Stargate - Alpha One

Chapter Four - Illusions (Parts One and Two)
The Stargate vanishes

While on a mission, the Alpha Team is stranded by the sudden disappearance of the Stargate.

Alpha One, led by Major Asahara while Colonel Fleischman was otherwise occupied, embarked on a mission to explore a world named in the records found on the planet Nasya, hoping to find a clue which could help them return home. However, as soon as they arrived on the planet, the Stargate and the DHD went missing.

Initial searches turned up nothing, and the team set up camp nearby the circle of stones marking the Stargate’s original location. During the night, the sounds of music woke them, and they discovered a group of people dancing at the stones. They seemed to be performing some sort of harvest ritual.

The dancers were friendly, and invited the team to visit their village in the morning. There they spoke with the leaders of the village concerning their missing Stargate. One of them, a druid and master of ceremonies from the previous night, told them to seek out the Faeries. He led them to a hill with a series of stone arches around it, and instructed them to walk through.

The team followed the arches for quite a ways, until they were certain that some form of illusion was at work. After several miles of walking around the seemingly tiny hill, a door appeared, leading into the hillside and down into a large open chamber.

Inside the chamber, a shaggy dog waited for them. They followed it into a round hall with 12 thrones set around it. There a tall man dressed in gold appeared, and told them that they would have to slay the Black Knight in order to recover the ‘Ring of the Ancestors’.

That was when the team decided they’d had enough. They balked and countered the man and his companions, a woman in green and the dog, who became a man dressed in brown, as they tried to convince the team to accept their ‘quest’. Asahara even accused the trio of being powerless if they could not defeat this ‘black knight’ by themselves. Eventually however, with no other leads to the Stargate’s location, they were forced to play along.

Reluctantly, the team took up the quest and followed the instructions of the so-called Faeries. Asahara, full of skepticism, believed that all of their tricks were illusions meant to deceive them into doing their dirty work for them. Nevertheless, they set out to fulfill the requirements of the strangers.

The first task was to obtain an emerald feather, found on a bird that ranged in a particular valley. Tracking it proved simple enough, but when they tried to pluck a feather from the creature, it went running, dragging Lamara for quite a distance. In another part of the wood, Red Jade spotted one, and attempted to shoot it. The bullet knocked it over, but it got up and kept running. Finally Hutchinson cornered one, and at a suggestion from Valesh, politely asked it for a feather.

The entire team was astonished, not only because the bird plucked a feather from its back and left it for them, but also that the feather was in fact made of solid emerald. The next task was to climb a mountain and burn the feather on an altar under a tree to be found there. Still doubtful, the team did as instructed. Suddenly, the sky grew cloudy and hailstones began to fall, stripping the tree of all of its black leaves. As the sky cleared, the last leaf fell from the tree and the Black Knight appeared, ten feet tall, riding a black horse and wearing a full suit of armor.

Hoping to dispense with further drama, Asahara stepped forward and simply asked the Black Knight to allow them to return through the Stargate. He was not to be appeased, and charged her with his lance ready. Hutchinson, always quick on the rifle, shot his horse out from under him, and he dropped his lance for a huge flail which Asahara was barely able to dodge. Lamara then took him on with her staff weapon, keeping his attention while the others opened fire with their weapons. Soon he was down, with the final statement, ‘Well played.’

Still uncertain what was real and what was illusion, the team returned from the mountain to the hill with the stone arches. Impatient, Asahara marched up to the top of the hill and demanded a response. Immediately they found themselves in the chamber once again, where the trio congratulated them on their victory and accepted the proof of their deed. Then the Black Knight came in behind them, laughing. Alpha One briefly thought they would be forced to fight the Black Knight once again, but instead he acted as if he was a comrade of the three in the hall, and indeed he looked the part. Finally they were permitted to return through the Stargate.

Upon their return, they discovered that while they had seemed to be gone a week, it had only been a matter of hours since their departure. However, they still bore the marks of their adventure in the woods, and retained a fragment of the emerald feather as proof that some of it had been real. Later, attempting to lock the gate address out of their dialing system, they found it already gone, replaced with a message which said only ‘Well played, Asahara.’

(With Galadare as Guest Writer)

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Chapter Three - The Underground (Part Two)
The Mysterious Dual Mind are revealed

Continued from previous post.

