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

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

  1. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    I will add that to the next chapter when the forces arrive.
    macdjord likes this.
  2. I_S

    I_S Getting sticky.

    May 17, 2015
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    The most efficient strategy for this entire escapade would have been to anonymously warn the targeted system lords... I wonder why the Tokra went with recommending alliance engagement. Are they testing their new allies?
    macdjord and Starfox5 like this.
  3. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
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    Anonymously warning Heru'ur would only prevent the atrocity if he a) believes the warning and b) sends enough ships to stop Apophis's forces. And even in that case, he might decide to retaliate in kind to the attempted atrocity - and the Tok'ra likely lack a spy in his circle. So, you'd have to be very lucky to avoid ending up with another planet's population wiped out. I'll add a line about that to the next chapter to make it clearer.
    macdjord likes this.
  4. Threadmarks: Chapter 77: The Intervention Part 2

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
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    Chapter 77: The Intervention Part 2

    Deep Space, On the Way to PZ-921, January 7th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “We got the first data from the spy bots in the system!”

    Samantha Carter turned away from the preliminary analysis of the latest readouts from her experiment - the lab on the frigate wasn’t as good as the one in the Mountain, much less the space lab, but she could still do a lot of work here - and went over to her friend. “What does it look like?”

    “Hmm…” Entrapta cocked her head to the side as she looked at the screen held in her hair. “It looks like it confirms the data the Tok’ra shared. At least with regard to the presence of spaceships in the system. Scans show one patrol flight of Death Gliders near the asteroid belt, no other ships.”

    “Ah.” That would fit the intel they had. Of course, if this was a trap by Heru’ur, then any fleet units would be hidden from long-range scans, and while the Alliance had better scanners than the Goa’uld - as far as they knew - they hadn’t mounted the best scanners on the spy bots; the chance of them falling into enemy hands was just too great.

    “Oh, wait - there’s an Al’kesh in orbit around the planet!”

    A single bomber? Sam leaned forward and confirmed it. Yes, indeed, a single Al’kesh was in orbit. “That’s curious,” she commented. But a single ship - and a small one, at that - wouldn’t change the equations of the space battle. Not when facing multiple capital ships from Apophis fleet, much less the task force from the Alliance. “Any sign of bombing operations?” If the Goa’uld were dealing with a rebellion on the planet…

    “Hmm… nothing going on right now - no explosions. Well, none big enough to show up on the scans. We’ll have to get closer to get more detailed scans of the planetary surface.”

    That would increase the risk of the bots being detected, but not by much. They weren’t true stealth bots, but they had a reduced sensor signature. “Yes,” Sam agreed.

    Entrapta sent the command, and then they waited. A bit more than six seconds to reach the bot in question, then another six seconds to see it starting to move… the lag was frustrating. Even more frustrating was that Sam hadn’t been able to find a solution yet.

    Finally, the readings started to change. Of course, it would take longer for the bot to reach a range where the scans were more effective. And it couldn’t get too close, or the Goa’uld forces might pick it up.

    On the other hand, if they just picked up a bot, with advanced technology, if not too advanced, then they would go on alert, and it might even be enough for Heru’ur to send more ships to the system, perhaps spoiling Apophis’s plans without revealing too much about the Alliance’s existence… No. Heru’ur was unlikely to send enough ships to deter the attack. Not if he was suspecting spy activities instead of an invasion. And he would be on the lookout for spy bots from then on, making their recon missions more difficult. And as the Tok’ra had pointed out - if Heru’ru found out about the planned atrocities, he might strike back with atrocities of his own no matter whether or not Apophis succeeded in the first place. That was how those things worked. No, they had to stick to the mission.

    And speaking of the mission… “Let’s call the others,” Sam said. The Colonel wouldn’t like to wait for the more detailed data, but he would hate not being told at once even more. And Adora and her friends could keep him in line.

    “Alright!” Entrapta turned to the main screen. “OK… Aw. I really miss Darla. We should have taken her along.” She pouted as her hair handled the intercom.

    “She’s rather distinctive,” Sam pointed out. Horde frigates showing up might keep the Goa’uld guessing even if they were spotted, but Darla? A design last used by the Ancients? If the Goa’uld thought they were facing the Ancients, Ancients bent on destroying their empire and way of life, they would likely band together at once, no matter their past feuds. A common enemy did that. And that would make the war much harder to win.

    “We could camouflage her! Make her look like… hm… a totally different ship! Or we improve her stealth systems!”

    “If we manage that,” Sam replied.

    “Well, we’d also have to ask her if she wants to change her appearance. But at least we’ll get good data on the Goa’uld sensors on this mission. Oh! Do you think we’ll get to analyse a captured ship?”

    “If we capture one.” Boarding a Ha’tak… Sam pushed the memories that brought up away. They had been desperate, back when Apophis had attacked Earth. This time, it would be different - but it would also be more dangerous. Apophis wouldn’t blow up a ship with him inside, but Sam didn’t doubt that his most loyal Jaffa would rather die and take the enemy with them than allow their ship to be captured.

    They had more troops now, but it was still a daunting task, even with Etherian support. Magic didn’t work in space - unless you were She-Ra.

    Before Sam could voice her thoughts, the door in their temporary lab opened, and the Colonel stepped inside. “So, I spy with my eye…”

    Sam suppressed a sigh. She had heard better jokes from him - he must be more nervous than he let on about the mission.


    “So, Heru’ur has a slightly larger force in space than expected,” Catra summed up the data Entrapta and Sam had presented. “But it’s a single bomber.” Hardly a threat to either Apophis or their own forces. She frowned. “That doesn’t seem much of a concern - though we probably need to take it out to stop them from alerting Heru’ur’s main forces.”

    “The question is why Heru’ur would station a single Al’kesh on this planet,” Sam pointed out. “Its main use is to bombard targets on the ground, but Heru’ur controls the planet.”

    “The planet’s population might be rebelling,” Daniel suggested.

    “Our spy bots haven’t found any sign of combat on the ground,” Sam retorted.

    “Unless the population was supplied with advanced weapons, the Jaffa on the planet would be able to handle them,” Teal’c added. “Should they require air support, then the Death Gliders could handle it. Though they would be unlikely to do so - Heru’ur’s soldiers are renowned as skilled and experienced, and highly motivated even for Jaffa; the false god focuses more attention on them than his rivals usually do since he is said to often fight at their side.”

    That had been in the briefing, Catra recalled. She hadn’t thought it would be very relevant, though, since they didn’t expect Heru’ur to be present. He would not travel in a single Al’kesh, at least.

    “Wow, he sounds like one of the boys,” O’Neill commented with a snort.

    Catra narrowed her eyes at him. Princesses did the same - and she had taken the field numerous times when she had been leading the Horde. “A leader’s presence can decide a battle,” she pointed out.

    “Yes,” Glimmer agreed. “Also, Heru’ur fighting at their side would increase his troops’ morale and their motivation, even in training. No soldier wants to slack or fail in front of their god.”

    Catra nodded. Not if they wanted to avoid getting punished, at least.

    “It is a brave but dangerous tactic,” Teal’c said. “Seeing their false god defeated in personal combat would strike a harsh blow against his followers’ morale even if he manages to escape.”

    Which he wouldn’t if he ended up facing them. Based on what they knew about the System Lords’ technology, Catra wouldn’t bet on them if they were facing an experienced princess, much less Adora. And Scorpia would probably just crush the snake, shield and all. And Catra had a few ideas about dealing with him herself, should she get the opportunity…

    “Well, if he shows up, we’ll do our best to teach him the error of his ways,” O’Neill said.

    Catra narrowed her eyes at him again. Was that some backhanded criticism of personally leading your force?

    If it was, Adora had missed it - Catra’s lover nodded with a grim smile. “Yes, we will.”

    “But back to the Al’kesh,” Sam spoke up again. “We still don’t know why it is stationed there.”

    “It might be used as a transport,” Teal’c suggested. “Although a Stargate would be faster and more efficient for ferrying both cargo or troops unless the destination lacks a gate - or the Stargate is not under Heru’ur’s control.”

    “So, he might be planning an attack of his own?” Bow asked. “With a single Al’kesh?”

    “It’s enough for a raid. Their cloaking device isn’t going to do much against our new sensors, but against a peer-level opponent…” O’Neill shrugged. “Using a backwater planet like this as a staging area would make OPSEC easier, too.”

    “We’ll have to take it out anyway,” Glimmer said. “But as long as it stays out of the atmosphere, we need more firepower than the stealth shuttles can deliver.”

    Catra frowned. The Goa’uld shields were weaker in a planet’s atmosphere, but they were quite strong outside - well, not against a frigate. “We could take a few Horde fighters with us, but that would increase the risk of getting identified. Of course, if it engages Apophis’s forces with the Death Gliders, our task force can jump it and destroy it - but if it stays in orbit…”

    “I can deal with it,” Adora said. “I just need to get to it. And a stealth shuttle can get me there.”

    “Do you plan to board it, or are you going to cut it apart?” O’Neill asked.

    “Destroying quickly is safer,” Catra pointed out. That would stop any message from getting out. But…

    “We can take it over - there might be prisoners on it,” Adora said.

