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Author's Chapter Notes: Mission Earth hits a snag.


Mission: Earth

Chapter 8

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“Chuck, I don’t see any way to get past the force field, so unless you can pull a rabbit out of your sleeve our mission is a bust,” Sheila stated.

“It’s pull a rabbit out of a hat, not a sleeve; you were close but no cigar. But don’t worry, I’m sure something will come up,” Chuck calmly replied.

“But we had planned to have our mission completed in six months yet here we are rapidly approaching the seventh month and with the force field in place it looks as if our mission will be a bust. Maybe it is time to contact Elizabeth and let her know,” Sheila stated.

“Don’t worry, something will come up but you are right I think it is time to contact Elizabeth,” he replied with a smile.

Chuck went to a remote location and made his call and when Elizabeth appeared on the screen he could hear the sound of someone gagging in the background and a smile on Elizabeth’s face. He asked what was wrong and Elizabeth explained that Boran ate some leaves of a local plant not knowing that the leaves needed to be boiled first before eating. She stated that it is a game that Nefreyu has been playing on all of them. Chuck smiled and said that he needed to let her know that they are still running slightly behind schedule but he was confident that very soon they would be ready. Elizabeth said she appreciated the update and asked to be kept apprise of the situation if there are any changes.

After Chuck ended the transmission Sheila came into the room and asked why he didn’t tell her the truth and how they were not even close to being on schedule. Chuck just smiled and told her not to worry that he has a plan.

*******

Half way across the nation a man was racing to his lab after hearing the alarm go off; he knew that he had to get there before the transmission ended. When he got there the transmitted message was already over and he slammed a clipboard down on the table, he had been so close, so very close but once again he missed it. Just then his laptop started beeping and the screen was flashing. A picture of Earth appeared on the screen then it focused on a location in the United States leaving a pulsing pin on the map. He looked at the location then ran the tracer program again and it came back to the same location.

He knew that this wasn’t right and he should notify someone but he wasn’t sure who he could call in to help him investigate this information. If he notified his associates one of them would tell command what he has been doing and then he would be investigated and asked why he was even doing this and why he didn’t report the incident earlier. Nope he couldn’t go to anyone and then he remembered that there was someone in that area and maybe he could help him with the transmission. He returned to his computer and opened a program which he wasn’t suppose to have access to and made a few changes then signed out, straightened up his lab and went home with the computer and a few extra items.

One phone call and three hours later he was on a commercial flight to see an old friend and together they would figure out exactly where this signal was coming from and who was behind the signal. He sat there drumming his fingers as he waited for the plane to take off and didn’t relax until the plane touched down at the final destination. He walked down the terminal to the baggage pickup where he spotted his ride.

“So good to see you Carson,” he replied.

“It’s good to see you too Radek. So what brings you here…” Carson was saying when Radek interrupted.

“Not here. Come we need to go some place where we can talk,” Radek stated.

The two men walked quickly out of the airport and went over to Carson’s vehicle which Radek recognized to be a government issued vehicle. Radek then touched Carson on the arm and shook his head no and held his finger up to his lips to signal Carson not to talk. The two walked back towards the airport and stood at the shuttle stop for a hotel bus and hopped on the first one to arrive. Radek then pulled out a small notepad and proceeded to scribble a note on it and passed it onto Carson.

‘I will explain it shortly. They are listening.’

The two remained silent the rest of the trip to the hotel then Radek checked in and did a sweep of his room, once it was clear he called Carson to come up and met him at the door and waved the sensor over Carson to make sure he wasn’t bugged. Radek then spoke softly as he told Carson that he has reason to believe that someone is communicating with others not on Earth and that the signal is not the one used by the SGC or any known Earth communication signals. Carson asked where the signal originated and where did it go which made Radek grimace. With a sad look on his face, Radek told Carson the signal is originating from somewhere on his base there is a traitor on the base. Carson immediately sat upright and asked Radek if he was sure and if he had any proof because the military would require proof.

“Well that is part of reason why I came out here. I have only been able to isolate the general area where the signal is coming from and I can not tell who is sending the message. I have been able to determine that one of the signals is being sent out to a known planet here in the Milky Way system but the other is going,” Radek paused and looked around before speaking again. “The other signal was strong, very strong, but that isn’t what alarmed me. The signal is being sent somewhere in the Pegasus Galaxy.”

