Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters, except for ones I created for the purposes of this story.
AN: EPN – Extra-Planetary Network
Harmony had expanded for another year, since Harry and his girls graduated Hogwarts, with the careful guidance of the current leaders, which consisted of the original Prometheus Team and several people who had joined them since. There were dedicated divisions, who ensured that every necessity was met, along with supplying things that Harry and his people didn't even think of. Several businesses had opened up, mostly run by muggleborns who had seen the opportunity that Harmony represented.
The amount of people coming to Harmony was steadily increasing, but the original town had yet to reach the proportions of a city, even if it was a very large town, with many surrounding districts dedicated to different activities. From growing crops and raising livestock, to architects' offices and amusement parks, everyone was busy with their day to day, while planning to go see whatever happened to be the latest development.
For transport, the citizens of Harmony had three options. Transporters, which instantly moved you between the larger portions of the city, a magical tram, which travelled the busy parts of town and could be boarded from anywhere at certain times, and a magic carpet service, which could be called like a taxi, through the Comm service setup for it. Besides that, people had their own transport as well. Brooms for the magicals and Harry's attempt at flying cars, for people who were more familiar with muggle technology. The flying cars were more expensive though, and needed to be licensed, so that people could trust the drivers not to have accidents.
There were also bars, a police station, churches, a library, cinemas (in the shopping mall where all local businesses were based out of), the bank run by the Goblins and much more. Harry had recently gone to visit the magical waterpark. That had been a nightmare to arrange, since the owner of the establishment had just assumed he could use the water that they had available. He ended up paying a hefty fine and needing to bring in the water from another source. The Goblins had charged him an arm and a leg to purchase the resource from them, since they'd discovered another source of frozen water underground, in an area they had a license to excavate and claim any resources of.
Excavations outside of the bounds of Harmony's wards was not something that just anyone could do after all. It had been decided that there needed to be oversight, since there were risks that the Goblins may not consider. Everything from radiation and theoretical frozen fungi to being spotted by satellites. The Goblins had needed to have Doctor Pike join them for a survey on the site and set up a warded area for their use by the local chapter of wolves, with solar panels and everything they'd need to transport anything they found. It wasn't a small business, but they had paid for the services, so nobody complained. The site was then also owned by the Goblins, but anything they uncovered needed to go through testing to ensure it was safe.
Longtooth, the Head of the Martian Gringotts branch, was even the one that insisted on paying for it, since he was in charge of the economy. He knew he was charging his own people, but he needed to ensure that he was fair, because if anyone else wanted these rights, they sure as hell would be paying for it too. Besides that, the financial sector had a council, which had complete oversight. He'd not be able to get away with dealing under the table. Not that he wanted to, since his people were finally able to deal anywhere they wanted. You could see Goblins walking down the road to go get an ice-cream at the local vendor and taking a bath in the local Japanese-style bath-house.
The integration of magical and mundane was so complete, that a mundane person could often be seen knocking on a neighbour's door to ask for a spell to fix a broken item, or to explain the latest episode of one of the magical shows that had popped up, when some clever muggleborns had seen a market for it. They'd even started producing things with illusions. No need for trick photography, when you could just imagine something and produce it with a few spells. Nobody was quite as good as Harry with illusions, but a few people working together could produce an animated episode of the latest children's story in just a few hours, with very little production time needed. Quality still left something to be desired, but it was quickly increasing.
Harry was sitting with his ladies on the balcony of the Black Mansion, drinking a cup of tea, while they watched the sunset and the hustle and bustle of the town, when Harry received a call on his Comm. The latest iteration had a clever bit of magic that allowed you to see who was calling with a projection that popped up only for the person whose Comm was ringing, even while the Comm was still in your pocket.
"Doctor Hawk is calling." Harry announced. "Answer." he said.
"Harry, something strange is happening on the EPN." Doctor Hawk said, the Comm transferring the sound directly onto his eardrum.
"Are we losing connections?" Harry asked. "I'm listening to music from Earth right now. I've not heard any interruptions."
"No, no interruptions." Doctor Hawk said. "Something is moving through one of the connections and diverting through our Eudaemon on Earth. The one over North America."
"What do you mean?" Harry asked. That didn't make any sense. The only things that could go that way were calls and transmissions from Harmony or Prometheus, when it was in position above Mars, which it was. "Is someone using our system?"
"It's strange." Doctor Hawk said. "The meteor detection system you put in place after our connections were all interrupted last year, is picking up that whatever it is, is entering the light stream from somewhere in the middle of the beam and then moving through it till it gets to Earth. It's like there's a magical hacking into the system from halfway there, but that should be impossible."
"I'm on my way." Harry said.
"No, wait." Doctor Hawk said. There were a couple of seconds of silence. "It's stopped. We've lost the signal." she finally said. "Do you think it could have been a flare?" she asked.
"Did you pick anything up from the solar link?" Harry asked.
"Nothing strange from what I can tell." Doctor Hawk said. "I'm still connected and the link I'm currently monitoring isn't showing anything strange."
Harry was quiet for a moment, as he contemplated this. It should be impossible for someone to be halfway between Earth and Mars, so that they could even attempt to hack into the system. "Were we scheduled to receive anyone through the tunnel this evening?" he asked. If a connection was lost and someone got stranded, it could potentially mean that the inner sealed unit was ejected from the stream, somewhere in the middle.
"I've already checked the monitoring system. The Transport Tunnel is still intact and the Wolves on duty report nothing suspicious." Doctor Hawk denied. She'd come to the same conclusion. She was one of the few people who knew how that system worked, which was why she was on monitoring duty, while she was on the Prometheus, using one of Harry's latest inventions, in preparation for their planned excursion to the Alpha Centauri system.
"Okay." Harry said, his sudden worry disappearing. "Let me know if it happens again." Harry said.
"I'll let you know." Doctor Hawk said, before hanging up.
"What is it?" Susan asked.
"There was a strange occurrence with the EPN." Harry said. "It looked like something was using the network, but it disappeared quickly and started at an impossible location."
"How is that possible?" Hermione asked.
"We don't know, but Sydney will let me know if it happens again." Harry said.
It wasn't five minutes before she called again, to inform him that the same thing happened, but in reverse. The signal, or whatever it was, travelled through the Eudaemon, until a point and then disappeared. That was impossible, since anything carried by the beam always travelled all the way. Harry could understand something entering halfway, but not escaping the beam before it was received on the other side. Unfortunately whatever it was, was over shortly after Harry arrived to see it for himself.
Harry spent the next couple of days obsessing over it. In that time, whatever was happening happened a few more times. Harry had decided on a plan however, and he had set up a little surprise for whoever was using his system. He needed to wait for an incoming connection, but when it happened, he was ready. He had equipped his Eudaemon with a tracking magic, which would let him know the location of whatever was causing the interference. It would not necessarily be useful for him in space, but on Earth, it would lead him right to whatever was happening.
When the situation happened again, the signal lasted longer than before and Harry actually had time to track it and portkey the Saucer to a spot directly over where the signal was going. There was a military base below his ship and he was very glad he'd activated his disillusionment, when he noticed all the soldiers with guns.
"So, the Americans are doing something that's sending signals into space?" Cooper asked. He sounded slightly proud. These were his people, after all. "I wonder how they are using your network, though."