    “I guess boarding action it is,” Catra said. “Good thing I brought my space suit.” Adora opened her mouth, but Catra cut her off. “You’re not going there alone. And we’ve got enough officers to handle the ground targets.” Entrapta, Bow and Sam would be busy dealing with any technical issue, but that still left Glimmer and Scorpia. And Jack, in case the other Alliance officers screwed up. He might not be in the official chain of command, but Glimmer could easily give him a field promotion or something to outrank whoever screwed up. It would cause some issues with the Earth generals, but that would be less of a problem than messing up this operation.

    Adora was still frowning but didn’t seem to have a counter-argument for that.

    Catra grinned.


    PZ-921-System, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “The spy bots have detected Apophis’s forces,” Carter reported.

    Finally! Jack O’Neill managed not to blurt it out loud - that would have set a bad example. He wasn’t just leading SG-1 here, after all - there was an entire platoon of marines in the shuttle. Sure, they were led by a marine lieutenant, and Jack wasn’t in the man’s chain of command, but that was only a technicality. The lieutenant’s superior officer was back with the frigates of the task force, waiting outside the system, outside sensor range, to deploy once the vanguard in the stealth shuttles had secured the Stargate and taken out enemy communications. And that meant the man might as well be back on Earth - he might even arrive more quickly on the planet if he could use the Stargate, but you couldn’t count on that; even if you took control of the gate, the enemy could dial in and block you from using it.

    No, with Jack in the stealth shuttle, and him being the highest-ranking officer present, as well as the most experienced when it came to gate travel or fighting the Goa’uld, his advice and suggestions would be taken as orders. And his reaction to, well, anything would be closely observed.

    So he yawned and stretched before getting up from his seat in the main hold of the shuttle. “Who won the betting pool? I had ‘Apophis tries to be clever and attacks in a straight line from his holdings, to make Heru’ur think Sokar is trying to frame him’,” Jack asked.

    He was lying, of course - there was no such betting pool. But Carter played along. More or less. “He chose a vector that did neither point back at his territory nor at Sokar’s expected holding.”

    He could hear Entrapta ask, “What betting pool?” over the link to Carter’s laptop, but Carter could explain that later.

    “Ah, so no one won. What’s the status of our fleet?” he asked.

    Carter, as usual, had anticipated that and had already done the calculations. “The task force is moving to intercept the attackers. They should be able to engage them in the outer part of the system, sir.”

    That, too, had been expected. With hyperspace travel, you couldn’t intercept an enemy on the approach unless you got very lucky and stumbled on them during a navigational break or had their planned route in your computers. So, you had to wait until they dropped out of hyperspace and engage them. And that meant staying near the target, or you might get caught too far out to reach the enemy force before it reached the target.

    Still, that meant that Heru’ur’s forces would be able to observe the battle easily. “And that’s our cue!” Jack said, loud enough so all the marines would overhear him. “We need to ensure that by the time the snakes get their butt kicked in space, we control the ground.”

    Soldiers, especially the noncoms, needed to know a mission’s goal in case the officer’s got taken out. They had been briefed, of course, but the forces being marines, it was better to repeat the information, in Jack’s opinion. Maybe a few times.

    “Alright, men!” the Lieutenant spoke up. “Check your gear and get ready!” He sounded more confident than his age and rank would make you expect - but then, the leathernecks would have sent their best for this mission. Just like the Air Force, Jack added to himself as he watched his team get ready as well.

    “Alpha separating,” Carter reported.

    Jack nodded. That meant the shuttle carrying Adora, Catra and the boarding force to the Al’kesh.

    “Beta, Gamma and Delta en route,” Carter went on right after Jack noticed the acceleration of their shuttle. Beta meant them - the shuttle headed for the Stargate. Gamma with Glimmer and Bow would hit the main mining complex, and Delta would hit the second mine. Epsilon with Entrapta would stay in orbit as reserves.

    Just as planned.

    Which meant it was now time for things to go wrong.

    “Alright!” And there was Scorpia, back from the bridge. Or cockpit. The huge woman smiled as she took her seat. “Let’s crack some snake skulls!” She flexed her pincers, and Jack saw a number of the marines wince.

    “Remember, don’t shoot the control device!” the lieutenant bellowed. “Also, don’t use it as cover!”

    Jack snorted. That was good advice. No matter how well it had turned out for SG-1 with their unplanned trip to Etheria, you didn’t want to risk a faulty gate forming.

    Then the shuttle shook, entering the atmosphere, and Jack clenched his teeth. This was the most dangerous part of the landing. All the stealth in the world wouldn’t be able to completely hide the thermal signature of that manoeuvre. And if enemy Death Gliders were close enough… They shouldn’t be - the bots had tracked them - but Jack couldn’t help worrying anyway.

    After a few far too long seconds, the shuttle stopped shaking. Which meant they were now in the lower parts of the atmosphere, slow enough to be again hidden from sensors, now that they weren’t imitating a meteor any more.

    He slowly exhaled and checked his carbine. Not much longer now.

    “Almost down!” Scorpia commented. Her stinger twitched above her head.

    “Alpha reached the target,” Carter reported, cool as always. “Ready elements of the Death Gliders squadrons are launching.”

    Which meant they were now on the clock. They had to secure the Stargate as soon as possible - or at least prevent it from dialling out and opening a communication link. FtL communications could be disrupted or hacked, whatever Carter called it, for a time at least, if you had enough tech and juice, but to block communication through a gate, you had to take the gate, or people could radio or even send a messenger through it.

    “This is it, kids!” Jack said. “See you at the gate!”

    A few marines chuckled at the reference. Daniel pouted, but Jack had expected. Carter and Teal’c didn’t react, of course. And Scorpia grinned widely.

    And then the shuttle shook once more - they had hit the ground. Then the ramp went down, and the battle started. Heru’ur’s Jaffa were sharp.

    Jack wasn’t the first out of the door, but he was a close second behind Scorpia.

    And it was like running behind a tank. Despite the staff blasts flying their way - most splashing against the shuttle’s shield - the huge woman charged straight at, then into the line of Jaffa still forming up, sending them flying. Literally - Jack saw a Jaffa warrior, armour and all, catch a swing of her pincers and get thrown into the air, high enough to clear the wall behind him.

    He put a short burst into another who was lining up a shot at Scorpia, dropping him, then fired at a Jaffa crawling on the ground to get his staff. Another, behind that one, was shredded by Teal’c’s staff weapon while Jack opened on two more Jaffa trying to hold a gate in the base wall.

    Another Jaffa, screaming like a banshee, went over the wall - no, into a Jaffa on the wall who manning a gun emplacement, both vanishing from sight.

    “Teal’c!”Jack called out, pointing up.

    A moment later, the whole emplacement vanished in an explosion.

    The gates of the base began to close, but Scorpia barreled through the remnants of the Jaffa formation in front of it - Jack thought he saw staff blasts bouncing off her armour - and then threw herself into the gate, tearing it out of its hinges and smashing it on the Jaffa behind it.

    Jack emptied his magazine into three warriors left staggering in Scorpia’s wake and looked for the rest of his team as he reloaded his carbine. Teal’c was at his side, staff firing at another Jaffa on the wall, and Carter and Daniel were right behind him, with the marines fanning out to cover their flanks.

    He turned and raced after Scorpia. The gate’s remains were forming a small ramp, and Jack rushed it, shooting a Jaffa caught beneath it through the head, then jumped off, landing in a crouch.

    They were in the main yard of the base - in front of the massive stone building housing the Stargate. A dozen Jaffa lay on the ground between the gate and the entrance to the building, some still moving, but more were arriving from both sides as Scorpia was busy ramming herself into the closed and reinforced doors of the building.

    Jack switched aim and started shooting the Jaffa reinforcements on the right while he moved up to the building himself, Teal’c, Daniel and Carter, as well as a squad of marines, following him.

    By the time Jack reached the building and pressed his back against it, the right wing of the Jaffa had collapsed, and the left wing was falling back under withering fire from the rest of the marines. Jaffa bodies littered the yard, but Jack spotted at least two bodies in camouflage amongst them, both still smoking from the staff blast that must have caught them.

    Damn. He gritted his teeth.

    “Just a second…” he heard Scorpia grunt as she struggled with the door. “This is tougher than I expected.”

    “Naquadah-alloy,” Carter commented.

    That made it super-tough. “We need breaching charges!” he yelled. To go through the walls.

    “Just a bit…” The sound of screeching metal cut off Scorpia’s words, followed by cracks as she managed to crush the left side of the wall holding the doors in place, stone crumbling under her pincers.

    The doors started to shift, Scorpia grinning fiercely while she kept pushing, and Jack grabbed a grenade from his belt. The Jaffa would be ready behind the doors.

    As soon as a gap opened, he moved ahead, pulled the pin and threw the grenade through it, then dropped to the ground at the base of the wall. “Fire in the hole!”

    A second later, the grenade went off, and dust and smoke billowed through the widening gap, followed by screaming.

    A marine ran up to the gap, sticking his gun through it, but before he could fire, a staff blast blew his head off.

