1. Due to issues with external spam filters, QQ is currently unable to send any mail to Microsoft E-mail addresses. This includes any account at live.com, hotmail.com or msn.com. Signing up to the forum with one of these addresses will result in your verification E-mail never arriving. For best results, please use a different E-mail provider for your QQ address.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. For prospective new members, a word of warning: don't use common names like Dennis, Simon, or Kenny if you decide to create an account. Spammers have used them all before you and gotten those names flagged in the anti-spam databases. Your account registration will be rejected because of it.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Since it has happened MULTIPLE times now, I want to be very clear about this. You do not get to abandon an account and create a new one. You do not get to pass an account to someone else and create a new one. If you do so anyway, you will be banned for creating sockpuppets.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. If you wish to change your username, please ask via conversation to tehelgee instead of asking via my profile. I'd like to not clutter it up with such requests.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Due to the actions of particularly persistent spammers and trolls, we will be banning disposable email addresses from today onward.
    Dismiss Notice
  6. A note about the current Ukraine situation: Discussion of it is still prohibited as per Rule 8
    Dismiss Notice
  7. The rules regarding NSFW links have been updated. See here for details.
    Dismiss Notice

Stargate Etheria (Stargate SG-1/She-Ra crossover)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Starfox5, Sep 25, 2021.

  1. Threadmarks: Chapter 15: The Inconvenient Truth

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 15: The Inconvenient Truth

    Hyperspace, On the Way to Earth, July 16th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    4th: No orbital bombardments without clearance by the commander in chief.

    Sitting at the table in the mess, Adora nodded at the screen of her pad. That was a very important rule. Perhaps she should place it at a more prominent spot? But ‘protect innocent sentient life forms’ was also very important. As was ‘collateral damage should be avoided whenever possible’. Hm…

    “That should be ‘without clearance by Adora or whoever she promoted to commander in chief’,” someone whispered into her ear - her breath tickled Adora’s skin.

    Adora gasped. “Catra!” She hadn’t noticed her lover sneaking up on her.

    “Hm?” Catra chuckled as she withdrew. “I’m just helping. I did write a lot of orders, you know.”

    “Yes. But this is a special case,” Adora said. “I need a list of rules that will keep Third Fleet from blowing up planets to kill a single Goa’uld.”

    “Then you want the orders to be very clear,” Catra said.

    “No Auftragstaktik,” Jack added as he entered and grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge.

    “Auftragstaktik?” Adora frowned. What did that mean?

    “That’s where you tell your men what you need to be done, but not how they should do it,” he explained.


    Catra nodded. “Yes, you really don’t want to do that with Priest.”

    Adora frowned at her. She knew that very well, thank you very much.

    “Oh, yes. If you asked him to get some milk from the supermarket, he probably would conquer the country in the name of you,” Jack added with a grin.

    Adora frowned at him as well. “I am aware of that. That’s why I am going to give him precise orders.”

    Catra shrugged. “Just be ready to add more orders - you’ll never cover everything that can go wrong.”

    “Yes.” Daniel peered inside the mess, then stepped inside. Had Adora missed a meeting notice or something? “Like the list of things Jack isn’t allowed to do any more.”

    “There’s no such list, and if there were any, it would cover the entire team,” Jack protested.

    “Your team, your responsibility,” Daniel shot back. “Oh, pudding!”

    “Oh? Tell us more!” Catra leaned across the table and beamed at Daniel.

    “That’s classified,” Jack said.

    “You playing on your Game Boy during briefings is classified?” Daniel grinned.

    “I never got caught! and I only did it during the boring parts!”

    “What’s a ‘Game Boy’?” Catra asked.

    “Oh. That’s a portable gaming console,” Daniel explained. Which didn’t explain anything.

    “You play video games on it,” Jack added. Adora looked at him, and he went on: “Video games are… games you play on a computer.”

    Daniel shook his head. “Allow me. Video games are electronic games that you play…”


    “...and that’s why they are called video games. They come in a very wide range of genres and are very popular amongst children, teenagers and some adults,” Daniel finished.

    “Ah.” Adora looked at Catra. She wasn’t entirely sure, but while Catra nodded as if the explanation had actually explained everything, Adora thought her lover was just faking.

    “Video games are quite popular amongst adults as well,” Jack said with a slight pout.

    “You would say that, Jack.”


    Ador cleared her throat. “Anyway, I was working on my list.” It would be rude to send them out, but she needed some peace and quiet to work on that. And her and Catra’s cabin definitely wouldn’t be suitable, what with Catra in a playful mood.

    “Right, your list!” Jack nodded.

    “Yes,” Daniel nodded as well. “Your commandments. I am looking forward to seeing how Priest and his church will interpret them. It should be a fascinating study of how holy scripture came to be.”

    “What?” Adora stared at him.

    “Daniel wants to see how your orders will be turned in holy commandments,” Jack said. “Word of God - or, in this case, word of the Goddess.”

    Adora closed her mouth. That wasn’t what she wanted! Not at all! ”But…”

    “I bet Priest will have the orders burned into a golden plate and fixed on the bridge of every ship,” Catra interrupted her. “Do you think we can make them rhyme so they can sing the lines?”

    Her lover was joking - she had to be! - but Adora could see Priest doing that. She shook her head until her ponytail hit her face. Her orders, enshrined like that? Her friends would never let her forget it. “Anything but that!”

    “The alternative would be no lasting restrictions,” Daniel pointed out. “Religious commandments were often a restraining influence in Earth’s past.”

    “The point is, Daniel, that Adora doesn’t want to found a religion,” Jack told him.

    “I think it’s clear that the religion already exists, Jack. So, the best solution would be to use the opportunity, rather than struggling futilely to turn back time,” Daniel retorted.

    Adora was about to tell them not to talk about her as if she wasn’t present when Catra spoke up in that fake innocent tone of hers: “Well, it’ll be amusing to see Priest trying to convert Earth to the worship of Adora.”

    The wide-eyed glance Jack and Daniel exchanged in return wasn’t helping Adora’s mood in the slightest.


    Warhead separation complete. Five seconds to impact. Four. Three. Two. One.

    On the screen, the ruins and the hill vanished in a fireball each. Samantha Carter watched as the multiple angles blanked out in rapid succession until only the orbital view remained, showing two converging mushroom clouds.

    “It’s a beautiful sight, isn’t it?” Entrapta commented. “The bombs performed as calculated!”

    Sam slowly nodded. She wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about the bombs they had built as Entrapta was, but a part of her was proud that they had managed to rig a warhead that struck both sites at the same time with Naqadah-enhanced bombs in such a short time. But that was just the technical aspect. With this as proof of concept, the genie was out of the bottle - now such bombs would be on the table for other situations as well. Situations where the targets weren’t just ruins devoid of intelligent life.

    On the screen, the cloud started to dissipate - faster than in real life; Entrapta had sped up the recording - and revealed two huge craters.

    “Now comes my favourite part!” Entrapta said as a Horde frigate descended above the craters. “Yes!” she all but squealed when two lances of red light appeared under the frigate, stabbing down into the crater. The screen split again, showing the lasers burning into the glassed surface below. Writing.

    Potential Goa’uld on the planet. Beware.

    In Goa’uld - as much as Daniel hated it, it was the lingua franca of a big part of the galaxy. Most people in the sector would be able to read it. It would also tell Goa’uld that someone hostile had destroyed the ruins, but that couldn’t be avoided. And the paranoid System Lords might well suspect one of their own trying to throw off suspicion - that was why they had used Goa’uld weapons, after all.

    Not that the odds that it would matter were great anyway - sooner or later, Sam’s money was on sooner, the Alliance would engage in open warfare with the Goa’uld. With help from Earth, unless something went very wrong when they reached home.

    In any case, at that point, the Goa’uld would know who they were facing, and any intel potential Goa’uld left on the planet might provide would be even more outdated than it already was.

    “You must really love this,” Entrapta said. “You’ve been watching it five times so far.”

    Sam blinked and realised that the recording had ended. “I was looking for more data,” she lied. Well, it wasn’t a complete lie - there was a chance that she had missed something the four other times she had watched the recording.

    “Oh! Did you discover something?”

    “No.” Sam shook her head. She hadn’t found anything new. And, maybe, it was time to stop watching what she had wrought and get back to working on the alien data cube. They had still a few weeks until they reached Earth, and if they encountered a Stargate on the way, Sam wouldn’t be able to work on the cube until the fleet reached Earth. Not even then, she knew - she would likely be too busy with other work, mainly the Al’kesh repairs. And briefing various generals and politicians.

    She wasn’t looking forward to that. She wouldn’t go as far as to call it a waste of time, as the Colonel did, but she could do much more important work than telling people who were as likely to ignore her as to heed her words things they could read up in her reports. Which she had to update with the latest data, actually.

    But that could wait until the evening. “Let’s tackle the data cube again,” she said. “I think we haven’t tried base-13 yet, did we?” They hadn’t; Sam had checked.

    “Oh, yes. I mean, no, we haven’t!” Entrapta skipped over to the table where the cube was waiting for them. “Let’s try this out!”

    “Yes.” Sam smiled - it was great to work with an enthusiastic partner.

    “I’ll call Hordak, too! He’s had a few interesting ideas as well!”

    Sam kept smiling with a bit of effort. She wasn’t nearly as fond of Hordak as she was of Entrapta. The man - the alien - was a genius, no doubt about it. But he was also a former warlord with alien morals, and Sam wasn’t entirely sure that he had changed enough not to slide back into old habits, should he deem it necessary. And while she had been told that Entrapta’s influence had changed him, she knew that Hordak’s influence would have changed Entrapta as well. And would continue to do so.

    Well, Sam could exert some influence as well. If Hordak wanted to get a pet scientist to unleash monstrous weapons on defenceless civilians, he wouldn’t get his way if Sam had anything to say about it.

    “You’ve finished the documentation, then.”

    “Yes!” Entrapta said, nodding as she went to Hordak, who stood in the door. “And we’re ready to continue with the data cube!”

    Had he been listening until this moment? Or was this just coincidence? Sam nodded at him. Politely. “Yes.”

    “Enhancing explosives with Naquadah will facilitate further offensive operations,” Hordak said. “Defending assets against attacks with such bombs will be more difficult, though.”

    That was obvious, of course. On Earth, it had led to a somewhat stable peace between nuclear powers thanks to the threat of mutually assured destruction. She doubted that they could or should achieve the same with the Goa’uld.

    But the way the former warlord talked about assets and operations… Sam didn’t like that.


    Hyperspace, On the Way to Earth, July 18th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Catra yawned as she leaned back in her seat on the bridge of Darla. Standing watch was as boring as ever. As expected - she had spent time in space before, after all, and unless you were trying to fool Horde Prime, running for your life, or exploring some ancient ruins, it was generally very dull. Especially without Adora or anyone else to talk to because it was the night shift. Night watch.

    Everyone else was asleep. Unless Entrapta or Carter had sneaked into the hold to tinker with the cube again. She checked the display on her right - no, the hold was empty of life signatures. Unless someone had fiddled with the ship’s internal sensors, of course. Which… wasn’t too implausible, actually.

    Well, she hadn’t anything better to do, so she might as well check personally. And grab a drink from the kitchen. Or kitchenette, as O’Neill called it.

    She got up and walked out of the bridge, then frowned - the light was on in the kitchen area. And - her ears twitched - someone was heating tea. If Entrapta had actually sneaked out… “Hey!”

    It wasn’t Entrapta. She saw Daniel, gasping, standing next to the pot of boiling water. “What are you doing here?” she asked.

    “Making tea?” He pointed at the kettle.

    She rolled her eyes. “I meant, why aren’t you sleeping?”

    To his credit, he didn’t make a stupid joke about her having to ask what she meant in the first place but shrugged. “I got caught translating some of the books.”

    They had a library on board? That was news to her. Not that she’d admit it. “What book are you reading?”

    “It’s actually one of Bow’s history books,” he told her.

    Ah. So, he was talking about Bow’s books. Well, history books were pretty harmless. If it had been Entrapta’s diary or notes of bot construction… She shrugged. “Sounds pretty boring.”

    “It’s actually fascinating how Etheria’s culture evolved over a thousand years,” he said. “The way magic powers shaped history on your planet…”

    “Yeah, yeah, magic princesses rule,” she cut him off and grabbed a cup of her own.

    “That’s a very simplified view,” he said with a slight pout.

    “But a correct one. In the Horde, we were taught that the princesses were evil, you know?” she said as she dropped some leaves in a streamer. “That they were fighting us because we didn’t have princesses.”

    “Well, on Earth, when France overthrew their monarchy, the other monarchies banded together to fight the new government. They didn’t declare war merely because of the revolution, there were many other reasons, but it was a contributing factor,” Daniel told her. “Executing the king and queen did help escalate the situation as well, of course.”

    “They didn’t fight us because we had overthrown our princess,” Catra retorted. Well, in as much as Scorpia was their princess. “They fought us because we invaded them and tried to conquer them.” They had actually conquered quite a bit of Etheria under her leadership.

    “Of course.” He nodded. “I’m just pointing out possible parallels to the history of Earth.”

    “And potential trouble,” she added.

    He winced, then took a sip from his steaming cup and winced even more. “Yes, that too.”

    Catra jumped slightly to sit on the counter, blowing on her cup. “So, how bad will it be?” Daniel was the most honest of SG-1, she knew that. And without his friends around, he should be likely to let slip something.

    He looked puzzled for a moment. “When we arrive on Earth?”

    “Yes. Magic, princesses, fanatical clones with a space fleet…” She took a sip from her own cup. A little too hot, but tolerable.

    “Well…” He grimaced. “It will be a shock to find out that aliens are real.”

    “That’s obvious.” They had gone over that already. “But afterwards, when the shock’s faded, and we’re talking alliance.”

    “Ah.” He pursed his lips. “It’s hard to say. Historically, people tend to be pragmatic when they are faced with a common enemy. Even ideological enemies.”

    That sounded good. “So, you’re going to play one happy, united front and ignore all the differences?”

    “That would be best for the war, wouldn’t it?” He blew on his cup again, then took a swallow, sighing with his eyes closed. The man liked the tea, even though he claimed that he preferred coffee - but they had run out of the bitter brew.

    “Probably.” She shrugged again. “In my experience, ignoring differences isn’t a good idea. It can lead to losing a war.” She knew that from personal experience.

    “Oh.” He took another swallow.

    “So, what’s the worst problem we’ll face? Magic? Or Monarchies? Our gender?”

    “That’s hard to say. Earth isn’t very homogenous, and even in our country, there are distinct groups with very different views and interests.” He smiled rather weakly.

    “So, all of the above?” she asked with a wry grin.

    He nodded, making a noncommittal noise, and hid his mouth behind his cup again.

    “I see.” She nodded as well.

    Great. She would have to talk with the rest about this. Once they were awake, of course.


    Hyperspace, On the Way to Earth, July 20th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Another day, another empty system,” Jack O’Neill commented as he stepped on the bridge of the Darla.

    “We don’t know if the system is actually empty, Sir,” Carter told him, as he had expected.

    Good to know that she hadn’t been entirely lost to the alien data cube. Perhaps Jack shouldn’t have joked about expecting her to crack the thing in one day - she seemed to have taken it as a challenge. Though, to be fair, there wasn’t much else to do on the ship during this trip. Except for checking the Al’kesh, but since that was transported on a Horde frigate, she would have to leave the Darla for that - and Jack wasn’t about to split up his team.

    “Well, we’ll soon know!” Entrapta piped up. “Dropping out of hyperspace in five… four… three… two… one!”

    “Nothing in close range,” Bow reported. “Long-range scanners… Contacts!”

    Jack didn’t jerk, but he leaned forward on his seat. “Have they seen us?”

    “Not unless they have improved sensors,” Bow replied.

    Jack glanced at the side screen. The holographic display zoomed in on the system, past the outer planets, and came to a stop at the second planet - a habitable world, it seemed. He counted a dozen ships in orbit, and they were… firing onto each other.

    “It’s a war zone,” Daniel stated the obvious as one of the ships - blew up.

    “Three Ha’taks, eight Al’kesh. Multiple Death Gliders,” Bow reported.

    “It’s an invasion,” Jack said. The three Ha’taks were working together, flying in formation with the Al’keshs. But the Death Gliders were dogfighting - and some were attacking the Al’kesh.

    “And unless the defenders have reinforcements waiting for them, they have lost the battle,” Teal’c stated.

    “Yeah. A bunch of Death Gliders reenacting the Battle of Britain won’t beat three Ha’taks,” Jack said.

    “Are they buying time for the ground forces to evacuate or disperse for guerilla campaign?” Catra asked.

    “I can’t tell from here,” Entrapta said. “We need to get closer to find out.”

    “It depends on the System Lord who rules the planet,” Teal’c said. “Some expect their Jaffa to fight to the death even when retreating would be advisable.”

    “What?” Adora frowned. “Why would they throw away their people?

    “To keep the news of defeat from spreading amongst their troops,” Daniel explained. “That might damage their claims of divinity.”

    “That’s…” Adora shook her head.

    “Monstrous,” Glimmer spat. “And stupid. It means their enemy can undermine the trust of their people by spreading the news themselves. That’ll do more damage to the defender’s reputation in the long run.”

    The princess was the commander of the Alliance, Jack reminded himself.

    “And the soldiers will stop trusting any information from their superiors,” Catra added.

    “That’s the Goa’uld for you - they’re not very big on rational plans,” Jack said.

    “We can’t underestimate them, Sir,” Carter objected.

    “I’m not saying their fools, just that they might not have the same view of what is rational and effective as we do,” Jack replied.

    “Hey, crazy plans can work very well - just ask Glimmer,” Catra said with a smirk.

    “What do you mean?” Glimmer asked with narrowed eyes just as Adora hissed: “Catra!”

    “You know what I mean,” Catra replied.

    “My plan worked.” Glimmer clenched her teeth. “It defeated the Horde.”

    “You were lucky. Very lucky.” Catra bared her teeth.

    “And it was all for nought since Horde Prime arrived in the moment of your triumph,” Hordak added.

    “Catra! Glimmer!” Adora snapped. “This is not the time!” She turned her head to glare at Hordak, who remained impassive.

    Catra ducked her head with a pout, but Glimmer grew serious and nodded. “Yes. Sorry.”

    “Anyway!” Entrapta spoke up. “There’s a significant amount of Naquadah on the planet, but I can’t tell from here if there’s a Stargate.”

    “There could be mining operations,” Carter speculated. “Although those should have better protection.”

    “Unless the main defenders were lured away - or they trusted secrecy,” Jack said.

    “So, who’s invading whom here?” Adora asked.

    “All those Goa’uld ships look the same,” Jack said with a grin.

    “They have an IFF transponder system,” Carter added, “but they might not use distinctive codes for every mission.”

    “Well, if they are true to form, we just have to wait until the invaders win and broadcast the new rulers of the planet. It’s a thing for them,” Jack said. “Unless this is a black op, and they’re only here to lay waste to the planet. Or a false flag operation.”

    “So, do we take our stealth ship in close? Try to find a gate while they are still busy shooting each other?” Daniel asked.

    It was tempting. There would be chaos on the ground. A ship might slip through, and they might make their way to a stargate. Yet, they didn’t know if there was a gate on the planet.

    “We could blow all the Goa’uld ships up,” Catra said. “The Third Fleet wouldn’t have any trouble with them.”

    “Can they do that and prevent someone from sending out word about the attack?” Jack asked. He didn’t want to lose operational surprise before they had a formal alliance with Etheria.

    “Doubtful. We haven’t found a way to reliably prevent FTL communications,” Carter replied.

    “Then we better not try to meddle,” Jack said. If the Goa’uld killed each other, so much the better. “Unless they plan to massacre civilians.” On the screen, another Al’kesh blew up, but then the rest of them started to enter the atmosphere, and the Ha’taks spread out as well.

    “There’s a message broadcast in the clear,” Bow said. A moment later, a Goa’uld voice filled the room.

    “Your Death Gliders have been destroyed. Surrender to the divine Raiden!”


    “Raiden?” Adora asked. She hadn’t heard about any Goa’uld with that name yet. Not that she’d remember, anyway.

    “Raiden, also known as Raijin, is a Shinto god of lightning, thunder and storms,” Daniel said. “And, obviously, a Goa’uld who has claimed the name. Or who has started the religion - since we lack records for most of the civilisations dating back to the time of the Goa’uld, it is often hard to determine whether the Goa’uld coopted existing mythological figures or created them.“ After a moment, he added: “Shinto is a religion centred on the Japanese Islands.”

    “Ah.” That didn’t actually tell Adora much, but it would be rude not to acknowledge Daniel’s efforts.

    “Raiden is a false god with a minor domain, in perpetual conflict with the vastly more powerful Yu,” Teal’c said. “According to the star charts, however, we should not be in either of their territories.”

    “Well, for a vastly more powerful Goa’uld, those were pitiful defences,” Catra commented with a frown. “Not really a big invasion fleet, either.”

    Adora agreed with her lover. The Third Fleet could wipe out all those ships easily. Of course, the Third Fleet wasn’t stretched out protecting multiple worlds yet.

    “Yu might be involved in another conflict with a stronger force and could have withdrawn his ships from this planet to protect more important systems,” Jack repeated his earlier speculation. “Or this world didn’t belong to Yu, but to another, weaker Goa’uld.”

    Either possibility could be true. “What are they doing?” Adora asked.

    “There’s been no answer from the people on the ground,” Bow said.

    “That means bombing will start soon,” Jack said. “Goa’uld are testy about being ignored or refused.”

    As he had predicted, the screen flared, and Bow reported the Al’kesh making bombing runs.

    Catra stepped closer to the screen. “How precise are they? Can we tell from here?”

    Bow grimaced. “I can’t tell what they’re aiming at - the scanner doesn’t show the planetary surface in detail.”

    Adora made a mental note that they needed either better scanners or a way to get closer to a planet without being detected. It wouldn’t do to attack a planet without good intel or lose surprise by a recon mission being detected. The stealth system Entrapta and Sam had built for the shuttle might be the answer, but it hadn’t been tested against actual Goa’uld ships yet.

    “The bombs they use have a rather high yield,” Entrapta said, frowning at the console next to her. “They do not seem to be very precise.”

    Adora gripped the armrests of her chair. “Are they targeting civilians?” If they were…

    “We can’t tell. We have to fly closer for that,” Bow said.

    “If they detect us, operational surprise is lost,” Jack cautioned.

    “But we might secure a working Stargate,” Sam pointed out.

    “Let’s take the shuttle and fly closer. If they detect the shuttle, we’ll move the fleet in,” Adora said. “We can’t let them bomb civilians.”

    “Alright,” Glimmer said. “But you’re staying here.” Adora was about to protest, but her friend went on: “Third Fleet won’t take well to you flying close to an enemy fleet in a simple shuttle.”

    “They accepted our trip to the planet with the crashed Al-Kesh,” Adora said.

    “PK-327,” Entrapta cut in.

    “Yes, that.” Adora nodded.

    “The system didn’t have a fleet in it,” Catra said.

    Adora sighed. “Alright. But you’re staying here as well, Glimmer.”

    Glimmer pouted at her, but Adora shrugged it off. If it was too dangerous for her, it was too dangerous for the Queen of Bright Moon.

    “Let’s go, Bow,” Catra said - but she was looking at Adora.

    After a moment, Adora nodded. Catra smiled and headed to the back, followed by Bow, Entrapta and SG-1.

    And Adora closed her eyes and sighed. She hated staying back while her friends braved danger.

    Glimmer didn’t say anything as she went and took over Bow position at the console.

    “I hate this,” Adora muttered as she watched the shuttle leave on the side screen.

    “Welcome to my life,” Glimmer replied. “The burden of command, Mom called it.”

    Adora bit her lower lip for a moment. Even now, Queen Angella was a sore subject. “We’re princesses,” she said. “We’re supposed to lead from the front.”

    “Technically, I’m a queen.”

    The queen, actually, as far as Etheria was concerned. Adora kept her eyes on the screen. The shuttle was quickly reducing the distance to the planet. And to the enemy fleet. No reaction by the Goa’uld so far. But they could be trying to lure them closer, to spring an ambush - send the Death Gliders at them before they could reverse course and flee. “Yes. But I’m no queen,” she said.

    “Priest would disagree.”

    Adora scoffed. Who cared what Priest thought? His fleet, she answered her own question. She sighed instead of replying.

    On the screen, the shuttle suddenly turned around and started flying back. Still no reaction from the Goa’uld fleet. Or flotilla - three Ha’tak and a few more Al’kesh weren’t much of a fleet, not compared to Third Fleet.

    “The bombings stopped,” Glimmer commented. “So, no civilians are in danger any more.”

    Adora pressed her lips together. They weren’t in any danger any more because they were either safe - or dead.

    Then Catra’s smiling face appeared on the screen. “Hey, Adora!”

    Adora smiled against her will. That comment brought up so many memories…

    “The bombings targetted Jaffa ground forces. They left the mines down there alone, where all the civilians are,” Catra went on. “No sign of a Stargate, though.”

    Adora sighed with relief. They could return at a later date, once they had hashed out their alliance with Earth, and save the slaves.


    Hyperspace, On the Way to Earth, July 31st, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “And… nothing! No connection - the signal remains incompatible.”

    Even Entrapta sounded a little dejected at the result of their latest attempt to crack the alien data cube, Samantha Carter noted. Unlike their work on the Al’kesh, which had been very satisfactory, they hadn’t had much success with the cube so far - it had defied every single one of their attempts to access its core.

    “Welllll…. That means we can try the next theory!”

    Not for long, of course - the princess still seemed to have limitless enthusiasm. Sam nodded, though her heart wasn’t in it. “Yes, let’s attempt to reverse the polarity on the connectors there and see if we get a reading then,” she said.

    “Exactly!” Entratpa nodded, her hair twitching, then looked at Hordak. “What do you say, Science Buddy?”

    “The methodical approach is sound,” the former warlord said - he hadn’t shown any frustration at their lack of results at all. “Absent other examples of this technology, or individuals of the species that created it whom we could interrogate, we can only work through the various possibilities.”

    Sam pressed her lips together. She wasn’t sure what kind of interrogation Hordak meant. Even after two weeks working with him, Sam couldn’t claim she knew him. Sometimes, he acted like the sort of scientist, usually men, who were a little too focused on their work. She was familiar with them, though that also meant she had to be wary of letting her expectations frame her impressions. Other times, the former warlord came to the fore, sometimes just by uttering a suggestion that was unethical, sometimes by mentioning details of his past that drove home the fact that he had waged a war of conquest in the name of an interstellar dictator. The former usually took Entrapta a bit more time to catch and correct than the latter, which was worrying Sam a little.

    But the alien was a very good scientist, Sam had to admit. And as much as it made her question her own morals, she was starting to understand how NASA scientists had been able to work with former Nazis like Werner von Braun. Earth needed to adapt its technology to the level of the various space-faring species, and that meant she and her colleagues needed to understand the alien technology they had access to. And if they had to work with an ex-warlord who might not have reformed as completely as some claimed, then… well, it was better than working with a Goa’uld.

    At least Hordak was trying to do better, from what Sam could tell. And, another point in his favour, he didn’t show any sort of sexism. He treated both Entrapta and Sam as his equals.

    “Alright! Let’s prepare the next test!” Entrapta announced and went over to the table where the crystals she had ‘attuned’ were held.

    Hordak nodded and went to the console to adjust the parameters.

    And Sam wondered while she changed the adapters on the data cube how she could break it to the Etherians that Earth was a rather sexist society. They were more than halfway to Earth now, and it wouldn’t do at all to let their allies - and friends - discover after reaching it that humanity, by and large, wasn’t quite as progressive when it came to equal rights for women. Or for people who had non-heterosexual orientations.

    The Colonel should have brought it up, but, so far, he hadn’t even touched the issue. Daniel had, for a change, apparently avoided the topic in his long talks with the Etherians about their culture. Teal’c… was Teal’c.

    Which left her, the only woman in the team, to bring it up. Even if that was against the Colonel’s wishes. Not that he had given an actual order about that. But this wasn’t the kind of thing you kept secret.

    She sighed.

    “Don’t worry! Sooner or later, we’ll crack the cube!” Entrapta told her with a smile. “Sometimes, science takes a while to get results!”

    Sam knew that, of course. “Oh, it’s not about that,” she said. “I was thinking about home.”

    “Oh. Don’t worry, we should reach Earth in about ten days!”

    “Unless we meet another situation that requires intervention or exploration,” Hordak added.

    Meaning: found a planet with a Stargate on it. They hadn’t so far. Which was a good thing, seeing as the route between Etheria and Earth seemed to be outside the Goa’uld sphere of influence, but also meant that SG-1 hadn’t been able to inform Stargate Command about their upcoming arrival with an allied fleet. And magical princesses. Not an ideal state.

    “Alright! Attempt to connect to the data cube Number three hundred and twenty-six!” Entrapta announced.

    Sam nodded and focused on her work.


    “Any luck cracking the data cube?” the Colonel asked when they sat down for dinner.

    Samantha Carter looked at him with narrowed eyes. He should, by now, know the answer to that without having to ask.

    The Colonel flinched a little, which was a small victory. A petty one as well, she had to admit - but the long time spent in a small ship, with limited company, and the mounting pressure on her was taking its toll. Perfectly reasonable. At least, that was what she told herself.

    “We’re making progress - we’ve eliminated several possible architectures today!” Entrapta said between eating her tiny meat pies.

    “Well, at least we’ve cracked the Al’kesh,” the Colonel went on. “We’ll probably be able to build a copy from scratch at home.”

    “If we get several key pieces of technology or manage to manufacture them,” Sam corrected him. “The crystal-based controls will have to be built from scratch.”

    “That’s what I said,” the Colonel said with a grin.

    She shook her head and filled her plate.

    Catra joined them at the table, stretching her arms over her head, then leaning over to kiss Adora on the cheek. “Hey, Adora!”

    “Hey!” Adora smiled at the catwoman, and Sam clenched her teeth. No, this couldn’t go on.

    She cleared her throat after swallowing a piece of her own, larger meat pie. “There’s something we need to talk about…”


    “...and while the general attitude has been changing for the better, people who do not conform to the majority view of what is an acceptable sexuality, meaning heterosexuality, are still facing discrimination - legal discrimination, at that.”

    Catra narrowed her eyes, her tail swishing back and forth behind her, as she alternated between staring at Carter and glancing at Adora. “You mean… your people hate…” she blinked. What was the term she had used? “You mean your people hate people like Adora and me? Or Scorpia and Perfuma? Or Netossa and Spinnerella?”

    “Or my dads?” Bow asked. He sounded shocked.

    Well, everyone looked shocked. They had known that Earth had some stupid issues with men being considered more powerful than women, which kind of was understandable since Earth didn’t have magical princesses, or scorpion people, or minotaurs, who could toss others around regardless of magic or gender. Understandable, but stupid, of course. But hating people based upon their choice of partners?

    “We don’t hate you!” Carter protested. She even sounded as if she meant it. “Nor does everyone on Earth hate you. There’s a significant part of the population that distrusts or dislikes people who do not conform to the heterosexual norm, but few actually hate you.”

    That was mincing words, in Catra’s opinion. She didn’t say so, but whether you disliked someone or hated someone didn’t really matter that much, in her opinion.

    “And people are changing - society is changing. We’re working on that,” Daniel said. He looked ashamed, at least. “But while we made a lot of progress, we haven’t left all the bigotry behind us. Not yet. But it’s much better than it was in the past. At least in countries like the USA.”

    Catra stared at him. Daniel was, as far as she could tell, not one to lie to them.

    “That means it was worse? Like with your gender discrimination?” Bow shook his head. “But…why? Why do you hate my family?”

    “Why do you hate people like us?” Adora asked in a low voice.

    Catra glanced at her and winced - her lover was looking down at the table, and her fingers were digging into her thighs. She reached out to grab one of Adora’s hands, but Adora suddenly looked up, glaring at SG-1.

    “Why do you hate us? Why do you want to keep us from… from loving each other?” Adora spat. “Why do you hate love?”

    Uh-oh. Catra grabbed her hand and squeezed, hard. When Adora, gasping softly, looked at her, she smiled, leaned over and rested her head on Adora’s shoulder. “I’m here,” she whispered.

    “We don’t hate you,” Carter repeated herself. Daniel nodded, as did - although a moment later, Catra noted, O’Neill. “As I said, it’s not a small minority, but neither is it an overwhelming majority.”

    “So, what is it? Who on Earth hates us?” Adora asked.

    “Ah…” Daniel cleared his throat. “It’s a complicated issue, rooted in our - our country’s - past - and our religion. For a long time, homosexuality, both by women and men, was seen as morally wrong. Usually, religious reasons were given for that, even though the actual scripture of the predominant religion in our country did not condemn homosexuality, as far as most modern scholars agree. It was actually a rather selective interpretation of older passages in scripture, often distorted by translations from the original source, that was seen as a condemnation of the practice.”

    Catra blinked. “What?”

    “Bullshit,” Glimmer spat. “You want to claim that your god hates us?”

    “No, no!” Daniel shook his head. “Sorry, I was… I digressed. No, what I am trying to explain is that while religious passages were cited to justify such a hatred of homosexuality, it was actually based on the culture dominating our country, and much of the world, which, in turn, shaped the religion of our culture.”

    Catra blinked again. “You mean… you made your god’s words into what you wanted them to be?” Wasn’t that… going against your god?

    “Well, it’s a rather succinct way to word it, but… essentially yes.” Daniel nodded with a short-lived smile. “Even leaving aside the question of whether or not the god that most of us - most of the USA - revere is actually real, most scholars agree that the scripture was written, and, more importantly, edited and translated later, by people. People who usually had quite specific and sometimes quite personal interests that were reflected in the scripture that resulted from their efforts. Further, they often used expressions that we, lacking the context of their culture and time, cannot interpret with any certainty.”

    “Get to the point,” Glimmer told him, tapping her fingers on the table.

    Entrapta was watching with a weird expression, both fascinated and shocked, it seemed, or so Catra thought. And Hordak looked bored. SG-1, on the other hand, mostly looked ashamed. And also angry, in O’Neill’s case. Except for Teal’c, who looked like he usually did.

    “Sorry. Anyway, according to several scholars - I didn’t actually research the matter, unfortunately, since it had no bearing on my work, but I did read a few papers on it - hatred against homosexuals is rooted in a patriarchic culture that values certain traits that are seen as masculine - usually, power, pride, logic and aggressiveness - and considers other traits which are seen as feminine, like nurturing and empathy, as less valuable.”

    Catra couldn’t help but scoff at that. What fool would think those were exclusively male or female traits? These people were so stupid, it hurt.

    Daniel cleared his throat again. “This shapes the common view of what is an acceptable way to express your sexuality as well. Men are seen as the active part in a relationship. They are expected to seek out sexual relationships - with women, sometimes multiple women - while women are expected to be the passive partner, serving their lone male partner’s desires. Women who express an active interest in sexual relationships are generally disdained by society, while men are generally praised for it. Homosexuals of both genders challenge this view simply by existing, and many men and women who conform to their society’s expectations see them as a threat that undermines society as a whole.”

    Catra could barely follow the man’s rambling thoughts. Even what she understood just didn’t make any sense. This was just so… so fucked up! She wanted to rip the guts out of… of someone! She looked at the others, trying to see if they got what their… guests were saying.

    Glimmer was frowning worse than she had when they had met during the war. “So, what you are saying is that your society is built on the idea that if you aren’t like everyone else, you are a threat, and so you persecute people who don’t fit and make up reasons for it?”

