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Daniel sat down at the conference table. The links to General Hammond and General Monroe had been established. "So, where are we on all of this?"
"I’ve just learned that the NID has taken control of SGC. There were only about a half dozen people who refused to join us," General Hammond announced.
"Let’s hope that the NID spy was one of them," Duncan said.
Jack shook his head. "I’m betting that the NID mole is on Alpha. General Hammond, I suggest that you keep your eyes open. Could be anybody, even someone you trust."
"I agree, Jack. I don’t like it, but I do agree."
"Gentlemen, I think that we should open up communications with Earth, and declare our independence now, before orders come through to Alpha and Beta," Duncan said.
Both General Hammond and General Monroe agreed. SG-1, the male members anyway, and Duncan, would ‘gate to Alpha, General Moore would also ‘gate there, then all the men would ring to the Prometheus. They would be in orbit over Earth within an hour of leaving the Alpha site.
Daniel went home long enough to let Casey know that he would be away, for possibly two days. He didn’t like it, he would have preferred to stay near his wife and brand-new daughter, but this was something he had to do...for them.
A A A A A A
The team ringed up to the Prometheus, and headed for Earth. They monitored the news as they approached. The NID had spilled the beans. There were already news crews at the SGC. The Joint Chiefs of Staff in return were exposing the NID and the havoc that they had caused, blaming the mass defection of SGC personnel on them. Already Marines were posed to lead an assault to retake control of the mountain. Polls on CNN showed that belief and sympathy lay with the Joint Chiefs, and most people were demanding to know what would become of them if their first line of defense against hostile aliens had left the planet.
Duncan looked at the men around him. "I think this is our cue, gentlemen," he said softly. Within minutes they had control of the communication satellites, thanks to young Lieutenant Hailey. As soon as the visual feed was connected, the technician holding the camera nodded at Duncan. He took a deep breath, gathered the notes he had written, then looked into the lens. "I am Duncan MacLeod. I am the duly elected President of Gamma. I have here with me five men who have worked tirelessly - selflessly - to protect this planet as members of Stargate Command. We are here to do two things. First, we declare the independence of Gamma, and the Alpha and Beta sites from Earth, and United States jurisdiction. We are free entities. This is not negotiable. As such, we would like to enter agreements for trade with you, which will be beneficial to all our planets. Second, we declare that our duty, our purpose, is to protect the people of Earth.
"We left Earth for two reasons: Number one…the leaders of the countries involved with the Stargate Program could not…would not…see that it alone was the single most important defense of each country on the entire planet. These leaders chose to cut back the SGC until it would not have been capable of protecting you. By leaving, and removing control of the SGC from these leaders, we will be able to continue to do our job, and that is to protect Earth. The second reason is the NID. This entity is a threat to any and all Immortals. We at Gamma are Immortals. SG-1 are Immortals. We, as Immortals, were created to protect the innocents…that is, mortals like yourselves…against the Goa’uld, who are right now your most dangerous enemy.
"Until Earth becomes united in the cause of its own protection, you cannot protect yourselves. Again, I state that our duty, our purpose, is to protect Earth. We are allied with other civilizations to this end as well. We want to work with you to protect the home of humans, possibly the home of every human race in the universe. We ask that all information regarding the Stargate Program and the enemies we face be released to the public. Any technology or weapons information may remain classified, at least for now. We would like to meet with world leaders to discuss our next steps. If you refuse us, we will continue to do what we can out here to protect you. But anything that happens on the planet itself will be your problem, to deal with alone. We’ll be in orbit for the next five hours. The President of the United States knows how to contact us."
The link was broken, and he turned to face the others. "Now we wait," he said softly. He looked at Daniel. "I think we’ll need your negotiating skills. I want as many trade agreements as we can get. I would prefer them to be between corporations and us, or better yet, individuals and small companies, rather than governments. I don’t trust politicians."
Daniel smiled. "Neither do I."
They waited, taking turns at pacing the narrow passageways of the ship. Two hours later, the first calls began to come in. Daniel continued to watch the news; watched as people took to the streets in fear and anger, watched as riots broke out in the cities, watched as the United Nations began to crumble and fall apart. It was terrifying. It was heartbreaking. But it was necessary. The people of Earth deserved to know exactly what they collectively faced. They deserved to have leaders who were committed to the welfare and well being of all of the citizens of the planet. Most likely the nations of the planet would retain their individual status, remain independent. But they would learn to work together.
After seeing more images of yet another riot, this one in Denver, Daniel left the room. He took off his glasses and ran a hand over his face, put them back on and sighed. He had known that this would happen. They had all known it would happen. But as General Hammond had said, sounding much like Jack as he said it, one couldn’t make an omelet without first breaking eggs. That knowledge did not make it any easier to watch. He thought about Casey and Emily; thankful that they were safely away from the panic…the chaos…that reined on the planet below. He ached to hold Casey…look into her eyes, see the love there, the faith in him, draw the strength he needed from her.