"I'm thinking that whatever it is, that they don't know that they are affecting anyone." Harry denied. "This seems like the kind of place that would prefer to keep things secret."
"You'd be right about that." Cooper said. "I'm seeing enough ordinance to take on a small army. It's strange though. The way those soldiers are standing, and how the defences are set up, look like they could protect the entrance from either side. It's like they are afraid of people finding them, but also want to stop anyone from exiting."
"Do you think it's a secret prison?" Harry asked. He'd heard of stranger.
"I don't think so." Cooper denied. "The defences are setup all wrong for that."
"You're the expert." Harry allowed. "Should we go say hello?" he asked.
"Let's rather ask the Alpha to help." Cooper countered. "The Wolf Brigade is secretive enough that he could claim one of their systems picked something up. That should give him some leverage."
"Makes sense." Harry said. "The old wolf so seldom gets to thrown his rank around."
It took a couple of days, before Remus gave up on trying to get the government to release anything. Whatever was happening under Cheyenne Mountain, was being kept very secret. Remus had even gotten some push-back, with someone from the Pentagon trying to get him to reveal what systems he had that was picking up on what was happening. Remus had loved throwing their words back in their faces. "Top secret. Sorry."
Instead of coming back to Harry, however, knowing the Cub would likely do something himself, he sent his wolves in to investigate with the tools they had available to them. In other words, a Cacodaemon or two. The Cacodaemon couldn't cast spells this way, but they could travel basically anywhere, as long as there was an atmosphere, and they could leave monitoring plates.
When Remus finally came back to Harry, it was with dire news. "Aliens." he said. "The Americans have a wormhole device, which can travel to distant worlds. Apparently an alien race sent people through their device and abducted and killed a few of their people. That's why the device, something they call a Stargate, is buried many levels underground and beneath a mountain. They intend to bury it, if aliens ever come through en masse, or send a bomb through or something."
Harry was dumbfounded. He was glad Remus had taken him to a private, secure room. "Fuck me." he said. Then he smiled. "Aliens!" he exclaimed then. "This means that there's more to discover!"
"Harry, this is serious." Remus insisted. "Apparently these aliens have space travel capabilities and they are not friendly. They've also been around for a long time. If they can't come through this wormhole thing, they'll likely just come here in person. We'll need to keep an eye on this. This is end of the world-level stuff!"
"Fair enough." Harry said, the words sinking in. "You're right. We'll need to keep an eye. For now, I'll need all the information we can get. How does the wormhole work? How do they know where to go? Things like that."
Remus started telling him about everything they had discovered, playing a couple of recordings that the Cacodaemon had taken and showing him the Stargate. It was an impressive device and finding out that it had Alien origins didn't surprise Harry at all. No wonder it somehow connected to his system. His lasers could carry any sort of spell, and many kinds of energy, so it made sense that it took a shortcut using his beams. He had to wonder, though. Why didn't it use starlight, like he could? Obviously a more advanced race would have thought of that, or was magic something new in the universe? He couldn't be the first person to think about that, could he?
He took the discovery straight to Doctors Hawk and Pike. Hawk was shocked and seemed scared out of her wits. Aliens with a tendency to enslave and kill, with advanced technology that had apparently been around for thousands of years? "We're in deep shit, aren't we?" she asked.
"I don't think so." Harry denied. "Not yet."
"But the chances that they have defences against anything we could throw at them is large." Doctor Pike said. "We'll need more information. Do you know how these wormhole things work?" she asked.
"They call it a Stargate." Harry said. "The alien that's working with them calls it a 'Chappa'ai'. I'm assuming it means the same thing in their language."
"Of course." Doctor Hawk said. "We'll likely not be able to talk to these people either."
"Strangely, the alien speaks perfect English." Harry said, with a frown. He'd not considered that.
"How?" Hawk asked. "Have they been to Earth recently?"
"As far as I can tell, the aliens didn't know about us until recently." Harry denied. "Could English have developed naturally over time on other planets?"
"How many languages are there on Earth, Harry?" Pike asked.
"Thousands?" Harry guessed.
"Exactly." Pike said. "They all evolved naturally. The chances of that happening should be next to nil."
"Let's shelve that for the time being." Harry said. "It's only going to make our lives easier. Let's not go down that rabbit-hole. For all we know these aliens have some sort of translation device built into their brains or something."
"I don't think-" Hawk started.
"He's right." Pike said. "We have more important things to work on. Let's see this footage, so we can start figuring this out."
(AN: The show never explains it properly either. Daniel Jackson starts to say that there is a logical reason for it, but then he's interrupted and we never get to hear. I might be addressing that later.)
It took them a week before they finally figured out how the Stargate made its connections. It used constellations of stars as points of reference and intersecting lines connected between those points on all three axis gave a pinpoint location of a star, which was then used to connect to the closest Stargate, on whatever planet was nearby.
They tested this theory by going to the second observation deck. It was where Doctor Hawk was working on planning their trip to Alpha Centauri. She quickly pulled up a holographic representation of the galaxy. The representation was perfect, since Harry had finally found a way to buffer his detection magic through a very large Blue Diamond as a focus and buffering device. The best part was that it was a real-time representation. He'd named this one, the StellarNet.
The magic had been complicated to figure out, but Harry had worked on it for months, since he couldn't risk himself again. When he was done, he had not only created a system to see the solar system, but one that could use other stars as a relay to move on to the next star. There were a few dark patches in the representation, but Doctor Hawk assured him that he shouldn't need to worry about them, since being sucked into a black-hole should be impossible while the light is able to reach the next star. She did suggest that they work around the gravitational distortions, by going around them, to avoid any accidents.
She didn't have a system to identify the constellations, but being an Astrophysicist, she knew many of the prominent ones and all of the ones represented on the Stargate were known to her. She had Harry make lines for her between points she pointed out and found the star that the Stargate team had been to before, to a planet called Abydos.
Then she used the controls Harry had made for her and focussed in on the star. From there she had the connected system focus on it and then, through it, looked for a planet. It took only a few seconds for a representation, much like Harry had used to show them the solar system all that time back, to zoom out from the sun, and half a planet came into view, showing only where the light touched.
"I give you, Abydos." Doctor Hawk said, triumphantly. What she had just done, was any astrophysicist's wet dream. Harry had really opened the universe up for her. She could see anything she wanted. Unfortunately, the system still couldn't do more than see the planet. She could zoom in, but without some sort of indicator of where to look, it would be like finding a needle in a haystack to find the people that they knew were there, and only while it was day-time for those people.
There were some things that they could do to look for viable locations. Places with water and plant life, for example. This planet, however, looked pretty dry. As they understood it, the people they were looking for were a desert-dwelling people.
"Hold on." Harry said. He'd just had an idea. "If their wormhole goes through my system, I could send a tracker when they go through their Stargate and try to find the tracker through the StellarNet." Harry theorised. "Knowing what to look for, would make it much simpler to find the portal on the planet. We'd just need to monitor where they are going and find the planet." he enthused.
It sounded much simpler than it ended up being. It turned out that without a device in place to find the tracker, it would be near impossible to find it. A month of work went into creating a new Eudaemon with the required capabilities.
By that time, the Stargate team had gone on two missions to explore the universe, and to find two friends that had been taken by the Goa'uld. On those missions they had apparently found a tribe of Ancient Mongolians and had brought back a disease that turned people into cave-men. The universe was looking like a more and more interesting place. Scary, but interesting.
