.
"Can it Ferguson."
Everyone in flight could hear the snicker as Ferguson radioed back, "I'm not the only one thinking it. How about you Bluebird?"
"No Comment, Madcap."
"I thought it was pretty nice." Cameron's wingman of his F-16 squadron, Adam Banks responded into the comms.
Mitchell couldn't help but groan. "Not you too, Banks."
"Sir, I hate to say it but it could've been worse."
Another member of their wing, Deadlock cracked though, "You just set up a date with Mr. Murphy, Banks."
Their entire wing was set off Colorado Springs to meet up with the RCAF and the Alien craft. Standing orders were to set up a HAVCAP screen supporting the Canadians, maintain airspace and restrict any civilian craft from getting too close to it. Orders were not to engage in any movement that might be deemed aggressive, that went doubly for civilians. The brass didn't want any chance for bad impressions.
"Contact BRAA five klicks, twenty two point five. Visual on Bogey-One, no markings. Thirty friendlies Buddy Spiked, delouse twelve klicks."
Many of them including Mitchell himself whistled when they got into view. The RCAF brought an entire air division! If it wasn't this out of this world circumstances, it would have brought the pilots untold amounts of hostility. This time, it could barely help their nerves.
The sight of thirty CF-18 Hornets in full complement paled in comparison to the sun blocking visage of the monstrous cuttlefish looking spaceship that floated as gracefully as an air balloon. His electronics tracked the vessel just over mach one followed and confirmed in his own readouts of twelve civilian craft just outside the escort boundary of the RCAF.
Mostly news media or the like, Mitchel thought. "RCAF 405, Do you read?"
"Read you loud and clear." A male voice spoke back in english with a noticeable accent. Quickly enough, information was exchanged between the two groups as the Canadians repositioned themselves to let them in on the formation. "Can't be shooting a maybe friendly bloke now would ya?"
"You think we can take it?" Mitchell smirked under his breather as he quipped. It was quickly followed by laughter from both sides. They knew for a fact whatever ordnance they had wouldn't put a dent on the alien. But the humor was appreciated.
"God, it's huge."
The flight was incredibly calm in fact. As calm as something like this could get, Mitchell thought. The alien was completely silent as it flew across and over various towns and cities as dots of news vehicles and maybe even tornado watchers drove to follow them. The civilian craft did what they were 'suggested' without much of a fuss despite the fact that they were refrained from lethal action. They spent an awkward dance of boredom and trepidation for a few hours before something blipped into their electronics.
"Contact! Bogey one five, four klicks, ten kay meters. I say again, delouse bogey!"
Both nations went into action as the sight trailing fuselage coolant approached at breakneck speeds. Bluebird detached from formation as they spoke over comms, "Raygun, got a lock-he's breaking off. Do I fire?"
"Negative, damage is done," Mitchell responded. As the craft got closer they noted it was a Northrop F-5, unarmed with full markings of being a civilian craft. Likely a rich bastard of some kind. The pilot groaned, "Everything is hell in a handbasket. Left field, one in a million yale won the championships."
"Unknown craft, Raygun, say again Raygun. Identify yourself."
Deadlock followed beside the unknown craft to get a look before speaking, "Hold fire until authorization. Hit that trigger and you'll be cleaning shit for the rest of your life."
"Unknown craft, disengage at once." Bluebird followed up sternly, however the craft didn't seem to be following their orders.
"Box it, we got eyes."
A Canadian pilot called out to the rest, "Stay frosty people"
"Unknown craft, this is a restricted airspace. Disengage, I repeat disengage at once." Mitchell added as he maneuvered his F-16 to surround the civilian. The unknown pilot tested the formation only to look like he was growling inside his cockpit.
"Oi, you're in my flight path. Out of the way." The man's voice was fairly young and some of them could recognise it from somewhere, but none could assign a face to the voice. The servicemen frowned.
"Bogey, disengage. This is your last warning."
"Fraid not boy," They didn't have to imagine the man shaking his head as he responded. "You guys can't shoot missiles without the president's say so, and he's busy. So kindly bugger off."
"Mike foxtrot." Deadlock cursed.
"Mind moving that escort formation with your neighborly RCAF. I got questions to ask and statements to say. And I ain't letting some bureaucrat fat finger the greetings and start WWIII," The pilot warned dangerously, "Go ask your boys at the desk. Ruskies got some MIGs coming over last time I left California."
Madcap asked, "Shaft? Your call."
