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Thread: Continuing Stargate

  1. #5821
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    The Atlantis team races "Nightfall"!
    Still regaining their footing after a return to Pegasus, the primary Atlantis recon team is at it again. Their first real mission since reactivation is a trip to an industrial world largely cut off from the rest of the galaxy. While negotiating for much needed supplies, though, an incident reveals the planet's best-kept secret, a truth that even its inhabitants knew nothing about. And when the team intervenes on their behalf, they set into motion a chain of events that will certainly destroy the native civilization forever.
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    Previous Episode: 11x03 "Shore Leave" | Previous Episode: 6x04 "Nightfall" | Now Airing: 3x06 "Eldest"

  2. #5822
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    Default Re: Continuing SG-1

    So I've been trying and trying for weeks now to cut this episode down to a shorter length and also lengthen the ending section, but I've finally given up with finals here and as much delay as there was. So here's the episode
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    Previous Episode: 11x03 "Shore Leave" | Previous Episode: 6x04 "Nightfall" | Now Airing: 3x06 "Eldest"

  3. #5823
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    6x03 "Nightfall"
    Synopsis: The Atlantis team explores a planet which has never known darkness thanks to an Ancient experiment in orbit, but the fall of night may spell certain death for them all.
    Spoiler:
    On M44-918, called Napier by its inhabitants, Sheppard’s team has been led into the heart of a beautiful city. Reminiscent of early 1900s Paris or New York, the entire downtown area is dominated by art deco towers and gleaming tramways. Inside the local government complex--apparently the team is in one of nineteen provinces of the nation in control of the stargate--they are brought to an expansive meeting chamber and offered seats and refreshments while Oman awaits authorization to begin negotiations. Ignoring the others’ attempts to make small talk with the dignitaries, McKay beelines for the pastries and begins eating. John tries to resist the urge to smack him and instead asks Ronon to go drag him away so they can get down to business. Stifling a laugh, Teyla remarks that some time off on Earth didn’t change Rodney much. Grabbing an orange-like fruit off a tray and offering half to her, Sheppard can only sigh in resignation and agree. Looking down at the fruit, he asks if they should swap the eclair on his plate for one of the available citruses. Teyla just gives him a playful swat on the shoulder in reply. Then the provincial governor, Oman, arrives with several aids in tow, announcing that he’s received word from the capital that they’ve been cleared to proceed. The talks can begin.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Radek Zelenka is just entering Woolsey's office on Atlantis, happy to report that their preliminary examination of the Pegasus gate network has yielded positive results. The ISGC's attempts to undo the damage of the Wraith-modified "Avenger" virus ("Enemy at the Gate") from the Milky Way was a stunning success, and the entire grid seems to have stabilized a full month before the Expedition was sent back. Of course, given how Todd was able to gate into the city, their coordinates have obviously been compromised, so Zelenka let the virus have one more go; he detached their DHD from the network at large and let it reconfigure their address. Attempting to dial their old one won't get anyone anywhere, and with all of Todd's database's destroyed along with his ships, they should be safe from any unwelcome visitors using it to figure out their position in space.

    Woolsey congratulates Zelenka on a job well done, thrilled to hear that they're making progress already. With all the planets and peoples that had gradually learned their old address over the years, this should be a nice reset of things. They can once again ensure that only their most trusted allies have the ability to dial Atlantis, and with any luck, they won’t have any repeats of the city under siege. His report delivered, Radek excuses himself to get back to his team and leaves. Woolsey picks up the folder he left and begins to pick through the findings, reading with interest while the rest of the expedition continues to set up operations again.

    Several hours later, things have proceeded nicely. The Napieri have sprawling grasslands not unlike the Great Plains of the United States, and produce foodstuffs far in excess of their needs. They’ve entered a period of plenty due to a combination of recent innovations, medical advances, and global peace, and the people are more than willing to trade with Atlantis in exchange for technological expertise. The supply line should replace the city’s previous reliance on another planet which, according to Pegasus rumor, has been largely exterminated by the Wraith. Attempts to dial in to confirm the stories have failed, but other worlds insist that it follows a pattern of events months in the making. Ever since the Hoffan drug was widely distributed ("The Kindred, Part 1"), the Wraith have become fanatical in their efforts to wipe it from the galaxy. Any contaminated planets, and reported a few merely suspected of infection, are culled for viable humans and then utterly annihilated via orbital bombardment. It’s an ugly reality, but the death toll since patient zero is estimated to be in the tens of millions.

    Standing from the table and stretching, Sheppard suggests they end the diplomacy for now so both parties can present their preliminary agreement to their respective superiors. Besides, it should be dark soon and they could probably all use some rest before returning to negotiations tomorrow. At that remark, Oman and his advisors look confused, glancing at one another and asking for clarification. When John doesn’t know what they mean, one of the negotiators says that they’ve never heard the word "dark" in that context before, nor do they know what it’s supposed to imply. The Atlanteans glance at one another, equally lost as to how they should respond, before Teyla puts her hand to her temple and says that she suddenly senses something out of the ordinary. But she’s interrupted by a series of buzzing noises from outside that seem to come from above and to the sides of the tower simultaneously. The Napieri dismiss the disturbance as a passing airship, but Sheppard isn’t so sure. He glances out the window, muttering that he recognizes the noise, but sees only a dirigible drifting by a few stories above.