Harry had to hand it to their primary team. They were resourceful and very quick on their feet. Their leader, Jack O'Neill, was a little strange, but also very caring for his team. Their scientists, a Captain Samantha Carter and Daniel Jackson were very intelligent. Jackson was a bleeding heart, while Carter seemed to have something to prove. It couldn't be easy to be in the military as a woman with all those men with too much testosterone making her need to work harder to prove herself, all while taking their comments in stride.
The last member was the stoic alien, Teal'c. He was strong and had a few very admirable qualities. The fact that he'd turned on his 'god' to help complete strangers had him in Harry's good books instantly. He was also fascinating. He'd allowed the alien in him, which kept him alive, to be experimented on, so that they could try and save one of the men who had unfortunately been infected by another hostile alien.
That man had not made it through in the end, but they had learned that these creatures could take over a mind, even without their original body. They'd have to be prepared for something like that. If any of them got infected, something would need to be done quickly, before that could happen.
Harry had wanted to jump into the situation on many occasions, but was forced to stay his hand. His friends, girlfriends and the scientists had all discussed the situation. The damage was done. The aliens knew that Earth was there and would likely pose a threat, whether Harry did something or not. If the opportunity arose where they could make a real difference, they'd step in. For the time being, they'd watch.
A dedicated team of wolves were assigned to watch the happenings in the base and report on anything. They also had access to the tracking system and an extension of the StellarNet, which would allow them to see where the Stargates activated. It would be useful information later, if they decided to help the locals, after the SG teams left a planet.
Doctor Hawk was instantly informed when anything happened and, since these people tended to make a new sojourn into the unknown every two weeks or so, they could still do their own research in the meanwhile. Harry just kept on needing to make new Eudaemon, for when the trips happened.
Harry was called in when Doctor Hawk got wind of something very interesting.
"Crystal life forms?" Harry asked.
"Or something like that, yes." Doctor Hawk confirmed, as Harry walked into the Stargate Observation Command. Hermione had named that one. Leave it to her to name something SOC. "From what we saw, these life forms are contained in a singular crystalline form, but they have the ability to mimic other life forms."
"Did you get the address?" Harry asked.
"We've got a Eudaemon over the Stargate, as is protocol, and we've been able to keep an eye on it." Doctor Hawk confirmed. "There is a problem, though."
"What?" Harry asked.
"It seems the Goa'uld found them first and tried to exterminate them." Doctor Hawk said.
"So, the one they spoke to was the only one?" Harry asked.
"Not exactly." Doctor Hawk said. "There was another. This one took a completely human form and, as far as we can tell, tried to protect itself by taking O'Neill's place on the team. It'll be easier to explain, if you just look through the footage."
Harry was sat down and shown all the pertinent information. "Awesome." Harry said. "It's like a form of self-transfiguration, with some Legilimency thrown in. I have to go say hello." he enthused.
"We've not tested the system on Prometheus properly enough." Cooper, his bodyguard, denied. "Sir, can't we send someone else with the system we have? We've got the Eudaemon in place. We could send another team. You don't need to do this yourself."
"But I want to." Harry countered. "Come on, people. I'm not some helpless, ignorant idiot here. Why do you all insist on keeping me in this damn cocoon all the time?"
"You are important to our future." Doctor Hawk said. "You represent a lot of people's dreams. We don't want you to risk yourself."
"Where's the risk?" Harry asked. "Our Eudaemon use the same system as on Prometheus, so we know it will work. We'll even have the StellarNet on-board, so if we need to run, we can quickly plot a course out of there."
"And your girls?" Doctor Hawk asked. "You know that they will insist on coming with you." she pointed out.
"Let them come, then." Harry said flippantly. "They are all well-educated and capable of protecting themselves. Susan's even a wolf, for Merlin's sake!"
Susan had joined the ranks as soon as she turned seventeen, which had happened earlier that year. Harry's own seventeenth had just passed. He wasn't infected, but he'd been considered a part of the pack for a while now. He was planning on working on something that might make it unnecessary for him to become a wolf, but still have some of their gifts.
"Susan is still in combat training." Cooper said. "She's doing very well, learning quickly, but she's not considered part of the security forces until she finishes her training." he pointed out. "Speaking of which, if you insist on doing this, I suggest you take a force of armed people along. Even if they are only on standby, I know everyone would feel better."
Harry would always end up doing what he had his heart set on, and Doctor Hawk had obviously known that, which was why she had called him in. Cooper was not sure how he felt about that, but at least she was having this conversation out in the open. Cooper had no doubt that she'd have spoken to him in private, with him waiting outside, if she thought there was a real risk of Remus stepping in and vetoing the entire operation.
"At least this is a low risk operation." Harry said, mirroring Cooper's last thought. "It's not like we're going in there blind. We may even be able to help these crystal people."
It took a bit of convincing and a few concessions, but Harry was finally allowed to go. His girls hadn't even questioned him. It was just how Harry was. A force of twelve wolves, some new converts among them, fully kitted and ready for action, took up residence on Prometheus. This would be their new assignment until further notice. Fortunately the ship was kitted out with everything they could need, for a long assignment.
Sirius was on the ship before any of them, but he was escorted off by the wolves, considering he was the Mayor of Harmony. He'd wanted the job, so he'd have to serve out his term. Harry had just chuckled as he was taken away, protesting the whole way. Unfortunately Sirius wasn't professional enough for something like first contact with an alien species. His propensity to attack at being startled would definitely get them in trouble.
They were all soon gathered, with some, but not all of Harry's girls in attendance.
Luna was off working at the magical television news station. Her father was there too, helping one of the Muggle producers to edit the footage of his most recent expedition into the Amazon.
Susan was still in training with the wolves, so she was unable to come with them.
Pansy was working on her healing craft. She'd already made some breakthroughs never thought of before and she was quickly becoming a household name, for her ability to cure just about anything, short of brain cancer, but she would likely get there as well, one day.
Parvati was applying her craft as a fashion diva. She'd started bringing her designs to the Muggle world even, and her designs were already gaining her international acclaim. Her techniques were studied and nobody could quite figure out how she did some of the stuff she did. Transfiguration made a big difference, even though she had to make it look like she used muggle means most of the time.
Neville was on holiday from Hogwarts, but he was working in 'Longbottom Garden'. It was what his forest had been named. The Longbottom Garden had grown quickly, with his critical eye and green thumb coaxing more growth out of his greenery, than anyone had thought possible. He tended to point people at Doctor Pike, since it was her fertilizer and sprinkler system that fed the forest, while he was at Hogwarts. Professor Sprout was often seen visiting, and the two had even added a bit of a nature trail, for people to walk through the lush green area, with alternate routes and even a hanging bridge, which allowed people to see it from above.
That left Harry with Hermione, Padma, Daphne and Fleur. Hermione and Padma had formed a team, researching things together. They'd come up with something really nifty in their time together, using some of the already available things Harry had made. Unfortunately they didn't seem to have Harry's own inventive nature, so while they were good at using Harry's magitech, they hadn't produced much in their short time as researchers. Harry had no doubt that that would change, though, given enough time.
The girls took their positions on the bridge next to Harry, with the wolves taking position around the room. Doctors Hawk and Pike, never having left Prometheus, since they had everything they needed on the ship, joined them at their stations. Lastly, Lieutenant Thomson took his place at the co-pilot's station. It had access to the weapons system, for if they ever needed it. He had finally been taught how they functioned. He'd need Harry to give him access, but once he did, the man could fire at will, using a few different options for weapons.