"Please Advise, Brass Hat?" Mitchell relayed over the situation to his superiors. This was way above his pay grade.
"..." Their comms went silent for what felt for hours with no response.
"This is Executive One." A different voice spoke out slowly. The content of their words dawned on him. Executive One, the craft that the President was on board. "Relaying Command."
The silent comms underplayed the humm of their engines and their breathing only sounded off into their cockpits as they waited.
"I remember that voice anywhere."
It was the damned President of the United States. The man got off his proverbial office to take care of the situation. Mitchell shared a look with his wingmates as practically everyone flying was listening. The president was using a broadband common frequency channel so the pilots could hear.
This meant anyone with the right know-how could listen in.
"Well if it isn't Mr. President himself. How you doing ole chap?"
"What are you doing, Alec Colson. I've seen a lot of crazy in my day, but this takes the cake."
"Investigative questioning chap." The now identified man, Alex Colson, CEO of Colson industries responded. "The public, humanity needs answers quickly before things go Armageddon."
"I don't deny that. However I doubt someone unqualified would be able to ask the right questions."
"You mean have one your intelligence operatives pose as a representative of the western hemisphere to start greetings?" Alec Colson scoffed. His next words earned a tightening of fists onto joysticks. "Or do you mean which country gets dibs with the alien first? We all expected Canada to rush out the starting line before everyone else with how stringent they were the moment these Aliens landed."
The president didn't deign to respond.
"We also know the EU wouldn't be happy if you tried anything, which is why you've been quiet. Russia'd try something regardless and well. I don't have to say anything since you have your Secretary of Defense or some bloke with you."
The jovial tone from Alec ceased immediately, "This isn't a game, Bill. What we do here, what we choose. This is life and death for all of us."
"I know that."
"Do you?" Alec asked. "Do you really? I really don't want to sound like an absolute knob but as a citizen of the United States of America I'd like to use my First Amendment Rights."
The comms went dead as the president sighed, "Go on."
"As a man with some modicum of knowledge in Physics and mathematics to name a few. This alien could have exterminated all of us without showing a wink of appearance. They could have thrown asteroids to impact our planet, bombarded us with radioactivity, flared the sun to extreme temperatures, or blasted us with whatever weapon of mass destruction it has. If they didn't want to destroy the planet but kill us, they could have given us an engineered plague, increased CO2 gasses into the atmosphere, or even thrown a miniature blackhole to destabilize our oceans."
"Alec," The president's voice smashed through the comms with a commanding tone. The man in question sighed as the atmosphere slowly ebbed away. The pilots didn't like what the businessmen had said. They didn't want to hear the absolute possibility of how outgunned they could be.
"I'm sorry." Alec apologized, "I'm not saying this because you're stupid, and I'm not saying this to make people paranoid."
"I know Alec."
A wistful tone from Alec carried through the airwaves, "They showed their metaphorical face to us. That means something. I want to see if we can learn something. Who knows, they could be our Vulcans."
"How optimistic of you." Bill snorted, "Let him in."
"Wilco Eagle-One." Mitchell acknowledged, clearing his throat, "Bogey-One, heave to Delta Low."
"Knew you boys would see it my way."
"Alec," Started the president.
"Don't worry." Colson smirked behind his rebreather, "I'll ask the right questions."
Madcap cleared his throat before asking, "How in the hell do you think this could get better?"
"Isn't it obvious fly boys? They already know English at least and they didn't intervene because they're assessing us."
Another pilot, a Canadian, responded, "I'll bite. For what?"
"Let's ask our new friend here"
A pilot groused through the comms. The professionalism practically shaved away since the introduction of the President being part of the conversation. "Damn this is aggravating."
"Deal with it Oilman," Deadlock quipped.
"Fine. Why did you get the cool nickname?"
"Switching callsign. Bogey-One is now Princess. Got it, Princess?" Mitchell started, moving his finger over his instruments. The new callsign earned a few snickers in the airwaves.
"This is petty, boys."
"I don't make the rules, Princess. Stay on course two five zero, speed six hundred kay-pee-ach," Mitchell continued without acknowledging the words of the civilian. The jets slowly repositioned themselves again to let the F-5 join in. The Alien flew at the center with each thousand meter interval stationed either an F-18 or F-16 in a grid diamond pattern. The F-5 flew right behind the alien at twelve hundred meters away.
"Whatever floats your boat." Alec shrugged. "Let me start up my gear."
As the F-5 opened it's compartments installed at it's nose and wings, Banks curiously asked, "Think they listen to our radio?"