    Then a pulse of blue light slams through the balloon, and it explodes. Teyla gasps and expresses what the others now realize; the Wraith have arrived.

    Five darts zip over and around the government tower, pelting the nearby towers with plasma and shattering windows at every turn. Three of them break off to attack the other zeppelins hovering above the city, bringing them down one by one with brilliant fireballs as they tumble to the ground below. The remaining pair finish their attack run on the tallest spires and come around for another pass, opening up earlier than before and firing on the complex housing Sheppard and his team. Grabbing a chair to stay steady when the tower shakes violently, John shouts that he and his people need to get back to the jumper and lift off. Oman, fearful that his world will be abandoned to the Wraith, points out that they’ll never make it back to the outskirts in time unless one of his men drives them. Sheppard understands the implied threat if they don’t offer to help their new partners, and he promises to help fight off the darts. But in order to do that, he needs to get to his ship. Hoping he won’t regret this, the Napieri leader tells one of his drivers to bring the Colonel to his jumper, parked on the edge of the metropolis.

    One of the soldiers gestures to lead the team down to a waiting vehicle, but before they go, John asks Teyla and Ronon to stay with the natives and defend them as best they can. If any of the darts make a close pass by their position, they might be able to pick them off with weaponsfire or at least force them to break off their attack. It’s not much, but it will at least cement their new alliance and safeguard their partners from being culled. Ronon doesn’t like the idea at all, saying that in such an exposed meeting chamber they’ll be easy targets for a strafing run. But he agrees to do as his commander says, and he and Teyla tip over the conference table to use as a barricade, shuffling the dignitaries behind it and rallying the Napieri soldiers to take up defensive positions with them at the windows. Since the planet’s stargate is located atop a mountain nearly as high as Everest, the people rarely receive visitors and there’s little hope of evacuation to Atlantis. Promising to return as soon as the last fighters have been destroyed, Sheppard grabs McKay and follows their guide to the closest lift.

    The drive out of the city is a hazarded affair, especially when the provincial army begins fighting back. Primitive tanks attempt to shoot down the darts as they move in and out of the city, but their firing speed and lack of tracking systems mean they do little more than mark the soldiers’ positions. Making matters worse for the twenty minute ride to the city limits is its reliance on a defenseless town car forced to stay on main roads out in the open. By the time the auto reaches the tree-lined hills, it stands out against everything else in the worst possible way, attracting the attention of a passing dart as the only quickly moving object for miles around. Plasma begins to rip at the ground on either side of the car, and John finally grabs his P90 and leans out the window to return fire. He can’t do any damage from so far away, but he manages to make the enemy craft to fall further back and out of opportune firing range. It won’t work forever, but it gets them through the hills to the crest where the puddle jumper sits hidden under a thick canopy. Practically leaping out upon arrival, Sheppard thanks the driver and dashes toward his ship to get into the fight.

    Back in the city proper, Ronon and Teyla take cover behind a column when a flurry of plasma blasts smash through the conference room’s windows and blow out the far wall. They’re quick to lead the Napieri troops with a counterattack, but by that time the culprit dart is already out of view to circle around and finish the job. Brushing shards of glass from his vest, Ronon tells the others that they need to hit the enemy while it’s still on approach or they’ll never knock it down. It’s dangerous, as several of the soldiers are quick to yell, but Teyla’s in agreement that they don’t have much of a choice. Crouching down and readying his pistol, Ronon watches as the dart curves around another skyscraper and comes straight at them, firing away and landing hits above and below their position. He jumps out of cover just as it begins to turn away and fires five blasts in quick succession, landing three right on the pilot’s canopy and punching through to the pilot within. Out of control, the fighter spirals down toward a small tower and careens into its side, exploding harmlessly into a decorative outcropping.

    The room erupts into cheers that only escalate when, a moment later, a golden missile streaks across the sky to intercept a second dart, blowing it to smithereens as it fires on a group of soldiers below. Sheppard flies the jumper right past the conference room, tipping an engine pod in salute, then makes for the remaining three Wraith ships still destroying airships as they attempt to flee the city center. Telling McKay to begin figuring out if any more Wraith forces are in the system to help with the attack, he begins launching drones to force his quarry away from the populace. He can already see culling beams flashing on and off in between shots at the dirigibles--and in the past few weeks, wherever they’ve witnessed a culling, a cruiser or hive ship wasn’t far behind. For now, Rodney admits that he can’t see anything in the immediate vicinity, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Their sensors are being blinded by intense interference just above the cloud layer, so looks like they’ll need to get into orbit for any meaningful data. That wasn’t the answer John wanted, but he decides to try pulling a two-for-one by chasing the darts over the towers and up into the atmosphere.