Harry did the initial checks, confirming that everything was working as it should, and that the StellarNet was active and stable, while Doctor Hawk planned their route, projecting it above her station, so that Harry could see it. They never planned on their first trip to be through more than one stellar system, but since they knew where they were going and had everything tested, they were positive that everything should work like it should.
There was a count-down, before Harry activated the singular Portkey, which would follow the path indicated by the StellarNet and end right next to the Eudaemon, where it was suspended above the planet.
There wasn't even a sense of movement, with how the Portkey used the connected system and instantly travelled through the light of the stars, rather than through an atmosphere, like how a portkey normally functioned. One moment they were looking at the stars from one perspective, and the next the stars had changed.
Harry angled the view down. "Welcome to P3X-562." he said. "How unimaginative." he scoffed.
"They use a computer system to assign the designation." Doctor Hawk said. "You can't blame a computer for not naming things better."
"Personally, I'm thinking 'Planet Unity', for the people." Harry said.
"That's what the crystal identified itself as, correct?" Hermione asked.
"That's right." Harry said, as he 'parked' the ship in suspension. They'd be taking the Saucer down to the planet. "Let's go meet the natives." he said as he made his way to the transport room.
"Sir, I'd suggest you put on your protective gear." Cooper said. "It's designed to protect you, and it's also protocol."
Harry pressed the button on the transporter, to take them to the locker room. It was a new addition and had a male and female section. Harry went to his own locker and got dressed. The locker itself had cleaning functions and so, he'd never need to have the clothes washed. Self-repair, worked into the clothes meant that even torn and damaged, it would eventually be pristine again.
It was a dark ensemble, with two layers which provided both protection and comfort. Parvati had designed the clothes and Remus had helped her apply the magic he was more familiar with, turning each outfit into a space-suit, should the need arise. Besides that, it would protect them from any extreme environments, which would be helpful in the desert environment they were going to.
It looked like standard mundane combat protective gear, with thick boots and nametags. His read, 'Cpt H. Black – Wolf Brigade'. The PM had insisted that Harry have muggle identification, and while he wasn't trained for warfare, the rank would allow him some privileges.
Soon they were on the Saucer and flying down to the planet. Since the Eudaemon was parked directly over the Stargate, it wasn't difficult to find. They soon found the area where the crystals were located. Hundreds of them were scattered around the place. It had a very surreal look with extremely yellow sand, contrasted by the very blue crystals.
The wolves took to the sky and disillusioned, to perform their primary functions. They'd keep watch and see if there was anything of note in the area. Half the team would play bodyguard, while the rest went in different directions, to look for anything of note. Strange minerals or plants. Other natives or hostile creatures. They were all outfitted with magical paintball guns. The pellets wouldn't kill, but they would disable enemies very quickly. Any vulnerable technology would suffer similarly.
Harry and his girls, along with Cooper, approached the crystals. "This is horrible." Padma said in horror. She knew these broken crystals were supposed to be intelligent creatures. If that was the case, they were surrounded by corpses. "Why would they do this?"
"Fear of the unknown." Hermione said, a hard cast to her face. She looked up at Harry. "Any chance we could just repair these?" she asked.
"We can try, but I don't know if it would work to restore the people." Harry said. "If they were intelligent and had a form of energy that dissipated, chances are, you'll just be repairing their bodies. We can try, though." he amended. It was worth a shot, after all. "Let's first see if we can find the one that spoke to the SG-1 team." he produced an illusion of the crystal that they were looking for so everyone could see. The bodyguards could help after all.
It took them a few minutes, but they finally found the damaged crystal, propped up next to an undamaged one. "So, all I should have to do, is get close to the crystal and then, hopefully it will speak to me."
"Let me, sir." Cooper said. "You're more powerful than any of us. If something goes wrong, you've got a higher chance of getting us all out."
Harry nodded at the man, seeing his point, and got his magic ready to attack, should there be a need. He doubted there'd be one, but it was better to be safe, than sorry.
Cooper approached the crystal and kneeled before it, looking at his own reflection in one of its facets. Soon, the crystal started morphing and expanding, until a crystalline copy of Cooper's face was seen. "Hello." it said.
"Hello." Harry said. "I am Harry Black, of Harmony, and the leader of this group. You are 'unity'?" he asked. It had been decided to identify themselves as not being associated with the SG-1 team. Nobody could identify them or repeat something that they shouldn't know, if the Stargate people sent someone back.
"We are." the crystal confirmed. "You do not exist." it said.
"What do you mean?" Harry asked.
"You have no consciousness. No memory." it said.
"We do have those, but all our minds are protected." Harry denied.
"It's considered private, to our people. We do not share ourselves freely with people, to protect ourselves." Hermione said.
"Your ways are strange." the crystal said. "I can feel the power of unity from you. You are not like those who came before."
"We are different." Harry confirmed. He didn't know what 'unity' she was speaking about, but assumed it meant that they could feel the magical power in them. "Our people have a power to affect the world around us, much like you can copy our appearance."
"You can affect existence, outside your physical presence?" Unity asked.
"It is our way." Daphne confirmed. "We are here, because we heard your people suffered a great loss, and we were hoping we could help."
"You are damaged, injured." Fleur said. "Could we attempt to heal you?" she asked. Her accent had faded, and her French heritage was barely audible these days. That changed when she was emotional, though. That, or when she was trying to seduce Harry.
"It is not possible." the crystal said. "We cannot be repaired. Our structure was irredeemably compromised. In time, we too will cease to be."
"Could we try anyway?" Harry asked.
"We can try to repair another first, if you prefer?" Daphne asked. "One of your lost. We could not damage them further."
There was silence for a few moments, before the Crystal replied. "We will allow it." it said.
Harry looked around and found a large crystal that seemed had broken right through the middle, some extra damage on the top part, where the Aliens had shot it. He focussed his power on it and summoned it closer, so that everyone could see what he was about to do. He lay it down, gently, and focussed a simple repairing spell into the lower piece.
Small shards from where the crystal had lay, started floating onto the bottom part and reconstructed the shards into the larger solid crystal, not leaving one mark. Then the top part snapped back into place and the crystal looked whole again. Lastly, Harry lifted the crystal and stood it upright. "It is done." he said.
The damaged crystal looked at the newly reformed crystal, but no emotion was visible on its crystalline face. "You have restored the body, but there is no consciousness." it said.
"We were afraid of that." Harry admitted. "We were hoping we could restore your people to you, but it was a long shot."
"You do not understand." Unity said. "It is not-conscious. Asleep. The memories remain."
"It's still in there?" Harry asked.
"It will take time, but unity will restore, in time." it said. "We thank you, for the return of one of our own."
"You are welcome." Harry said, with a smile.
"You could restore the others?" it asked.
"We can try." Hermione said. "That one was mostly in-tact. Many of your people were broken into very small parts."
"We would appreciate it if you try." Unity said.
"Should I try to fix you, now?" Harry asked.
"We would be grateful if you tried." unity agreed. Harry cast the spell and watched as the crystal was restored, with pieces that flew in from off to the side. "We are whole." the crystal said. "Thank you."