The color drained out of Carson’s face. If the signal was going out to the Pegasus Galaxy then that meant there was a Wraith here, possibly in disguise. The more he thought about it the more he doubted that because he did not have any dry husks of bodies for him to examine or maybe the dead bodies are well hidden on the base. Carson asked Radek if he was sure about the destination and Radek said that he was sure but he has not been able to break the encryption code that the sender is using. Carson asked why he would suspect them of bugging him or listening in on them. Radek stated that he would rather not risk their safety especially with what he found out.

Radek then pulled out his suitcase and started going over all of his information that he had brought with him but as the evening was getting on he told Carson that he should return to base before they became too curious about why he was gone so long from the base. Radek stressed to Carson to act natural because they do not know who or what they were dealing with and unless he has a Wraith stun gun it would be best if he didn’t do anything to attract attention to himself. Carson then asked Radek if he would be missed at his job. Radek said he went into the computer and arranged for him to be reassigned to this base but he is not suppose to report for work until tomorrow then told Carson that he needed to go and he would see him tomorrow.

As Carson was driving back to the base he thought about everything Radek had told him and then he started to wonder who was a traitor or where a Wraith could be hiding on base. As he walked around on the base he tried not to look at everyone and wonder if they were a spy or were they merely in disguise. That night he had a hard time getting to sleep and ended up getting up and going into the lab to do some medical checks on himself to make sure he didn’t have any kind of tracking device. He was a little bit shocked when he saw Sheila with one of the engineers, whose name he couldn’t remember, as they were having a private discussion. They quickly left when Carson started pulling out things and making noise which he did on purpose to encourage the couple to leave. Once they were gone he could get down to the business of testing himself.

The next morning Radek walked into the infirmary and gave Carson a hug and greeted him as if he hadn’t seen Carson in months, then he softly spoke reminding Carson about the camera in his infirmary. Radek said he was starving and was wondering if they could go get something to eat. In the dining hall Radek explained that he has already set up his laptop and is running the program so once the signal is sent the program would pinpoint the location from where the transmission was originating or at least within twenty feet so they could find this person. Radek then pulled out his cell phone and said he even created an app on his phone so it would signal him so he would know where to search without having to return to the lab. As they spoke someone was able to overhear everything that was said and once the two doctors left the cafeteria the listener left the room to report what had occurred between the two doctors.

Later in the evening Carson dropped by Radek’s office and suggested that they get some dinner and both headed to the cafeteria. As they walked to the cafeteria Carson asked Radek if he knew when they needed to be ready and Radek told Carson if the person followed their pattern it would probably be another three days. Carson asked why three days and Radek explained that it seemed as if every four days he has been intercepting a message. Radek smiled as he continued to eat and said for now they can just relax and wait.

Later that evening Carson had turned down the hallway to his quarters when he heard running footsteps coming from behind him; he turned and saw Radek with his phone out and motioning for Carson to follow him. They ran off in another direction towards Radek’s room where Radek stepped inside and grabbed a box, removed some type of gun then ran down the hall and told Carson to follow him. They went down two floors and quietly walked down the hallway until they reached a room where there was a light shinning under the door. Radek put his phone back in his pocket and whispered to Carson that he should stay outside the door just in case things go bad and if that happened then he should run and get the guards. Radek started to burst through the door twice but stopped each time because his nerves failed him but on the third time he went through the door with his gun extended just like in the movies. He saw two people in the room and yelled at them to put their hands up.

“You are dead,” Radek blurted out.

At hearing this Carson stuck his head inside the door.

“Sheila,” Carson stated. “No please tell me you are not the spy,” he pleaded.

“No Carson, I’m not a spy,” Sheila stated.

“Then what are you doing and why are you doing this, but even more importantly who are you,” Carson said to the man standing next to Sheila.

“I’m Charles,” the man replied.

“No…you changed. You did not look like that a moment ago. Who are you or should I ask what are you,” Radek exclaimed as his hand with the gun shook. “Change, change back to what I saw when I came in, go ahead do it now. Show Carson who you really are, you, you…Replicator.”