    (Beginning of "Nightfall," see next three posts for conclusion.)
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    Previous Episode: 11x03 "Shore Leave" | Previous Episode: 6x04 "Nightfall" | Now Airing: 3x06 "Eldest"

  4. #5824
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (More of "Nightfall," see previous post for beginning and next two posts for conclusion.)

    Spoiler:
    The room erupts into cheers that only escalate when, a moment later, a golden missile streaks across the sky to intercept a second dart, blowing it to smithereens as it fires on a group of soldiers below. Sheppard flies the jumper right past the conference room, tipping an engine pod in salute, then makes for the remaining three Wraith ships still destroying airships as they attempt to flee the city center. Telling McKay to begin figuring out if any more Wraith forces are in the system to help with the attack, he begins launching drones to force his quarry away from the populace. He can already see culling beams flashing on and off in between shots at the dirigibles--and in the past few weeks, wherever they’ve witnessed a culling, a cruiser or hive ship wasn’t far behind. For now, Rodney admits that he can’t see anything in the immediate vicinity, but that’s not necessarily a good thing. Their sensors are being blinded by intense interference just above the cloud layer, so looks like they’ll need to get into orbit for any meaningful data. That wasn’t the answer John wanted, but he decides to try pulling a two-for-one by chasing the darts over the towers and up into the atmosphere.

    One of them falls behind its wingmen and is easily picked off, but the remaining two put up a surprisingly good fight. They cut their engines and fall back whenever Sheppard fires at them, letting his shots go wide so they can blow up the drones from afar before continuing. Three more missiles are wasted before Rodney suggests shooting low and letting the drone’s guidance system do the rest of the work, a suggestion John is quick to implement. They successfully take down another fighter, but the last one manages to avoid another strike before it shoots through the clouds... and almost immediately detonates like a bomb. McKay shields his eyes from the explosion and asks what just happened, but then the jumper likewise gets above the clouds and they see for themselves. Nothing but searing light is coming down from not more than twenty kilometers above, and heat so intense that hull integrity alarms begin to blare urgently. It only takes a second for Rodney to figure out why; the heat is enough to begin melting the surrounding bulkheads.

    Grabbing at the controls, Sheppard brings them back under the clouds and switches off the alarms, gaping at the melted part of the jumper’s topside extending over the cockpit window. Deciding that they need to investigate, he flips on the shield and takes a deep breath before resurfacing above the cloud cover. The shield holds but is steadily drained by the powerful heat waves, and McKay warns that they have a time limit on how long they can remain before they’ll be defenseless with nothing to fall back on. For now, though, John just scans the horizon and wonders what kind of atmosphere they’re dealing with that could be so inhospitable. Rodney has nothing to offer him, but then notices something up ahead that looks out of the ordinary and points it out. If he didn’t know better, he’d assume that it’s a dip in the sky, and as they draw closer, that’s all it could possible be. There’s a lowered section of sky with several openings to allow access beyond, and a dumbfounded Sheppard flies the jumper through and brings it up a short shaft until they emerge into orbit. And then they look down.

    Staring uselessly, neither of the Atlantis personnel quite know how to describe what they’re seeing. The entire planet is surrounded by an artificial shell, with open sections equally spaced along the exterior that, presumably, are other entry/exit points like the one the jumper just traversed. It’s no wonder they couldn’t see any sun from the surface--it’s completely blocked out.

    Heading towards a raised section that looks like a control center, Sheppard radios Teyla back in the city, where many towers and buildings are in flames or stand mangled from the Wraith attack. She replies that they all survived the attack, though the Napieri are evacuating the city out of concern for compromised structural integrity. Ronon helps some of the soldiers clear debris from the area and asks Sheppard when they’ll be back to pick them up. The natives are eager to thank the offworlders who helped them, but they’re worried about additional Wraith coming through the stargate. Speaking more quietly, Teyla says that they’ll no doubt want them to stick around for a while, especially considering that they can’t guard their gate itself. She suggests they ask Woolsey to send a few more jumpers along with relief crews and medical supplies. There’s going to be a lot of wounded out in the city, they’re going to need help.

    But McKay doesn’t think that’s what they need to be focused on right now. Once Ronon and Teyla move out of earshot of the Napieri, he and Sheppard explain what they found in orbit. Rodney wants Atlantis to send a science team immediately so they can start poking around, but Teyla can’t believe what she’s hearing. She just told them that the natives are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, they can’t afford to sideline half their jumpers for researchers. They’ve gotten into the habit of ignoring peoples’ plights when fancy technology is at stake, and she’s tired of it. Surprised by her seriousness, McKay stammers for a few moments before Sheppard cuts in and says she’s right. Whatever this orbital shell is, it’ll be here for a while to come, but the same can’t be said for some of those people down there. Dialing up Atlantis, he tells the ground team to set everything up with Woolsey while they do some exploring higher up.

    Noting that the docking station is built for a jumper, Rodney guesses that the installation, whatever it is, is Ancient in design. John isn’t sure why they’d build the equivalent of a planetary pressure cooker, but he’s interested to figure out its purpose all the same. Linking into the control center’s computer and toggling on life support, he lowers the reach hatch and leads them inside.