    Daniel nodded. “Yes. It’s a bit more complicated, but essentially, that’s correct. Was correct - as I said, we are changing.”

    “Yes, we are changing,” Carter spoke up. “It’s taking a while, but we are changing our society for the better. Many people already do not share these views and treat everyone equally. Many speak out against discrimination, and we are working to make others see how bad it is. But making society as a whole change and adapt is a huge undertaking - I faced a lot of sexism as a woman in traditionally male fields, such as the military and the sciences, so I know how hard it is to make people change. A significant part of our people can’t just instantly shed centuries of… of tradition.”

    Daniel nodded. “Change, even unequivocally for the better, frightens many conservative people. New ideas often get dismissed out of hand by them no matter how valid they are. But, over time, change for the better happens.”

    Glimmer scoffed. “Well, you better be ready to change some more since we won’t tolerate anyone trying to tell us whom we can love!”

    “Yes,” Adora hissed, and, for a moment, Catra thought her eyes were blazing.

    Zsetaques, Zephraim, Kildar and 9 others like this.
  2. Radiant Knight

    Radiant Knight Phoenix Fire

    Sep 20, 2014
    Likes Received:
    This is a great fic, but it feels odd with SG1 just completely forgetting that you can manually dial a gate with a sufficient power source, and that a gate retains enough charge from an inbound wormhole to dial out once.

    I get that it's the core premise, but it's still weird.
    MacShimi and Starfox5 like this.
  3. I_S

    I_S Getting sticky.

    May 17, 2015
    Likes Received:

    Well it's probable that they had the newer style of gate on etheria since it's gate is only a bit over a thousand years old or so.

    That said.. Id think Daniel of all people would be quick to point out the close interrelationships between heredity power structures and the "church" that led to much of the stigimitizatin of homosexuality.

    It's not like patriarchy and homosexuality were intrisincly exclusive concepts the romans maintained a steady hold over tradition from the Greeks. In the context of history our stigimitizatin of homosexuality is only a few hundred years old relatively recent all things considered.

    But then he'd probably go into a diatribe about the witch hunts and the decline of femine power structures with the onset of industrialization since he seems like that kind of Doctorate. Then again this is set in the 90s so them realizing the a extent of the upcoming political firestorm indicates an impressive degree of self awareness.
    Tammin, MacShimi, Starfox5 and 2 others like this.
  4. Radiant Knight

    Radiant Knight Phoenix Fire

    Sep 20, 2014
    Likes Received:
    If that' the case, there should definitely have been a big thing about it at the start of the fic as they emerge from a radically different gate design.
    Starfox5 and Lightxdarkwing like this.
  5. Tiktog

    Tiktog Experienced.

    Oct 31, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Out of universe it's impossible for an author to remember every single detail of the source material, hell the creator of Dragonball literally forgot an entire character when writing dragonball Z.

    In universe how much of this is known? The first time manual dialing is shown is season 1, but what about the charge?
    Starfox5 likes this.
  6. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I changed that for my story - manually dialling is not possible. You need a DHD or a computer for that. That's also why it took so long for the SGC to get the gate to work.

    No, no manually dialling works (well, if you were an ancient with magic god-like powers, you might not need a DHD, but everyone else needs a DHD or a computer with similar capacities to dial a Stargate.

    Blaming "the church" for homophobia seems a little too easy. After all, religion is as shaped by society as it shapes society since it's man-made and, therefore, a part of society. Further, a lot of churches do not promote homophobia.

    I went with "We need the DHD to dial a Stargate" at the start of the story. I thought that would be enough to show that manually dialling isn't a thing here. It's pretty hard to go "oh, even though it was never a thing in this story's SG, manually dialling doesn't work" without looking weird in character - sort of like "flapping your arms never let you fly, but we will mention that it doesn't work anyway".

    It doesn't work at all. It's a deliberate choice for the story.
    Lightxdarkwing likes this.
  7. Threadmarks: Chapter 16: The Headstart

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 16: The Headstart

    Hyperspace, On the Way to Earth, July 31st, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Leaning against the wall in his cabin, where he had called an urgent team meeting, Jack O’Neill felt… well, torn. He wasn’t happy with his team - except for Teal’c. Not at all. He wasn’t happy with the whole situation that Carter’s talk, and then Daniel’s lecture, had caused either.

    On the other hand, if the Etherians had found out about Earth’s attitude towards gays after arriving on Earth… He suppressed the urge to wince. That would’ve been a diplomatic disaster of an unprecedented scale. And he had been aware of that ever since he had first noticed that Adora and Catra weren’t just very good friends. And - and that was why he was also feeling guilty - he had known that they had to talk about this before they reached Earth, yet hadn’t done so for two weeks. He clenched his teeth. All that didn’t change his duties as SG-1’s commanding officer.

    He cleared his throat and looked at his team. Carter met his eyes without flinching. Daniel looked away. Teal’c didn’t show any emotion. “So, what did we learn today?” he asked.

    “That the Etherians’ reaction to bigotry on Earth was even worse than we feared, and that we should have addressed this long ago?”

    Jack wanted to sigh. Daniel was being confrontative. And protective - he knew as well as Jack did that as a civilian consultant, he had a lot more leeway than Carter. But the worst was that Daniel was correct - they should have addressed this before. Still, certain forms had to be followed. “I don’t remember anyone asking me if we should bring it up today. I know I’m getting old, but I think I would remember if I had been removed from command of this team.” And he did remember telling his team that he didn’t want any more such surprises.

    “No, Sir.” Carter was looking at the wall next to him. “It was a spontaneous decision, Sir.”

    “Really. And you couldn’t clear it with me beforehand?” He raised his eyebrows.

    “Sir, I felt my chosen course of action would cause less disruption to the chain of command, Sir.”

    A lot of ‘Sirs’ in this statement. “Are you claiming that you wanted to protect me, Carter?” That wasn’t how things worked. The officer in command was always responsible for the actions of his subordinates.

    “No, Sir.”

    This time, Jack sighed.

    “Would you have let us address this if we had asked?” Daniel raised his chin. “You have been ignoring this for weeks.”

    So, now it was ‘we’. Well, Daniel knew what he was doing. “I was waiting for the right moment to address it,” Jack said. It wasn’t quite a lie. It wasn’t quite the truth, either. And both Carter and Daniel knew it. Carter wouldn’t say anything. Daniel…

    “And when would that ‘right moment’ have been? Five minutes before we reach Earth?”

    “Presumably after a valiant battle which strengthened our ties to each other,” Teal’c said. He ignored Daniel’s pout, of course.

    “Yeah, something like that.” Jack sighed again. “But yes, I might have been a little too optimistic here.”

    Daniel snorted.

    Jack ignored it. “As we found out, explaining how Earth sees same-sex relationships isn’t easy.”

    “Explaining how Earth sees homosexuals is easy,” Daniel retorted. “Excusing it is the problem.” He shook his head. “Jack, these people literally couldn’t imagine why the people on Earth would hate them for their choice of sexual partners! It’s something out of their imagination. Was something out of their imagination, I should say.”

    “Yeah. They are aliens, Daniel. Something we shouldn’t forget,” Jack pointed out. Even though he wanted to forget the bit about his own ancestry. “Jaffa have different views and values as well.”

    “We do share the same core values, though, especially when it comes to matters of honour and honesty,” Teal’c said.

    Jack suppressed a grimace. “Yes, honour and honesty…” He shook his head. “Telling them that half the country thinks they’re horrible sinners might have been honest, but not exactly diplomatic.”

    “Honesty is, in my expert opinion, the best course of action with the Etherians,” Daniel said. “Attempts to hide Earth’s… faults… from them would only cause more problems.”

    “Yeah, yeah, But there’s a time and place for this, and a way to present the not so nice facts about Earth. Blurting them out over dinner generally isn’t either,” Jack retorted.



    “Do you really think that this was a mistake? Or are you angry that the truth came out, and that they look at us as if we were worse than the Goa’uld?” Daniel asked.

    That was… Jack clenched his teeth together,

    “I do not believe that they consider us worse than the Goa’uld. They were shocked by the foolish superstitions about sexualities common on Earth, but I believe that this was such a heavy blow because they held us in high esteem.” Teal’c nodded slowly at them.

    “Yeah, something like that,” Jack said. The kids had looked like they had caught SG-1 kicking puppies - or kitties. “But they need to know that we aren’t fanatics who want to burn them at the stake for being gay.”

    “Most of us aren’t,” Daniel said with a scoff. “I can think of a few people who would happily bring back autos-da-fé.”

    “Yes, but these people are a tiny, tiny minority,” Jack replied. “Most people don’t hate gay people - they’re just… uncomfortable.”

    “Like they were uncomfortable with black people settling in the neighbourhood?” Daniel said with narrowed eyes. He really was involved in this.

    “Yeah, something like that,” Jack said. Before he could think too much about that comparison, he forced himself to go on: “But things changed and are changing.”

    “And we told them that.” Daniel tilted his head and pushed his glasses up his nose.

    “Yes, you did.”

    “You didn’t say much, though,” Daniel went on.

    “You had things in hand,” Jack told him.

    Daniel stared at him for a moment, then pressed his lips together and looked away.

    Jack sighed again. What could he have said? The same that Daniel and Carter had said. But coming from him…


    Hyperspace, On the Way to Earth, August 1st, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Adora sighed as she stared at the ceiling of their cabin. It was… she still had trouble understanding it. “I don’t get it,” she whispered.

    A soft growl sounded next to her. Then she felt Catra’s head on her chest move, lift. A moment later, a hand appeared in front of her face, and a finger flicked her nose.

    “Hey!” she protested.

    “You’ve been sighing for hours!” Catra complained.

    “That’s not true!”

    “Almost hours,” Catra retorted. Then she sighed herself, and Adora felt her shift some more - until she was lying on top of Adora’s chest, her arms crossed over Adora’s chest, and looking at her. “What’s your problem?”

    “That Earth hates us!” Adora blurted out. Why wasn’t Catra bothered by this?

    Catra rolled her eyes in return. “Earth doesn’t hate us. Some Tau’ri hate us.”

    “A lot of them hate us,” Adora retorted. SG-1 had been clear about that.

    “So? A lot of people hate me, too.” Catra shrugged.

    Adora pressed her lips together. Catra shouldn’t talk like this. Even if it was true. Catra had changed for the better. She wasn’t like… like she had been before. But even so… She clenched her teeth. Pointing out that hating Catra for what she had done when leading the Horde, and hating them for loving each other, was very different would be...

    Catra flicked her nose again. “Hey! I know it’s not the same.”

    And Catra could read her like a book. Adora sighed again.

    “Look, SG-1 might not have been completely honest with us - I understand something about that - but they aren’t bad people,” Catra said, twirling one finger around a strand of Adora’s hair - she could feel the tugging.

    “Yes, but… How can we work with the others, knowing that they hate us?” Adora started to shake her head, pulling Catra’s fingers back and forth.

    Catra rolled her eyes again. “We don’t have to work with all of them. There are six billion people on Earth. We can pick and choose.”

    “After interrogating them to find out if they hate us?” Adora asked. Then she blinked - Catra seemed to seriously consider this. “I was joking,” she quickly added.

    Catra tilted her head. “I’m sure we can think of something to weed out the bad people.” She flashed her fangs in a wide grin.

    Adora sighed again. She knew she wouldn’t like this. Then she sighed another time. “It’s not even that, actually.” She shook her head. “It’s… It makes no sense. Why would anyone hate us for loving each other? If they were jealous, it would make some sense…” She trailed off, biting her lower lip.

    Catra snorted. “I know that. But…” She shrugged again. “You heard Daniel - they were taught that we - people like us - are bad people. Like we were taught that princesses were evil.”

    “I know,” Adora replied. “But we were taught that princesses were bad, so we’d fight them. Why would you want to fight people like… like Bow’s dads? And don’t tell me that George was a soldier once!”

    Catra snorted. “I won’t.” Then she grew serious. “Well, teaching people that someone’s bad and you should fight them also makes them, well… close ranks and follow orders.”

    “Oh.” Adora blinked. “Daniel said something about that.”

    “Yes. Like unit cohesion.”

    “Unit cohesion? For families? And villages? Kingdoms?” Adora shook her head. She remembered those lessons from officer training, but… “It’s still evil. It’s even more evil.” They weren’t at war. They were targeting their own people.

    “Yeah. But you heard them - they’re getting better.”

    “So what?” Adora scoffed. “We treat them like the Horde after the war?”

    Catra nodded. “That’s a good idea. As long as you don’t seduce one of them.” She grinned again. Teasing her.

    Adora scoffed. “I didn’t seduce you - you seduced me!”

    “You seduced me without noticing,” Catra shot back. Then she pushed herself up on her arms, moved her head forward and kissed Adora. “Now, sleep.”

    “Now, get off my chest.”


    Adora sighed again. But she did feel better. Maybe they could handle this without a fight or something. It wasn’t as if they could just leave and let the Goa’uld destroy the planet, anyway. Six billion people. Hundreds of millions of children.


    Hyperspace, On the Way to Earth, August 2nd, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “You want to fly ahead with the shuttle?” Glimmer frowned. As did Catra. Adora as well, Samantha Carter noticed.

    “Yes,” the Colonel said. “I hoped we’d find a Stargate, but… We really need to give Earth at least a few days of advance warning. If the fleet just shows up, there’ll be worldwide panic. Even if no one starts a war by accident, people will die anyway in the chaos. Many people.”

    Sam nodded in agreement. “If you drop out of hyperspace outside the Sol system, we can take the shuttle and reach Stargate Command without being noticed.” The stealth system was good enough - Sam knew that.

    Yet, the Etherians were still frowning. Catra narrowed her eyes. “That would also allow you to put your own spin on the news.”

    Of course it would, but the alternative was mass panic and disruption. Sam pressed her lips together - this had to be handled carefully.

    “But why?” Entrapta asked. “We’re not your enemies.”

    “But Earth doesn’t know aliens are real,” Daniel pointed out. “And people fear the unknown. Also… a whole fleet instead of a single ship? That will be seen as an invasion, not a peaceful contact.”

    That made Glimmer and Adora nod, at least.

    “Yes. People on Earth aren’t used to whole fleets showing up to help them out of the goodness of their hearts,” the Colonel added. “They’ll suspect the worst.”

    “That’s no surprise,” Catra commented, baring her teeth.

    “No, it isn’t,” the Colonel replied with a mild expression.

    Catra snorted in return.

    “Please.” Daniel leaned forward a little in his seat. “Many people will die if there’s a panic.”

    And that convinced them. Sam could tell as the Etherians started to look at each other and grimace.

    “How long do you need?” Adora asked.


    “So, we’re getting a headstart of a few days,” the Colonel said, once again pacing in his room with the entire SG-1 present. Samantha Carter was sitting on his bunk, actually, next to Daniel. “Congratulations! It looks like we’ve avoided an Independence Day scenario.”

    Of course he would make a movie reference.

    “I think there’ll be parties on rooftops anyway.” And, equally expected, Daniel would take it and run with it.

    “There’ll be parties on rooftops in Los Angeles no matter what,” the Colonel said. “But we’ll have to convince our government to treat this seriously. We can’t waste this chance.”

    Would the government actually dismiss their warning? Sam didn’t think so. Stargate Command had built up enough of a reputation over the last year, namely by repelling Apophis’s invasion. On the other hand, SG-1 also had built up a certain reputation…

    “So, while it’d be nice to have General Hammond call the president and set everything up just fine, we’ll have to plan for the worst,” the Colonel went on.

    Sam leaned forward, her eyes narrowing. What exactly did he mean?

    “So, in case Hammond or we get stalled for any reason - for example, to check our credentials, or because something happened to Stargate Command in our absence that led to a change of command - we need alternatives,” the Colonel explained.

    Ah. Sam nodded. The alternatives the Colonel meant - bypassing the chain of command - would likely end her career, but this was too important. Too many people would die even in the best case, should the Third Fleet arrive in orbit without warning.

    Daniel blinked. “What kind of alternatives do you mean?” he asked.

    “Contacting the president directly. Calling your contacts to circumvent any roadblocks. Hacking the emergency broadcast system?” The Colonel shrugged. “Probably not the latter, since that would just cause what we want to avoid.”

    Sam suppressed a snort. It wasn’t funny. Too many people would die if they failed. She could call her father, of course - they were estranged, but this was too important. But would he believe her?

    “I don’t exactly know anyone I could tell about this,” Daniel said, frowning. “Nobody outside Stargate Command who would believe me. Everyone knows me as the guy who was laughed out of his last presentation for mentioning aliens.”

    Sam winced. Daniel hadn’t actually claimed that the pyramids had been built by aliens - he had merely mentioned an unknown, advanced civilisation as a theory to explain discrepancies that had crept up when dating the pyramids - but when someone had mentioned the aliens, he hadn’t dismissed the idea either. And the media, as well as his colleagues, had run with it and discredited him in his field. He was known as the kooky alien conspiracy theorist now.

    “Well, they’ll sing a different tune once the Etherians arrive,” the Colonel said. “Provided we can keep World War III from breaking out in the meantime.”

    Which was a real possibility, if, fortunately, not the most likely. Still… “If our credentials were to be questioned,” Sam said, “then we will be unlikely to have access to communications.”

    “Exactly.” The Colonel grinned. “I’d ask Queen Glimmer to come with us so she can teleport us around if I thought they would let her go on the shuttle with us.”

    Sam winced again at that. Taking Glimmer with them - well, technically, the shuttle belonged to the Etherians, so it was more the other way around - would be a headache. Some idiot would, ‘just to explore all options’, ask about taking her hostage, and if the NID got wind of it, or some of the brass got paranoid… It was very unlikely that there would be such a blunder, but not impossible.

    “Glimmer or Adora can’t go with us,” Daniel said. “They don’t trust us enough for that.”

    Sam nodded. Not after their revelations.

    “And I don’t think they’ll let Entrapta come,” the Colonel said. “Which - no offence, Carter - is a good thing, or you two would probably build a doomsday device to pass the time while we wait.”

    Sam dutifully snorted at the weak joke. But she couldn’t see the Etherians sending Entrapta with them, either. Not without someone to keep her from being taken advantage of. The thought of some of the more… ambitious officers trying to influence Entrapta made her clench her teeth. Hordak was bad enough.

    “So, no help on that front. We’ll probably have Bow with us,” the Colonel said. “Of course, that means advanced communications. But we’ll have to arrange a way to prove that there’s a fleet about to arrive without letting everyone else discover them.”

    “We lack FTL sensors at Stargate Command, Sir,” Sam reminded him. There had been work into it, but it had been far from completion - Sam doubted that her colleagues had managed a breakthrough in the time she’d been away.

    “I know.” The Colonel leaned against the wall. “So, I need more ideas to save Earth if we’re locked up.”

    “We’ll have to prepare measures in advance, Sir,” Sam said. “And we need to decide where we can land the shuttle without revealing it to the world at large.” Cheyenne Mountain wasn’t the best choice, being the most important base for the defence of North America. Not many officers serving in NORAD were read in on what actually happened down in Stargate Command.

    The Colonel grinned. “Oh, that’s easy. There’s really only one site where we can land an alien shuttle without everyone freaking out.”

    Sam blinked. Then she groaned.

    Daniel looked confused. “What do you mean, Jack?”

    “Why, Area-51, of course.” The Colonel flashed his teeth. “It’s nicely isolated, and anyone who hears about it will think it’s a hoax.”

    Sam sighed.

    “I believe that is called hiding in plain sight,” Teal’c added.

    Sam still couldn’t tell if he was serious or not.


    Outside the Solar System, August 12th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    SG-1 were nervous, Catra could tell. Not from looking at Teal’c, of course; the big man was both built like a rock and could hide his emotions like one. But while O’Neill acted as if he didn’t have a care, his jokes weren’t quite on point, and he was talking a little too much. Especially compared to the last two weeks, when he had been somewhat restrained. And Carter was fidgeting with her gear as if it might have been broken in the five minutes since she had last checked it. Daniel, at least, wasn’t even trying to hide his nervousness as he sat down, then stood and then sat down again on the ramp of the shuttle.

    “So… we’re about six hours out from Earth in the shuttle. We could fly closer, of course, since you said you don’t have FTL sensors.” Entrapta cocked her head.

    “We were working on them before we left for our mission,” Carter said. “But while it’s unlikely that my colleagues managed to complete the project in my absence, it’s not impossible.”

    “Oh, come on, Carter!” O’Neill butted in. “The nerds wouldn’t be able to turn on their computers without you!”

    “It’s not like that, Sir.” Yeah, Carter’s pained half-smile was a generous reaction to that comment. “We have the most qualified research staff at Stargate Command.”

    “We have you. And your assistants.”

    “There’s also the potential of being observed by telescopes,” Carter went on. “It’s a very faint possibility, but not one to be neglected. We’re talking about an entire fleet, after all.”

    Catra snorted. “And you want us to be as far out of your system as possible.” She saw Glimmer tense up, and Bow shot her a glare. But she wasn’t sorry - someone had to point this out.

    “A little delay can often avoid hasty responses,” Teal’c commented.

    “Yeah. And the further you’re out, the less chance that someone spots you and Earth panics,” O’Neill added.

    “I just said that, Sir.”

    Yeah, definitely nervous. Catra wasn’t actually sure if that was a good or bad thing. SG-1 were, by and large, decent people. They couldn’t hold a candle to Adora, of course, and Catra honestly doubted whether any of them would have accepted her in their ranks after all she had done - she was quite sure that they wouldn’t have given her a second chance if she had spent a few years fighting them like she had the Alliance.

    But SG-1 also were competent and experienced. They hadn’t looked nearly as nervous when they had been facing potential Goa’uld traps and ambushes. So, was the situation on Earth really so bad? She glanced at Bow, who hugged Glimmer and whispered something about everything being fine. Well, it better would be fine. If something happened to Bow, things would get ugly. Glimmer would blow up. Maybe literally.

    On the other hand, SG-1 would have said something if their idea was putting Bow at risk. They weren’t stupid, after all. So, they were probably nervous about how they would be received back on their home planet. Well, that was their problem. Catra didn’t really give much of a damn about that.

    Adora, of course, would care, so even in the worst case, SG-1 should be fine.

    “So… I’ll contact you in a few days, when Earth’s ready,” Bow said with a half-smile, rubbing the back of his head.

    Glimmer nodded, then hugged him again. “Be safe.”

    “And don’t wait too long,” Catra said. Advance warning was fine to avoid a disaster, but they wanted to talk to Earth’s leaders. Not to the USA alone. And the longer they waited, the more time the USA had to influence the rest of the world. Well, that was Glimmer’s problem.

    O’Neill didn’t quite clear his throat when Glimmer and Bow started kissing, but Catra could see he wanted to. She hadn’t quite figured out what his problem was with kissing or sex, but maybe once they could study Earth’s society, that mystery would be solved as well.

    Glimmer and Bow finally separated, and Bow entered the shuttle to prep it for takeoff, followed by Carter and the rest of the SG-1.

    Glimmer joined Adora, Catra and Entrapta at the door to the hangar. “If anything happens to Bow…” she whispered through clenched teeth. “I should be going with him.”

    Catra rolled her eyes. They had gone over this before. Glimmer was Queen and the Commander of the Alliance (as long as Adora didn’t contest that, of course). She couldn’t go. Adora couldn’t go either for similar reasons. And because no one wanted Priest to be left alone at this point in time. If something happened to the shuttle’s comm, the clone would probably think it was an attack. Catra would have gone with Bow, but then Adora would worry far too much as well.

    So she held her tongue - Glimmer was probably just venting - and watched as the doors closed, and the hangar was depressurised. Then shuttle lifted off and slowly flew out of the ship before speeding up and quickly vanishing in the distance.

    “They’re on the way. We’ll know soon how it goes,” Entrapta said. “It’s so exciting! A whole new planet! With six billion people!”

    Well, at least someone was looking forward to this.


    Solar System, Approaching Orbit Above Earth, August 12th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    This was it. Jack O’Neill did his best to appear nonchalant when Earth grew visible through the cockpit windows. “Well, I guess we better call in, so they know to prepare the red carpet.”

    “Yes,” Bow agreed.

    Good. Not that Jack had expected the kid to disagree - Bow was one of the nicest people he’d met in this business. A little like Daniel, just with a bow and no glasses. And a bare midriff.

    “The radio is tuned to the gate frequency, and I have checked the encryption, Sir,” Carter reported from where she had been fiddling with the communication suite Entrapta and she had cooked up.

    “Thank you.” The codes would be outdated, but it would prevent any radio enthusiast on Earth from picking up the transmission. Or a foreign country. Well, they would pick u the transmission but would, hopefully, think it came from a military satellite. He cleared his throat. “Open a channel.”

    “Yes, Sir.”

    “SG-1 to Stargate Command, please come in! SG-1 to Stargate Command, please come in!”

    He didn’t expect an answer right away. Not a month late and using old codes, and from Earth’s orbit. But they would be scrambling down below. Checking the radar, trying to locate their position. Hammond would be barking orders.

    “SG-1 to Stargate Command, please come in!” Jack repeated himself. “General Hammond? I know we’re late, but we kind of got lost. But we found some nice people who hate snakes and gave us a ride home, so I hope you won’t be too mad with us.”

    “Sir!” Carter hissed.

    He grinned at her - she really should know him better than this by now.

    Daniel sighed as if he had anything to complain about.

    Bow remained unfazed, but then, Etherian radio discipline was very… flexible, from what Jack had observed.

    “Stargate Command to SG-1. State your position.” That was Hammond!

    “Hi, General!” Jack said, as upbeat as he could. “We’re currently in orbit, about…” He glanced at Carter. “Carter?”

    Carter immediately relayed their position.

    “We’re in a stealth shuttle to avoid causing worldwide panic and all that stuff,” Jack added. “Quite considerate from our new friends.”

    Then came the expected questions and exchange of signs and counter-signs to prove their identity. Fortunately, Jack was an old hand at that. Hearing Hammond sigh told him he had convinced his commanding officer that they were the genuine article.

    Of course, the fact that they were in a stealth shuttle helped with that - Hammond would be aware that they could easily bomb any place on Earth if they wanted without anyone able to stop them. They wouldn’t need subterfuge to take Earth.

    “Good to have you back, Colonel,” Hammond said. “Now, what’s this about new friends.”

    “Well…” Jack trailed off for a moment. Hammon would tense up right now, he knew. “That’s a story best told on the ground. Can you call Area-51 and tell them we have a stealth shuttle to land, no questions asked? And get us an inconspicuous flight to Peterson Air Force Base?”

    Hammond chuckled, but Jack could tell his commander wasn’t really amused. “Are you sure?”

    “Yes, Sir,” he replied. After a deep breath, he added. “We didn’t fly all the way here in this shuttle. Our new friends took us here - one is flying this shuttle. And we’ve got a fleet of them waiting outside the system.”

    “Could you repeat that, Colonel?”

    Jack winced at the tone. “A fleet of spaceships, sir. Big spaceships with big guns - and they outnumber our Navy. Fortunately, they are friendlies looking for an alliance against the snakes.”

    “I sense a ‘but’ there, Colonel.”

    Well, Hammond knew Jack. “Yes, Sir. They want to talk to Earth, not to the USA. And they won’t wait forever. We’ve got a few days to prepare for First Contact, Sir.”

    Another moment passed. “I see. I’ll call Area-51. And the president. This better not be a joke, Colonel.”

    “Dead serious, Sir.”

    “Stargate Command out.”

    Jack sighed as he leaned back in his seat. “That went about as I expected.”

    “That’s a good thing, right?” Bow asked with a smile.

    Jack shot him a tired glance. The kid was just too naive.


    Area 51, United States of America, Earth, August 12th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Well, someone has a sense of humour,” Jack commented as they glided in towards the designated landing field - it was marked with a big Roswell-Alien-style logo. “Or someone is about to get canned.” Bow looked puzzled, so Jack had to explain the joke. “There’s an urban legend about aliens looking like that. Supposedly they landed on Earth forty years ago and are kept here.”

    “Ah.” Bow nodded. “So, anyone watching us will think this is a joke.”

    “There shouldn’t be anyone watching us, but if they are, yes.” Jack nodded.

    Then they touched the ground, and he saw a platoon of soldiers rush out to surround the shuttle. “Alright, let’s face the music, team! Be all nice and friendly - Hammond must have lit a fire under the base commander to get us landing clearance so quickly, but they’ll be suspicious. Bow, just… stay on board, OK?”

    “OK!” Bow nodded. “And if anyone tries to enter, I’ll just lift off.”

    “Yes.” Hopefully, nobody would be as stupid as that, but you never knew.

    “The shuttle should withstand most attempts to enter,” Carter remarked.

    “Unless they start with trying to blow the doors open,” Jack replied. “So, let’s go, team! See you soon, Bow.”

    “Bye!” The kid waved at Jack.

    Jack shook his head as the ramp was lowered.


    Outside the Solar System, August 12th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Incoming call.”

    Adora turned, pulling her hair out of Catra’s hands, as she heard the announcement. “Accept it!”

    “Hello, everyone!” Bow appeared on the screen on Darla’s bridge.

    “Bow!” Glimmer beamed at him. It was the first time she had smiled in hours, and Adora felt a little guilty about it - Catra hadn’t gone with SG-1, after all.

    And Bow smiled back. “Glimmer! How are you holding up?”

    “Oh, it’s fine. A little bored but fine.”

    Catra coughed behind Adora’s back, but Adora ignored it and Glimmer’s lie. “How are you doing?”

    “We’ve safely put the shuttle down on Earth,” Bow told them. “Some sort of secret base - but it’s in the desert, in the open. They had to put some tent over the shuttle.”

    “What?” Catra frowned. “A tent?”

    “A mobile tent of sorts, yes.” Bow shrugged.

    “Big enough to cover the shuttle?”

    “Oh, yes. Jack said it’s to cover prototypes.”

    “How does that work when flying?” Entrapta asked.

    “It’s not meant for flying, apparently.”

    Adora shook her head. That didn’t make much sense.

    “Anyway, SG-1 left - they took off with an aeroplane and should arrive at their base in an hour or two,” Bow said. “No one bothered me here, no one tried to get into the shuttle - Jack ordered them to leave me alone.” He frowned. “I’m not sure if they even know that I’m on board.”

    “Used to keeping secrets,” Catra commented.

    “Of course they are!” Glimmer blurted out. “They kept the Stargate secret. And their war with the Goa’uld.”

    “Well, as long as you can blast through the tent if you need to…” Catra grinned.

    “That shouldn’t be a problem,” Bow replied.

    “So,” Entrapta cut in with a wide smile, “did you test my receiver already?”

    “Ah.” Bow smiled. “I’ve tested it, yes - it can receive the transmissions from Earth.”

    “And the television broadcasts too?” Entrapta leaned forward. “Does my adapter work? The autotuning?”

    Bow nodded. “I had to adjust a few settings, but yes - it’s basically the same principle as SG-1s radios.”

    “So…?” Entrapta fidgeted. “Can we watch Earth entertainment now?”

    Bow nodded. “Yes, we can, but…” He grimaced.

    “What’s wrong?” Adora asked.

    “It’s a little… Well, you have to see it to believe it,” Bow said. “I’m relaying the signal now.”

    Adora watched as another screen lit up on the bridge. Then she frowned. “What’s a ‘Jerry Springer Show’?”


    Stargate Command, Colorado, August 12th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...and then we landed at Area-51,” the Colonel finished. “From there, we returned to base.”

    Samantha Carter sat straight in her chair and looked at a point to the left of General Hammond’s shoulder without showing any expression on her face. Even though she wanted to wince a little - the Colonel had summed up their experiences in a slightly flippant manner. Well, they had been thoroughly examined in the infirmary, and the Colonel always was a little annoyed after that.

    “I see,” the General said with a frown. “You’ve made contact with an advanced civilisation willing to help us against the Goa’uld.”

    “And they followed us home,” the Colonel joked. “And we can’t get rid of them.”

    “And we really need to call the government,” Daniel spoke up. “General. If the Etherians lose patience, then they’ll cause a mass panic on Earth.” He leaned forward, as Sam saw with a glance. “We don’t have much time to prepare Earth for their arrival.”

    “And there is no chance that these ‘Etherians’ can be persuaded to abandon their plans of revealing their presence to the entire world?” the General asked.

    This time, Sam winced.

    “No, Sir,” the Colonel replied, shaking his head. “They’ve left absolutely no doubt that they want to contact Earth and not just the United States. They do not recognise us as representatives for Earth.”

    “The president will not be happy about this,” the General said, leaning back. He was still frowning. “An alien space fleet about to make contact with Earth. The Stargate program revealed. The Goa’uld threat exposed.” he shook his head. “This goes against every standing order.”

    “It’s not as if we had any choice in the matter, Sir,” the Colonel told him. “The only way to avoid this would have been to refuse their offer to fly us back to Earth. And while some members of our government would be very happy if we had decided on that, I think making an alliance with a power strong enough to give the Goa’uld pause is more important than secrecy.”

    Secrecy that was very unlikely to survive the next attack by the Goa’uld - it was a miracle that Apophis’s attack hadn’t exposed the Stargate program.

    “The Etherians have proven their mettle,” Teal’c said. “They will be mighty allies of the Tau’ri.”

    “Unless the government screws this up,” Daniel added. “They aren’t happy with several of the country’s policies.”

    The General turned to look at Sam. “What’s your opinion, Captain?”

    “Sir, we need this alliance,” Sam replied at once. “The Etherians’ technology is more advanced than the Goa’uld’s. They have hundreds of ships, their military has experience fighting a war in space, and they are willing to protect Earth.”

    “They’ll protect us whether we like it or not,” the Colonel cut in. “They’re kind of like that. And they have the power to get their way.”

    “The President won’t like that either,” the General said.

    “That won’t change the facts.” Daniel shook his head. “We need to inform the world about this so people can prepare for their arrival.”

    The General slowly nodded with a deep sigh. “I think so as well - but many will disagree. And some will doubt your report.”

    Sam knew what and who the General meant.

    “We can call Bow and ask him to tell the fleet to shoot their guns. Telescopes will pick the flares up,” the Colonel said.

    “Let’s hope it won’t come to that.” The General got up. “I’ll call the president.”

    Sam sighed - silently - with relief. But she hadn’t expected General Hammond to doubt them in the first place. The real problem would be persuading the government that they were telling the truth about the Etherians.


    Stargate Command, Colorado, August 13th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...and did you see those ships with your own eyes, Captain?” Senator Wooley, his broad face and bald head visible on the screen in the room, asked. How this man had gotten on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Samantha Carter couldn’t understand.

    She had to make an effort not to glare at him - they had covered that question already. “It’s a space fleet, sir,” she replied. “The distances involved are too big to be able to see the whole fleet with your naked eye. But I saw and rebuilt the sensors used to detect them, and I saw enough of the ships close by to be confident that the numbers we cited are true. The electronic data is also supporting this.”

    The man frowned at her from the screen across the table. “So, you could have been deceived about their actual power.”

    Not for the first time, Sam wished that the President wouldn’t have decided to treat the whole event as a bipartisan affair and involve the Senate at this point. It could cause critical delays. “I consider that very unlikely, Sir,” she replied with all the composure she could muster.

    “Well, you wouldn’t know if you were deceived, would you?” Wooley sniffed.

    Sam clenched her teeth. Wooley hadn’t made any openly disparaging remarks, but she was familiar with his attitude towards women in the military from his interviews, and it grated on her nerves that a man who had never served himself was looking down on her. But he was a Senator. “Leaving aside the facts that I just told you, Sir, there’s also the question of what the Etherians could gain by such a deception.”