    Jack pulled out another grenade, intending to throw it through the widening gap, but the other wall was already also crumbling, and Scorpia threw the doors inside with a yell.

    Then all hell broke off as she charged inside, staff blasts going left and right before she vanished in the cloud of smoke and dust covering the entrance.

    Jack cursed under his breath. He wasn’t about to charge blindly - literally - into that. But he couldn’t leave Scorpia to face the remaining Jaffa by herself.


    The marine lieutenant drew his attention to the yard - no, to the sky above them. Jack glanced up and cursed.

    Death Gliders.

    Two of the things, and they were starting an attack run. The stinger team and the bot guarding the shuttle opened up on them. The missile hit one, causing it to whirl out of control and crash somewhere behind the walls, but the other kept going, the shots missing, and rained down blaster bolts on the yard and parts of the wall. One marine carrying two boxes of ammo was caught in the open and shredded by them, machine gun ammo spilling across the ground as he fell.

    Then the Death Glider was past them, pulling up to turn around for another go. A second missile chased it but missed. The bot was still firing but didn’t seem to be effective. And the Death Glider now had the perfect angle of attack to strafe Jack’s entire force.

    No choice, then.

    “Into the building!” Jack bellowed. “Into the building!” he repeated himself as he started pushing his team into the thinning cloud of smoke.


    In Orbit above PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “We’re on final approach on target. No sign of detection, Your Divine Highness.”

    Adora licked her lips and took a deep breath upon hearing the clone piloting their shuttle. Good. Just a bit longer, and they had this in the bag. Maybe she wouldn’t even have to jump - maybe they managed to sneak up so closely on the Al’kesh, they could surprise them by docking and boarding the ship? Although Entrapta, Sam and Bow had told them that it was unlikely with their current stealth system…

    “Target powering up shields, Your Divine Highness! Deploying electronic countermeasures to impede communication!”

    Adora gritted her teeth and turned around, looking at the window in the airlock’s inner door. Catra was standing there, scowling at her.

    Adora smiled weakly in return. She felt bad about it - a bit - but as great as Catra was, she wasn’t She-Ra. She couldn’t do the same things She-Ra could. Like fighting spaceships in melee. Or disabling them so they could be boarded and examined to find out what their purpose was.

    “Opening the airlock, Your Divine Highness!”

    The door slid open, and Adora stepped up to the edge. Below her, she could see the planet’s main continent. And to the side, starting to move, was the target - the Al’kesh. She could see the glow from its engines as it tried to evade the shuttle, but it had just begun to move - to change direction - and the shuttle was on an interception course.

    She took a moment to watch it move. Enough to know where it would go. Then she pushed, launching herself into space, towards the Al-kesh, sword in hand.

    For a brief, brief moment, it was… exhilarating. Like flying. Weightless. Unburdened. Free. Pure joy.

    Then she saw the Al’kesh starting to bank and roll in front of her, saw the guns turn to face her and bared her teeth. The first shot missed her, the second she swatted aside with her sword. She cut through the vessel’s shield on the backswing, feeling a tingling sensation on her glowing skin as the force field shattered. Yes!

    She hit the hull feet-first, her boots adhering to the metal through She-Ra’s magic. The turret was still trying to aim at her, but two strides brought her close enough so she could grab a barrel, stopping it in its track.

    A slash with her sword cut the whole thing apart, the remains blowing up a moment later. She was already moving, though, sprinting towards the main communication array. It, too, blew up after a single swipe with her blade, and she continued to run, to the back of the vessel, her steps hammering the hull. There was the port engine.

    Her sword sliced into it in passing - she kept going towards the starboard engine, easily compensating for the sudden heaving as the loss of one engine unbalanced the craft, and the pilot struggled to keep control.

    Before the ship could stabilise, though, she reached the second engine, stabbing her blade through its casing, then twisted - and the ship shuddered as its propulsion died.

    “Preparing to board the target, Your Divine Highness!” she heard the pilot over the radio.

    “Show-off,” Catra added with a snort.

    But as she watched the shuttle manoeuvre to align itself with the Al-Kesh, the pilot spoke up again. “Incoming vessels on interception course from the surface, Your Divine Highness - Death Gliders.”

    Adora turned, scanning the planet below her. If the Death Gliders were launching from the surface, then… yes. She could spot four trails of glowing plasma, like miniature comets, angling towards her.

    Towards the shuttle carrying Catra.

    She clenched her teeth. They were not yet close enough to fire at the shuttle, but that wouldn’t take much longer - now she could see the fighters themselves, not just the trails of their engines. Almost close enough… “Engaging!” she yelled through the radio, raising her sword and pushing off again as they started shooting.

    They came in too fast, too focused on the shuttle, to react in time when they spotted her glowing form flying at them. She sliced the first fighter in two, both halves vanishing in a fireball behind her, and cut the right wing off his wingman before they started to evade - and she still managed to grab onto the wing of the third, twisting to land on top of its fuselage.

    She could see the pilot gasp at her through the cockpit’s windows, eyes wide with terror, as she raised her sword, then drove it through the cockpit and him, wrecking the craft as she killed the pilot.

    The fourth Death Glider had gone past her, turning around with blazing guns. Outside the range of the shuttle’s guns - the pilot was lucky or good. Probably good.

    But not good enough. Not nearly good enough to threaten her lover and get away with it.

    She jumped off the tumbling wreck, landing on the Al’kesh’s hull a moment later, then jumped off again, straight at the strafing fighter. Before the pilot could evade, she ran her sword through the main cannon’s casing, and the freed plasma obliterated it instantly.

    “Show-off,” Catra repeated herself over the radio.

    Adora grinned as the shuttle finished docking with the Al’kesh, looking for a way to enter the ship herself.


    Gate Area, PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “Into the building!”

    Samantha Carter was already moving, running while bent over, carrying the backpack with her computer in her arms as she passed the Colonel. She entered the gate building behind Teal’c and stepped to the side as soon as she was past the debris - and the corpses - at the entrance.

    The smoke and dust were settling, but visibility was still impaired - she could barely see Teal’c’s form as her friend stepped forward, blasting something or someone with his staff.

    She didn’t bother aiming her own gun - they had a platoon of marines with them. Most of them were already cleaning the rooms of the building with short bursts and grenades. She had other duties.

    Sam dropped to the floor and flipped her laptop open. The communication module she had worked on with Entrapta during the last few days was already on, and the utility program she had written was… jamming Heru’ur’s comnet. But she could see it wouldn’t last - whoever was running the Goa’uld’s communication was good. Better than expected. And they had a more powerful machine to use. Sam’s laptop was linked to the Shuttle’s mainframe, but the connection added just a tiny bit of lag - which could be decisive.

    But now she was inside the building. “I need access to a sensor or radio!” she snapped as the Colonel ducked inside, dust and sand from an explosion outside showering him as he threw himself to the ground.

    He would have waited too long outside, as usual. She buried the thought as he got up.

    “Well, let’s find it!” he said.

    A loud crashing noise rang through the entire room, followed by an “Oops! Was that supposed to hold?”

    “She is a walking tank,” Sam heard the Colonel mutter.

    “Yes, sir,” she agreed. “But she’s our tank.”

    He snorted at that and then moved forward, towards Teal’c, who had crossed the room and was now next to another broken door, peering inside. “Scorpia has secured the Stargate,” he said. “But it might be damaged.”

    The Stargate? Sam’s eyes widened. To damage a Stargate, you needed… “The D.H.D.?” she asked as she moved forward.

    “The housing,” her friend clarified.

    That was putting it mildly, Sam realised when she reached the door - the gate was on the floor, facing down. She could see a pair of legs sticking out from underneath it. In a growing pool of blood.

    “Well, that’s one way to block it, I guess,” the Colonel commented.

    Scorpia laughed, rubbing the back of her head. “Sorry about that - I heard the gates were very durable, so… I guess the mounts were not?”

    Sam checked the rest of the room. Half a dozen Jaffa, dead or disabled. “There should be more warriors,” she said. The garrison had, according to their intel, several hundred guards. And this was the key stronghold.

    “Yes. We didn’t kill nearly enough for the snakes to run out of bodies to throw at us,” the Colonel said.

    “And Heru’ur’s warriors are fanatical - even by the standards of the false gods,” Teal’c said, scanning the room as if he expected a secret passage to open. Which, given what they knew about the Goa’uld, wasn’t too improbable, actually.

    “Well, I only saw those here - and the ones in the entrance hall,” Scorpia said.

    Sam wanted to look for the missing enemy guards, but she had to stop the enemy communication. She rushed to the D.H.D. The unit wasn’t linked to the enemy comnet, but the radio next to it was - the guards would have used it to communicate through the gate and to announce arrivals to other bases. And while her laptop was a rather jury-rigged combination of Etherian magitech and Earth electronics, it also had a port that was compatible with Goa’uld technology.

    She plugged it in - the radio had, fortunately, survived Scorpia’s assault, unlike the guard who had manned it, whose broken body lay crumpled at the foot of the wall nearby - and quickly started taking over the Goa’uld comnet. The enemy operator was still active, so he hadn’t been in the building here - or he was in a bunker in the base. But now that she had a direct line to the Goa’uld hub, it was quickly becoming obvious that as good as he was, Sam was better. And he would realise it as well. Would he crash the entire network to deny her access?