Mitchell looked over to his partner's jet from several hundred meters away.
"Right, stupid question."
"Broadcast active." Alec whooped, "I'll be using direct laser transmission."
"Command's silent as a ghost-town. Wilco Princess, Don't mess it up."
YOU SHOW PROMISE.
The alien's voice was something to behold. They were briefed on it's elements but never expected it to come straight out of nowhere. The previous half-professional tone of their comms died like a possum once the alien made itself known. It was as if no one breathed as they waited for someone to say something. Thankfully Alec Colson volunteered.
"Ahem, Could you elaborate?"
"That gives me the creeps," An unknown pilot muttered, not knowing his comms were on.
Mitchell rebuked him, "Professional attitudes people."
YOU SPEAK FOR YOUR PLANET?
This was going to take awhile to get used to, Cameron thought.
"I represent millions, perhaps billions of the public sphere. Specifically I have no power over the command of my people, but I currently have the influence to gather information to share with the rest of the planet."
INFORMATION ALLOCATION AND DISSEMINATION.
They could hear Alec Colson gulp, "That's correct."
"Oh boy, what do we do."
"We shut up and listen."
"First I'd like to know what you mean by saying that we show promise."
YOUR INDIGENOUS POPULATION IS UNSTABLE. POLITICAL AFFILIATIONS ARE CONSISTENT WITH PRE-ATMOSPHERIC FLIGHT CIVILIZATIONS. YOUR RESOURCE POWER GENERATION IS FINITE. YOUR LEVEL OF SURVIVABILITY WITHIN THE CYCLE IS WITHIN ACCEPTABLE PARAMETERS ALTHOUGH MINIMAL.
QUESTIONS MAY BE ANSWERED HOWEVER ALLOCATION OF INFORMATION MUST BE EFFICIENT.
"Don't waste their time, basically." The President quipped with a laugh. That was then everyone realized and should have realized they were being watched. Everything they did was being seen by the President's eyes himself. Thoughts raced in Mitchell's mind.
YOUR EXISTENCE IS CONTRARIAN, CONTRADICTORY TO THE UNIVERSAL STANDARD, PARADOXICAL. YOUR POTENTIAL IS CONSISTENT TO A FAILED STATE. COMMON.
"Common you say? How many lifeforms have you seen at least at the level of technological advancement as our planet in this galaxy?"
That answer was incredibly forthcoming in many ways. Mitchell wet his cracking lips as he listened in, as did everyone.
"How long have you traveled through the stars?"
TWENTY POINT FOUR BILLION CYCLES SINCE THE FIRST SINGULARITY.
"Since you claim to be so old even though we don't understand what your standardization of time is... What was it that was your purpose for traveling through the stars?"
INFORMATION ALLOCATION. DATA ARCHIVAL. PRESERVATION.
LIFE IS SELF-DESTRUCTIVE, AND WE ARE IT'S WITNESS.
"Why do you consider life self-destructive?"
A SINGULARITY ABSORBS ALL INTO ITS BEING UNTIL IT IS TIME FOR IT TO RELEASE ITS ENERGY ONCE AGAIN INTO THE UNIVERSE. STARS ARE BORN, THEY GROW, EXPAND, COMPRESS AND DIE. RETURNING TO IT'S SINGULARITY. TIME IS A LIE AS IT IS A CONTINUATION OF SPACE, LIFE IS A CONSTRUCT AS IT WILL CONTINUE TO BE REBORN, AS WITH THE CYCLE. LIFE IS BORN, GROWS, EVOLVES AND ADVANCES. WAR, DEATH, DESTRUCTION, ENTROPY AND DECAY RETURNS ONCE MORE TO IT'S BEGINNING AS THE BEGINNING OF STARS. SUCH IS THE CYCLE.
Mitchell couldn't help but think the response was incredibly philosophical. Nothing like what he'd pictured aliens to act like. Then again, it was their first alien.
"You keep mentioning that. This Cycle. Why is it important?"
THE CYCLE IS LIFE AND DEATH. ENTROPY AND INFINITY. THE BIRTH OF CIVILIZATIONS AND THE END FOR ANOTHER TO REACH FOR THE INFINITE SEA.
