SG1: The Continuation - IC (Nydie & Msisko)
Eyes growing heavy and vision blurry from hours of staring at her computer screen, Cynthia shoved herself away from her work station and slowly got to her feet. It was just another day at work, but the atmosphere around the base seemed to be buzzing with excitement. Over what, the woman had no idea, but something was going on, she only hoped that General O’Neil or General Landry would let something slip soon; with all the excitement she was having problems focusing on her work.
Stretching her arms over her head, she turned her gaze back to her computer with a thoughtful frown. Cynthia was used to coming across things that most people would have never even thought of much less seen with their own eyes, but there were still things that managed to surprise her. The latest mount images that she and her team had just received that morning were one of those things that seeing did not mean believing. The structures on the planet looked to be primitive; mud huts, carved wooden statues, nothing that screamed out advanced technology. Yet, the mount had managed to capture several other images of strange devices flying around the area. What purpose they served could not be determined through the images, but it was obvious that the technology was far more advanced than the civilization should have been capable of.
Cynthia had spent the majority of the morning assessing the images and struggling to discover just what the purposes of the strange floating devices were. They weren’t very large, maybe a bit smaller than a basketball, but there wasn’t much else that could be determined. She thought that perhaps they were for security; used to scan the area for outside life forms and alert the inhabitants of the planet. It wouldn’t be the first time they had encountered something like that. The question that bothered her was who had provided the inhabitants with the technology, because she was willing to bet everything she owned they had not developed it themselves.
Just as she was about to plant herself back into her seat to see if she could learn anything else, the intercom in her room went off. “Lieutenant Reynolds, you’re needed in the gate room.” The voice informed her, and then all was silent again.
Frowning at the speaker, she cast a final glance at the computer screen. Disappointed that her work was being interrupted, the woman closed the lid of her computer and exited the room. Wandering through the maze of hallways that would lead her to the gate room, Cynthia watched the others around her carefully, eyes scanning over their faces in hopes that she could read something from their expressions. Nothing stood out to her, at least nothing out of the ordinary, which caused her to frown deeply. Still clueless as to what was going on, she continued on her way until she had reached the gate room.
The door slid open in front of her, and Cynthia stepped through carefully, waiting until the doors had slammed shut behind her to step further into the room. She thought back to her first trip through the gate. Between the trip through the wormhole and the excitement and trepidation she had been feeling about her journey had caused her to fall on her knees and puke the second she had passed through the second gate. Traveling through wormholes had become a second nature to her, but there were still times when she felt like throwing up. Today however, she was not due off world. In fact, she and her team wouldn’t be going off world for at least another week.
From the quick glance in the room she saw that she was the only member of her team present, and outside of General Landry, there was no one else. After saluting the general, she stood motionless, waiting for her orders, or at least the reason why she had been summoned. A brow lifted in curiosity, but the general simply shook his head at her. “Not yet lieutenant. Once Major Forester gets here I’ll explain what’s going on.
“Yes sir.” She replied, but relaxed a bit after his comment. If there was something urgent going on, she doubted that they would be waiting for her team commander, at least she would hope not. With nothing left to do but wait, Cynthia stared at up at the Stargate at the front of the room, wondering if this meeting would lead to an unexpected off world mission.
Azure eyes stared into themselves.
“Is this how you want it,” the voice was calm in demeanor, but clearly hiding a passive aggressive sentiment behind a mask of cold dispassionate awareness, “just something casual.” It was the kind of question you asked when you wanted to explode, or when you wanted to make someone else explode. It was the kind of question that was asked when you were checking for a reaction… do they still care enough to get mad? The answer rattled around in his head, born of the initial angst of having actually been asked the question, the desired response… and yet knowledge of the game allowed him to blend and merge the response, rolling it around in his head, letting knowledge of the game filter him, censor him.
“I cared for you a minute ago,” he said, in a voice equally as clam, equally as purposefully vacant of emotion. The eyes in the mirror titled their gaze upward, looking over his shoulder to spy upon the half named form standing in the background. Her blonde hair loose around her shoulders, and a Victoria’s Secret undergarment set revealing enough to show the goose bumps prickling her skin, as she writhed beneath the weight of his gaze. She exhaled, planting her hands on her hips, tilting her head in mock defiance, that sassy smirk she always gave him when his comments were too shockingly cruel to be truth, at least, that’s the way she always saw it. He then returned his eyes to himself, staring at the sunburst tattooed on his left pectoral muscle, and the tips of the winged dragon that crawls up from his back to peek around his collarbone.