    No, he was… broadcasting ‘Avidan’ to everyone.

    “Gods are just…” Daniel translated. “Is that a battle cry?”

    “Not to my knowledge,” Teal’c replied.

    Then it made no sense… Sam gasped. “It’s a code word - he is signalling the guards here and elsewhere, knowing I am reading his comms. And now he’s crashing the net,” she added.

    “Did I mention how much I hate competent enemies?” the Colonel complained before he yelled: “Lieutenant! Report!”

    “The enemy outside is falling back, sir!” the marine yelled back from outside the gate room. “They’ve lost the second Death Glider.”

    But why were they falling back? They had to hold the building. Or… “They’re planning to destroy it!” She quickly focused on her scanner. She hadn’t detected any bombs on their approach, but…

    Still no bombs. And unless the Goa’uld had found a way to fool Ancient technology enhanced with Etherian magic, that meant there was no bomb here. Not close enough to affect the gate, at least.

    “They must be planning to bomb us,” the Colonel said. “Joke’s on them - we’re taking their bomber!”

    That was the logical explanation. Death Gliders didn’t have the firepower to destroy the reinforced building - probably not even in a suicide attack. But an Al’kesh had the firepower - more than enough.

    But Sam couldn’t help feeling she was missing something. Keeping an Al’kesh stationed here just for that? That didn’t sound like it would fit Heru’ur’s standard procedure.

    She ran another scan through the base and the area around it. But once again, no bomb showed up - the entire area to the lake’s shore was clear. And any bomb placed further out would have to be too big to be hidden if it had enough power to reach, much less damage the gate.

    And yet, what the Colonel would call a gut feeling insisted that she was missing something. Something crucial.


    In Orbit above PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    Adora would be OK. She is OK, Catra reminded herself as she moved up to the airlock of the shuttle, pushing past the Earth troops - British Special Air Service. Which weren’t part of the Air Force despite the name. But Catra was used to such weirdness - it was actually tame compared to what some princesses came up with.

    “Ah, Ma’am…” One of them opened his mouth.

    “I’m not going in first, don’t worry,” she cut him off, showing her fangs. “She-Ra’s the one who can shrug off blasters.” Her suit might withstand a volley, Entrapta did great work, but she wasn’t betting her life on it if she didn’t absolutely have to.

    “And fly naked through fucking space,” another soldier muttered.

    “Smith! Shut up!” the officer in charge yelled.

    Catra chuckled, then pulled her shock rod from the holster on her back. The engine noise was dimming slightly - they would dock any moment.

    Then the shuttle rocked, a few soldiers having to grab the bars on the walls to keep standing. And there was the metallic noise of the magnetic clamps engaging - they had touched down on the Al’kesh’s hull.

    A moment later, the airlock opened, revealing the smooth hull of the enemy bomber. “Breaching charges!” the officer bellowed, but his demolition man was already moving forward and placed the device Bow had designed on the hull.

    “Clear!” he yelled, rushing back - behind the shield-bot stepping up.

    A beep followed as the shield sprang up.

    “Blow it!” Catra snapped.

    The charge went off, quickly melting through the armoured hull. For a brief moment, Catra wondered what it would have done to people - and if Bow had ever used the trick arrows from which he had claimed to have developed this on Horde soldiers.

    Then the breaching charge finished, and the hull had a hole wide enough for two soldiers at once.

    Or one shield bot moving forward. And not too soon - the bot had barely stepped inside the Al’kesh when the first staff weapon blast splashed against the shield. Obviously, Heru’ur’s warriors were living up to their reputation. The average Horde troops wouldn’t have reacted as quickly.

    But the Jaffa were not facing average Horde troops. Catra grinned, flashing her teeth, as she moved forward, next to a soldier carrying a light machine gun - an Earth weapon. Two staff blasts hit the shield right in front of her, causing it to flicker.

    But she had spotted the shooters’ positions and flicked her rod at them. She hit the first one, lightning crackling over his armour as he went down, frozen with his muscles cramping up. The one next to him was riddled with the bullets the earth armies loved so much, falling against the wall and sliding down, blood flowing from several holes in his armour.

    It seemed the armour-piercing ammunition worked as well as SG-1 had claimed.

    The rest of the boarding team was now also inside the bomber, half of them going down the other side of the hallway, guns firing. They would secure the armoury and bomb bays.

    “Alright, move it!” Catra snapped. “Bridge team with me!” She turned, moved forward, to the next corner, then peered around it. Three Jaffa were half-hidden behind struts, blocking the way. And one of them… She jerked back, and two staff blasts whizzed past her head as she dropped to the ground and rolled around the corner, catching the shock grenade the third had thrown with her rod’s blast halfway in its arc.

    It went off, lightning filling the hallway for a moment, and Catra pushed off, somersaulting away and behind a strut herself.

    That let the soldiers with her round the corner and open up, and the three Jaffa went down - though so did one of the soldiers, half his arm blown away.


    Catra grit her teeth. They couldn’t stop. She dashed forward, over and past the dead Jaffa, through another intersection, and caught a pair of Jaffa coming out of a passage to the side. Before they could react, she jumped, pushing off the wall, then the ceiling, and came down between them, lashing out with claws and shock rod.

    Her left hand’s claws went through the armour of her target as if it weren’t there, tearing his throat out, while her shock rod hit the chest of the other, sending him to the floor in convulsions.

    She dashed on, running on all fours, rod between her teeth. Speed was of the essence now.

    A blast went over her head - another Jaffa, laying in ambush. She jumped over the next blast, and then she was inside his reach, jamming the shock rod into his side. One more down.

    The door to the bridge was locked, but that didn’t stop her. A few slashes with her claws cut it to pieces, and she side-stepped the volleys from inside. At least three Jaffa, judging from the number of blasts.

    She clenched her teeth. She didn’t like doing this, but… They had a nice choke point. And the soldiers were still coming up.

    She gripped the grenade on her belt - a ‘flash-bang’, pulled the ring away and lobbed it inside, then slapped her hands over her ears.

    The explosion still hurt, of course. But not enough to stop her. She dashed inside, where the four Jaffa were still reeling from the grenade going off. Her shock rod put one down, then she rolled beneath a swing from the next before lashing out with her feet, her claws slicing through the Jaffa’s leg muscles and tendons. He collapsed, and she finished him off with a stab of her rod.

    The two others were recovering - but as they were turning to face her, the rest of the bridge team arrived, and both went down in a hail of bullets as she rolled behind the closest console.

    “Watch your fire!” she snapped as she rose. “But good work.”

    She quickly thumbed her communicator. “Bridge secure!”

    “Engine and bomb bay secure!” the Lieutenant confirmed.

    “Already? I just found the airlock!” Adora complained over the communicators.

    “Slowpoke!” Catra shot back. But before she could tease her lover further, the spy bot that had followed the boarding team and connected to the computers started beeping.

    “What? A bomb went off?” Catra gasped. “Where?” Had they missed one?

    Another beep.

    “On the surface?” she hissed. “Where?”

    The screen lit up, showing the location. But that was… far from the Gate area. None of the landing teams should have been near it. Heh, it was in the lake there!

    Catra blinked. The bomb was in the large lake that ended in a narrow bay right at the gate area. And she remembered the briefing about explosives and water from the Salineas campaign.

    Cursing, she hit the button on her communicator, switching to the general frequency. “Beta! Watch out! You’ve got a flood wave incoming!”

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2023 at 4:33 PM
  5. macdjord

    macdjord Well worn.

    Feb 20, 2013
    Likes Received:
    'backyard' -> 'backwater'

    Either a missing or excess word somewhere around 'developed'. 'developed this from'?

    That seems like a bad plan. Better to pick an arrival vector that implicates a 3rd party; that way whether they take it at face value or as a deception, you are in the clear either way.

    I missed the reference.
    Starfox5 likes this.
  6. Threadmarks: Chapter 78: The Intervention Part 3

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Chapter 78: The Intervention Part 3

    Gate Area, PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “Beta! Watch out! You’ve got a flood wave incoming!”

    Jack O’Neill froze for a moment when he heard Catra’s warning over the radio. “A flood wave?” They were near a lake, and…

    Carter gasped and started typing quickly on her laptop. “The bomb that went off - it was in the lake! Sir, we’ve got a localised tsunami incoming!”

    “What?” Daniel went over to look at her laptop as if he was an expert.

    “What is a tsunami?” Scorpia asked, leaning forward to look upside down at Carter’s screen. “Oh, that’s a big flood wave. We heard about them in Force Captain orientation. Once. Or was that a briefing?”

    “The bomb went off at the other end of the lake, underwater, and caused an underwater landslide - and the form of the lake is creating a tsunami aimed at this base!” Carter spoke in that tense, clipped tone she only used when they were in mortal danger. “And this structure won’t resist the power of the wave. We need to get to higher ground - but the wave will hit the shore here in four and a half minutes!”

    The area around them was pretty flat.

