Heliopolis’ Legacy

“Somers, get your ass through the gate!”

Sergeant Somers winced at his CO’s voice coming through the radio, glancing at the nervous marine next to him before turning his gaze upward, back to the mammoth ship—like none he’d ever seen—hovering in the distance: right over the ruins where SGs 19 and 22 and eight members of the SGC’s archaeology department were working.  A beam of brilliant white light shot out from the underbelly of the ship and down to the ruins below.

“But, sir—”

“That’s an order, Somers!”  Raimi’s radio stayed on and Somers heard him bark orders over the chaotic sounds of people running for their lives.  “Leave it!  I don’t care how much research it contains—leave it!  Jenkins, pick up the pace—get those scientists moving!”

Somers looked back at the open wormhole, hesitating, torn between following orders and going to the aid of the fleeing SGC personnel.  The beam of light continued to move through the ruins as though it was searching, accompanied by an audio broadcast in some alien language that had been playing for the past twenty minutes.

“Somers!  Tell me you’re through that gate!”

Shaken from his thoughts, Somers could see the figures of the SG teams coming towards them in the distance, the beam of light hot on their heels.  There was nothing he could do.

“Yes, sir!”  Turning, he grabbed Palmer’s sleeve and pulled.  “Let’s go, corporal!”

“But... shouldn’t we help them?”  Palmer’s eyes were wide with disbelief and fear.

“I don’t think we can.” 


“Where’s that linguist?”  Landry’s voice reverberated throughout the crowded control room. 

Jack saw more than one person flinch at Landry’s demand.  His own irritation was only tempered by the fact that he knew most of their linguists were offworld, including Daniel.  Surely someone was left in the SGC’s Linguistics Department?

“Sir!”  Walter Harriman’s sharp word brought his attention back to the MALP’s video feed.  Somers and Palmer were standing at the base of the ramp and Raimi’s voice was coming through the radio, ordering them through the gate. 

Jack’s eyes were drawn to the hovering spaceship as a beam of bright light shot from its underbelly, directly into the ruins below.  “Crap!  What is that?”

Bill Lee, standing at Jack’s elbow, bent lower and examined the video feed.  “Well... it looks like some kind of energy beam; a transporter maybe?  Or it could be scanning the ruins for something?”

Jack turned piercing brown eyes on the scientist, opening his mouth to let loose with his typical sarcasm, but instead shook his head and turned back to the screen—they didn’t have time for this.

The sound of fast approaching footsteps was followed by a breathless, “I’m here!  Someone called... for a linguist?”

Jack recognized Michael Fredericks, a brand-new, fresh-out-of-grad school recruit that Daniel had brought into the program.  This was all that was left in the Linguistics Department?  But, if Daniel thought he was good enough for the SGC, Jack would give him a chance.

Landry looked the young man up and down, shook his head once, and motioned him towards the MALP feed.  “We need to know what this transmission is saying.”

Fredericks moved closer to the screen, brow furrowing as he listened to the alien language playing through the wormhole.  “It’s not familiar; I haven’t heard anything in the SGC databanks that sounds anything like that.”

“We’re recording this, right?” Jack asked.  At least they’d have something for Daniel to listen to when he got back.

“Yes, sir,” Walter replied. 

The MALP feed now showed Somers and Palmer still standing at the bottom of the gate platform—Jack just had a glimpse of the two men at the edge of the MALP’s screen.  In the distance, SGs 19 and 22 were running flat out towards the gate, civilians in tow.  Right behind them was the beam of light, gaining quickly on the fleeing people.


Hand still gripping Palmer’s sleeve, Somers sprinted up the steps to the gate.  Halting at the top, he turned back towards the people running pell-mell towards them, the beam of light gaining on them with every step they took.

C’mon, c’mon, he silently pleaded, unable to follow orders and leave the others behind.  They’d make it—they had to.

And then it was on them.  The beam struck the stragglers first, and Somers felt his heart skip a beat as their bodies briefly glowed and then exploded in a flash of light, tiny pieces drifting to the ground like fine dust, screams choked off in mid-voice.

Good God!  What is that thing?  The rest of the SGC members continued running, but to no avail.  Seconds later the beam gobbled them up, their bodies frozen for an instant before vaporizing, filling the air with minute pieces that had once been human beings.

Somers turned, no longer needing to pull Palmer, who was matching his strides as they dove for the gate, just as the beam reached the platform.


The scene in the gateroom was sombre as the two surviving members of SG-22 surrendered themselves to Doctor Lam and her waiting staff.