    On Atlantis, Woolsey and Zelenka are in the control room listening to Teyla’s request for medical staff and supplies. Richard promises to have Dr. Jennifer Keller assemble the necessities and depart within the hour, though he has a few questions of his own. For starters, he’d like to know why the Wraith have such an interest in this planet, and why it would happen to coincide with their arrival there. Clearing his throat, Ronon explains what Rodney and Sheppard found in orbit, suggesting that as the reason for Wraith interest. Their showing up at the same time they did was probably just a coincidence; they’ve noticed more and more frequent dart raids across the galaxy since they returned, they should expect running into them more often. Unfortunately, Richard thinks he’s right. He just hopes that word doesn’t get back to Earth that the Expedition may have bitten off more than it can chew. That would be just what they don’t need in such a tense political climate.

    High above Napier, McKay and Sheppard are floating through a hallway in zero gravity, marveling at how well preserved the orbital installation is. They make their way to the control room and restore full power to the immediate area, activating artificial gravity (which brings John crashing to the ground) and other systems. Wanting to get a better view at what they’re dealing with, Sheppard raises the blast shielding on the panoramic windows, sucking in a breath at the sight of the shell stretching off around the curve of the planet. It’s quite the sight to behold, but Rodney’s more concerned with opening the local database and reading through the entries. He rattles off a string of numbers relating to the shell’s size, heat output, and other factors before pausing and re-reading a section very carefully. Looking up at Sheppard, he says that he knows what they built this thing for. According to the logs, the planet was a frozen wasteland millions of years ago, and the Ancients decided that its location made it a prime crossroads for travelers. Because it’s so far from the system’s star, the Ancient scientists decided the best solution was to heat the planet themselves. The shell’s essentially a giant heater that allowed them to terraform the planet. Without it, Napier would freeze.

    That certainly explains why they didn’t understand the word “dark”; the shell needs to be active at all times to ensure the planet remains habitable, it probably never shuts down, only goes into modes of higher and lower output. With all that blinding light coming down at all hours of the day, every day, the natives have probably never known real darkness. Thinking it over for a moment, Sheppard shivers and remarks that it’s a good thing they showed up before the Napieri discovered true flight. After seeing what happened to a dart or jumper that got too close, he doesn’t want to think about what would happen to a jet liner full of people flying up there. McKay nods absently, still looking through the data, and says that John should probably go check in with the others on the surface. He’ll be fine up here alone, but Teyla will be furious if they keep prodding without getting permission from Oman. Deciding he’s right, Sheppard tells him not to wreck anything while he’s gone, then makes his way back down the hall to the docking station.

    Coming down over the city, Sheppard radios Teyla and asks where they and the officials are. She replies that they’ve moved to a valley to the west of the settlement, upwind of the smoke still coming off the towers. John spots the long line of people and vehicles and angles down toward them, touching down at the top of a rise next to a number of tents that have been set up to temporarily house the provincial government. Stepping inside, he sees that Teyla and Ronon are helping to move typewriters and other equipment into place so the ministers can get to work, but they break off to join him once he waves in their direction. Oman makes his way over, as well, thanking the Colonel for his timely intervention in defeating the darts. He regrets that their first meeting had to be so violently interrupted, but he hopes they can resume the talks once they’ve ensured the city’s safety and gotten everyone settled again.

    Nodding, John says that he thinks that would be fine, but in the meantime he has something to ask about. Sticking to simple layman’s terms, he tries to explain the shell surrounding the planet and that it was constructed by the Ancients to make Napier habitable. They’d like to take a look at it to get a better understanding of the technology involved, a request Oman is happy to grant in light of their assistance. As he’s leaving, however, Teyla expresses concern that the governor really has no idea what Sheppard is talking about, and that perhaps it would be best to wait until the commotion has died down to investigate the installation. Ronon disagrees, pointing out that they’re advanced enough to get the basic idea and, like he told Woolsey, the shell may be the very reason the Wraith showed up in the first place. They need to know what it can do and if it poses any threat in case it falls into enemy hands. When it comes to Ancient relics, very rarely is anything just what it appears to be.
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  5. #5825
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (More of "Nightfall," see previous two posts for beginning and next post for conclusion.)

    Spoiler:
    They make it back to the control room in time for Rodney’s latest discovery, one which has him positively jumping for joy. When Ronon asks why he looks “like a Satedan guanto cat,” he explains that this planet might be just what they’re looking for. Activating a hologram of the shell, he points out the hundreds of nodes spaced out along the installation’s exterior. The Ancients built the shell millions of years ago, but it was largely a side project until the war with the Wraith, when they needed a relatively safe place to house millions of displaced human refugees. Napier became a refugee world, safe behind such thick armor, and they retrofitted it for battle by installing hundreds of defensive batteries. He still needs to check how many of them remain operational, but this place has the potential to serve the same purpose now as it did then; provide a safe haven for the people affected by the war and protect them from Wraith attack. It would certainly be more secure than just dumping everyone on some run of the mill world and leaving them exposed and defenseless.

