The Sackett Gate


Douglas Lloyd Hemmingway

A/N: I don't own either the Stargate Franchise or the Sacketts Franchise. The Stargate Franchise is the intellectual property of Brad Wright and Jonathan Glassner created for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer based on the 1994 movie Stargate created by Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Carolco. The Stargate Franchise debuted with Stargate SG-1 beginning in 1997. The Sacketts Franchise including the novels Sackett's Land (Sep-1974,) The Far Blue Mountains (Oct-1976,) The Warrior's Path (Jul-1980,) Jubal Sackett (Jun-1985,) Ride the River (Jun-1983,) The Daybreakers (Feb-1960,) The Courting of Griselda (May-1997,) Lando (Dec-1962,) Sackett (May-1961,) Booty for a Badman (Sep-1982,) Mojave Crossing (Jan-1964,) The Sackett Brand (Jun-1965,) The Sky-Liners (Apr-1967,) Lonely Men (May-1969 ,) Mustang Man (May-1966,) Galloway (Jul-1970,) Treasure Mountain (Oct-1972,) Ride the Dark Trail (Jul-1972,) and Lonely on the Mountain (Nov-1980) belongs to the Louis D. and Katherine E. L'Amour Trust and Bantam Books.

This story takes place post series for Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis. It occurs during the events of The Sackett Brand. It is told through the eyes and experiences of William Tell Sackett IV the great grandson of William Tell Sackett. Once the story includes both men W. T. S. IV will be called Bill and W. T. S. will be called Tell.

Chapter 1

The Planet P6X-345 somewhere on the outer rim of the Orion–Cygnus Arm May 2007:

Though the Ori War was over, having ended some months ago, there was still the threat of attacks from former Ori Generals acting as warlords raiding or seizing planets to establish their own pocket empires. I led my team into such a situation accidentally. It was my first mission after assuming command of Stargate Team Twenty Five or SG-25 from Colonel Peter Ludlow. That was in April of 2007 it's now May on Earth.

SG-25 came through the Gate well enough and began working and assisting SG-17 under the command of Major Laurel Thomas (USAF) a former Air Force Security Forces Officer. Me, I am Colonel William Tell Sackett IV (USA.) I served first as a Second Lieutenant leading an Armored Cavalry Platoon in an Armored Cavalry Troop of the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment back during the First Gulf War. After earning my promotion to First Lieutenant and serving as the Executive Officer of another Armored Cavalry Troop in the 3rd ACR until the end of President Clinton's first term. After that I completed and passed Ranger Selection and then Ranger School. Rather than getting transferred to the 75th Ranger Regiment I assumed command of an Army National Guard Armored Cavalry Troop as a Captain under a program to integrate Active Duty Officers into the Guard and Reserve. When a slot opened up in the Ranger Regiment, I assumed a slot in the Operations Staff of the 3rd Battalion 75th Ranger. After that it was three years as the Executive Officer or XO of an Armored Cavalry Squadron of the 9th ACR.

Before I got slotted to return to the 75th Rangers I was tagged to command a Squadron of the 10th ACR in the invasion of Iraq during the Second Gulf War. It was because my ACR had the misfortune of being drug into the Goa'uld War I got snagged up by the SGC. That began by having a couple of Deathgliders attack the column of supply trucks being escorted by one of my Armored Cavalry troops I found myself in a Loach (OH-6B) flying out ahead of our QRF (Quick Reaction Force) unit. The Loach was hit by a plasma bolt while I had it orbit the location where Troop A's Third Platoon which was equipped with the M-3 CFV (Cavalry Fighting Vehicle) variant of the Bradley had been attacked. By the time I arrived on scene one Bradley was burning another had a track shot off and the Troop's Tank Platoon and its other Scout Platoon were circling around to assist their fellow CavScouts. The remaining two Bradleys of Third Platoon were doing their best to provide protective fire with their Bushmaster 25 mm Chainguns for the crew of the detracked one and the survivors of the wrecked one.

As I called to our Service Troop to bring up the tank recovery vehicle I saw a bright flash of light and heard what to me sounded like the sound lightning makes in a near miss. The Loach's pilot started to auto-rotate to get us on the ground before the bird blew up. The Gunner/ Crew Chief pushed me out the starboard side door yelling, "Jump Sir!" I had my M-4 carbine slung from a single point sling and my M-9 pistol in a shoulder holster so I was still armed when I landed feet first on the hard packed dirt of the Iraqi mud flat desert. I did a decent PLF and tumbled up into a kneeling firing stance and began letting loose on full automatic on the craft I saw screaming past my position. I fired until the magazine was dry and instead of switching mags then I drew and fired my pistol until it too was dry. About that time another Deathglider began an attack run on us and the trucks we were escorting. Several of the said trucks were burning.