Landry followed the movements of the medical team as they passed through the blast doors. “We need to talk to them as soon as possible,” he said, stepping back away from the observation window.

“We do,” Jack confirmed, “but let Lam check them out first.  Settle them down a bit.”

“Settle them down?  My god, Jack, we just lost fourteen men and women!”

“We did, but did you get a look at them?”  Jack stabbed a finger at the now almost vacant gateroom.  “You saw the footage, Hank.  We got it second hand from the safety of home, Sommers and Palmers didn’t have that luxury.  Give them a moment.  I want answers just as much as you do.”

“Sirs?”  Walter looked up from his console, gaze sliding between the two men.  “The MALP intercepted a signal from the alien vessel.  Looks like some sort of message.”

“Some sort of message?”  Fredericks parroted.  Jack had forgotten the man was still in the control room.  “Can you show me?  Bring it up on a screen or something?” he asked.

Walter pointed to an overhead monitor and then turned his attention back to his work station, fingers dancing across the keyboard.  Within moments the screen was filled with a rolling image that moved so fast it looked like a blur.  “Slow it down for us, Walter,” Jack asked.

“The data burst was short, sir.  Playing it back at quarter speed.”

The screen flickered and within seconds the transmission started up again, only this time the writing was more defined.

Fredericks slid his glasses up onto his head and jostled to get a closer look at the screen.  “Almost looks Furling,” he said with a hint of indecisiveness in his tone.

“Furling?  You mean to say you can read this?” asked Jack

“Not at all, sir, no.  I can recognize certain similarities with the sample of Furling we have in the database, but all of our experts are offworld at the survey sites.  I haven’t really had enough time to familiarize myself with anything more complex than Ancient and Asgard.”

Landry squinted at the screen and then turned to Fredericks.  “You’re part of the Core retrieval team?”

“Yes, sir.” Fredericks nodded.  “Doctor Jackson thought my skills would be better utilized there for the moment, at least until the planetary surveys were finished.”

“But you’re sure this is Furling?” Jack interrupted, one hand waving at the monitor above. 

“Fairly sure, yes.  Furling and Ancient are two of the mandatory language requirements. Doctor Jackson explained that as part of my indoctrination.  Apparently all personnel designated for assignment offworld or as part of the Archaeology and Linguistic departments are required to be able to at least recognize the language of the Four Races, as well as Goa’uld.”

“Right.  Walter, get…” Jack frowned, trying to remember the man’s name.

“Fredericks, sir?”

“Right, get Fredericks a copy of the transmission, and then I want you to dial up P9S-351 and get Doctor Jackson for me on a secure channel.”

“Care to let me in on what you’re thinking?” Landry asked. 

“It can’t be coincidence that we’ve got six survey teams offworld investigating possible Furling sites, and one of them gets attacked by an alien spouting a similar written language, and—”

“And Doctor Jackson is our resident authority on the Furlings,” Landry finished for him.  “Walter, you heard the man.”

“P9S-351, yes sir.”



Standing with her palm facing out in front of her, Vala inspected her nails and frowned. “You know what this reminds me of, Daniel?” 

Daniel tried hard to ignore her.  The morning had started out with promise, right up until the moment Vala had forgotten the abbreviated archaeology lesson he’d given all of the SG teams before the survey, and planted her foot in his grid square. With nothing more that a muted “oops” for her indiscretion, she’d raised her foot and offered an apologetic smile for the pottery shard she’d crushed.

Outwardly, Daniel had forgiven her for the sake of keeping the peace and getting on with the job at hand.  The dig site had turned up a rather impressive haul of what he was reasonably sure were Furling artifacts, but the one piece Vala had clumsily destroyed had been the only one with any markings on it.  Daniel was still seething on the inside.

“Do I really want to know?”  He tried to keep the sting from his tone, but the small wince he caught her trying to conceal told him he’d failed.  “Okay,” he said, brushing the soil from his hands and rising gingerly to his feet.  “About time I took a break anyway.  Why don’t you walk with me to the mess tent?”

“Oh goody, lunch!  I’m starved! I was just talking to Corporal Glasson,” she winked at the corporal as she looped her arm around Daniel’s, “about those dainty little REM—”

“MREs,” Daniel corrected, withdrawing his arm.  “They’re called MREs.”

“Right, those things.  Did you know that on average each meal contains up to 1200 calories?”

“No, and why would I want to know that?”

“Why?  Well, I don’t know, Daniel, maybe because everyone one of those calories insists on making its way to my hips?”

