The Holy War Industry Part III - R & D by DarthTenebrus
Cheyenne Mountain, SGC Infirmary
Janet had tested nearly fifty per cent of the samples brought in thus far for midichlorian counts. While most of the samples fell well below the threshold required for Force sensitivity, a fair few had registered as at least borderline. These samples included blood from the top ten per cent of Slayers and most Watchers, as well as a few members of Earth’s own military service members, which included a few in the SG teams and nearly all of SG-1. And samples were still being brought in to be administered the Test.
The figures that she was regarding now had started to form a picture. With some of the names and their occupations factoring in prominently in terms of their latent potential with the Force, it had begun to occur to Janet Frasier that a little cross-referencing was in order. She suddenly recalled what Breha Valio had said to her, that a sufficiently high midichlorian count enabled sensitivity to and the ability to harness the power of the Force. Most nonsensitive individuals (Valio had used the word beings
) had an MC count well below 2000, which in her universe had been a statistically-established threshold for mere sensitivity, and those with higher MC counts generally had correspondingly higher degrees of sensitivity and were occasionally reported as having displayed one or two latent talents in the Force. Frasier could breathe a sigh of relief for them, as they should never have to worry about the Force or its potential influence. Most run of the mill soldiers and civilians fell into that category, which was a good thing.
The worry was for those whose MC counts were in excess of 5000, according to Valio. Without training, they would find themselves unprepared when their potential in the Force eventually manifested itself. A sudden levitation or a burst of above-normal speed would catch the unwary Force-user off guard and cause them no end of grief, and from what Frasier remembered from the stories, anyone who had to learn to master the Force on their own with no formal training would be more of a danger to themselves and anyone else than even a mere sensitive with rudimentary training. The lure of the Dark Side would be irresistible, and the temptation would be unavoidable.
She started by cross-referencing those who had MC counts approaching 5000 with lists of known Slayers in the field and elsewhere. The correlating data did not surprise her as Slayers were somehow imbued with supernatural reflexes and awareness of their targets’ actions and intents. While their MC counts were insufficient to enable feats such as telekinesis or levitation, they were capable of some astounding feats of strength and agility as well as an uncanny ability to predict an enemy’s next move, which fell under the category of precognition. There were, however, a few that passed the threshold and fell into the group of those that would eventually need to be trained as Jedi. Currently Janet Frasier knew of two who had fallen victim to that particular curse. One was touring the battlefield, bolstering the morale of her troops.
The other was sitting in her recovery ward.********
Jack had been going through the latest satellite reconnaissance photos like crap through a goose. The lakefront operation was proceeding apace, and the Elysians there were kicking ass and taking names like none before them could have hoped to achieve, and they were still going strong after a week. They had managed to penetrate two miles from the shore so far, so it was a testament to the demons’ sheer numbers that the Glorious Dead under Alexander and Jason had managed to do so much. The Redrock Rangers had taken care of Youngstown, and the 101st Airborne had moved in and set up shop. With the supply of the laser rifles and other advanced arms from the Gurkhas, the Screaming Eagles had managed to do so much more than they would have been capable of with standard US military weapons; they were now holding their own against a force that had come from the worst nightmares of many a religious person.
Ian Youngblood was now looking to Warren, to clean out the largest nest of demon scum the HSC had come across so far in response to a call for help from a convent in the area. It seemed only those demons that were especially sensitive to Christian artifacts and symbols were incapable of penetrating onto holy ground and ruining the party; later reports from the convent through their Internet terminals recounted sightings of what appeared to be djinns and other such malcontents looking to kick up a little dust. Well,
Jack thought, the good Colonel has a surprise or two for them. He’ll be kicking up a little dust of his own before the week is out.
And if things went according to the latest reports, his Rangers were bound to link up with the lead elements of the surviving Imperial contingent coming down from the I-90 corridor. That particular op had turned into a rout due to the totally unexpected appearance of what the folks in ISWC were calling the “Seven Deadly Sins”, apparently a group of archdemons or demon lords that held sway over uncounted legions of demons. They had used their particular influence to subdue the Sith troops before siccing their legions on them. Only a handful of Stormtroopers and officers had made it out of there alive, and they’d even picked up a couple of civilians during that fracas; a mother and her two sons were duking it out with the demons with M4s and a Beretta, then had picked up some Imperial weapons when they ran out of ammo and kept up the fight until the Imperials could effect a rescue. They were now heading south in their AT-ATs to Warren at the same time that a flight of Predators out of Wright-Patterson were firing a volley of Hellfire missiles with thermobaric warheads into the openings of several tunnels that the demons had used to approach the Interstate. Hermes had reported the arrival of Elysians under the command of Zeus himself, as well as several divisions of Einherjar out of Valhalla who had joined with the Elysians in an attempt to hold the demonic force away from the interstate, slaughtering them wholesale in the process as they kept the demons contained in a killbox for the Death Gliders and the Predator drones. With Imperial AT-STs pouring fire into the masses of enemy troops, and Al’Kesh shuttles lifting the beleaguered civilians away from the kill zone, the way was clear for the Predators to drop their Hellfires and move on to the next target.
The whole intelligence picture of the Ohio Valley looked like a pie wedge was being created from Cleveland to Youngstown to the I-90, with the Hellmouth in the center. The noose was being tied now; soon the new ammo with the holy water, as well as Remington’s new Vamp Smackers, would be in place for distribution to the front line troops, and when they started being used, it was expected that casualty rates among HSC combatants using standard NATO and Warsaw Pact small arms would soon drop off dramatically. O’Neill had to concede that those among his forces that were using energy weapons would still have the advantage in terms of raw firepower, but now that playing field could level off. Once the Republic and Colonial/Cylon forces, as well as the British 95th Rifles attached to them, would close off that gaping hole in their operational area to the east. Once that was done, it would be a simple matter of tightening the noose and sending those monsters back to the depths of Hell, and the waiting arms of the Glorious Dead and the BOLOs.
