An Impossible Rescue
Disclaimer -- The previous chapter included a reference to the Halo franchise, which is owned by Microsoft. All others belong to Whedon, Lucas, Wright and Glassner. I do not own these characters. If I did, I wouldn't be writing this..
A/N: This is a short chapter, but I needed to post this for the sake of pacing the action scenes...happy reading...Klorel’s Ha’Tak
The bridge lights flickered a final time, and then went dark as the ship’s main power went offline. In that moment, SG-1 saw their chance, and they attacked as one, O’Neill and Carter opening up on the Jaffa at each of the consoles, Daniel turning to aim his M9 Beretta at the door to catch any Jaffa unawares that tried to enter the pel’tak
. Bra’Tac fired at the bridge controls, frying them and taking Apophis by surprise. Teal’c saw his chance and slipped behind Klorel, placing him in a choke hold with one arm while removing his hand device with the other, then aiming his zat’ni’ktel at the false god’s head. In that moment, the bridge lights returned to a low intensity as the Ha’Tak
’s emergency generators came online.
“Weapons down or I kill Klorel!” Teal’c shouted.
For his part, the countenance of Apophis’s host evinced raw fury and surprise. “Bra’Tac! Why do you betray me!” he voiced his anger at his former First Prime.
“As I said to you before, Apophis, I shall no longer worship a false god! We shall now take our leave of you, and if you show any inclination to delay us, Klorel will suffer for it…”
“Father, please! Forgive me!” pleaded the current hostage of SG-1.
Just then the door to the pel’tak
erupted in a shower of sparks and shrapnel as it was blown apart…Klorel’s Ha’Tak, Deck Two
Warren and his company had engaged their active camouflage before they passed through the cofferdam, the automatic filtration systems in their helmet masks doing their best to separate the good breathing air from the acrid stench of the burnt metal of the vessel’s hull. The cutting action of the Corusca gems had startled and alerted the Jaffa passing by; they were now behind cover, waiting for whoever had opened a great hole in the side of their ship, waiting to blast them back into space in as many burnt pieces as they could manage. When the piece of their hull that had been cut out fell inward, they began to fire upon the hole.
Naturally, they had hit nothing. The stormtrooper commandos had hidden well behind the cofferdam, waiting for just such an ambush. Warren then counted to three, slowly, with hand and arm signals and then clenched a fist. While he counted, Andrew had primed a concussion grenade and held it ready, and when his boss made the signal to release, he leaned out briefly from the cover of the cofferdam and tossed the ordnance underhanded so that it rolled into the ship’s corridor. Two things then happened in the next instant.
Andrew then pulled himself back behind cover, with a generous assist from Jonathan, and he plastered himself to the hull of the shuttle. Then, the visors in everyone’s helmet masks polarized as an intense brilliance flooded the interior of the enemy vessel.
“Let’s go, guys,” Warren whispered over the helmet comm. As one, they rushed into the corridor, fists curling to reveal the deadly vibroblades extending from the knuckle plates in their gloves. Each Jaffa that attempted to locate a target got an unseen, yet extremely sharp blade in the throat for his trouble, red arterial blood gushing from their necks and painting the walls as their lives drew to an untimely close.
The stairwell to the bridge level above was just around a corner. Warren approached first and aimed his E-11 upwards. “Clear up,” he announced. “Andrew, go. Jono, you follow him up and prep a breaching charge. I’ll cover the rear.”
Double clicks from each of their mikes confirmed his orders, and Andrew ascended the stairs first, his E-11 aimed up and ready, his gloved finger tight on the firing stud. Jonathan then climbed the steps after Andrew, his point of aim slightly forward of Andrew, ready to blast anyone that dared to get in front. After a quick check of the corridor, Warren was satisfied that none would be behind them, unless one counted zombies. Still, he aimed back periodically as he followed his team up. He was a stormtrooper commander, after all, and it did his team no good for him to slack off. Besides, his years in Sunnydale so far had taught him to expect the unexpected. Zombies might not be expected on this ship, but in Sunnydale they may as well have been par for the course. He took no chances; anything that dared to move would find themselves turned quickly into crispy critters.
On the bridge level, Andrew and Jonathan were already stacked up on the entrance. Warren came up and quickly took his position alone on the other side of the door, nodding to Jonathan his unspoken question. The nod back indicated Jonathan’s readiness to plant his breaching charge on the seam between the bridge doors. Warren held out an open hand, then clenched it into a fist quickly, and then Jonathan took out a small square object. The standard Imperial issue breaching charge, used in situations where troops needed a quick entry, could put a five-meter hole through ferrocrete thirty centimeters thick. It could also shred simple steel doors outlaid with gold. It contained an internal three-second fuse; once the charge was placed the fuse was engaged, and Force help the unlucky soldier or civilian that found themselves on the other side.
Jonathan placed this object squarely on the seam of the double doors at about head height, then with Andrew’s help pulled himself swiftly back and plastered himself against the bulkhead. Three seconds….
One…Inside the pel’tak
The doors split apart with an ear-splitting crack, causing everyone inside to duck instinctively. The Jaffa that hadn’t been felled by Tau’ri small arms fire lifted their zat’ni’ktels and aimed toward the breach, ready to deal death to whatever came through. Apophis, ever the characteristic Goa’uld, activated his personal energy shield and waited for the inevitable attempt to take his life. He laughed inwardly at that fact, for who could kill a god? Who would even dare?