    Carter kept talking. “We can dial out and evacuate through the gate, provided we can get it upright and stabilised! We just…”

    Jack cut her off and thumbed his radio. “Beta shuttle, lift off and land at the entrance to the gate building - we need to be gone in three minutes.” He almost felt bad upon seeing Carter blink and then blush. For all her brilliance, sometimes she missed the easy solution. “Everyone else - head to the entrance right fucking now for evac! We’ve got a tsunami incoming!” He could only hope none of the marines was trying to be stupid. They should know how deadly a tsunami was.

    “Good call!” Scorpia nodded. “So… do we take the gate with us?”

    Right. Jack had to remember that she could carry the damn gate as if it was a heavy backpack or something. “Take the D.H.D. with you,” he said, already moving towards the doors. The gate would survive this. The D.H.D. was more fragile.


    Jack reached the broken door and saw that the marines in the building were already rushing towards the entrance. “Squad leaders, check no one’s left behind!” he yelled. Probably not necessary, but better safe than sorry. “Move!”

    “I’m moving!”

    He turned and blinked. Scorpia had misunderstood him - she was carrying both the gate and the D.H.D.! He opened his mouth to tell her to drop the gate, then stopped. Despite the weight, she was moving at a decent clip.

    “Three minutes left, sir!” Carter was behind the princess, followed by Daniel and Teal’c.

    “Noted,” Jack replied. “Move!” He clenched his teeth. They could make the entrance easily - but would the shuttle be in time?

    But as he approached the main gate, he could hear the shuttle’s engines - they were coming in to land.

    He still reached the landing spot before the shuttle touched down, but they had the ramp lowered already - and kept hovering instead of actually landing.

    “Go! Go! Go!” the Marine Lieutenant shouted. He looked like he wanted to push and carry his men up the ramp.

    Jack knew the feeling.

    “Two minutes!”

    Jack thought he could already hear the roaring water. But that might just be his imagination.

    It shouldn’t take too long to get inside the damn shuttle, but two marines were wounded and had to be carried.

    “One minute!”

    Still plenty of time, Jack told himself. “Get inside!” he told his team.

    Daniel jogged past him up the ramp, followed by Carter. Teal’c didn’t move.

    Jack knew better than to urge his friend on. He watched as Scorpia, grunting, stepped onto the ramp - and winced at the sound the metal made under the weight of the woman and the gate. But the Ancients made solid shuttles. Solid anything.

    “Watch out - don’t get crushed - pull your legs back!” Scorpia yelled, panting, as she stumbled up the ramp.

    “Move! Give her some space!” Jack heard the Lieutenant yell.

    “Sir!” Carter stood at the top of the ramp, next to the swaying Scorpia. “The wave’s moving faster than predicted! It’s already here!”

    Too early. “And that’s our cue!” Jack rushed up the ramp. “Let’s go.” Don’t look back. Don’t look back.

    He looked back anyway, and his eyes widened. The wave was taller than the walls of the base. And coming in way too fast.

    “Lift off!” he yelled as Teal’c passed him, both of them barely inside the shuttle. “Pull the ramp in!” He barely heard himself over the noise, but the pilot didn’t need to understand him anyway.

    The shuttle started to fly up just as the wall facing the lake was crushed by the wave, concrete and metal parts flung around by the water, and Jack had to grip a handlebar to keep his balance when it suddenly turned.

    They were still too low - the wave was too fast. Too high. It would crush them in a…

    The engines screamed, and Jack was almost thrown out of the shuttle, only the closing door stopping him - painfully - when the shuttle boosted away, a moment before the water reached the gate building - and swallowed it.

    “I’m sorry, sir!” Carter said as he got up, “My projections were faulty - I didn’t account for the narrowing width of the lake, which sped up the wave, and so…”

    He shook his head. “Stop it, Carter. You did your best. No one’s perfect. And we’ve made it out alive.”

    At literally the last second, but they’d made it.

    “So… can I put this down now?”

    Oh, for… He turned around and winced. Scorpia was still holding the Stargate - and her strength was the only thing keeping the gate from crushing a few marines.



    In Orbit above PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “...and yes, everyone got out - we didn’t lose anyone to the wave. Over.”

    “Thank you.” Adora sighed with relief. Jack sounded a bit annoyed for having to repeat himself, but she had to make sure that no one had died in the flood. Losing people in the fighting was bad enough, but this?

    She looked at the screen with the feed from Jack’s shuttle - beta shuttle - again and winced. She had only seen pictures of the gate area on the planet, not the best pictures at that, and holo-projections, but even so, the scene she saw on the video was shocking. The entire base was pretty much gone, replaced by a stretch of murky water. What buildings hadn’t been swept away by the waves were buried in the mud. Only the gate building was still standing. Somewhat at least. It looked as if the front had collapsed, or maybe the foundations had given way there - that part was also under water, while the roof of the rest was still visible. It must be full of mud inside… “Do you need assistance? Over.”

    “Not at the moment. We achieved our objective. Over.”

    Next to her, Catra chuckled. “Technically, he’s correct - since Scorpia carried the gate and the D.H.D. into the shuttle before everything was buried in water, we do have taken control of the planet’s gate.”

    She was right, but the entire base was gone. That hadn’t been planned. Of course, they were planning to create a new base underground anyway, but…

    “Remind me not to needle Mermista as much as I used to,” Catra commented, leaning a bit forward and cocking her head.

    Against her will, Adora snorted. “I don’t think Mermista could do this,” she said.

    “I bet I could make her mad enough to manage it,” Catra retorted as their shuttle stopped its approach and hovered next to the other shuttle.

    Adora wasn’t sure about that but she couldn’t rule it out. “Everyone got out,” she said. That was one of the good things about this.

    Catra nodded. “And the enemy didn’t get a call for help off.”

    “As far as we know,” Adora reminded her. She pushed a button on the console, and the image on the screen changed, showing buildings on solid ground, built at the foot of a cliffside, a number of them smoking. Bots were walking around between the buildings, and the ground was covered with bodies. The feed was from a bot as well - Adora could tell from the angle of the view.

    Catra whistled. “Wow, that must have been bloodier than I expected.”

    Adora once more was forced to agree. Glimmer’s report had been on the short side - ‘The mining complex is under our control. No active enemy forces remain in the area’. “The Jaffa must have fought to the death.” Horde troops - Hordak’s Horde troops - would have retreated or broken long before… before dying like this.

    And they hadn’t died alone - she could see at least two bodies wearing Earth uniforms on the ground. And there were three wrecked bots. Had the Jaffa managed to focus enough staff weapons on the bots to overload the shields? Or had they used heavy weapons?

    “Looks like Entrapta needs to work on adapting Emily’s shields for all the bots,” Catra said. “How’s the third site going? Did they manage to clear the mines?”

    Adora winced. The third force, led by a French officer, had been forced to land a bit further away due to the terrain, and by the time they had overrun the base there, the Jaffa had fallen back into the mines. And digging them out of there… “We might have to reinforce them.”

    “You mean, you want to go and do it yourself,” Catra corrected her.

    Adora blushed a little. “I can shrug off their weapon fire,” she pointed out.

    “You can’t shrug off the mines collapsing and the mountain falling on you,” Catra retorted. “And if they’re willing to flood their base, they’re willing to blow up their mines. Send bots into the mines.”

    “The mine shafts aren’t large enough for the bots,” Adora told her.

    “Then send smaller bots.” Catra stared at her.

    “We don’t have combat-rated bots that small,” Adora said. Her lover knew that - Catra just didn’t want her to enter the mines. Adora pressed her lips together. There were slaves inside the mines. Hostages. They couldn’t starve the Jaffa out. Or bury them inside the mines. They had to go in and save the hostages. And she was the best person for this mission.

    Catra kept glaring at her for a few more seconds before she sighed. “Alright. But we’ll do it smartly. With the Tok’ra tunnelling tech, after scanning for their explosives.”

    Adora nodded.

    “Your Divine Highness!” Priest’s voice filled the shuttle’s bridge. “We have destroyed both enemy forces in space! Although I am sad to report that even when their ships were crippled, the enemy crews refused to surrender and preferred to destroy their own ships to deny them to us. Our secondary objective failed. I take full responsibility, Your Divine Highness, and await your judgement!”

    Adora closed her eyes and sighed. That was… She shook her head. “You did well, Priest. I am proud of your task force.”

    Next to her, Catra snorted again. “He’s very hard on himself.”

    “Thank you, Your Divine Highness. But we could have done better. I await your divine insight.”

    Oh, no! Adora really didn’t want to debrief Priest right now. “Ah, I am sorry, but… we have a… situation on the planet that requires my personal attention. Secure the system and await further orders!”

    “Your wish is our holy command, Your Divine Highness!”

    “Only you would prefer to assault a suicidal enemy holed up in a mine ready to collapse over debriefing your subordinate,” Catra commented, shaking her head.

    Adora didn’t answer. Instead, she called up the feed from the second mining complex and started looking for the best way to deal with that.


    Near the Gate Area, PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    Samantha Carter took a - subtle - sigh of relief when Scorpia finished manhandling the Stargate out of the shuttle and put it down on the ground - facedown. Not just because of the danger that the gate would shift during flight and crush the troops near it, but mainly because if anyone had dialled in, the vortex forming would have wrecked the craft - the shuttle simply wasn’t big enough to survive a gate activation.