An hour ago, Jack had been in conference with Admiral Adama of the Galactica
, which looked like a souped-up model of the Battlestar from the 1970s series. Her Viper squadrons were upgraded for the most part, aside from a few older model Vipers that were still in use by their veteran pilots. NASA had sent the SGC pictures of the Cylon base stars that accompanied the Colonial fleet to Earth; they did not resemble those distorted hourglass shapes, but rather looked more like pearlescent starfish with sharpened arms. Bill Adama was a veteran Viper pilot himself, having gone by the call sign “Husker”, and was more than willing to impart his wisdom to any and all pilots who had a chance to fly in the famed aerospace fighters. It sure as hell wasn’t like flying the British Tornado fighters or the US Air Force F22 Raptors. For one, the control systems were different, accounting for the propulsion and maneuvering thrusters as well as the ability to fly in an atmosphere. The second was speed; the Vipers were much faster in terms of raw speed as well as maneuvering capability. It was rumored that the Mark VII Viper was capable of flipping over 180 degrees vertically in 0.25 seconds, the Mark II in 0.35 seconds. The enhanced thrust package allowed the Mark VII to outstrip the Mark II in terms of raw acceleration; whereas the Mark II Viper could accelerate at rates between 60 and 70 m/s/s, the Mark VII outsped the Mark II with twice that rate. And given the other battlestar in orbit, the Pegasus
, had its own manufacturing capabilities, with enough raw materials, there was an opportunity to upgrade many of the old petroleum-fuled Earth-based fighters to the new Colonial thrust packages. Suddenly switching over from petroleum to Tylium seemed like a very smart idea.
Plans were then made between General O’Neill and Admiral Adama and his son, Commander Lee “Apollo” Adama, to survey the HSC vehicular assets and see which could take the new Tylium fuel and upgrade to Colonial standards in terms of transportation tech. Jack made a mental note to coordinate with Colonel Forlan and see what weapons could be upgraded to use Tibanna gas lasers instead of lead slugs.
He brought his mind back to the present and stepped out of his office to look for CW2 Harriman. He found him by the communications suite as expected, and then strode over to him with a purpose. He looked over his warrant officer’s shoulder for a moment before he asked “How are the Red Wings doing this week?”
“About the same as last week, General,” replied Harriman. In other words, they still sucked compared to the Mighty Ducks this season. It had been the CWO’s unofficial duty to keep up with the hockey stats for O’Neill whenever possible, as managing the Hellmouth War was taking his full attention.
“Ah, never mind, I don’t wanna know then,” said Jack. He then shifted his focus to the true reason for approaching Harriman. “I need you to contact Colonel Youngblood and find out how he’s doing as far as getting us up to Battlemech metallurgy standards. I wanna know how they can make alloys so strong that they can take the kind of stress that a mech puts on its joints in maneuvers. Also get up with Colonel Forlan at RB Ranger; I want him up here as soon as he can manage it so we can start talking about weapons improvements. Our P-90s are fine, and the Army likes their M4s still, but I wouldn’t mind having a few blasters in the arms rooms in a few weeks.”
“Yes, sir, will do. Oh, the new ammo that the Pentagon ordered for us should arrive at RBR in approximately seventy-two hours. We can start distro to each of the DOD units attached to us several hours after that.”
Jack snorted, “Couldn’t come at a better time. We’ll be glad for it until we can get upgraded. Also send Airwolf over to RB Ranger and tell those people over there to fit her with a couple of blaster cannons, fire linked and boresighted. With the kind of enemy we’re facing we need as varied an arsenal as we can get on short notice. And I wanna talk to Archangel about the Airwolf specs. I know he wants to keep Airwolf out of government service, but that’s a moot point now since he offered her to HSC for this war. We need more of her.”
“Acknowledged, General. I’ll copy your message and send it out at once. Sir, wait one…” A telltale was blinking on Harriman’s console, an incoming communique flagged “Urgent”. Harriman clicked on the link and opened up the file. “IT’s from ISWC. Director Giles says he’s been talking to his people in Berlin. Apparently there’s been some weird activity going on over there and he wants to talk to you about it.”
Jack snorted. “Only on a slow day, huh?”
Humans were nothing if not predictable, the First thought to itself. They knew now there was a supernatural element in their midst, and they knew it was hostile to them. The ambush of the Sith forces was a nice touch as well. It had worked to keep the human forces in Cleveland concentrated on that one area, and it reminded them that their enemy was for more capable of utter destruction and wholesale slaughter than they had heretofore encountered. The random attacks on civilian lives kept the military off balance, kept them occupied. Even the forces engaged in Hades by these BOLOs and the heroic Greek dead were minor, but they were doing their job well, and the mortals engaged in the Cleveland area were convinced that it was there that the war would be fought and won. To use a human expression, they were counting their chickens before they were all hatched.
The First smiled to itself. The humans had been lulled into a false sense of impending victory. They had been shown one or two eggs thus far. It would not reveal the entire nest yet, but perhaps it could give them a few more eggs to count in Berlin… ********Author’s Note – Viper specifications available on BattlestarWiki.org. This one is kinda short, I know, but I’m going off a few reviews I got and their responses, and I wanted to get this out there. Suspense does feed the imagination after all…