    While he continues his research, the others fan out through the hallways. After Ronon turns down a side corridor to explore on his own, Sheppard and Teyla keep going down the main path in silence until the Colonel finally clears his throat. Apologizing again for their earlier argument, he asks if she really thinks things in Pegasus have gotten so desperate that their fight against the Wraith needs to take a back seat to humanitarian efforts. Teyla admits that there’s no easy answer, and she recognizes that they’ll just be overrun if they pour all their resources into relocation and medical assistance. That was their problem for centuries before the Expedition arrived; they spent all their time and effort on rebuilding their settlements after a culling and nothing more. They stopped fighting back in favor of trying to end short-term suffering, and obviously it solved nothing. The Wraith struck again and again, any gains they made in living conditions were erased, and the galaxy remained trapped in a cycle of death and destruction.

    She understands why Atlantis wants to explore every avenue for advanced technology they find, as they need every advantage they can get to win this war. Looking around, she admits that this installation may well hold the key to the next victory, but she can’t help but remember the burning city below. The Expedition has spent five years now accumulating Ancient relics and developing newer and more powerful weapons, but rarely have Pegasus natives felt the benefit of them. She knows it’s not her place to dictate how they should do things, but she feels that if she and Ronon are going to work with Atlantis, the city should at least take their viewpoints into consideration. Laughing, John says that inner fire is what made him want her on his team in the first place, and if anything he’s overjoyed to hear her speak her mind so readily. Turning serious, he promises that if they can, they’ll help planets in need wherever they can. They can’t always predict what impact their missions will have, but if they mess up, he’ll find a way to fix it.

    Teyla smiles at him, grateful, but her smile fades when she notices something out the nearby window. Pulling John’s arm, she asks if she’s seeing what she thinks she is, and Sheppard turns to see what she means. Outside, a faint blue-green light flashes in the distance before fading into the dark, a phenomenon that he only identifies with one thing; the opening of a hyperspace window. Radioing Ronon to fall back to the control room, he tells Teyla that they should go link back up with McKay and see how those diagnostics are going. They may end up needing those defensive batteries sooner than any of them thought.

    They make it back to the central center just as Rodney gets the results of a sensor sweep of the area. Sheppard’s guess was right, and a hyperspace window opened several thousand kilometers out. It looks like they have a hive ship and two cruisers on their doorstep, but for now don’t seem to be moving. Their arrival can’t be a coincidence, and McKay is certain they’re here to investigate why their darts didn’t return through the stargate. Hopefully the sight of a planet encased in a metal shell gave them second thoughts about launching another attack, but at any rate, their stalling will buy them some time to prepare. Knowing that they’ll need to fight sooner or later, Rodney says that about 70% of the installation’s batteries are online, giving them roughly equal coverage all the way around Napier. Most importantly, though, is that the guns surrounding all the entry/exit holes are all operational. They shouldn’t have a problem intercepting any darts that try to get through the shell and down to the planet below.

    At least, that’s how the situation would look in a perfect world. Unfortunately, they have a small problem that could make the sudden appearance of a Wraith battle group decidedly more complicated. John mutters that there’s always a plot twist, wondering what the issue is and if it can be resolved. Pulling up a chart of the installation’s key systems, McKay highlights a small flashing red bar in the bottom right corner. That bar represents the available power left in the station’s zero-point module, and that’s their problem. The ZPM’s nearly depleted after 10,000 years of keeping an entire planet warm, hovering around 1.5% capacity. Left alone, it’ll probably power the shell for another decade or two, but it won’t be long before the whole thing shuts down and plunges Napier into darkness. And a new ice age wouldn’t be far behind. If they activate the defensive array, given the amount of firepower they’d need to take down three Wraith ships and hundreds of darts... he’s almost certain they’d drain it completely.

    Tapping his radio, Sheppard tells the pilots who brought Keller’s medics in to get back to their ships and make for orbit. They have six jumpers, which should be enough to slip in and wreak havoc on the hive ship before it knows what’s happening. If they can limit the battery fire to last-ditch defense of the entry holes only, they might just be able to repel the attack and save the ZPM for a few more years. Remembering Teyla’s insistence that they stop acting so unilaterally, he also tells his men to get a radio to Oman. He’ll explain the situation himself and outline exactly what they plan to do. There’s no time to go into details about the shell, its purpose, and the ZPM, but the least they can do is warn them about any Wraith that might slip through the line of fire. Looking over to Teyla, he smiles at her nod of approval, then tells everyone to get moving. They have an invasion to stall.

    It doesn’t take long for the Wraith to make their move. Not ten minutes after arrival, the first wave of darts launch and make their way toward three of the shell’s openings. In the control room, McKay monitors the sensors and fidgets nervously, waiting while the enemy fighters draw closer and closer. After what seems like an eternity, he shouts for Sheppard to engage, watching as drones start shooting from suddenly-visible puddle jumpers. Caught in a crossfire, the darts are forced to break formation and scatter, pulling around to regroup. In the process, many of them end up right where Rodney wants them, and he fires a series of precise shots from the installation’s batteries to shred a whole squadron of darts. At the secondary control panel, Teyla warns John that the hive’s remaining darts and cruiser escorts and moving in to reinforce what’s left of the first wave.