Meanwhile, the rest of Alpha One arrived at the address coerced from the Faction Overseer, joined by a small military force with orders to rescue any hostages held inside the building. Hutchinson attempted to snipe the external guards without giving away his presence, but his second shot missed, leaving a man alive to give warning. It soon turned into a all-out firefight, but the Faction members inside the building never managed to organize themselves sufficiently before Alpha One made it inside.

The prisoner was thought to be held in the basement level, and so down they went, neutralizing the remaining resistance with CS grenades. But the prisoner they found was not Major Asahara. It was a Dual Mind leader named Fallanth.

Red Jade, following Veaitor Pallas, went to the underground home of the Order of the Dual Mind. There he waited briefly before being taken to a room where Major Asahara was being held, under suspicion of being Goa’uld. She explained to Red Jade that the Dual Mind appeared to be somehow related to the Tok’ra of her original reality.

Meanwhile, Fleischman and his team questioned Fallanth concerning Asahara, and obtained her promise to aid them if she could.

Before long, the combination of Red Jade’s words and Fallanth’s rescue earned the team a visit with the leadership of the Order. They explained their mission and that of Alpha Two – to obtain a new source of the drug Tretonin, which allows the rebel Jaffa to live without a symbiote. They agreed to enter into negotiations with Alpha Two and released Major Asahara to them.

Upon returning home, the team met with a representative from another world which had just learned to use their Stargate, and dialed Earth themselves. The representative, named Alaix, asked for aid in ending a war between two neighboring nations on their planet, but due to the military nature of the request, it was denied. Alaix agreed to continued contact and the possibility of trade in the future.

(With DG as guest writer)

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Chapter Three - The Underground (Part One)
The search for a lost comrade

Alpha One visits the world of Pangar in search of their missing teammate.

While General Wycliffe prepared and delivered an inspiring speech to the people of Coalhearth, Alpha One was briefed concerning the circumstances of their friend’s disappearance. They discovered that she and Sgt. DePalma of Alpha Two were separated in a crowd, after which the Sergeant heard gunshots and a crackle of static from the radio. All he could find of Major Asahara was the broken radio.

Alpha One embarked through the Stargate and arrived on Pangar, welcomed by Chairman Callini who asked them to leave most of their weapons at the Stargate. They investigated the scene of Asahara’s disappearance once more, but found nothing conclusive.

While exploring the city, Lamara was given a book by a man who seemed to be some kind of missionary or propagandist. The book was written by a man named Devren Borhan, the leader of a political faction on Pangar which was radically opposed to the nation’s major religion, the Order of the Dual Mind. A little more investigation revealed that the Order had some kind of ties with either the Goa’uld or the Tok’ra, and that Asahara may have been mistaken for one of their members and kidnapped.

Alpha One tracked down the man who had given Lamara the book, in order to ask him some questions. He was helpful for the most part, despite the unexplained hostility of the group, and eventually led them to one of his superiors in order to rid himself of them. His plan didn’t go very well, however, and the overseer’s refusal to tell Fleischman and his team the location of their missing officer nearly involved them all in a firefight.

Finally the overseer gave them an address, rather than suffer a full police investigation over the issue, and Alpha One left. Red Jade, however, expressed his displeasure over the Colonel’s methods. A brief fistfight ensued, after which Red Jade headed back alone toward the Stargate, and the rest of the team went to ask the aid of their contact.

On his way back, Red Jade was approached by a man named Veaitor Pallas, who had a piece of Asahara’s uniform – her Tau’ri identification patch. The man claimed to be a former member of the Order of the Dual Mind, and to have helped Asahara flee from an armed member of the Devren Borhan Faction the previous week. He led Red Jade to an empty building where he activated a Goa’uld ring transporter, which took them both below the surface to an underground network of tunnels.

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Chapter Two - Lightning and Thunder (Part Three)
Alpha One and Thor return to Coalhearth

After a brief incident in some Ancient ruins, Alpha One returns to the city of Coalhearth in an attempt to take back the Asgard ship and rid the Earth of the Goa’uld once and for all.