    Another sniff. “You told us about their agenda.”

    “Their stated objectives focus on an alliance with Earth against the Goa’uld, Sir. If they were weaker than they claimed, we would find out quickly in the field.”

    “But then they would have already achieved their objective.”

    “Which objective do you mean, Sir?” Sam didn’t raise her eyebrows.

    He didn’t take the bait. “That remains to be found out, Captain. That’s obviously not part of your expertise but ours.”

    She couldn’t help herself - she frowned in return.

    Fortunately, Senator Smith, the chairman of the committee, stepped in at this point and appeared on the screen, replacing Wooley. “Captain Carter comes highly recommended, James. Her service record speaks for itself.”

    “This is a matter of policy, though, Jim. And that’s our purview.”

    The President’s actually, but Sam wouldn’t point that out.

    “And we’re here to gather the information we need to make a decision,” Smith said. “Captain Carter, you stated in your report - well, Colonel O’Neill did, but you signed it as well - that you don’t think that the Etherians will be reasonable and limit their contact with Earth.”

    “Yes, Sir. They’ve made that absolutely clear.” Sam nodded sharply.

    Wooley cut in again. “We haven’t talked to them - all we have is the testimony of Captain Carter, Colonel O’Neill, an archaeologist and, apparently, an alien infected by the same kind of parasite we’re supposed to be at war with.”

    “You’ve read the files, James,” Smith replied, a little more sharply.

    “I’ve tried to - this was all sprung on us a few hours ago. There wasn’t enough time to actually study everything in detail. It’s already a scandal that we are at war with an alien power, and Congress wasn’t informed!”

    Which, technically, was true, though there were good reasons for that.

    “That’s another matter which will have to be discussed at a later date. We have more pressing problems to settle,” Smith commented. “But selected members of Congress were informed.”

    “Which will also be discussed, mark my words!”

    Sam didn’t sigh.

    Smith cleared his throat. “Back to the business at hand. Captain, I think you’ve detailed the military situation quite clearly. But you’ve also observed and interacted with the leaders of this ‘Princess Alliance’ for close to a month. This committee would like to hear your impressions, especially of their political views.”

    “Yes, Sir.” Sam took a deep breath. “The Princesses Alliance is made up of the most powerful kingdoms of Etheria. It was formed in a war against the Horde - a war that was only recently concluded. They’re mostly absolute monarchies led by a hereditary ruler.”

    “With magic powers. Magic princesses,” Wooley didn’t appear on the screen, but Sam knew he was sneering.

    “The rulers of Etheria have powers that would be best described as ‘magical’,” she went on. “Those powers have been observed by my team and myself. Dr Jackson is of the opinion that those powers were crucial for the development of Etheria’s current political structure, and I agree.”

    “Yes, we’ve read that.” Smith slowly nodded. “Leaving the exact nature of their powers aside, do you think they plan to colonise Earth?”

    Sam had expected that question. “No, Sir.”

    “And what do you base this opinion on?”

    “My personal impression of the leaders of Etheria,” she replied. “They are, in my opinion, honourable and decent people, not conquerors.”

    “Nothing else?”

    “No, Sir.”

    “That’s not much.”

    She didn’t reply to that.

    “And what if you’re wrong?” Wooley butted in again. “They are the absolute rulers of monarchies. What if they want to conquer us? What do we do in that case?”

    “If they want to conquer us, Sir, then asymmetrical warfare would be our best and only means to resist. The technological gap is just too big for organised warfare.”

    “Even with the technology you’ve recovered and studied?” Smith asked.

    “Yes, Sir. We haven’t mass-produced any of the weapons we found.” They hadn’t produced any advanced weapons, period, but that was a detail. And they had gone over this before.

    “I see. So, back to the Etherians’ capacity for warfare…”

    Sam suppressed a sigh. They were wasting time here. Time they couldn’t afford to lose. The Etherians wouldn’t wait forever - who knew what they were doing right now?

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2022
    Zsetaques, Zephraim, Kildar and 13 others like this.
  8. Threadmarks: Chapter 17: The Reveal

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 17: The Reveal

    Outside the Solar System, August 13th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “OK… Earth entertainment isn’t all bad.”

    Catra, still giggling, frowned at her lover. “What? That had been hilarious!” she protested. The way those people kept stumbling into traps… Not at all like the Jerry Springer Show. Why would anyone want to watch friends - family - tear into each other? The whole show had reminded Catra of a time she really didn’t want to remember.

    “It was OK,” Adora said, shrugging. “Pretty entertaining.”

    “Bah!” Catra scoffed. “Let’s watch another cartoon! But not the one where the cat always loses!” That one was biased and bad.

    Adora snorted at that - of course she would! Catra frowned at her, but she smiled even more. “That one was funny, though.”

    “It was… OK,” Catra replied in a flat tone and narrowed her eyes at her lover.

    Then Adora laughed in that carefree way of hers that reminded Catra of their time as cadets before things got bad, and Catra couldn’t help joining in.

    “I’m still not sure that the Jerry Springer Show was actually entertainment,” Glimmer commented after a moment. She was frowning - probably jealous that Bow was stuck on Earth.

    “It was called a show. Shows are entertainment,” Entrapta replied. “The news and documentaries are educational.” She smiled. “We’ve recorded a number of those while we watched other shows.”

    “Yes!” Adora nodded. “We need to learn more about Earth!”

    Catra groaned. Not everything should serve the mission.

    “What about this? It’s a documentary about Earth food?” Entrapta pointed at an item on the screen.

    “Like the cooking show that we watched earlier?” Catra leaned forward. That had been entertaining and interesting. So much food and so many new swear words.

    Adora nodded. “Yes, let’s watch that.”

    “It’s mostly about meat, I think,” Entrapta said.

    “Meat is good,” Catra commented with a smirk. Adora missed her meaning, though.

    Then the documentary started. And Catra started to wonder if that had been a good idea. “People eat that on Earth?” All the birds looked like they were sick!

    “I’m not going to eat any meat on Earth,” Adora mumbled.

    “I’m not going to eat anything on Earth,” Glimmer added.

    “It’s a very efficient way to produce meat without cloning tanks,” Hordak commented. “I might have to adjust my opinion of Earth’s culture.”

    Entrapta whapped him on the head with one of her hair strands without taking her eyes off the screen.

    And Catra swallowed what she had been about to say. In hindsight, trying to make a joke about dead animals wasn’t nice.


    Washington D.C., United States of America, August 13th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Jack O’Neill knew jetlag would get him sooner or later. But he’d manage a few more days. He had to - everyone was going crazy about the arrival of the Etherians. It helped that he had been able to sleep during the flight to Washington and that the day/night cycle in Third Fleet had been off compared to Earth. Still, he was running on coffee and jello. And a sandwich some poor aide must have grabbed from the mess hall.

    He resisted the urge to shake his head - he had to be professional. The perfect soldier. These people had to believe him, or things would turn into a catastrophe.

    “I’m still not convinced that we should let these aliens dictate how they contact Earth,” Senator Brown-something - the civilians lacked name tags - said with a scoff. “This is our planet, and we need to draw a line in the sand from the start. History proves that.”

    Jack wondered what history the man meant. Columbus? Or Perry?

    “Eugene, while the exact number of space ships on their way to Earth might have to be readjusted once we can independently verify it, I can tell you that even a handful of space ships represents a force that our forces cannot resist,” Kinsey said. For once, the man was actually helping.

    “Robert! You knew all about this!” Brown-Something glared at his supposed colleague. “Of course you’d say that!”

    Jack had to struggle to keep from sniggering. Yes, as the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which controlled the Stargate Program’s budget, Kinsey belonged to the small group of politicians who had been read in about Stargate Command and the Goa’uld. If it came out that his decisions had almost led to Earth being conquered by Apophis, Kinsey would be done for.

    Unfortunately, revealing that would probably also bring the government down - things had been very dicey, after all. So, Jack couldn’t hint at a few of the angry Senators who had just a day before heard that aliens were real and Earth was at war that they should look into that particular incident.

    “I’m saying that because I know it’s true. The United States cannot stand against even a small fleet,” Kinsey insisted. “And the President shares my view on this.”

    More snorting from the politicians at the table. But even some of the brass seemed sceptical, Jack noticed.

    “We’ve been updating our capability to intercept space-born threats,” General Naird said. “But it’s a slow process, and we’ve been handicapped by the need to keep our advanced technology secret.”

    “Alien technology,” Kinsey corrected him.

    Jack almost nodded in agreement. As head of the Air Force Space Command, Naird had been read in about Stargate Command as well. The general should know better than to act as if he wasn’t involved in the whole coverup.

    “Yes, yes.” Naird shook his head. “But even if we don’t need to keep the technology secret any more, we would still look at several years to upgrade our space defences to what we would consider operational.”

    “And we only have a few more days before the black ships arrive and force our airports open,” Brown-Whatever commented with a glare at Jack. “Because you failed to impress upon those aliens how things are done on Earth. Princesses! Absolute Monarchies! And those people are about to dictate terms to us!”

    “They won’t,” Jack said with more confidence than he felt. “They fought a war against an invading Horde for decades; they won’t invade another planet in turn. We know them.”

    “So you say, Colonel O’Neill.” The politician sneered at him.

    “Eugene, if the aliens want to invade, why would they announce their arrival in advance? That doesn’t make any sense. If they were planning to conquer Earth, they would have struck without warning.” Kinsey shook his head. “They certainly wouldn’t have sent SG-1 ahead to inform us about them.”

    Jack refrained from nodding in agreement. It was still Kinsey.

    “They could be planning to divide us!” Brown - Brown-Smalls, Jack finally remembered the name - spat. “They force us to inform the rest of the world to undermine our leadership of the free world!”

    “They said that they want to talk to the whole planet, not just to the USA,” Senator Willsbury, an older woman, pointed out. “They’re not exactly being subtle there.”

    “They wanted to arrive without warning, but we managed to persuade them that we needed some time to prepare the world,” Jack added.

    “And you couldn’t persuade them to negotiate with the United States instead?”

    “I’m sure the Colonel and his team did their best,” Kinsey, smiling, cut in before Jack could answer.

    “Well, their best obviously wasn’t good enough!” Brown-Smalls scoffed.

    This time, Jack glared at him. “I can assure you, Senator, that if you had been in our place, they wouldn’t even dream of talking to the United States at all.”

    “That’s enough, Colonel,” General Naird spoke up. “We’re here to determine what realistic military options we have should this First Contact turn hostile.”

    “We already did that, sir,” Jack reminded him. “We do not have any realistic option to withstand the Etherian fleet with either conventional or nuclear means. We could resort to asymmetrical warfare as long as the Princess Alliance remains in command since they do not want to hurt civilians. Unlike the Goa’uld.”

    Naird frowned as if it was Jack’s fault that he didn’t have a few brave space fighters to attack a mother ship. Which the Etherians didn’t have anyway. Because Adora had turned it into a giant space plant. With magic.

    But if Jack mentioned that, everyone present would think that he had gone crazy.


    Washington D.C., United States of America, August 13th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Ah, Colonel O’Neill. Captain Carter.” The President looked as if he had aged years since Jack O’Neill had seen him last. “Glad you could join us.”

    “Mr President.” Jack and Carter saluted. Daniel almost followed suit but nodded instead.

    “Sit down somewhere. There should be food in a bit - we’ve ordered dinner.” The man gestured at the long table in the situation room. “Ladies and Gentlemen - the Pentagon finally released SG-1 to us.”

    SG-1 without Teal’c. Jack was still grumpy about that. ‘Security considerations’ his ass - Teal’c had proven his loyalty many times over! Apparently, the Goa’uld larva in his stomach pouch suddenly represented a risk for the President and his cabinet.

    The assembled men and women nodded at them.

    “We’ve already reviewed our military options,” the President went on. “And since those boil down to ‘surrender or become guerillas’, we’re here to discuss our political options.”

    “They should have been doing that from the start,” Daniel whispered.

    “I’m sure they have,” Carter whispered back.

    Jack cleared his throat.

    “Your input will be invaluable for this - you know the alien leaders and how they think.”

    “Thank you, Mr President,” Jack said.

    The rest of the Cabinet nodded as well, but Jack could see some sceptical expressions amongst them.

    “So, we’ll tell the world tomorrow. Our allies will be informed beforehand, of course - they’ll be mad enough about this secret being kept from them. Especially the Brits.” The President laughed, and so did everyone else. “But we haven’t yet decided how to handle the aliens themselves. That means we have this night to come up with a plan of action. I need ideas, people!”

    “Well…” the Secretary of Defense spoke up, “we’ve read the briefs about the Etherians. They want allies for their war with the Goa’uld. The United States are the most advanced nation on Earth - technologically, militarily and industrially. We’ve been fighting the Goa’uld for years, so we’re the natural allies of the Etherians. They need our manpower and industrial capacity.”

    Many at the table were nodding in agreement, Jack saw.

    “If not for some of our policies,” the President said, tilting his head. “Such as ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’ and our general problem with bigotry and racism.”

    “Racism wasn’t in the brief,” the Secretary of Commerce protested.

    “Did you miss that the queen’s consort is black?” the Secretary of Education told him. “Not that it matters - the intel we received was clear: Our current stance towards gay rights is the biggest obstacle to forming an alliance with the Etherians.”

    “If we can be allied to Saudi Arabia despite their policies on pretty much everything except for Iran and making money, I doubt that a few internal matters will be a problem for the Etherians. They’re fighting the same enemy as we are fighting - an Empire of body-snatching snakes,” the Secretary of Defense retorted. “Winning the war takes precedence. Etheria only has fifty million people and is not nearly as industrialised as we are, according to our information. They need us as much as we need them. Who else would they ally with? The Russians? China? India?” He scoffed.

    “Etheria isn’t a democracy,” the Secretary of State pointed out. “And they are aliens - they have a different view of what is a good system for government.”

    “But everyone’s track record with regards to gay rights is worse than ours. Do you really think that aliens concerned about bigotry will ally with countries that violate human rights every day?”

    “Several states in Europe have a better track record, to use your words.” The Secretary of State shook his head. “France will jump at the chance to get out of our shadow - and they won’t have much of a problem with adjusting their internal policies. Germany too,” he added.

    “They’ll certainly have far less trouble changing anything than we’ll have,” the Secretary of Education said. “The conservatives will fight this tooth and nail.”

    “We can use Executive Orders,” the Secretary of Defense retorted. “If we actually have to do a thing. I’m still not convinced that the leaders of an alien planet would be overly concerned about gay marriage on Earth.”

    “Would you care to answer that, Dr Jackson?” The President turned to face them.

    Daniel took a deep breath. “Yes, Mr President. The first thing you need to understand is that Etheria’s kingdoms are ruled by monarchs,” he said. “Monarchs with special powers who govern as mostly absolute rulers.”

    “I thought they were absolute rulers?” the Secretary of Defense asked.

    “Even absolute rulers depend on a bureaucracy, advisors and regional sub-rulers,” Daniel explained. “And depending on the situation of the realm, they have to consider all those people when making decisions.”


    “Although in this case, the current rulers of the dominant kingdoms of Etheria seem to be rather secure in their power - they have recently defeated an invasion by an alien power, the Horde. One could actually make a case for there having been two invasions…” Daniel coughed. “Anyway, the important point is that the personal prestige of the princesses in the Alliance is currently at its peak. Combine that with unparalleled personal power and it is very likely that their people are firmly behind every decision they make.”

    Jack could see some grim expressions there.

    “To illustrate that, as our report stated, an entire fleet of clones worship Adora, also known under her title of She-Ra, Princess of Power, as a goddess,” Daniel went on.

    “Your report also states that this She-Ra doesn’t like it yet cannot stop them. This seems to be a limit of her power,” the Secretary of Education said.

    “This is correct in that she can’t stop the worship or hasn’t managed so far. But they will obey her other commands almost blindly,” Daniel replied.

    That caused more grim expressions.

    “So, the princesses are used to getting their way,” the Secretary of Agriculture spoke up.

    “Mostly, yes. They are also close personal friends.” Daniel smiled. “And this leads us to the crucial point: Etheria takes what we could call matters of state very personally. Princesses are expected to lead from the front, so to speak. Alliances are as much or more a matter of personal relationships and character as of necessity or state - their alliance is called the Princess Alliance, after all. And, well… they have voiced concerns that they might form an alliance with a country on Earth, and a few years later, the leader of a country on Earth might be replaced, and the alliance might be broken - that’s because they are used to forming alliances with rulers, not nations.”

    “Christ! It’s like we’re in the medieval age!” the Secretary of Commerce blurted out. “Do we need to arrange dynastic marriages to get anything done?”

    Jack thought the man was joking, but his laughter rang more than a bit hollow.

    “The Brits would like that, I bet,” the Secretary of Defense commented. “They’ve got two princes in the right age range.”

    Daniel, of course, took the question seriously. “It would be a mistake to consider Etheria as a technologically advanced copy of our own medieval age. They developed the way they have due to the specific circumstances of their planet and their population. Dynastic marriages are, actually, not the norm on Etheria - the rulers tend to pick their partners for love and without concern for someone’s social standing. One of the most powerful princesses is, according to her friends, expected to formalise her relationship with a smuggler any day now, for example.”

    That had most of the Cabinet blinking with surprise, in Jack’s impression.

    “Do we need to call in George Lucas as an advisor?” The President chuckled.

    Jack laughed at the joke, and even Daniel got it. Carter, of course, merely smiled.

    But Jack’s friend grew serious at once. “And this is the crux of the matter: The Etherians were shocked by our stance towards minorities. When we informed them of the state of our society with regards to gay rights, they had trouble understanding the mere concept of discrimination based on sexuality, gender or - presumably - race. I have to stress this: They were shocked by the fact that this was happening on Earth.”

    “Ultra-progressive princesses. Now I’ve seen everything,” the Secretary of Defense mumbled.

    “Their political views might cause some consternation amongst the pundits,” the Secretary of Education commented.

    “More importantly,” the President spoke up, “their views are a problem for us. We look like a bunch of bigots to them - and they take that personally. Dr Jackson, how do you think they’ll react when some of our more prominent pundits voice disagreement with the lifestyles of Etheria?”

    Daniel frowned. “I think they would be hurt if a televangelist called them Whores of Babylon. They aren’t used to such… diverse opinions. Or mass media. For them, politics is a deeply personal affair.”

    “Do they expect us to abolish Freedom of Speech?” the Secretary of State asked.

    “No, I don’t think so.” Daniel shook his head. “We have covered that aspect of democracy in our talks. But I think they’ll still emotionally struggle with such attacks. They are, after all, all very young compared to the average political leader on Earth.”

    “Idealistic college students turned absolute monarchs. I can see the next Disney movie,” the Secretary of Agriculture mumbled.

    No one laughed this time.

    “Yes, that sums it up, folks.” The President nodded. “So, how do we ensure that they realise that we aren’t the antichrist? We need this alliance. Not just to protect Earth, but also to preserve the United States as a world leader.”

    “Ah.” Daniel was smiling apologetically, Jack noticed.

    The President nodded at him. “Yes, Dr Jackson?”

    Daniel cleared his throat. “Religion is actually another crucial issue. The Etherians plan to restore magic to Earth, after all.”


    Jack had the impression that most of the Cabinet had overlooked that part of their report. Or had failed to take it seriously.

    “And people keep telling me to write better reports,” he mumbled.

    Carter shot him a glare, of course.


    Outside the Solar System, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “They’ve announced a press conference at the White House for the afternoon!”

    Adora blinked at Entrapta’s exclamation. “A what?” Then she blinked again. What was Entrapta doing in her bedroom?

    “It’s a thing where they tell people news!” Entrapta, balancing on the foot end of Adora and Catra’s bed, beamed at them. “At least that’s the logical deduction from the reactions I saw on the television broadcasts!”

    Catra groaned and rolled off Adora. “And you woke us up for that?”

    Entrapta nodded. “Yes! It’s so exciting! We’ll be able to watch Earth’s reaction to the information about our impending arrival as it happens! Just imagine all the data we’ll gather!”

    Adora blinked once more. “Uh, Entrapta… how much did you sleep last, uh, night?”

    “Err… I didn’t? But I’m totally fine - I got enough tiny concentrated tea inside me to be fine!”

    Adora made a mental note to have a talk with Hordak about Entrapta’s eating habits. “So… when will this news conference happen?”

    “In the afternoon!”

    “Our afternoon?” Catra asked. Her lover had finally opened her eyes, Adora noticed.


    “And it’s…” Catra turned her head to look at the clock on the sideboard.

    Adora quickly wrapped an arm around Catra and smiled at Entrapta. “Why don’t you go tell Glimmer now? We’ll be up in a bit!” Fortunately, she managed to clamp a hand over Catra’s mouth before her lover started hissing and trying to wriggle out of her grasp to claw Entrapta or something.

    “Oh… are you engaging in foreplay?” Entrapta tilted her head. “That’s usually done in private, though, as far as I know.”

    What the…? This was… Adora’s face felt like it was burning. She gaped at Entrapta.

    “Oh, right, sorry!” Entrapta hurried out of the door before Adora could correct her.

    As soon as their friend had left, Adora relaxed with a sigh and released Catra.

    “See what you’ve done?” Catra hissed and smacked her on the head.

    “She means well,” Adora said.

    “I know.” Catra groaned and rolled on her back. “But it’s seven in the morning. And we watched that stupid show until three.”

    And hadn’t gone right to sleep, either. But that was neither here nor there. “It wasn’t a stupid show, or we wouldn’t have watched it for so long.”

    “I was just keeping you company!”

    “Your eyes were glued to the screen!”

    Catra sniffed. “I didn’t want to make you feel bad.” Then she yawned. “Now, let’s get some more sleep before Entrapta notices.”

    That was a good idea. Adora pulled Catra in close and pressed a kiss on her head. They could watch television later.


    Washington D.C., United States of America, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    When she saw the Colonel enter the Situation Room, he looked… well, Samantha Carter couldn’t say rumpled since his uniform was perfectly pressed. But she knew the signs of fatigue on him.

    “How much did you sleep, Carter?”

    As he knew the signs on her, apparently. “We were dismissed to get some rest at the same time, Sir,” she replied.

    “That’s not an answer to my actual question, Carter.”

    She felt herself wince. “I had to amend our reports, Sir.” There had been no choice, though - she had to amend the parts about magic since those had obviously not been given enough weight by the Cabinet.

    “Carter! We need you at your best! This is a crucial moment for the entire world, and you can’t give your best hopped up on coffee.”

    “Yes, Sir.” She carefully nodded and stared at him.

    He didn’t blush, but he frowned. “I had to give a personal report to the president.”

    Sam suppressed the sudden spike of resentment. The president asking the commanding officer was just a logical move. Even though she should’ve been there as well. And Daniel, of course.

    “It wasn’t much - just my personal take on the princesses,” the Colonel went on.

    “Yes, Sir.”

    A loud yawn announced Daniel’s arrival. “Sorry… I slept a bit too long. They had this old book in the guest room…” He smiled at them. “So, how are things?”

    “News Conference at two in the afternoon,” the Colonel replied. “NATO partners have been informed already.”

    “What about the Russians and the Chinese? India?” Daniel asked.

    The Colonel didn’t shrug. “They were, as far as I’ve heard through the grapevine, informed that this wasn’t a joke and not aimed at them, but that there might be some social unrest.” He chuckled. “The Russians probably know about this by now due to some KGB mole left in Brussels.”

    Daniel blinked. “Seriously?”

    The Colonel snorted. “I’m joking. At least I hope I’m joking. The Russians were good, though, back in the Cold War.”

    “Ah.” Daniel looked around and then headed for the pot of coffee.

    “So, the police are going to be mobilised?” Sam asked.

    “And the National Guard. And the Army. And the fire brigades, of course, and all the other emergency services.” The Colonel sighed. “This is such a goddamn mess.”

    “Well, this would have happened sooner or later,” Sam pointed out.

    “I just wish it had been later rather than sooner,” he replied. “Preferably after my retirement.”

    She didn’t snort at that - the Colonel wouldn’t retire for twenty years. But he would retire from active frontline duty sooner than that. And maybe she wouldn’t be in his chain of command any… She clamped down on that thought. She really was a bit too tired.

    “Well, let’s prepare for the end of the world as we know it,” he said.


    “So, where do we stand with Congress?” the President asked when he entered the room half an hour later. He looked a little tired as well, Samantha Carter noticed, but not nearly as tired as she had expected.

    “They’re not happy with us,” the Vice President told him.

    “Not happy with me, you mean.” The President chuckled. “What are the chances you’ll be in my seat a month from now?”

    “Low. They’re angry at being left out of the loop about a war in space, but we should still have a majority behind us. But you might have to make some sacrifices.”

    Of course, Kinsey cleared his throat at that. “If I may, Mr President.”

    “Yes?” That was more than a hint of a frown, Sam noticed.

    “We do have a majority right now, but that could change should news of the attack by Apophis leak.” Kinsey sounded just the tiniest bit of smug, though his expression didn’t betray any of that.

    Next to Sam, the Colonel cursed under his breath. Sam was tempted to join in. Both of them knew where this was going.

    Kinsey sighed. “If they decide to raise a stink about the fact that Earth was a few hours from orbital bombardment without any measures taken to warn people and get them into shelters…” His grimace was as fake as his concern, Sam thought. But he was correct. People wouldn’t take well to hearing that. And she strongly suspected that the news would leak in the wake of today’s revelations. Certainty if Kinsey was about to get canned for his own part in it.

    “Everyone involved would have to resign,” the President said with a grim expression.

    “We’ll be lucky if they don’t shoot us in the streets,” the Secretary of Defense mumbled.

    “We can handle the people,” Kinsey said. “They won’t know how fast spaceships are. Saturn might as well be on Alpha Centauri for all they know. We tell them we stopped the invasion far out, and they’ll be happy enough. But that won’t work on Congress.”

    The President narrowed his eyes. “And you can handle Congress.”

    Kinsey smiled almost apologetically. “I can talk to a few people, make them understand that the last thing we need right now is an Impeachment. America more than ever needs strong leadership in this crisis. We’re in a war after all.”

    The President stared at him for a moment. “Do it.”

    Kinsey’s smile turned more genuine as he nodded. “I’ll get on it, Mr President.” He left the room.

    The President sighed. “Well, let’s hope he can deliver. Now, about our allies… How unhappy are they?”

    “Very, Mr President. Very unhappy.”

    “I hate to say it,” the Colonel mumbled to Sam as the Secretary of State started to detail the responses from the other NATO members, “but I’m hoping that Kinsey got more dirt about his colleagues than we thought.”

    Sam had to nod in agreement. The senator was correct - the last thing the USA needed right now was a change of government. That wouldn’t build a lot of trust with the Etherians. Not at all.


    Outside the Solar System, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Entrapta didn’t look like she had slept at all, Catra noticed when she entered Darla’s bridge. Her friend was still acting as if she had just drunk another can of concentrated tea - which she might very well have, actually. Well, they would have to force her to rest after this.

    “Ten minutes to the start of the press conference!” Entrapta announced. “Look, they’re already broadcasting!”

    On the screen, Catra could see a large room filled with people, an empty pedestal and small desk, and several people in uniforms. Not the same as SG-1 had worn - those must be the ‘dress uniforms’ Daniel had mentioned.

    “...and speculation is running wild as to the content of this surprising press conference. We’ve received reports that the police not only in Washington D.C. but across the entire country has been preparing to handle rioting. Chuck?”

    The image shifted.

    “Yes, Betty, indeed, I am standing in front of the headquarters of the LAPD, and the mood is tense. You can see various officers checking the transports and preparing riot control gear. But no one seems to know what this is all about.”

    “Thank you, Chuck. We’ve also received news that NATO states are doing the same thing - and have also announced press conferences. Whatever it is, this is big, folks! Very big!”

    “Not only that, Betty, but we’ve received news that Russia and China are moving army formations into cities. Some people worry that this might start a new Cold War - or, even worse, an actual hot war!” another man said.

    “Well, if Russia wanted to start a war, I doubt they would move their army into their cities,” Betty replied. “But speculation is indeed rampant. Alan?”

    The screen shifted to show a man standing in front of a fence. “Yes. Rumours after rumours are spreading. Even the most absurd speculation is repeated across Washington.” He laughed. “The most outrageous is tied to reports that Dr Daniel Jackson has been seen in the White House for the last few days. For those who don’t know, Dr Jackson was an archaeologist who became briefly famous for his theory that the pyramids were built by aliens.”

    As apparently the entire news crew laughed, Catra shook her head. “Someone’s going to be sorry for that in about… five minutes.”

    Entrapta nodded.

    “Daniel will be happy to be proven right at last,” Catra said. “I wonder if he’ll talk to the press as well.”

    “You mean give an interview?” Adora asked.

    “Everyone is giving interviews.” Glimmer snorted. “SG-1 are the ones who met us, so they’ll be asked all sorts of questions.”

    “Like in the show that we saw,” Adora nodded.

    “He better make us look good,” Catra muttered.

    “Catra!” Adora frowned at her.

    “What?” Catra smiled at her lover. “I’m just saying… they wanted a headstart to prepare Earth for our arrival, they should use that to make us look good, so they won’t be afraid of us.” All the preparations that were mentioned on the screen were a little concerning. Would the people on Earth really freak out just because they heard about the Alliance?

    Adora snorted, and Glimmer rolled her eyes.

    “They need to know that the fleet is able to protect them. That way, they’ll feel safe,” Hordak added.

    Glimmer cleared her throat. “I don’t think that’s how it works. They don’t know us, so they don’t trust us.”

    “Once we’re in orbit, they’ll see that they can trust us when we don’t conquer them even though we could do so easily,” Hordak retorted.

    “I don’t think we could conquer Earth easily. Or at all,” Catra said. “They’ve got millions of soldiers and all those weapons. Even if we transported all of Etheria and all the clones and bots down there, we couldn’t garrison them.” And as SG-1 had told them, Earth people were used to fighting even after being conquered. And she wasn’t going to say what Horde Prime would have done to Earth.

    Neither did Hordak or anyone else - but they all knew it.

    “Oh, it’s starting!” Entrapta piped up in the sudden silence.

    And, indeed, an old man was stepping up to the desk, smiling widely. That must be the President.

    “My fellow Americans! Today is a historic day. An age-old question of humanity will finally be answered: Are we alone in the universe? And the answer is: No, we are not alone in the universe. The United States has made contact with extraterrestrial intelligent life. Peaceful contact.”

    The room exploded in noise. A red banner appeared on the bottom of the screen with the words ‘Existence of aliens confirmed’ and started scrolling from right to left.

    “Please, please…” The President raised his hand. It took a while for the room to quiet down. “I’ll answer questions after my statement.” He nodded.

    “Now, in addition to SETI, for several years, the United States has been running a top-secret program to search the galaxy for intelligent life. We have been doing this by means of an alien artefact that was found on Earth and painstakingly restored and returned to service. An artefact that allows travel to distant planets through a gate network that covers a lot of the galaxy. Brave teams of explorers went through those gates to explore the stars. This is our Stargate Program.”

    Catra frowned. That didn’t…. Well, it did fit the story SG-1 had told them about the Stargate Program, but only if you creatively shuffled things around.

    Once more, whispers started, and the banner changed to ‘Aliens exist - U.S. teams travel the galaxy.’

    “The reason this was kept top secret is that not all aliens are peaceful and friendly,” the President went on. “In fact, some of them are hostile, and we’ve…”


    Catra shook her head at the reaction of the people on the screen. The President - or was that the Mr President? - barely could continue his speech over all the cries and shouting. He tried anyway, but it seemed to make things worse.

    “They are panicking,” Hordak said. “He just told them that they defeated the Goa’uld twice, and that new allies are about to reach Earth, and they are still panicking. I question the need of making an alliance with such people. They will run at the slightest danger.”

    “Those are civilians, not soldiers,” Adora retorted. But Catra could tell that she was taken aback as well.

    “They did expect riots,” Catra said. “That’s why they were all so tense.”

    Hordak huffed.

    “I don’t have any news of riots,” Entrapta announced.

    Catra glanced at her and gasped. She had cables stuck to her visor and… “How many channels are you watching at the same time?”

    “Six. No, seven. But all of them are focusing on the press conference,” Entrapta replied. “Even though they’re just shouting at the moment.”

    “Their military does not seem to be very competent either if they cannot restore order in the room,” Hordak said. “Their leader is not supposed to have any magic powers with which he could defend himself, is he?”

    “No, he isn’t,” Catra told him.

    “Then he is at risk. This might be a coup.”

    “No, it isn’t. But they’re not going to send their military against their own people,” Glimmer said. She looked rather angry, Catra noticed. “And it’s no surprise that the people there are panicking - they have just been told that their leader hid a huge secret from them for years and that their country is at war. Why wouldn’t they be upset?”

    “Why would they trust him?” Adora asked. “They must feel betrayed.”

    Ah. Catra clenched her teeth when she understood. Adora was feeling for those people - this must remind her of her experiences with the Horde propaganda.

    After minutes of pointless shouting and yelling, the President was able to continue his speech.

    Although people kept trying to interrupt him. And their reactions…

    Adora grimaced. “They really didn’t like hearing that SG-1 has been fighting the Goa’uld for several years.”

    Catra nodded. Well, she could understand that. Though if you told the troops everything, operational security would be dead, and morale would drop at the slightest reversal. Hell, Mermista’s people had deserted her at the mere rumour of a damaged Runestone and a Horde Fleet sailing towards them. The Earth people were doing pretty well so far. And now the President was talking about Etheria. And he was making them look good!

    And then came the questions. And Catra started frowning. Some questions made no sense at all. Why were they asking if the Etherians had grey skin and big eyes?


    Washington D.C., United States of America, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Well, this went… as badly as expected,” Jack O’Neill said as he sat down in one of the chairs at the wall in the Situation Room.

    “They haven’t set fire to the Capitol. Or the capital,” Daniel objected. “And the rest of the world hasn’t declared war on the United States. Both of which were deemed possible if not very likely scenarios, if I recall correctly.”

    “Give’em time. Both can still happen,” Jack mumbled, craning his neck until the back of his head touched the wall. “People need some time to get to a riot.”

    “It’s started in Los Angeles, Sir,” Carter reported, looking at her laptop. “And there are traffic jams in the greater Washington area as some people flee the city and others flock to Washington after several groups have called to protest this ‘flagrant violation of the constitution and the trust in our government’, to quote one.”

    Jack sighed. “Any good news?”

    “The police seem to have the riots in hand so far, Sir,” Carter replied. “Although if this spreads too far…”

    Members of the Cabinet started filtering in as well. A few looked shell-shocked like green soldiers after their first fight.

    “We’re receiving sharply worded diplomatic notes from all over the world,” the Secretary of State said. “Apparently, the British have figured out where the Stargate came from. They’re all but calling us thieves.”

    Jack scoffed. “It was found in Egypt, not England. And Egypt was an independent country at the time. At least formally.” He noticed Daniel looking surprised and rolled his eyes. “I once did a report on the country at the Academy.”

    “Sorry.” Daniel looked embarrassed at his earlier surprise.

    The Secretary of State chuckled. “That will be our answer. Of course, the Egyptians also protested - they must have put two and two together after CNN revealed your presence, Dr Jackson.”

    “Oh.” Daniel blinked.

    Jack shook his “That was fast.”

    And that, of course, made Daniel frown at him - as Jack had known it would. “Don’t underestimate other countries, Jack. Humans aren’t stupid as a rule no matter their culture.”