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
“It means,” he raised his eyes back to her, “I don’t know…”
He exhaled, just as he heard the general’s voice come over the comm system, summoning him to the gate room. Quick, nimble hands tapped the radio piece in his ear, as he gave the affirmative, before quickly moving across the small quarters issued to him while on base. He picked up his uniform shirt off the bed, already dressed from waist down, and turned to look at Lieutenant Harmon, an unwritten plea for a freeze, until they could come back to this. She only sighed, and as though reading his mind nodded reluctantly.
“If it wasn’t for those damned eyes of yours,” She exhaled, watching after him as Michael buttoned the shirt, while half running out of his quarters. He was glad to be out of that situation, glad for some time to decide exactly what it was he had meant. Why he had said it, he wasn’t quite sure, all he knew was that for the last month, he’s wanted to do nothing but say it. Lacey was a beautiful woman, and Michael more than happy with the casual state of their affair, and yet for the last month it was as though, while she was around, he couldn’t breathe, couldn’t get comfortable.
By the time he entered the gate room, took his place to the right of Lieutenant Reynolds, he was full uniformed, tucked in and dressed appropriately. The presence of the gate, General Laundry, and Cynthia Reynolds was enough to force him to push his personal opinions aside, and draw himself into focusing on the moment. At the current time, SG7 was a two man unit, as Major Forester hadn’t selected the other two members of his team yet. If they were going to be sent off world two marines would be assigned to watch their backs, and the major hoped that this resulted in an off world mission… he needed some distance… some room to think.
“What’s going on General?” he spoke, clearing his mind with a side long glance to the Lieutenant…”
Artistic brilliance provided by: Lillian.
Dark brown gaze sliding lazily to the commanding officer of her team, Cynthia nodded to the major and quickly focused back to General Landry. It was surprising to the woman that it was just herself and Major Forester that had been called to the gate room. Usually because they were not a complete team, they often ran missions alongside one of the other units, but after several moments passed and none of the other teams became present, Cynthia realized that this would be their first solo mission, if of course there was a mission.
The prospect delighted her in the sense that she would have more time to explore just where ever it was they were being sent. Most times she was cut short by some attack, or the leaders pulling her back before she could do much more than look. If it was just her and the Major, Cynthia hoped she’d be able to persuade him to allow her more time to examine things and learn as much as she possibly could.
“Reynolds, have you had time to go over those images?” Landry asked, his eyes locked onto her face causing her to tense up and stand at attention, even though she knew it wasn’t needed.
“Yes sir. Although I couldn’t make much out sense out of the devices, I have a feeling that they’re for security, but I wouldn’t be able to say for sure unless I saw them in action.” Cynthia replied, her gaze meeting the general’s and a hint of a smile on her face. If the general was questioning her about the devices in the images, that meant the chances had just increased that she and the major were going to be sent off world to investigate. “If I could get my hands on one sir, I’m sure I could tell you their exact function and possibly be able to draw up the schematics to build one.” The statement slipped through her lips without thought, but the words had the desired effect.
Landry nodded his head. “That’s exactly why I called you here.” The general turned to Forester and Cynthia nearly let out a small yip of excitement. If anything could create a reaction in the woman, it was the thought of getting her hands on alien technology; it was after all her purpose for being in the Stargate program. “Major, you and the lieutenant will gear up and be ready to depart in an hour.”
Throwing her hand into a salute, she turned to her commanding officer and nodded quickly. “I’ll be ready to leave in a half hour, sir. See you then.”
As always, Cynthia already had her gear packed and waiting by the door of her bunkroom, all that was left for her to do was throw on her fatigues, get her weapons and she was set. Even though they rarely went off world, she was always prepared in case of an emergency. Nearly skipping to the sliding doors of the gate room, she could barely contain herself. Not only would this be the first mission where she would not have to worry about being drug away before she could accomplish anything, it would be the first time she actually got her hands on a device before anyone else had a chance to touch it. With that in mind, Cynthia charged out of the gate room and down the hall to her bunkroom.
Major Forester listened in stoic silence.
The absence of another SG team drew questions to his mind as to the nature of the planet they were about to gate to, making him wonder if it was considered a marginal security threat, and thus the extra security of a full team wasn't necessary, or a major security threat, and thus a small strike force for a more surgical percision was required. The question continued to sit in the back of his mind, throughout the presentation, until they broke to 'gear up' and Michael took a moment to open the mission briefing for the first time since receiving it. Copies of the pictures, the planetary intel, everything was within: things he should have looked at hours ago.
