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The silver-haired man looked around the control room, an expression of smug satisfaction on his features. "Shut it down," he ordered.
The general stared at him. "The president gave us four hours. We still have a team out there! SG-1 is still missing!"
"And presumed dead!" the Vice President retorted. "If they haven't returned by now, in accordance with a direct order, they won't be coming back. We'll presume they're dead, as we wouldn't want to tarnish their reputations as bona fide heroes. The hard truth, General Hammond, is that they've chosen to disobey their orders. Again. This time, they'll have to live with the consequences! Shut that computer system down!"
"We have no confirmation that SG-1 received that order!" Hammond argued hotly. "They don't know that they've been recalled!"
"That is just a convenient excuse!" Kinsey fired back. "Now shut everything down, or shall I have my people do it for you?"
Walter Harriman and Gracie Anderson looked beseechingly at the general. Who sighed in defeat. "Shut it down," he said, his voice barely audible. "Set the iris, and then cut power to the Stargate."
Horrified, heartbroken, the control room technicians began the procedures that would see the Stargate Program mothballed once again. Permanently. This time, there was no SG-1 to save the day. Chances were, there was no SG-1.
"If they manage to get home-" Hammond started, then realized that any attempts to use the powerless Stargate, protected by the iris, would end in a very nasty way. There were other ways, however, for the team to return. "If they find a way home, you'll have to deal with them. I highly doubt that they'll be in much of a talking mood."
The politician sneered at him. "IF they manage to get back to Earth, with help from 'allies', who I might point out, certainly do not behave as such, SG-1 will be taken into custody and tried for treason!"
He barely bit back his sigh. Everything had gone to hell...and it had happened so damned quickly! Not even a week...yet the world had seen such drastic changes. If SG-1 made it home, it wouldn't be to the same world they had left.
The recent hours-long wars that had raged across the globe...leaving military governments in control of vast areas...had seen countries fallen, new borders being drawn with the muzzles of weapons. The world had fallen apart...all had occurred when the existence of the Stargate, and the Goa'uld, had become public knowledge. Exposed by the man who stood glaring at them, in retaliation for the Congressional investigation into his activities that the members of SG-1 had managed to instigate, just before embarking on their mission.
When the violence perpetrated by terrified, confused citizens threatened the financial and economic stability of the North American countries, the US President, the Canadian Prime Minister, and the Mexican President had quickly put together a military armada. Within four short days, the three men, with two 'advisers'... one being the man now standing in the control room, a pleased expression of victory on his hardened features...had taken complete control. Military rule was in place, cleverly disguised as protective forces. That the Canadian Prime Minister and the Mexican President had 'disappeared', their plane supposedly shot down by a group of rebels near Montreal, putting the American President, and his quickly chosen Vice President in complete control, was barely noticed by a populace struggling to cope with a world turned upside down.
Freedoms long taken for granted had vanished overnight. It was impossible to move from town to town without showing proper identification. Which had 'check points' appearing on every major arterial highway, many other roads closed completely, and taxpayers lining up so as to acquire the newly required documents. Life would never be the same. There were those within the SGC who believedGoa'uld conquest couldn't have been much worse.
Now the Vice President of what was called the North American States of Democracy, a melding of Canada, the US, and Mexico, the man who had long been an enemy of the SGC in general, and SG-1 in particular, Kinsey had been instrumental in making certain that the violence that had rocked Europe and Asia had been quickly contained on the North American continent. He was hailed as the man who had saved the three countries from complete melt down. No one doubted that he would soon take over as the most powerful man in the world.
His hatred of the SGC and SG-1, and his lack of support from among the American military apparatus, had seen him campaigning against the program when he'd exposed it; all the while hailing those who worked there as heroes, thrust into danger by the malignant powers within the Pentagon. There had been an roar of outrage, and the Pentagon had been, for all intents and purposes, shut down as quickly as the Stargate Program. Taking full authority over the men and women who served in the armed forces, Kinsey had ordered draconian measures put into effect...for the safety of the people, of course...using those in uniform to control the still stunned citizens.
Though he had tried and failed before, Kinsey had finally accomplished what he had threatened to do so many times. He'd put an end to the Stargate Program. Only because SG-1 was totally out of the picture. Something that most of those around him suspected he'd made certain would happen. Rather than closing the program down as soon as he had exposed it, he'd waited. Knowing that the team was on an extended mission, their goal to locate a hidden naquadah source, and map the general area around the Stargate in preparation for the arrival of geological and mining teams. Somehow, Kinsey had known about the message that had been received, that the team was going to come home early, the naquadah present not enough to warrant such an undertaking. Within an hour, literally an hour, after that message had come through, Kinsey had strode through the corridors of the SGC. With the Presidential Order to shut the facility down. Permanently.