Since they were on mandatory leave with nothing better to do, the team decided to take a trip back to the ruins found by Red Jade and take a look. Moving the cover stone proved relatively simple with the correct equipment. Inside they discovered a small, two-chambered space with what looked like Ancient technology along the walls of the second room. Sgt. Surge carelessly tried to activate what looked like a computer station, to no effect. However, Hutchinson somehow triggered a device along the walls and was scanned by some sort of light, after which he collapsed.

After spending his leave under the eye of Dr. Bradshaw, no adverse affects could be discovered, and Hutchinson was cleared for active duty – mostly to keep him under Thor’s watchful gaze if anything should surface. Asahara remained behind to continue research on the Ancient device, and also to join Alpha Two (the former SG-9) on a diplomatic mission to Pangar.

The rest of the team went through the Gate and traveled to Coalhearth once again, where their plan for getting into the palace was simple yet effective. Setting explosives along the palace wall with a machine gun decoy to draw out the Jaffa, they managed to infiltrate with few obstructions. Once inside the ship compound things got a little more difficult. Several Jaffa were posted inside and had remained despite the diversion. Lamara was injured, but the team was able to reach the main computer station which, due to sabotage, had escaped damage from the self-destruction and crash landing of the ship.

There were a number of traps set in the room. The force field trap was detected and deactivated, resulting in the reduced effectiveness of a poison gas trap linked to a holographic recording of Baal. By the time Thor got around to bypassing the security program which had been placed on the computer, Baal’s Jaffa had detected the ruse and were on their way back. The team split up to cover both entrances to the ship and give Thor time to recover control of the system.

Finally, with the team taking fire from all sides, Thor managed to activate the transporter system and eject all Jaffa from within 300 miles of the city. He was also able to transport the Stargate directly into the ship, allowing Alpha One to report their success to the General. Their good news was welcomed, but not returned in kind. While visiting Pangar with Alpha Two in search of a fresh supply of Tretonin, Major Asahara had disappeared.

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Chapter Two - Lightning and Thunder (Part Two)
Alpha One races to be the first to find Thor

Using the Asgard device granted by Odin, Alpha One continues the search for Thor. But the hunters soon discover that they are also being hunted. Who will be the victor of this deadly race?

Alpha One, camped for the night, were awakened in the early morning by the sound of a gunshot. Investigating its source, they found Winter Stone (one of the hunters from the previous day) wounded and alone. They surmised from his story that his friend Tamed Bear had been taken as a host by the Goa’uld who escaped the body of the guard from the palace. Shortly after leaving him, they began to see a string of boats filled with hunters – led by Tamed Bear.

Alpha One accelerated their search, scouring the islands as quickly as they could while staying ahead of the other search parties. Their efforts were fruitless that day, and they continued on through the night without rest. Finally the next morning, the ring given to them by Odin responded. Leaving Lamara and Sergeant Surge with the boats, they followed the signal and found Thor, who responded with surprise to the sound of his own name.

They were left with little time for talk as the Goa’uld came up over the hill with a party of hunters. The two groups opened fire upon each other. Thor was targeted first and went down quickly, but Lamara arrived from the boats just in the nick of time and saved the day. The Goa’uld and all of his companions were killed, and this time there was no escape for even the symbiote.

Thor recovered quickly under the treatment of Major Asahara, and they were able to escape in boats deftly disguised as floating weeds by Red Jade. While they traveled back to the Stargate, they explained to Thor who they were and why they had come looking for him. Thor himself expressed a desire to return and retake the piece of his fallen ship, stating that if the holographic systems were still functional, then other key systems – such as the one designed to detect and disable the Goa’uld – might be as well.

Alpha One returned through the Stargate only to be told that they were on mandatory leave for a week before they could return to Coalhearth with Thor. The General also wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to talk to Thor about the Goa’uld and Asgard presence in the alternate reality. Thor’s plans were put on hold – for now.

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Chapter Two - Lightning and Thunder (Part One)
Alpha One seeks out the Asgard

Seeking for allies to help them against the Goa’uld, Alpha One journeys to Cimmeria in search of the Asgard, only to be told that Thor is dead and the rest of his race have all but abandoned humankind to the Goa’uld. Can they convince Odin to help them?