They went about casting the spells on many of the crystals, the security wolves helping out. In the end they were able to restore all the crystals, but only a handful of them were apparently going to recover.
"Nevertheless," Unity said, when they apologised, "you have done for us a great favour. We can never repay your generosity. Thank you."
"We were hoping we could discuss what you are and how you function." Harry said, hopefully.
"We would not know how to explain our being to you." the crystal said, apologetically. "The unity simply is."
"You don't know where you came from?" Hermione asked.
"We came from unity." the crystal said.
"Is that a faith, a belief system, a power or a people?" Daphne tried.
"It is unity." the crystal said. Damn, it seemed that it wouldn't be able to tell them anymore.
"Would you mind if we take one of your fallen, to study?" Cooper asked.
"You would take one of us?" the crystal asked.
"One of your number that cannot be recovered." Cooper said. "We would like to understand you. Your dead cannot be restored, but it can possibly help us to understand you."
"Cooper!" Hermione objected. "These are the bodies of their dead! We can't just ask to study them like objects! They are people!"
"You are both correct." the crystal said. "But we will not mourn our 'fallen', as you call them. They are always with us, in unity. You may take one, to try and understand unity."
"Thank you." Cooper said. He was still a military man. This crystal could possibly hold the key to immortality for all he knew. Acquiring valuable information was always part of his job description.
"We'll set you up with a few protections." Harry decided, as he started transfiguring sand into stone around the basin, where the crystals all lay gathered in a circle. He took out his Comm and accessed his grimoire. It had a few of the rune scripts that he often used in it and he quickly pulled up a design for a ward that would keep hostiles from noticing them, ever again.
He extended his magic to the stone and traced his fingers over the Comm, the runes engraving themselves into the stone as it went. An entire line of rune-script with each pass. Finally he added power to the runes and felt the magic activating. "And there you have it. Protection from harmful intent." he said, as he put the Comm away.
"Your power is useful." the crystal said. "We can feel it reaching out, evaluating. It feels, as you said, protective. We can sustain this structure and its function with our power, until those who sleep, awaken. Thank you, Harry Black. You are a good 'individual'." it seemed to struggle with the concept of being a singular, rather than a collective.
"We may return one-day." Harry said. "Perhaps when we understand more about you." He looked at the completely in-tact crystal, which had been there before they arrived. "Is that one still alive?" he asked.
"It expended much of its energy, attempting to protect itself, from the individual, Jack O'Neill. It will restore itself in time." the crystal said. "I must rest now. Sustaining this form takes much energy." It didn't wait for a response, simply changing back to its natural state.
They picked up one of the dead crystals and started back to the nearby Saucer. "That was very interesting." Fleur said.
"As first contact goes, this was quite educational." Daphne said. "I couldn't imagine living such a dull life, though."
"For all we know, the Unity is the consciousness of magic." Harry said. "Some kind of representation of the potential to understand everything, and knowing nothing at the same time."
"They obviously have some kind of power, like magic." Hermione said. "With how it was talking about sustaining the wards."
"Hopefully the wards don't take too much power, so they can't recharge their own." Cooper nodded.
"The runes are very low-powered." Harry said. "That's why I used those. They will only really use power to divert attention from hostiles."
They saw two wolves become visible, on either side of the ship. One of them was on their Comm, likely recalling the others.
It took very little time for them to return to Prometheus, and even less to return to Mars. As missions went, this was counted as a success. The crystal they had brought back was kept in a special chamber, which was protected from any form of electromagnetic interference. Apparently that had de-stabilized the construct which had gone to Earth before and they'd like to avoid something like that from happening on the Prometheus or in Harmony. Lethal doses of radiation was bad after all.
It was another two weeks before something interesting happened again, but this time had Harry very excited.
"These Nox people, they used real Magic?" Neville asked, as he and Harry wandered through the forest of the home planet of the Nox. His girls were on the saucer, watching through Harry and Neville's eyes, using a connected system, even as the security wolves waited with them. Harry had decided that he wanted Neville there, for the Nox's obvious affinity for nature, but he didn't want to offend them, should they be able to detect the wolves.
"They can disillusion things and heal people." Harry confirmed. "They used a kind of ritual to bring someone back from the dead. The person had to have died recently to bring back, though. I'm thinking it takes into consideration the time it takes for the human mind to actually die. They heal the body and then start it back up. I don't think they are as powerful as us though. It took more than one of them to heal, like we do."
"So, you're not the first person to bring people back from the dead?" Neville asked.
"Muggles have been doing it for years." Harry said. "It's not even a difficult thing to do. It just requires the right circumstances and knowledge."
"And why are we wandering through the forest again?" Neville asked. They'd been walking long enough that he thought they were lost.
"I'm just giving them enough time to listen in." Harry said, smirking at Neville.
"They're here already?" Neville asked, looking around.
"Sure." Harry said, pointing off to their left. "One of them is right there. I feel one other following behind us and two more are off in the forest in that direction." he said pointing off in the other direction. He'd had his magic actively looking for both signs of life and heat. It was a simple trick to find disillusioned people. These ones were crafty though. When they showed up, they were already invisible and they made no sound. Their disillusionment also seemed slightly more adaptive than their sort. It adjusted more quickly and allowed them to move faster than Harry could safely while maintaining disillusionment.
"How did you know I was here?" a male asked as he became visible, slipping from invisibility.
"It's a simple trick when you know how invisibility works." Harry said, as he became invisible. He came right back though. "Hi." he said with a happy smile.
The man just looked at him, cocking his head to the side. "Are you Nox?" he asked.
"No, we're human." Harry said. "We just have special advantages." he said.
"Magic?" the man asked, having heard what Neville had said.
"That's what we call it." Harry allowed. He indicated Neville. "This is Neville. He loves plants and stuff. That's why I brought him. I'm Harry. I'm the one that brought us here."
"You are acquainted with the people who came through the doorway." the man said, not introducing himself.
"In a manner of speaking." Harry said. "They have been using their doorway to go places. We detected it, because it somehow connects to one of our systems. After a while, we learned how to follow, using our own means."
"How is it that your minds are closed to us?" another man said as he appeared. He looked older, but if Harry believed the debriefing they had listened in on, the man was more than four hundred years old. He didn't look it.
"Much as you hide yourselves, we hide our minds." Neville said, deciding to contribute to the conversation. "It's also how we learn more quickly."
"Why are you here?" the first man asked.
"To learn from you." Neville said. "Harry tells me that you have some interesting plants and you know about nature. I'm in charge of a forest myself, and would like to see if there's anything we can take with us, if that's okay."
"You come to take from us?" the second man asked.
"We come to share." Harry said, pulling what looked like a credit card from his pocket. It was thicker though. "Here." he said, flipping the card to the man, who caught it nimbly. "You should be able to figure it out if you're old enough." he said as he winked at him.
The man looked at the card, flipping it over in his hand and examining it, before he turned and walked to the old man. "It contains something." he said to the older man. If what the SG team suspected about these people was true, they didn't need to speak verbally, so it was likely said for their benefit.
"You're actually kind of nice, aren't you?" Harry asked.
"What do you mean?" the older man asked, with a bit of a smile. Harry thought he knew what he had meant.
"You're speaking aloud to each other for our benefit." Harry said.
The old man just smiled and looked at the card again. It changed hands a few times, as they inspected it, before the old man smiled triumphantly. "Is there a way to release it, without breaking the container?" he asked.