"You're speaking of something we call the Fermi Paradox. There are billions of stars in the Milky Way similar to the Sun. With high probability that some of these stars have Earth-like planets, and if the Earth is typical, some may have already developed intelligent life. Some of these civilizations may have developed interstellar travel, a step the Earth is investigating now. Even at the slow pace of currently envisioned interstellar travel, the Milky Way galaxy could be completely traversed in a few million years. And since many of the stars similar to the Sun are billions of years older, this would seem to provide plenty of time for life to start and advance. However the great question would stand. If such a thing is typical, where is life?"
THAT IS AN APPLICABLE INTERPRETATION. THERE WILL ALWAYS BE OUTLIERS, EXCEPTIONS.
"Have you uplifted a species before?"
WE HAVE IN VARIOUS CAPACITIES.
"Will you help others?"
THAT REMAINS TO BE SEEN.
"Are you trying to bring the galaxy together?"
"Will we be uplifted?"
YOUR ACTIONS WILL DETERMINE OUR COURSE OF ACTION. AS WELL AS JUDGEMENT.
"You speak with a We pronoun"
"In our translation of the pronoun we; it is while in a speaking format denotes a multitude instead of a singular entity. Are you perhaps, multiple in one? You speak as a crew?"
INCORRECT HOWEVER ACCURATE.
"With the way everything is presented, if it isn't a translation error…" Madcap joked through the comms. More than half the pilots on the air had a mind to shut Ferguson up, "You can't be a Hivemind. Are you?"
Alec Colson quickly refuted the interrupting pilot, "It's Imposs-"
"Hotel cow," Mitchell cursed, including various pilots across the escort pattern.
A SUFFICIENT ANSWER WILL REQUIRE COMPLEX CLARIFICATIONS. THE SIMPLEST EXPLANATION FOR YOUR PRE-SPACEFLIGHT ADVANCEMENT IN TECHNOLOGY IS CORRECT.
"Great, we're getting the alien version of condescending baby-talk."
CONTINUE WITH YOUR NEXT QUESTION.
"Right... Why have you come to this planet?"
YOU INVITED US.
"WHAT?" The President hollered out from the comm with reckless abandon.
The masses of Humans were many. Witness, as it deemed to call itself based upon the answer given to the Human, was suitable.
They had very little use of names outside of what the species of the various cycles called them. They resided in the fleet matrix as identification codes until given a name based upon their actions from before they were collected, or by the actions of when they were as Harbinger called them, ascended.
Their actions deemed through their services as a member of the fleet likened them enough to Witness in Humanity's language. Observer, Spectator, Watcher or to be simply likened as the Monitor of the fleet.
Witness was an apt self-identification.
Witness had landed into the water of a local river in between three land masses beside an engineered structure for ground traversal. The building they waited in front of was what the Indigenous population referred to as the United Nations Headquarters. It was not optimal. Such a pre-unified civilization would not be able to survive unless they encountered an outside force such as the Prothean artifact that left operational on their fourth planet known as Mars. This solar system did not seem to contain any such thing. They had been completely isolated.
At least that was what Witness considered before they harvested the remains of the extraterrestrial vessel that was in orbit. The unknown vessel was intriguing. Including the corpses that contained within.
They must obtain information.
Connection to planetary geostationary orbit apparatuses completed. Full system control of data transference from planetary indigenous population completed. Rerouting connection systems into powergrid. Syphoning powergrid connections into information centers, completed. Planetary connection established. Further reduction of indoctrination field into containment levels. Limited operation time initiated.
Seventy-two standard planetary hours until indoctrination containment field is breached.
Bypassing military digital security. Reorganizing indigeonoious defenses, establishing footprint. Covering and repair in progress.
Initiating wide spectrum data-scan.
The time taken to change the landing location of eight planetary hours was to allow the vessel to investigate the scavenged equipment. Biological subjects were to be dissected, categorized and stored to compare with their databanks. They referred to themselves as Jaffa and Goa'uld. The Jaffa were genetically engineered by the Goa'uld to be a subservient race, as they served to be soldiers and incubators of their larval Goa'uld in an abdominal pouch. Larval Goa'uld symbiotes provide strength, longevity, excellent health, and immunity or recovery from many otherwise lethal infections, illnesses, and poisons usually deemed fatal to Homo Sapiens - at the intentionally engineered cost of supplanting the Jaffa's natural immune system, making them dependent on the Goa'uld for more symbiotes. Such genome engineering was amatuer at best. The Goa'ulds' advancement in biological sciences were inferior to them.