He turned and looked out the window when he heard Jack swear. Two Goa’uld warships were approaching. He turned to Duncan. "I suggest you turn the cameras back on. Let the people down there see exactly what they’re facing."
Duncan nodded, then made the announcement. The Prometheus moved to intercept the two ships. The first of the Goa’uld ships began to fire, making the ship around them shudder. It was moving fast, heading straight for Earth. Several of the F-302’s that General Hammond had moved to Alpha had been standing by. They joined the battle. Communications from nearly every nation on Earth began to pour in, as leaders who struggled to remain in control demanded to know what was happening.
The Prometheus had managed to destroy one of the warships. There was a feeling of panic when they realized the disabled ship had been caught in the gravity of the planet below, and was being pulled ever closer. Daniel watched as the trajectory was established. It was going to hit somewhere in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He heaved a sigh of relief that none of the major continents would be hit. Once again Earth had managed to escape a horrible fate. It was possible that if the ship hit just right, without breaking up in the outer atmosphere, tsunamis could result. Already Duncan was urging Pacific Rim nations to prepare. When two Tok’ra ships appeared on the screen, the remaining Goa’uld ship cloaked and disappeared, only to be hit by random weapons fire from the Prometheus. With its ability to cloak and move undetected disabled, the ha'tak fled, one of the Tok’ra ships in pursuit.
"I’d say that somehow those freaky-eyed bastards, to quote my Wife, found out about all of this," Daniel said softly. "They were hoping to take advantage of the situation."
"Seems like," Jack agreed. "Either they’ve been monitoring the communication satellites, or they have somebody working for them somewhere."
"Most likely the NID. That group was always too quick to want to work with any captured Goa’uld," Daniel replied.
"Wouldn’t surprise me one bit," Jack muttered.
Seven hours after the Prometheus had arrived in orbit, the leaders of forty-three nations had agreed to meet with Duncan and SG-1. Jack had adamantly refused to go to the planet. As long as the NID was in control of the SGC, he wasn’t going anywhere near the complex. Senator Kinsey had already tried to have all of the personnel who had left Earth found guilty of treason, to be shot on sight. With the battle that had raged just above them, no one was in the mood to listen to him or the NID. Marines and Air Force SF’s retook control of SGC, although the battle was costly. Kinsey and his followers were going into hiding after a failed assassination attempt on the Senator’s life. General Hammond believed that he and his followers had used the ‘gate to escape to another planet. Already people in the district he represented were demanding that he be recalled. Daniel had to laugh. If a governor could be recalled, surely a senator could be. The thought that Kinsey was about to lose his much coveted status made him smile.
The leaders of the newly formed, hours old Earth Defense Alliance were summarily ringed up, and the meeting was held on the Tok’ra ship. Meeting aliens for the first time rattled most of the politicians. Jacob Carter, a career military man who had long held politicians in disdain, delighted in making sure that the leaders knew exactly who they were dealing with. Selmak chided him for his most childish display, but he chose to ignore her.
Daniel looked around the table. Those leaders of the largest, most powerful nations were sitting at the table, the others were seated along the walls of the room.
"What I want to know is, why?" The President of the United States was asking. Until a few hours ago, he had been the CIC of the entire Stargate program.
"I believe you know why," Daniel said calmly. "We're aware that the chances are high that you won’t be re-elected. We have a pretty good idea who will be. He won’t hesitate to shut down the program. By doing so, he would leave Earth vulnerable. Mr. President, you know as well as I do that to continue to get funding for the program, it was going to have to be revealed. The Joint Chiefs of Staff were totally against that. The bickering going on between the US and Russia over the program was beginning to effect the very performance of the SGC. There were more personal reasons for General O’Neill, Teal'c, and myself."
"And those reasons are?" The Prime Minister of India asked.
Daniel looked at the two men beside him, then took a deep breath. "You have in front of you a full report on what I am about to tell you. The members of SG-1 were made Immortal by beings known as the Ascended. We have joined all the Immortals who left Earth about five years ago. The NID would love to get their hands on us, experiment on us. No way are we going to allow that to happen. Immortals were created by the Ancients to protect the Innocents…mortals…of the planets that sustain human or humanoid life. My Wife was the last Immortal to be…created…in the…nursery…that the Ancients established. You need every one of us, and you need us alive and healthy to protect you. The details are in the report."
There were murmurs and many heads shaking around the room. Duncan stood to his feet, pulled his sword from its scabbard. "Daniel, I’m afraid that this will require a demonstration. Since you have died more often than Jack or Teal'c, your reanimation time is less."
Daniel nodded and stood. He hated this, it hurt like hell, not to mention the fact that he’d have to change his clothes. He braced himself, nodded, and dropped to his knees when Duncan thrust his sword through his body.
He heard the gasps around the room just before the blackness surrounded him.
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