    Jack pointed at the big screen, which was now showing burning cars in Los Angeles and a breathless reporter talking into the camera. “Looks pretty stupid to me.”

    “People are scared, Jack, and scared people lash out.”

    “The French are facing similar riots. The United States embassy required additional protection,” someone said.

    More and more reports were brought in by a swarm of young aides and interns.

    “Russia’s president is making a speech.”

    “China’s gone silent - they’ve cut the internet and cited a national emergency to stop foreign correspondents from reporting. Last we heard, tanks were moving to Beijing.”

    “People are calling for a gathering at Area 51.”

    “Germany’s voicing concern about the possibility of a war being conducted from our bases there without their knowledge.”

    “The French are calling for a ‘reevaluation’ of NATO structures.”

    “Los Angeles reports the first death in the riots.”

    “Several people suffered heart attacks during the press conference. We’re still getting a count.”

    “The National Guard has moved to secure the Capitol and the White House.”

    “Canada is demanding a full accounting of the Stargate Program’s use of shared resources in Cheyenne Mountain.”

    Someone must have leaked the location of the Stargate. No, they probably recognised Daniel, Carter or Jack himself and realised the truth. “I hope that the Etherians are feeling sorry for inflicting this on the world,” Jack muttered. They probably would, unless he had completely misjudged their characters. Well, Hordak probably wouldn’t feel sorry at all.

    “I think so, Sir,” Carter said.

    “To be fair, Jack,” Daniel said. “I honestly doubt that more time would have changed anything. You can’t really ease the world into the fact that we’re at war with aliens.” He frowned. “Of course, it could’ve been much worse if the Etherians had showed up without warning, but this was probably the best we could’ve hoped for.”

    Jack sighed again. Daniel was right. And the more the people knew about it, the bigger the risk of a leak. Still… “This could’ve gone better.”

    “Bill’s calling for a bipartisan congressional inquiry into the Stargate Program!” someone yelled.


    “He’s just playing to the crowd!”

    “Can we counter that?”

    “What the hell’s Kinsey doing? He should’ve prevented that!”

    “If it’s a bipartisan effort, then we can sink this.”

    “That’s what they want!”

    “It’s just showboating for the crowds. Besides, there’s already congressional oversight. He’s just angry that he’s not on that committee.”

    “It’s just a waste of time. We can give them that to placate them.”

    “Right. But where’s the President?”

    “Still on the line with Russia.”

    “I thought the Russian president is at a Press Conference?”

    “It’s been delayed.”

    “They just want to be seen to be doing something.”

    “They seem more concerned about this investigation than the riots and the reactions of the rest of the world,” Daniel said.

    “Welcome to politics,” Jack muttered.

    Someone next to him laughed. He looked over, and it was the Secretary of Defense. Damn, Jack should’ve noticed the man sitting down. He must be more tired than he had thought.

    “It’s not like that - or just a bit,” the man told them. “But we’ve been anticipating the reaction of the rest of the world, and of the people. They’re more or less following the script. But Congress shenanigans? That’s not as predictable as foreign policy.”

    Jack nodded, even though he didn’t completely agree. The man was his nominal superior, after all.

    But they were now, to borrow a term from the Navy, in uncharted waters. And Jack wasn’t looking forward to discovering that they were headed for an underwater reef.

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  9. Lightxdarkwing

    Lightxdarkwing Versed in the lewd.

    Aug 21, 2017
    Likes Received:
    And as expected the people of Earth panic. The various conspiracy theorists around the world are going to use this as evidance that they were right all along aren't they (Although considering that the US government really has been hiding their contact with aliens technically some of them really were right.) Hopefully things will have calmed down slightly by the time Adora and co land, but I very much doubt it.

    The true highlight of the chapter though was the mental image of Catra and Adora sitting watching cartoons. (I assume the one Catra mentioned that was biased against the cat was Tom and Jerry?) Also Hordak is rapidly becoming one of my favourite characters, I love his comments.
    SolipsistSerpent and Starfox5 like this.
  10. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Oh, yes. Erich von Däniken and others will be in a lot of demand as an advisor.

    Tom and Jerry or Tweety and Sylvester. Likely Tom and Jerry.
    Lightxdarkwing likes this.
  11. Dur'id the Druid

    Dur'id the Druid Know what you're doing yet?

    Jun 3, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Just throwing my 2c here. If Stargate is ever continued, they need to do a world revelation as good as this one. Good job so far.
    Starfox5 and Lightxdarkwing like this.
  12. Threadmarks: Chapter 18: The Repercussions

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 18: The Repercussions

    Outside the Solar System, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...and the riots are spreading as a growing crowd is gathering at the foot of the Washington Monument and demands answers from our government…”

    “...Bundeskanzler hat erneut versichert, dass die Bundesregierung über das Stargate-Programm nicht informiert war, und…”

    “...Her Majesty’s Government can neither confirm nor deny this at this point, though…”

    “...rumours of the armed forces shooting at protesters with lethal ammunition…”

    “...dozens of buildings are burning, and the police struggle to clear the lanes for emergency vehicles as the crowd refuses to budge, and…”

    “...Paris est sûre, la France est sûre, mais…”

    “...the death count from the Alien Revelation is rising. Dozens of deaths have been confirmed already in the United States alone, and…”

    Adora shook her head at the rapidly changing sights of burning buildings and masses of people throwing rocks at soldiers. Rocks and burning bottles and… “Why are they doing this? This makes no sense!” she exclaimed. This was insane!

    “They’re angry and scared,” Glimmer said. “And they feel betrayed.”

    “But this doesn’t help anyone!” Adora protested. “How does attacking a… a market help you or anyone else feel safer? Or solve anything?” It wasn’t even a government building!

    “This never happened in the Horde,” Hordak commented.

    “Because anyone doing it would have been shot,” Catra pointed out.

    “Yes. Such a lack of discipline cannot be tolerated.”

    “They’re not soldiers,” Glimmer told him through clenched teeth.

    “Then they should be treated as bandits or marauders.” Hordak shook his head. “This is a disgraceful display.”

    “People are dying!” Adora snapped. “And they are dying because they are afraid of us!” This was their fault. Her fault!

    “Or because others are afraid of us.” Entrapta pulled her mask off. “People also died in accidents trying to flee the cities.” She looked… disturbed.

    “Yes.” Either way, they had caused this. “We shouldn’t have insisted on revealing the Stargates and us,” Adora said. “SG-1 told us that this would happen. We should have listened to them. This is our fault. My fault.”

    “No, it isn’t!” Catra snarled. Adora looked at her with a gasp - her friend was showing her teeth. “You didn’t lie to them and kept an entire war a secret! They did that, even though they knew what would happen once the secret was revealed!” She stepped up to Adora, glaring at her. “Don’t you dare let anyone blame you for this! You didn’t do this! They did this to themselves!”

    “Yes. They lied to their own people.” Glimmer nodded, but Adora couldn’t help feeling that her friend sounded as if she was trying to convince herself.

    So she shook her head. “But we could’ve kept this secret.”

    “No, we couldn’t,” Catra retorted. “We need Earth in the war. Earth, not some tiny group of soldiers, no matter how good they are.”

    “Yes,” Hordak agreed. “The more resources and troops we can muster, the better the war will go. And that won’t be possible as long as Earth as a whole remains unaware of the war against the Goa’uld. Although given their reaction to the revelation, I do think we should reevaluate their suitability as allies.”

    Adora took a deep breath. Catra was probably right. Yes, Adora hadn’t been the one who hid such a secret from Earth. And Hordak wasn’t completely wrong - they did need Earth to fight this war. Yet… “I can’t help feeling guilty,” she whispered.

    And felt arms embrace her as Catra pressed herself against her. Adora took another deep breath, suppressing a shudder she was sure Catra would feel anyway, and hugged her back.

    “It’s not your fault,” Catra whispered. “Don’t blame yourself for this.”

    “I know,” Adora whispered back. But knowing wasn’t feeling.


    “Yes?” Gimmer turned to Entrapta.

    “I think Bow might be in trouble.” Entrapta pushed a button, and the screen changed again, showing a reporter looking in the camera with a crowd behind him… in the desert?

    Adora gasped as she released Catra.

    “...crowd outside famous Area-51 is chanting while facing soldiers securing the road to the famous base. And the crowd is growing as people keep arriving. The mood so far is not violent, but this might change at any moment!”

    “Show us the aliens! Show us the truth! Show us the aliens! Show us the truth!”

    “That’s where Bow is!” Glimmer blurted out. “Bow! Darla, put Bow on the screen!”

    A moment later, Bow appeared on the screen. He was smiling in that forced way he did when he was feeling guilty, Adora noticed. But this wasn’t his fault!

    “Bow! There’s a crowd outside your ship, and you didn’t tell us?” Glimmer glared at him.

    “Uh… they’re outside the base. Way outside. The soldiers keep them back,” Bow replied.

    “You still should have told us!” Glimmer shook her head. “This is too dangerous! You should return at once!”

    “But we’d lose access to the television broadcasts!” Entrapta protested, then cringed at Glimmer’s glare. “Can he stay in orbit at least?” she added with a weak smile.

    “If I lift off, they’ll notice - and that would cause even more trouble,” Bow said. “They might storm the area.”

    And that would cause even more deaths, Adora realised. “We should’ve called you back right away,” she said.

    “Yes, come back, Bow!” Glimmer said.

    But Bow shook his head. “No. Even if they break through and reach the base, they cant break into the shuttle. And I can always lift off then.” He smiled. “We need to trust the people here.”

    “Bow!” Glimmer shook her head.


    Both of them looked at each other so… Adora looked away and hugged Catra again. This was such a mess!

    And no matter what her friends told her, no matter what she told herself, she couldn’t help feeling bad about it.


    Washington D.C., United States of America, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...and seven hours after the riots started, Los Angeles is deadly quiet, with a curfew enforced by the National Guard after the Alien Riots, as they have been christened, have been finally brought under control. The final death toll remains unclear but is reported to be in the dozens.”

    Samantha Carter tried to ignore the television running in the corner of the Situation Room and focus on her work. She had a report to write, after all. At least an aide had brought a chair with a small desk built-in - probably taken from the press room - so she didn’t have to type with the computer resting on her knees.

    “Can someone switch the channel?” the Secretary of Defense asked. “They’ve been repeating themselves for the last half an hour.”

    “Sure we can,” the Secretary of Education replied. “Do you want to listen to ‘alien experts’ or to military analysts being stupid for a lot of money?”

    The Colonel, sitting next to Sam, snorted while the two secretaries glared at each other. “It’s like winning the lottery for the crazies,” he said in a low voice.

    “They called me crazy as well,” Daniel said. “And we do know that there was contact with aliens in the past.”

    “And we also looked at their theories. If any of them had known anything important, we’d have recruited them. Hell, it was you who debunked most of their theories.”

    Daniel frowned, Sam saw, in that pouty way of his. “Yes, but they’re not exactly crazy. The Goa’uld did influence ancient cultures, just not in the way most of them thought.”

    Sam still couldn’t really believe that the likes of Erich von Däniken and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos had been hired by the Swiss government as advisors.

    “Yep.” The Colonel nodded. “‘Aliens posed as gods and enslaved humans’ wasn’t a very popular theory back then.” he shook his head. “And that little tidbit got the people riled up the most.”

    “Well, I would say that the fact that the Goa’uld still want to enslave us was the important part,” Daniel retorted. “And that they tried it twice in the last few years.”

    Sam nodded in agreement.

    “And we beat them both times,” the Colonel said. He held up a hand before Sam or Daniel could object. “I know, I know - we were very lucky. But they don’t know that.”

    “Not yet,” Daniel said. “It’ll get out sooner or later.”

    “And we can deny that we were just lucky,” the Colonel said. “Also, as soon as the Etherians land and make official contact, people will forget about the snakes for a while.”

    Sam would agree with him, but she really had to finish this report - the Cabinet needed to know what kind of advanced technology the United States could hope to develop without alien help, and in what time frame, if they wanted to make an informed decision about how to approach the upcoming negotiations with the Etherians. And Daniel needed to finish his addendums to his report about the Etherian culture.

    “Alright, folks!”

    She looked up again - the President had just entered. And he was smiling rather tiredly.

    “I’ve just finished talking to our NATO allies. The good news is that while officially, they’re all very annoyed with us for not telling them about our war with the Goa’uld, unofficially, they were more accommodating. Not even the French are talking about leaving NATO, though everyone wants to discuss how this will affect the treaty.” He sighed. “The bad news is that they’re talking about strengthening NATO structures and leadership to address this unprecedented development.”

    “Why is that bad news?” Daniel whispered.

    “That’s Diplomatic for ‘we don’t want you to call the shots any more’,” the Colonel replied. “Not that it will succeed - we’re just too big and too powerful. Or were.”

    And indeed, most Cabinet members sighed, and the Secretary of Defense hung his head.

    Then the President turned to SG-1. “So… what’s your take on this? Will the Etherians build an Alliance with NATO?”

    Sam drew a sharp breath and pressed her lips together. This wasn’t her speciality. This was Daniel’s. And the Colonel’s.

    “Daniel?” The Colonel looked at their friend. “What do you think, based upon their culture, the Etherians will do?”

    “If we approach them honestly, I think so,” Daniel replied without hesitation - he must have anticipated this. “NATO would likely remind them of their own Alliance on Etheria.”

    “And will they associate the Russians with the Horde?” the Secretary of State asked.

    “I think that depends on the Russians, Mr President,” Daniel replied. “But as long as we’re honest with the Etherians, I believe they’ll be honest with us.”

    “We aren’t about to lie to aliens who can glass a continent from outer space,” the Secretary of Defense cut in.

    “They wouldn’t do that anyway,” Daniel said. “But they will ask for assurances that whatever treaty they make with us won’t be dissolved by your successor, Mr President.”

    “That means I can’t just use Executive Orders to push through gay marriage.” The President sighed and sat down. “I should never have signed the Defense of Marriage Act. This will be ugly. If we can’t do this, the rest of NATO might just make their own deals. And we would need a bipartisan majority for this.”

    “That won’t happen. If the conservatives agree to this, they’ll lose the evangelicals,” the Secretary of Education said. “And they’ll get primaried.”

    “But we might get enough of them to let it pass. We just need enough to pass the bill; they can oppose it as long as we get enough votes,” the Secretary of State said. “Kinsey might get enough of them to play ball.”

    The President shook his head. “Let’s see first if Kinsey had success before we plan on him doing more. And there’s the Supreme Court to be considered.”

    Before anyone else could voice their opinion, an aide entered the room. “Mr President! The crowd in front of Area-51 tried to force their way into the area. Security repulsed them, but… they weren’t gentle about it.”


    The aide started to repeat their news, but the President waved him off. “No, I got that. How many are dead?”

    “Uh… we don’t know yet if there were any deaths, but…”

    In the background, someone had switched the channels.

    “...and it’s carnage as the army beats down people left and right! Bleeding protesters are arrested as dozens of people cry out for help!”

    “Air Force,” Sam heard the Colonel mutter under his breath. “It’s an Air Force base.”

    Sam wasn’t quite certain that the Air Force would want to be associated in the perception of the public with this particular incident.

    “Well, that doesn’t look so bad,” the Secretary of State said - right before a young woman bleeding from the head and carrying a young child in her arms, both crying from tear gas, staggered through the scene behind the reporter.

    “Who takes a child to such a protest?” Daniel wondered, shaking his head.

    The reporter, meanwhile, kept talking. “Behind me, parts of the crowd keep chanting despite the tear gas deployed. They want to ‘free the aliens’, as they say.”

    “Christ!” the President cursed.

    “Can we evacuate the alien? He looks human, so we could stuff him in a uniform and just walk him out,” someone - the Secretary of Labour - asked.

    “We should have brought him to Washington right away,” the Secretary of Transportation added.

    “I doubt that the Etherians would have let us,” the Colonel spoke up. “Bow didn’t come as a diplomat - he came with us to make sure we wouldn’t do anything with the shuttle.”

    “And we can’t order him around,” Daniel reminded the others. “If you want to talk to him, you have to ask him.”

    “If he’s just a guard and pilot, why didn’t he leave as soon as you were dropped there?” the Secretary of Transportation asked.

    “Because the Etherians probably used the opportunity to spy on us,” the Colonel replied.

    “What?” several voices exclaimed at once.

    “They can’t do that!”

    “How dare they!”

    “Shut up! We’d do the same!” the Secretary of Defense snapped. “They’re doing SigInt most likely.”

    He was looking at SG-1, Sam realised. At her. “Yes, Sir.” She nodded.

    “They’re probably watching TV,” Daniel added. “They were very interested in Earth entertainment since they don’t have such mass media on Etheria.”

    “Jesus Christ,” the Secretary of Education muttered. “We will be lucky if they want to talk to us at all after this.”

    “We warned them what the consequences of this revelation would be,” the Secretary of State pointed out.

    “I don’t mean that,” the woman replied. “I meant after they watched our Daytime TV.”

    “Oh dear,” someone else muttered.

    “People, focus!” The President raised his voice. “We’ve got the boyfriend of the alien queen sitting in a shuttle in an airbase under attack by a mob. If anything happens to him, we’ll get the blame from everyone.”

    “We need to ask him to go into protective custody - if the crowd manages to storm the base, we can’t protect the spaceship,” the Secretary of the Interior said. “And if the crowd keeps growing, we won’t be able to protect the base. Not unless we start shooting people,” he added before the Secretary of Defense could protest.

    “And we don’t want to shoot people,” the President said. “Alright, call the base. Tell them to contact Bow. No, tell them to get us a line to Bow.” He turned to SG-1. “You talk to him. Make him understand how critical this is.”

    “I doubt that he will leave the shuttle, Mr President,” the Colonel replied. “I doubt that the mob can force their way into the shuttle there, either. Or even reach the actual base. They have to cross miles of desert.”

    “Yes,” Sam added. “They would need specialised gear or explosives to breach the doors of the craft.” She blinked. But…

    “But we don’t know who is hiding inside that mob,” the Colonel said. “If there are operatives of other groups present… We’ll need to tell him to evacuate with the shuttle if the situation grows worse. With the crowd drawing attention, a small group of operatives could slip through the perimeter.”


    “Fly away on TV? Everyone will think that we have been hiding aliens!” the Secretary of State protested. “They will think that we’ve already made contact on US soil!”

    “It’s better than letting a mob charge the shuttle on live TV,” the President retorted. “Or have some foreign spies get access to the aliens. Do it! Get that shuttle away. We can always claim it had an automated pilot or was remote controlled or something.”

    “Yes, Sir.”

    “Get me the commander of Area-51 on the line!”

    “I need to talk to the NATO General Secretary!”

    “Mr President! The United Nations Secretary-General wants to talk to you!”


    Outside the Solar System, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “They want to attack you?” Glimmer was… well, not hysterical, in Catra’s impression. More like ready to blow up a few Earth people. “Bow!”

    “Well, they are screaming about ‘freeing the aliens’, so they probably don’t want to attack me…” Bow, smiling weakly on the big screen, told them. Then he glanced over his shoulder. “The soldiers are fighting them, but… there are so many.”

    “They seem to have limited weapons,” Hordak commented. “SG-1 used firearms to great effect, but those soldiers are using clubs and rather ineffective gas.”

    “I think they are trying to avoid killing the people there,” Entrapta said.

    “But they are losing the battle.”

    “Ah…” Bow coughed. “It’s more a protest than a battle. I think so, at least.”

    “It looks like an attack on a military base to me,” Hordak said.

    “These people aren’t soldiers!” Glimmer protested.

    “Why would that matter?”

    Hordak didn’t seem to understand. Well, Catra didn’t quite get it either. If you didn’t want to be a soldier, you didn’t attack soldiers, period.

    “Oh… another call’s coming in. Earth frequency. SG-1’s,” Bow said.

    A moment later, O’Neill’s voice was heard. “Bow?”


    “I’m with the President here. Things are getting a little dicey out there, which you might have noticed.”

    “Yes, I noticed.” Bow laughed more than a little forcedly.

    “Good. Can you fly without being seen on TV?”

    “The stealth system is aimed at sensors, mostly. We didn’t quite get the optical camouflage working past prototypes. Yet,” Entrapta cut in.

    “Ah. You’re on the line as well. Anyway - unless you want to take shelter in a bunker on the base, it would be better if you lifted off.”

    “Yes!” Adora spoke up. “If they see that the shuttle left, they might stop trying to storm the base!”

    “Or they think that their prey’s getting away,” Catra commented. She knew the thrill of a chase, after all. And the frustration when you failed.

    Adora pouted at her. “But that makes no sense!”

    “This whole thing doesn’t make any sense,” Catra retorted.

    “Yes,” Hordak agreed. “It’s a bandit attack on a base, and the soldiers aren’t defending the base.”

    “It’s not a bandit attack,” O’Neill protested. “Those people aren’t bandits. They think they are doing the right thing - well, most of them.”

    “The Horde soldiers thought the same,” Adora retorted.

    Catra bit her lower lip. She had known that the Horde was evil, after all.

    “Anyway, the base security forces aren’t going to massacre a bunch of rioters or protesters. That’s not how we do things. So, if those people break through the perimeter and might get to you, lift off. Would be nice if you could wait until it’s too dark to see the shuttle lift off, but… there might be other elements out there as well.”

    Catra nodded. Yes, she didn’t think that would work out - it was a few hours until it was dark enough for that, after all.

    “We’re not going to risk Bow!” Glimmer protested at once.

    “We won’t,” Adora said.

    “Of course not,” Bow added. “But I’ll hold out as long as I can.”

    Glimmer stared at him, her lips moving without a sound, and Catra sighed and looked away. This was getting a bit too… too much. Then she felt Adora’s hand on her shoulder. “It’ll be OK! They said things are calming down,” her lover said in a soft voice.

    “So…” O’Neill’s voice sounded through the speakers again. “Have you decided what will be your next step? So we can avoid another set of riots?”

    Catra scoffed, then gritted her teeth when she saw Adora flinch. It wasn’t her fault. “You should have thought about that before keeping the whole affair a secret,” Catra spat. “Don’t blame us for that!”

    “Well, keeping it a secret was a sort of thing, back in the day,” O’Neill replied. “But we need to deal with how things are now.”

    “We will approach and address Earth in a day or two,” Glimmer said. “Waiting any longer would only cause more rumours and hysteria.”

    “We will?” Adora mouthed.

    “Ah. And have you decided on where you’ll land?”

    Catra frowned. O’Neill was too… accommodating. She’d expected him to suggest some landing sites.

    “Yes,” Glimmer replied. “We’ll ask to land at Geneva to address the United Nations.”

    “The Swiss will need some time to prepare for that,” O’Neill replied. “As will the rest of the world. So… best wait a day after asking for permission to land there.”

    “Then we will approach Earth tomorrow,” Glimmer told him. “We don’t want to delay this any further. Your people need to see that we come in peace and as friends.”

    “That’s what we’ve been telling them. But not everyone is listening to us.”

    Well, that was no surprise, in Catra’s opinion - not after they had been lied to for years. She clenched her teeth when she remembered what Shadow Weaver had done to her and Adora.

    “They’ll listen to us,” Glimmer told him.

    “We’ll see. Some might find that a bit intimidating.”

    “What?” Adora shook her head. “We’re not intimidating! We’re honest. We’re here to help you!”

    Catra sighed. She loved Adora, but sometimes… Well, Catra wasn’t entirely sure that Glimmer hadnt meant to sound so threatening just now. Not with Bow in sort of danger.

    After a bit of more back and forth talk, O’Neill ended the call.

    “Uh oh!”

    “Bow?” Glimmer gasped. “What’s going on?”

    “The crowd’s breaking through!” Entrapta announced. The screen switched, and they saw a mass of people surging past and over a thin line of soldiers.

    “Bow! Lift off!”

    “They’re still miles away, and they have to walk through the desert to reach us,” Bow said.

    “Lift off!”


    Washington D.C., United States of America, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    On the screen in the Situation Room, the scene changed once more to show a huge tent lifting into the air, picking up speed, before being ripped away and apart by the air resistance, revealing the back of the Etherian shuttle as it climbed into the sky. As before, the scene froze right at the moment where one could see most of the craft.

    Then came another set of ‘experts’ to point at vague features of the shuttle and try to make sense of them. If the situation wasn’t so serious, Jack O’Neill would have laughed at some of their ideas.

    “How did they break into the base?” the Secretary of Agriculture asked, shaking his head. “The base is supposed to be guarded!”

    “They didn’t,” the Secretary of State told him. “They breached the perimeter of the restricted area. They’re still miles away from anything important, like the actual base and runways. Miles of desert.”

    “Yes,” Jack spoke up - perhaps out of turn, but this was about the Air Force getting maligned. “This isn’t like a helicopter lifting off the roof from the embassy in Saigon.”

    “And a lot of our best troops are busy protecting the cities from riots,” someone else added.

    “But they went through the soldiers!”

    “Should the soldiers have shot them? In front of the press? In front of the Etherians? While they were in the middle of the desert, miles from reaching anything actually important? They still are in the middle of the desert, by the way,” the Secretary of Defense said.

    “So, the Etherians overreacted?” Secretary of Agriculture asked.

    “Everyone overreacted,” the Vice President grumbled. “Half the Senate thinks the aliens were almost caught by a mob. No thanks to the press coverage.”

    “The Etherians probably didn’t want to take any risks,” Daniel suggested. “I think they’re pretty spooked by what’s been going on all around the world. And there was the risk of foreign spies approaching the shuttle.”

    “Well, that’s their own damned fault,” the Secretary of Defense muttered. “We told them what would happen, and they didn’t listen.”

    “That’s not quite true, Sir,” Daniel objected at once. “They insisted on contacting Earth, yes - but they didn’t force us to keep the existence of aliens and the Stargate a secret in the first place and for so long.”

    “We could’ve handled this if we had been given more time,” the man insisted.

    Jack disagreed with that. Not out loud, of course.

    Daniel, of course, did so out loud. “Perhaps the consequences could have been mitigated to some degree,” he said. “But the information that we’re at war with aliens who want to destroy and enslave us and that the United States government has kept this a secret from everyone would have caused riots anyway.” He weathered the glare from the Secretary of Defense without flinching.

    Jack cleared his throat. “What’s done is done. We need to focus on what has to be done next.”

    After a moment, the Secretary of State spoke up. “We know that the Etherians overreacted to this. Do you think that they panicked? Or do you think they had the wrong information to make their decision?”

    Jack tilted his head. “Probably a bit of both. Bow probably wouldn’t have lifted off so early. But Glimmer’s back outside the Solar system, and she struck me as quite protective of him.” It wouldn’t hurt to emphasise this before someone got a stupid idea about leverage.

    “Are you sure?”

    “No, Sir. But this is my best bet. I doubt that Bow would have panicked,” Jack said.

    “Unless he panicked about what Glimmer would do if she thought he was in immediate danger,” Daniel added.

    Right. Some of the stories they had heard during their trip made that a rather likely assumption.

    “It’s a theory, Sir,” Carter said. “We don’t know what the Etherians are thinking right now.”

    “They’re probably thinking the worst of us after everything that’s happened,” Daniel said.

    Which, honestly, wasn’t a bad stance for them, Jack had to admit, if only to herself. And not an entirely bad thing for Earth either. If someone managed to take advantage of Adora’s… idealism, for example, the consequences when the others, especially Catra and Glimmer, found out wouldn’t be pretty. Still, they had lost a lot of trust today, Jack was sure of that.

    The President entered again, looking exhausted. “So… NATO thinks we’ve been holding out on them again.” He sank into his chair. “I’ve explained that this was just the shuttle that brought your team back, but now they want to talk to you.”

    “The General Secretary wants to talk to us?” Jack asked.

    “He does. But our allies want a Defence Minister meeting to assess the situation.”

    “Did you tell them that the aliens want to land at Geneva to talk to the United Nations?” the Secretary of State asked.

    “I did. That’s what prompted this ‘request’. And, as the French put it, since SG-1 will have to be present in Geneva anyway, you can stop in Brussels on the way over.”

    “Great.” Jack sighed. “At least we can sleep on the plane.”

    “Yes. While I’ll deal with the Russians and the Chinese. Again.”

    Somehow, Jack couldn’t muster a lot of sympathy for the President right now. Not when his team and himself had to face a bunch of angry Defense Ministers, and everyone was looking for a scapegoat.

    At least he would finally be able to sleep for more than an hour or two.


    Outside the Solar System, August 14th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Bow should return to us at once,” Glimmer said, folding her arms over her chest.

    “No!” Entrapta objected. “He needs to stay in Earth orbit so we can monitor the broadcasting of Earth! He’s perfectly safe there!”

    “Bow shouldn’t be talked about as if he were not present,” Bow commented with a slight frown on the screen.

    Adora chuckled at that - her friend was right. And Glimmer was just worried too much about him. Although, Adora added to herself, her smile fading, the things they had seen happening on Earth were terrible. How could people do this? Most of it made absolutely no sense. And she still felt guilty about it.

    At least, they could do something about it now. Something to comfort people and show them that they didn’t need to be afraid any more. She nodded. Yes, they would make things better.

    “You’ve got that expression again,” Catra muttered. “I bet you just had a stupid idea.”

    “No!” Adora defended herself. “It’s not a stupid idea,” she added with a frown. Now everyone was looking at her. She raised her chin. “I just think we should help Earth recover from this - make up for all the chaos.”

    “That wasn’t our fault!” Glimmer and Catra said in unison, then stared at each other.

    “It wasn’t,” Adora said, even though she wasn’t sure. “But we still can and should help.”

    “Oh, yes!” Entrapta beamed. “I’ve got some ideas about rebuilding!”

    Adora suddenly had second thoughts about her idea.


    Earth Orbit, Solar System, August 15th, 1998 (Earth Time)



    Adora watched with a smile as Glimmer tackled Bow before he could clear the ramp of the shuttle.

    Next to her, Catra snorted. “He wasn’t really in danger,” she muttered.

    Adora sighed. She agreed with Catra’s, but Glimmer had a different opinion. And Adora could understand that - to see the violence and panic their presence had caused… She looked through the window at the blue planet below them. And now the people on Earth were panicking again, even though they hadn’t brought the whole Third Fleet, just an escort of half a dozen frigates - the minimum number that Priest had accepted.

    Bow and Glimmer finished their kiss and pulled apart again. He coughed. “Don’t you have to address Earth? To ask for permission to land in Geneva?”

    Glimmer pouted at him. “I needed to make sure that you were safe first.”

    Catra snorted under her breath - Adora was sure she was the only one to hear it.

    “And we can offer our help rebuilding what was destroyed because of our arrival,” Entrapta chimed in.

    “That wasn’t our fault,” Hordak said at the same moment Glimmer blurted out: “That’s not our fault!”

    Both looked at each other for a moment while Adora suppressed a smile at the sight.

    “Anyway,” Glimmer went on, “Let’s address Earth.”


    Two minutes later, Glimmer sat in the Captain’s Chair, with Adora and the others standing at her side. It was quite a nice sight if Adora said so herself. Formal, but not too formal. It wasn’t a throne, after all.

    “So…” Entrapta stood from where she had been fiddling with the console. “We should be able to connect to the Earth communication networks. We tested the protocols for the television broadcasts.”

    “Uh… we aren’t taking over their television, are we?” Adora asked. That would cause more trouble, she was sure.

    “No, no - we’re using the radio frequencies. But we’re also using one of the emergency channels to broadcast the video feed from Darla. So, since they’re not using that channel, we’re kinda taking it over and still not taking over television.” Entrapta shrugged. “It should be fine. Anyway, we’re ready to go!” She beamed and walked over to stand in front of Hordak, her hair twitching a little.

    Glimmer cleared her throat. “Alright, start broadcasting.”

    Adora smiled as widely as she could. They had to make a good impression. They couldn’t cause more panic.

    “We’re on!”

    “People of Earth! We are representatives of the Princess Alliance of the planet Etheria. I am Glimmer, Queen of Bright Moon.” She nodded to the side.

    That was Adora’s Cue. She straightened and raised her chin. “I am Adora. I’m also known as She-Ra, Princess of Power.”

    “And I’m Entrapta, Princess of Dryl!” Entrapta beamed at the Camera.

    “Hordak.” He didn’t bother smiling, Adora noticed.

    “My science buddy!”

    That, apparently, made Hordak smile. It wasn’t a good smile.

    “Catra.” Catra’s smile was more of a smirk.

    “And I am Bow.” Bow, though, smiled widely. “Techmaster.”

    Melog opened its mouth, and Catra translated: “And this is Melog.”

    Glimmer spoke up again. “We’ve met a team of your soldiers when they were stranded on Etheria and brought them back to Earth. And we wish to speak to your United Nations to discuss an alliance against the Goa’uld. They are an enemy of every civilisation and will not rest until they have crushed everyone else. They hold entire planets in bondage, with countless people, mostly humans from Earth, having been enslaved.

    “We will fight them as we fought Horde Prime, to save everyone, but we need your help to do this - everyone’s help. So, we ask the rulers of Switzerland for permission to land in Geneva to address the United Nations there.” After a moment, she added: “Please let us know on this frequency if we can land there tomorrow.”

    “And.. cut!” Entrapta smiled. “That went well!” She tilted her head. “I think so, at least.”

    Bow stepped forward and pushed a few buttons, splitting the big screen to display various television channels.

    “...no comment yet from the Swiss government. They seem surprised at this declaration and request…”

    “...the Secretary-General of the United Nations released a statement that he would be honoured to welcome the delegation from Etheria at the Palais des Nations in Geneva…”

    “...French President stated that he would attend the meeting in Geneva…”

    “...Bundeskanzler erklärte, der erste Kontakt mit einer ausserirdischen Zivilisation sei Sache der Vereinten Nationen, und daher…”

    “...Russia voiced concerns about the fact that soldiers made contact with Etheria, not diplomats, and once more condemned the secrecy of the United States about their Stargate Program, which has been…”

    “...protests are gathering in front of the United Nations Office in New York…”

    “...the government of Geneva has formally asked for help from the Federal government and the other cantons to guarantee the security of the upcoming First Contact…”

    “...and as dozens, hundreds of cars leave Geneva, even more try to enter, clogging the streets…”

    Glimmer frowned. “Did we get permission to land there yet?”

    “No,” Bow said. “But it seems that everyone assumes that’s merely a formality.”

    Adora stared at the pictures of vehicles filling the streets.

    Catra snorted. “Looks like yesterday.”

    Adora winced. It did look like yesterday’s panic. But… “More people want to see us than are afraid of us?”

    Catra snorted again. “That’s progress of sorts. Like Kyle only losing half the food he’s fetching.”

    Adora had to laugh at the memories that brought up. But she sobered up almost instantly. “We need to convince them that we don’t mean any harm to them.”

    “Good luck with that,” Catra said.


    NATO Headquarters, Brussels, Belgium, August 15th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...and how much advanced technology is being fielded by Stargate Command at this point?” the Ministre de la Défense asked in his slight French accent.

    Samantha Carter heard the Colonel mutter something about letting the French sit at the table even though they weren’t a full member of NATO but she ignored that and smiled politely. “We regularly field several advanced small arms which have been recovered from the Goa’uld.”

    “And irregularly?”

    “In times of emergency, we will use whatever is at hand, but alien technology isn’t standard issue for Stargate Command,” the Colonel cut in.

    “And what is in development?” the German minister asked. “Surely you’re working hard on developing advanced weapons for domestic production.”

    Of course they were. Sam tilted her head. “As far as I know, no project has reached the point of field testing, much less mass production.”