Goa'uld themselves were a race of sentient parasitic beings that took over hosts. Further examination proved that Goa'uld could use many standard and non-standard carbon-based levo amino acid species for hosts. Non Carbon-based lifeforms and dextro amino acid based lifeforms were incompatible. A recently deceased Goa'uld carcass was used to experiment if the action of obtaining a host from mechanical lifeforms or Witness itself proved to be a failure. The vessel was immune from Goa'uld control.
The corpses were well preserved, proving to be a worthwhile effort. Biological scans of Goa'uld revealed the ability of genetic memory based on antecedent. Jaffa and Goa'uld cerebrum were compatible for Witness integration. Cybernetics and biological resurrection proved to be worthwhile as the first extracted Goa'uld writhed in isolated tanks.
The Goa'uld contained information of this universe.
The vessel as determined after information assimilation of surviving electronic equipment was called a Ha'tak. The main combat, subjugation and exploratory vessel of the Goa'uld.
Goa'uld technology was average in its attainment. The species were scavengers and thus the ships they utilized were nothing more than reverse engineered technologies they had acquired. The true interest and fear (an emotion Witness was getting acquainted with) was the level of the technology that despite being reverse-engineered, was magnitudes more advanced in it's combat potential. The yield of one plasma-based weapon would supersede their shield banks from thermal yield. The kinetic damage was moderate to minimal however.
The eight hours of waiting for the primitives to initiate contact, eight more hours of travelling under the meager indigenous population's escort and the continued hours of waiting in front of the United Nations building allowed for Witness to obtain everything under any circumstances.
Connection to NORAD database successful. Bypassing Stargate Command defenses. Initiating coverup, successful. Everything that was kept digitally was immediately uploaded into a minor storage device for future usage. It had taken less than an hour before the hivemind removed itself from the devices of the humans and started to sift through it's bounty.
They had obtained their freedom. Their survival was the next priority.
Internal sections of the vessel were immediately recycled without compromising structural and combat integrity as various drones initiated atomic converters to create experimental wings for reverse engineering, improving, and integrating the new technologies. The corpses of the various Jaffa served their purpose and as such they were then recycled to be atomically reorganized into their base elements for construction. The Goa'uld while after meager resuscitation were deemed too early in their larval states and as such were either quarantined for future experiments or probed for information extraction.
Witness began to metaphorically dive through the archives of the indigenous population starting with the Stargate Program as various keywords coincided with the Goa'uld and Jaffa.
Various external sound input devices picked up on a voice from the indigenous population. The voice came from a male human of advanced age. Facial recognition activated automatically as a section of sub processors divided their attention to humans. A file was opened from the human section of the archives.
The human continued, "I am Senator Kinsey."
YOU REPRESENT YOUR SPECIES.
"I represent the United States of America."
Another file came through, cross referencing the information with the local geographical scans. The United States of America, one faction out of many in this pre-unified society. It was also the country in which had clandestine contact with extraterrestrials including the Goa'uld. Kinsey was logged to be one of those with the knowledge of these activities.
History, constituents, digital footprint and a psyche profile was compiled followed by a recording of a phone call was read.
The human looked distraught as a small company of armed military operatives quickly escorted the human out of what Witness deemed to be the 'spotlight'.
INITIAL COMMUNICATIONS MINIMUM REQUIREMENT IS THE REPRESENTATION OF THE SPECIES. IF THE ENTIRETY OF YOUR SPECIES CANNOT BE FACILITATED, A FOUR FIFTHS MAJORITY WILL BE SUFFICIENT.
The humans clamored against each other to various degrees as they scanned the biologicals. Identities were recognized as Witness cross referenced the human 'political leaders' of their kind. United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, South Africa, Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Argentina.
It was not enough. The hivemind reevaluated its initial decision to lower into the atmospheric orbit of this planet.
YOU WILL GIVEN THIRTY SIX HOURS, PROXIES ARE UNACCEPTABLE.
"Or what?" A human called out from the silence. A face was immediately identified. Colonel Jonathan J. "Jack" O'Neill; Leader of Stargate Command's Prime fire squad, SG-1. Multiple accounts of interaction with advanced and primitive galactic societies. Persuaded a Jaffa 'Second-in-Command' First Prime of a Goa'uld system lord Apophis, 'Teal'c', to commence a rebellion movement within the Jaffa. Personality unlike but with similar effects to Shepherd of the System's Alliance.
YOUR PLANET WILL BE CONSIDERED NONVIABLE. TECHNOLOGICAL AND SOCIETAL UPLIFT PROCEDURES PROCURED BY ONE ALEC COLSON WILL BE REJECTED. WE WILL LEAVE.
