Chapter II: Invaders and Defense

The entire station was in a kaleidoscope of sounds and activity. Soldiers were running around, moving and securing equipment, guiding non-military personnel to designated-safe zones. The civilians themselves were either being escorted or prepared to render aid to the incoming battle.

“Medical Corps is standing by, and various ER’s are ready to go…” Head of Medicine Ryan Simmons, speaking in his slight French-accent.

“Good…what about our message to SGC?” Benjamin nodded, afterwards glancing at the boy-ish operator.

“It is away sir, and we got confirmation. They will be here ASAP…” he nodded, resuming work at his post.

“They won’t be here in time sir…” Andrew spoke up, working on his data-pad. “I did some work, and with their Hyperdrive, they’ll be here in fifteen minutes…”

“We gave them time. Aren’t the shields at max power?” Benjamin asked, leaning forward with his arms spread slightly.

“Yes they are as a matter of fact, so is the rest of the station’s defenses, and, by the way, it isn’t a station, or do you want to wait again?” Andrew replied, beginning to take an impatient, sarcastic tone when he brought up the station itself.

“Tell me now…” he sighed, rubbing his eyes.

“It is a city…” Andrew said, obviously glad he got it out. “A freakin’…city…”

“Are there any windows where I can get visual confirmation?” Benjamin asked, shrugging softly.

“Yes, right over there…” the scientist pointed with slight exasperation, towards the right of the Stargate. Benjamin gave him a look as he went by, jogging over and looking out the mosaic-looking window.

He didn’t see anything. Just…dirt.

“Andrew?” Benjamin called out. “Is this a joke?”

“What? What do you…oh crap, no wonder…” Andrew stopped in his tracks when he looked out the window. “That explains the large increase of heat in the lower levels…”

“Are you saying, we’re underground?” Benjamin demanded, stressing the last word considerably.

“Yeah, we are…that explains why the ZPM isn’t pushing out energy despite its high levels…” Andrew nodded, setting his data-pad on the window-ledge.

“What is a ZPM?” Kyle asked, arriving shortly, followed by Reptile.

“It stands for Zero-Point-Module” Andrew began. “It is a crystal-like object capable of providing large amounts of power to any structure or weapon, and I mean large…”

“And you said that, even though it has enough, it isn’t…giving it?” Kyle continued, obviously having a little struggle.

“Yes…because we are located so far under the planet’s crust, we are essentially drawing power from the magma that is underneath us. Geothermal Energy we call it…” he nodded again.

“Ok, if we wanted to educate you about our methods and techniques, we’ll do it…later” Benjamin exasperated, wiping his forehead. “Right now, we need to defend this place…wait, how are the shields running if we are underground?”

“Simple…we are in a cavern…” Andrew smiled. “And as for the window, this central spire we occupy acts as an observation post, to monitor and watch activity on the surface.

“And how can it do that if we are really deep underground?” he continued, giving confused sighs.

“Another point. The crust here, is much smaller then our own world. Simply put, we are actually on a barren world that is close to being volcanic…” Andrew answered with a smile yet again. Benjamin just stared at him, in which he earned a, “What?”

“Sir! The ship is here, it’s a cruiser-sized vessel, we’re reading a scanning attempt…” the operator reported on his radio.

“Oh crap…” Andrew moaned, slapping his face.

“Anrew…” Benjamin growled, gritting his teeth.

“We assumed that they know we are here and they are going to attack…instead, they probably saw something and are checking it out…” Andrew explained, obviously not happy with himself, along with great distress.

“And let me fuckin’ guess…they’re gonna find us?” Benjamin rose his voice to a shout as he ended his sentence.

“….yeah, imagine we’re in a large, sterile white room…” Andrew nodded. “We’re a black gorilla in the corner…”

“What’s a gorilla?” Reptile asked, shrugging. Before anyone could answer, a loud explosion above sounded, accompanied by a violent shaking of the room.

“They’re firing at us sir!” the operator shouted.

“Andrew…” Benjamin walked slowly to the quivering scientist. “You said we, Rambo-military-men, constantly amaze you…now, you amaze us!”

“Just, gimme a second, I’ll look for a way!” Andrew said hastily, sprinting towards the control center.

“We should leave this place, quickly…” Kyle suggested, struggling to keep his footing.

“We can’t do that your highness…” Benjamin said. “Our commander gave us strict orders to maintain a presence here. This city holds valuable knowledge and technology that could prove to be vital in defending our home…”

“I perfectly understand that Major, but you must also know when you are beat!” Kyle argued, pointing a finger at him. “We are underground, and the enemy knows we are here. Unless your Andrew there finds a way to save us, we don’t have much of a choice!”