    The man leaned forward. “And what sorts of projects do you know of? And how fast could they enter mass production?”

    Now that was a tricky question. SG-1 had been ordered to be as open as possible without ‘endangering national security’. That was a very flexible term. “I am not part of those research groups,” Sam replied. “I am a member of a field unit and a specialist for gate technology, not a weapon developer.” Fortunately, the Colonel didn’t make any comment about sandbagging. “I couldn’t say how far such projects are.”

    “Really?” The British Secretary of State for Defence frowned. “You are the foremost expert for advanced technology - you were involved in the recovery of most samples of alien weapons the United States currently research, weren’t you?”

    Sam managed not to wince. Someone must have talked to the Brits. That wasn’t the kind of recognition she wanted. “Yes, Sir, but I am working at the front, so to speak, and mainly with the Stargate, not with applied weapon research. I’m a physicist.”

    “I see that the United States still keep their secrets,” the French minister commented with a slight sneer at the Secretary of Defense, who returned it with interest.

    “As do we all,” the Secretary General interjected. “But we requested SG-1, not their research teams, because we wanted them to share their information about the Etherians. Questions about the state of the American weapons programs seem to be slightly beyond the purpose of this meeting.”

    Daniel nodded earnestly at that. Most ministers present didn’t seem to share that view, though the Minister from Norway seemed to agree as well. “Indeed. Unless the United States are about to deploy spaceships in Earth’s defence, knowing as much as possible about the aliens is of much more importance. So, Dr Jackson, you are Stargate’s expert for alien cultures.

    “Yes, Sir,” Daniel replied as if the assembled ministers weren’t already aware of that.

    “And according to what we were told, you think that the Etherians are honest in their claims. They want an alliance, not subjugation.”

    “Yes, Minister.” Daniel nodded again. “They are an alliance of multiple kingdoms, so they are used to working together against a common enemy without requiring closer ties or control.”

    “And yet,” the French minister spoke up again, “you also said they were shocked about certain discriminatory policies common on Earth. You even called those policies the biggest hurdle for an alliance.”

    “Yes,” Daniel replied without hesitation. “It’s all in my report. Since on Etheria, politics is a highly personal affair, their rulers are much more concerned about such discrimination than we’re used to on Earth.”

    “Do you think that they will be willing to ignore certain peculiarities in order to focus on our common enemy?”

    Daniel’s wince told them enough. And if that hadn’t been a big clue, the Secretary of Defense’s glare would have clinched it. “I am not certain, of course - they can be pragmatic - but I doubt that.”

    “I see.” The French minister leaned back with a slight smirk.

    “What about ‘magic’? the British Secretary of State for Defence asked. “You mentioned that they are planning to ‘restore magic to Earth’. Could you elaborate on this?”

    Sam fought the urge to wince again. Another landmine that Daniel wouldn’t hesitate to step on. Some generals would want SG-1 posted in Alaska after this.


    Earth Orbit, Solar System, August 16th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “So… we’re clear to land in Geneva. The Swiss government apologised for the delay in responding,” Bow told them as Adora and Catra stepped on Darla’s bridge. “Apparently, the airport was swamped with planes from all over the world, and it took a while to clear the airspace.”

    “I don’t know why they would do that. Darla is perfectly capable of hovering until we can land. There was no need to reroute or delay any planes,” Entrapta said.

    “I think there were also security concerns,” Hordak said.

    “Darla’s got shields,” Entrapta retorted.

    “Yes. We should be more concerned about an attack on the ground,” Catra commented as she leaned against Adora’s chair. She didn’t quite trust everyone on Earth. For a supposedly neutral, peaceful country, the Swiss had a lot of soldiers.

    “Yes,” Glimmer agreed with a frown. “Entrapta, you need to keep an eye out for any threats.”

    “Will do!” Entrapta nodded. “I’ve adapted the Scanner to cover most weapons on Earth.”

    “‘Most’?” Glimmer asked.

    “I had to exclude swords and knives - there were too many in every plane, for example.”

    “I didn’t think that they were using swords on Earth,” Adora said. “They were surprised by mine.”

    “It was mostly knives. I could fine-tune the Scanners to ignore smaller blades, but according to that show we saw, even small blades can be deadly.”

    “I think we can handle an attacker using knives,” Bow said. “Should the Swiss guards not be able to handle them.”

    “Yes! So, now let’s land and show the people of Earth that we come to help them and that they don’t have to fear us,” Adora said with a smile.

    “As long as they don’t mean us any harm,” Catra commented as she flexed her claws. At Adora’s frown, she added: “I’m just saying I’m not going to let anyone hurt us.” Especially not Adora.

    Glimmer nodded in agreement as Darla started to descend into Earth’s atmosphere.

    Ambaire, Chadster, Zsetaques and 13 others like this.
  13. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    eternal_lurker likes this.
  14. Threadmarks: Chapter 19: The United Nations

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 19: The United Nations

    Geneva Airport, Switzerland, August 16th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Alright… they want us to land there!”

    Catra looked at the spot Adora indicated. It was right in front of what seemed to be the main building. And lots of people were lined up nearby, held back by flimsy-looking barriers.

    But they were already descending. She looked at Entrapta. “Any threats?”

    “Uh… the soldiers are armed, but they should be armed. Although the ones standing in a line there aren’t armed - their weapons aren’t loaded. But the ones on the roofs and around us are armed. But there’s nothing that would threaten Darla.”

    “And us?” Catra asked. She wasn’t really worried about Darla.

    “Hm… we could take a portable shield generator just in case?”

    “Yes,” Catra agreed before anyone else could say anything. “And we’ve got Melog.”

    Yes. Safe.

    “They say it’s safe.”

    “Good. Now let’s land. Preferably without crushing the welcome committee,” Glimmer said. She was wearing a fancier version of her normal clothes - her ‘coronation outfit’, Adora and Bow, who were both wearing their Princess Prom outfits, had called it.

    Well, Catra’s suit hadn’t survived the war, but her regular clothes would do. It wasn’t as if Entrapta was dressing up at all.

    Adora chuckled, but she sounded a little nervous - the space was a little tight, Catra noticed.

    But the ship touched down just fine between the large building and the small round buildings that seemed to connect to the planes.

    Adora stood and took a deep breath. “Alright. Let’s be on our best behaviour!” She looked at Catra.

    Catra smirked back at her. “I’m always on my best behaviour.”

    “Just don’t…” Adora sighed. “Don’t scare them.”

    Catra put her hand on her chest. “Me? What about Glimmer.”

    “I’m not going to scare them!” Glimmer protested at once, as Catra had expected.

    “Let’s just go and don’t scare anyone,” Bow said. He smoothed his top and brushed some imaginary speck of dust from his belt, Catra noticed - he wasn’t as calm as he tried to act.

    They let the ramp down and stepped out. The white-haired man in the middle of the group waiting for them took a step forward and smiled. Behind him, the soldiers tensed and straightened. Just like in the Horde, Catra thought and suppressed a snarl.

    Adora tensed as well, she knew, and she ran the tip of her tail over the back of Adora’s thigh. A soft giggle told her that it had worked.

    Then they reached the bottom of the ramp, Glimmer in the lead, and the white-haired man - apparently the leader of the Swiss, their ‘Bundespräsident’ - offered a handshake. “Your Royal Highness, we’re honoured to welcome you to Switzerland for this historic occasion! I’m the President of the Swiss Confederation. ”

    Glimmer slowly inclined her head and returned the greeting. “We’re honoured to be here.”

    Then the music started.

    “As you told us that you don’t have a national anthem, we’ve picked the Hymn to the United Nations,” the man explained. He had a different accent than O’Neill’s team, Catra noticed.

    “It’s alright,” Adora said with a smile.

    “Is that like The Internationale?” Entrapta asked.

    “Ah…” the president’s smile froze for a moment. “Not quite.” And he was back to smiling widely.

    Then they reached the end of the formation of soldiers - who didn’t look very impressive compared to SG-1, to Catra at least - and the president introduced the rest of the Swiss government, who had all shown up to greet them. Apparently, that was quite unusual. Not that Catra cared about that - they weren’t here for the Swiss, but for the United Nations.

    But everyone was here for them. She saw countless cameras and other sensors aimed at them. And banners and flowers. The crowd was getting a little unruly, in her opinion. And a lot of attention seemed to be aimed at her - and at Melog and Hordak.

    Right, she reminded herself. Those people were only used to humans like Adora. She grinned at the thought that, for once, she was drawing more attention than Glimmer or Adora. Though, to be fair, Adora wasn’t in her She-Ra form.

    Then came the speeches. The Swiss president gave a short speech that basically repeated what he had told them. Switzerland was happy and honoured to have them here. Glimmer told them that they were happy and honoured to be here.

    Catra wasn’t. It was pretty hot, and the crowd was very loud. And she felt exposed - so many people, and she had no idea how many of them hated her.

    Fortunately, after Glimmer’s speech, they moved inside for a quick ‘apéro’, which apparently was a Swiss custom that involved drinking wine and eating tiny food while chatting. Or, in her case, watching how Entrapta confused the older Swiss who was talking to her by delivering detailed explanations about Darla’s engines as soon as he mentioned the ship. Or somehow seemed to disturb the people from Earth by using her hair to grab the tiny food and stuff it into her mouth with obvious enthusiasm.

    “Catra,” Adora hissed next to her, picking another tiny bread with sausage from a plate. “Be more polite.”

    “I am being polite,” she replied in a low voice. “I haven’t insulted anyone.” Or clawed anyone.

    “I mean, mingle a bit with them! You scared away the one man who tried to talk to you.”

    “I didn’t! He was allergic to my fur.”


    “That’s what he said.”

    “But…” Adora sighed.

    Catra grinned. The man had gotten off lightly, anyway - he had asked if her ‘ancestors’ had ever visited Earth before because, apparently, some ancient people on Earth had worn cat pelts or something.

    At least the fish sandwiches were great - she had to get more of that ‘salmon’ stuff. Perhaps if she acted offended, they’d offer her a load as an apology?


    Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, August 16th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “The Etherians are moving,” an aide reported to the President. “Their car has already left the airport.”

    “Finally,” Jack O’Neill muttered under his breath as the President turned to the Secretary of State for some more last-minute talk. The Swiss had kept the Etherians for almost an hour. “What took them so long? Everyone’s waiting!

    “Well, as the host country, they probably felt it wouldn’t be dignified if they just, ah, waved them through,” Daniel suggested, looking up from his notebook. “But they probably also thought this was a great opportunity to network or something.”

    “Probably tried to get them to deposit their money in Swiss banks.” Jack scoffed. “They aren’t even in the United Nations!”

    “They claim that their neutrality forbids it.” Daniel shrugged. “But there are proposals being discussed for Switzerland to join the United Nations, I believe.” Then he frowned. “However, you raise a good point. If an alliance is made, probably even without a formal alliance, we’ll have to regulate trade, which will involve money.”

    “Great. Let’s hope that we get to watch when the Swiss get nuked from orbit for trying to help Etherians evade taxation.” Jack snorted.

    “I believe trade contact will be limited to princesses, at least at first, so tax evasion shouldn’t be a concern since the princesses basically tax themselves,” Daniel replied. “Although private enterprises might also enter this on the Etherian side, I’m not actually sure how much of the Etherian economy would be compatible with such a system. Most of the enterprises rely on royal charters, as far as I know.”

    Jack was about to tell Daniel that he had been joking, but they had attracted the attention of the Secretary of Defense. “We will need an analysis of the impact of trade agreements with Etheria on their and our economy. If we can leverage our economic strength…”

    Daniel actually winced. “Ah… I don’t know enough about economics to do that.”

    “We have experts for that. We need your knowledge about their planet and society.”

    “I can do that, I think,” Daniel said. “But I have to reiterate that the Etherians aren’t primitive. They may lack industrialisation, but they have advanced technology and an extensive trade network that can handle magic powers which, for example, allow near-unlimited agricultural produce.”

    That, Jack saw, gave the Secretary of Defense pause. “You mean that if they get unlimited access to our markets, our farmers will crucify us.”

    Daniel inclined his head. “I can’t speak for them, of course, but I would advise being cautious when approaching trade agreements.”

    “Yes. Let’s focus on the military question.”

    “The Etherians are here!” another aide announced.

    “And did they receive our request for a short meeting so we can apologise for the lapse in security at Area-51?” the President asked.

    “Yes, Mr President.”


    “Didn’t we do that already?” Daniel asked in a low voice.

    “It’s just an excuse to meet with the gang before the big speeches,” Jack explained.


    And then the Etherians entered the room. Glimmer and Bow in front, followed by Adora and Catra, and then Entrapta and Hordak. Jack pressed his lips together - he really didn’t like seeing the former warlord here. All dressed… Well, Adora, Bow and Glimmer had dressed up, but the others wore their usual clothes. Daniel would probably know what that said about them.

    “Ah, Your Royal Highness,” the President smiled at her, displaying the same charm that had won him the election.

    “Queen Glimmer, Mr President,” Glimmer replied,” if you want to be formal.”

    “Right. Different planets.” The President nodded. “So, I would like once more to apologise for the incident at Area 51. We were surprised by the events.”

    “Thank you,” Glimmer said, nodding.

    “Nothing happened,” Bow added with a smile. “And it wasn’t your fault.”

    That, Jack noticed, drew some frowns from Glimmer and Hordak, but neither of them spoke up.

    And the President smoothly went on: “Fortunately, nothing happened. None of the protesters got close to the actual base - we actually had to save a few who managed to get lost in the desert.”

    “Ah. As long as no one was killed or seriously hurt,” Adora said with a smile that looked a little forced to Jack. So, she was feeling guilty.

    “I trust that your security procedures will be improved in the future,” Hordak spoke up. “A group of mostly unarmed and unorganised assailants shouldn’t be able to come near a crucial testing facility.”

    “Well, they actually didn’t - they merely breached the outermost perimeter,” the President replied. “But we are indeed reviewing security, I can assure you.”

    “Thank you,” Glimmer said with a glance at the alien warlord.

    “So, did you enjoy the reception by the Swiss?”

    “The apéro? Yes,” Glimmer said.

    “Except for the weird man who wanted to talk about cat people,” Catra interjected.

    “A member of the Swiss government?” the President asked.

    “An advisor,” Adora explained. “And they apologised for it. With salmon,” she added with a glance at Catra, who flashed her teeth with a wide grin.

    Everyone chuckled at that. Even Jack - it seemed that the Swiss had made a gaffe.

    “So, it seems that, once more, no harm was done,” the President spoke up again. “So, it’s time for us, I think to take our seats in the assembly. We’ll leave SG-1 to keep you company while you wait for your grand entrance.”

    And Jack was once more reminded why he didn’t like politicians.


    The Assembly Hall looked very impressive but not quite as large - or tall - as the Great Hall in Bright Moon. Or the hall Frosta had had prepared for the Princess Prom. Still, it was much bigger than the room used for the President’s Press Conference, Adora noted as they entered. It was also full - every seat was occupied. And everyone was staring at her and her friends.

    Well, she had faced worse. Probably - armies counted, didn’t they? In any case, they were here to make a good impression, and that was what they would do. She straightened, raising her chin, and kept smiling.

    She wouldn’t have to give a speech, anyway - that was Glimmer’s job. She followed her friend on the stage, where the Secretary-General of the United Nations was waiting. He looked very dignified and friendly, like he could be Bow’s grandfather. And… Well, she didn’t want to think ill of their friends, but the Secretary-General looked more honest than the President. His smile certainly seemed more genuine as he shook their hands.

    “Queen Glimmer, Princess Adora, Princess Entrapta, Mister Bow, Miss Catra, Mister Hordak, welcome to Earth. The United Nations are honoured to meet you.”

    No dig against the USA, Adora noted, as the Secretary-General held a little speech about the United Nations representing Earth and the shared desire for peace. Well, maybe there was - it could be a cultural thing she was missing. As Bow said, different cultures had different ways to be subtle.

    Lots of applause followed the end of the man’s speech. Then it was Glimmer’s turn. Adora’s friend didn’t look nervous at all as she stepped up to the small pedestal, staff field firmly in hand. She looked determined. As if this was a battle to be won.

    Adora suppressed a wince. Sometimes, Glimmer overdid it.

    “People of Earth!” Glimmer began, “I bring greetings from the planet Etheria. As you may know already, I am Queen Glimmer, and I represent the Princess Alliance of Etheria. We come in peace and offer our friendship and aid. We are saddened that news of our arrival caused so much panic and destruction on Earth and offer our sincere regrets - and our hope that we shall overcome this and won’t let those tragic events stand in the way of a close friendship between our worlds.”

    Adora nodded. They should have handled that better, even though she didn’t know how they could’ve done that. Not without delaying the entire war effort and lying - at least by omission - to Earth.

    “However, as Etheria found out, to our chagrin, in the recent past, not everyone in the galaxy desires peace and friendship. As you were told, the Goa’uld desire to rule the entire galaxy and have enslaved countless people - many of them from Earth. They have attacked other planets in the past and twice tried to conquer Earth in recent years. Etheria, too, has faced such attacks. Less than one year ago, our planet was attacked by a brutal enemy, Horde Prime. He had enslaved and even destroyed many planets, but the Princess Alliance defeated him and liberated his enslaved soldiers.”

    Adora nodded again, her smile gone as she remembered that struggle. She had almost lost Catra. It hurt just to think of that moment when she had seen her friend, her love, speak with that horrible fake voice, smile in that…

    A hand slipped into hers, squeezing gently, and Adora smiled again. They had beaten Horde Prime. She had defeated him and saved everyone. Including Catra. She smiled at her.

    Glimmer, meanwhile, went on: “And our experience fighting for our freedom against ruthless tyrants is what compels us to offer our help to Earth. We will not let another planet suffer the fate Etheria barely avoided.”

    Once more, Adora nodded with a firm expression. The Goa’uld wouldn’t conquer or destroy Earth. They wouldn’t let them.

    “But the Goa’uld already occupy and oppress many planets whose people deserve better. We have to help them as well, and for that, we need help - from Earth. Therefore, we ask for an alliance with those on Earth who are willing to reach out and help others even if it means war. Millions of enslaved people need us - need you - to step up and face the Goa’uld. We won’t have peace until those enemies are defeated and their slaves freed. And we’ve come to Earth to lay the foundation for that. Together, we can save the galaxy!”

    Glimmer nodded and took a step back from the pedestal as the people applauded. Some were enthusiastic, some not so - at least it looked like that to Adora - but that was to be expected. It was actually better if the United Nations weren’t too eager to wage war, in her opinion.

    The Secretary-General smiled again at Glimmer and then opened the floor, as he called it, for questions from the audience.

    And they did have questions. Lots of questions. Adora blinked at the number of questions. Some were quite reasonable. Some were not so reasonable. And some were… weird.


    “No, we aren’t planning to intervene in any local conflicts,” Glimmer said. “We want an alliance against the Goa’uld, our common enemy, not an alliance against people on Earth.”

    The representative - from a country currently waging a civil war - didn’t look satisfied. Well, we’ve expected that, Samantha Carter thought from her seat at the side of the stage as the Assembly questioned the Etherians. Everyone needed to know as much as possible to make informed decisions, after all.

    “What is your marital status?” That question came from a country ruled by a monarch - one with multiple wives. Sam wondered if Glimmer was aware of that.

    Glimmer looked surprised - as did her friends. “What would that matter? I’m in a happy relationship.”

    “And so am I!” Entrapta announced. “If you wanted to know!”

    Sam saw Catra grab Adora’s arm and lean her head against her shoulder.

    “Will you demand that your soldiers are exempt from local laws?”

    The Colonel grumbled about that obvious reference to US policy.

    “No,” Glimmer said. “Although we will not ally with any country where we would need such protection from the laws.”

    Daniel nodded. “That’s nicely worded.”

    Sam had expected someone to ask for clarifications, but the next question changed the subject.

    “Will you share your technology with your allies?”

    “Yes,” Glimmer said, “we are looking for a real alliance - including the exchange of technology. It would be stupid to wage war without sharing technology when we are facing a common enemy. However, we also know about the risks of helping people in need, only for them to turn on us.”

    Sam didn’t miss the glance Glimmer sent at Hordak when she said that.

    Another representative was called to ask a question. “We have heard similar promises in the past. What assurances can you give us that you aren’t going to colonise us?”

    Glimmer blinked and looked at the Secretary-General. A quick whispering exchange followed before the woman nodded, though she still looked confused. “Why would we want to conquer you? We just fought a war to defeat Horde Prime, who tried to conquer us.”

    “You could be trying to deceive us. You said you need us to fight this war for you, ostensibly to protect us. We’ve heard that before.”

    “Well, it’s the truth. We have plenty of ships, but you can’t really take a planet with just ships, not without wrecking the ecosphere in the process, and you can’t hold a planet,” Glimmer explained. “Troops from Earth would be ideal to occupy Goa’uld planets and deliver help to the population. You have so many of them.”

    Sam winced even before several representatives started badgering Glimmer with more pointed questions.

    “Yeah, that struck a nerve with many former colonies,” the Colonel commented in a low voice. “Betcha that there’ll be cartoons depicting Glimmer as a new Queen Victoria trying to rule the world.”

    He had a point, in Sam’s opinion.

    “We probably gave the Etherians a not entirely correct impression of Earth’s stance towards war,” Daniel said.

    That, too, sounded plausible.

    “Hey!” Glimmer said, raising her hands as the Secretary-General finally managed to calm the Assembly down again. “I’m telling the truth. I’m not trying to deceive anyone. We need each other if we want to save all those people.”

    “Will you share your technology even if we don’t want to fight for you?”

    Glimmer, once again, looked surprised, then frowned. “You wouldn’t be fighting for us, but for Earth and everyone else in the galaxy. Also, if you aren’t willing to help others, why do you expect help from others?”

    Adora took a step forward. “We will help you if you need help,” she said, her voice carrying through the Assembly. “But we will not just hand out technology that you can use to oppress others. We’ve seen how that works.”

    “What about technology to improve the standards of living?”

    “What about technology to combat famines?”

    “Will you share advanced medicine?”

    The Etherians seemed surprised and looked at each other. And then Entrapta spoke up, her hair lifting her up to the better look over the desk: “Well, according to the data we gathered, you have all the technology and infrastructure to feed and treat everyone, but you don’t for some reason. We would first need to know why you don’t do that in order to see how we can help there.” She nodded. “If it’s a lack of magic, that should be remedied as soon as Adora unlocks Earth’s magic.”

    Sam winced at the storm of questions and yelling that unleashed. It took several minutes for the Secretary-General to calm the Assembly down again this time.

    “That’ll kill the relations with a lot of countries,” the Colonel commented.

    “Yes, magic,” Entrapta explained. “Much of Etherian’s native technology is based on magic - especially for medicine. Though,” she perked up, “we have made strides in cybernetics as well, you prefer to replace rather than heal damaged limbs, for example!” Bow whispered something to her, and she frowned. “Anyway, Earth’s magic, like the magic for most of the galaxy, is currently blocked, but Adora can unblock it. Once she does, you’ll be able to use magic.”

    Several representatives loudly opposed this plan, and the Assembly descended into chaos yet again.

    The Etherians looked confused and even shocked for a moment. But as the chaos continued, Adora suddenly frowned, then took a step forward. She raised her arm, and her sword appeared in it, pointed towards the ceiling.

    “Oh, no!” the Colonel spat.

    “For the Honour of Grayskull!”

    Sam looked away as blinding light enveloped Adora for a moment, and she transformed.

    Then She-Ra was standing there on the stage, still frowning at the suddenly quiet Assembly. “I am She-Ra, Princess of Power. I’m not here to conquer anyone. I’m here to help you. Magic was taken from Earth long ago. I’m here to restore it to your world - if you want me to.” She lowered her sword. “Magic is not evil. It can do a lot of good. It can heal. It can restore destroyed lands and improve and save your lives. And it’s your birthright.”

    “That struck a nerve as well,” Daniel commented as the assembled diplomats erupted in yelling again.



    Glimmer looked tenser than after a battle, Catra noticed when they’d finally left the Assembly Hall and ‘retired’ to a private room with a big table and comfortable chairs. She wasn’t quite gnashing her teeth, but you could almost feel the frustration radiating from her. And the desire to do some violence.

    “What’s wrong with them?” Glimmer spat as she sank into a chair at the head of the table. “We told them everything they wanted to know, and they still don’t trust us!”

    “They think we could be lying,” Bow said, moving to the small fridge in the corner.

    “But that makes no sense.” Entrapta frowned. “Even with just the ships in orbit, we’re strong enough to conquer Earth.”

    “Telling them that made things worse.” Adora sighed and laid down her head on the table for a moment. Then she suddenly seemed to remember that they weren’t at home and sat up straight.

    Catra chuckled at the sight and moved to stand behind her, rubbing her shoulders.

    “They are very irrational,” Hordak commented. “Although they might think we are trying to deceive them and do not have the force to conquer them. Maybe a demonstration would correct that misconception.”

    Catra shook her head as Glimmer and Adora glared at Hordak. Her former leader still didn’t fully understand people. Just like Entrapta.

    “We are not going to ‘demonstrate’ an orbital bombardment,” Glimmer spat. “We’re here to form an alliance, not to conquer a planet. Or colonise them. We’re not imperialists!”

    “Someone’s learned a few new words today!” Catra said, snorting.

    Glimmer glared at her, and Adora frowned, but that was to be expected.

    “Oh, lighten up,” Catra said, sliding into Adora’s lap. “They’re bound to distrust us. How would we react if a fleet arrived out of nowhere and wanted to help us fight another Horde Prime?”

    Adora stopped shifting around under Catra and said: “We offered our help when SG-1 arrived on Etheria.”

    “They were four people and needed help. They weren’t a fleet,” Bow pointed out as he placed several bottles of drinks on the table.

    “Oh! Soda!” Entrapta grabbed two of them with her hair and handed a third to Hordak. “That’s from that show we saw!”

    “That was advertising,” Glimmer told her. “And yes, I completely understand that they might be cautious.” Catra cleared her throat, about to mention Glimmer’s earlier words, but the princess went on: “But they think the worst of us! And their questions were very rude!”

    “Were they?” Entrapta asked, blinking, between sipping from two different sodas.

    “Yes,” Glimmer said.

    “You generally don’t ask after someone’s relationships in such a meeting,” Bow explained. “That’s a private matter.”

    “Even when it’s two princesses?” Entrapta asked.

    “Well… we’re not,” Glimmer replied. “But that’s not what I meant. The way some of them asked after our technology…” She shook her head.

    “And magic,” Bow said.

    Glimmer groaned. “Don’t remind me. You’d think we threatened them with extinction when we offered to restore magic.”

    “Not all of them reacted like that,” Adora said, one arm tightening around Catra’s waist. “A few were very positive. Well, they were interested,” she added.

    “Because they probably think that as soon as you unlock the magic of Earth, they’ll have princesses and sorcerers,” Catra said, leaning her head back against Adora’s shoulder.

    “Why would they think that?” Entrapta shook her head. “It’s obvious that they will need to study magic and learn how to wield it before they can achieve anything. And we don’t even know if they have dormant princesses.”

    “It’s not obvious,” Bow told her. “They probably think it’s easy to use.”

    “Their TV shows certainly gave that impression,” Glimmer said, slumping a little. “Snip your fingers and do magic.” She scoffed.

    “Well, we have to correct that misunderstanding,” Adora said. “We need to talk to them again. The more they know, the more they’ll trust us.”

    “More shouting at each other?” Catra snorted.

    “I mean private meetings, of course,” Adora retorted. “Before the actual negotiations.”

    “Then we’ll get accused of hiding secrets.” Catra shrugged. “Not that that can be helped, I guess.”

    Adora was about to say something - probably another optimistic thing - but a knock at the door interrupted her before she could start.

    “Yes?” Glimmer spoke up.

    The door opened, and the Secretary-General entered. “I’m sorry, I was held up by some insistent delegates.” He smiled. “They had some concerns about today’s revelations.”

    “We’re not going to conquer Earth,” Glimmer said.

    “Though we have the capability,” Hordak added.

    “Actually,” the man told them, “most of the concerns were related to magic.”

    “Really?” Adora blinked.

    Catra frowned. Those people were actually more concerned about magic than about the war with the Goa’uld?

    The old man nodded. “Magic is a controversial topic for many religions.”

    “Daniel mentioned something like that,” Adora said with a deep frown. “But we’re not going to force anyone to use magic if they don’t want to.”

    The smile on the Secretary-General’s face slipped a little. “They are concerned about others being able to use magic.”

    “Why would that concern them?” Glimmer asked. “Are they afraid that a princess will conquer their country?”

    “Without runestones to boost magic powers, that is very, very unlikely given your level of technology,” Entrapta said. “I would say impossible, but there’s always the theoretical possibility of an incredible outlier.”

    “As I said, it’s based on religion,” the Secretary-General told them.

    “You mean it’s irrational,” Hordak said.

    “In a way, yes,” the man replied. “Although since, apparently, magic is real and was common on Earth in the past, many such preconceptions might have to be reevaluated.” He sighed. “The revelation that malevolent aliens posed as gods in the past hasn’t helped, of course. Many religious people are very… concerned about the ramifications of this.”

    “So, they need more data to process this?” Entrapta asked. “We can help with that!” She beamed at the man.

    Looking at the man’s polite smile, Catra somehow had the impression that things wouldn’t be as easy as Entrapta thought.


    Hotel Intercontinental, Geneva, Switzerland, August 16th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Quite nice digs,” Jack O’Neill commented when he stepped into SG-1’s - minus Teal’c, who was still stuck at Stargate Command - temporary quarters. A room in a luxury hotel surely beat the usual bachelor’s quarters on a base. Hell, it beat his home. Well, as long as they had room service that served beer.

    “We’re on the same floor as the President,” Daniel said, looking at the two beds. “Which one do you want?”

    “Pick one,” Jack told him as he looked for the remote. He knocked on the door to the next room. “Carter?”

    The door opened, and Carter appeared. “Sir?”

    “Everything alright, Carter?” Jack asked. There! He grabbed the remote from the sideboard and switched the TV on.

    “Yes, Sir.”

    “Now, let’s see how the world’s reacting to the arrival of our new friends,” Jack said.

    “...Queen Glimmer, representing the Princess Alliance of Etheria, gave a speech in the Assembly Hall of the United Nations building in Geneva where she promised help against the Goa’uld threat and offered to share the advanced technology if Earth joined the war. Our analysts predict…”

    “...Wallstreet is in an uproar. The stock market is oscillating - investors cannot seem to make up their minds whether or not the news about aliens are good news. Even shares in military corporations, which have jumped in price since the shocking reveal by the US government, have suffered losses today as analysts profess doubts that all of them will benefit equally from shared alien technology…”

    “...als Vertreter von Rheinmetall führte aus, dass nun dringender Handlungsbedarf bestehe. Die Gesetze, die die Ausfuhr von Rüstungsgütern kontrollieren, würden die Sicherheit Deutschlands und der Welt gefährden, und er forderte…”

    “...protests against the war with the Goa’uld have been announced all across the world, with varying attendance so far. In some cases, violent confrontations with protesters who call for immediate action to free humans enslaved by aliens have claimed several victims…”

    “... so we ask: Who is this ‘Queen Glimmer’, and why should we care what she wants? So far, we haven’t seen any proof that Earth is in danger - we have only the word of the United States Government, which has admitted to having lied to the world for years, and the word of aliens who openly want mercenaries for their war for this. I call for…”

    “...the Swiss police is out in force to keep protesters from reaching the Palais des Nations. Several clashes have resulted in entire streets being cordoned off and the arrests of hundreds of people.”

    “...in a blatant powerplay, the aliens offer technology for soldiers for their war…”

    “...China has refused to comment on the situation and continues to exert the strictest control over all media in the country since 1989…”

    “...has voiced concerns about another attempt at colonisation…”

    “...released a statement that calls for immediate action against the Goa’uld and stronger powers for the United Nations. As she was quoted, ‘if there ever was a time for Earth to unite, then this is the time. Faced with a war in space and alien allies, we have to speak with one voice for the betterment of humanity as a whole.”

    “...asked about the stance of the Catholic Church on magic, the Vatican declined to comment, announcing that such a question required careful consideration, and…”

    “...renowned scholar at the Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, stated that the Qoran doesn’t condemn magic as a whole but only certain practises of it. Yet several imams have already denounced the Etherians as enemies of the Faith and called upon…”

    “...was quoted as saying that ‘the Bible clearly condemns both witchcraft and homosexuality’ and called upon the immediate cessation of diplomatic contacts with the aliens in order to ‘save the American people from eternal damnation’.”

    “Russia’s president announced a national state of heightened alert and stated that the government was looking at emergency measures to prepare the country for a possible war. He didn’t specify which war, nor did he react to questions about rumours of Russia defaulting on…”

    “...Japan’s Prime Minister is about to meet with several Shinto priests to discuss the subject of magic…”

    “...Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II of England, denied that there were any plans to propose a dynastic marriage between one of her grandchildren and a princess of Etheria.”

    Jack took a deep breath. He really should have expected that. “So… that happened.”

    “It could’ve been worse?” Daniel offered.

    Before Jack could ask Carter, who was uncharacteristically silent, their phone rang. Daniel picked up the receiver. “Doctor Jackson.” He blinked. “Yes, we’re on the way.” He looked at Jack and put the receiver down. “We’re to attend a briefing in the President’s suite.”

    Great. Jack sighed. “Alright, folks. Let’s go.”

    The suite was just down the hall - past half a dozen suits from the Secret Service. There were more, Jack knew - they had to rent the entire floor on short notice, and no one was happy with the current security. But it was still safer than staying in Airforce One on the tarmac. At least according to the Secret Service.

    The President’s suite wasn’t packed as Jack had expected - the President was there, currently on the phone, as were the Secretary of State and the Secretary of Defense and their aides. And more Secret Service personnel.

    The President nodded at them while he paced. “Yes, dear… Yes, that’s a good idea… Talk to him again… yes…”

    “So!” The Secretary of State smiled, although he looked tired. “That went well.”

    “Sir?” Jack cocked his head.

    “The reaction from the rest of the world,” the man clarified. “That should increase our chances to form an alliance between NATO and the Etherians.” He shook his head. “That they fixated on magic…”

    “Have you seen the reactions from several prominent televangelists?” Daniel asked.

    The man waved the argument away. “That’s just a bunch of extremists. We can handle them. But the Etherians have now seen that we’re amongst the most progressive countries in the world.” He smiled again. “This is the opportunity we need.”


    Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, August 16th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...Russia’s president further demanded joint talks between the aliens, NATO, Russia and China, claiming that, in light of the fact that the USA hid the existence of aliens for years, bilateral talks wouldn’t be conducive to building the necessary trust for…”

    “...China has still not commented on the recent revelations about aliens except to assure its population that the government has the situation in hand. Independent information about the events in China are hard to come by given their total information blackout, but reports claim that several spontaneous protests, even pro-government, have been harshly subdued and…”

    “...speculation about the aliens continues to run rampant. An analysis of their body language during the speech in the Assembly Hall of the United Nations indicates romantic entanglements between…”

    “...pundits were torn regarding the question of whether or not the aliens favoured same-sex relationships and what that would mean for Earth…”

    “...several members of the clergy have already condemned those potential relationships while the church officially is still debating whether or not aliens are part of God’s creation…”

    “...question of magic, thousands of concerned citizens have been calling their representatives, demanding…”

    “...physicist Stephen Hawking released a statement that he was looking forward to observing magic and adjusting his theories accordingly…”

    “..in contrast, several ‘covens’ have filed preemptive complaints that any action by the government aimed at preventing the, I quote ‘release of magic’ would be a violation of their religious freedom. The government hasn’t yet…”

    Adora shook her at the rapidly changing screen that Entrapta had rigged up in their room - a conference room - in the Palais des Nations. “Are they really focusing on magic and our relationships?” she asked. “Instead of, like, the war against the Goa’uld?”