    Sheppard spots the inbound hostiles and tells four of the jumpers to get in firing range and cause whatever chaos they can. Meanwhile he and another pilot cloak and head toward the hive, targeting its hyperdrive and power conduits. They get under the hull and open fire with a dozen drones apiece, causing multiple secondary explosions that tear through the ship’s back half. Confident that it’s out of the fight, they head for the cruisers and help the other pilots disable the first, then the second, then begin mopping up what’s left of the darts. Rodney and Teyla provide covering fire and intercept any fighters trying to make it past the shell, but all in all it’s not needed. One couldn’t ask for clearer cut a victory, leaving even Sheppard surprised at how easily they repelled the attack. He’s about to tell everyone to head for the surface when McKay notes that the heavily damaged hive ship isn’t as dead as they thought. And what’s worse, it’s heading straight for the planet.

    Eyes wide, Sheppard realizes that there’s only one thing the Wraith could be doing; they’re going to ram the installation! He and the jumpers break position and streak off toward the hive, but it’s clear they won’t be in firing range long enough to blow the ship apart. Gritting his teeth, he tells Rodney to fire the full defensive array at full power, it’s the only chance they have of stopping a collision. Shocked, Teyla says that they’ll risk draining the ZPM completely, but John shoots back that the alternative isn’t any better for the Napieri. At least with this option there’s a chance to save the shell and the people below. When McKay hesitates to activate the battery, Sheppard snaps at him to do it, and he reluctantly brings the remaining guns online and opens fire on the hive ship.

    Dozens of batteries begin tearing whole chunks out of the Wraith vessel, but it looks like too little, too late. A large section slams headlong into the shell, cracking the exterior and smashing through. The jumpers, having dived in to try and cut off the approach, are knocked in all directions as organic matter and metal go flying in every direction. On the other side, the heating system flickers out for kilometers around, leaving a massive gap in the installation’s coverage while wreckage from the hive crashes to the surface in a brilliant fireball. Running to the monitor, Teyla breathes easier upon seeing that the region is uninhabited, but Rodney’s main focus is the shell. Knowing he’s not going to like the answer but hoping for the best, he asks mumbles that they need to know how bad the damage is. There’s a long silence while the scan commences, during which Ronon asks why the jumpers floating in orbit aren’t moving. No one responds to attempted hails, and the trio exchange looks worriedly.

    Some time later, Sheppard comes to, having bashed his head when the hive’s explosion sent his jumper into an uncontrolled spin. Checking in with Rodney, he ignores the scientist’s concern and asks what happened. The results of their earlier scan aren’t good; they managed to keep power usage low, even with that last-ditch assault on the hive, but the crash severed several key power conduits to their side of the installation. There’s hardly any power getting from the ZPM in the control center to the entire western hemisphere, but so far the system remains online. But it’s not at all stable, flickering in and out wildly and darkening skies momentarily before coming back to life. They need to get to the surface and find out what’s going on. John agrees, angling for the control center and telling his team to head to the airlock. He sends out a text message for the other pilots when they come to, ordering them to form up and watch for any other Wraith activity in the meantime.
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  6. #5826
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    (Conclusion of "Nightfall," see previous three posts for beginning.)

    Spoiler:
    After picking up the others, Jumper One heads through the atmosphere toward the Napieri city they visited earlier, Teyla optimistic at the limited damage. Now that they’re below the clouds, they can see the alternating light with flashes of darkness, and Rodney notes with concern that global temperatures are down two degrees already. They come in for a landing in the valley where the refugees are set up, but before they even touch down they see signs of chaos. Fires have again sprung up in the city, this time no doubt from panic. Watching their scanners, McKay says similar heat signatures are detectable from every major settlement on the continent. They land and disembark cautiously, noting that the refugee camp is full of disorder and confusion. Brushing through Keller’s medical team, Oman is the first to approach, demanding to know what’s going on and what they’ve done.

    Taken aback, Teyla promises that they did nothing, that a Wraith fleet arrived to investigate the disappearance of their darts and attacked. They used the planet’s defenses to destroy it, but a hive ship crashed through, cutting power to the heating and lighting system that keeps Napier habitable. This is all far beyond the governor’s understanding, of course, and his earlier hospitality has been replaced with cold mistrust. He doesn’t buy their explanation, remembering how excited Rodney was to have discovered this “shell” and the explanations of what it could do. His national government believers they wanted its technology for themselves, so perhaps they created this turmoil steal it. More strongly this time, Teyla tries to insist that’s not the case, but then things go from bad to worse. With only a cursory warning over the radio from the jumpers in orbit, the portion of the installation directly overhead fails completely, plunging the entire province into blackest night. Not having needed large scale outdoor lighting, there’s nothing to illuminate the surface but the raging fires from the city, which seem to spring up everywhere at once in the absolute chaos of unprecedented darkness.

