In the middle of outer space, three ha'tak face each other; two on one side, one on the other. The duo of ships are blasting apart the lone one, chewing through its shields in no time. As it begins to explode, the scene is viewed from a different angle... the bridge of the lead winning ship. And there, Garrin ("Collision") can clearly be seen commanding the battle.
A few moments of chatter on the pel'tak make clear what just happened; these are two of Garrin's ships, and just destroyed a Free Jaffa vessel that had come to investigate their presence here. Apparently, they had to strike quickly before the enemy could get a signal back to Chulak, as there is something here of value.
Suddenly, the display screen lights up with the face of a Jaffa. This is the commander of the second victorious ship, and he wants to contact the Lucian Alliance about "it". He believes that "it" could be their ticket into returning to glory in the organization, and with all of Garrin's recent actions against Earth, he has little doubt that they will be welcomed back as heroes. But Garrin disagrees, and says that including them would ruin his plan. For now, the Lucian Alliance must stay out of this.
The other commander now grows angry, demanding that something be done. He claims to be tired of sneaking around the galaxy like this, and thinks that going back will make them more powerful than ever, more powerful than even Earth and its allies. Garrin sighs, asking that he lower his shields so he can ring aboard to discuss the situation in person. The commander complies, and cuts the comm. channel. As soon as he is sure the shields are down, Garrin coldly orders his men to destroy the other ha'tak, and within seconds a barrage of plasma fire have obliterated the other ship.
Now Garrin turns to the window, and as the camera rotates, the object of his desire is revealed... a Furling warship
(recognized from Daniel's vision in "Requiem, Part 2").
Meanwhile, at the ISGC, a Tok'ra representative is arriving through the stargate. Daniel Jackson and Vala greet the man at the foot of the ramp, welcoming him to Earth. The diplomat explains that Anise (now on the High Council) would have come, but she is pre-occupied with setting up a new outpost near the galactic core. After the pleasantries have been exchanged, Daniel motions for the Tok'ra to follow him to the briefing room to meet with the others.
Once they arrive, the dignitary explains why the Tok'ra contacted Earth; one of the Lucian Alliance motherships they were tracking was mysteriously destroyed several hours ago, in the vicinity of a Free Jaffa ha'tak that has also been reported missing. He goes on to add that this is extremely odd, as the place where the two were located is merely empty space, far from any planet or fleet. Both the Jaffa and the Tok'ra would like it checked out, and the Nox have voiced interest, as well. However, the other Alliance factions are busy defending their various worlds, and only Earth has the luxury of a constantly-available ship.
Mitchell says they'd like to help, but the Aurora
has been regelated to guard duty for the time being, in light of the attack against Nueva ("Manifest Destiny"). The UN won't want to let it go without a fight. But luckily, Carter brings up a possible solution... several former IOA nations began constructing starcraft around the time the Program went public, and a total of seven new ships will be done soon. But one has already been completed; the Chinese have constructed a BC-303, hence its earlier finish. And since all nation's starships fall under the jurisdiction of the UN, and by extension the ISGC, they can appropriate it for this mission. The Chinese won't be happy, but they'll have to agree.
Landry aproves the mission, but tells the team to check in every few hours. Then the five SG-1 members split up to get their things ready for the trip, promising to meet back in the gate room in an hour. While Daniel and Mitchell are packing, they disucss the possible ramifications taking the Chinese's new ship could have, but Jackson agrees in the end that it's necessary. And so they meet the others in the gate room, and are quickly beamed aboard the BC-303 Ming Yun
(roughly meaning "Destiny"). The vessel's commander, Col. Choi Liu grudgingly welcomes them, but warns them that, regardless of the UN's actions, this is first-and-foremost a Chinese ship.
Daniel tries to convince the commander that they're only doing this because the Aurora
is needed for planetary defense, but he doesn't seem to care. Liu merely orders the ship into hyperspace, and they depart. While they wait to arrive (this ship, like the Aurora
, has all the latest Asgard technology, so it is quite fast), the team tries to make nice with the Chinese crew, but many of them refuse to talk to them, and those that don't obviously aren't very skilled at English. Daniel tries translating for them, but eventually they just give up and resign themselves to the wait.