“Anyone who wants to can leave, but I am staying here…” Benjamin shouted, approaching Kyle challengingly. “When I enlisted, my sole purpose is the defense of both my country and its values. This base here, has technology that, if not permanently defends it, will make my job much easier!”

“I got it!” Andrew shouted, jogging down to them with a few slips. “The city has both sub-light and Hyperdrive engines! If I can get them up and running, we can literally fly out of here!”

“Impossible! How can a city like this fly, especially of what I think is its size?!” Kyle remarked, glancing at him.

“Trust me, with the Ancients, they can do pretty much everything!” Andrew laughed, running back to the control center. Another large explosion this time that was even more violent erupted, yet this time it was at the bottom section of the city.

“Oh…shit…” Andrew cursed hopelessly, turning back towards Benjamin and Kyle.

“Those are the two least favorite words I want to hear at this time!” Benjamin warned, pointing at him accusingly.

“They just hit the magma layer underneath the city. So much pressure is building up, we just turned this area into a super volcano!” he explained, staring at them with a look of lost hope.

“Get us outta here before it blows then!” Benjamin grabbed him, yanked him to his face and literally screamed at him.

“Right, right!” Andrew nodded, now hopeful as he scrambled back up to the control center.

“Benjamin!” Kyle now grabbed him and brought him to his face. “Face it! This is a battle we cannot win! We have to leave now!”

“There’s still a chance to save the city!” he insisted, pushing him away. “Give Andrew a little time, he’s our most brilliant mind!”

Before Kyle can continue, a loud, electronic whirring sounded off throughout the whole chamber, rising in pitch. A few seconds after that, it began shaking roughly, followed by an intense motion of rising.

“We’re…moving?!” Kyle shouted, looking around. His answer arrived. The dirt that blocked the window began moving downwards, and within seconds, fell off to reveal a land filled with lava and obsidian, no grass or trees anywhere in sight. A large, cyan-blue blast erupted just outside of it, spewing a huge glob of magma into the air. After that, a section of the city revealed itself to show magnificent, beautifully-sculpted skyscrapers poking through and rising with them.

“He did it!” Benjamin shouted gleefully. “We’re getting out of here!”

Soon, they burst through the dark clouds above and into space, a large void of blackness with stars dotting each inch as white dots, each with varying luminosity. And then, they saw their attacker. It was a rusty-colored ship, with a combination of sleek and industrial designs. Three large spikes jutted out of its front, each lighting up as it fired shots at the city, protected by its shields.

Immediately, the towers became functional. Firing green plasma, they shot relentlessly at the attacker, eliciting large explosions, after which ignited a chain reaction within.

“Everyone hang on! We’re jumping into FTL!” Andrew warned shrilly on the radio. A large cloud of white and blue appeared overhead, and, speeding up considerably, the city flung itself into it, causing a loud electrical-crackle sound.

Conference Room, Vesuvius Central Spire

“Your highness…” Jacques began, a few bandages along his forehead. “You have seen what we have to deal with on an almost daily-basis. They are not our exact enemy, but they are similar…”

“I am amazed you are able to defend yourselves from what I have seen…but, you do have the ability to…learn and adapt…” Kyle nodded, crossing his arms, his hair a little…un-kept. “Frankly, I am not sure my people and Reptile’s can defend themselves from an enemy such as this…”

“Then let us help you…” Jacques asked boldly. “We have the experience and know-how to provide you with defenses that will ensure the safety of your people…”

“…” Kyle was silent for a moment as he pondered, playing out various scenarios on what-ifs.

“Your highness, at the risk of sounding offensive…” Andrew began, leaning forward.

“Oh god…” Benjamin slapped his face.

“You guys are only at a pre-industrial level, with no knowledge on electricity and gunpowder…” Andrew began, reading over a file on his data-pad. “Frankly, you guys have no technological advantage, in fact, it is an extreme disadvantage…”

“Err…my apologies for Andrew’s rudeness…he has a tendency to be…blunt and direct…” Jacques rubbed his face nervously.

“No worries, in fact, it was helpful…” Kyle smiled, leaning forward a bit as he rested his arms on the table. “How can we be a part of this…partnership then?”

“Well…would you mind if we set our city down in your land somewhere?” Andrew asked with a shrug, followed by a nervous smile.

“Andrew…” Benjamin said sternly. “What did you do…?”

“Well…the database is still undergoing deciphering, so the only place I could escape to was…” he explained slowly with great anxiety.

“Ah great…” Benjamin slapped his face again. “Our apologies your highness, we should’ve…”

“No need” Kyle raised his hand. “In fact, I’d be honored to have you reside on my homeworld, provided that I can…observe your activities personally?”

“I…believe we can accept that…” Benjamin nodded. Andrew gave a relieved sigh and leaned back in his chair.