Before the Deathglider could get a bead on me or any of the remaining vehicles of the convoy I hear the roar of American fighter jets. Overhead streaked by two Navy or Marine Corps F/A 18 Superhornets. Each one strafed the attacking Deathglider and the second one must have had missile lock at some point in their dog fight because the Deathglider blew up in a brilliant display of fire spreading wreckage and debris all over the area round the supply route.

It was something like that which I witnessed just before the Ori soldiers attacked the village that was home to P6X-345's Stargate that made me recall that memory. I was again facing an enemy's aerospace fighters and once again being strafed by plasma bolts. The fighters were in Flight Strength as they not only strafed people, but plasma bombed buildings. It was like tales about the terror bombings by the Condor Squadron during the Spanish Civil War back in the 1930s. This attack was purely for terrorizing the local population. I had my team set up a defensive perimeter around the Stargate as Laurel's herded survivors through it to Earth then on to one of our off world bases.

The evacuation went good until the Ori ground pounders showed up with more air support. As the last civilian and the last of SG-17 passed through the event horizon I ordered a tactical withdrawal of my team. I was the last one up on the dais that was home to the gate and just stepped into the event horizon when I heard the impacts of the plasma bolts behind me from the cannons on an Ori fighter. Then I saw the tunnel of sparkling lights as I was grabbed by the wormhole and catapulted to the destination at the other end.

Somewhere in the Mogollon Rim escarpment west and north of Camp Verde, Arizona Territory April 1874:

I found myself thrown out of the wormhole through the terminal event horizon into a cavern lit only by the glow radiating from the horizon itself. Before I could tuck and roll I impacted with the floor of the cavern. For me the lights went out about as fast as the wormhole closed. I don't know how long I lay on the cavern floor unconscious, but I sure hurt in places I would rather not. My back, shoulders, arms and legs all ached like I played too much football or rugby.

Damn at forty five years old I am still young enough to lead soldiers into combat, but damn it all I sure as shooting am too old to be hurting this much. I felt around for my flashlight. Finding it I used it to light up the room. I had another minor in geology to go with my Bachelor of Arts in history from Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado gained before I entered the Army along with an Associates in Mining Engineering from Trinidad Community College and Masters of Science in Mining Engineering from the University of Colorado's Colorado Springs campus. The Masters I got the two years after I was first assigned to Cheyenne Mountain – Fort Carson Joint Forces Base. I remembered my studies and saw I was in a basaltic cavern, possibly an old lava tube.

Looking around I saw that the Stargate was standing near the center of the cavern and there was a DHD, but that had been crushed at some point by a rock fall. The main pedestal still stood and the rings of keys were in working order, but the central activation bubble was shattered. 'Well I'm not getting home that way,' I thought to myself as I hobbled around the cavern which was about the same size as the Gate Room or Embarkation Room at the SGC's main base under NORAD's in Cheyenne Mountain.

Turning away from the gate I saw the maw of a tunnel leading away from its cavern. As I examined things more I noticed that the walls were too smooth to have been made by the flow of lava eons ago. The cavern and tunnel almost looked like someone burned them through and out with some sort of high energy device. Well I didn't think I ought to stay in this place any longer than I had too. Once I was far enough away from the Gate I took an Army Issue tritium lensatic compass from a gadget pouch on my plate carrier's shoulder strap. Checking it told me two things I possibly was on Earth as it pointed north correctly and that the tunnel didn't have enough iron to interfere with the compass. A third thing I learned after shooting an azimuth down the tunnel was that it ran to rough northeasterly. With my own eyes I saw that it had an upwards grade to it. I knew now that I was some depth underground.

Feeling a little thirsty I took the mouth piece of the hydration tube of my Camelbak and sucked up a mouth full of water. Then I took my first steps into the tunnel ahead of me. I clipped my flashlight into a helmet mount just before I stepped into the tunnel and fastened that to the side rail of my ballistic helmet. It was one of those helmets like the Special Operations troops in Delta Force and the SEAL Teams started using in the early 1990s that looked like the helmets rock climbers and base jumpers used only these were bullet and fragmentation resistant. My team began wearing them the week I took over command. With the flashlight hands free I could carry my M-4A1 carbine at low ready port arms and travel the tunnel ready to defend myself if necessary.