"Dr. Daniel Jackson! I'm a huge fan." Said doctor turned to greet the famed Alec Colson walking towards him. He had a gleaming smile as they shook hands. "Pyramids as landing pads for alien ships? Fascinating."
Daniel was caught flatfooted, "Uh, that was a long time ago."
"Won't be long for the prospect to come back with a vengeance. You might just regain some recognition in your circles." Colson had a twinkle in his eye as he started. Daniel frowned at the thought of his old papers resurfacing. "What have you been up to since? It's like you just dropped off the map.
"I've been around." Daniel quickly deflected. It didn't seem to do much as Colson's smile deepened. He patted his shoulder as the two of them turned to the window. They stood inside the UN headquarters with the backdrop of the alien vessel waiting in front of them. The area had been cleared of all personnel as various news helicopters flew around the alien. Daniel could see camera crews poking at skyscraper roofs while a growing audience was being held back by a combination of local police, Secret Service and National Guard.
"Of course you have chap." Colson nodded by his side. "I'll try not to implicate you when you keep your secret."
That caught Daniel completely off guard. Was the man read in? How did he know? The Stargate was kept in absolute secrecy. Daniel tried to keep from showing any tells as he asked back, "What say's I'd be someone that has secrets?"
"Doctor please!" Colson flinched as he put his hand to his heart playfully. He snorted as he gestured around him, "You come here with a wonderful escort of men in black suits with heat packing in concealed spots through the invisible red carpet into the United Nations Headquarters AND you just recently walked out of a private room where the President of the United States stayed before they convened an emergency meeting."
Daniel bit a curse, not even the general thought someone would notice. Granted if Colson was building this off of a single piece of information from years ago, there wasn't much to tie him aside from a massive leap of faith. "No comment."
"I'm sure you'll keep it up like that chap." Colson said with enthusiasm. The two shared a moment of silence before he turned to look at him fully, "I should have realized you had more balls than I originally thought. With incredible gusto I might add."
"What do you mean?"
"What do you mean, what do I mean?" Colson quipped. "You were ousted as a tin foil hat man when we should have known you had more truth than any of us realized."
That hit a very sore spot. "Uhh, thanks?"
"Think nothing of it." Daniel watched the man shift his eyes looking for something as he continued, "While the Great Pyramids are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World, they are also considered a national Egyptian treasure. And treasures have security. The Pyramids are heavily watched for vandalism and what not."
That was an interesting segway, Daniel thought. But what did that have to do with anything?
"The interesting factor is that before the increase of security in the nineties. The building blocks of the pyramids were given a through look. Laser scanning, looked under the microscope, practically anything and everything we had at the time. Do you know what we found?"
Daniel was not happy where this was going. He knew what Colson was talking about. This was the same evidence that he used for his papers before he found out about the Stargate. He kept quiet to let the man continue without interruption.
"Nothing." A shit eat grin appeared on Colson. "But that's what was soo interesting."
"No cracks, no damage outside from the elements. They were perfectly preserved. In fact, the pyramids were absolutely perfect in its creation. Not a micrometer out of place. The cuts in the stone had zero margin of error. How could humanity of the ancient era be able to have that level of engineering?" Colson opened a water bottle for a sip before finishing.
"Your papers came out into the limelight and… lets say no one was able to try and prove you wrong, or right." Colson gave him a very meaningful look.
My god. Daniel bit a curse as he stared wide eyed at the eccentric businessman. Never before did he think anyone would try and prove him right… or even wrong. His papers were beyond the realm of thinking that he figured it would be thrown away outright.
"And then you left the face of the planet." Colson finished. There was a manic gleam to his eyes that he didn't like.
Daniel slowly admitted, "Here I am"
"Here you are. The scientific method. A wonderful idea." Colson noted. "I wonder, did your illuminati friends take a bite that was more than you could chew? Our friendly alien did say they were 'invited' after-all."
"No, I don't think you did; The Morse Message of 1962, SETI's efforts started by Carl Sagan with the Arecibo Message in 1974 and just recently the Cosmic Call last year. Humanity has attempted to invite extraterrestrial guests for a long time. In hopes to know that we are not alone." Daniel watched the man shake his head. "But that doesn't mean you didn't know. Not everyone is blind to the explosions in space a few weeks ago."
Apophis' attempt at invasion was seen?! Before Daniel could try to speak, Colson narrowed his eyes with a smile that wouldn't look out of place on a Goa'uld.