“Then our talks are concluded! I look forward to seeing how this technology works and how you operate…” Kyle smiled as he stood, walking away afterwards out of the conference room, the doors twisting open.

“That was easy…” Jacques shrugged, relaxing himself.

“Well, he did see what he might be up against, so I think that gave us some points…” Andrew grinned, relaxing as well.

“I agree…” Benjamin nodded, twiddling his fingers. “Plus, I am sure he can provide us with resources in the future…”

“We shall see…” Jacques smiled.

“You guys might wanna see this…” a scientist with a UK-flag on his sleeve announced out of nowhere, rushing out of the door. The trio immediately followed him after a moment’s glance…

“We have just received our first address now that the deciphering is sped up…” the scientist reported, presenting a planet with small landmasses in the north and south hemispheres. “We’ve cross-referenced it with the information mainframe, and discovered it is a research facility for Bioengineering…”

“…Bioengineering?” Reptile repeated, shrugging with a distant look.

“Changing and creation of live, living beings…such as animals…” Andrew explained simply with a smile.

“They can do that?” he continued with another shrug.

“No, in fact…it is just a resort where they can go and play teatime with themselves…” Andrew shook his head with exaggeration as he spoke sarcastically. “Of course they can…”

Kyle glared at him. “Sorry…still a little…shook up, never been in a fight before…” Andrew shrugged with a nervous smile.

“We also found this, the last recorded entry…ten thousand years ago…” the scientist spoke, clicking a file.

After a brief crackle of white noise, a boy-ish man with dreadlocks and a goatee appeared, clearing his throat before he began. “It has been almost two years since we last heard from the Omega-dockyards. We have assumed they have Ascended now…we were told that if we wait, we will be given the means to join them…we have confirmed that. A supply freighter is en route here and will arrive within the hour. As for what we have been doing…well, we have perfected the ultimate being, the perfect soldier. Relentless, completely loyal, adaptable…we’ve done it. I guess designating this galaxy as research only did pay off…too bad we didn’t seed this galaxy as much as we did with the other two…but, still…exotic species are growing into sapience…perhaps this will be more diverse then the others…”

“That is all we have…” the scientist stopped the video. “I say we go there and see what they have…”

“Agreed…if they have perfected an ultimate soldier, this will be very useful…” Benjamin nodded. “Sergeant, contact SGC and tell them we may have something for them…”

“Alright, it is settled then…let’s go…” Andrew spoke, clapping his hands together once.

“I’d like to see this place…” Kyle said. “I am now rather curious of these…Ancients, as you call them…”

“With respect your highness, you need to be trained in our weapons and tactics before you can come along in Off-World-Activities with us…” Benjamin declined, shaking his head. “Believe me, you’ll need to…”

“I will be with him…” Reptile said, standing next to Kyle. “Trust me, even if they have advanced weaponry, I am very good at getting to them fast…”

Benjamin was silent for a moment as he pondered it. “The Ancients have ascended your highness. To a higher plane of existence so I hear…meaning they have evolved to beings of pure energy…”

“Then I would like to see what they have left behind…” he insisted, crossing his arms.

“…fine, but you will have to be with an escort, besides your friend there, clear?” Benjamin sighed with exasperation, rubbing his eyes.

“Very…” Kyle nodded, smiling widely now.

“But we will have to wait until we drop of out of FTL…” Andrew spoke up. “The Stargate needs to be calibrated when we move to a new location…let’s just wait till we get to Rulus, and then we head out…”

“Agreed…” Benjamin nodded. “In the meantime, let me show you your temporary quarters you two…”

“A nice group…” Reptile commented when the soldier left, leaving them in a large room that is mainly a dark crimson along the wall, with a window that gave them a beautiful view of the western section of the city-station. “Although…there is something that is…off…”

“I have that feeling as well…” Kyle nodded, relaxing on the bed and sighing. “Can we trust these people? I mean…they are too kind to be true…they must be hiding something…I have never encountered a nicer kind of people like them…”

“I must admit though, I am starting to like Andrew a bit…” Reptile smiled as he sat in a chair. “He is very honest, although in a blunt sort of way…”

“I don’t see it…well, I guess I can get used to him…” Kyle shrugged, sitting up as he rolled his shoulders around. “And I will admit, he is honest at that…yet, he needs a little work on…certain social things…”

“Like saying things in a nice way?” he grinned.

“Yeah, I guess that’s it…still, I won’t refuse to admit that they are worthy adversaries…but are their motives of any concern to us?” Kyle nodded, removing his armor.

“Oh come on…I am sure they mean us no harm…why would they go through all of what has happened, only to destroy us in the end?” Reptile insisted, walking over to the window and crossing his arms.