After an hour or two of solid travel, the ship drops out of hyperspace in the middle of a cloud of wreckage; the two ha'tak destroyed earlier. The team, arriving on the bridge, is treated to a display of the prowess of the Chinese pilot, who skillfully avoids the massive chunks of metal flying toward them even spinning the 303 like a stuntplane to dodge one of them. Carter asks that a scan of the area be run to determine what happened, but her voice trails off as they clear the wreckage and drift into the open... revealing the Furling warship.
The entire team is awed by the site, as are the Chinese. Daniel recognizes it at once, and tells the others the significance of this find; if this ship is intact, it could hold technology on par with that of the Asgard and Ancients, making it extraordinarily valuable. He recommends beaming on and trying to get it online, but Col. Liu is cautions, not wanting America to take yet another
piece of high technology for themselves. But after a brief bout of arguing, he agrees to let the team go, but only
if they take a Chinese team with them. Mitchell agrees, and they are beamed aboard.
Daniel, going by ascended memory, guides the team to the bridge, where Carter hacks through the door and begins trying to interface with the ship's systems. She asks the Chinese to head to the reactor two levels down and try to get it working so they have more than emergency power to work with; amazingly, the backup generators are still working.
While the scientists are busy, Mitchell and Teal'c take a stroll down the ship's corridors, with Teal'c noting the remarkable similarity of the consoles here to what SG-1 found in previous Furling technology ("Paradise Lost"), indicating that this ship and others like it were built around the same time as the paradise planet. Then they pass a room that looks amazingly familiar, and Mitchell comms Carter to hold up; a device like the Alliance History archive on Helopolis is here.
Daniel soon arrives and powers it up, but is stumped by the Furling language he encounters... since there have only been a few examples of their writing found by Earth, he hasn't had a chance to figure it out yet. However, he does manage to decipher some of it, making it out as some sort of final log. Mitchell and Teal'c leave him to his work, heading back to the bridge to check on Carter's progress. As they arrive outside it, they hear a loud creak reverberate through the vessel, but Sam explains it away as just old age.
(Daniel discovers that this ship was actually on its way to Heliopolis during this time)
Suddenly, the lights come on, and the computer consoles power up; the Chinese got the reactor online. They radio in their success, then say they want to go check out the hyperdrive to make sure it's working. Carter agrees, and gets back to work on her interface, which she says is almost
ready to go (she had practice during the "Paradise Lost" incident).
Meanwhile, Daniel has been busily reading into this ship's history. It was constructed during the waning years of the Furling's "civil war", during which they and the Alliance desperately tried to destroy the rogue AI they had created. This ship was built to carry the leaders of the Furling race away from their final outpost to Heliopolis, where they would be safe from harm. But something (Daniel isn't sure what) went wrong during the trip, and the ship was evacuated. Perplexed, Daniel dives deeper into the records, hoping to unearth more information.
Finally, she gets it, and immediately hooks into the ship's primary systems, bringing shields and sensors back up. And this creates a problem; the internal sensors are detecting fourteen extra life signs, all moving quite rapidly toward the bridge (Carter says they hadn't been picked up earlier because this ship's hull is interfering with the Ming Yun
's sensors). She, Mitchell, and Teal'c grab their weapons, then radio for Daniel and Vala to prepare for trouble. Vala, who had been wandering around the hallways (no doubt looking for valuables), pulls out her zat and runs toward where Daniel is still working with the log.
On the bridge, Carter seals the doorway and hurriedly works on getting the weapons online; if someone else is aboard investigating the ship, then it stands to reason that whatever brought them here will be returning soon enough. She starts to radio Col. Liu to beam a contingent of soldiers over to help, but the channel is suddenly filled with static... meaning that the other people onboard must be jamming them.
After a moment or two, feet can be heard approaching, and a second later the sound of a control panel being ripped open are heard. Carter realizes that someone must be trying to slice through the door like she did, and frantically tries to boost the locking mechanisms... but it's not good. Only a few minutes stand between them and whoever is out there.
Daniel and Vala, having met up outside the log room, are already on their way toward the bridge, but stop when the voice of someone not
on their team comes over the radio; Garrin. He's standing outside the bridge, watching as his men start to get the door to unlock, and cheerfully greets SG-1, informing them that they won't be getting away this time.
Outside, as if to complete the awful situation, three ha'tak drop out of hyperspace, surrounding the Ming Yun
. They're trapped.
((To Be Continued))