    “Whew. Adora makes it look so easy.” Scorpia wiped some sweat from her brow, then flexed her pincers. “I guess I need to work out more,” she added with a chuckle.

    Sam couldn’t tell if the princess was joking or not - Scorpia had a self-deprecating streak, at least in Sam’s opinion. Maybe low self-esteem, but Sam didn’t know her well enough to tell. So she shrugged. “She’s She-Ra.” That covered a lot, in her experience.

    “Right.” Scorpia grinned. “But we did well.” Then she looked at what used to be the base housing the gate, and her grin vanished.

    Sam understood the feeling. And shared it. They were a good distance away, on the closest hill in the area, and so had a good view of it. The base was simply gone. Wiped away and buried in water and mud. Irradiated water and mud, at that, according to Sam’s sensors. It was relatively weak as far as radiation went, but still a concern for long-term exposure.

    “Cleaning this up will take some time,” she commented. And a lot of effort. “And it has to be done quickly because when it dries up, the winds will carry radioactive dust to untouched regions.”

    “Yeah.” Scorpia nodded. “It might be easiest to unlock the planet’s magic and have Perfuma grow some plants over the area.”

    “That would help contain the radioactivity,” Sam agreed. The right plants would keep the soil together and stop it from becoming a radioactive version of the Kansas dustbowl.

    “We still have to dispose of the plants once they sucked up the radiation, of course,” Scorpia went on, “but we’ve got some experience with that in my kingdom.” She chuckled again. “The Horde wasn’t very environmental-friendly, so we had to clean up a few dumps like this. Maybe worse. Perfuma helped so much...”

    Sam ignored the slight twinge of envy that she felt after seeing the sappy smile that had appeared on Scorpia’s face and made a mental note to check if Perfuma actually could create plants that ‘sucked up’ radioactivity. If she could, that would be a game changer for several regions on Earth - and the war, of course. “This has to wait until we’ve secured the planet, though,” she said.

    “Yeah. But we’ve wiped out the space forces, and all that’s left on the ground are the Jaffa holed up in that mine. And scattered guards and the patrols caught too far away to join the battle, I guess.” Scorpia shrugged. “And with the gate secured, we pretty much control the planet.”

    “There might be more such bombs hidden on the planet,” Sam pointed out. “Entrapta’s running a thorough scan from orbit.” They should have done that from the start, but… ‘You can ask me for anything you like, except time’, as Napoleon had put it. Still, Sam wasn’t looking forward to the debriefing of the mission. The things she had missed…

    She glanced at the Colonel, who had dropped all pretence of not being in charge and was ordering the troops around to secure the hill until the troop transports arrived. He would claim it was his fault, but Sam should have spotted the bomb before it went off. Should have expected something like this.

    Although… Why did they put a bomb into the lake? It was a very convoluted way to self-destruct. Was it meant to wipe out an attacker and leave the base mostly intact? That wouldn’t really work out; the mud would harden quickly, and clearing it out would probably take as long as building a new base. Although the Stargate and D.H.D. would survive a flood. A bomb powerful enough to wipe out a base would destroy the D.H.D. and might even damage the Stargate.

    Sam wasn’t convinced, though. The whole plan went against what they knew of Heru’ur. They’d have to interrogate the prisoners about this. Too bad they hadn’t caught the Jaffa giving the signal for the bomb.

    Though with their magic scanner, the chances of the Jaffa managing to hide from the Alliance were very, very low. They could track their symbionts and most technology from orbit. There would be no guerilla war on the planet. Not unless the local slaves turned out to be a lot more loyal to the Goa’uld than expected.

    She noticed the Colonel walking over to them, Daniel and Teal’c in tow, and straightened.

    “So, who’s up to play tunnel rat?” he asked with a wry grin when he reached them. “I hear we have some fascinating caves to explore. Or to make, I guess.”

    Sam nodded. “Yes, sir.” Despite her blunder, she still was the best choice to handle the technological side of the assault on the mine. Except for the tunnelling part; that part would be handled by the Tok’ra, of course.

    “I’m up for it!” Scorpia flexed her pincers. “Let’s finish this so we can focus on helping the people!”

    To Sam’s surprise, the Colonel didn’t make a cynical joke about it. Then again, he had just been checking on the casualties of their force - both the wounded and the dead. Even though it wasn’t his fault that they had died, he would be blaming himself for it anyway.


    Secondary Mining Site, PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “This wouldn’t work if that were a Naquadah mine - well, it would not work as well. We probably could calibrate the sensor to ignore Naquadah ore, unrefined Naquadah, but it would be quite the challenge since Goa’uld larvae have so little Naquadah in them, so it would still be a little tricky to discern them from the background. But since this isn’t a Naquadah mine, we can track all Jaffa in the mine shafts! So, that’s a good thing, kinda - even though having a Naquadah mine would have been great.”

    Catra nodded at Entrapta’s explanation. Of course, if this world had Naquadah deposits, it would have been defended with far more forces, and Apophis would have picked an easier target, so it was all hypothetical anyway. What mattered was that they knew where the Jaffa holed up in the mine shafts were.

    She studied the holoprojection in front of her. It showed a maze of twisting tunnels where they followed the ore veins. And a smattering of red dots - the Jaffa guards who had made it into the mines. They were concentrated at several choke points. An obvious deployment, but that didn’t make it any less of a pain to deal with - if you had to attack them from the front. But there were also a number of Jaffa on the lowest levels. “Did you detect any explosives?” she asked.

    “Yes! A lot, actually - but since this is a mine, that’s kinda expected, right?” Entrapta turned to Emily and nodded, and the projection floating in front of the bot changed, orange dots appearing at various locations. A lot of them. And spread out. “That’s not ideal,” she commented. There were three concentrations of explosives, but the rest of the stuff was scattered all over the tunnels.

    “Yes,” Adora agreed. “It would be easier if they had concentrated all the explosives in one spot.”

    Catra also wondered if the Jaffa took the explosives from the central magazine outside when they were falling back or if they had another magazine in the mine. But that was an academic question right now.

    “What about their hostages?” Glimmer asked. “If we can get them out, the Jaffa can blow themselves up as much as they want.”

    “That would ruin the mine!” General Soissant objected.

    “It’s a single mine on a backwater planet,” O’Neill retorted. “And we already control the main mining site on the planet.”

    The one Glimmer and Bow had secured, while the French-led fore had failed their objective at the secondary site. Something Catra wasn’t tempted to bring up.

    “The hostages are our priority,” Adora spoke up. “Where are they?”

    “They’re gathered at the deepest part of the mine,” Sam explained as blue dots lit up on the projection.

    “That allows them to kill them all if we launch a frontal assault,” Soissant said.

    “Or they just moved them there to get them out of the way,” O’Neill pointed out. “They might not see them as hostages - the Goa’uld wouldn’t care about the lives of slaves, and the Jaffa might not be aware that we aren’t working for a rival System Lord.”

    That was a good point. But it also meant that the Jaffa might kill the slaves in case this turned into a siege. Or to deny them to the enemy. “Well, that makes it more urgent to get them,” Catra said.

    “We can reach that, but it will take a while,” Martouf told them. “We could also dig tunnels to all the other locations, but we only have two tunnelling devices. So we would have to dig the tunnels one after another, leaving a thin wall to break through when we are ready.”

    “And if the Jaffa detect a tunnel, they’ll know what’s up and start taking countermeasures,” Catra said. “And they’ll expect more tunnels.”

    “Do they have the sensors or scanners to detect that?” Glimmer asked.

    “They might hear us tunnelling,” Soissant suggested. “Even if they didn’t have any sensors.”

    “And they might have sensors to detect cave-ins,” Bow added.

    “We didn’t detect any such technology,” Entrapta said.

    “The snakes don’t really care much about their slaves.” O’Neill shrugged. “Though they would care about cave-ins holding up the mining.”

    “Anyway, even if we focus on the hostages and write off the mine, the explosives could bring down the mountain on us while we’re getting the hostages out. So, we need to deal with the explosives and the hostages,” Catra summed up. In the Horde, that kind of mission would have been assigned to expendable troops. Or a budding rival you wanted to get rid of.

    “So, three main sites for the explosives, one for the hostages. And we have to hope they don’t detect us before we can surprise them.” Glimmer shook her head. “It might be better to return magic to the planet - I could teleport inside, dropping off soldiers. Perfuma could use plants to take control of a shaft. Frosta could freeze the explosives. But even with magic, I don’t think we can reliably take control of all the explosives without the Jaffa managing to blow up at least a few of them - they aren’t stupid and will be ready for an attack.”

    “We can jam electronic detonators,” Sam said. “That would only leave manual detonators.”

    Which wasn’t really reassuring. Catra was sure that Heru’ur’s guards were willing to die if it took their enemies with them.

    Adora leaned forward, frowning at the projection, then turned to Entrapta and Sam. “Can you build a shield generator that can protect the hostages as long as we need to get them all out?”

    “Uh…” Entrapta scrunched her nose.