Hammond watched the former Senator gloat. The bastard had obviously been waiting in Colorado Springs, and no one had been the wiser. If only he'd known. He would have found Kinsey and rid the world of the annoyance. Vaguely wondered who among those he'd worked with for seven years had betrayed them. Or if it was as simple a thing as the computers being hacked into. With the type of people Kinsey surrounded himself with, the general was betting on the latter. Hoping it was the latter. The idea that one of the people he'd faced death with on numerous occasions could turn on the SGC 'family' was too distasteful for contemplation.
Silence filled the room as the hum of power units and cooling fans ceased. The lights were turned off in the 'gate room for the last time. The blast doors were closed, and secured by government agents sent to oversee the procedure.
"Ladies and gentlemen, let's return to the surface, so that this abomination can be sealed for all time," the Vice President said amicably.
"Shall we set the nuclear bomb?" General Hammond asked, his voice rough. He'd been left in control of the SGC, once its presence had been exposed, simply because the two hundred odd military and civilian personnel who worked there had refused to acknowledge the authority of anyone else. And they had the means, and the training, to keep the SGC under their control indefinitely. The Vice President was still furious about that as well. No doubt once topside, they would all be arrested on whatever trumped-up charges the politician could dream up. Once again the military veteran regretted not ordering everyone through the 'gate to the Alpha site, an installation set up to be defended as easily as the SGC, as soon as the trouble had begun. Only the fact that it would have been impossible to get families through the 'gate as well had held him back. In that moment, he wondered if his concerns had been misplaced...if sending teams to the Alpha site might not have been the kinder thing to do...certainly would have been the most effective way to stymie Kinsey in his attempt to obliterate the program. And certainly would have left someone out there to protect Earth's collective ass.
The politician's head whipped around. "That won't be necessary," he replied. He had future plans for the Stargate. Plans that did not include this irritating Air Force officer, or any of the damned arrogant scientists or the military fools who followed Hammond so blindly. There was money and power to be had, using that 'gate, and Kinsey had every intention of exploiting those opportunities.
"I would think that it would be in the best interest of the people to bury the Stargate," Hammond replied.
"You don't need to worry about it, General. Your...work...which could have destroyed this entire planet!...is finished," the man replied, relishing the moment with obvious pleasure.
"Something tells me you're going to regret leaving it open," Hammond said. If, and when, SG-1 came back through to Earth, all hell would break loose. Again. And this time it wouldn't be the politicians who came out on top. It was, he knew, the silent hope that those of the SGC were clinging to.
"I don't share your pessimistic view," was the taunting response. "Let's go."
Thirty minutes later, the huge blast door that sealed the secret facility within the heart of Cheyenne mountain swung closed. Half a dozen government insignias and locks were put into place. Hammond wondered if the escape tunnel had been similarly sealed. He refused to ask. Not knowing gave him the hope that SG-1 could, and would return, and bring another miracle with them.
A A A A A A
Sam shook her head. Stared at the code that flashed on the tiny screen of the GDO. "I'm sorry, sir. There's no reply to our IDC. It's as if no one is there."
"Carter, we know somebody's there. Try again," Jack said, watching over his shoulder. "Come on, we're running out of time here!"
Jack's eyes pivoted from Carter to the road where the rest of the team were keeping an eye on the approaching Jaffa.
Teal'c jogged toward them, Daniel and Casey beside him. "Ba'al's Jaffa move closer. We must leave."
"The IDC refuses to clear," Sam told the three. "If we step through..."
Daniel winced. "Any chance the door is already open, and it's our GDO that's malfunctioning?"
Sam tugged her lip between her teeth. "I suppose I could check," she sighed, her fingers already prying the back of the small remote device from place.
"Carter?" Jack asked anxiously.
"There's nothing wrong," Sam replied, a worried frown on her face. She pointed the device toward the open wormhole. Pressed the button. Again received the 'error' code that prevented the team from running into the event horizon.
"Something's wrong," Casey whispered. "Very, very wrong."
Jack heaved a sigh. This was a lousy damned time to hear those particular words from the seer. "Alpha site," he snapped.
Before either Sam or Daniel could beginning dialing, a glider seemed to appear from nowhere. It began firing on the four Tau'ri and the shol'va Jaffa, who returned that fire with gusto. When the DHD was hit, five hearts sank. They were really in trouble this time!
The battle lasted for an hour. That was how long it took SG-1 to run out of ammunition. That they had managed to deplete Ba'al's troops by nearly a hundred was of little consequence.
With exchanged glances, murmured words of encouragement, the team was taken prisoner. When they walked through the open bay door on the ha'tak that sat waiting on the planet's surface, they entered into hell. There would be no return.
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