He exhaled as he walked a few steps behind the Lieutenant, picking one of the images of some old, meaningless artifact up, noticing the tale-tell signs of technology embedded into the archaic, ancient design: mixture of old meets new, contemporary and antique. "So you think you can really reverse engineer these things," he started, stuffing the images back into the green mission folder, "an awfully big boast."
Michael ducked into the locker room, to gather his gear, sliding his arms through the straps of the backpack and shouldering the heavy thing as though he were born with it. At this point, wearing it felt as natural as not, and he sometimes wondered how he managed without it. The weight was familiar, comfortable. In some ways, it reminded him of Lacey... familiar, comfortable...
Its only been 6 months
It took him a few minutes to finish collecting his things, but with the better part of an hour left to him, he decided to return to his quarters. When he walked in, he wasn't sure if what to expect. Part of him expected Lacey to be there, ready to continue their previous conversation, and part of him expected her to be there to slap him, and walk out. Part of him expected a heart-felt sorry to come pouring out of his lips before anything could happen, while another part of himself expected the room to be empty, the issue tabled for another day.
No part of him expected the big words written on the mirror in crimson lipstick.
Out of respect, he read the message, and out of respect, he let her walk. He wouldn't call, wouldn't attempt to 'fix' this. He wouldn't placate her with promises that he had no intention of keeping. He didn't know what the problem between them was, or why he was acting like he was with her. Perhaps hind sight could help him with those anwsers, where being in the moment only left him vulnerable and blind.
He arrived on time to the gate, watching as the monsterous metallic gate, the contraption found on a dig in Giza so many years ago, began to turn. The chervon's sliding into place, locking, first one, then another, and another, until the seventh sealed, the address completed. What happened next had floored him the first time he ever saw it, but this time the majesty of the opening wormhole, the explosive decompressive release of energy on a horizontal plane out towards him, only absorbed into the turmoil of his mind as he looked over to his partner: the only other assigned to SG7, and gave a reassuring smile.
"You ready?" he asked, as he always did, before tapping his radio, and announcing their prepairedness to the control room, and General Landry. Then the release, in the familiar voice of the general: "SG 7, you have a go."
Artistic brilliance provided by: Lillian.
Cynthia was anxiously waiting in the gate room, her dark brown eyes trained on the Stargate as if she could cause it to function with the power of her stare. She knew that once the iris was opened and the wormhole was established it would only take a matter of minutes until she would be on the other side and standing on a planet that scientists were probably decades from even be able to consider let alone see. The thought always made her puff up with pride that she had been selected to become a part of this experience, and she was determined to contribute as much as she could, even if it was in a small way.
She thought back to the comment that Forester had made earlier and a small part of her deflated. She hadn’t dignified his comment with a response at the time, and she still could not formulate the words that would convey exactly what she had thought of the major’s questions of her ability that were not a combination of four letter words that would have made a sailor beam with pride. Cynthia was above that, and while she didn’t think that Forester meant to imply she could not live up to her words, she was still slightly miffed that by his statement.
She remained silent until they were given the all clear and before the major could move, Cynthia charged up the ramp and passed through the wormhole with her eyes screwed shut. The nausea came, and by the time she was on the other side it was gone. Only a brief moment of vertigo was present when she stepped clear of the Stargate.
The open field in front of the Stargate was vacant; no devices, no people, nothing but green grass and weeds blowing in the light breeze. The air was fresh, cool, and carried the faintest hint of pine and wheat. What was dismaying was the silence. Outside of the gentle breeze and the sounds of various wildlife in the distance, there was no other sound. The blue sky overhead was a clear blue, without a hint of clouds or any other anomalies. By all appearances it was only herself and the major, and the thought was depressing. She had hoped to at least run into someone or something that promised a clue about who lived on the planet, but it looked like she was out of luck for the moment.
When the wormhole closed, Cynthia cast a quick glance at Forester, a slender brow lifting in question. “Well sir, what do you think? Should we wait a few minutes to see if anything happens, or should we head out?” For a change Cynthia was willing to head out before waiting for anyone to approach. If they moved out, the chances that they would encounter one of the devices would much better, as was the chance of encountering one of the planet’s inhabitants. However, she was also aware there was a chance that the locals would be less than welcoming, and she wasn’t willing to risk her safety, or the major’s just because she was anxious to get her hands dirty.