Daniel tried not to let his gaze drift down the length of Vala’s body, but knew he’d failed when she slapped him on the arm.  “Eyes up, airman,” she cautioned with a smile.  “And, did you also know that each one of those little packets has a shelf life of three years?  Honestly, we could be eating a meal made almost as far back as the day you and I met.”

“Is there a point to this conversation?” 

“Well… no, but don’t you think it’s interesting what passes for decent cuisine on your fair planet?  Another good reason the Goa’uld abandoned it.  Had I still been host to Qetesh, she would have voted for your extermination based on your menu choices alone.  She had quite the discerning palette.”

Making their way from the dig site towards the temporary base camp, Daniel shrugged off the sympathetic stares he got from other members of the survey team and several of their marine escorts.  He was pretty sure Vala’s tendency to rant about any old subject hadn’t been confined to just him.

“So, I’m to take it that the lunch menu is what has reminded you of something or have we gone off that subject altogether?” he asked.

“What are you talking about?”

“You said this reminded you of something.” He waved his hand to encompass the greater area.  “If it’s not the detailed history of an MRE, then what?”

“Oh.” She shrugged.  “I was just thinking how much this place reminds me of the time we were looking for the Ark.”

“It was hot, dry and dusty.”

“Hence the familiarity.”

“We’re currently in this planet’s wet season.”

“Okay, so more of a passing familiarity.  Really, Daniel, you do know how to—”

“Yo!  Jackson!”

“Yep!”  Daniel quickly shifted Vala’s hand that had once again curled itself around his bicep and gave a quick wave to Mitchell who was running towards them.

“O’Neill wants you,” Mitchell puffed, coming to a quick stop and thrusting a radio into Daniel hands. 

Daniel frowned at the offered device and looked down at the one secured to his tac vest.  “And he couldn’t just call through on mine?”

“Nope.  This one is tied to a secure channel for emergency use.  Whatever he wants is for our ears only,” he annunciated, directing his words at Vala.

Taking the hint, Vala rolled her eyes and muttered, “I guess this means you boys would like to be alone?”

“Something like that.” 

Mitchell waited until she was out of hearing range and nodded towards the radio Daniel was holding.

“Jack, come in, it’s Daniel.”

A hiss of static streamed from the radio, making it necessary for Mitchell to grab Daniel by the shoulder and lead him further away from the campsite. 

“And about time,” came Jack’s tinny reply.  “Mitchell, I know you can hear this.  What part of ‘this is an emergency’ didn’t you get?”

Mitchell grabbed the radio.  “Sorry, sir, we had a big set of ears in the vicinity.”

“Pony tails and a catty smile?”

“The very one.  What’s so important we have to discuss it over a secure line?”

“Less than an hour ago, we lost fourteen of the sixteen-man survey team on P3R-101 to an unprovoked attack from an unknown assailant.” Whether it was by design or Jack paused to catch his breath, there was a beat of silence as the news sunk in.

“That’s Raimi’s team,” Mitchell whispered, turning to look over his shoulder at the science teams busy at work on the dig mound. 

Daniel took the radio back.  “You said fourteen, Jack… who survived?”

“Somers and Palmer.  They were on sentry duty at the gate.  Raimi tried to get the rest of the teams back but they didn’t stand much of a chance.  The MALP recorded the whole attack.”

“Christ,” Mitchell spat out.  “And we have no clue who this was?  No warning?”

“That, we can’t be sure of… no.  The ship fired at the team from a very low orbit.  Low enough to be seen and for the MALP to get a partial image of it.  We’re waiting to speak to Somers and Palmer in the hopes they can provide us with more details.  There was one thing though:  the ship broadcasted a signal.  Audio and visual.  Nothing we readily identified, but Fredericks is fairly certain he recognized some of the symbols on the visual message as being similar to Furling.”

Mitchell kicked the ground with the toe of his boot in frustration.  “No way can that be a coincidence.  We’ve got six teams out in the field on planets that have turned up remnants of Furling habitation and then this happens?”

Daniel raised a hand for silence.  “Let’s hold that thought for a moment.  Jack, you said there were two signals?”

“Audio and visual.  The MALP recorded both.”

“Any chance you can feed the audio signal through to me?”

“No chance in hell, Daniel.  As the foremost expert Earth has on the Furlings, I want your ass back through that gate right away.”

“We’ve nearly finished here for the afternoon.”

“Now, Doctor Jackson!  And before I forget—Mitchell, Raimi’s team had approximately twenty minutes from the time the ship first appeared until it opened fire on them.”