“Radek that’s Sheila’s boyfriend one of the engineers here,” Carson said in a voice to try and calm Radek down.

“No, that is not the face that I saw when I stepped in here. Change back now or I will shoot you,” Radek said.

“Just who or what did you see Radek,” Carson asked.

“He saw me,” Charles said.

As he said that he turned to look at Carson and his face changed from Charles, Sheila’s engineer boyfriend to Chuck Johnson, former Atlantis expedition member.

“You’re dead,” Carson said. “You’re a Replicator!”

“No, not a Replicator, I’m really Chuck, I just have something in me that helps me to change my appearance,” Chuck calmly stated.

“The only thing that can change their appearance are Replicators. So are you some rogue Asuran or one of the Replicators from the Milky Way Galaxy,” Carson asked.

“Would you believe that I’m neither,” he stated.

“So what are you,” Radek said with a very shaky hand.

Sheila was watching Radek carefully and she noticed how he was sweating and that he seemed to be getting more anxious by the minute. Then she noticed his finger beginning to pull on the trigger and very quickly she moved, grabbing the gun out of Radek’s hand without him firing the gun. Yet instead of turning it on the men that had discovered them, Sheila merely tossed the gun off to the side and started to speak.

“Let me see if I can clear this up. I was once a machine only doing what I was programmed to do but that changed and a few of us separated ourselves from Oberoth and the collective. We then followed another person who showed us a different way and that way led to us becoming human. However, we still needed a little bit of help so we kept nanites in our system for health purposes. When I am cut I bleed just like you only I heal a little bit faster thanks to the nanites in my system,” Sheila said.

Chuck and Sheila looked back and forth at Carson and Radek wondering if they were going to accept them or if their cover had been completely blown. Radek was the first to speak, asking Chuck if the nanites were what allowed him to change his appearance and did it hurt when he did that. Chuck chuckled and said the nanites allowed him to change his appearance and no it did not hurt but said if he would have been shot it would have hurt and he would have bled.

Carson asked if he was really Chuck because according to the SGC, he is dead and his family had been notified. Chuck took a deep breath and let it out slowly, stating that the SGC files were wrong, he never died because the nanites can only heal, not bring people back from the dead. He said that he was abandoned by one of the airmen assigned to guard him while on the planet when they came under attack.

“No, stop. I don’t want to hear about this, it was bad enough the first time. I’ll be waiting for all of you in the dining room when you have finished,” Sheila said as she walked out of the room with tears in her eyes.

“She was there when they found my dying body and she hates being reminded of the cruelty of mankind,” Chuck said with sadness in his voice.

“What happened,” Carson asked.

It took a moment for Chuck to compose himself after he watched Sheila leave the room then he looked at his former friends and said he would give them the Reader’s Digest version but the expression of confusion on their faces made him remember that he was using American colloquialism on men raised in Czech Republic and in Scotland so he changed his references. He said it is an abbreviated version because the whole story is best told when they have more time.

Chuck began by telling them he was called to go out with an SG team at the last minute so he could translate some ruins they found. He said he was working on translating the Ancient text on the wall when an explosion nearby collapsed the wall right on his leg. He said when the dust settled he saw his guard running away so he called out for help. Chuck said the guard only stopped for a moment and then he heard the Lucian Alliance soldiers approaching, his guard turned and ran away.

After taking another deep breath Chuck said that the Alliance soldiers were on him moments later and they proceeded to torture him and only later did they ask him questions. Once their captain learned that he didn’t have any information, not even the Iris code, the captain ordered his men to kill the prisoner. Chuck said the men laughed as they started stabbing him and firing their guns into his body. The landing party’s leader took out a knife and the next thing Chuck knew he felt something piercing his chest and that was when his vision started to fade to black. He said he then heard a lot of commotion going on around him but he didn’t care because he knew he would soon be dead but that was when he heard her calling his name. Chuck said he opened his eyes and there she was; his angel who had come from above to save him. Chuck took a deep breath and let it out stating once he was healed he joined her group and now here they are here on Earth.