"Just say 'Supply Drop', while pointing the arrow to where you want it." Harry said. Only a magical should be able to release the package, normally, but they'd added a voice command for it as well, for when the mundane inhabitants of Harmony started using them.
They said nothing, as they beckoned Harry and Neville to follow, moving off towards where Harry had detected the other people.
"You got the old man?" Harry asked Neville, with another smirk.
Neville smirked right back and lifted himself up, using the flight harness. He didn't pick the old man up, like Harry would have. Instead he floated over to the old man. "May I offer you a lift?" he asked, extending a hand to the old man.
The old man looked back at him, and saw him floating there. He looked between Neville and the ground in contemplation for a few moments, before he smiled and took his hand. Neville lifted the old man up with his wandless magic and waited for Harry to pick the other man up.
Harry didn't care about being so gentle about it. These people had attempted to spy on them. He knew the girls were watching, but he'd been under someone's protection for so long now, that he just wanted to stretch his legs, metaphorically speaking. He just lifted the man up, but he seemed unsurprised.
They then flew off with Harry leading the way. They soon arrived at the location where he had detected the other people, and sent a dispelling charm at the location where he knew the camp was. It slipped into view, as he did so.
"You are sure you are not Nox?" the old man asked. Neither of these two young men had made a move that he could see, but he'd felt something coming from the one who identified himself as Harry.
"We are sure." Neville said, as he gently set down, while a young boy ran up to them, smiling as he did so. Neville bent down and held out a hand. "Hi, I'm Neville." he greeted the boy.
The boy looked at the hand, before taking it, uncertainly. Neville shook it, and smiled encouragingly. "Nafrayu." the boy identified himself. "You were flying." he stated.
"We do that on occasion." Harry smirked. "I'm Harry." he introduced himself. "Nice to meet you Nafrayu. You have better manners than your elders." he said indicating the older men.
"You already know us." the first man said. He suspected that they already knew what the SG team had learned, specifically since they knew enough about them to know about their affinity for nature.
"Right." Harry said, nodding in understanding. "It's still considered good manners to introduce yourself."
"Since we don't read minds, we tend to speak and offer greetings." Neville said.
"Very well." the man said. "I am Anteaus."
"Ohper." the older man said. "Nice to meet you?" he offered.
Harry smiled at the old man. "You do learn quick." he said.
The female of the group had been walking up to them. "I am Lya. Nice to meet you." she said. Either she'd heard or been instructed by her elders, or whoever else was listening. The fact that Harry knew there was a floating city somewhere above them, meant there were likely many others listening.
Neville, being ever the gentlemen, and closer to her than Harry was, walked up to the lady first, took her hand, and kissed the air above her knuckles. "It is always a pleasure to meet such a beautiful young lady." he said, smiling at her. Harry had to give him credit for that one, especially when the lady smiled happily at the compliment, though he suspected it meant something else to a woman who was likely old enough to be their grandmother.
"Just for reference, this is how a man greets a woman, when he has good manners, in our culture, though the wording may change depending on the situation." Harry said, also approaching to greet her properly.
Anteaus had the card in hand again, and was looking off to the side, at a bit of a clearing. "Is this enough space?" he asked Harry.
"More than enough." Harry said, nodding.
"Supply Drop." he said, while pointing the card. A wooden crate appeared, filled with seeds, plants, bulbs and some things Harry had added. There was a basket on top of it, with a picnic all packed and prepped.
"Oh, that's out lunch." Harry said. "I hope you don't mind that I stored everything together." The man smiled at him, as Harry picked up the basket. "Do you mind if we sat down for something to eat?" he asked.
The woman, Lya, beckoned them to the fireside, as the old man, Ohper, went to inspect the crate. The other two followed them to the fireside.
Harry conjured a blanket on the ground and placed the basket there, before he levitated everything out and arranging them, so that everyone could have something.
"What is this?" the boy asked, looking at the some of the food.
"That is called tofu steak." Harry said. "We had heard that you are vegetarian in nature, so we brought only things that won't offend you or make you sick."
"We humans are omnivorous." Neville said. "We eat plants and some animals. We need it to remain healthy."
The boy's eyes went wide at that. "Really?" he asked.
"It is our way." Harry confirmed. "Though we never eat anything that is intelligent, and we try not to affect the natural cycle."
"It is not our way." Anteaus said, even as he looked through the food and started nibbling on a carrot-stick. He didn't look impressed, but he tried the other food as well. Everything was prepared so that they could share the meal.
The old man soon joined them, holding a jar of honey. "This is good." he said, even as he licked a finger.
"It's called honey." Harry said. "We weren't sure if you had bees here."
"Bees?" Nafrayu asked.
"Small flying insects." Harry said.
"In our ecosystem, they help the trees and other plants to pollinate." Neville said. "They produce honey for the hive, where they raise their young. In nature, they sometimes produce more than they can use, and we've learned to encourage that and harvest the honey."
"Once again, it's completely natural and occurs in nature, so I suspected you would be able to eat it." Harry said. "There are a few jams and other things in there as well. I added those. Neville is the plant lover. He added everything green in the crate."
"And you bring this in trade, for what?" Anteaus asked.
"Nothing much." Harry said. "If you're willing to share a bit of knowledge, maybe a seed or two that we don't know, that would already be enough. We're not here to abuse your hospitality. We just want to make friends."
"Friends?" Lya asked.
"It's what friends do." Neville said with a shrug.
"We have to start somewhere." Harry said. "Unless you don't want to be friends, which we can respect. If someone came to where we lived, uninvited, and started acting like our friends, we'd be suspicious too. So we're going to take our time. If you want help with something, maybe we can help. If you want us to leave and never come back, we'd definitely consider it a loss, but we'd respect your choice, like we would hope someone would do for us."
"And this 'Magic' of yours?" Ohper asked, as he sat down, still tasting the honey.
"That will need to remain between us." Harry said. "Where we come from, there are people who would abuse it, who do abuse it. Magic can do great harm, in the wrong hands."
"Such is the way of power." Anteaus said, as he bit into a slice of apple. He seemed to enjoy that a lot more. Suddenly he looked up and to the side. "Someone followed you." he said.
Harry sent out a tendril of magic in the indicated direction, and soon found what Anteaus had sensed. "Dobby, please come out and show our new friends that you are not someone trying to do something nefarious." Harry instructed.
Dobby appeared and looked ashamed. "Dobby is sorry, Master Harry." he said.
"You keep slaves!?" Anteaus exclaimed.
"No!" Dobby exclaimed equally loudly. "Dobby was a slave. Master Harry freed Dobby. Gave him the choice. Dobby wants to follow Master Harry. It was Dobby's choice."
Harry sighed. He should have known. "I'm sorry Dobby. They won't understand your situation, until they can see it for themselves. Would you please let them inspect you?" he asked.
Dobby nodded eagerly and walked up to the man who had seemed the angriest. "Dobby is sorry for making you angry." he apologised.
"House elves have been indoctrinated to think they need to serve people." Harry said. "Dobby is special. He wanted to stop his previous master. When I arranged his freedom, he chose to stay my friend. Unfortunately he still calls me master. It's too deeply ingrained to remove. He's my friend, though. Not my slave."
Anteaus was looking the strange creature over, while the old man had joined him. At Anteaus's exclamation, the boy had gone to Lya, who held him protectively.