After several hours I managed to make my way to the surface. On the way up I found a cross drift that one arm went to the northwest and the other to the southeast. It was then I realized sometime in the past someone had mined this area. The only mineral I knew of that was important enough to have a stargate present was naquadah. "Damn!," I muttered to myself as I looked down each side tunnel as far as my light would shine. It was at 1200 lumens on high beam and lit up a good distance, about fifty to sixty meters down each way. 'I need to inform the SGC of this place once I get out of here,' I thought as I resumed my climb upward and out of the cave.

As I said it took several hours to reach the surface. When I got there I looked around noticing that the ground looked familiar to me somehow. As I looked up at the night sky and saw the band of a very familiar galaxy, the Milky Way. I knew then I was on Earth. Now granted I saw more of the band than I usually did. So I began to wonder what happened to all the light pollution that obscured the viewing of the night skies with the naked eye let along a nice consumer use telescope. That's when I noticed that the horizon lacked something anyone growing up and living in the late Twentieth and early Twenty First Century took for granted, the glows of cities and towns at night. I knew where I was then as I recognized the peaks around me, but when was another story all together. I started thinking that somehow I repeated the same accident SG-1 under then Colonel Jonathan "Jack" O'Neill experienced that sent them back to 1969. Only the horizon was too dark even for 1969. I also began to wonder if I experienced another accident. I remember reading that somehow when returning from a mission Teal'c and Dr. Jackson got home to the SGC's Embarkation Room, but Col. O'Neill and then Capt. Carter failed to follow them through. After an intensive investigation it was discovered that the pair had wound up in a cavern with another gate in Antarctica.

Now I wasn't in Antarctica as it was cool, but not that cold. It was like a spring night in the hills of the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. Only I think I was west of there. I was sure of that. The peaks I saw the silhouettes of were in Arizona, not Colorado. Now as to when I was I think I had to be sometime before the common used of electric street lamps and other electric lighting. As to just when I didn't have a clue. As I was pondering these and other things I heard the report of a rifle shot. It was off to my left or approximately to the north of my current position. Again I shot an azimuth roughly in the direction of the shot and headed that way after putting my compass away.

I moved at a good walking pace, but didn't run. Running at night is foolhardy especially carrying a ruck, a plate carrier, and everything either in the ruck or on the carrier. I wore the old Woodland BDU pattern rather than the Army Combat Uniform in the Universal Camouflage Pattern. The UCP was neither universal nor camouflage. It was a pattern I would contest to. For where I was at night the Woodland Battle Dress Uniform would work just fine. Come daylight I would know if it was the right pattern or the local terrain. If I was where I thought I was then it would be ok.

After an hour of walking I heard two men on horse back discussing where their target could have gone too. I hunkered down behind a pinon pine and some mesquite and sage brush getting as flat to the ground as I could. I had my night vision goggles flipped down on their helmet mount. Actually the type my team used was a monocular instead of the binocular ones used by most of the Army. This allowed us to have one eye trained on the imagery in the viewer and the other adapted to ordinary human night vision. Both were rather monochromatic, but the mark 1 eye ball saw better three dimensionally than most night vision devices and had better peripheral vision too.

The pair paused in their search and glanced around. One of the riders lit a cigarette and said something about their boss wanted them to find this guy and deal with him permanently. The pair were of the opinion their target had survived their ambush and that their boss had a legitimate reason for having this unknown man killed. They rode off and I waited where I was for another half an hour just to be sure they had left the area. I backed out from under the mesquite, sage brush and the pinon pine slowly as as quietly as I could. Long ago I learned to tape, zip tie or in any fashion tie things down so they wouldn't rattle. Noise will travel a long way at night so noise and light discipline were a must in a situation where stealth was necessary. I had before I exited the cave turned out my flashlight and put it away. Unlike one of the nameless riders I didn't smoke so I wasn't in danger of exposing myself with that nasty habit. A cigarette's glow is also visible for great distances at night.

As I carefully maneuvered through the trees and brush toward where I first determined the shot came from I heard a crack of twigs being stepped on. Quietly I said just barely above a whisper, "Come out with your hands spread wide!" I saw a young man, perhaps someone in their late twenties or early thirties. It was hard to tell. If I was when I thought I was people aged faster because of the lives they led. I stood up with my rifle's muzzle on him as he came out of the brush. He was a sight. His clothes were torn to shreds and barely covered him anymore. He looked to be about my size. However as I scanned him more I saw a gash on the side of his head that looked really mean. Now a surface wound on the head will bleed a lot making it look worse than it truly was, but this could be bad. I couldn't tell now, but I suspected it was inflamed from an infection. "What happened? How did you get that gash on your head?" I asked. "And for my sake and yours just stand where you are for now." He was close enough I couldn't miss if this came to a shooting situation. I wouldn't even have to bring my carbine's stock to my shoulder. All I would have to do is just point the muzzle at his center of mass and pull the trigger.