Still, it was difficult to wait. As the minutes ticked by and nothing of interest occurred, she was growing antsy. It was a bit out of character for her, but then again this was their first solo mission, and while she was a bit nervous about how things would go down, she could not help but hope that something eventful occurred.
And before he could finish, she was already through the wormhole. The excitement, the exuberance, turned Michael around in his position, causing him to look on the forms of Laundry and Siler, standing in the control room with question in their gaze. Michael just threw up his arms, unsure of what to say, how to respond to obvious question concerning Cynthia’s excitement, and giving his head a shake, stepped up the departure ramp towards the wormhole
And into it.
The trip felt instantaneous, and afterwards, Michael was only left with a gentle tingling, like stepping from a warm house into a cold chill, as he stepped out onto the dirt of a foreign, completely alien world. His eyes were quick to locate Cynthia, and then survey the area in order to asses the situation. He had his own concerns with the way she stepped through the gate, running blind into the unknown is a good way to end up with an armed squad of locals waiting to see who, or from their point of view what, was coming through a ring they knew to be dormant rock. Or worse, they realized what it was, and what it could do. The possibilities hadn’t been entertaining, but they drained from his skull as he saw the Lieutenant, surverying the area in much the same calm, collected fashion as he was.
“Well, I don’t see any structures or cars… roads… not even a bus stop,” Michael spoke, allowing his humor to return in place of the excitement, choosing to hold his tongue instead of talking with her about the departure. No harm done right? “Aside from that dirt… path? Would you even call it a path?,” he said, pointing to a fewof broken, bare spots in the grass covered ground, that seem to make a line towards the trees. He inhaled a slow breath. “Id say we could wait here a year, and nobody would pass us by. So lets follow the game trail,” he spoke, and this time, before she could hurriedly continue forward again, tapped her on the forearm.
“I’ll take point, you steer from the rear” He said, adjusting the strap of his P90 so it better hung across his body, then heading down towards the game trail.
Artistic brilliance provided by: Lillian.
Cynthia barely took note as the Major stepped out from behind her. Her attention was focused on her surroundings and the search for anything that would hint to something outside herself existing in the area. Forester’s comment about bus stops was met with an arched brow and a blank expression. “Sir, the race is rather primitive if from what we’ve been able to determine. I highly doubt they’ll have much of anything.”
The tap on her arm was met with pretty much the same reaction, only the slightest narrowing of her eyes would portray her disappointment at the orders she was given. Cynthia did manage to muster up a quiet “Yes sir” before falling back to take up the rear, although she was not nearly as eager to take up her weapon, opting to allow it to dangle at her side from its strap on her shoulder. She knew she would be able to get her grip on it quick enough should the occasion for it arise, but most of the time Cynthia didn’t even bother. Before she could get to her weapon, the problems were usually taken care of. ‘It’s really no wonder there’s a woman on every team. The men are quick to shoot first and ask questions later, well except Dr. Jackson, but there aren’t many like him around.’
Moodily walking behind the Major, Cynthia was still focused on the area around them. The path, or what she could only assume had at one point been a path was overgrown, which meant there was very little travel between whatever civilization lived on the planet and the Stargate. Unless the mount images were incorrect and there was more to the world than what could be viewed from the image. Yet the lack of travel to or from the Stargate meant that the people here were either not aware of its purpose, or had no idea how to use it. In either case, there was still no explanation for how they managed to develop the technology of the spheres, if they had in fact developed it. Chances were there was another race that was providing the technology, which meant that there was no telling what the two of them were walking into.
“Sir.” Cynthia blurted out softly. “I think there’s more going on than what we might know of.” Nodding her head to the vacant space around them, she turned her eyes back toward the gate. “The people here haven’t been using the Stargate, and based on what I saw, there is no way they could have created the devices. That means there’s either someone else in charge that is far more advanced and has traveled by ship, or there are other methods of travel that we’re not aware of.” Either way she looked at it, they were completely unaware of what was going on. While she was eager to get her hands on new technology, she wasn’t about to overlook the opportunity of an alliance that might benefit Earth.
“Perhaps we should approach this situation with a bit more diplomacy.” Dark brown eyes darting to the weapon in the Major’s hand, she quirked her brow upwards in a silent request. She doubted that her words would change much of anything, but she at least had to make an attempt. Her mouth opened to continue pleading her case, but a flash of light and a flicker of movement caught out of the corner of her eye silenced her words.