"His life is dependent on you." Anteaus said finally. "He needs you to live. His very existence requires a host. A willing symbiosis."
"Does he not have life of his own?" Ohper asked.
"We don't know." Harry said honestly. He suspected that when they said life, they meant magic. It made sense, since life and magic went hand-in-hand.
"House elves have been a part of our culture for very long." Neville said. "Their origins are lost. We just know that they need someone to give them access to their magic, so that they can live. In return, they serve us, quite willingly."
"But there were bad people in our world, in the past, who bound their servants with magic. Bad magic, which made them more subservient." Harry said. "That's the theory, at least."
"It is a perversion." Anteaus said. "I'm sorry for scaring you little one. I didn't know. Do you wish to join us, here? We could sustain you easily, without needing to bond with anyone."
Dobby looked between Anteaus and Harry, uncertainly.
"If you want to Dobby." Harry said with a shrug. "I've got no problem with it. The choice has always been yours."
Dobby looked at the man again. "I'm sorry, mister. Master Harry is a good and powerful Wizard. He makes everyone happy. I want to stay with him." Anteaus looked sceptical for a moment. "If mister doesn't mind, I know of a few elves who don't have families. Could Master Harry brings them here?"
Anteaus looked at Harry then. "They don't normally serve just one person." Harry explained. "Rather, they belong to a family. They serve a house. When an elf loses their family, they sometimes don't want to live. There is real love in being part of a family, so some elves prefer to never bond again, and wither away. If you can offer those elves a place, I'd be more than willing to open a path for them to come here."
"You can enable others to travel between the stars as they please?" Anteaus asked.
"It's one of my inventions." Harry said proudly. "It would mean leaving a device here, on Gaia, but you can secure it however you wish and we'll set it up with communication, so that you can approve someone to come through, before allowing it to open. It's not like the Stargate. You have to allow it from this side."
"You are travelling the same path as the Alterans." Ohper said.
"Alterans?" Harry asked. The old man just smiled at him. "You did that on purpose." he accused. The old man had just successfully hooked him, with the most intriguing lure. If there had been others who made things like Harry, he'd obviously like to know about it.
The old man said nothing. Anteaus was staring off into nothing for a bit, even as he spoke, "You may bring your device. We will help these creatures."
"Thank you." Dobby said, as his eyes welled up. These were really nice people.
"You are welcome, Dobby." Anteaus said to the small creature. He looked at Harry. "Your elf is not protected like you are. He thinks much of you and you treat him well, but you are pioneering things that will likely lead you down the path of war, before they bring peace. We cannot give you information, which may make you a threat to others."
Harry sighed then. He should have known. Dobby had a tendency to make his life more difficult. He meant well, but he always seemed to step in it, somehow. "I understand." he said, sadly.
"We can still be friends." Ohper offered.
"You should continue to watch the others." Anteaus said. "They are brash and young. They will need minding."
"We're not much more advanced than them." Harry countered.
"But you answer to yourselves." Anteaus said. "Their leaders are greedy and warlike. They will call trouble on themselves. Their path leads to death."
"We've noticed." Harry allowed. "Okay then." he said, as he put a hand in his pocket, pulling out a stack of cards, flipping through them until he found what he was looking for. Handing the card to Anteaus he said, "You know how to use this. I'll need to set up the other side, and I'll need to leave a piece of equipment in orbit. It's just there to allow the connection. Nobody should be able to detect it. Once you place this, though, I'll be able to tell where it is, so if you want to keep your city's location secret, I'd suggest placing it on the surface."
Ohper nodded at him, with another smile. "You are not as young as you think." he said.
Neville was soon off with Ohper, who would show him around a bit, and teach him of the plants of this forest. Apparently they had some medicinal plants that they used for various ailments.
Meanwhile, Harry took Lya and Nafrayu for a bit of a flight through the forest. At some point a large insect creature started flying after them. "Should I be worried?" Harry asked, looking behind them.
"It is just curious." Lya said. "It will follow for a while, but as long as you stay away from its nesting area, it will leave us alone."
"And its nesting area is…?" Harry asked.
Lya pointed off to their left and Harry flew them in the other direction, hoping the creature, which looked quite scary to be honest, would not want to fly too far from its nest. His plan worked and it soon veered off. "Did it scare you?" Lya asked.
"I've never been a fan of insects." Harry admitted.
"There is nothing to be scared of." Nafrayu said.
"In our world, there are insects that consider a human body the perfect place to lay their eggs." Harry countered. "I don't like the idea of being stung and playing host to an insect's eggs."
"It at least explains your fear of them." Lya said in understanding, as Harry brought them back to the camp.
"You haven't been teaching Nafrayu strange things, have you?" Anteaus asked.
"Nothing that applies to our world." Lya said.
Harry sat at their camp, after that, just observing them as they went about their business. It seemed that these people were a relaxed sort. Everything they did, they did slowly, as if there was no rush to complete any one task. The food that they prepared were made in all natural implements as well. Stone bowls and cups lined with leaves. Uncooked fruits and vegetables. It seemed there was a certain sense of taste, though. It seemed much of what they ate was sweet. He smiled when he saw Lya adding some of the honey into some sort of porridge that she was making. It looked like oatmeal to him.
When Neville came back, he looked quite excited. "The things this man showed me, Harry, you have no idea! They are just so in-tune with everything. Ohper never once stopped. We were walking nearly the entire time and every time he just knew where things were that were ripe and ready. This forest is so plentiful, too. At first I saw nothing, until he started pointing things out. It's like my eyes have been opened."
"Seeing the forest for the trees?" Harry asked, with a smile.
"And then some." Neville enthused. He turned back to the old man. "Thank you Ohper. You've taught me so much."
"You are, as you put it, 'in-tune'." Ohper said. "You could be of the Nox and we wouldn't know. You are wise for one of so few years." he complimented.
"Thank you, Ohper." Neville said again. Plans for his own forest had just exploded in his mind.
"I'm thinking the girls are probably tired of waiting." Harry said. "I think we should go."
"I understand." Neville said. He turned back to the old man, though. "Could you come visit my forest sometime?" he asked.
"Some time." the man confirmed.
"Thank you for welcoming us and sharing a meal with us." Harry said, as he nodded at the small group. "It was a great pleasure to meet you."
"Until next time." Neville said.
They lifted off and flew some distance away, before apparating the rest of the way, and directly into the Saucer. They didn't want to show its location after all. If the Nox hadn't found the ship yet, let them keep some of the mystery alive.
"That was fantastic." Fleur enthused, as Harry switched off the displays connected to his and Neville's eyes.
"Congratulations, sir." Cooper commended, the other wolves nodding along. "I'd say that that was quite successful, even though Dobby did reveal more than we'd planned on."
Dobby appeared at that. "I'm sorry, Master Harry. I didn't know they were in my memories."
Harry sighed. "It's fine, Dobby." he said. "It's probably for the best that you came out anyway. Without that, we'd not be able to help the other elves."
"Without you, Harry wouldn't be able to setup a permanent connection here." Hermione pointed out. "Who knows, with time we may start seeing some visitors through it, and then we can share a bit more."
"Did you get any seeds or plants from Ohper?" Harry asked.
"A couple of fruits and seeds." Neville agreed. "I didn't want to ask for rooted plants. After what I saw today, I just know it would be frowned on."