“I don’t know…I just…don’t want to rush into trusting them, that’s all…” Kyle sighed as he rested on the soft pillow.

“I for one, rather be part of their…off world activities as they call it…” Reptile shrugged as he sat on the other side of the bed. “It’ll sound fun, from what I hear…”

“True again…can’t wait to see what kinds of worlds are out there…” Kyle began imagining all sorts of adventures as he thought about it. “All those stars above us, containing worlds that we can use to benefit us…and they have the means to travel to them…”

Suddenly, the world around them seem to stretch into a rainbow of colors for a second, and, as quickly as it began, snapped back into normal.

We have exited FTL, we are now at Rulus… a voice crackled from a box-like object in the corner of the room.

“Guess it is time…” Reptile said, getting up.

“Give me a moment, I’ll be there…” Kyle said, resting on his hands as he relaxed some more.

“Alright ladies! Here’s what we got!” Benjamin shouted as usual, despte the hum of the Stargate too quiet for shouting. “We discovered a genetics research lab here, so…we got us a team of eggheads! I don’t care on what you think, we are keeping on eye on our corners, and making sure the scientists do their job, understood?”

“Yes sir!” the squad shouted in answer. Kyle and Reptile, now equipped with Stargate Kevlar-vests and pistols, with Reptile keeping his spear, and his Kevlar customized for his spinal-thorns

“Alright, now…let me warn ya you two…” Andrew began, walking in front of them. “When you step through that gate, it is gonna break you down into tons of molecules that provides fast transport. It is gonna feel like…actually…I dunno how to explain it…just feels odd…”

“Well then, let’s get it over with!” Kyle laughed, nudging Andrew aside, followed by Reptile. Andrew just stood there, muttering to himself before he followed.

Once they step through, a massive ring of blue-neon encircled them, beyond it the vast void of space. They were then propelled to an incredible speed, twisting and turning through the stars. Just when it looks like their skin is about to fly off, it ended.

Kyle and Reptile nearly fell from shock as they stepped out of the Stargate, followed by Andrew, who merely laughed as he saw them.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn ya…” he laughed some more, eventually offering a hand.

“Was a ride, I’ll admit that…” Kyle laughed along with him. “Now I really want to be part of an off-world team…”

“Yep, it was fun for me as well…” Reptile smiled. “I guess it was thanks to your warning Andrew…thanks” with a smile, he gave a small, harmless smack on Andrew’s rear as he passed by, making him yelp a bit.

“Did he just…” Andrew whispered to him, before walking down, now wary of the reptile.

The room they were in was very dark, damp and cold. Their feet hit against the floor, the sounds indicating it was metal, as they walked down a platform.

“Found a terminal here!” a soldier called out.

“Stay there, I’m heading over!” Andrew responded, fast-walking to the position. There was a few minutes of quiet shuffling before the lights snapped on, now revealing it to be a welcome center of some kind.

“Wonderful architecture…” Kyle said, spinning around slowly to drink in the sight.

“Believe me, after a while, it just gets…already seen it, ya know?” Andrew replied with a grin, shrugging as he worked.

“The Ancient said they perfected a formula to create a supersoldier…where is it?” Benjamin reminded, sweeping the area with two soldiers.

“I think…I, found it…” Andrew said, typing a few commands on the terminal. “Aha! Got it…downloading a copy now…”

“Alright, so they must have the equipment here…can you point us to it?” Benjamin continued, leaning against the edge of a door.

“Already there…go down two four-ways, hang a right and it should be…the second door on the left…” he directed, looking over the blue-map.

“Alright, let’s go!” Benjamin ordered, moving down the corridor. The other two soldiers followed him, their P90’s aimed straight for any encounter they might run across.

Once they were gone, Andrew as still working on the terminal, uncovering more information buried within, with Reptile walking up next to him and watching him.

“Yes?” Andrew said, keeping his eyes trained on the terminal.

“Nothing, just…watching what you are doing, that’s all…” Reptile replied, watching Andrew’s hands working.

“I don’t like people watching me…” he said neutrally, pausing for a moment.

“Oh…okay…” Reptile said, a little surprised, but walking away anyways.

“Andrew, we found something” Benjamin radioed.

“What is it?” he replied back, resuming his work.

“You might wanna come down here…easier that way…” Benjamin said, afterwards cutting the connection.

“Alrighty then…” Andrew sighed, picking up his data-pad and walking down the corridor. It was a bit small when he entered, yet still comfortable, the edges of the floor lit up by white, rectangular lights.

He followed the directions he gave to the squad and found them staring at about four large tubes filled with blue liquid.

“Check this out…” Benjamin said, guiding him to one of them. “Look…”

Andrew stared for a bit before he too was shocked.

Inside, was a black alien curled up in a fetal position…