    “I am not surprised by this irrational behaviour. Not in the slightest,” Hordak said.

    Catra, Adora saw, rolled her eyes. “Daniel warned us about that, remember?”

    “I didn’t think it would be that bad,” Adora admitted. Why were they so concerned about who other people loved? Or about magic? “They’re calling me a witch.” She pressed her teeth together. She wasn’t a witch! She wasn’t like Shadow Weaver! Not in the slightest!

    “They’re idiots,” Catra said. “They know nothing about witches.”

    “Or princesses,” Glimmer added. Adora’s friend was angry. “First those questions in the Assembly Hall, and now this! Aren’t those people aware that we’re fighting a war?”

    “They’re questioning that,” Entrapta commented - she was again wearing her mask, hooked up to the TV receiver in the room. “Some people claim it’s all a hoax invented to make people comply with our demands.”

    “What demands?”

    “Legalise gay marriage, apparently,” Entrapta said. “And corrupt their children. And ‘imperil their immortal souls’ - whatever that means - with ‘fell sorcery’.”

    “That’s ridiculous!” Adora spat.

    “Actually, we’re indirectly pushing for that,” Bow interjected. “Not for the corruption and endangering, I mean, but we did say we wouldn’t ally with countries where our families would be illegal.”

    “That’s not the same!” Adora insisted.

    “It kind of is,” Catra retorted. “The technology we can share means that any country that gets it will be much more powerful than those who don’t get it. And people don’t like being powerless,” she added with a tight impression that made Adora want to hug her.

    She didn’t do that, though - Catra would be more embarrassed than reassured and probably push her away. And… “Great. So we are pushing our morals on others,” Adora said

    “No!” Glimmer objected. “We’re looking for friends who are like us. That’s not the same. And it’s perfectly legitimate.”

    “But we need Earth.” Entrapta pushed her mask up. “What do we do if there are no people like us who like us?” She looked worried.

    Hordak scoffed. “Based on my analysis of Earth so far, we do not have to worry about that. There will be many countries whose leaders are willing to adapt to become our allies.” He nodded. “As we have seen, many resent the current balance of power on Earth.”

    “And we’re upsetting that balance.” Adora sighed again. “What do we do if war breaks out over this?”

    “We would crush any enemy. Earth does not have the technology to threaten us,” Hordak said at once.

    “I meant between different countries on Earth,” Adora explained.

    “There are multiple wars currently being fought on Earth, though they seem to be civil wars - wars between people of the same country,” Entrapta said. “What would one additional war change?”

    “A war between powerful countries isn’t the same as the wars here,” Glimmer objected. “They can lay waste to entire countries - even the world - according to Daniel and Sam.”

    Adora pressed her lips together. They would have to make sure that this wouldn’t happen. No matter how.

    “Oh!” Entrapta sounded surprised. “Some people are calling us magical girls. And speculating whether or not we all have ‘the power to transform’. And they wonder if Catra can change into Melog.”

    “What?” “What?”

    Adora looked at the screen. It was showing two old men talking at a younger woman about magic and the economy. “Where did you find that?”

    “It’s on another part of the communication network,” Entrapta said. “Let me put it on the screen… there!”

    The moving pictures were replaced by text. And drawings. Drawings of…

    “Cat people?” Catra blurted out. “Why would they have pictures of cat people?”

    “Those are called cartoons,” Entrapta explained. “I haven’t found the ones they refer to yet. They seem to be obscure.”

    The pictures shown were drawings of cat people. But they didn’t look like Catra. Some didn’t even have a tail!

    “Whatever,” Catra spat. “Let’s focus on Earth politics. We can watch cartoons once we’ve dealt with that.”

    “Are you sure? This could grant us important insights into how Earth people behave!” Entrapta objected.

    Catra glanced at Adora. Well, glared would be more correct.

    Adora sighed. “Yes, let’s focus on politics for now.”

    They needed to talk to so many people…

    Zsetaques, Zephraim, Kildar and 12 others like this.
  15. Tiktog

    Tiktog Experienced.

    Oct 31, 2019
    Likes Received:
    I worry for the normies when Entrapta finds the cat girl hentai.
    Lightxdarkwing and Starfox5 like this.
  16. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I'd be more worried if Entrapta, she of the moving hair, finds tentacle hentai.
  17. Tiktog

    Tiktog Experienced.

    Oct 31, 2019
    Likes Received:
    That too. Still, she has her science buddy Hordak to experiment with. Thank god it's thirty years ago instead of now or Catra would quickly find the porn of her.
    Lightxdarkwing and Starfox5 like this.
  18. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Or Adora finds porn of Catra. That might tank Freedom of Speech, US style, amongst Etherians.
    Lightxdarkwing likes this.
  19. Threadmarks: Chapter 20: The Negotiations

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 20: The Negotiations

    Hotel Intercontinental, Geneva, Switzerland, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Samantha Carter checked one last time that the encryption on the satellite phone was working, then established the connection. After a moment, the symbol of Stargate Command appeared on her laptop’s screen, followed by General Hammond - and Teal’c - in the General’s office.

    “Good morning, General,” the Colonel said at once. “Well, it’s morning here in Switzerland.”

    Sam’s body, though, still felt as if it should be night. Jet lag had finally caught up with them.

    “Good morning, Colonel. Captain. Doctor Jackson.”

    Teal’c inclined his head, and that was it.

    Hammond narrowed his eyes slightly. “Do you require more data for a report?”

    “Ah… we’re just touching base, so to speak,” the Colonel said. “What with all the hubbub about the aliens, we wanted to check how things are back home.”

    The General chuckled. “We aren’t suffering from civilians trying to storm the base,” he said. “And the Stargate has been sealed for the time being.”

    “Oh?” The Colonel frowned.

    “In the current situation, continued operation of the Stargate was deemed unwise. Our best team is off-base, and we’re under a lot of scrutiny.” Hammon pressed his lips together. “As far as I am aware, the revelations about the truth behind our project ruffled some feathers amongst the staff in NORAD.”

    Sam frowned. NORAD’s commanders had been informed when the project started.

    “You mean some staffers aren’t happy that they weren’t important enough to need to know about Stargate Command?” The Colonel snorted. “I bet Wilkinson is amongst them.”

    “Wilkinson?” Teal’c asked, tilting his head.

    “A particularly arrogant colonel who thought deep-space telemetry was a dead-end for wash-outs,” the Colonel explained, baring his teeth. “He was quite open with his opinion.”

    And would now be lamenting his judgment, Sam thought.

    “And how are things on the diplomatic front?”

    “Ah, just peachy.” The Colonel’s smile grew more forced - Sam could tell. “The Etherians discovered the Internet.”

    “Ah.” Hammond closed his eyes for a moment. “And just at the moment that the Internet discovered aliens are real.”

    “Yes.” The Colonel chuckled. “Although, if you’re shopping for a Christmas gift for magical princesses, we’ve heard that the complete collection of Thundercats would be received well by them.”

    “Thundercats?” Hammond looked lost.

    “A cartoon series featuring anthropomorphic cats,” Sam explained. “Humanoid cats,” she added.

    “Ah.” Hammond nodded. “I’ll see what we can do.”

    “They were also interested in a few Japanese series,” Sam added. “Outlaw Star and All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku. And Sailor Moon.”

    Hammond stared at her.

    Sam suppressed the urge to wince. It wasn’t her fault that the Etherians had stumbled upon a Usenet group of anime fans. “However, only one of those series, the Original Video Animation of All Purpose Cultural Cat Girl Nuku Nuku” - she managed to keep as straight face repeating the title - “is available in a collected edition. The others just ended their run on Japanese TV.”

    “Entrapta mentioned that there were fansubs - bootlegs - available, but we explained that this might be against the law here,” Daniel added.

    “Ah.” Hammond looked like Sam felt explaining this request. “I will see what I can do.”

    “Just ask your granddaughters, Sir,” the Colonel added with a smirk. “They’ll probably know where to get the series.”

    “And they’ll ask for a copy for themselves, I bet.” Hammond shook his head. “They and their friends apparently love the alien princesses.”

    “Halloween should look different this year,” Daniel said.

    “Well, it’s good that the kids like them,” the Colonel commented. “The rest of the world has some issues with our new allies. They’ve got something for everyone to hate. Magic! Gay marriage! Alien technology!”

    “That’s simplifying it a bit,” Daniel spoke up. “The cultural issues go much beyond gay marriage. Their monarchism alone is a potentially huge issue for some people. And the technology transfer will cause cultural changes as well. And economic upheaval.”

    Sam nodded. “Entire industries might be rendered obsolete. If we can duplicate the Etherian power generation methods, we can phase out our own power plants.” Clean and limitless energy. Better than fusion power.

    Hammond groaned. “The lobbyists will storm Washington.”

    “It won’t happen overnight,” Sam pointed out. “It’ll take years to reach a point where we can replace our power plants. And cars will continue to burn fuel for years after that, maybe decades.”

    “Aw. I was so looking forward to a flying pickup,” the Colonel joked. Or maybe he was serious. Then he looked at Teal’c. “So, how are things with you, Teal’c?”

    “I have helped the analysts with their projections of the impact of the Etherians on the Goa’uld.”

    “Good, good. No jealousy that you didn’t get to be on TV yet? You wouldn’t look as good in a dress as the Princesses, I think.” The Colonel grinned.

    Teal’c smiled in return. “I am content to avoid such exposure.”

    And he was honest about it, too, Sam knew. So different compared to many of her ‘colleagues’, who would already be spreading rumours about her just for having been at the United Nations.

    “Well, if you feel bored, give us a call. I’m sure the Etherians would like to talk to you again as well. They have been asking about you,” the Colonel said.

    That would, hopefully, keep some of the agencies back home from trying anything against Teal’c in the current chaos. Not that Hammond would let anything happen to their friend, anyway.

    But better safe than sorry. Everything was in flux right now. She wished she was back in the field. Or in her lab.


    Geneva Airport, Switzerland, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “So… we’re getting a multilateral meeting with the Americans, the Russians, and the Chinese?” Adora asked.

    Catra briefly looked up from buttering her surprisingly tasty ‘croissant’ - it wasn’t salmon, but with honey, the thing melted in your mouth. “We do?” she asked, trying to sound as confused as possible.

    “Didn’t you hear it?” Glimmer blurted out.

    Adora rolled her eyes. “Glimmer, Catra does know exactly whom we are supposed to meet. She read the notes in bed.”

    Catra grinned while Glimmer glared at her. Did they really think she could’ve led the entire Horde if she had actually been as lazy as she acted? “Yeah, I read the proposal. But what about the Indians? They want in on the meeting as well, according to the news we heard.”

    “Aren’t they also Americans?” Adora asked.

    “Not those,” Catra corrected her. “The ones from India.”

    “There are two sorts of Indians?” Adora looked confused, And she wasn’t acting, Catra could tell.

    “Probably,” Catra replied.

    “Actually, as far as I understand - and I’ve read up on this a little - the American group was mistakenly called Indians because the Europeans thought they were in India,” Bow said. “And they’re called Native Americans now.”

    “Ah.” Adora nodded. “But India is a large country. Almost as large as China and larger than the United States and Russia put together. At least if we look at the population. They should be represented, shouldn’t they?”

    “But they’re not as powerful as the other three,” Hordak cut in. He looked stupid with a tiny cup held between his fingers, Catra found, but she wasn’t about to tell him that. It might hurt Entrapta, who loved those tiny things. “Their value as an ally is not as high as the others.”

    “If they have many people, they can recruit a lot of troops,” Catra pointed out. India also had proportionally more young people, and that meant they would be able to easily train up infantry. Like the Horde, a low voice whispered in the back of her mind, and she clenched her teeth. “And from what SG-1 told us, even regular infantry would be good enough to fight the Goa’uld on the ground.”

    “And what about their stance towards people like us?” Adora asked.

    Bow grimaced, which was enough of an answer before he said: “Same-sex relationships are illegal in India.”

    “Oh.” Adora frowned. “Then I don’t think we should be talking to them. If we can’t even visit the country without breaking the law, an alliance makes no sense. What about China and Russia?”

    “We wouldn’t be arrested there. At least not according to the law,” Catra said.

    “That’s good.” Adora nodded.

    “But meeting with the three big countries is problematic,” Glimmer said. “It sets a precedent that we treat countries differently according to their power.”

    “Why wouldn’t we do that?” Hordak asked. “Treating a tiny country like Switzerland the same as the most powerful country on Earth doesn’t make any sense.”

    “It’s not just about power,” Glimmer told him.

    “That makes even less sense.”

    Catra suppressed a grin when she saw Glimmer clench her teeth.

    “We want to deal with Earth - with countries that share our values. And if we single out the powerful countries, that undermines our credibility,” Glimmer explained.

    Catra had to agree with the princess. “We want the people of Earth to trust us.”

    “They don’t trust us,” Adora added. “Have you seen what they say about us? They called us unnatural!”

    “That’s a tiny minority, as Daniel warned us,” Bow retorted.

    “It was all over the news,” Adora told him.

    “Daniel also warned us about that. The news has a tendency to exaggerate things to draw more attention,” he explained.

    “But that’s stupid!” Adora protested. “Daniel told us that in a democracy, the majority rules, not the minority! If they’re a tiny minority, they shouldn’t be listened to by everyone! It makes people think that they aren’t a minority!”

    “People like you?” Catra briefly grinned at the pout that caused. “More seriously, do we want to play their games?”

    “If the three most powerful countries want to face us with a united voice, shouldn’t we accept that as their decision?” Bow asked. “Do we really want to force them to accept others in a meeting? Or to break up?”

    Glimmer nodded. “If that’s their decision, then they can ask for a meeting. But we need to make it clear that we’ll be dealing with any country willing to talk to us.”

    “There are almost two hundred countries, though. We’ll be here for months if we talk to every single one of them,” Adora replied.

    “We can dismiss every country where our relationships would be illegal,” Catra pointed out.

    “There won’t be too many countries left after that,” Glimmer said. “And how do we count countries where it’s illegal in one part and not in the other?”

    “How would that work?” Catra asked. That sounded weird.

    “Something about a country made up of smaller countries,” Bow explained. “A federation.”

    “A country made up of other countries?” Catra was tempted to quote Hordak’s ‘that makes even less sense’.

    “Forming a country.”

    “Earth is a weird planet,” Adora said.

    “It’s not as if we have visited many other planets,” Glimmer objected, “so we can’t make comparisons.”

    “They’ll probably think that we’re the weird ones,” Bow said.

    “They don’t think that. They think we’re unnatural and evil,” Adora told him.

    “And sexy,” Catra added with a grin. The picture of Adora transforming into She-Ra was all over the world. And many people loved it. And her.

    Adora blushed a little, then cleared her throat. “That’s not important right now. Let’s focus on politics!”


    Hotel Intercontinental, Geneva, Switzerland, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “I’m sorry, General, I do not know this.” Jack O’Neill said for what felt like the umpteenth time this day - and ‘umpteenth’ was a perfectly precise term, thank you very much, Daniel, he mentally added. Who had had the bright idea to have a military meeting in a luxury hotel, anyway? If the Marines ever heard of this, the Chair Force jokes would never end.

    “And what would be your best estimate? You have spent weeks with the aliens, according to what we have been told. You must have built up some rapport with them,” the Russian general asked. “Do I have to remind you again that this meeting is supposed to build trust? Trust which cannot be built if you keep holding back crucial information.”

    “We talked about the Goa’uld. Food. Entertainment. Physics. History. Military build-up.” Information that had been - mostly - shared with the Russians, which went against Jack’s gut feeling. “But they did not say anything concrete about magic on Earth.” Jack bared his teeth. The Russian might be a general - he certainly had the arrogance for it - but he wasn’t a soldier. Jack was sure the man was a spy.

    “One of the most shocking developments, and you didn’t think to ask about the potential consequences?” The man sneered. “I doubt this, Colonel.”

    “I’ve told you before that the Etherians said that they didn’t know what kind of magic Earth would have,” Jack repeated himself. At least they had told Daniel that.

    “But they did know that Earth once had magic. That means that they knew about it, doesn’t it?” The Chinese general - the same rank as the Russians and the American general in the room, as usual for such meetings - smiled.

    “They assume that magic was once common to all planets in the galaxy which can sustain life,” Daniel - finally! - cut in. “They base this on their own history and knowledge of the laws of magic. But as they said, and we have no reason to doubt their claims, they do not know how magic expressed itself on various planets. The current theory in Mystacore - that is their leading centre for magical research - is that magic is shaped by the environment, which includes the people on a planet.”

    “You talked about the ‘laws of magic’. Laws imply a certain predictability,” the Chinese officer remarked.

    “Yes. But in order to predict anything, more data is needed,” Daniel said - and Jack could hear Entrapta’s voice in his mind. “Data they - and we - lacked back then.”

    Both the Russian and the Chinese general turned their attention to Carter after hearing that. Jack saw her straighten in return. The generals had focused on Jack and Daniel so far; Jack was pretty sure that was because Carter was a woman.

    “Captain Carter. You’ve been working closely with the aliens’ expert on magic. Someone who is, again according to what we know, quite free with information. What did she say about magic on Earth?” The Chinese officer wasn’t sneering - his smile didn’t change - but Jack thought he caught a certain condescension in the man’s tone. One he had heard from American officers when talking to or about Carter.

    “Entrapta mentioned several times that she was looking forward to studying Earth’s magic once it was restored,” Carter replied. “It was clear that she had no expectations with regards to what kind of form this would take.”

    “How convenient!” the Russian exclaimed. “Of course they would claim this!”

    Unspoken but clearly implied was the ‘of course you would claim that’ aimed at Jack’s team.

    General Naird cleared his throat. “So… I think we have covered the subject of magic extensively, right?” He smiled like a schoolboy asking the homeroom teacher if they could go play.

    Jack still didn’t know how the man had been chosen to represent the United States in this meeting; he wasn’t part of Stargate Command’s chain of command and while he had been read in on the program, he had no actual experience with Stargates or aliens. Perhaps this was an attempt to mislead the Russians and the Chinese? Jack had no doubt that both were aware that Air Force Space Command was only tangentially related to Stargate Command, but the Russians at least might suspect that this was a ruse; they certainly were fond of pulling that stuff themselves. Or had been fond of it during the Cold War.

    The two generals exchanged a glance, then the Russian nodded. “We will file a formal complaint about this.”

    “Of course.” Naird kept smiling. “So… can we talk about space ships now? And interstellar landing operations? The topic of this meeting is the military, after all.”

    “We would prefer to talk a bit more about the cultural aspects of a potential alliance,” the Chinese general said. “Technical details aren’t as important as our ability to effectively work together in the field with aliens.”

    Daniel perked up, Jack saw. As he had known and as the two generals had known he would. He suppressed a sigh.

    “Dr Jackson, you stressed that the Etherians consider politics a personal business. How does this translate to their armies?”

    “Ah, as I said, their princesses are expected to personally lead their forces, often fighting on the front. That is not limited to those who have powers applicable to such operations - though most powers seem to have military uses - but also to princesses like Entrapta, who is one of their foremost scientists.”

    “They risk themselves and their researchers on the frontlines.” The Russian scoffed.

    “We know that,” the Chinese smiled. “But how… prickly are they?”

    Daniel frowned. “Do you mean how will they react to bigots and sexists working with them?”

    “That seems a harsh term, but, essentially, yes.”

    “Well, we haven’t had any such working with them, so I cannot say for sure, but…” Daniel tilted his head and pushed his glasses up. “...I think they would take such insults personally. Any personnel assigned to work with Etherians should be chosen accordingly.”

    The Russian scoffed again, but the Chinese nodded. “Do you have any specific examples of issues we should be aware of?”

    “Well, you shouldn’t expect their monarchies to work like monarchies on Earth…” Daniel started lecturing.

    Jack suppressed another sigh. He had heard this particular lecture far too often by now.


    Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    The Secretary-General was all smiles again as he greeted them and this time, he had his wife with him. As far as Adora knew - Entrapta had researched this, but Earth’s customs were confusing - that meant the meeting was meant to be less formal. Or less focused on politics. Although Entrapta had also said that this was just for appearance’s sake, and a lot of politicking was done in such meetings.

    Well, Adora wasn’t planning to act any differently anyway - honesty and truth would win the day.

    So, when Glimmer introduced them, she shook the man’s hand, then his wife’s and kept smiling. It was only a short meeting, anyway - they had most of the morning booked full of meetings already. Especially one with the Americans, Russians and Chinese, though technically, that was, according to Glimmer, a meeting with the Russians who would bring along the other two or something.

    “So,” the Secretary-General said as they had all taken sears around a low table and were sipping drinks, “I hope you kept enjoying our hospitality.”

    “It’s nice,” Adora said.

    “Except for the protesters accusing us of wanting to corrupt Earth,” Glimmer added.

    “Nutcases,” Catra muttered - loud enough to be heard around the table.

    “Well, your announcement that you are considering restoring magic to Earth has caused many people to worry about the consequences,” the Secretay-General said. “As I mentioned before, it’s a controversial issue for many religions.”

    “We won’t force anyone to use magic,” Adora explained, trying to keep from frowning. This whole thing didn’t make any sense.

    “They are afraid of others using magic,” his wife added.

    “You’ve got enough weapons to kill the whole planet several times, according to what we’ve heard, you have Goa’uld trying to conquer Earth, and you’re afraid of magic?” Catra scoffed. “I’ve fought princesses for years without magic. It’s no big deal.”

    The couple seemed surprised, and Adora shook her head at her friend. Catra was trying to help, but that might not be the best way to do this. And Adora didn’t like to be reminded of the years they had fought each other.

    “Indeed,” Hordak said. “My troops could hold their own against princesses most of the time with weapons that were comparable to yours. To a prepared force, magic is not a major threat by itself.”

    “Well, there are exceptions, of course,” Entrapta spoke up before anyone else could say anything. “The power of a princess attuned to a runestone is far greater than that of a regular princess, and the talent and skill of sorcerers vary greatly, but absent special circumstances, magical powers won’t destroy a planet. Even destroying a city is usually out of the reach of even a princess, though I guess Perfuma and Mermista could do so thanks to their control over plants and water. Frosta might be able to do so as well, but her power is more situational.”

    “A princess could destroy a city with magic? Or a planet?” The Secretary-General looked concerned now.

    “In certain circumstances, but those were pretty unique to Etheria. Are unique to Etheria. As far as we know,” Entrapta said. She tilted her head as her hair tendrils grabbed another drink. “Compared to what we heard of Goa’uld technology, especially bombs and biological warfare, it’s not an urgent threat.”

    “Some might disagree with that assessment,” the man said.

    “Someone’s always disagreeing with something,” Glimmer said. “But magic hasn’t hurt anyone on Earth while twice you were almost killed by the Goa’uld, so I think the real danger should be clear.”

    Adora nodded. “And magic can be used for so much good - you can heal people. Restore nature.”

    “Turn an enemy spaceship into a plant,” Catra said with a grin.

    “You can do that?” the Secretary-General’s wife asked.

    “Those were special circumstances,” Adora said.

    “And She-Ra is the most powerful princess in Etheria’s history,” Bow added. “Really, magic is… just another thing?” He shrugged with a half-smile.

    “Not for many religious people,” the Secretary-General’s wife retorted.

    “We’ve seen the news,” Glimmer said. “But we’ve also seen the people who want magic returned.”

    Adora nodded. “They want their birthright restored.” It had been nice to watch the interview with those ‘Wicca’, even if they had seemed a little weird. But they liked Adora and her friends.

    “But what if a country doesn’t allow magic?” the Secretary-General asked. “You can’t really limit magic to specific areas, can you?”

    Adora shook her head. “No. Once I restore magic, it’ll be everywhere on the planet.”

    “That’s the natural state of magic on a planet full of life,” Entrapta added.

    “That’s a difficult decision, then.”

    Adora frowned. “Why would it be difficult? Some people want magic restored so they can practice magic as their ancestors did. Why should anyone be allowed to forbid that? No one is forced to use magic.”

    “Yes,” Catra chimed in. “It’s the same stupidity that makes idiots want to keep people like us from loving each other.” She leaned over and hugged Adora while she flashed her fangs. “Why do they think they have the right to tell others how to live? We’re not hurting anyone.”

    “I see,” the Secretary-General said. “But that won’t be popular in many countries.”

    “Too bad for them.” Glimmer scoffed. “We already said we won’t ally or share our technology with countries where our way of living is illegal. We’re not going to help people who hate us just for being us.”

    The man smiled in response. “Well, it’ll be interesting to see how the world will react to that.”



    Samantha Carter looked up from her laptop. “Yes?”

    Entrapta cocked her head at her while her hair grabbed another soda bottle from the minifridge in the small waiting room. “Why are you here and not in the meeting? I mean, you’re Earth’s foremost expert for First One’s and Goa’uld technology. At least you told us so. As did Daniel and Jack.”

    “Yes,” Sam replied. This wasn’t the time for false modesty - certainly not when Entrapta might think she had been lied to. “I am the foremost expert for Stargates and advanced technology. However, there are several other scientists working in this field who might surpass me if they achieve a breakthrough in their research.” Although she couldn’t help thinking that it wasn’t very likely.

    “Oh. And is your Secretary of State or your Secretary of Defense amongst them?” Entrapta flicked the soda open and took a sip from it - without using her hands.

    “No,” Sam replied.

    “So, why aren’t you in there?” Entrapta cocked her head to the other side.

    “I’m ready to advise my superiors should it be required.”

    “And that’s why you are waiting here?”


    “And Jack is in there. With Daniel.”

    “Yes. Their expertise might be in more immediate need,” Sam explained. And they were men, which the Russians and Chinese might take more seriously. Well, good luck trying that attitude on the Etherians!

    Entrapta frowned. “That sounds not very logical. Technology is the key to winning this war, isn’t it?”

    “Many would think so.”

    “Then you should be in there!” Entrapta firmly nodded.

    “And what about you?” So far, Entrapta had been with the other Etherians in every meeting.

    “Oh…” Entrapta grinned. A little sheepishly. “I got bored with all the politics.” She sighed. “No one was talking about technology in detail. I’d rather do some science, but my friends said I can’t do any experiments here. And my science buddy is talking politics as well. And strategy.” She craned her head to look at Sam’s laptop screen. “What are you doing?”

    “Refining my report,” Sam told her.


    “Adding more detail and responding to some questions.” Sam checked that her current page didn’t contain anything that shouldn’t be revealed to Entrapta. Good.

    “Ah.” Entrapta sighed again. “Say… is that urgent?”

    “It’s important.”

    “But is it urgent-important? Like, there’s nothing more important than that?” Entrapta leaned forward and tilted her head to smile at Sam.

    Ah. Sam saved her work and closed the laptop. “What do you have in mind?”

    “Wellll…” Entrapta grinned. “What do you think about using our scanner? We haven’t given Earth a full scan yet - still had to calibrate it, and we were busy with all the meetings and speeches, and there was so much data to collect from your media, but… Aren’t you curious about possible Naquadah deposits on Earth?”

    Sam was actually curious. Very curious. But… She glanced at the door to the meeting room. She was supposed to be ready to advise the delegation.

    “If they need your advice, they can call you with the radio or phone, right?” Entrapta asked with a hopeful expression.

    “Yes.” Sam nodded. And a scan of Earth was more important than waiting for her superiors. Officers were meant to show initiative. “They can. But I should inform the Colonel anyway.” But she shouldn’t interrupt him. So Sam suppressed a smile when she texted the Colonel.

    Assisting Entrapta with a scan of Earth on request. Reachable over phone.

    Her phone vibrated before she had stashed her laptop.

    Lucky you. Don’t blow up a country.

    Sam smiled. “Let’s go.”

    “Yes! It’s time for science!” Entrapta pointed to the ceiling.

    A car - armoured, Sam knew - took them to the airport, past several crowds of protesters separated by Swiss police officers and soldiers. The cardboard signs they were rising supported and denounced the war against the Goa’uld, LBGT rights and magic. The Swiss authorities had trouble keeping the protestors from fighting each other.

    “I don’t get it,” Entrapta said as they passed a particularly unruly crowd. “Why are they so… why do they care so much about what other people do? We haven’t done anything to them and we’re not going to do anything to them.”

    Sam suppressed a wince. She wouldn’t touch magic or gay marriage, and why some people were so adamantly against either being accepted on Earth. “Some think that by fighting the Goa’uld, we’re endangering them. They think we could peacefully coexist with them.” It was foolish, but then, they didn’t know the Goa’uld like Sam did.

    “Ah.” Entrapta nodded. “That makes more sense than what I thought.”

    “What did you think?”

    “Well, Hordak speculated that they might be agents for the Goa’uld, hoping to be rewarded when the Goa’uld conquer Earth.”

    Sam sighed. “A fifth column?”

    “A what?”

    “That an Earth term for such… traitors.” Sam sighed. “But, no, I doubt that they are motivated by this. They just… have a different opinion on what the Goa’uld are like.”

    “But they don’t know the Goa’uld. They don’t have any data to base their opinions on.” Entrapta shook her head. “You’ve told them what the Goa’uld are like. Glimmer did it too. They should know better.”

    Sam sighed. “They don’t trust us or you.”

    “Oh.” Entrapta looked at the floor of the car. “Then we need to gain their trust.”

    “Easier said than done,” Sam said.

    “Oh, I’m sure the others have a few ideas!” Entrapta perked up.

    Sam managed not to wince.


    “Look, we have to be pragmatic there. We’re faced with an evil empire of body-snatching parasites bent on enslaving everyone in the galaxy. Fighting them has to take priority. We can sort out cultural differences after we have ensured that we won’t be destroyed.”

    Catra narrowed her eyes at the Secretary of Defense’s words. The Russian and Chinese delegates nodded in agreement, she noted, though Daniel winced and O’Neill’s face seemed frozen. Well, O’Neill had worn the same expression for pretty much the whole meeting so far. Which said a lot about his views since he generally was quite frank with them.

    “Yes,” the Russian diplomat said. “Our three countries have faced such a threat before, and if we had let ideological differences divide us, we wouldn’t have won against an enemy as dangerous as those Goa’uld.”

    He was probably talking about the Nazis. Catra hadn’t studied those in detail, but what she had heard about the biggest war in Earth’s history, mainly from Daniel and from television, had been horrible. Horde Prime had destroyed planets, but he hadn’t been so… She lacked the words to describe it.

    “We know about your world war,” Glimmer replied. “But we also know, from personal experience, that giving help to the wrong kind of person can lead to disaster.” She glanced at Hordak.

    Hordak actually stopped looking at the door through which Entrapta had vanished to ‘do science with Sam’ and turned to face the delegations. “Yes. Earning the trust of someone and their help, and then turning against them is a valid strategy.”

    Catra had to suppress a snicker when Glimmer scowled at him. Fortunately, Bow spoke up before the princess could blow up. “Yes,” he said. “We don’t want to hand over our technology to a country which might use it against us as soon as the Goa’uld are defeated. Or use to conquer Earth.”

    “And we can’t fight together with people who think people like us are criminals,” Adora added, wrapping an arm around Catra’s shoulder. “How can we trust anyone in battle like that?” She shook her head.

    Catra smiled, enjoying the contact - and the expressions on the people’s faces - for a moment before she spoke up: “And I think we should turn the question around: If the war against the Goa’uld takes priority, why can’t you change your laws?”

    “And we mean your laws,” Glimmer added with a glance at Daniel. “Not some order from your leader which can be taken back as soon as he or his successor wants to.”

    The expression on the American’s face almost made Catra snicker out loud. The Secretary of State pressed his lips together before answering: “Changing our laws is a lengthy process. We’re a democracy; we can’t just skip the proper procedure.”

    “Not even when we’re about to fight a war?” Adora frowned. “Isn’t your ‘parliament’ able to prioritise such things?”

    “There are political considerations that hinder quick changes to laws.”

    Both the Russians and the Chinese looked at the Americans, and the Russian diplomat said: “Homosexuality is legal in Russia.”

    “By the letter of the law,” the American retorted. “It’s still considered a mental disorder, isn’t it?”

    “That is an artefact which can be corrected immediately.”

    The Chinese people nodded as well. “It will be adjusted in our country.”

    “And that means people like us would enjoy the full rights like everyone else?” Adora asked.

    “There is the matter of gay marriage,” the American said. “No country on Earth has legalised that yet. The hurdles for that are quite substantial.”

    Catra glanced at Daniel, who was frowning and looked like he wanted to speak up but controlled himself. That told her enough. “You mean you don’t want to do it.”

    “Russia can do it.”

    “As can China.”

    The American frowned openly. “And can you guarantee that your countries won’t just reverse that at the earliest opportunity?”

    “Can you guarantee the same?” The Russian shot back.

    And O’Neill muttered something under his breath that sounded like a curse to Catra’s twitching ears.

    “Colonel?” Glimmer looked at him.

    O’Neill tilted his head. “I’m here for military advice. Politics isn’t my field of experience.”

    Daniel mouthed something to the Colonel.

    “I’m just thinking that if we can’t trust each other to play ball, this will be a rather short war,” O’Neill said.

    “But that’s the question.” Glimmer nodded. “Can we trust you? Can we trust you not to use our technology to conquer other countries?”

    The Secretary of Defense shook his head. “Historically, all our countries have conquered foreign territory. But the United States, unlike others, hasn’t done so in a hundred years.”

    “Russia has let the conquered countries go,” the Russian claimed. “We didn’t conquer any territory since the USSR was dissolved.”

    “China has not taken any foreign territory; we merely took back formerly Chinese territory.”

    “That’s a matter of debate,” the American said.

    Catra had a pretty good idea of what that meant.

    “But who can say that you won’t try to colonise us? Your insistence on forcing your own customs on us is not a sign of trust,” the Russian said, looking at Adora.

    “We’re not forcing anything on you,” Adora replied. “We’re just telling you the conditions under which we’ll form an alliance and transfer technology. Whether or not you will accept that is up to you.”

    “We don’t owe you anything,” Glimmer added. “We want to work with you, but not at any price.”

    “And I am sure that there are other countries which will have an easier time with our demands,” Hordak added.

    That made everyone at the table opposite them frown. Well, good for them - Catra wouldn’t let them play such games.


    “So… that happened.” Jack O’Neill shook his head as he followed the Secretay of Defence and the Secretary of State out of the room.

    “What happened?” Daniel asked in a low voice.

    “The Etherians made it clear that they know how to play one side off against the other,” Jack explained.

    Daniel frowned. “But… that was clear from the beginning! I mentioned it in my report - we’re dealing with sovereign rulers of their countries who have fought a lengthy war as part of an alliance. Of course they would have experience in diplomacy!”

    Jack sighed. “Yes. but they’re also a bunch of kids.” And that made underestimating them easy. And Entrapta, who was far closer to thirty than to twenty, acted like a kid most of the time.

    “I mentioned that in my report as well. They might be considered kids in the United States - actually not since all of them are over twenty years old - but they’ve been fighting for years in their war and held leadership positions for about as long. We can’t judge them according to our views.” Daniel shook his head. “I explained that!”

    “Yes, you did.” The Secretary of State obviously had overheard them. “But you also mentioned that they were not familiar with our customs and policies.”

    “Yes, I did.” Daniel looked confused.

    Jack snorted again. “Which meant some people thought they could manipulate them.”