Suddenly weapons fire erupted through the breach as several shimmering forms stormed through. It was very difficult to make them out through the smoke; they were also using some sort of cloaking technology that obscured their forms, though it did not make them disappear entirely. The weapons fire, though, was different than any the Goa’uld, or SG-1, for that matter save a certain Shol’vah
, had ever before encountered in life or story.
Whatever the red laser bolts hit was killed outright; the Jaffa that tried to make out any targets had been disappointed sorely, the evidence of that disappointment clear in the smoking holes in their bodies that were gouged and burnt out wherever the red plasma made contact. What advantage the assaulting enemy had then suddenly disappeared as the cloaks faded on each one, revealing three white-armored shock troops. Their weapons were trained with deadly accuracy on the surviving Goa’uld.
Those weapons, and that armor were instantly recognizable now due to the members of SG-1’s familiarity with popular science fiction.
“I don’t believe it,” Jack spoke with utter disbelief, “Imperial Stormtroopers?!”
Teal’c, for his part, was rapt with sudden and uncharacteristic joy. His face, however, betrayed none of it. “The appearance of their weapons and their armor suggests a strong likelihood, Colonel O’Neill,” he suggested in his own turn.
“This is not possible…” murmured Carter.
Just then, one of the Stormtroopers spoke, his voice rendered by his helmet’s vocoder. “Hasn’t stopped it from being real. Captain Samantha Carter, right?” She nodded mutely, her mouth agape at the impossible sight before her.
“That would make you all SG-1. We have orders to get you off this ship and back to the Vigilant Watcher
. General Hammond will join us there shortly once it’s confirmed you’re all well. Colonel O’Neill?” the leader queried with a look at the commander of SG-1.
“Yeah, that’s me. You boys gonna remove your helmets so we can see you?”
A snort emitted from the trooper’s vocoder. “Nice try, Colonel, but I assume you notice we still have Goa’uld to deal with here?”
Teal’c looked at his hostage with delight in his eyes. “We are not under orders to take them prisoner, yet they may prove a valuable source of intelligence. With your permission, O’Neill, we should take them with us to the Death Star. They may have a means of holding them prisoner until we can contact the SGC.”
Deep, reverberating laughter suddenly erupted from Apophis.
“Something amuses you, Alpo?” asked Jack, a single eyebrow raised in interest.
“Your insolence does, Tau’ri. You think you can keep a god prisoner?” Apophis replied.
“See, that’s where we disagree. From where I’m standing, I don’t see any god. Does anyone see a god here?” Jack asked, looking around at his teammates and the Stormtroopers.
Bra’Tac chose this moment to reply. “This may be the third time I have said it, but I see no god where he stands, human.” The others just shook their heads slowly indicating the negative.
One of the other Stormtroopers then spoke. “Doesn’t walk like a god, doesn’t quack like a god…nope, not a god.”
“Thanks for that brilliant assessment,” returned the lead stormtrooper. “Now as much as we’d love to stay and discuss the difference between men and gods, or,” waving his armored hand at Apophis, “whatever you
are, I think we have a timetable to keep, so let’s make with the quick departure before our esteemed pilot decides to save his own ass?”
The third stormtrooper then replied, “Well, since you put it that way…”
Their behavior was confusing to Jack; it was not the way Imperial Stormtroopers acted. “Would somebody explain to me just what is going on here?” he asked in frustration.
“Once we’re back on the station, Colonel, right now we need to be moving,” said the leader.
“Then let’s go.”
Teal’c then jabbed Klorel in the side with his zat. “Move,” he commanded.
They were the first to file through the breach, followed by Apophis at Bra’Tac’s urging, then the members of SG-1 and finally the Stormtroopers. Down the stairs they marched, Klorel at the head as a human (or Goa’uld) shield in case he tried to summon any surviving Jaffa from elsewhere in the ship. Even if he tried, the sight of him with a zat to his head would fill any other Jaffa with dismay and confusion; none would attempt to kill their god, Klorel surmised.
Suprisingly, none came to his or Apophis’ aid, and before long they found themselves in unfamiliar surroundings. The insolence of the Tau’ri, it seemed, knew no bounds. They were appalled at the sight of the gaping hole in the hull, through which they were strongly urged to pass through. The small shuttle attached to the Ha’Tak
on the other side was to be their conveyance, then, for the duration of the trip to the construct beyond.
Just then Bra’Tac doubled over in pain from an elbow to his armored midsection. The rest of the invaders looked over to see Apophis fleeing back up the stairwell to the pel’tak
. Bra’Tac recovered just quickly enough to aim his staff weapon and fire a burst of plasma at the swiftly-disappearing false god. He started to run after him when Teal’c shouted briefly, “Leave him! Master Bra’Tac, we must go! There will be another time.”
Reluctantly, Bra’Tac lowered his staff weapon and boarded the Imperial shuttle with the others. To Teal’c he replied sternly, “I hope so, old friend, but when that time comes we may yet see a hundred attack ships in Earth’s orbit since we have allowed Apophis to flee.”