Author notes: please see below. The character list and links can be found here
“Unscheduled off-world activation,” said Harriman as the gate started its activation cycle.
George Hammond stood in the observation room, watching as the iris closed and the wormhole formed behind it.
“It’s the Muvians, Sir.”
“On screen,” said Hammond while turning towards a big monitor mounted on the wall.
Originally, this video monitor had been here to relay the feeds from the MALPs they sent through the Stargate. As Muvians used video transmissions and knew enough of Earth transmission formats, a camera allowing for a two way communication had been added.
He smiled as he saw the now familiar face of Lou Collins, though the Lieutenant Commander bars on the collar of her white uniform were new. She was also less cheerful than usual. Maybe it was just the end of a long shift for her but… no there was something else. She wasn’t using the communication room they had gotten used to but a larger place with many operators and a holographic map of the galaxy currently being pointed at by a green-skinned giant. She was in a place that looked like a command center.
“Lieutenant Commander Collins, congratulation for your promotion.”
“Thank you, Sir. I am afraid that this is not a routine call. Three hours ago, the Muvian Spacy engaged the squadron of Ha’taks sent by Sokar. The battle has been a decisive victory for our forces but we have left Caerleon. In consequence, the members of SG-1 will have to stay our guests for a few days, until we can locate a usable Astria Porta and bring them there.”
“Very well. I suppose that your communications relays are still secure?”
“Yes, at least for the time being. As you know, the Astria Porta we use to communicate with you is sitting on a ‘Venusian’ planet that has little chance to interest the Goa’uld so we should be able to stay in contact. I am patching you through to Colonel O’Neill. Have a nice day, General.”
The image shifted, revealing what he guessed to be a study. Jack O’Neill was standing behind a big desk made of what looked to be an obsidian tray supported by four convoluted ebony feet. The place would have looked ancient, particularly with the shelves holding numerous ancient books and curiosities in the back, if not for the golden control holograms floating above the desk’s surface.
“Colonel… where are you calling from?”
“I’m in Carter’s study, sir. This place… I mean the whole city, you have to see it to believe it, General.”
“What do you mean?”
“We have prepared more detailed reports that McKay tells me he started to transmit. To keep it short, we’re in a ship that’s bigger than Manhattan and has its own inner lake.”
Hammond caught the sign from Harriman confirming that files were being transmitted.
“What about the battle that Miss Collins told me about?”
“We were able to observe it. The Muvian Spacy wiped out a fleet bigger than the one Apophis sent against Earth while taking minimal damage. They have access to technologies that make Carter and McKay all giddy and seem willing to share… but only under certain conditions.”
“In the files we are transmitting, there are among other things complete processes to produce drugs and a vaccine for AIDS, as well as other things that will make Janet very happy. All of them come with a production cost analysis using our technology. McKay tells me we can make them almost as cheap as aspirin if we follow the assembly notice. I think you can see where this is going.”
Hammond frowned. It was easy to see that it constituted a morality test. This kind of medical technology was a goldmine if used in a certain way.
“Is Captain Carter around?”
“I’m here, Sir,” said Sam as she entered the camera’s field.
The general remembered the near wreck she had been the day she left Earth, knowing she wouldn’t be able to come back. She looked infinitely better now but there was something, something probably emphasized by scarlet eyes that seemed now to be a genuine part of her rather than some kind of bizarre affliction.
“It seems that Muvians treat you well, Captain.”
“Yes, Sir. The Admiral asked me to act as a consultant on the Goa’uld. I am also studying to master my magic.”
“Do you think you will be able to come back one day?”
He saw her hesitate.
“Sir, there are two big conditions on this. The first is that the Stargate project comes out in the open and that Terra starts to have open diplomatic relations with other starfaring powers. In the meantime… I have no other choice than to resign my commission, Sir, based on the fact I am not human anymore.”
“It pains me to hear it, Captain, but I accept your resignation. Will you apply for Muvian citizenship?”
“I will, Sir.”
Later, in his office, George Hammond thought again about that small town called Sunnydale. A little more than a year ago, it had been just another southern Californian town. He looked at SG-1 reports about how far the Sunnydalers had come and how they went from a collection of refugees lost at the other end of the galaxy to a major player on the galactic chessboard.
In particular, he looked at a file, the file of the person McKay thought to be responsible for that miracle. On appearance, she was just a pretty middle-aged woman with stop sign red hair and funny bangs that looked like crab legs on both side of her face. Except that McKay is at the same time awed and scared shitless by that woman. Joyce Hakubi… self-proclaimed greatest scientific genius in this universe… and avatar of an entity older than the universe.
He looked at the green eyes on Joyce’s picture and he shivered. There was a spark in them, something coming from that place where genius and madness met.
Author notes: This story has grown a lot since I started to write it. In fact, this is the reason why I did not update it for a long while. It has become very complex, a multi-faceted story with a huge cast. Every time I wanted to go back to it, I cringed at the thought I would have to create even more characters, for example to flesh out the crew of a given ship (this is one of the reasons I did not use Cordelia as much as I could have). Also, my job is taking more of my time these days and that, alas, means less time for writing. So, I am closing this story. It has reached what one could call a convenient point for it. In many ways, chapter 30 was a nice ‘end of season’ episode. The universe itself is not dead, but any sequel I may write for it will happen in the same universe but be more centered on a part of it, like the Olympians and the ‘Cobra’ Slayers, the Fremen from Abydos, a specific Muvian ship, Sam’s magical adventures, etc. This leads me to… let’s call it a pseudo-challenge. If someone is interested about writing a story happening in the Traveller’s Chronicles universe, I let it open, on 2 conditions. The first one is to not contradict what I have already written. The second is to add me as a co-author (this is mostly so that I can link the story to the series, though I will answer to questions and act as a beta reader if desired). If you only want to write a one-shot, I have opened the Campfire Stories to other authors As a last word, I want to thank all the people who followed, reviewed and favorited this story since its beginning. Your support has done a lot to improve my style, sometimes having me rewrite whole parts as I realized I was too rushed. Sincerely yours, Kedrann