“That’s not long, sir.”

“Wasn’t long enough for them, no.  At this point we’re treating this as a random attack until such time as we can get a handle on the contents of the transmission.  My gut feeling is to pull all teams from the field, but the IOA has nixed that idea.”

“Let me guess,” Daniel said.  “They’re more interested in their bottom line than the human resources of the SGC.”

“I’m not going to touch that statement.  Let’s just say they’ve vested a lot of money on the long-term viability of this project.”

“And the loss of personnel in the field is an acceptable risk as far as the Stargate program is concerned,” Daniel continued on.  “Old news there.”

“As we’ve only got Fredericks’ word to go on, and he admits he’s way out of his depth here, I don’t really have grounds to recall the other teams.  I want you back earth-side right away, Daniel.  Don’t stop to pack up.  Mitchell, on the offchance this isn’t a random attack, how about planning a bug-out exercise just to keep the civilians on their toes?  I’d rather not tell them what’s going on at this point until we’ve got something more concrete to share.  Give us a chance to talk to Somers and Palmer first.”

“What about the other survey sites, sir?”

“Dialing them up as soon as I’m through here.  What’s your ETA to the gate, Daniel?”

Daniel shrugged and looked at his watch.  “We’re approximately two kilometers out, so… what, about fifteen minutes?”

“Enough time for us to contact the four remaining teams and let their leaders know what’s happened.  Don’t keep me waiting.”

“Leaving now.”

Mitchell headed for the tents, already calling for everyone to start packing up.  Daniel turned in the direction of the gate just as Vala waltzed up, obviously not having gone far while he was talking to Jack.

“What’s going on?”

“I’ve been recalled to the SGC.”


“Jackson!  Get a move on—Peters will go with you,” Mitchell called out.

“Gotta run.  I’ll explain later,” he told Vala, then hesitated, realizing his Furling notes were in the ruins; he might need those.  “Vala, tell Mitchell I’m going to grab my notes first.” He quickly turned and headed back to where he’d been working. 


“Now, please.”


Vala frowned but did as he asked, walking back to where Mitchell was urging the teams to pack up.  Just as she reached the tents, a shadow fell across them and she turned to look up. 

“Oh... my.”

The gray metallic underbelly of a giant ship descended towards them, the design like nothing she’d ever seen. 

“Oh, hell,” she heard Cameron mutter from just behind her.  “All right, people, leave everything and get to the gate.  Now!”  He clicked his radio.  “Grogan, get your people to the gate ASAP.”

“Sir?” Grogan’s voice was tinny over the radio.

“No time to explain.  Leave everything and get out of there now.”

“Yes, sir.” 

“Kal’toc, this is Mitchell.  Dial it up, we’re comin’ in hot!”

“Understood, Colonel Mitchell.” 

Vala fleetingly wondered if this had something to do with Daniel being recalled to the SGC.  Whatever was going on, it was bad.  She had rarely heard Cameron sound scared, but that was the only word she could think of to describe his voice.  Intending to make a run for the gate, she stopped short.  Daniel.  Automatically, she reversed direction, heading for the ruins, only to feel a hand clamp around her arm. 

“Where the hell do you think you’re goin’?”  Cameron’s grip was crushing as he yanked her around to face him. 

“Daniel went back to the ruins for his notes.  I was—”

“Of all the—Peters!  Make sure she gets to the gate.” 

Peters grabbed her arm, dragging her towards the gate and away from Daniel.


“I’ll go after Jackson.  Now move it!”

Reluctantly, Vala allowed Peters to pull her away, glancing over her shoulder to watch Mitchell running towards the ruins.


What part of get a move on did Jackson not understand?  Cam couldn’t believe he’d gone back to the ruins for his notes; well, actually, he could believe it.  He glanced up at the enormous ship hovering above him, no doubt in his mind this was exactly what had happened to Raimi’s team. 

“Jackson!” he yelled over his radio, “We’ve got a big honkin’ ship sittin’ on top of us.  Time to go!”

He was grateful to see Grogan herding the other archaeologists out of the ruins and towards the gate.  Naturally, the one he was looking for wasn’t with them. Just as he was about to shout at Jackson again, the man came running out of the crumbling building, shoving papers into his pack. 

“’Bout time.” 

“Sorry, might need these if we’re dealing with the Furling language.”  Jackson slung his pack over one shoulder as he ran, glancing upwards to take in the ship looming menacingly overhead. 