    “I doubt it,” Sam replied. “Not if the Jaffa have wired the mine to collapse. If the tunnel is safe, maybe.” She looked at Martouf.

    “We can’t guarantee that,” he said. “If the explosives have enough force to cause a localised earthquake…” He trailed off with a grimace.

    So, that was a bust as well. Damn. Catra clenched her teeth. No matter what, it looked like they would have to take a huge risk. And that meant Adora would take the risk.

    “I have an idea,” Bow spoke up with a hesitant smile. “But we need Glimmer’s magic for it - and those spy bots.”

    Oh? Catra cocked her head to the side.

    “You have an idea?” Glimmer asked, smiling at him.

    “Yes.” He nodded and leaned forward. “So… we have samples of the explosives they use in the mine. All we need is…”


    Jack O’Neill peered at the bottom of the hole in front of him, checking if the explosive was prepared correctly. It was - Jack had done it himself, after all. Then he moved back to the trenches, well, back to the reinforced laboratory-slash-observation post, as Entrapta was calling it. “It’s ready.”

    “Goody!” Entrapta beamed at him. “Sabotage Bot Three, go!”

    One of the spy bots gathered in the room beeped and left. Jack could see it outside, moving towards the hole in the ground.

    “It should work,” Bow said. “The lab trials were successful.”

    “Nothing beats a test under field conditions,” Catra said. “Except for actual field testing, of course. And Kyle.”

    Adora chuckled at that, but none of the others did, Jack noticed. An obvious in-joke.

    “Three’s approaching the test site,” Carter reported. On the screen next to her, they could see the bot’s point of view as it moved into the hole, then sprayed the explosive down with the solution Bow, Carter and Entrapta had cooked up in less time than it had taken the ground forces of the task force to disembark and set up forward bases.

    “Good work, Three! Now get to safety!” Entrapta said.

    The bot’s feed changed as it climbed out of the hole.

    As soon as it was clear, Carter spoke up: “Attempting to detonate the explosives.” She pushed a button, and the scene changed to show the feed from the camera they had installed next to the explosives. “Detonating.” She flicked a switch, and Jack saw a small spark on the screen.

    “Detonator was activated, but the main charge remained inert,” Carter reported. “Test successful.”

    “Impressive as always, Captain,” Jack commented with a smile as Entrapta and Bow cheered.

    “It was Bow’s work, sir,” she immediately deflected. “He already had the base solution for a fire-suppressant arrow; we merely adapted it to the specific explosive, produced sufficient quantities of it and modified spy bots to deploy it.”

    And she honestly thought that whipping all this up in a few hours wasn’t impressive. Jack chuckled - and caught himself before he patted her shoulder. Moving to parade rest, he nodded. “Good work anyway, Captain. I’ll go check up on the rest of the force.”

    “Yes, sir.”

    “I’ll come with you!” Adora said, joining him as he approached the door.

    “Can’t leave the generals unsupervised for too long.” Catra, as expected, followed her, as did Glimmer.

    “You never know what they get up to,” Jack agreed.

    They walked over to the centre of the field base that was springing up around them - well, the part of it that was above ground, at least. Which was mostly composed of fortifications, a heavily guarded entrance to the bunker being grown below them, and storage buildings that would turn into decoys as soon as enough underground storage room was created.

    And tanks and other heavy weapons, of course. “The cats are out in force,” Jack commented as they passed a platoon of Leopard 2s placed to cover the road leading to the landing site of the transports. Two Gepards were behind them, covering the skies. They weren’t really necessary, given the sensors and guns on the transports near them, but Jack approved of covering the bases. They were at war, after all.

    “Hm?” Catra cocked her head at him.

    “The Germans name their tanks after big cats,” he explained.

    “They’ve got taste,” Catra replied with a grin.

    Glimmer snorted at that.

    The guard troops at the entrance here were a mix of French and German soldiers, straightening as they approached. The officer in charge even saluted them - which you shouldn’t be doing in the field. Then again, Adora was the Supreme Commander of the Alliance and quite distinctive in her outfit.

    Inside, they found the familiar chaos of a headquarter in the middle of a huge exercise - or an invasion. Officers and noncoms coming and going every which way, people talking into dozens of radios and phones, people staring at maps and screens… well, also holoprojections in this case. And the walls were distinctively alien-looking.

    But it was still a NATO standard field headquarters at its core. “Seen one, seen them all,” Jack muttered under his breath as they approached the generals’ corner.

    The generals, too, straightened when they spotted Adora. “Supreme Commander,” General Duchemin greeted her. “Commander Glimmer,” he added with a nod at the queen.

    “Generals.” Adora nodded back. “The tests were successful. All that’s left before we can assault the mines is the tunnelling equipment and magic.”

    Jack caught the German general wincing a little but he couldn’t tell whether it was because of the magic or the fact that Adora had made it clear before that she would be leading the assault. Duchemin, though, smiled. “Very good. We are proceeding on schedule and will soon commence mopping up operations - motorised recon units are already shadowing the remaining enemy forces.” He pointed at the screen behind them, where red symbols showed the locations of the remaining Jaffa thanks to Entrapta and Carter’s magic scanner.

    “Good. What about the civilians?” Adora asked.

    This time, the French officer grimaced a bit. “Our soldiers are keeping away from them. They seem wary of our presence, and we have focused on deploying our force and dealing with the remaining military threats before further pursuing this.”

    “They shouldn’t be a factor for the operation,” the German general added. “Besides, Dr Jackson has volunteered to take the lead on handling the civilian population and is currently talking to the local village.”

    Jack blinked, then suppressed a sigh. He should have expected this, but he had been so busy with handling things until the invasion force had landed, then handing over command to the generals and following the preparations for the assault on the mines.

    Adora, though, beamed. “They’re in good hands, then!”

    “Yeah, right,” Jack added, trying to sound sincere. His friend was great with people. Most of the time. Sometimes, though, he tended to mess up. Jack hoped this wasn’t one of those times.


    Outside the Former Gate Area, PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    “Alright. We’re ready.”

    Adora took a deep breath as she heard Glimmer over the communicator. The bots were ready. Glimmer was ready. It was time. They couldn’t really wait much longer, anyway - the longer they waited, the greater the risk that the Jaffa would do something drastic. As Jack had pointed out, they might not even be aware that the slaves were hostages as far as the Alliance was concerned. If they decided that they couldn’t afford to feed them…

    She took a step forward, away from the shuttle waiting behind her, and stared at the huge field of mud in front of her.

    “Don’t worry,” Catra said next to her. “Even if you mess up, you can’t actually make things worse here.”

    Adora slowly nodded, though she could make things worse if she made a mistake. Or lost control. The power of magic returning… She almost shuddered at the memory. But this was the best plan they had come up with. Much safer than trying to use the magic to deal with the Jaffa in the mine. If she made a mistake there…

    “You won’t mess up,” Catra told her. Full of trust. Full of love.

    Adora clenched her teeth and forced her doubts away. She couldn’t dwell on that. Wouldn’t. She was She-Ra. She had the duty to save people. And she would.

    She raised her sword and closed her eyes. Focused. She felt the power. The magic. Reached out. Connected.

    She gasped as the magic of the planet filled her. It wasn’t the same as Earth’s magic, but still somehow like it. So much power! Trying to flow through her, like water trying to get around a dam. And she…

    Gritting her teeth, she cut the pattern holding the magic back. And shuddered with relief as the pressure lessened - the magic was returning to the world.

    But she still was filled with power. She felt as if the magic would burst through her skin any moment. And if she didn’t focus, didn’t control this…

    She pointed her sword at the muddy field below her. Focused. Thought. Imagined. The mud. The water. The radiation contaminating, poisoning both.

    Eyes blazing, she moved her sword from one side to the other, a beam of light reaching out, sweeping over the area.

    She barely heard Catra whistle next to her as she directed the magic into the water. Into the mud. Into the very earth. Cleansing. Healing. Changing.

    When the pressure, the power from the planet’s magic, was gone, she opened her eyes and took another deep breath, shuddering slightly.

    The radioactive muck covering the area was gone. As were the ruins of the Goa’uld base. Replaced by vast fields filled with plants ready to be harvested. Wheat. Corn. Lentils. There were orchards full of trees with ripe fruits on them. Apples. Olives. Oranges. Rows upon rows of vegetables. As far as the eye could reach.

    Catra snorted. “You know, if Perfuma was the envious sort, this would make her mad.”

    Adora turned to look at her lover. “She didn’t get mad at the space plant.”

    Catra grinned, flashing her teeth. “I know. That’s why I said if she was the envious sort.” She reached over and patted Adora’s back. “Well done!”

    Adora nodded.

    “Of course,” Catra went on, “if any of the locals here saw that, they’d worship you as a goddess of fertility.”

    Adora smiled. “That’s why we were doing this here.” There were no settlements near the former base. The planet’s population, except for the Jaffa, had been concentrated at the mining sites and the farming villages feeding the miners. And any Jaffa left behind had died in the flood.

    No, she wouldn’t be worshipped as a goddess just for returning magic to the planet and putting the spillover magic to use. “Let’s get back to the mine,” she said. “We’ve got people to save.”

    Catra nodded. “And enemies to defeat.”