As he stood there he said, "Stranger, I'm William Tell Sackett from the Cumberland Gap by way of Mora down New Mexico way and other places in between. My wife and I were head'n into the Mogollon Rim country with our wagon. I was scouting a way down from up here and across the river yonder. Then someone went and shot me. From what I overheard they sound like the were lied to about me. Now I am only trying to get back to my camp and my wife" I was shocked, but was cool enough not to let him see it. I stood there in front of my own Great Great Grandfather. 'Damn, don't that beat all,' I thought to myself as I looked at him. He continued to talk, "Folks mostly call me Tell though. My brothers and me were looking for a place to establish a ranch up this way. We're also look'n for a place to let our Ma live the rest of her life in peace."

I let my carbine slowly drop and hang from the single point sling to where it was dangling in front of me and then I said, "I'm Bill Sackett. I was out here hunting some claims and had just finished examining an old mine in a basalt outcropping over that way." I pointed the direction I had just come from. He looked me over after I allowed him to step closer. I did that for two reasons I wanted to look over his wounds and I wanted him to see who he was talking to better. He examined me like he was at a stockman's sale. "I reck'n you are a Sackett. You have the look." What he couldn't tell at that moment was that I actually looked very much like him. Back home in our house on the Sackett Range in La Plata County, Colorado there stands a picture of my after I made Lieutenant Colonel next to an old Daguerreotype of him in his Cavalry Uniform. He wore Sergeant's stripes, had a Colt 1860 Army Revolver in his right hand resting in his lap as he was seated in a chair. A Sharps Cavalry Carbine rested next to his chair as did his saber. He wore an issue Cavalry campaign hat.

In my photograph I wore my Army Dress Blues, I had an Officer's Saber hanging by its saber hanger from a dress Sam Brown Belt, wore Cavalry boots with a high gloss spit shine and spurs with my Army issue Stetson Cavalry Hat on my head. I was standing on the house's front porch. My dad and ma said I looked just like Tell in that photo though he was much younger at the time his was taken. Looking at Tell I knew he had to be hurting, hurting a lot. "Tell, let's get you some place I can look at your wounds I may not be able to do more than clean most of them, but I could help by cleaning them." We took our time going through the trees, stopping every so often to listen for riders. I didn't loan him my pistol or carbine. I would have had to shown him how to shoot them, there just was not the time. Tell was likely more used to single shot weapons like the Sharps or even the Remington Rolling Block, though I think that rifle was a few years from being introduced. His skills likely also were trained more for the Henry, Yellow Boy or the Model 1873 Winchester in .44-40 and the Colt Model 1873 revolver in the same caliber, though I know that it was introduced first in the .45 Colt cartridge which modern shooters call the .45 Long Colt.

Finally after a few hours of walking and another four of resting in a natural shelter caused by the root ball of a fallen Ponderosa pine. We settled into the small cave and I tended to his wound from my IFAK. I let him drink from a canteen I carried besides my Camelbak. This canteen I bought special with a one quart stainless steel canteen like the ones issued to the troops and marines in World War Two, but it had a lid for the cup and a small stove with collapsible metal wire stands I could use heat tablets or even twigs to make a fire in and boil water or soup in the cup. Since we didn't want much in the way of a fire I poured some of the canteen's water into its cup. I let him drink from that washing down some over the counter pain relievers I had in my IFAK. Then I poured more water into the cup after starting a small fire in the stove. I placed the cup on the stands to keep it above the fire. As it was coming to a boil I dug in my ruck finding an individual Folgers' Coffee Single packet. Once the water was hot enough I put the teabag like coffee sachet into the water. It wasn't the first time I used that little stove and it was blackened from many a fire.

"Here Tell drink this," I said handing him the cup again. "It's how I make coffee in the field. The teabag like thing has coffee grounds in it. I used the cup to heat water in and then when it is the right temperature I let the coffee bag steep in the cup. Don't worry I have another cup I can head water in that fits on that little stove." He thanked me for the cup and drank it. I'm not sure if the Coffee Singles are as good as the Arbuckle's many of the western folk bought and ground themselves, but it was better than nothing. We settled in for the night. I took the first watch so Tell could rest.