After successfully concealing the Alpha Site base from the searches of Osiris’ Jaffa, Alpha One retreated through the Stargate to the planet Nasya. Their first order of business was to organize teams to gather food and supplies – i.e. babysitting. After two weeks of torment, the team took a well-deserved break. Borrowing a jeep, they went for a joy-ride, taught Red Jade to shoot and found some interesting ruins, which they determined to explore more thoroughly during their next leave.

When they returned to base, the General had a mission for them – attempt to contact their old allies, the Asgard. They chose to travel to Cimmeria, the world where SG-1 first encountered Thor. A MALP unit sent through the gate showed the signs of a recent conflict beneath the snow cover, and the Hammer of Thor broken.

Alpha One (minus Major Asahara and with the new addition of Red Jade and Sergeant Surge of SG-9) passed through the gate and met the warrior named Thairn, who at first believed them to be ‘Ettins’ come to inflict more terror upon his people. After he was convinced that they desired friendship with Thor and the Asgard, Thairn led Alpha One to the so-called Hall of Thor’s might.

It was not Thor who greeted them, however. A holographic recording declaring himself to be Odin set forth the tasks which were designed to test the Cimmerians’ level of social progression. Even though they already knew who the Asgard were, Alpha One was required to complete the tasks.

The first task was supposed to test their ‘bravery and courage’. They were asked to choose their best warriors and presented with two swords. When Lt. Colonel Fleischman and Sergeant Surge stepped forward and took the swords, they were told that they must fight each other, and that only the victor could pass. Instead of fighting, they dropped the swords, which Odin declared to be the correct answer.

The second challenge was a riddle: From home I hied me, and from home faring I saw a way of ways: Was a way beneath and a way above, and ways there were on all sides. Alpha One studied a mural displayed on one wall and decided that the answer was drawn there – a bridge, under which

went water, over which went men, and past which went birds in flight.

Odin then revealed his true form, and conversed with them directly through his hologram. He revealed that Thor, who once enforced the Protected Planets Treaty with the Goa’uld, had vanished 30 years previously, and was believed to have been killed during a visit to ‘Midgaard’. Alpha One decided that the piece of Asgard ship which Baal had hidden inside his palace in Coalhearth must have been Thor’s ship. After Red Jade described a rumor about a grey man living in the islands south of Coalhearth, Odin granted them the Ring of Midgaard; an artifact which would name them as an ally to Thor and help them find him.

Alpha One returned back through the gate and to Earth once again. Their destination was much closer than Coalhearth had been, and they were able to avoid running into people until they arrived at the cluster of islands where the supposed Grey Man lived. Alpha One began at the island farthest from the inhabited section. They quickly found a cave which had once been inhabited, but had not been used for several weeks. Splitting up, they continued their search.

Colonel Fleischman’s team was the first to find signs of other hunters on the island. A pair of them, Tamed Bear and Winter Stone, were trying unsuccessfully to hide in the brush, and nearly got shot by the trigger-happy Sgt. Surge. Red Jade smoothed things over relatively quickly, and the two went on their way.

Asahara’s team were not so fortunate. Scouting along the shore, they stumbled upon a pair of familiar faces. The Jaffa who they had faced in the underwater tunnels and the surviving guard from the palace were climbing out of a boat and spotted them. The Jaffa came charging up the hill despite the rain of bullets the team let loose upon him, and clubbed Major Asahara, knocking her back. He counted her out of the fight too early, however, and ran afoul of her Colt .45.

The man back at the boat, who had been infested by a Goa’uld since their last encounter, turned tail and ran when he saw the Jaffa go down. The rest of the team arrived in time to see him fleeing, but the fight wasn’t over yet. Hutchinson with his sniper rifle and Surge with a grenade quickly took care of his boat – and him. But they didn’t spot the dark, snake-like creature swimming away…

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Chapter One - Into the Fire (Part 3)
A secret passageway into the palace becomes a deadly trap!

Within Baal’s palace in Coalhearth, Alpha One is captured by the Goa’uld Astarte. It is up to Fleischman and Lamara to rescue their teammates and unravel the mysteries which await them!

Determining that it was better to continue forward than turn back and try again later, Alpha One entered the underground waterways and followed the librarian’s map. They pushed open the hatch which was supposed to open into the palace’s gardens, only to find themselves in the interior of what looked like a ship – a booby trapped one. Dodging most of the stun blast, they retreated back the way they came, but were followed by 4 Jaffa using Zat’nik’tel stun weapons.