"Did you take any readings on the soil?" Padma asked. "We couldn't tell if you were doing that wandlessly."
"I did." Neville confirmed. "It's was mostly just soil. There was a trace element here and there that I'm assuming is Naquadah, but I didn't pick up that the plants needed it."
"Am I the only one that thinks that sending elves to these people is a bad idea?" Daphne asked. "Chances are that memories of the evils of some magicals will likely make us look bad."
"Worse than what Dobby had to go through with the Malfoys?" Harry asked.
Daphne nodded in understanding. "That's a good point." she conceded.
"Let's get back home." Harry said, and everyone started sitting down and buckling up.
"That insect thing, though." Fleur shuddered.
"The Fenri." Harry nodded. He'd found the name of the thing. Apparently it wasn't really an insect. It just looked like one. "That had me almost wetting my pants."
"Did I miss something?" Neville asked.
"Harry saw the flying creature that we heard about." Hermione said. "It's on the recording. We'll show you later."
"Don't show it to Luna." Harry warned. "She'll be taking the first transport there, otherwise."
"Disguised as an elf." Daphne agreed, with a bit of a smile. Luna had an incurable curiosity when it came to strange animals. These people, though, they'd probably love her.
The group returned to Prometheus in good spirits and they were soon back on Mars.
Jack O'Neill was sitting in front of the Stargate. His imminent death, due to sped-up aging, was staring him in the face. Actually, someone else was staring him in the face. "Who are you?" he asked the dark-haired teen.
"I'm afraid that's classified, Colonel O'Neil." Harry said. He'd been watching. The man was too good to lose, just because the Stargate team couldn't figure out what was happening.
"Classified?" the old man asked. He didn't think the locals knew that word. "What are you doing here?" he tried.
"I'm here to help." Harry said. "Your team are not going to figure this out in time."
"You've been watching us?" Jack asked.
"How could I not?" Harry scoffed. "Every time you activate your Stargate, it affects my systems." He wouldn't tell the man what systems, since he'd be reporting on this. That was also the reason he was wearing casual jeans and a t-shirt, with 'I love NY' on it. He'd give the guy some contrasting information. He'd heard his British accent, after all.
"What systems?" Jack asked.
"Classified." Harry said again, as he started walking around, using his magic to feel around, even though he held his Comm up, to make it look like he was scanning with it. The wolf scouts, who had used a Cacodaemon to scan for what was going on, since there was a possibility of infection, even if it was a low possibility, had found some kind of power coming from a statue in the middle of the temple. "Ah, here we are." he said, as he stopped in front of the statue.
"What are you looking for?" Jack asked.
"You know how you fall asleep at sun-down?" Harry asked, even as he took the statue in two hands and lifted it into the air. At least, that's what his magic made it look like. He tilted the thing over his shoulder and pointed at the device imbedded in the base. "This is what makes you age, while you sleep. Stop being forced to sleep, stop aging."
"How are you doing that?" Jack asked.
"Classified." Harry repeated, as he placed the statue down on the dais. "Now, I suggest you have your people switch this piece of shit off. If your age doesn't revert, I'll be in contact. We can likely sort that out for you as well." He looked at the disbelieving man, then. "We cool?" he asked, noticing the old man was clutching his gun, but not pointing it at him.
"How do I know you're not a Goa'uld?" Jack asked. This kid knew too much. He had strange powers and was able to identify what was happening here, as if he'd set it up himself. His powers and technology was something he hadn't seen before, either.
"Good question." Harry agreed. He thought about it for a moment. "Do you have glasses on you?" he asked.
"Just like that, sir." Jack reported to General Hammond, shortly after returning to the SGC. "He took my sunglasses, turned around and did something with that device of his and then he gave them back."
"And you could suddenly see through him?" General Hammond asked.
"Bones and organs." Jack confirmed. "No Goa'uld."
"But you don't know that his technology wouldn't exclude something like that." Samantha Carter said, reasonably. "Never mind the amounts of radiation something like that would need to put out. I'm surprised you're not dead."
"I could see everything, Carter." Jack said. "Things no man would willingly show another. The docs have cleared me too. No radiation."
"You know, in some cultures-" Daniel Jackson started.
"Don't!" Jack interrupted, turning and pointing at Daniel. "Just… don't." he said. He didn't want to know where that was going.
"Perhaps he was a Goa'uld, but he is not like Apophis?" Teal'c suggested.
"Or a rival of Pelops." Daniel suggested. "Not necessarily good, but helping you to spite his enemy?"
"He was wearing clothes from Earth, though." General Hammond said. "If he is Goa'uld, and he's been watching us, that's a breach of security we cannot allow." he said sternly.
"He said the Stargate's been affecting his systems, and that he only started following what we've been doing since." Jack said.
"Which means, he could be waiting for a moment of weakness." General Hammond insisted.
A soldier walked into the briefing room, then. "Sir, we have a call for you."
"Not now, airman." General Hammond snapped.
"He said it's regarding something that happened on Argos, sir." the soldier persisted.
Everyone looked up at that, and General Hammond stood up instantly.
In short order, he was in his office, and the others watched through the window, watching as the general shouted into the phone and then started speaking urgently.
"That doesn't look friendly." Jack said.
"He doesn't look happy, does he?" Daniel said. "Who do you think it is?"
"Well, it's not the red phone…" Jack said. If it was the President, the man might not be able to tell them what was going on.
They waited in suspense, until the General finally placed the phone down. He just sat there staring at nothing for a while, before he finally got up.
When he walked back into the briefing room, he indicated for the rest to take a seat and ordered the soldiers out of the room.
"Sir, what's going on?" Jack asked, looking at where he'd just heard the door lock.
The General took a deep breath, before he started speaking. "It seems a foreign military force has made contact with extra-planetary intelligence. They've been in contact with them for some time and seem certain that they are friendly, even sharing some of their technology."
"Why don't we know about this?" Carter asked. First contact should have been international news.
"Probably for the same reason that we don't go around advertising about the Goa'uld." Jack said.
"Exactly." General Hammond said. "The individual I spoke to, identified themselves as Lieutenant-Colonel Remus Lupin, from a civilian branch of the British Armed forces, called the Wolf Brigade. He informs me that our activation of the Stargate has been piggy-backing on some sort of advanced communications network, which has instant communications capabilities throughout the Milky Way galaxy. They've been tracking our missions, 'for our own safety'." he finished.
"The aliens or the Brits?" Jack asked.
"The ones whose network we've been using." General Hammond said. "I've been informed that the only people who are allowed to know about this, is SG-1, myself and the President. I'll be receiving a call from the British Prime Minister and the President in the next hour, to confirm all this, so until further notice, you are not to discuss anything about this outside of this room, with that door locked. Is that understood?"
"Sir, did he say anything else?" Daniel insisted. If these aliens were that advanced, they could likely find and rescue his wife.
"I said: Is that understood?" General Hammond asked. He didn't like being told what to do by foreign powers. He'd be making some inquiries about this Remus Lupin and the Wolf Brigade, the moment this meeting was done.
"Understood." was said all around.
"Now, I've not been given much. I have been given a number to call, should we need to get in contact with Lieutenant-Colonel Lupin, but I'll need to discuss this situation with the President, before we make any further enquiries." Hammond said. The fact that it was a number with a Texas area-code bothered him. He was from Texas, after all.