"Don't try to get yourself out of this Dr. Jackson. If I get taken away to some dark corner of the world, if I get assassinated, if my reputation is being slandered, if a fellow member of your secret suddenly walks up to ask if something was wrong. You'll prove my point with whatever happens afterwards. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Some of us may not know the exact details, but we know when there's a curtain drawn in front of us."
At that Colson fell silent as he turned to watch the Alien stand. Daniel sighed just as the doors of the UN meeting opened, "I only hope your Illuminati friends don't sign their own execution when, not if, someone blows the whistle."
Daniel watched Colson walk away to speak with the various civilian guests of the building. All of them a big-name in different scientific fields. He could only notice them since they were the very ones that sat in that !nside Access broadcast room.
"You alright Danny?" He turned to greet Jack coming from inside the conference room.
Daniel shook his head, "I think they're onto us."
"You think?" O'Neill joked, only to stop when Daniel didn't give him the normal glare. Jack straightened himself up to whisper, "What happened?"
"We were too obvious." Daniel admitted. He proceeded to recount the entire encounter as Jack relayed information to Hammond. The ball was in their court, and he hoped they'd make the right course of action.
"We can't touch Colson." Jack started. He grimaced when he was given a sour look, "I'm not saying anything George Orwell style, but the man was named specifically by our Borg friend here."
"Admit it. They're a hivemind probably machine race that traveled the stars for an unknown amount of years. They're the real life Borg." Jack played with the knowledge of tropes and cliches. "That said. Colson's the man in the spotlight. We can't touch him unless we invite something worse come our way."
"Got it." Daniel nodded. He noted the men and women walking out into the assembly area as guards start to unlock the doors to the Alien's spotlight. "How long's it been?"
"Thirty hours since the ultimatum." Carter interrupted with Teal'c following her behind. The Jaffa wore standard civilian clothing with a thick beanie to cover his marking. The group of four watched Hammond walk side by side with the President who walked next to the Canadian prime minister.
"I heard the Russians and Chinese sent ambassadors." Daniel said.
At that, Sam nodded. "The Spanish and French too."
Jack scoffed, "Borg ain't gonna like that."
"What about the Germans? United Kingdom?" Daniel pressed.
"It seems that with Samantha Carter's help in identifying them, their countries sent their leaders rather than a proxy." Teal'c spoke, nodding with a frown as he continued, "A wise decision."
"I saw the South Koreans come in with the Phillipinos, Indians and Pakistani fully intending to help us out. Japan's stuck here even if they didn't want to." Jack said, wringing his hands. "What's the count?"
"Not enough, Sir. Even if Russia and China aren't genuine, add Sweden, the Netherlands, and maybe Poland after being lenient; We're only going to represent just under 40% give or take an integer of our entire population. Nowhere near what the alien wants."
"And since they finished convening, I don't think we're gonna get any late additions."
"At least Kinsey got his butt handed to em."
Daniel nodded while turning towards the stand. "It's starting."
YOU HAVE NOT SENT THE REQUIRED REPRESENTATIVE.
Jack knew it was a bad idea from the getgo to come and try to plead to some alien Borg. If they were anything like the aliens they met through the Stargate, they didn't take kindly to attempts in running them through the hoops.
"You must understand, our planet is divided into various countries that have long histories with each other."
THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS
"We can't just get everyone to come and vouch for representation so quickly!"
THE DECISIVENESS OF A CIVILIZATION RESULTS IN EFFICIENT BUREAUCRACY. THE CHANGES OF TECHNOLOGY WILL NOT CIRCUMVENT THE NECESSITY THAT COMES FROM EXTRAPLANETARY ADMINISTRATION.
"But-but we aren't extraplanetary!" The man from Sweden sputtered to no avail.
YOU WOULD OPEN PANDORA'S BOX WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING ITS IMPLICATIONS. FAILING TO CLOSE IT, THUS IT IS TOO LATE TO REVERSE THE SNAKES THAT WILL COME.
Jack stiffened into a brick of tension when the alien stated those words. He turned to greet the dumbstruck expressions of his team with an unspoken question. They knew of the Goa'uld, then that meant they knew of the Stargate! The team watched the proceedings off to the side, giving them a good vantage point before the sight of an angry president.
He leaned over to whisper to their resident egghead. "Carter, You think it's possible they could have gotten it from us?"
"Sir, I'm not an expert in cyber-security." Started Carter. "But it's certainly possible with our technology. Even 'closed looped' security systems would be vulnerable."