    On Atlantis, the stargate activates and Sheppard’s jumper comes flying through, the team inside already telling Woolsey that they need to meet ASAP. Once they’re in the conference room, Richard listens while John and Rodney explain the situation and how Napier is on the verge of societal collapse. The readings they got off the shell suggest its ZPM is under 1% total power, and the strain of trying to operate the whole system with such critical damage is pushing it toward drainage inside of a day. If they can’t find a replacement soon, the planet’s civilization may well collapse into endless anarchic war. They literally don’t have the infrastructure to survive in sudden permanent darkness, and while some of the planet is still lit and heated, it will only be a matter of time before a black winter sets in everywhere. It will only get worse from there.

    Rubbing his temples, Woolsey asks what they want him to do. Naquadah generators won’t be enough for this job, and even if they could put a dent in the power problem, they wouldn’t have enough juice to last very long. Speaking up from the back, Teyla says that the answer is obvious, really, and they’re just dancing around it; the Napieri need one of their ZPMs. They have three here on Atlantis (“Enemy at the Gate”), more than enough to power the shield, activate the stardrive, and almost anything else they could want to do. It’s a valuable thing to give up, she realizes that, but surely just one wouldn’t be too much of a loss. Immediately a new round of arguing erupts, but Richard manages to quiet everyone to say that even if they handed over a module, the IOA and United Nations would be in an uproar over the loss of such a valuable power source. They don’t like the Expedition’s attitude and actions as it is, this would be the last bit of evidence they’d need to begin chaining them with new regulations and oversight. He’s not sure they as a mission can afford it.

    That night, John’s in the control room listening to reports from Napier. McKay and Zelenka took a team back to the shell to try and boost its survival time, but they’re not making much progress. Rodney reluctantly admits that whole sections of the heating system are failing by the hour, and light coverage is shrinking to an area barely the size of the United States. If they can’t find a new power source... he honestly doesn’t want to consider the result. From what they can observe in orbit, whole cities are burning and thousands are dying in looting and mass hysteria. It’s the end of the world down on the surface, with all the fire and brimstone one would imagine. Swallowing hard, Sheppard tells them to keep at it until the very end, but not to linger once the ZPM’s dead. The last thing they need is the installation collapsing further or them dying from lack of air support. Shutting down the stargate, he turns to leave, sees Teyla watching from the stairwell and heads over.

    Her voice quiet, she asks how bad it is. When John’s only response is silence, she covers her mouth and looks away for a moment before asking if Woolsey has reached a decision. He’s apparently waiting to decide until morning, though Sheppard plans to visit him before the final call to weigh in himself. Teyla starts to say something in reply, but he cuts her off. He already knows what she wants him to do, the kind of thing they would have done without thought five years ago. The kind of thing that prioritizes the millions over the hundreds on Atlantis, the kind of thing that made them such legendary heroes in those early years against the Wraith. Truthfully, he wasn’t sure what the right call was until five minutes previous, but the look in Rodney’s eyes was enough. They may not have been to blame, but it’ll be blood on their hands if they have the means to restore order to Napier and walk away. Come morning, he’ll tell Woolsey to hand over the third ZPM. It only has 15% charge anyway, he jokes, though Teyla knows how much they could all come to regret this should the Wraith come calling. Taking his hands in his, she touches his forehead in the traditional Athosian prayer, whispering her thanks as the sun slowly rises.

    The next day, Oman and what’s left of his provincial government meet a jumper landing on the edge of the refugee camp. When Sheppard emerges, he holds up a hand to ask for their silence, explaining in as simple terms as he can what they’re about to do. They’ll need to get word to the rest of the planet about the system they’ve managed, but Atlantis is going to try and restore light to their planet. The shell’s power conduits are too damaged to bring coverage back to what it was, and truthfully only a little under 3/4 of the surface will be lit at any time. There will be day and there will be night, but Sheppard promises that as the planet rotates, the light will come again. Even when it fades at night and the air grows chilly, it will only be temporary. It’s the best they can do, but it should last the Napieri for centuries to come, and hopefully by then they will have managed to repair the installation enough for it to function as intended.

    Stepping up beside John, Teyla looks out at the burning city and says that they wanted their visit to be one of happiness and prosperity. It’s truly a shame that because of the Wraith it came to this, but they were defeated and will think hard about coming to this world again. In the meantime, they’ve programmed the shell’s defenses to fire automatically on incoming Wraith vessels, and Atlantis will provide them with a device to contact them should the need arise. Oman remains skeptical, unsure whether to trust a people whose arrival brought such terror and destruction, but Sheppard is confident they can find a better future together. Clicking his radio, he tells McKay to go ahead.

    Up in orbit, Ronon hands over the city’s third ZPM and Rodney holds it longingly before sighing and opening up the module interface. Extracting the dead battery, he plugs in the new one and watches as the capacitors begin to fill. Ronon claps him on the shoulder, saying that they’ll find another one somewhere, and Rodney manages a smile at the attempt to raise his spirits. When the installation’s charge reaches full power, he says goodbye to one of their ZPMs and brings the heating system online. Even at only 75% coverage, it’s more of a miracle than anyone on the surface could have expected. And watching Napier’s first ever “sunrise” with a stunned Oman and his people, John and Teyla smile at one another proudly. Nightfall may come again, but for now a new day is dawning.
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  7. #5827
    Lieutenant Colonel Lt. Col. Mcoy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Very nice.