    Secondary Mining Site, PZ-921, January 12th, 1999 (Earth Time)

    Everyone was ready when they returned to the mining site. Glimmer met them at the landing pad. “There you are!”

    Adora smiled at her. Glimmer seemed to be bursting with energy.

    “Bet you teleported a few times just for the heck of it,” Catra said with a grin.

    Glimmer frowned at her, but she was blushing just a little. “It would have been irresponsible not to test it before we start.”

    “Sure, sure.” Catra folded her hands behind her head as she stepped down the ramp.

    Adora nodded at Glimmer with a smile. She understood her friend - it must be terrible not to be able to use the power you had grown up with. Adora herself hadn’t grown up with magic powers, but she remembered the time she had lost her sword and hadn’t been able to turn into She-Ra, back in the war. She had felt terrible. Weak. Useless. A failure. Glimmer was so strong to be able to bear that whenever she travelled in space - or visited planets without magic!

    They walked over to the area where the force for the mission had been gathered. Dozens of spy bots, fading in and out of view as their stealth systems engaged. Soldiers with stun weapons, in case the slaves were too cowed or indoctrinated to let themselves be saved. Medics.

    And Adora’s friends - Bow, Entrapta, Scorpia, Jack, Sam and Teal’c. No Daniel - he was busy with the local people, or so she had been told.

    “Hey! Done with turning the ruins into a space plant?” Jack grinned.

    Adora rolled her eyes. “Everything worked as planned,” she told him. And he had known she hadn’t been planning to create another space plant. She turned to look at Sam and Entrapta. “Any changes?”

    “No. They haven’t moved from their positions, except for a few swapping positions,” Sam reported.

    Adora nodded. “Good. Let’s go then.”

    “Let’s teleport!” Glimmer corrected her with a grin. She turned to look at the holoprojection in front of Emily.

    This was tricky, Adora knew that. Glimmer had never been inside the mines. And as good as Entrapta and Sam’s scanner was, it couldn’t fully replace seeing the actual location. But Glimmer was very experienced with her power, and the holoprojection was detailed enough and to scale so she could estimate the distances. It would be safe enough for Glimmer.

    At least, that was what she had told Adora. Of course, Glimmer wouldn’t lie - not about this - and Bow didn’t seem worried, or not more worried than would be normal.

    Adora still worried, of course. Teleporting into an unknown location full of enemies and explosives was dangerous. And Martouf was doing their best, but the tunnel couldn’t really get close to the mines until the explosives were dealt with.

    Glimmer nodded to herself, then took a deep breath. “Alright. I’ve got this.” She turned to the bots. “Who’s first?”

    A few of them beeped, one warbled, then two skittered over to her, their stealth coating flashing briefly.

    “Trust your sensors!” Entrapta told them.

    “OK. Now, this might be a bit disorienting…” Glimmer reached out to grab a leg of both bots, closed her eyes - and disappeared with the usual popping sound and sparkles.

    Adora looked at the holoprojection. Three new, green dots appeared. Two split off and started moving. And the third…

    Glimmer reappeared with a wide grin. “Next!”

    Two more bots moved toward her. Glimmer grabbed them and teleported away again.

    A minute later, a dozen bots had been transported. And Glimmer looked a little winded.

    Catra shook her head. “Bit out of shape, huh?”

    Glimmer glared at her. “Teleporting into new locations is not as easy as you think it is.”

    Catra shrugged. “As you say.”

    But Glimmer straightened. “Let’s go down the tunnel so we’re ready.”

    They moved to the small bunker they had erected to hide the tunnel entrance - they would have to clean that up afterwards, Adora reminded herself - and then began their descent. Sam and Entrapta stayed behind, updating them on the bots’ progress.

    “...Five and Six have reached their targets… Good bots! That’s one stash neutralised! And Seven has gotten to that tiny stash at the air shaft! Yes!” Entrapta cheered.

    “No movement of the Tok’kals,” Sam added. That meant the grenades the Jaffa carried.

    The enemy had half a dozen of those, of the explosive variant, but they were spread out - and one of them, or even two, wouldn’t be able to collapse a tunnel, much less the mine. But if they were gathered together… Well, as long as they were used as grenades, their main danger would be when used against people. Such as hostages.

    “And that’s the last one!” Entrapta announced as they reached the end of Martouf’s tunnel. “All explosives have been neutralised! Good work, bots! And Bow!”

    Bow smiled, looking relieved - even though no one would have blamed him if anything had gone wrong.

    “Enlarging the tunnel to connect to the hostages,” Martouf announced.

    Adora watched the tunnel grow in front of her. It was impressive how smooth it was - the earth and stone seemed to meld into walls. Smooth but slow. No, that was unfair - it was moving quite quickly, for a tunnel. But slowly for an attack. It would take several minutes to reach the part of the mines with the hostages. Minutes in which anything could happen. The Jaffa could decide to kill the hostages. Or…

    “Oops! Seven was detected!” Entrpata called out over the communicator.

    Or they could spot a bot. Adora clenched her teeth, then looked at Glimmer. “Get me inside!”

    “And me!” Catra moved to her side.

    Glimmer didn’t hesitate and grabbed both of them.

    A moment later, they reappeared in a different tunnel - inside the mines. “The hostages are this way!” Glimmer whispered, pointing down the tunnel illuminated by Adora’s glowing sword before she disappeared again.

    Adora started running, Catra right behind her. She had to duck a bit in spots - the tunnels were narrow and twisted as they followed the ore veins. But people were counting on her, and she wouldn’t let them down.

    “Two Jaffa ahead of you!” Sam announced over the communicator.

    Behind Adora, Catra hissed.

    Adora gritted her teeth and sped up. She rounded the next corner and ploughed straight into a guard, slamming them into the rough wall behind them. She followed up with a blow to the head that took the helmet off and knocked the Jaffa out - or killed them. Adora didn’t stop to check but whirled around, sword rising…

    …and saw Catra withdraw her claws from the bleeding ruin of the other Jaffa’s throat as he slumped over.

    Nodding, Adora continued to run down the tunnel.

    “Two more - no, three, they’re gathering at the choke point,” Sam told them.

    “Got it!”

    Staff blasts greeted them, but Adora struck them with her blade and charged through the explosions. A swing of her sword cut the closest Jaffa in half. Another screamed: “Goa’uld!” right before she cut him down as well.


    The third also died screaming, disembowelled by Catra’s claws.

    They raced on.

    “They’ve tried to detonate the explosives!” Sam reported a few seconds later.

    So soon? Why? Adora asked herself. But she had almost reached the prisoners. Just a bit further.

    “They keep yelling ‘Goa’uld’,” Catra told her as they dashed down the tunnel. “They must think you’re a Goa’uld.”

    “Oh.” That was…Was that why they were trying to blow the mines? To kill a Go’auld?

    Dim light and more screams greeted her before she found an answer. Scared screams - they had reached the hostages!

    Adora lifted her sword above her head. “Do not fear! We’re here to save you!” she told them. “We will get you to the surface, to your families! A tunnel will open here soon!”

    “It doesn’t look as if they believe you,” Catra commented as the people shied away from them.

    Adora kept smiling at them. How could she make them trust her? Oh! There was one holding his arm, grimacing. He must have been hurt. Perfect! She pointed her sword at him. She could…

    …terrify him, she realised when the people started screaming, many falling to their knees and bowing. Pleading.

    “I am healing you!” she snapped - and sent magic power at the man.

    He yelped when the magic reached him, then broke off, looking stunned.

    “You’re healed,” Adora told him.

    He hesitantly touched his arm, then started to move it, a shy, hesitant smile appearing on his face.

    The people started whispering, no longer shying away from her. Yes!

    Then everyone knelt, their foreheads touching the ground.


    Catra snorted behind her. “Good work, idiot.”

    “At least they trust us now,” Adora shot back. And the tunnel would reach them soon. So…

    “Oh! The Goa’uld at the main shaft are… they’re dropping their weapons!” Entrapta told them over the communicator.

    Were they surrendering? Adora started to smile.

    Then Entrapta went on. “They’re manipulating their weapons - the power fluctuations… but…”

    “They’re overloading the power cells!” Sam cut in.

    What? That meant…

    “They’re blowing up!”

    Adora didn’t hear the explosion, but she thought she felt the earth tremble. But that was all. Whew.

    “The main shaft is collapsing!” Sam sounded terse over the communicator.

    And then the earth was definitely shaking.

  7. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Thanks, fixing!

    He developed them from his trick arrow. AFAIK, the grammar checks out.

    Yes. But Jack was joking - they didn't actually bet on that.

    A mangled "See you on the beach" from "Saving Private Ryan".
    macdjord and Anonymous Brainwash like this.
  8. I_S

    I_S Getting sticky.

    May 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Huh actually if they portray Adora as a system lord it solves a ton of their operational security issues.

    Also it causes maximal embarrassment for her.
    Starfox5 and macdjord like this.
  9. Starfox5

    Starfox5 Experienced.

    Feb 5, 2015
    Likes Received:
    Unfortunately, it would also wreck the whole "we're fighting against false gods, don't trust the Goa'uld" angle of the war.