One by one the team members fell to the stun blasts. They chose to hold their ground rather than retreat and leave one of their own behind. First Red Jade, then Hutchinson and Lamara went down, but they took some of the Jaffa with them. Finally it was down to Major Asahara (who had been injured badly at the beginning of the fight and taken cover) and one last Jaffa. She mustered her courage and did her best to take him down and save her friends, but was subdued in the end.

While unconscious, Red Jade had a dream – a memory of his mother. But the dream left little doubt that his vanished mother was in fact host to a Goa’uld. Hutchinson and Red Jade awoke to find themselves imprisoned, with their hands tied and only one hidden gun remaining to them, but Fleischman and Lamara were luckier. After falling into the canals and being left for dead by the Jaffa, they were rescued by Laughing Thunderbolt, who had followed them.

Lamara believed she knew how to disable the stun trap at the top of the hatch, so up they went again. The attempt was a failure, but before it discharged again, Fleischman destroyed it with a staff weapon. Once they were able to look around, they realized that the room they were in was an Asgard design – probably a piece of a ship which had crashed 30 years previously.

Meanwhile, Hutchinson and Red Jade were taken from their prison at gunpoint, through the palace to where they thought they had heard the screams of Major Asahara. Their guards were simple citizens, and took them to an ornately decorated sitting room, in which was the Mayor of Coalhearth (who Valesh had identified as Baal’s underling, Astarte), and the unconscious Asahara.

Astarte at first tried to coax information from the pair, but when nothing was forthcoming she resorted to force. Before she had done them any real harm, however, Fleischman and Lamara arrived. After a brief firefight, Astarte and her guards were dead or subdued, and Alpha One returned back through the tunnels and back to the Stargate. But when they got there, another surprise was waiting for them…

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Chapter One - Into the Fire (Part 2)
Alpha One decides to investigate the strangely different Earth

Lt. Colonel Fleischman and his team decide to investigate the city of Coalhearth, where Baal rules as king and defends his people from marauding Asgard, but first they must decide whether to leave SG-15’s Goa’uld infested second-in-command in the hands of the paranoid General Wycliffe.

General Wycliffe gave the go-ahead for SG-15 to investigate Coalhearth, but first he invited Red Jade onto the base to grill him for information (and subject him to a medical examination). During the checkup, Dr. Bradshaw brought to the General’s attention some anomalies in the DNA of the Goa’uld possessing Major Asahara – possibly a birth defect.

Heartened, SG-15 visited their friend again, to persuade Valesh to release her. Faced with a choice between one prison or another, Valesh reluctantly complied. Major Asahara, now undoubtedly acting under her own power, confirmed Valesh’s story – that she wished to join the Tok’ra and wanted only to help. In addition, she revealed that Valesh possessed neither the Goa’uld genetic memory nor that of the Tok’ra – she was a clean slate until she first took a host.

Asahara was cleared for active duty. During the pre-mission briefing, she surprised everyone by insisting that if Baal were indeed ruler of Coalhearth, Valesh would be a key source of intelligence in the mission to come. With a vote of confidence from Lt. Colonel Fleischman, the General acquiesced.

Once the briefing was over, the team met by the Stargate and started gathering their equipment. The General, after having a talk with Major Asahara and the doctor, joined them in the embarkation room and presented SG-15 with new badges and a new team designation – Alpha One.

Also joining Alpha One was a Jaffa named Lamara. A former servant of Bastet, she was chosen to represent the rebel Jaffa residing on the base when the Alpha Site was stranded. Together, they set out through the Gate with a perplexed Red Jade as their guide.

The trip to Coalhearth was uneventful, except for a brief stop to find appropriate disguises for the team. They spent the night at Red Jade’s lighthouse and made their way into the city, doing their best to gather information about Baal.

While there, the air raid sirens went off. Seeking shelter, Alpha One was ushered into the city library by Red Jade’s former neighbor, [[:Laughing Thunderbolt]]. The frail and eccentric librarian showed them quite a sight – a holographic Al’kesh flying right through the library’s upper floor.

Thunderbolt had quite a bit of evidence (and fervent speculation) of Baal’s deception of the people of Coalhearth. He also had a map of the palace, including a secret passageway. Alpha One refused his request to take him with them, and set off to investigate a little closer.

