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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