    “I would describe it as a slight miscalculation,” the Secretary of Defense cut in, slightly pouting. “Although I think the Russians and the Chinese were more surprised.”

    “But they correctly calculated that the Etherians do not care as much about democracy as we do,” Daniel interjected. “That part didn’t even come up.”

    Jack’s nominal superior frowned even more. “This was supposed to be a meeting about military cooperation.”

    “And now we know that without gay marriage, we won’t get cooperation,” Daniel said.

    “That was their opening offer,” the Secretary of State objected. “We’ve barely started negotiations.”

    “Ah…” Daniel smiled in that apologising way of his that he usually used when trying to pass on bad news. “I don’t think they’ll budge on this point.”

    “It’s more like a red line,” Jack agreed.

    “Yes.” Daniel nodded twice. “They do take politics personally, after all, and they don’t see such discrimination as negotiable.”

    “But they have to be aware that the Russians and the Chinese will promise anything to get advanced technology, and then turn around and do whatever they want to their gay population!” The Secretary of State shook his head. “You just said that they weren’t that naive!”

    “They aren’t naive. But they…” Daniel sighed and pushed his glasses up again. “They lack a democratic tradition. They are used to dealing with monarchs. Absolute rulers. They’ll focus on them.”

    “Ah. So… they’ll want to meet the Russian President and the Supreme Leader of the Chinese before formalising anything. Good.” The Secretary of Defense stared at Jack and Daniel. “You’ll need to tell them why they can’t trust the Russian and the Chinese.”

    “But I thought we’re negotiating with them to present a unified front,” Daniel replied.

    “We are. But that won’t happen if the Russians or the Chinese can get an alliance on their own.”

    “Do you want us to… influence the Etherians?” Daniel sounded as if someone had told him to seduce a princess for the benefit of the country.

    “Just tell them the truth about Russia and China. The Holodomor. The Great Leap Forward.”

    “Ah. But… that’s in the past. The Etherians are big on giving second chances and people changing,” Daniel retorted. “They spent years fighting a war against Hordak and Catra. Entrapta changed sides twice during the war. And yet, they’re now friends.” He shook his head. “Telling them about past atrocities won’t do much, in my opinion.”

    The Secretary of Defense scoffed through clenched teeth. “Just do what you have to to stop them from blindly trusting the Russians and the Chinese. We can’t let them get advanced technology first.”

    Unfortunately, the man was right about that - if the Chinese and the Russians got their hands on advanced technology and the United States didn’t, then that would have dire consequences for the world. Even if the Etherians stepped in and stopped any attempts to force concessions from the rest of the world, that would still destroy any semblance of a balance of power, “We’ll see what we can do,” Jack said. “But we won’t lie to them.”

    “Yes. Honesty is the key to reaching an agreement with them,” Daniel added. “We need to trust each other, and we can’t if we start with lies.”

    “Don’t lie. But be as honest about Russia and China as you were about the United States.” The Secretary nodded at them, then turned and walked away.

    Daniel looked at Jack.

    “Well, he got you there,” Jack told him with a grin he didn’t quite feel.


    “Sorry. But you did explain our faults at lengths, didn’t you?”

    “I wanted to avoid any misunderstandings!”

    “Well, you tried.” Jack shook his head. “Anyway, we’ve got our…” His phone vibrated, and he held up his hand as he pulled it out. “It’s Carter.”

    We did a scan of Earth. Please meet us at the ship. Entrapta is calling the others.

    “She wants us to come to the ship,” Jack said. That wouldn’t reassure their allies that the United States wasn’t hiding something. But Carter was aware of that. “Well, if the Etherians invite us, it would be rude to decline the invitation.”

    But he had a bad feeling about this.

  20. An_absolute_disaster

    An_absolute_disaster Making the rounds.

    May 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Ah, another installment in the coolest She-Ra crossover on the site. Excellent!
    Tiktog, Lightxdarkwing and Starfox5 like this.
  21. Threadmarks: Chapter 21: The Naquadah Crisis Part 1

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 21: The Naquadah Crisis Part 1

    Geneva Airport, Switzerland, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “What did you find?” Adora asked as soon as she entered the converted hold where Sam and Entrapta were usually working. Had been working, she corrected herself - now that they were back on Earth, Sam would probably not be working here any more.

    “Let’s wait for the others,” Sam said.

    The others? Ah, yes. Jack and Daniel were coming too. “Sorry,” Adora said. They probably were as tired of politics as she was.

    “As long as they hurry,” Catra added, stretching her arms over her head.

    “Catra!” Glimmer snapped.

    “What?” Catra frowned. “Wait, you’re right. The longer they take, the longer we have before we have to talk to those idiots from Russia, China nad the USA again.”

    “They aren’t idiots,” Adora corrected her.

    “Could’ve fooled me. They were practically backstabbing each other at the table,” Catra retorted.

    “Well…” Adora trailed off. They had acted like that, hadn’t they?

    “That’s normal. Remember the first Alliance meetings we attended?” Glimmer smiled at Bow, who nodded with a wry smile.

    Well, it wasn’t normal for Adora. She shook her head. “We really need to…”

    But before she could finish, a beep announced that Jack and Daniel had arrived. Well, it could be anyone, actually, but the codes checked out. And she could see them on the cameras.

    A minute later - because they wouldn’t open the airlock remotely without personally checking - they were back in the hold.

    “So, Captain, what did you find?” Jack asked right away. Was he mad about the meeting? He had seemed annoyed, but had that been aimed at Adora and her friends - or at the others?

    Sam looked at Entrapta, who had been twitching a little - and her hair had been twitching a lot - since Adora had arrived. “I think Entrapta could fill you in best, Sir.”

    “Yes!” Entapta blurted out with a wide - very wide - smile. “We ran the magic scanner, calibrated for Naquadah, over all of Earth! We had to tweak the detector algorithm a little to compensate for the presence of the escorts and the planetary mantle in the way - it would’ve been easier if we could’ve done this from orbit, even geostationary orbit, but Sam said taking off might cause some trouble, and asking for permission felt rather weird if we could easily tweak the scanner instead of bothering the Swiss, so, anyway: We ran the scanner, and we found Naquadah!”

    “You found a Naqadah deposit?” Jack asked.

    “Ah… no.” Entrapta shook her head, her hair flailing. “It looks too dense - too concentrated for that. And there’s not enough for a deposit unless it was almost completely mined out.”

    “We think we found artefacts of advanced technology on Earth, Colonel,” Sam said.

    “Yes! And we marked their positions!” Entrapta’s hair tendrils pushed a few buttons, and a hologram appeared in the middle of the room, showing earth. Blinking lights were visible in a few spots.

    “That’s… Washington, near Seattle,” Daniel said. “And the coast before New Jersey.”

    “And Siberia,” Jack added. “And Honduras.”

    “And Egypt!” Daniel tilted his head. “Well, that was to be expected, actually, since the Stargate was originally there. There must be many lost devices or trash containing Naquadah.”

    “Well, the biggest and most diverse amount of Naquadah is in… Washington, you said?” Entrapta cocked her head and had her hair point at the location. “The other locations don’t have a lot, although the one in Egypt is a little fuzzy.”

    “Fuzzy?” Jack raised his eyebrows.

    “The Scanner detected some interference. It might be the result of micro-contamination with Naquadah,” Sam told him. “That would hinder detection.”

    “Like chaff?”

    “Not exactly,” Sam said.

    “But close enough?” Jack grinned.

    Sam looked a little pained. “Yes, Sir.”

    “So… we have a cache of Naquadah devices on US soil,” Jack said. “And another load in US territorial waters.”

    “Actually, no, Sir - it’s outside US territorial waters,” Sam said. “I checked.”

    “Great. More international trouble.” Jack sighed.

    “How sad.” Catra flashed her fangs when Jack glared at her, and Adora sighed. Her love sometimes - OK, a lot of times - was a little too… antagonistic.

    Adora cleared her throat. “Given the potential threat those things represent, I think they need to be recovered quickly.”

    “Yesssss.” Jack nodded, drawing out the word. “It’s the manner of how they should be recovered that’s going to pose some problems.”

    “You mean the United States can’t just grab most of it,” Glimmer said.

    “That’s about it, yes.” Jack grinned at Adora’s friend.

    “We need to tell the Egyptians. They need to know that they might have dangerous relics in their country,” Daniel said.

    “And what if they become a danger once they recover them?” Jack looked at his friend.

    “A greater danger than the United States?” Catra asked.

    “The United States are more trustworthy than Egypt,” Jack argued. “We’ve been the most powerful country for decades, and even with advanced technology, we didn’t go after other countries. Not without good reasons,” he added when Daniel opened his mouth.

    Adora frowned. That sounded… loaded.

    “Sure you would say that,” Catra grinned again.

    “Are you accusing me of lying?” Jack retorted.

    “Is it lying if you leave out information that might make your country look bad?” Catra’s grin turned very toothy.

    “We didn’t,” Daniel cut in. “Not deliberately, at least. We - that is, I - actually covered the United States more than the rest of the world. But maybe we should explain a few things about the other countries.”

    Adora nodded. They wouldn’t want to make a mistake if they could avoid it. And she trusted Daniel not to lie to them. “Yes, please. We need to deal with those… whatever they are, and we need information for that.”

    “Data!” Entrapta chimed in.

    Catra sighed, but Glimmer and Bow nodded, and Daniel pushed his glasses up.

    “Alright. Let’s start with Russia! The country’s an old one, but it went through a lot of changes this century. First…”


    “...and the Chinese state has been cracking down on the movement ever since.”

    Samantha Carter nodded as Daniel trailed off. It had been quite a decent summary of the history of Russia and China. Not as succinct as may have been possible, but not as meandering as she had feared either.

    But it had clearly disturbed the Etherians. Adora was shaking her head. “To think people could do such things!”

    “Horde Prime did worse,” Glimmer pointed out with a frown.

    “He was… well, we already knew after we learned about the Goa’uld that he wasn’t as unique as we thought,” Bow told her.

    “And he was more efficient,” Hordak commented.

    “‘Efficient’?” The Colonel narrowed his eyes, Sam noticed - and he sounded slightly tense.

    “Yes.” Hordak nodded. “He dealt much more swiftly with, ah, dissenters. Resistance. He wouldn’t have let things be dragged out like this.”

    “Wow. What a great guy.” The Colonel scoffed.

    The alien frowned for a moment, looking puzzled as far as Sam could tell, before nodding in agreement. “He was great, yes. Terrible and cruel, but no one can deny that he was great.”

    “Too bad we can’t get an autograph from him any more,” the Colonel added, baring his teeth.

    “Jack!” Daniel gasped.

    “Colonel!” Sam said in a lower voice as the Etherians stared at either Hordak or the Colonel or both.

    “Horde Prime was a monster,” Glimmer hissed.

    “A great monster,” Entrapta agreed, patting Hordak’s arm.

    “And he’s dead,” Catra said, rolling her eyes. Her tail was twitching, though. “So, can we focus on the Naquadah stuff we need to recover? Instead of on ancient history?”

    “Well… it’s not exactly ancient history,” Daniel said. “Those events happened a few years ago or are happening now.”

    “And you told us that, so we’ll stop negotiating with the Russians and the Chinese,” Catra said with a sneer.

    Daniel blushed a little. “That’s what some people hope will happen. But I told you this so you can make an informed decision. Or, at least, so you will not blindly trust any claims made to you.”

    “They will claim anything so they can get your technology,” the Colonel added.

    “They’re not the only ones,” Glimmer replied.

    “No. But we’ve been pretty honest with you.” The Colonel smiled, then sighed. “I know my country isn’t perfect - no country is - but we don’t claim that we can simply change a law, and everything is fine.”

    Catra snorted. “No. You claim you can’t even change a law.”

    “Ah, there are good reasons to make changing a law - or the constitution - not too easy,” Daniel cut in. He adjusted his glasses. “You don’t want to change either on a whim. And you generally want to have broad support for such a change, not a minimal majority. In a democracy, I mean. But even in a kingdom, you wouldn’t want to live where the rules and laws change too easily. People need stability in their lives.”

    “Yes. But people don’t need discrimination,” Glimmer retorted. “How can we trust your country when the majority of your people won’t end discrimination?”

    Daniel winced. “It’s a bit more complicated than that. It’s not the majority of the people, but the majority of the representatives and the senators - the qualified majority, for amendments to the constitution.”

    “But they are supposed to represent the people.” Glimmer frowned.

    “Yes, but that doesn’t mean that they are supposed to just do whatever the population wants.”

    “I thought that was the point of democracy,” Adora said. She looked honestly confused.

    “The founders of the United States didn’t want what they deemed ‘mob rule’, so they created a system where power was divided between several institutions. And the people get to choose who represents them in those institutions. But they don’t get to directly make decisions,” Daniel explained.

    “So… basically, you pick your council of princesses and hope for the best,” Catra said. “And then you wonder why nothing good comes of such a council.”


    “What?” Catra turned to pout at Adora. “I know how the Alliance leadership worked. Or didn’t work. Glimmer complained about it often enough when she had some drinks.”

    Hordak nodded. “Glimmer’s talent for leading the alliance was most impressive given the circumstances.”

    Glimmer looked, in Sam’s opinion, as if she didn’t know whether she should be angry or flattered upon hearing that.

    She picked angry and spat: “Everyone did their best.” Then she turned to glare at the Colonel and Daniel. “And I don’t understand why you think it’s difficult to stop discriminating people like us. We don’t hurt you at all. It should be a no-brainer to adjust your laws and form an alliance. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain!”

    “Well, it’s complicated,” Daniel said. “Many people honestly believe that relationships like yours are wrong. And they don’t want to let others do what they consider a mistake or a sin.”

    “Those people are idiots,” Catra spat with a hiss. “And you’re idiots if you listen to them.”

    “Many people think all politicians are idiots,” the Colonel said with a grin.

    “You’re not exactly convincing us of the values of democracy,” Glimmer commented.


    Catra shook her head. This discussion again! Couldn’t they just admit that it wasn’t working as well as they claimed?

    “The advantage of democracy is the ability to change governments peacefully and in an organised fashion which ensures continuity and stability along with the capability to adapt to changing circumstances,” Daniel said.

    “I’m not seeing much of that vaunted ability to adapt right now.” Catra snorted. “And leadership doesn’t mean simply going along with what your troops want. It means making them do what they need to do no matter what they want.” Troops rarely had the big picture. Of course, she had sometimes missed the big picture herself - in quite spectacular fashion…

    “But we’re not talking about military leadership,” Daniel protested.

    “We’re talking about an alliance for the war against the Goa’uld,” Catra told him. “That’s a military question.”

    “But gay marriage is not a military question,” O’Neill retorted.

    “Your policy of dismissing gay soldiers is a military matter, though,” Adora pointed out.

    “And that can be changed by the president.” O’Neill held up his hands. “We want to do the right thing, but it’s not as easy. But once we do something, it sticks.”

    “And if you do the wrong thing?” Adora asked.

    “Well, Churchill once said that the USA will try every wrong solution before they use the right one,” Daniel commented, then winced when O’Neill glared at him. “But unlike other countries, change supported by the population is generally far more effective. Just changing a law means nothing if the population ignores the changes and opposes its enforcement.”

    “But if the reason you can’t change the law is that the population doesn’t support it, then that’s even worse.” Glimmer shook her head. “Like with slavery and those civil rights.”

    “That was mostly in the south,” O’Neill said. “Things were different in the other parts of the country.”

    “And that was a result of the federal nature of the country,” Daniel said. “As with many things, federalism had good and bad consequences. If a ruler has absolute power, that can lead to many good things - if the ruler is good and wise. But if they aren’t, if they are foolish or evil, then the same system can lead to horrible results.”

    Catra rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah. But that still doesn’t change that your country wouldn’t accept our relationship.”

    Daniel produced a weak smile. “Well, the relationship isn’t illegal. Just gay marriage isn’t recognised.”

    “Even though it’s recognised on Etheria?” Glimmer shook her head. “If you won’t recognise our institutions, an alliance won’t work.”

    “Whether the United States legalises gay marriage or not doesn’t really change your relationship,” O’Neill cut in. “What about polygamy? Multiple marriages,” he added. “What if there’s one man married to multiple women?”

    Catra frowned. “What about it?” Lonnie, Kyle and Rogelio hadn’t married yet, but it was on the table as far as Catra knew.

    O’Neill stared at her, then mumbled: “Figures…”

    Daniel cleared his head. “In any case, I think the most important aspect is whether or not a change is both enforced and lasting. And history is full of examples where a change imposed on a population took years or decades to become accepted.”

    Catra snorted. “If you can’t enforce your orders, you’re not a leader.”

    Glimmer glanced at her, then looked at SG-1. “But that’s the thing, right? Your population doesn’t want this change.”

    “Well, that’s not certain,” Daniel said. “So far, the question of gay marriage has never been coupled with something like an alliance or technological advances. Although, while this should influence acceptance positively even amongst religious people - to paraphrase Berthold Brecht, people prioritise wealth over morals - some might resent that, feeling forced.”

    “Oh, those poor people, being forced to stop discriminating people like us!” Glimmer scoffed. “How do you expect an alliance to work if you can’t even treat us like everyone else?”

    “Well, it worked with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in the Gulf War,” O’Neill said. “Tolerance goes up on both sides if you need each other.”

    “Within limits,” Carter added. “Female soldiers were tolerated, but not accepted.” She seemed about to add something but stopped herself.

    “Well, then I guess we’ll see how badly your country wants this alliance.” Glimmer shook her head.

    Catra snorted. “So, let’s go back to the Naquadah items.”

    “Yes!” Entrapta nodded several times. “We need to examine them - they could be anything!”

    “That’s a little difficult,” Daniel said. “Not all of them are in areas we can reach.”

    “Well, we could, but the diplomats would be angry with us,” O’Neill added.

    Catra shook her head. She didn’t really miss the Horde, just… sometimes, she really missed being able to give orders or do something without having to ask everyone else if it was OK.

    “And there’s the question of precedent even for the items in Seattle,” Daniel said. “If we just grab those, other countries will consider artefacts on their soil theirs to do with as they please. And there are a lot of artefacts in Egypt, it seems, one in Russia, one in Honduras…”

    “Great,” O’Neill muttered. “We have to pass this up the chain before we can do anything.”

    Well, at least someone else has the same problem, Catra thought.

    “Can’t we secure the artefacts and then sort out who gets them?” Adora asked. “Some of them might be dangerous. What if there’s a Goa’uld on Earth?”

    That question had everyone wincing.


    “Yes, Sir. There’s a possibility that we’re facing a Goa’uld on Earth,” Jack O’Neill said, nodding at the large screen on the bridge of Darla, where General Hammond and Teal’c were looking at him. “The concentrations of Naquadah Captain Carter and Princess Entrapta have detected could easily include a snake.” And his gut told him that this was probably the case. No matter what Carter said about probabilities.

    “They could just be collections of artefacts,” Teal’c pointed out. “Remains from before Ra left.”

    “Yes. But then, who collected them? Who brought so much Naquadah to Seattle? It wasn’t Starbucks trying to create an Egyptian Latte.” On the other hand, if it turned out that Starbucks was a vehicle for an alien infiltration, that would explain why that franchise had spread so far despite their horrible prices…

    Hammond slowly nodded with a sigh. “And even if there’s no Goa’uld present, we can’t risk such a collection of advanced technology falling into the wrong hands.”

    “Unless it already has,” Jack reminded his commanding officer. “We need to recover those artefacts. And it has to be done by someone with the experience to handle whatever might be hiding there.” SG-1, in other words. And probably the Etherians.

    “That will be difficult in the current situation, Colonel.” Hammond looked grim. “Washington was quite clear that we need to regain the trust of our allies at almost any cost. Unilaterally recovering alien technology from foreign countries would destroy what headway we made in that area.” He shook his head. “Even recovering the technology on US soil will be a delicate affair.”

    “But we can’t ignore the danger a Goa’uld hiding on earth would present!” Daniel protested. “Or their technology.”

    “Yes.” Hammond smiled wryly. “I’ll take it up with my superiors. You will probably be called to brief the President soon, Colonel.”

    “Yes, Sir.” Jack nodded. That was likely. He wasn’t looking forward to it, though. He wanted to go out and recover the Goa’uld technology. Do something productive, for once - discussing politics with the Etherians wasn’t helping anyone.

    “Hammond out.”

    The image faded to black. “Well, let’s tell our friends that we’ve made the call,” Jack said. Not that he thought he had to tell them - this was their ship, after all. Hell, the way Entrapta talked to and about the ship, the ship might have told the Etherians already.

    But appearances had to be upheld. Jack walked to the door and found Catra and Adora waiting outside. “Done already?” the catwoman asked.

    Jack shrugged. “It’s out of my hands now. Up to diplomats.”

    She scoffed. “And now we wait until they figure out how to do anything without ruffling any feathers?”

    “Pretty much, yes.” Jack grinned widely. “And more politics!”

    “That’s Glimmer’s job.” Catra scoffed again.

    “Oh, you’ve been quite active in the meetings yourself, haven’t you?” Jack cocked his head.

    She scowled at him, which made him grin more widely.

    Adora cleared her throat. “But Catra is correct - we can’t just let this go on. The risk is too great.”

    “Yes,” Daniel agreed. “Your arrival has changed the entire world and might prompt whoever controls those artefacts into action.”

    Adora nodded. “And that means that we need to act.” She raised her chin. “And if we need an international agreement on this, then let’s get one right away!”

    “From the United Nations?” Jack snorted. “We’ll be here for a year before they agree on who gets to speak first. And that won’t do anything, anyway.” Everyone knew UN resolutions were generally ignored. “All it would do is to alert everyone else about this - and start a race for the Naquadah.”

    But Adora looked mulish. “We’ll have to see about that. This calls for action. Even your diplomats need to see that.”

    “Feel free to try,” Jack said, shrugging. “I bet we’ll get called in shortly after things go out of control. If we’re lucky.”

    “Then let’s talk to the Security Council. If they can’t do anything, then we can always act ourselves,” Adora said. “After all, no matter what the UN decides, we’re fighting the Goa’uld, and so we won’t just ignore a potential base of them.”

    Ah. Jack almost smiled. Almost - the threat of the Etherians going ahead and tracking down Goa’uld on Earth without the consent of the countries affected would hopefully spur the UN Security Council into action. But it would also strengthen the faction that wanted the aliens gone or feared them taking over Earth. Still, they really couldn’t ignore the potential danger.

    Another fine mess, and it was all the fault of the damn snakes.

    “Well, let’s go then. The sooner we sic Glimmer on the United Nations, the sooner we can move,” he said. “I bet she’ll scare them into doing something.”

    “Jack! You can’t talk about a reigning Queen that way!”

    He chuckled at Daniel’s expression. Catra outright laughed, and Adora frowned in that way of hers that told Jack that she wanted to laugh as well but thought it was wrong.

    As it turned out, Glimmer was all too ready to call for an emergency session. “Oh, yes! That should speed up negotiations! Once they see our technology in action, they will know what they are missing. And those who claim that the Goa’uld aren’t a threat will shut up!”

    “But they’ll expect to share the Goa’uld technology we recover,” Bow pointed out.

    Glimmer snorted. “We can hand it over to the United Nations - they’ll have to agree on what to do with it before they can even start trying to use the technology.”

    And such an agreement, Jack knew, could take a long while.


    Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...and that’s the last area with a substantial concentration of Naqadah!”

    Adora watched the Security Council as Entrapta pointed at the holoprojection floating in the middle of the room. They didn’t give much away, or not much that she could tell, but she thought they were concerned. Of course, being concerned about potential enemies on your planet was just common sense, and some of the people on Earth didn’t have common sense at all, so she might be seeing things that weren’t there…

    Glimmer cleared her throat. “As you’ve seen, there are multiple locations on Earth that could hide a Goa’uld - or more of them. They can take over humans as easily as animals, as we found out on the way to Earth when we found a planet where Goa’uld had taken over large predators. Even leaving out the danger such advanced technology represents should it fall into the wrong hands, we need to make sure that there aren’t any Goa’uld on Earth.”

    A delegate - from one of the small countries which didn’t have veto power, Adora knew - tapped their microphone. “But you don’t have actual proof that one of those aliens is present on our planet, do you?”

    Hadn’t they explained that already? Adora frowned. And she saw that Glimmer clenched her teeth for a moment.

    But her friend controlled her temper. “No, we don’t have proof. But the only way to get proof is to investigate those locations.”

    “Surely the affected countries can investigate their own soil,” the Russian delegate commented.

    “With the possible exception of the United States,” Glimmer replied, “I don’t believe any country on Earth has the experience and resources to handle the worst-case scenario: A Goa’uld with access to advanced technology who has been infiltrating Earth for hundreds of years.” She shook her head. “You don’t have the technology to detect Goa’uld in the field. They could easily go into hiding - or take over your own people. We can deal with them with the least risk.”

    “That would be an intrusion on the territory of sovereign countries,” a third delegate commented. Again, a minor country. “If it’s done without the consent of the country in question.”

    “And it could be seen as the attempt to deprive a country of its own resources,” the first delegate added. “Surely those Naquadah artefacts belong to the country on which soil they are found - that’s a basic principle. Unless they were taken from their country of origin, of course - we all know how many works of art and historical artefacts were taken from our countries and moved into the museums of colonial powers.”

    Adora bit her lip. This was a threat to the entire planet! This wasn’t the time to squabble over resources!

    The Chinese delegate spoke up: “We’re faced with a threat against our entire planet. Single countries cannot deal with such a threat. This is the responsibility of all of us and should be treated accordingly. Therefore, we propose to put all alien artefacts under international control.”

    Adora wondered, privately, what the Chinese would have said if there were Naquadah artefacts in China.

    The Russian delegate leaned towards his own microphone. “Would that include the advanced technology already recovered by certain countries?”

    “Yes, of course. The time for single countries to face the Goa’uld and endanger our entire planet has gone. We need a united response to this thread.” The Chinese delegate slowly nodded.

    “The United States have the most experience with the technology recovered so far,” the American delegate objected. “It makes no sense and could cripple the war effort to remove the technology already being used to fight the Goa’uld. Especially in light of our success so far.”

    “You almost got Earth invaded twice,” the Russian shot back.

    “Keeping the technology recovered so far would seem to reward the United States for their questionable actions in the past,” another delegate cut in.

    “Trying to take over a sovereign country’s research and development programs would set a precedent that I doubt most countries here would want,” the American countered.

    “Maybe it is time to unite such programs,” the French delegate suggested. “We cannot afford to waste our resources, and uncoordinated research by various countries would surely be less efficient than a coordinated program under international control and guidance?”

    “I think the outcome of the Cold War has decisively proven that competition drives progress far more efficiently than planned directives from the state,” the American delegate pointed out.

    “Your Stargate program was entirely driven and controlled by the government,” the Russian retorted. “And international control over the existing alien technology - including artefacts recovered prior to today - seems a suitable response to this threat.”

    Glimmer cleared her throat. “Why are you focusing on the technology already recovered instead of the imminent threat to the planet? We first need to ensure that Earth is safe. And that means investigating and securing those Naquadah artefacts we discovered and hunting down any infiltrating Goa’uld.”

    “That’s a tricky matter involving international law and can’t be easily solved,” someone pointed out.

    Glimmer narrowed her eyes. “We’re in a war, and those are potential enemy bases. We cannot afford to leave them be until you have sorted out who gets to use all the technology you might find or have found. Time is of the essence.”

    The delegates looked at each other. “To clarify,” another of the smaller countries’ delegates asked, “are you talking about a response by the Princess Alliance or a response by a multi-national force?”

    “I am telling you that the Princess Alliance cannot afford to let potential enemy bases be. The risk is too great,” Glimmer said. “We’re at war with the Goa’uld. We want to work with you - but not if that means we can’t deal with a potential threat.”

    “We have enough ships in the fleet to stop an invasion from space,” Adora added. “But that won’t help if the invasion already started on Earth.” Well, they could bombard sites from orbit, but if the Goa’uld hid amongst humans…

    This time, she could plainly see that the delegates were concerned.

    She hoped that that was a good thing.


    Geneva Airport, Switzerland, August 18th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Samantha Carter suppressed a yawn as she entered Darla’s hold. It was early, and she hadn’t had too much sleep. And she was still affected by the jetlag to some degree. But she had no time to sleep in - not with the current crisis brewing. She had had to brief the President and his cabinet until midnight, and it was barely six in the morning.

    She took a sip from her coffee - the situation wasn’t nearly dire enough to brave Entrapta’s ‘concentrated tiny tea’ and walked over to the scanner. “Good morning.”

    “Sam!” Entrapta whipped her head around to smile at her. “You’re here early!” She blinked. “I think?”

    “I’m just a few minutes early,” Sam corrected her. “Any changes during the night?”

    “Well… the position of some of the artefacts in your country changed a little. Not by very much, but either they were moving around a bit - say, a few dozen metres, tops - or the scanner needs some adjusting,” Entrapta said, cocking her head. Her goggles hid her eyes, but Sam knew the princess well enough to know they would be showing the woman’s fatigue.

    But this was alarming. That looked like someone was carrying the Naqadah concentrations around. “Did you check the calibration?” Sam asked.

    “All night,” Entrapta replied. “I think I improved the efficiency, but the results didn’t change. Well, they kept changing, but that didn’t change. You know what I mean.”

    “Yes.” As Sam knew that Entrapta needed to rest. What was Hordak thinking, letting her work like this? And, speaking of… “Where’s Hordak?”

    “Oh, he has been working on ways to recover the Naquadah under the sea. He said we might need a specialised vessel or a bot,” Entrapta replied. “I wanted to help, but then the scanner started showing movement, so I took over here and left him to his work.” Her hair pointed to the door leading into the next part of the hold.

    Sam glanced at it. “The United States Navy has submarines and trained divers,” she pointed out. The artefacts weren’t that deep - there was no need for a deep-submergence vehicle.

    “But we need to go down there as well,” Entrapta retorted. “How else can we do something if things go wrong?”

    That was… well, it was the kind of argument Sam should’ve expected. The Etherians were very ‘hands-on’. Or, a less kind interpretation, they didn’t trust others to do such a mission.

    Then again, Sam wouldn’t trust the Navy either - they had no experience with Goa’uld or their technology. “I think the Naquadah in Seattle takes priority,” she said. She finished her coffee just as her phone vibrated.

    “Samantha Carter.”

    “Carter?” It was the Colonel. “We’ve got a situation.”

    Oh. “In Seattle?”

    “How would you… The scanner showing movement?”

    “Yes, Sir. Entrapta just informed me that the Naquadah concentrations are moving around - about a few dozen yards, tops.”

    He scoffed. “Yeah, that would track. Anyway, the location was placed under surveillance - it’s some resort or communal ranch or whatever. A religious community, according to the records.”

    “A cult?”

    “Don’t let Daniel hear that,” he joked. “Anyway, we were still planning how best to approach that without tipping off a Goa’uld and without ruining our diplomatic reputation further when someone raided the resort.”

    Sam closed her eyes. “The NID?”

    “They claim that they have no information about any such operation.”

    The old ‘rogue NID cell’ excuse then. “What happened?”

    “They got in and didn’t get out. Shots were heard by the other agents in place, but no one called the police.”

    That was even more worrying. “We need to intervene, Sir!” SG-1 need to intervene. Before things deteriorated even further. If the Goa’uld managed to take control of NID operatives…

    “Yes, we do. But we can’t do it alone - not with the Security Council about to decide that this is an international affair under their control or something. And I bet that our alien friends will jump at this.”

    “I concur, Sir.” And given the possible consequences of a Goa’uld base on American soil, having the Etherians with them was a good thing.

    “So, the excuse will be that we have reports of fighting, and so we’re sending in troops with the Etherians. That should shut up the complaints from other countries. And probably get the diplomats to finish their wheedling and dealing before the heat death of the Universe.”

    She laughed at the joke. “I’ll inform them, Sir.”

    “Good. We’re on our way to the ship. We’ll be picking up Teal’c on the way.”

    “Yes, Sir.”

    He hung up, and Sam turned to Entrapta, who was staring at her with - presumably - wide eyes. “There’s been an incident in Seattle,” Sam told her.

    “Yes!” Entrapta nodded several times. “I’ll call the others. Wait! Darla! Wake up the others and get ready for liftoff! Hordak! Science-Buddy! We have a mission!”

    The door from the other part of the hold opened, and Hordak stepped through. “Did they find a Goa’uld?”

    “Possibly?” Entrapta pursed her lips. “Someone’s in control of all that Naquadah, and they fought off an attack already. So… either a Goa’uld or someone else. But I bet it’ll be interesting! And we can now go there without waiting for the Security Council!”

    “Good. Any hope that we can expect similar developments in the other areas?”

    “I don’t know - the stuff there didn’t move.”

    “A pity,” Hordak commented.

    Sam shook her head.


    Above Seattle, United States of America, Earth, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Any new developments?” Catra asked as Darla closed in on the target area. It was still night here, unlike when they had taken off in Switzerland.

    “The Naqadah concentrations keep moving around,” Carter reported. “But none of them have strayed outside the resort.”

    “They were attacked…” Catra checked the clock. “...almost two hours ago. And they didn’t move? Haven’t they realised that they have been exposed?” This was suspicious.

    “They might think this was an attempted robbery, not a government action,” O’Neill said. “The NID is quite careful when staging their deniable operations. So they probably want to interrogate any prisoners for more information. In their place, I would want to know who attacked me and why before I made any plans.”

    “But whether there’s a Goa’uld or just someone using their technology, they have to know about our arrival,” Adora cut in. “Why wouldn’t they expect us to come after them?”

    Catra nodded. In their place, she would have been running already.

    “If they don’t know how they were found, they might not want to flee and give up whatever resources they have in the resort,” O’Neill replied.

    That was a good point. Still, the enemy should have run - now that Darla had arrived, the enemy couldn’t escape any more. Catra scoffed. “Well, whatever they planned, time’s just run out for them.”

    “Well, let’s just make sure that none of them can run out on us,” O’Neill said. “We’ve got the perimeter under surveillance, but… if they have alien technology, they might have other options to escape.”

    “Scans show an extensive underground network of chambers and tunnels,” Carter reported.

    “Yesss!” Entrapta nodded. A lot.

    Catra winced. They should’ve made sure that Entrapta rested instead of working through the night. With all the ‘concentrated tea’ she had drunk, she hadn’t even been able to sleep during the flight to Denver and then here.

    “So… escape tunnels?”

    “It looks like it, Sir,” Carter replied. “We’ve marked the exits on the map.”

    “Major Warren? We need to deploy SG-3 to cover those exits,” O’Neill said, turning to the new officer on the bridge.

    Catra bit her tongue to refrain from making a comment. SG-3, currently filling the hold, was under O’Neill’s command. And they were supposed to work together in a ‘joint operation’ with them.

    As long as they didn’t get into their way… Catra would still feel better once the soldiers were off Darla.

    “I’ll brief the men, Colonel.”

    “There’s one irregularity, Sir.” Carter frowned.


    “There’s a large tunnel not connected to the main building or any building,” Carter explained. “It has an exit outside the compound, though.”

    “An unfinished escape tunnel?” O’Neill frowned.

    “That’s a possibility, Sir. But why would they have dug so far from the outside instead of starting inside - or from both sides?” Carter asked.

    “Good question,” O’Neill said, nodding. “I’d say they are stupid, but… stupid people don’t overwhelm an NID assault.”

    “And we shouldn’t underestimate our enemies,” Adora added.

    “Let’s just block the exit and leave it be for now,” O’Neill said.