The way in was not unguarded. Two heavily armored Jaffa were guarding the hidden entrance. A brief firefight seemed to go unnoticed by passersby, and though Asahara was badly injured, she and Valesh insisted that the team continue into the palace while nobody suspected their presence.

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Chapter One - Into the Fire (Part 1)
The Alpha Team is cut off from Earth

During an assault on the planet Earth by the Goa’uld System Lord Baal, SG-15 accompanies the Alpha Team to the SGC’s place of last resort – The Alpha Site. But when an old friend comes back from the dead to meet them, the team begins to realize that it was all part of the plan…

It was two weeks since Lt. Colonel Emil Fleischman and Corporal Preston Hutchinson lost half of their team in an ambush on P4X-347. Only a week since the funerals of Sergeant Abrams and Major Erica Asahara, their former teammates. Fleischman and Hutchinson were in the briefing room, discussing new assignments to SG-15 when SG-1 returned to the SGC with information that Baal was on his way to attack Earth, with several Goa’uld mother ships.

The Alpha Team was quickly assembled – specialists from every branch of the military, and civilians with high-levels of technical expertise who had volunteered for a mission to carry on the Earth’s culture and knowledge in the event that their world was lost. The remainder of SG-15 was chosen to escort them.

The Alpha Team passed through the Stargate, and arrived within moments at a planet on the opposite side of the galaxy – The Alpha Site. Moments after their arrival, the Stargate closed behind them, leaving them cut off from Earth.

Later, on P2X-005, SG-9 discovered Major Asahara, still alive and claiming to have information about the attack on Earth. An attempt to reach the SGC was unsuccessful, at which point SG-9 followed standard procedure and rerouted to the Alpha Site.

Asahara was disappointed that she had not returned in time to give warning. Reunited with SG-15, she claimed that she had been taken to a Goa’uld Sarcophagus, which restored her to life, by the same spy who told her of Baal’s attack. But General Wycliffe, commanding the base, challenged her motives and revealed her as Goa’uld herself.

The Major was captured and taken to a temporary holding area while the Alpha Team set up camp for the night, waiting to hear word of the success or failure of Baal’s attack. Fleischman was chosen to interrogate her, and discovered that the Goa’uld was named Valesh, and claimed to wish to join the Tok’ra. She refused to leave Asahara’s body, however, fearful that she would become a Tau’ri guinea pig.

Lt. Colonel Fleischman wouldn’t believe that his teammate had willingly chosen to be host to a Goa’uld, but later that evening Valesh called him back to inform him that she had sensed another Goa’uld – not a Jaffa – walking past her prison and away from the camp. Despite not entirely trusting her, he and Corporal Hutchinson tracked the man up the hill and discovered him fiddling with a strange alien device.

A few glances revealed that Valesh had been correct. The Goa’uld refused to surrender, and in the ensuing firefight the device was damaged, and gave off an odd flash that enveloped them and the entire Alpha Site, but apparently did them no harm. The Goa’uld tried to escape its dying host body, but was killed.

Fleischman and Hutchinson returned down the hill with the strange device, but the only scientist who might have had a chance to discover its purpose was Asahara, and they weren’t about to give Valesh an edge. At that moment, however, a connection with Earth was finally reestablished.

But nobody answered. There was no response to either radio communications or GDO signals. A MALP sent through the gate sent back images of a partially submerged Stargate near a sandy beach, being investigated by an odd fellow in a top hat.

Red Jade, the man in the hat, had been through an interesting few weeks himself. He was from a city called Coalhearth, where steam technology was the latest big news. His people had been suffering attacks from an alien race which their King told them were called the Asgard. Red Jade had always believed the propaganda until one day he investigated a fallen ‘Asgard’ fighter and discovered that there was a human inside.

Returning to his home, he found King Baal’s police, called Jaffa, looking for him. He decided to leave Coalhearth and set out into the wilderness with only his boat, top hat and fishing gear. When he first spotted the Stargate, it was dormant, but when he rowed his boat over to it, it activated and sent forth the strange robot MALP.

Red Jade was very helpful in describing his homeworld to SG-15, but they couldn’t figure out why they arrived there by dialing Earth. Until the moon rose. Earth’s moon.

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