Her head turned to spot one of the devices off in the distance, but heading off to the East rather than West toward them. Eyes widening an almost imperceptible smile flickered across her face, but vanished just as soon as it appeared. If it hadn’t been for the presence of her commanding officer, Cynthia would have charged in the direction without bothering to even think about it. As it was, her body still began to drift off in toward the East, her movements slow enough that if Forester had a problem he could voice his opinion. “Sir…I think we should follow it.” She said quietly, her movements coming to a halt to await her orders, but her eyes continued to stare off to the East, following the path of the device until it disappeared completely from sight.
“Or maybe they’ve just entrenched themselves a long time ago,” Forester added to her list of theories about what’s going on here, not willing to exclude the Stargate as the method of arrival for whatever, or whoever is behind those floating contraptions they’re looking for. But he understood where the lieutenant was coming from. Without more information, no one theory was above the others, and he wouldn’t hedge a bet in any directions without some more evidence. When she spoke of diplomacy, Forester’s response was simply an exaggerated showing of him applying the safety to the weapon.
Thus far, the planet had seemed relatively dormant. The mission felt pretty routine, with no signs of life in a planet known to be teeming with it, which made the hairs on the back of the Major’s neck stand with anxiety. There was something going on here, something to explain the lack of any sort of local presence around the gate. He was fairly sure the indigenous peoples knew of the gate, and because of its shape and size, it would be a rather odd thing to simply leave alone: after all, it turns out most peoples on most planets couldn’t simply let the device sit. Some developed religions around it, others figured out how to use it… rarely did it sit undisturbed, and the relative proximity to the nearest settlement, about half a day’s walk to the east, precluded the idea that they hadn’t found it. So what?
Cynthia’s voice pulled him from his thoughts, and he raised a brown in question upon seeing the large sphere floating off in the distance. The thing seemed sleek, shiny, and it was Michael’s understanding that sleek and shiny often meant advanced. When she advised they follow it, Michael’s eyes centered on the lieutenant in an obviously questioning capacity.
“Do we have any idea what that things does? Besides the obvious, floating trick…” He started, turning his eyes back towards it, looking for some sign of function, mostly to discern if its safe to approach or not. For all he knew, it could be a weapon, something of a sentry, or perhaps some kinda of floating… ah hell, he had no early idea what it did…other than floating there looking ominous. He knew what he was going to do, what he always did in situations like this: defer to Reynolds’ expertise… after a bit of conversation.
Artistic brilliance provided by: Lillian.
“I don’t know exactly.” Cynthia answered, her voice laced with disappointment. “I believe it’s more of a surveillance system than anything else. The MALP was able to come through without being destroyed, and it got close enough that it should have been detected by the device, so I believe it’s safe to assume it’s not a weapon.” Brown eyes swinging to Forster’s face, she was unable to mask her displeasure with her limited amount of knowledge. “I know I’m going on assumptions sir, but I really do not think it is a weapon. If I had to make a guess, I believe that it scans for foreign life forms and alerts the inhabitants to their presence. It’s possible that someone came after the MALP dialed back to Earth, but we won’t know that for sure.”
The situation was far from ideal, and Cynthia was aware that it would probably be an uphill battle trying to convince the major to approach the device, but she was determined to get at least a closer look if only for the sake of discovery. “I know it’s a risk sir, but I really think it’s worth it. If that device is what I think it is, it may be able to give a biological readout on the life forms it encounters.” She stared at the major for a moment, waiting to see if he would require further explanation, but before giving him a chance, she continued on. “One of those devices, along with the MALP would work to our advantage when scoping out possible planets. We would learn not only the planet’s conditions, but we would learn a bit about any possible inhabitants we might encounter. It would give us a better idea of what to expect.”
Impatiently, Cynthia’s gaze traveled back along the path that the mysterious device had followed, her eagerness to follow suit causing her to take a step in that direction. Willpower alone was enough to hold at bay, but the moment Forester gave the order to move out, there would be no stopping her. This was her purpose after all, to find ways to develop new technology for Earth’s protection, and she took her job seriously. She wasn’t entirely willing to charge in head first without thought however, she had a few ideas how to test out the safety of the device before making an approach, and she just needed the go ahead before doing so.
“It’s your call, sir.” Cynthia finally relented, but she was secretly hoping that the major would understand her determination and be willing to at least consider it.