Cam fell in next to him, both of them automatically picking up the pace.  They exchanged a quick glance, mutually acknowledging the unlikelihood that this was all a coincidence.

A few feet from the ruins, they were suddenly bombarded by a high-pitched voice, emanating from the ship, broadcasting in a language Cam didn’t recognize.  Looking across at Jackson, he saw the man’s forehead wrinkle in concentration as he obviously tried to make sense of the words.  He quickly checked his watch, remembering O’Neill’s warning about the short amount of time Raimi’s team had before being fired on. 

Next to him, he heard Jackson stumble, then a thud as he hit the ground.  Pulling up, he turned back to see the man on his knees, making no effort to get to his feet.

“Jackson, let’s go!”  He moved back to the archaeologist, reached down, and pulled his sleeve. 

Jackson got to his feet, swayed briefly, and resumed running, albeit slowly, towards the gate. 

Cam could see Grogan in the distance, hanging back to urge on a couple of the trailing archaeologists.  The voice continued to chatter away, the sound vibrating the ground beneath their feet.  A quick look at Jackson showed the man’s forehead still furrowed, but it looked more like pain than concentration. 

Minutes ticked by as they silently pushed on.  Finally, they crested a hill and Cam could see the gate in the distance.  Kal’toc stood in front of the open wormhole and next to him was Peters, holding onto Vala’s arm as he tried to pull her forward.  Below the dais was the group of archaeologists being herded by Grogan. 

“Vala!  I’ve got Jackson, now get through that gate!”

He could see her stop fighting Peters, turn to look in their direction, and then pivot back and step through the gate.  As he watched her disappear, a new sound erupted behind him—a humming that vibrated in his chest.  Looking over his shoulder, he watched as a brilliant white light shot out from the underside of the ship, striking the ruins where they’d been only ten minutes before. 

They were only yards from the gate now and Cam was thankful they’d made it before the beam had hit.  Next to him, Jackson stumbled again and went down, this time making no move to get up. 

Sliding to a halt, Cam rushed over and grabbed his sleeve again.  “Up you go, Jackson; we’re almost there.”

But Jackson stayed where he was, hands reaching up to grab his head, a moan escaping his lips. 

“Now’s not the time for a nap,” Cam admonished, now using both hands to right the fallen man.  Behind him, the beam was searing through the ruins, inching closer to their position.  Dragging Jackson into a sitting position, Cam decided he was going to have to carry him if they were going to get through the gate in time.  Just as he bent to pull him over his shoulder, another pair of hands latched onto Jackson’s other arm.  Cam looked up to see Kal’toc position himself to help lift the uncooperative man.  Quickly, Cam adjusted his grip and the two men pulled Jackson upright, then dragged him, unresisting, up the steps. 

As they dove for the open gate, Cam felt the air around him crackle with static, a bright light searing his retinas as he felt the cold of the wormhole wrap around him.


“Shut it down!” Cam shouted out to the stunned faces looking down at him from the control room.  The comforting whirl of the iris snapping closed seemed to release what little adrenaline he had left in him as he Kal’toc lowered Jackson down to the gate ramp. Nodding grateful thanks to his young teammate, he fell down on his butt beside Jackson.

Movement on the periphery of his vision heralded the arrival of Doctor Lam, one gloved hand reaching out towards Jackson.

“Doctor Jackson?”

Jackson grunted a complaint but made no attempt to sit up.  One arm was slung haphazardly across his eyes. “Give me a moment,” he mumbled.

Sucking in a deep breath of air, Cameron attempted to steady his breathing. “I know you’re not that out of shape, Jackson,” he said bumping his comrade’s leg with his own. “What gives with the fainting thing?”

“Didn’t faint.”

“Really?  Curling into a fetal position, non-responsive.  Looked like fainting to me.”

Jackson rolled on to his side, batting away Lam’s attempt to help him, and looked up at Cam from under the crook of his arm.  “I don’t know what it was.”

“All the more reason to get you to the infirmary,” Lam cut in.  “You too, Colonel, unless you need to be wheeled out of here?” 

“Me? Na… can’t speak for sleeping beauty here though.” Cam knocked Jackson’s leg again.  “What about the rest of the team?”

“They’re on their way to the infirmary for their post-mission physicals, if you three would care to join them.  Doctor Jackson, do you think you can walk?”

“I’m up!” The arm covering Jackson’s face slid aside as he struggled to sit up.

“You don’t look like you wanna be,” said Cam.

“I’m fine.” Daniel held out a hand.  “Help me up.”


part 2




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