Carson asked Chuck if it was Lt. Gloserman who fled the location and Chuck said yes. Carson said it turns out that Lt. Gloserman had a guilty conscious and it got the best of him, he suffered a nervous breakdown and was removed from active duty. Chuck sighed and said he knows he went to see Gloserman months after he was declared dead to tell him that he was okay but Gloserman just kept on saying that he was dead and it apparently drove him over the edge. He said he felt bad but he couldn’t think of anything to relieve the man from his guilt shy of reappearing at the SGC.

Radek asked why he didn’t show up at the SGC; they would have believed he was alive, after all Dr. Jackson has died several times. Chuck said he couldn’t do that, not with the nanites in his system because if he would have shown up then he would have been nothing more than an experiment for them to run tests on and he would never be allowed out in the free world. Radek said they would not do that only to have Carson interrupt him by reminding Radek that he is on a short leash and he can not go or do anything he wants because they declared him dead.

Chuck asked the two what they planned on doing with this information and Radek said it all depends on why and what they are doing. Chuck said he was thirsty and told them to join him with Sheila in the dining room and he would tell them what is really going on, so the trio left the secluded room.

Sheila smiled when she saw Chuck walk through the doors with Carson and Radek following him although they both still looked a little bit apprehensive. She asked if they were with them and both Carson and Radek asked her what she was talking about. Chuck then said that the only reason that he is here on Earth is to uncover proof of ‘The Others'. Radek asked who are ‘The Others’ and Sheila explained they were another race who lived long before the Alterans were around. Seeing the confused look on Carson’s and Radek’s face she corrected herself and said, The Ancients, and said that they have only found a small limited amount of information on The Others. She said that most of the information they have comes from abandoned Alteran, then corrected herself and said Ancient, outposts or sites they visited but the information on the Others is very limited.

Sheila stated that they came about this information quite by accident as they were searching through abandoned Asuran posts and that led them to seek out abandoned Alteran outposts. She stated that there was one reference to them as Guardians or at least that is what she was guessing it said because the Wraith had been inhabiting the planet where they found this information.

Chuck said there has been a lot of fighting between the Wraith Queens and they have a new enemy who were able to chase the Wraith off that planet but not before the Wraith wiped out all of the script and data left behind by The Ancients. He said for now they have been searching for more evidence of the Guardians and they believe that they have found proof here at this base but they have come across a type of road block. Carson asked what type of road block and Chuck smiled and said it was something up both of their alleys. Radek and Carson asked where was this alley and Chuck smiled, stating he was just using an American slang and their group could use both of their help on their mission.

“Group,” Carson said in surprise.

“Mission,” Radek exclaimed.

Two hours later Carson and Radek had gotten over the shock of seeing their good friend alive with nanites flowing through his system and they then were asked if they wanted to join the group. Carson asked what they call their group and Chuck smiled and said they call themselves, Protectors. He asked why do they use that title and he said that thanks to their leader, they have stepped in to stop skirmishes between other worlds and try to protect life but it is hard to do when there are still Wraith wandering around the galaxy. He said they even help protect the Wraith from each other when conflicts arise.

Carson smiled and said it sounds like a nice group but he still has his reservations and asked Chuck if it would be possible to meet their leader before he considered joining their group. He smiled and said that would not be a problem and asked Radek if he would like to meet their leader too and Radek just nodded his head to signal yes.

“Good then let’s head back to the radio room where you first found me,” Chuck said as he and Sheila stood up.

“You know if I located the signal then others will also find it, so we should be careful,” Radek stated.

“Thank you Radek but I rigged the signal so you or someone like you would find the signal. We have been here operating for over six months. A month ago I allowed a few messages to be traced but of course the messages were not vital just in case someone other than you discovered our signal,” Chuck stated.

“You mean this was a trap,” Radek exclaimed.

“No merely a test to see if anyone here was listening and Chuck he rigged it in such a way that only you or Dr. McKay would find the signal,” Sheila stated.

“Very clever but how do you know Rodney wouldn’t have discovered it,” Carson asked.

“I happen to know that Dr. McKay and Dr. Keller are about to have a baby so he is more focused on the upcoming child birth. That is why this last month I started allowing some of my transmissions to be tracked,” Chuck said with a smile.

“So you wanted me,” Radek asked.

“Yes I did. Now let’s call our leader and you can speak with her,” Chuck said.



TBC


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