    Catra pressed her lips together. Something didn’t add up there. But O’Neill was right - sealing the exit should work.

    “Yes, Sir,” Warren said.

    “Good. So… how are we going to do this?” O’Neill asked.

    Catra stepped closer to the hologram depicting the resort - including the escape tunnels. From what they had observed, the people inside the resort were not heavily armed. Just small arms and some crew-served light support weapons.

    “We can hover above the building and drop down through the roof,” Adora said. “Right into their midst.”

    Subtle as a brick, Catra thought with a fond smile. But sometimes, brute force was the best solution.

    “If they have Goa’uld weapons, that might be very dangerous,” O’Neill said.

    “And we can’t just blow up the resort - we don’t know how many innocent people are in there,” Daniel added.

    “We’re not going to blow up the building!” Adora shook her head.

    Catra bit her tongue again. And Hordak looked confused but, for once, didn’t comment.

    “Well, we could sneak in,” Bow suggested. “Use the tunnels that we know.”

    “They are likely trapped if this is the work of a Goa’uld,” Teal’c said.

    “We can deal with traps!” Entrapta announced.

    “We could drop Adora outside and have her draw attention, and we sneak in and hit them from behind,” Glimmer proposed.

    “I can handle them, yes,” Adora said.

    Catra sighed through clenched teeth. She loved the idiot, but sometimes… But it was a better plan than dropping into the middle of the compound. “Well, we should look into…” She trailed off.

    All the Naquadah markers were suddenly moving - spreading out.

    And people ran out of the buildings, towards the garage - and the gates.

    “We need to move in now!” O’Neill barked.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2022
  22. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    How many She-Ra crossovers are on this site, actually? :p
    An_absolute_disaster likes this.
  23. An_absolute_disaster

    An_absolute_disaster Making the rounds.

    May 29, 2019
    Likes Received:
    A quick tag search suggests that there are three of them, including this. I swear I thought there were more. But to be a bit more honestly flattering, of the few dozen She-Ra fics I've read this one (and Seacat, which I've also read) is (are) easily top five.
    So thank you for that. I don't know if you give a damn what other people think, but every post of this is a gleaming nugget of happiness to me. :)
  24. Dur'id the Druid

    Dur'id the Druid Know what you're doing yet?

    Jun 3, 2019
    Likes Received:
    No threadmark.
    Starfox5 likes this.
  25. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Thanks! :)

    Thanks, fixed!
  26. Dur'id the Druid

    Dur'id the Druid Know what you're doing yet?

    Jun 3, 2019
    Likes Received:
    This story is certainly leagues better than Seacat! This one has much more depth, and well thought out charcters and plots. Seacat reads like a bad care bears episode, and the author seems to think xxxblodywristsxxx and Amy from Amy's Baking Company are good role models.
  27. Threadmarks: Chapter 22: The Naquadah Crisis Part 2

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 22: The Naquadah Crisis Part 2

    Above Seattle, United States of America, Earth, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Jack O’Neill clenched his teeth. They had to move quickly before whoever or whatever was in this compound scattered - tracking down dozens of potential Goa’uld hosts would be a nightmare even with the scanner. If they got into Seattle or another city…

    “Move in where?” Adora asked, returning to the captain’s chair.

    Jack turned to the holographic projection. “Zoom out.”

    “Show us the road network,” Catra added.

    The projection changed, becoming a 3D view of the entire area around the compound. “We need to block the main routes - we can track down any stragglers on foot later.” He looked at the agents in place and made a snap decision. “Major Warren, deploy SG-3 here, here and here.” He tapped the locations. “Spread out to shield Seattle. Go!”

    “Yes, Sir.” Warren finished marking the spots and rushed out of the bridge to brief his men.

    Jack turned to his team. “Carter. Tell the agents in place to fall back to… this crossing here. Cover the tunnel exits in range.”

    “Yes, Sir.” She tapped her radio and started talking in a low voice.

    “If they’re bolting, we should expect a trap or self-destruct in the building,” Catra said. Jack could hear the ‘it’s what I would do’ she left unsaid.

    “Yes,” Hordak said, nodding. “Depriving the enemy of your resources is a sound strategy.”

    “I’ll bow to your experience as evil warlords,” Jack said before he could help himself. Catra seemed to flinch for a moment, but that might’ve been his imagination. Hordak, though, merely nodded.

    “So, let’s drop SG-3 right on their spots,” Adora said, pointing at the locations. “Then we drop down behind the main part of the runners.”

    The ship was already moving - to Jack, it still felt wrong to see how the ship dived and banked, yet not feel any g-forces at all. The fighters you could construct with such technology…

    “We’re at the first SG-3 drop zone! Disembarking troops!” Adora announced.

    Jack was still staring at the spreading dots on the map. He was pretty sure there was a leader amongst them. But where would they be? If it was a Goa’uld, they wouldn’t be with the main force headed towards Seattle. They would use the distraction to escape in another direction. Unless they were planning a double-bluff.

    “We’re at the second drop spot!”

    More troops from SG-3 charged out of the ship. And one small group of dots on the map was inside the main escape tunnel somehow - the one not connected to the building. How had they managed that? But those might be the leader and his entourage…

    “If it’s a Goa’uld, they might be counting on taking over one of our troops,” Catra said. “We wouldn’t be able to find them easily if they’re near Goa’uld technology.”

    Jack looked at her. That made… a lot of sense for one of the snakes. “Only if they know how we found them.” The NID team might not have been privy to that information. On the other hand, it didn’t take a genius to suspect scanners.

    “How else would we have found them? The timing will make them suspect it.”

    “Yes.” Jack looked at the map again. “And that means you’re right - they will attempt to hide amongst us.” he looked at Carter. “Captain, inform Major Warren that his men have to keep a strict distance from any enemy. There is a high risk of Goa’ulds trying to take them over.”

    “Yes, Sir.”

    “But…” Daniel shook his head, pressing his lips together.

    Jack nodded. He knew as well as his friend did that the odds of SG-3 taking many prisoners weren’t good to begin with, but this would make them even more trigger-happy. They had a number of zats, but not nearly enough for every soldier.

    “We’re at the third drop spot!”

    The remaining members of SG-3 rushed out, Warren waving at the ship as she lifted off again.

    “Take the main force in the flank and roll them up?” Adora suggested. “I can draw their fire.”

    Jack hesitated - sending a girl, a young woman, ahead to draw fire went against his instincts. But She-Ra was basically a walking main battle tank. So he nodded. “Yes.”

    “Darla, drop us at this spot! Then hover above the area and…” Adora turned to Entrapta. “We need you to keep track of all Naquadah in the area.”

    “I can do that!” Apparently, Entrapta was still hyped on caffeine.

    That would end in a nasty crash, in Jack’s experience. Unless they were magically immune or something. Or Entrapta had some alien drugs to avoid that.

    It didn’t matter right now - Jack and his team rushed towards the airlock, followed by the Etherians.

    “We should be covering the second group as well,” Bow said as the doors slid open, and Jack heard the sound of automatic weapons.

    “We’re tracking them,” Catra said. “We shouldn’t split up.”

    “Never split the party,” Jack joked as he jumped off the ramp, clenching his teeth in anticipation of the strain on his knees - and blinked when he touched the ground. He felt perfectly fine. No strain at all. Hell, he felt as good as he had in his youth. How the…? He pushed the thought away. He could ask Adora later about her healing. Time to focus on bagging a snake.

    He gripped his M4 as they rushed from the ship into the closest cover - a bunch of trees near a small mound.


    Outside Seattle, United States of America, Earth, August 17th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    Adora easily outpaced the others, taking the lead. That was her duty - she was She-Ra, Princess of Power. And with power came responsibility. The others couldn’t shrug off bullets and energy blasts. She-Ra could. She had to protect everyone else.

    She jumped through the tightly-clustered cove of trees, slashing with her sword, and landed on the ground behind it, sword held out at her side. Behind her, two trees toppled to the ground, granting cover for her friends.

    Something moved ahead of her, leaning out behind a tree and firing at her. Adora moved her sword, parrying most of a burst from a rifle, two bullets bouncing off her chest and shoulder. The man in white robes kept firing at her until he ran dry. As soon as he started to swap the magazine, Adora rushed forward, driving her fist into his stomach. Gently, of course - she didn’t want to kill him.

    He collapsed, and she quickly checked for a pouch. But then two more opened up on her, one with a zat’nik’tel. The first shot missed her as she charged the other shooter, but the second shot hit her back - and she felt that. Like an itch under her skin.

    Hissing, she knocked down the first man. Then she whirled and jumped over the next shot, landing near the shooter, and grabbed his hand before he could line up another shot. “I’ll be taking that,” she told him.

    He tried to get his hand free, then reached for his rifle, slung over his back, with his free hand, so she slammed him into the tree behind him. One more down, and…

    A long burst ripped through the tree and the man, blood splattering over her as she dove to the side out of reflex. That was a support weapon! And that could spell the end for her friends. Where was it?

    She turned around. There! Cleverly hidden in a bush. She just had to…

    The bush exploded. Adora jerked back, then stared. Two bodies were on the ground, thrown away by the explosion. Who had…?

    Ah. Jack and the rest of SG-1 were moving on her flank. That meant she had been too slow - she was the point to draw fire and get the enemies to reveal themselves.

    Adora clenched her teeth and charged ahead. They were already reaching the firefight between SG-3 and those people. She passed a dead body on the ground, knocked out another behind cover, then started to roll up the flank. One flank - this was a chaotic mess, like fighting in the Whispering Woods. It seemed the frontlines were disappearing as the white-robed people charged into melee range. And they rushed at SG-3 but weren’t trying to break through.

    “They really want to get close,” she said. Catra had been right.

    Well, that gave her an idea. She grinned as she jumped into the middle of the largest battle, driving her sword into the ground as she landed and sending the robed people sprawling. “Surrender!” she yelled.

    “Get her!” someone screamed. “Get her for your God!”

    All the robed people nearby rushed towards her, yelling incoherently. Some were shooting, and she deflected a few bullets and zat’nik’tel shots with her sword, but most seemed to want to punch her - or grapple her.

    Adora grinned as she started knocking them out and around. The shooting had stopped as well, at least near her. One managed to grab her from behind, but an elbow into his gut sent him to the ground, retching. Another threw punches and kicks she didn’t feel at all - he wouldn’t have made it through Horde training like that. She grabbed his throat and squeezed gently until he passed out while she kicked a knife out of another’s hand.

    More shots rang out - SG-3 and SG-1 were firing - and she saw another man collapse, clutching his guts.

    For a moment, the others froze. Then they howled and seemed to lose their minds. People blindly rushed forward, shooting in every direction - someone tried to bite her ankle! This was…

    Someone bit her neck? She reached around and… grabbed a snake. No, a Goa’uld! She gasped as she held the squirming, hissing thing in her hand.

    A Goa’uld on Earth!

    “I’ve got a Goa’uld!” she yelled.

    “Get it to us!” Jack yelled back. “Cover her!”

    ‘Cover her’? She scoffed and jumped, then rushed away from the still howling mob. Jack and the others were… There!

    A quick dash through another cove, and she slid behind the fallen tree Jack and the rest of SG-1 were using as cover, holding out her prisoner to him.

    He recoiled with a grimace. “Watch it!”

    “It’s not going to escape,” she assured him.

    “Carter, get the snake carrier.”

    “It’s a containment unit, Sir.”

    “It’s meant to carry a snake to the pound. A snake carrier.”

    Whatever. Adora stuffed the snake into the container and closed the lid before it could attempt to escape.

    Sam quickly sealed it. “There could be more,” she said.

    Before Adora could answer, an explosion shook the ground. She looked up - the resort had blown up. Parts were flying through the air.

    “Watch out!” Jack yelled as everyone dived for cover.

    Catra has been right about that as well, Adora thought as she stared at the flying debris and raised her sword.


    Samantha Carter threw herself behind the closest tree just as the shockwave arrived and was blown off slightly, hitting the ground harder than intended. She rolled with it anyway and rushed forward to hide behind the trunk. The debris launched up by the explosion would be starting to come down about now, and even a little cover was better than none, even though Sam didn’t like her chances to…

    A blinding beam close by made her gasp and shield her eyes. Blinking, she realised it was Adora, sword held with both hands, pointed at the sky above them - at the expanding cloud of dust and smoke.

    At the debris starting to rain down on them.

    Sam stared as the concrete and wood fragments falling towards them were vaporised in the … magic beam.

    “Well, looks like Magical Princess She-Ra just saved our bacon again,” the Colonel commented next to her as he slowly got up.

    “I think that might be an actual title, Jack,” Daniel said, still cowering behind a felled tree trunk.


    The Colonel tapped his radio. “SG-3, report!” He tapped the radio again. “Entrapta, any movement on the scanner?”

    “Uh… none any more. The group in the tunnel stopped moving short of leaving the tunnel. And the exit is now open.”

    Sam pressed her lips together - if the explosion had originated underground, and the lack of a massive shockwave indicated that, and someone had been in the tunnels there…

    “Fried Goa’uld, anyone?” the Colonel asked.

    Before Sam could react, SG-3’s report came in. One dead, two wounded, two stunned.

    “Jack! We’ll have to check everyone for Goa’uld possession!”

    Sam almost expected the Colonel to make a joke about them now being in possession of a Goa’uld, but the Colonel just nodded. And she berated herself, briefly, for thinking of such a cruel joke - Daniel’s wife was still a Goa’uld host.

    “Everyone OK? I can heal!” Adora looked around.

    “We’ve got two wounded, and I think the cultists need some healing,” the Colonel replied.

    Those who hadn’t been killed already.

    “On it!”

    Sam opened a channel to Entrapta. “We need a map of all Naquadah concentrations.” If there were more Goa’uld around, and if they started to go after people who weren’t as tough as She-Ra…

    “Teal’c! Start collecting the zat’nik’tels!” The Colonel must have had the same thought. Teal’c was the obvious choice to collect the weapons - he could repel an attempt to possess him thanks to his superhuman reflexes.

    Adora went towards SG-3, but Catra went after her. “Adora! What were you thinking?”


    “You were almost possessed by a Goa’uld!”

    “It couldn’t even dent my skin!”

    Sam shook her head. Adora in She-Ra form was… Apparently, she had shrugged off bullets from an M2 Browning heavy machine gun.

    But they had a mission to do. With Entrapta’s help, she directed Teal’c to the scattered Goa’uld weapons - only zat’nik’tels, no staff weapons - while Adora healed the wounded and the Colonel and Daniel started towards the smoking ruins of the resort with the Etherians.

    Then she joined the others. “I told you so,” Catra said. “Blew up the whole bunker.” She flashed her teeth. “They destroyed most of their tech rather than letting us get it.”

    “Great. Wanna bet that the Russians won’t believe us?” The Colonel shook his head.

    “Sir. Naquadah is resistant enough so advanced technology could’ve survived the explosion intact,” Sam pointed out. “It was a conventional explosive.” Her radiation detectors weren’t showing any reaction, at least.

    “Yeah, blowing up the evil lair once the villain’s dead is kind of a convention.”



    “The Goa’uld might have hoped to make us think that the technology was destroyed, to return later to recover it. Much later,” she added when Daniel opened his mouth.

    “Well, they won’t unless they can escape a snake carrier. But I guess we’ll have to ask Adora to play excavator again.”

    That was a better and faster solution than waiting for an excavation team with both the clearance and the skill to deal with advanced technology. But to ask Adora…

    “Just tell her,” Glimmer said. “Hey! Adora! We need you to dig a hole here!” she yelled.

    A minute later, Adora appeared, jogging towards them. “I was just finishing healing the others,” she said.

    Catra huffed, and Adora glanced at her before going on: “Entrapta didn’t find any more Naquadah than the weapons Teal’c collected. Outside the building - the ruins - at least.”

    And there was Teal’c. “SG-3 is guarding the prisoners and the weapons,” he said. “But they had trouble recovering the prisoner glued to a tree.”

    Bow grinned a little sheepishly. “I can use a catalyst to undo that.”

    “I ripped the tree out,” Adora replied. “So… where do I need to dig?”

    The other Etherians just pointed at the ruins.

    Adora blinked.

    “Just consider it punishment for letting a Goa’uld touch you,” Catra said. “Really! You’ve become sloppy!”


    “Enough!” Glimmer shook her head. “We need to secure whatever wasn’t destroyed by the blast.”

    Sam nodded. Even if the artefacts were destroyed, the Naquadah was extremely valuable and could be extracted.

    And they had to ensure that there were no other Goa’uld around. And that meant recovering and identifying every Naquadah concentration.


    Outside Seattle, United States of America, Earth, August 18th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “You sound like you’re enjoying yourself. Should I be concerned about being replaced by debris?” Catra flashed her fangs in a grin when Adora stopped heaving rubble and concrete remains around and blushed.

    “Hey! It’s not like that!”

    “So you claim. But you didn’t sound like that when you were burying the gate.”

    “That was just earth, not rubble like this!” Adora retorted.

    “So, I should be concerned…”

    “What? No!”

    “Oh, knock it off, you two! You’re holding up the recovery operation!” Glimmer the spoilsport cut in. “It’s already late.”

    “Someone’s jealous…” Catra half-whistled.

    As expected, that earned her a glare from Glimmer. “I’m not jealous! I just don’t think we should waste any more time here. We need to recover the remaining Naquadah.”

    “Before it turns out to be a bomb,” Bow added loyally.

    That was a possibility, but Catra didn’t think it was a likely one. The Goa’uld hadn’t struck her as suicidal, and if he had been, the Naquadah would have probably gone off with the first explosion.

    Still, they were right. “You heard them, Adora. Stop wasting time!”

    “What? I am wasting time?” Adora stared at her.



    “Get shovelling!” And maybe you won’t have to do too much grovelling later when we’re going to talk some more about how you shouldn’t let body-snatching aliens touch you, Catra added in her head.

    Adora huffed and started digging again. And Catra sat down on a piece of conveniently sized and placed concrete and looked at the rest of the site. At least SG-3’s men - all men, she had noted - had stopped staring openly at Adora. Some still sneaked glances, though. “Looks like your friends didn’t believe you about Adora,” she commented to Daniel, who was examining a burnt book nearby.

    “Huh?” He blinked and turned his head, and she repeated herself with a nod towards the other American soldiers. “Oh.” He nodded. “Yes. I think they thought that we were exaggerating in our reports.” With a frown, he added: “We select Stargate Command staff for mental flexibility, but I think magical princesses were a bit too much for our marines.”

    “The Horde was full of rather dull people,” Catra said, “but they wouldn’t have questioned your reports.” She stretched a little.

    “But they were used to magic and princesses,” he retorted. “Our people aren’t. For most, this sounds like a fairy tale. Or a cartoon.”

    Made-up stories, in other words. Or Lies. “Well, they better change views,” Catra told him. “Because we can’t really fight a war effectively if shared information isn’t trusted.”

    “On the other hand,” he said, “blind obedience isn’t a good thing either. You need a balance between scepticism and trust.”

    “Trust but verify?” She grinned.

    “Well, you can’t really verify our reports independently, not as a soldier. They don’t have the time or opportunity.”

    “Until they enter combat with us.”

    “Yes. And I think you made an impression. There’ll probably be some hero-worship amongst a few of them.”

    Catra shook her head. “As long as they don’t cause trouble.”

    He chuckled. “Jack would say that they are marines - they will cause trouble. Especially if they’re bored.”

    She sighed. “I wonder how you managed to run your army for so long with such people.”

    “It worked out well - especially against enemies that prized blind loyalty and obedience.”

    “Well, that…” Catra started to retort when Adora’s yell cut her off.

    “I found it!”

    Catra stood and began to walk over, but Entrapta was already running, Sam not too far behind. “Oh! What is it? It can’t be a Stargate, or they would have used it to flee, but it’s too big for a weapon, and… Oh! That looks fascinating!”

    “It is a ring transporter,” Teal’c said, peering at the remains Adora was pointing at. “Or it was a ring transporter.”

    “What? No fancy Egyptian name?” O’Neill asked.

    “Well, the direct translation would be…” Daniel started to explain, but O’Neill cut him off. “Ring transporter is fine. I would hate to use more accents in my reports. “So, seen this before.”

    “On Abydos,” Daniel agreed. “I wonder where this one led to.”

    “A transporter? Oh! That would explain how they got into the tunnel without an opening!” Entrapta nodded. Several times. Then she yawned. “Clever!”

    “But to use such a transporter for a few yards?” Daniel shook his head.

    “If you have it, why wouldn’t you use it?” O’Neill shrugged. “But it’s broken.”

    “But we can still study it - and find out how to copy it!” Entrapta beamed. Then she suddenly frowned. “But… can we examine it without causing trouble with the United Nations?”

    That was a good question, in Catra’s opinion. “I think they’re mainly concerned about you taking it for yourselves,” she said, looking at O’Neill.

    “They’re kinda insecure like that, yes,” he replied.

    “Jack! We’re talking international politics, not…” Daniel shook his head.

    “Same thing, Daniel. They want what we have and don’t want us to have more than they have.” O’Neill tilted his head. “Kinda like it was in the Cold War, actually.”

    “The Cold War cannot be reduced to such simplified propaganda. It was much more complex, and…”

    “I just did.”

    Catra shook her head at the men’s antics. Daniel was probably right - the United Nations would want to have a say about this.

    At least the presence of a Goa’uld should make most of the idiots realise how dangerous the whole situation was.


    Stargate Command, Colorado, August 18th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “...and we recovered the rest of the remains - both Naquadah and human - from the tunnel. It looks like the group trying to escape were all humans sent out as a distraction,” Jack O’Neill said. He didn’t bother to hide his scowl - according to Carter, the bomb had been triggered by the hatch of the escape tunnel opening. “The Goa’uld - named Setesh as far as we can tell - had planned to take over one of SG-3’s men to hide amongst them.”

    “Do you have any proof for that?” General Hammond asked.

    “The tactics, Sir,” Jack replied at once. “He sent his guards against SG-3 to ‘wipe out the enemies of their god’, not to break through their lines to escape. And they were ordered to do so in melee range, not by using the prepared positions and ambushes on their land. His orders all but guaranteed that they would be wiped out.”

    “They fought from prepared positions, though.”

    “Only at the beginning, and then only with the heavy machine guns,” Jack retorted. “Those wouldn’t have been easy to move ahead.”

    “But as soon as he would have taken over a soldier, he would have been at risk from his own people,” Hammond pointed out.

    “Yes. But I think Setesh took a calculated risk.” The Goa’uld was a bastard but no coward.

    Hammond didn’t seem to be convinced. “What about the survivors?”

    “They’re fanatics. And those who were taken alive tried to kill themselves for ‘failing their god’.” And they only had been able to take some of the cultists alive thanks to zats and, of course, She-Ra. “It looks like a cult problem. I guess we’ll have to call in specialists. At least we can do that now without worrying too much about secrecy.”

    Hammond frowned. “We’re still dealing with sensitive information here. But our pool of available specialists was widened by the revelation of the Stargate.”

    “They might also have been drugged, Sir,” Carter cut in. “When we were running tests for poison, we detected an unidentified foreign substance in their blood.”

    “Yeah. Our local West Coast god pulled all the tricks of his human competitors,” Jack said. Drugs, sex and what a Goa’uld thought was rock’n’roll.

    “He might have actually been the inventor of some of those ‘tricks’,” Daniel said. “I’ve been looking into this, and I think I have identified two earlier cults ran by the Goa’uld. Both ended in mass suicides. If you can call it a suicide when a leader orders his brainwashed followers to die.” He patted a stack of sheets on the table. “I’m working on a timeline, but I suspect that the Goa’uld was on Earth since Ra’s departure - the names he used point towards that.”

    “We’ve had a Goa’uld on Earth for millennia, and he didn’t take over?” Hammond asked.

    “He must have been afraid of Ra,” Daniel replied, “and kept a low profile. I assume we can get more information once we manage to interrogate him.”

    “Yes. Your suggestion of granting the Goa’uld an animal as host so they can write or use a computer to communicate.” Hammond nodded. “It hasn’t been approved yet.”

    “Why not?” Jack asked with a frown. “Did PETA veto it? Or did the Etherians mention that monkeys have rights on their planet?”

    “No, Colonel. But the government is concerned about security and the optics of having a Goa’uld possess a monkey.” Hammond explained. Or not.

    “They think we’d let a monkey escape? Do they think this is Disneyland?” Jack shook his head.

    “‘Optics’, General?” Daniel asked. “Are they worried that people will have sympathies for the Goa’uld if it’s in a monkey’s body?”

    “In a word, yes, Dr Jackson.” Hammond grimaced. “They’re worried that showing a small fuzzy animal using a computer will send the wrong message about the danger the Goa’uld present to Earth and humanity. And yes, some members of the cabinet voiced concerns about the public perception of sacrificing an ‘innocent animal’ to the alien invaders.”

    Jack groaned. “Can’t we just pick an ugly animal then?”

    “You would be surprised how many people would still care.” Hammond sighed.

    “Are you talking about your granddaughters, General?” Carter asked.

    “They wanted a pot-bellied pig after the last nature documentary they watched,” Hammond said. “And they refused to eat meat for a week.”

    Jack groaned again. Since when did the government care about the opinions of little children? Would they ban broccoli at schools next?

    “What about the international reactions, Sir?” Carter asked.

    Hammon sighed once more. That was a bad sign. “As expected, the Security Council is moving to claim control over all technology we recovered. But some states also suspect that we didn’t report everything we found, citing the lack of international observers. And some even suspect that this was staged to improve our position and image.”

    Great. “And what about Russia and China?” Jack asked.

    “They haven’t made their position known so far, except for supporting international control over alien technology.” Hammond smiled a little weakly. “Pressure on Egypt and Honduras is increasing, and they haven’t had access to the results from the scan Captain Carter and Princess Entrapta did, but that hasn’t stopped either country from having their armed forces search for advanced technology.”

    Jack sighed himself. The Etherians would just love this.


    Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, August 18th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “You think this is a hoax?” Adora blurted out. She winced a little at the glance Glimmer stent towards her. Her friend was supposed to handle this, but Adora hadn’t managed to control herself. “Twenty people died! And you think this was a hoax?” she spat.

    The delegate from a minor country shook her head. “I merely pointed out how convenient this whole incident was. The Security Council is debating an unprecedented infraction against every nation’s sovereignty, and suddenly, there’s an emergency that would seem to demonstrate the urgency that was put in doubt by cooler heads?”

    “We captured a Goa’uld who had been hiding on Earth for centuries!” Adora retorted. “And we secured a lot of their technology! Weapons technology!”

    “So you claim,” the woman said. “So far, there has been no proof presented to us.”

    “And the technology was secured by the United States,” the Russian delegate added.

    “Because the incident happened on our soil and the Security Council hasn’t made any decision yet about the status of alien technology recovered on Earth,” the American delegate said.

    “How convenient for you.” The Russian sneered for a moment.

    “As if you’re not already looking for the artefact in Siberia,” the American shot back.

    “It’s really like an Alliance meeting in the bad old days,” Adora heard Glimmer mutter. Then her friend cleared her throat. “We have records of the battle. And we took a count of all the technology secured by us.”

    “By you? Do you include yourself in the American forces now?” Another delegate asked.

    “It was a joint-force action,” Glimmer told him. “The Princess Alliance isn’t beholden to anyone but will work with anyone against the Goa’uld.”

    The Chinese delegate spoke up: “But the fact that the United States secured this technology raises some concerns about the sincerity of their stated willingness to cooperate with the rest of the world.”

    “So far, the rest of the world hasn’t even been able to agree on a course of action,” the American retorted.

    “And the longer we wait, the greater the danger - we don’t know what is hidden at the other locations,” Glimmer said. “If there’s another Goa’uld active on Earth, then they might have already infiltrated a local government.”

    “Is that going to be your excuse for violating a nation’s sovereignty? A supposed threat of being controlled by an alien parasite?” Another of the smaller country’s delegates asked with a scowl.

    Glimmer frowned in return. “No. The only excuse we need to intervene is the fact that Goa’uld technology could indicate a Goa’uld base or operation.”

    They really didn’t like hearing that, Adora saw.

    “If it’s so urgent, why haven’t you told Honduras and Egypt the exact locations of the technology you detected inside their territories?”

    “Because they have neither the experience nor the technology to handle the kind of threats that the Goa’uld represent,” Glimmer said.

    “Which you should know if you’d read our report!” Adora added. She had spent hours writing it! Daniel was right - it was very annoying if you wrote a report and no one read it.

    “Anyone can claim anything in a report. We need actual proof. Show us this ‘Goa’uld’!”

    Several delegates nodded at that - not just the smaller countries.

    “And the technology!” another delegate added. “We need to see if there’s any truth to this supposed danger.”

    “Fine!” Glimmer spat. “We’ll show you the technology and the Goa’uld.”

    “And I think we should talk to the Goa’uld,” the Chinese delegate added.

    “The Goa’uld cannot talk unless they control a human body,” Adora pointed out.

    “Then get a volunteer. We can secure the body so they cannot escape.”

    “We haven’t found a safe way to remove a Goa’uld from a human host yet,” Entrapta said, looking up from her computer. “They can excrete a poison that kills the host when they’re removed. We’re looking into ways to bypass that, but we’ve just started.”

    The Chinese delegate frowned. “What about using a condemned criminal?”

    Adora gasped. They wanted to…kill a person for this? Or just… leave the person a prisoner in their own body?

    Other delegates were shocked as well.

    “You can’t be serious!”

    “That’s barbaric!”

    “This goes against everything we stand for!”

    But the Chinese delegate stood his ground. “Barbaric? I’ll remind you that the death penalty is legal in the United States. There’s nothing barbaric about this - someone about to be executed might even volunteer for this.”

    “That’s… no civilised country could condone this!” another delegate objected.

    Hordak nodded - Adora saw he was tenser than normal. “It would be torture for the person, and I’ve been told that torture is outlawed on Earth.”

    ‘Cruel and unusual punishment’, Daniel had called it on the flight back to Colorado.

    “Yes. We could use an animal as a host, I guess,” Entrapata added. She had finally slept on the flight back, but Adora was still concerned about her. She would have to make sure that her friend got a full night’s sleep after this.

    “An animal?”

    “Yes. Like an ape - they are close to humans. He wouldn’t be able to speak, but they could use a keyboard,” Entrapta explained.

    “We would be interrogating an ape?” the Chinese delegate seemed to be surprised.

    “The optics of that would be… questionable,” another delegate said.

    “Many apes are an endangered species,” another objected.

    “One more or less won’t doom a species.”

    “Cruelty to animals isn’t a good thing either.”

    “That the West cares more about animals than the people living in the developing countries is well-known.”

    “Now wait a minute! This isn’t about animal rights!”

    “Indeed. It’s about human rights - and nations’ rights!”

    Adora blinked as another pointless argument started. “We should just have gone straight to the other locations,” she muttered.


    Stargate Command, Colorado, August 19th, 1998 (Earth Time)

    “Why didn’t we land the spaceship yet? We already have dozens of those zat’nik’tels!”

    Samantha Carter pressed her lips together - facing away from Dr Davis so the scientist wouldn’t notice. They had gone over this already. “General Hammond explained that landing a working faster-than-light spaceship under our control in the United States has been deemed to be ill-advised in the current political situation,” she reminded him.

    “But we’re scientists, not politicians!”

    Sam didn’t have to turn to know the man was pouting. “Which means we leave international politics to the experts and listen to them when it concerns their field.” Even though the politicians might not always listen to scientists when it concerned science.

    “But this doesn’t concern them! The ship is ours! The Etherians agreed! And it wasn’t recovered on any foreign soil but in space! There’s no other claim on it!”

    Sam had been there when the ship had been recovered. She sighed, not bothering to hide her annoyance any longer, and turned to stare at Davis - who seemed surprised at her reaction. “That is a matter of debate,” she told him. “There’s substantial support in the United Nations to internationalise the entire Stargate Command.”

    “But that’s just posturing! We’ll just veto whatever resolution they come up with! That’s how the UN works! Why do we let them keep us from working on an actual spaceship?”

    Sam was tempted to call Daniel to explain things to Davis. Even if Davis was ignoring facts outside his expertise, Daniel might be able to talk until Davis agreed with him just to be able to get back to work. But Daniel was needed in the examination and possible interrogation of the Goa’uld they had captured.

    She should have volunteered to assist there, Sam realised, instead of examining the recovered technology. On the other hand, if that had left Davis in charge, they might end up missing something crucial. The man had the needed clearance for work at Stargate Command, but he wasn’t ready to take such responsibility. She almost snorted at the thought that this must have been how Russian scientists had felt when working with ‘politically reliable’ ‘colleagues’ instead of the best experts in the field.

    “That was how it worked before the arrival of aliens,” she reminded Davis. “Things changed. The United States can’t afford to act unilaterally right now.” Perhaps never again, depending on how things might develop.

    “But… the law’s clear! We can veto anything the United Nations decide! Anything substantial, at least!”

    “This isn’t a matter of law, but politics,” Sam explained as she put the zat’nik’tel she had been examining down on the table. “And if the United States would act as you suggest, the political and economic consequences would be harsh.” Daniel had gone on about that a length after a joke by the Colonel. “In the current crisis, the country cannot afford that.”

    “But we’ve got a spaceship! If we figure out how to build more of them, we don’t need anyone else - we can colonise space! Boldly go where no one has gone before! And with the second Stargate we have, we could just pick a planet and establish a private network!”

    That wasn’t how it worked - well, they could, in theory, use irises on both gates and only ever open and accept connections to the two gates - but… “Do you honestly think that the rest of the world and the Etherians would let the United States monopolise the gates like that? And how do you think we could afford to build enough spaceships to protect the country and the colony with the rest of the world opposed to this? If we actually find a habitable planet that hasn’t been colonised by the Goa’uld already. Or by another species.”

    “But…” He trailed off. “Why would the Etherians care?”

    Oh for…! “Have you somehow missed that they have explicitly stated that they do not recognise the United States as the single representative of Earth?”

    He looked honestly confused. “But… everyone knows that’s just window dressing. They’ve been working with us, and with no one else, haven’t they?”

    “They have been working with us because we met them,” she explained. “And because we have a common enemy. But they won’t support us against the rest of the world if we want to monopolise the gate.” She snorted. “Certainly not if we can’t legalise gay marriage.” She wasn’t going to mention polygamy at this point.

    That seemed to shock him. “But…” He shook his head. “But that’s just their starting position! As long as we get rid of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’, we’re fine!”

    What? She glared at him. “What gave you this absurd idea? This isn’t their starting position - the Etherians aren’t going to compromise on that.” How could Davis think this? This was… “Wait!” She narrowed her eyes at him. “Do others share your views?” This needed to be corrected at once! If the politicians listened to those people…


    But before he could answer, the phone rang. Sam picked it up. “Captain Carter.”

    It was the Colonel. And he sounded… upset. “Carter? We need you upstairs. Someone just blew up part of Egypt.”

  28. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I wonder why you think Seacat is a care bears episode - Seacat has guts spilling on the deck and limbs going flying in almost every battle of the entire war.
    SolipsistSerpent likes this.
  29. Dur'id the Druid

    Dur'id the Druid Know what you're doing yet?

    Jun 3, 2019
    Likes Received:
    Depth of charcter and plot. All of the characters and plots have the emotional depth, reasoning, and intelligence of a care bear or teletubby. Adding some gore and adult action doesn't change that.
  30. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    That's interesting since the She-Ra characters are, accounting for plot-induced changes, the same as here.
    SolipsistSerpent likes this.