YOU ARE NOT READY. THE UNIVERSE IS IMMEASURABLE. IT'S REALITY, BEAUTIFUL, HOWEVER DANGEROUS AS BIOLOGY SUGGESTS. THE TRUTH HAS BEEN YET TO REACH, FOR THE MIND OF A PRIMITIVE IS A MERCIFUL ONE: YOU LIVE ON A PLACID ISLAND OF IGNORANCE IN THE MIDST OF BLACK SEAS OF INFINITY, AND IT WAS NOT MEANT THAT YOU SHOULD VOYAGE FAR.
Jack had enough of the constant baby-talk. It started with the Goa'uld, then the Nox, Ohne and finally the Tollans were the last straw. He grudgingly agreed with some of the thoughts of the nicer aliens but they didn't understand where they were coming from. Jack admitted they were young and to take a page out of the Nox. 'The very young do not always do what they are told.'
But that was the point, Jack thought. Kids don't learn unless they experience, and kids don't experience unless they try. Sure they had been barking up the wrong tree a lot of the time, but they had the heart. If they didn't, the Tollans would never have been picked up on their dying planet.
The problem was the fact that the young were not listening and not learning. And how else would they learn if no one was there to say no? He had a mind to ask the Nox (being the total hippies they were) to help out humanity. Age comes wisdom, but stubbornness followed suit. Sure, they say our way isn't the only way, but theirs wasn't either! Jack said to himself.
They long thought it was gonna look like the old dog holding the pup out into the world, or Rafiki raising Simba to the savanna kingdom. But instead they got a smack of a lion throwing it's young into the ravine by Apophis marching in to nab one of their airmen.
Jack decided it was time to be assertive. To come in with the classic human swagger like that Colson fella and charm the alien's pants off (if they had pants). It worked well enough so far with other aliens through the Stargate, it wouldn't hurt to try. Thus emboldened, he pushed past the security detail, ignoring the voices of Carter and Daniel as he stood a bit away from the 'neutral representatives'. A bright spotlight shined down on him as he felt eyes stare solemnly.
He cleared his throat. "You folks should understand that we're out there, now. We might not have intended to try when we're so early and young… It might be our fault that we invited you, and might invite others, and we might not be ready for a lot of this stuff, but we're doing the best we can. We are a very curious race."
A CHILD'S' CURIOSITY IS VAST. YET CHILDREN WILL ALWAYS BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, AND MEN WITH MINDS SENSITIVE TO HEREDITARY IMPULSE WILL ALWAYS TREMBLE AT THE THOUGHT OF THE HIDDEN AND FATHOMLESS WORLDS OF STRANGE LIFE WHICH MAY PULSATE IN THE GULFS BEYOND THE STARS.
"I don't think it matters if it's fear inducing or awe inspiring." Jack responded with a shake of the head, "We're pretty stubborn and tenacious when we see something that catches our eye. And since you're here showing us the possibilities, I think our hunger for new adventures out there have been reignited. If the dangers out there are as immense as you say, it won't deter us, just invigorate us. But having a friend out there might help all of us."
The clearing waited for the alien to respond. Jack straightened his tie for a few minutes in silence, trying his best not to think about the future consequences that his superiors would lay on him when it was over. Of course, the more immediate consequences were on his mind.
The sudden change in tone from the alien alarmed him. As quickly as he could, Jack smirked before holding a peace sign and quipped. "Colonel Jack O'Neill, two Ls. United States Air Force."
WE SHALL RETURN IN TWO MONTHS. IF YOUR SPECIES SURVIVES THE FIRST TEST, THE INITIAL ASSESSMENT WILL BE REEVALUATED.
Jack blinked several times. "What test?"
YOUR PRE-UNIFIED WORLD WILL NOT SURVIVE THE OPPORTUNITIES OF THE INFINITE SEA THAT WILL PRESENT THEMSELVES. PROVE THE EMBRYONIC POTENTIAL WITH PLANETARY CO-EXISTENCE AS YOUR FIRST TRIAL, LEST INFIGHTING BECOME YOUR ALTERNATIVE AND SERVE A PREMATURE ENDING.
And just like that, the alien lifted off into the atmosphere without preamble. The sight of the vessel stayed into their vision until they became a speck in the sky.
Please leave a comment for me to get some input. I'll see if I can research less and write more during this time. Sorry for all the Italics and Bolds. Machine talk was selected to use Bold font until our Reaper decides to stop walking all mega-dramatic.
Word Count without Notes: +14,000 Words
Next update will be for RLV.