    Good work!

  8. #5828
    Lieutenant General thekillman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    nice.

    very nice. was sceptical about some aspects of it tho

  9. #5829
    Second Lieutenant SG-18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    I like the concept of the episode. I like the shell idea a lot, I just wouldn't have ever seen the Ancients wasting anytime building it, regardless of it being a side project. Just seemed kinda useless to have created honestly.

    It was a good ep just not one of my favs.

    Also, the loss of the ZPM kinda stings a bit. that'll def come back to bite them. I know the humanitarian side is important and all, but that kinda thing can get the expedition spread thing really fast.
    Check out my music on Youtube and iCompositions.com

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  10. #5830
    Probie
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    I just read all of the SGU continuations and had to register to tell you how much I loved them. Thank you so much! I was so bummed when it was cancelled, it has been so much fun to read how everyone in SGU is doing. I can't wait for the new episodes.

  11. #5831
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    I'm on vacation in NYC until the end of this week by the way, didn't mean to be quiet again. Happy New Year to everyone!
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  12. #5832
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Quote Originally Posted by SG-18 View Post
    I like the concept of the episode. I like the shell idea a lot, I just wouldn't have ever seen the Ancients wasting anytime building it, regardless of it being a side project. Just seemed kinda useless to have created honestly.

    It was a good ep just not one of my favs.

    Also, the loss of the ZPM kinda stings a bit. that'll def come back to bite them. I know the humanitarian side is important and all, but that kinda thing can get the expedition spread thing really fast.
    Agreed, terraforming a planet would be only needed if they didn't have the Stargate. Since they have their own power and can connect across the galaxy would you go to the hassle the do it when you can gate to any other nearby planet easily? Even, so i liked the episode, well writen it was.
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  13. #5833
    Second Lieutenant SG-18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Indeed! Happy new year! Lets make it a great one for continuing stargate!
    Check out my music on Youtube and iCompositions.com

    http://www.youtube.com/user/phildebrand2http://www.icompositions.com/artists/olympus/


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  14. #5834
    Lieutenant General thekillman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Agreed, terraforming a planet would be only needed if they didn't have the Stargate. Since they have their own power and can connect across the galaxy would you go to the hassle the do it when you can gate to any other nearby planet easily? Even, so i liked the episode, well writen it was.
    the ancients terraformed MANY worlds. remember that worlds are so earth-like because the Ancients made it so.




    the planet with the shell could work, and could cool that fast, if it was an extremely carbon-rich planet. earth is very carbon poor compared to how rich it could have been. a carbon-rich planet would have a LOT of diamond, and consequently the heat transfer would be so good, the planet's core barely heats the surface. regardless of how far the sun is, it would be a damn cold world.

  15. #5835
    Captain Steelbox's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Quote Originally Posted by thekillman View Post
    the ancients terraformed MANY worlds. remember that worlds are so earth-like because the Ancients made it so.
    OW yeah throu the Dakara super weapon now i remember.

    Quote Originally Posted by thekillman View Post
    The planet with the shell could work, and could cool that fast, if it was an extremely carbon-rich planet. earth is very carbon poor compared to how rich it could have been. a carbon-rich planet would have a LOT of diamond, and consequently the heat transfer would be so good, the planet's core barely heats the surface. regardless of how far the sun is, it would be a damn cold world.
    Wouldn't the heat transfer works both ways? The heat of the core would reach the surface faster and would be released faster, as long as the core was molten and hot wouldn't the surface be also hot?
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  16. #5836
    Lieutenant General thekillman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Wouldn't the heat transfer works both ways? The heat of the core would reach the surface faster and would be released faster, as long as the core was molten and hot wouldn't the surface be also hot?
    no.

  17. #5837
    Lieutenant Colonel SGFerrit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Just read the first 4 episodes of your SGU continuation. Awesome. Keep it up. I'm going to imagine it's canon

  18. #5838
    Second Lieutenant SG-18's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    Since life has come back to this thread, I'd just like to promote my own thread once again:

    http://forum.gateworld.net/threads/8...r-Presentation

    If you ahve 20 mins here or there, or a full 2 hour block and you want to hear some sci fi radio drama, please take a listen. start with the prologue to understand if its what you'd like to enjoy for a bit. I pretty much did everything for it. I'd like some comments on it, especially from sci fi fans.

    maybe this concept could be used for stargate stories as well?

    Thanks!
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  19. #5839
    Colonel s09119's Avatar
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    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    In all likelihood I'll go back and tinker with that last one a bit, unfortunately I'm getting more and more detailed with things to the point where my attempts to keep episodes short is getting in the way again. I get halfway through my self-determined character count but I realize I'm only 1/4 through the episode's story. *sigh*
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  20. #5840

    Default Re: Continuing Stargate

    I thought that was awesome work! good job and please keep it up

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